THE DOG BLOG
Lovers of Travel
An occasional blog to be read from Top to Bottom
The conversation that recurred most frequently during my travels was about STUFF. To live in the West means to be inundated with too much of this, that or the other. I've been regarded with awe and a certain amount of amazement because it appears I have so little. Well, it's all relative. This page is a confession. I too feel I have too much stuff and remember with awe people from other countries who really travel with next to nothing, trusting that if they really do need something, it will appear. I am humbled. So for the other adventurers out there, and those who are curious, I thought I'd include what I haul around with me and pass on things I've learnt which may benefit others.
BEDDING My bed is a mattress of three inch foam, and a tad shorter than a double bed. Us small people need lots of room to spread out! Besides, at least one dog always sleeps besides me. I find sleeping bags claustrophobic, so I use sheets and blankets. To keep things cleaner, I've discovered putting a fitted sheet as your top covering keeps things cleaner and easier. In the morning, you simply pull the top sheet to the corner and fit it over the edge of the bed. And on top of the blanket, I have a queen size fitted sheet. It's much easier to shake out the debris the dogs or myself bring in, than a blanket.
I carry two, five gallon containers of water, as well as one gallon ex-Minute Maid jug and an additional five gallon plastic inflatable which I haven't needed. FYI, these Made in China inflatable's have horrible spouts which leak. A much better option is to buy a container used for fermenting wine. I bought mine from Boots Chemist's. (Maybe beer and wine making supplies in the US sell a good quality equivilent.) The plastic is a higher grade and the spout doesn't leak.
Computer, Apple iBook -
Cell phone Sony Erickson T610 -
Bluetooth adapter as a modem to connect to the internet -
Printer, Canon -
Spare cartridges -
Scanner, Canon -
Electrical cords -
My journals from five years in Kenya -
Metal case containing slides and scanned images of trips made to Morocco, Pakistan, Jordan etc to accompany magazine stories -
An extra cooler which now contains unsorted photos from a story I'm doing about camels used for working with youth offenders -
Nikon N70 camera plus 35mm and 50mm lens. 210mm lens is damaged and probably not worth repairing. So why do I keep it??? -
Reflector for portraits
Unfortunately, the invertor I brought with me from Kenya finally blew out a year ago. I replaced it with a 300 watt invertor from Radio Shack. I can't recommend it. This is my fifth one! After a short time, the fan begins making strange noises and so I just keep taking them back as there's a three month warranty.
100% Deet (the only thing that works against mosquitoes, though it failed in Louisiana...) -
Anti-itch lotion -
Tweezers-one pair for me, one pair for getting Cholla spines out of the dogs -
Carmex lip stuff -
Rubbing alcohol -
Skin lotion -
Two towels -
Wash cloth -
bedroom slippers -
Three pairs of running/hiking boots-I really only need two pair... -
One nicer pair of boots, though I really bought them for walking... -
Teva sandals -
Nice sandals -
Four pairs of shorts -
Two pairs of suede shorts for dressing up-I really need to give these away, I never wear them! -
Four pairs of jeans-I'd be fine with two pairs -
Khaki pants -
Two pairs of flowing hot weather pants -
Numerous tank tops, most I never wear -
Three fleece sweaters -
Three sweaters -
One pair of crappy looking but VERY warm pants that I want to throw away, but I fear it'll get cold again! -
12 pairs of socks-In the winter, this is the item I went through the most, so I invested to avoid trips to the laundromat -
One sexy nightgown-
Two oversize tshirts -
One oversize T-shirt for minor car repairs -
Pair of warm leggings -
Four pair underwear-a woman on a reality tv show shared that if you turn them inside out, you suddenly have an eight day supply! -
Three short dresses -
One long sari-like dress -
One nice dress that needs mending-so mend it already! -
One light weight windbreaker jacket -
One plaid poncho from Egypt
All the Kitchen stuff is stored in a commercial restaurant tub given to me by Jane and Ray Hoeggers in Auburn, California who own a butchers and were always kind enough to give DOG and Bruiser deer bones! -
Danish silverware given to my years ago by my Mum -
A pottery tea cannister from my Mum which holds sugar. The inscription reads, Ideal Storage at Home or on Safari. -
One Aynsley bone china mug given to me for my 21st birthday by my Nan -
An orange fondue pot (now completely blackened from cooking over an open flame) I use for boiling water for my tea. The wooden handle was hand-crafted by my Dad. I'm on the second one! -
Small propone burner for use when it's too cold or windy to cook on a fire outside -
Four placemats from Thailand which I put on the desk to hide the dirt.
Here's what I've discovered about food.
Block ice is always available from Circle K, Basha's and a few other supermarkets. Don't drain away the melted ice and your block ice will last much longer. Wrap the ice chest in a blanket and it will last longer still.
Vegetables that keep the best are: Romaine lettuce, cabbage, carrots, celery, zuccini.
Grapefruit keeps FOREVER, is high in vitamin C and is also a good source of liquid. I eat one a day.
Buy frozen meat if you can. Transfer it to plastic containers (tall and narrow work best then when the ice melts, it won't seep in) and put it at the bottom of the ice chest, so when the ice melts, the container is in direct contact with the ice cold water. Cooked meat keeps far longer than raw. And the more well done, the longer it lasts. Remember, heat rises.
Numerous brightly coloured bandannas-if we're in an area where there might be hunters or target-practice people -
Maasai collar for DOG -
Leather collar for Bruiser (he lost his Maasai one) -
Two retractable leads -
One cloth lead -
Flea collar -
Antibiotic ointment -
Eye ointment for DOG -
Prednazone-for snake bite -
Doggie sleeping pills for extreme stress -
Book, Emergency First Aid for your Dog by Shearer DVM-Can't recommend this, as the usual answer is, take your dog immediatly to the vet...
FUN and MISC
Climbing shoes - not yet used in the US -
Snorkel and mask - used once in a spring in Texas. Hope to buy a new mask to be used frequently in Central America -
Nikon binoculars bought in Dubai -
Cheap cassette player -
Cassette tapes -
Skeleton of cactus from Florence, Arizona -
Skeleton of dog skull from Carrizozo, New Mexico -
A leather handpainted satchel from Mauritania - now a map holder -
A Berber carpet I bought in 1992 in Morocco -
A rag-rug from Egypt -
Safari hat from Kenya -
Whip made from hippo hide and crafted by Noor from the Forty Days Road trek - I had no idea what I might encounter in the US!)
And most importantly, DOG and Bruiser, who without them none of this would be happening!
So, I obviously have too much STUFF!!! America must be rubbing off on me! Or, I'm a closet pack-rat...