Friday, June 10, 2016

Packing List - Overnight Hiking Trip with Snow

Packing List

Lay it out. Pack it up.
Here is what I took on a 5 day, 4 night backcountry trip. I would say it worked out pretty well (surprisingly - I'm a notorious over packer). The most unexpectedly enjoyable/well used items were: Scarf, two water bottles (vs one), pen and paper and crampons.

I will definitely reference this list again!

  1. Stove & shield
  2. Stove Fuel
  3. One 2-person pot
  4. Knife (not a multi-tool)
  5. Multi-tool (I didn't use)
  6. Spork
  7. Fair Share Mug
  8. Two water bottles (2L worth of water total; 1-1.5L, 1-0.5L)
  9. Wash Cloth
  10. Camp Suds
  11. Waterproof matches & lighter
  12. Water purification system
  13. Rope for hanging food
  14. Food
  1. Extra pair(s) of underwear - brought one merino wool one - amazing!
  2. Long underwear (top and bottom)
  3. 3 pairs of socks (1 - wool, 1 - hiking, 1 - silk liner)
  4. Sports bra
  5. Non-cotton long leggings 
  6. Merino wool T-shirt - I like t-shirts so my backpack straps don't rub my skin
  7. Long sleeve base layer - I use my lulu lemon running shirt 
  8. Mid-weight base/mid layer
  9. Light puffy (non-down filled) sweater 
  10. Rain Pants
  11. Gore-tex shell
  12. Hiking boots (not waterproof but comfortable)
  13. Gaiters (I used short ones)
  14. Scarf (and neck warmer for winter camping)
  15. Digital watch with alarm
  1. Tent (shared)
  2. Tent ground cover (shared - we used an emergency blanket)
  3. Thermarest (R 3.4 for sleeping on snow)
  4. Sleeping bag (good for -7C)
  5. Headlamp
  6. Hiking poles
  7. Extra baskets for poles (important for snow)
  8. Deodorant, toothpaste, toothbrush, dental floss, comb
  9. Ear plugs
  10. Lip chap, gum
  11. Sunscreen and lip sunscreen
  12. Hat
  13. Sunglasses
  14. Backpack rain cover
  15. Repair kit (for Thermarest, and tent - or just put duct tape on your hiking poles)
  16. Toilet paper
  17. Ziplock bags (although likely your food will be in these)
  18. Map (in ziplock bag) and compass
  19. Whistle
  20. Pen / paper
  21. Cards
  22. Book(s) - I brought an ereader with back light - really great!
First Aid Kit (homemade - based on Clever Hiker)
  1. Carabiner
  2. Pain/sleep/diarrhea
  3. Bandaids 
  4. Moleskin & second skin
  5. Antiseptic
  6. No stick gauze
  7. Sports tape
  8. Scissors
Winter Gear
  1. Large Down Jacket
  2. Down mitts
  3. Crampons
  4. Snow Shoes
  5. Ice Axe
Things to note: 
  • I rented my ice axe. Given the number of times I'll use it and the cost (cheap!) to rent, I opted for the rental.
  • I no longer wear hiking pants. They are too thin to provide any significant warmth, don't always allow you to move with as much flexibility, and the fabric/cut are generally quite unflattering. Leggings all the way.
  • Learning from my friend, having a change of clothes for 'night time' really improves comfort level and helps me feel warmer. Whenever we get into camp and have everything set up we would change out of our 'day clothes' and into our 'night clothes' - I would even take off my bra which really helped when it came time to go to bed!
  • Ear plugs (and I wish I would have had an eye mask) make sleeping in a tent 10x better! Especially with someone else / during the long summer days
  • I like to follow the rule: One item per I like having one of each, but no more than one of each.
  • I like to have my stuff compartmentalized, so I can just grab one larger bag out of my pack with say all of my kitchen stuff in it. Plus it makes me misplace stuff less. 
  • When in doubt, don't take it. The weight rarely out weights the comfort of having the item (minus things that keep you warm and full).
  • I watched a lot of Clever Hiker episodes on lightweight hiking (to help with my perpetual overpacking)
  • You can do it! We are so much more capable/adaptable/resilient than we think - and it's so much fun! 
Light packing helps on the ups!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Three things... (2016.06.09)

Three things I have been loving these days:

MM Lafleur
There are so many dresses and tops I would love to wear to work... Plus the models have the most amazing poses! 
Love this feminine but not floral top

"A material so comfortable, it will give your yoga pants a serious run for their money" And it's machine washable? Sold.
So that's what I look like when when someone does something wrong...
What a great classic dress, a V neck that isn't too deep! 

They also have this service call the Bento Box, where you fill out a questionnaire and then they send you a box full of items they think you would like - including jewelry! You just mail back the items that don't work. Unfortunately it's only currently shipping to the states... Or else I would be signing up!

Block Heel Shoes

They are a great mix between high heels and flats and keeps things dressy in a no none sense kind of way, Now with a sprained ankle, getting a pair has become more pressing. I ordered the following three pairs of shoes, hoping one of them will work out

Gravity Pope

Gold Detail

Bow detail

They are sooo nice and comfortable! But quite a high heel still 

Brunch & Aquafaba
I had some friends over for brunch on the weekend and it was just the loveliest time. It was nice to get together before the temperatures soared into the 30s. I have fallen off the brunch wagon with my intolerance to eggs (it really limits the options!) so I took this opportunity to try out some eggless brunch recipes. Let me tell you Aquafaba is a game changer. 

A little icing on the top

These waffles were pretty darn delicious and fluffy, and I couldn't really tell that they were egg free! I would probably add less sugar next time.

I'm also excited to try some of these recipes. 

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Disconnected - Month 1 Recap

It has been over a month since I disconnected. How did it go? Well for the first bit, it was quite easy. I would go to open up Instagram and I had to sign in. That small extra step was enough to remind me to not look. I didn't miss it one bit. I did however fill my extra time with other distractions such as blogs, newspaper articles and TV. Oh how I have realized that TV is my nemesis... (more on that later) 

I was still posting pictures to Insta when I feel like it, and I would do some limited scrolling, but I was much more aware of the time that I spent looking at other people's lives. 

Then I went away for 5 days with no cell coverage. And that was a whole new experience. I found myself worrying about work, my mind wandering through hypothetical scenarios, each time increasing in intensity. The mere fact that I could not connect increased my anxiety. Most of it was work related, but it definitely spilled over to my personal connections.

Via Tech Vibes
Since then I've maintained a reasonable connectivity. When I'm offline most of the day I carve out a few set time periods to catch up on the happenings. Recently (in the last 48 hours) I've noticed some mindless scrolling starting to enter my life, but I am recognizing this and can make adjustments. (It seems that I scroll more when I am tired as a procrastination tool... Which doesn't make a lot of sense!)

But there have been a few changes I've noticed over the past month: 
  1. Overall: Limiting social media has really freed up some time and brain capacity and has me focusing on myself and my life instead of avoiding my life by looking at other people's lives
  2. The house: I have been more obsessed with keeping my house clean. While I wouldn't say my house is now spotless, I have been noticing the mess - which is the first step right? I've also been taking action on some of the lease loved items on my to do lists (you know - the ones that just keep on getting transferred to new to do lists?)
  3. Mentally: I feel like I've freed up a lot of mental processing space. Post scroll I used to feel drained of energy and mentally exhausted. Now my breaks from work consist of reading an article, getting something on my to do list done or even going for a walk.  These are contributing to a feeling of mental clarity and focus, which I hope is helping my efficiency.  
  4. Decision Making: I struggle with making decisions; I am a maximizer, so I am constantly in search of the 'best' option. And social media allows you to see what other people have done when presented with similar decision points. The options are endless really, and can send me into a spiraling alternatives search. But being removed from the options, and with increased clarity and focus (see point 4) I've been able to make some key decisions that I've been putting off for months and months! It feels empowering; I am motivated to make more decisions, which is a wonderful positive feedback loop!
  5. My life: This exercise has really freed up some time and brain capacity (and self-pity to be honest) to allow me to focus on what really matters. When on the 5 days without cell service - I did worry about life back at the office, but I had several free hours a day to read/think. I had not taken a step back from my life and thought about it in a more holistic way in a while. Spending more than a few fleeting moments reviewing things allowed me to work through some thoughts and concepts that were previously only partly formed. 
  6. Missing Events: I've definitely missed friends and family's birthdays and have felt bad about it. I've also missed events in my neighbourhood since I am no longer reminded on Saturday morning about a specific event around town. This has been both a blessing and a curse. I like not being distracted from what I am doing - but I also enjoy those random events. 
  7. Substitute Distractions: I'd like to say that with my new found time, I've spent it doing productive value driven activities like additional activities, more reading, getting to do lists done, etc. but I have found that I have been substituting other distractions in its place. Namely TV (more on that later). I realize that I need downtime every day, but I just haven't figured out what non-social media, non-TV downtime is...
  8. Prioritized Scroll: Wow, one really figures out what is important when faced with only 15 minutes to look through several days of social media. I do the rapid scroll looking for names of friends and family to look at their pictures. Seeing my cousin's kids in Instagram is way better than someone's stylized and perfectly quoted morning coffee. That being said - I haven't deleted those coffee accounts from my Instagram because they are a great resource when I'm trying to put together a Saturday brunch, but seeing them as a resource and not a required daily image is refreshing!
  9. Positivity: I have some sort of jump in my step. Maybe because I feel like I have a little secret versus all the people walking around staring at their phones, or maybe it’s because I feel like I can get more done, (I do get more done!) but I'm not sure. But I do feel generally more positive about life! (Yay!)  
Speaking of which - I tried to find an image of unplugging in the forest (because I associate nature with unplugging) and this came up - wooden megaphones in the forest. How fun would it be to come across these, especially if there was a string quartet in one of them!

This is the greatest idea! Estonia is on to something!