I caved after I found the best tent possible for me. It weighs under 2lbs, has a vestibule, uses trekking poles instead of heavy tent poles, and has mesh covered opening to allow air flow while limiting bugs. It adds a pound to my base weight but I think it will be worth the comfort. It has also made me re-evaluate other choices of mine. I've gotten ahold of more compression straps and fun thing-a-ma-jigs!! I sit in the living room spreading out equipment, testing it out, playing with extra straps and packing methods. Finding endless variations of things I will be doing for the next 5 months. Somehow though, it is as calming as closing your eyes to fully take in the first sip of fresh coffee. It's like nothing else and always makes you feel better about fulfilling goals... or waking up.
I've gotten a new alcohol stove and tested it out extensively! It's by Trangia. What I like about alcohol stoves is how multi-purpose the fuel can be. Isopropyl Alcohol is easy to find within the most basic of stores, it can also be used with a First Aid purpose. Keeping your feet, hands, and cuts clean is good backpacking practice. When your feet become heavily used, blisters or cracks occur. Keeping the foot clean and dry will help reduce swelling or blisters making those next couple of miles easier and more better! When you go to the bathroom the most basic thing everyone takes for granted... running water.... is the sink to wash your hands. In the woods, in the desert, there is no sink, in fact the next water source might be 10 or 20 miles away. Between now and then you might decide to eat granola, or put your hands in your gorp. If there is residue or your hands have bacteria and germs it can seriously cause stomach/digestion issues. Isopropyl alcohol easily reduces this risk... and so does germx!
I hope to have a spreadsheet complete next week with the contents of my pack and the item's corresponding weight. Fingers crossed for a base weight of 13!! It's funny how weight sometimes seems important and other times you are willing to make so many exceptions because "You want to" or something is "Worth it". In my mind I'm 6'2" and can take on the world, but when I start to be realistic... I find myself a foot shorter and unable to take on the whole world as easily as I thought and planned. The step ladder in my trunk cannot help me on this trip.
It's ROAR!! Time.
It's Conquer Time!