You Can't Take it With You

You know I don’t cotton much to fancy gear. Nothing wrong with it. It’s just that you always end up buying too much of it. The only time I ever bought all the stuff the magazines told me I needed I ended up walking out the door with two backpacks strapped to me – one fore and one aft. Like the guy at the airport baggage pickup sandwiched between two massive rucksacks and he’s looking for another one on the baggage conveyor. You know the one.

I don’t want to be that man.

Besides, in the past two days, here at headquarters, we’ve run twice for the basement for tornado alarms. Then tonight the power line leading to the house shorted out and my brother leapt onto the heat pump to put it out before the roof caught on fire. Who’s got time and money left over for gear?

Pack. Pack? Man, we’re fighting fires over here. Brother Christian putting the hurt on today’s electrical fire.

And I’m supposed to be packing for a six month trip.

So forget the fancy pants. Nah, just like the whiskey and the borrowed fire extinguisher got us through the tornado drill and the electrical fire, I’ll get by fine in Tasmania with the clothes on my back. The whole point, after all, is to immerse in the country. Why show up with new $300 hiking boots to find they wear rubber boots on account of the rain?

And really, wouldn’t you rather hear I was freezing in the Southern Ocean rain because I showed up with a 2-dollar poncho instead of a $200 Gortex rainsuit? Oh wait, I’m not packing rain gear. I’ll find some there.

Packed for half a year on an Australian island: Yeah, it looks a little Boy Scoutish(Christian Harberts photo)

Okay, because you’re going to bust my chops if I don’t tell you I will. I’m packing a camera, small laptop and voice recorder. Also, a sleeping bag made from a duvet folded in half with a zipper sewn into the long edge(thanks Thies and Kicki aboard sailing vessel “Wanderer III” and a $10 backpack (thanks thrift store in Beach, North Dakota). Then, for lodging, a small hammock. For repairing the hammock, dental floss. Passport. Hundred dollars cash money.

Oh, and a pen. To write post cards with.

And that’s about it.

Scales don’t lie: 16 pounds of gear

Saturday afternoon I step onto a plane bound for south of the equator. I’m packed. I’m ready. Because I’m taking most nothing at all.

Hold Fast!

Emily Rose
2010-10-29 01:19:00

Tasmania, huh? Bernie, Tasmania is on the other side of the WORLD from Pulaski! Well, have fun, stay safe, looking forward to the updates!

Al Privette
2010-10-29 07:22:43

God’s speed Bernie. Stay safe and watch out for those tornado-spinning Tas-devils! Can’t wait to see some photo’s of one of those little guys. Remember the Mose’s factor ….. all you need for each day is out there for you.

Ken McArthur
2010-10-29 15:32:35

Bernie, Sounds like great trip that will be fun. Tasmanian people are best of oz. Take care, catch a tiger and show us a picture. Rode my bicycle around there a while back but only tigers I saw were on side of beer can.

2010-10-29 18:41:17

That surely is a long way from southern Indiana. I am so looking forward to your posts along the way and of course pictures of all the exciting things, people and places you see.
Enjoy and be safe.

butterbean carpenter
2010-10-29 22:10:49

Howdy Bernie, What did Polly say when you left without her?
Hope this trip is as much fun as the others..
We’ll follow you while the ‘Biscuit Wagon’ is
sitting in CO and Bob is working on his ‘green
glow’!! Watch out for the drivers on the wrong side of the road and remember to stick
out your left thumb… We’ll sit here at the
ranch and freeze while you enjoy your stroll..
Joyce & butterbean
RunningStar Ranch
Coleman county

Carolyn Howell
2010-11-09 20:53:22

Hi Bernie,
I am a part time resident of Oriental. I was out of town without a computer when TownDock had the article about your latest adventure. I have read about three of your past adventures.
I wanted to wish you luck. Be safe and have fun. Make good use of your camera.
I was in Australia in 1989, but I didn’t make it to Tasmania. I did buy a shirt with a Tasmanian Devil on it. 🙂
I will be looking forward to reading about your adventures and seeing if Tasmania is anything like Australia. Melbourne was as close as I got to where you are.
Take care.


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