We’ve all known that moment when, halfway through, we realize we forgot an object, the little thing that would have gone into the bag without doing any harm and yet would have made all the difference.
Here is a small selection of simple advice that aims to bring a little comfort and reassurance for your somewhat Spartan travels.
When we get ready to sleep in community for nights, we can say with certainty that there will be at least one snorer as discreet as a liner leaving a port. And if it’s not the buddy, it will be a mosquito crawling around your ears or the rain beating against the tent. Having earplugs ensures you a restful night in all circumstances. They will save your life (or that of your buddy).
We inflate it, we deflate it. It takes up no space and yet it will always be a thousand times better than a sweater or a bag as a pillow. Remember to take some patches just in case. They can also be used to repair your mattress if it is inflatable.
Taking care of your feet is crucial. Your feet are your vehicle, the ones that carry you where you want so take care of them. When you know the thousands of steps you take during a hike then imagine if everyone pulls a grimace of pain at you… The majority of hikers wear a combination of light shoes, wool or synthetic socks (not cotton!). Also try to have your shoes already “made” before you leave.
No need to specify why it is important for you and for everyone. The advantage of soap is that it will wash clothes as well as the wearer.
Tissues: when nature calls you
I will not expand either because everyone will understand the importance of this very decisive aspect. They can also be used as fire starters, makeshift compression bandages, water filters, etc.
The gaffer fixes everything
The “gaffer” is an adhesive tape used by technicians in the cinema. We even name the gaffer, the technician who on the sets is in charge of electrical equipment and lighting… Why this brand and not another? Because this tape is resistant, tears with your fingers, sticks effectively and can be removed without leaving any residue. It is a very versatile emergency scotch. There would be no point in listing the services it can perform, it all depends on your imagination.
What you can do instead of carrying around a bulky roll is to wrap some around a hard card (a phone card, for example) and leave the roll at home. It will take up much less space.
The paracord: the versatile tool
Paracord is a strong and elastic nylon cord. It does not take up space, weighs almost nothing and is used for a lot of things. You can use it to extend your belongings, stretch a tarp for shelter, hang the pan over the fire, replace a broken lace, hang anything, tie knots to pass the time…
The natural dryer
It’s not an object but a little trick that everyone should know. After a long day of exertion, we often have our underwear and t-shirt wet. We change on arrival but the next day we have the unpleasant feeling of putting wet things back. We haven’t always had the possibility of drying them in the sun… But that’s without counting on the body’s extraordinary ability to produce heat (Guide to stop being cold in bivouac)
Technical COMFORT: Put your clothes in your sleeping bag. This way you can dry your wet clothes by putting them against your chest or between your thighs. However, do it only with your underwear or your slightly damp t-shirt (beyond that you will cool down without drying anything at all). Choose the same technique for your gloves during breaks. Slip them into your coat rather than your pockets to keep them always warm.
treat each other with love
Just because you’re in a somewhat spartan situation doesn’t mean you can’t have fun. Tea, coffee to drink hot, varied food so you don’t always eat the same things. Reward our efforts. You can even choose to fall for a good big burger or a nice pizza without the guilt. Don’t worry about the result, there is little chance that we will eat more calories than we have spent. In short, there is no harm in doing good.
And you, what are your COMFORT techniques or tips? Share in the comments.