Are Words too Heavy to Carry?
I was browsing through a book we own called Freezer Bag Cooking by Sarah Svien and thinking it had a lot of easy recipes that we might try while we are hiking—like Creamy Spinach-Veggie Rice which calls for dry Cream of Spinach soup, dry milk, instant rice and freeze dried vegetables. You mix all that stuff with boiling water and Voila! you have dinner. It sounded easy enough and tasty enough.
There were lots of recipes like that, but we weren’t about to drag the whole dang book along, so I decided to write down a few of the recipes –but, not on paper. That would just mean more stuff to carry. I got out my ‘thingy’ and started typing away. Not too long into this recipe project, I found myself leaving out words and leaving out letters, and abbreviating every other word. But why? I wasn’t in a hurry and I didn’t need to save space. Hmm. What was going on here? Then it hit me! We’d been spending so much time lately evaluating the weight of every single piece of minutia that was going into our backpacks that I had subconsciously been ‘weighing’ every word that I wrote — leaving out anything unnecessary so that when I got done, my ‘thingy’ wouldn’t be too heavy to carry! Oh my.
Some words do have weight though–too much weight. When Mel first hiked the trail several years ago, before he had any electronic devices and before he packed super light, he actually took a real book with him — not just any book, a ginormous book– Moby Dick ginormous–over 700 pages! Fortunately, it wasn’t hardcover and Mel had the good sense to rip out pages after he read them so that the book got lighter and lighter as he went along. For this trip, however, we are not taking any books, electronic or otherwise, because it is highly unlikely, after a long and tedious day of hiking, that we will even have the mental wherewithal to eat, let alone comprehend the written word.
For those of you who are ‘weight junkies’ like we are, here’s my gear list (minus food and water). Mel will have the tent and the cooking supplies. Weight is in ounces.
- Walking shorts 3.70
- Walking shirt 4.84
- Sleeping shorts 3.24
- Short sleeved sleeping shirt 4.34
- Long sleeved wool shirt 10.20
- Fleece ‘sweater’ 9.10
- Long johns (tights) 7.84
- Three pairs of socks 6.09
- 1 Bra, 1 pair of undies 2.0
- Wind jacket 4.34
- Down jacket 7.72
- Rain jacket 6.94
- Rain pants 5.78
Wool mittens and rain covers 3.20
- Brimmed hat and fleece hat 3.20
- Waldies (maybe; they’re like flip flops) 9.42
- Bandana and Buff 2.4
- Long pants (maybe) 6.4
- Pack towel .9
- Poop scoop, toilet paper, hand cleaner 3.4
- Medicines 3.0 (estimate)
- Eyeglass case 1.12
- Toothbrush .7
- ‘Purse’ 1.0
- Credit card, medical cards 1.0 (estimate)
- Money 1.0 (estimate)
iPod Touch with protective shell 5.00
- Waterproof case 1.90
- Bluetooth keyboard 5.14
- Cables and charger 6.8
- Stylus .1
Sleeping Gear (Mel will have the tent)
- Sleeping bag 32.oo
- Sleep mat and bag 12.46
- Inflatable pillow 2.9
- Cup with lid 3.0
- Spoon (titanium) .6
- Headlamp 2.9
- Mini light .2
- Backpack (ULA Circuit) 32.0
Total weight (without food or water): 13.3 lbs
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