Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Preparation 2.0

Adam and I went to Campmor this past Sunday to get items for our first couple of weeks in Congo -- being in a crumbling Belgian mansion is one thing, but being in the jungle in a tent is something completely different. And requires different preparatory things!

Many of which we a) didn’t have and b) weren’t planning to get.

(If you’re needing some backstory, check this entry)

So anyway, we went to Campmor to get Adam a hiking bag, maybe some sleeping bags (either a double or two bags that were twinnable/combinable), and some general camping essentials. We’re not sure entirely what we’ll need, but Cleve had told me that, when getting a tent, I should just make sure it’ll protect me against termites and ants. If there’s one thing I know from experience that you DON’T want in your tent, it’s safari ants.

What I didn’t count on was the fact that Campmor... and all of Paramus township.... is CLOSED on Sundays. We’d driven all the way out to New Jersey, only to have to drive all the way back. The REI that used to be at Columbus Circle was closed, so we had no choice but to go to Paragon Sports, a “huge” (by NYC standards) sports store at Union Square.

I wanted to get Adam a bag like mine -- I’ve had my bag since about 1996 and it’s only just now starting to show signs of wear. I’ve dragged it ALL over the world until finally, as I came back from Congo the last time, it finally lost a piece and broke. But I called Kelty and told them about the piece my bag was missing, and they’re sending it to me for only $5!!

This is me in Kisoro, Uganda, at the FAMOUS Traveller’s Rest Inn -- where George Schaller and Dian Fossey stayed!
Add Me and My Trusty Kelty Bag to the list of famous residents. Hehe.

Anyway, there were no real tents on display to get inside. The salesguy didn’t even know about the Nemo Morpho tent we were looking at, and when I tried to voice my concerns about the footprint and the carnivorous ants, and our salesguy, sort of a sad stereotype of himself with his patchouli’ed whiteboy dreadlocks, had absolutely no idea what I was talking about and offered no suggestions for conversational compromise.

We did get into the one tent that they had, and it did fill me with excitement. Of course, we also have to figure out how to get Adam sleeping in a position in-tent that will be comfortable for him (he sleeps sitting upright to help his snoring and his back)

We wanted to get a Kelty bag for him, but, as our own salesguy said, “Oh, they’re fantastic bags, but this store is way too trendy to sell them.” Instead, we got him a good North Face bag and he got used to carrying it around, full of sample things from the store.

There is still so much to get, but it feels nice to be moving forward, however slowly. And I’ll know that, if I wear myself out with my to-do listing, I can always crawl inside of Adam’s new bag and he can carry me around.


Anonymous said...

Great blog! My new goal in life is not to be a sad stereotype of myself...don't get me wrong...there are worse things...but that is pretty tough (and funny). The Nemo Morpho Tent is pretty sweet by the way...big fan of that company and most of their tents. Not to weird you guys out...but I work for EMS and love to travel and play as much as I can...if I can offer any advice let me know...I'd be happy to. Otherwise good luck with the National Geographic possibility, safe travels and happy adventures to you.

Laura Darby said...

Thanks for your comment! Does EMS stock the Nemo Morpho? We haven't actually bought it yet, and I'm wondering where I can get in it to test it out before buying it!

Thanks too for the offer of advice -- I hope you enjoy the rest of the blog!