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HOW I GEAR UP AND PREPARE

 

 

 

You'll find many different ideas on what gear to buy and what to bring with you, and I am in NO WAY trying to pass myself off as some kind of expert, but what I bring with me is below for what it's worth (specifics in parenthesis if I can recommend the product, the company behind it and the customer service of that company). 

 

As for purchasing things from your list, I'd go to Dollar Tree first, then get everything you can from the remaining list at Wal-Mart or a place like Dollar General or Family Dollar.  After that go to a sporting goods store and, for anything that's left, go to a specialty store.  This will make buying gear the most cost effective.  I'd try online too, obviously, because there are some really good deals out there.

 

To go paddling I bring (in no particular order):

 

To go hiking I bring (in no particular order):

 

 

Just me, but once I've packed up the items above, I select some tunes for the ride.  I'm usually in a pretty good mood because I know that I'm going to have some fun and I want some tunes that will match that mood - something that will pick me up and throw me around a little (which may sound funny when you think about it:  "I'm going to go out to see some plants!  YEAH!!! - but it's kinda true).  I, personally, go for contemporary rock and my favorite band, Anberlin, has never failed to light me up.  I'm also into Madina Lake, The Vines, Sanctus Real and MXPX as well as the incredible debut from the Red Jumpsuit Apparatus.  At times though, I'll even go old school with some 80's hair metal.

 

You can pick whatever music you want to charge up the ride out.  Heck, you might even prefer something totally different or maybe you don't want music at all.  That's fine.  When I head back, I usually ride without tunes in order to let the experience sink in.

 

NOTE:  Cold sufferers, I have to mention this.  I'm not aware of any safety issues, so do it at your own risk, but I've found that pure ascorbic acid (a form of vitamin C) prevents my colds.  I used to get one every spring and then again every fall like clockwork, but I've found this to work - at least for the last 3 years.  One exception - interestingly, I found that the only 2 times it didn't work were after I cleaned/dusted prior to having guests over.  Something in inhaling the dust must have spurred the cold on.  Therefore, I'd make sure to take a dose prior to doing such things.  A caveat - this doesn't help if you've already got a cold, it only works for me as a preventative.

 

Anyway, buy it by itself (no other form or combination seems to work) in powdered or chrystalized form and at the first hint of a "twinge" in your throat, take a mildly tart dose of this with water.  Don't use too much - I usually take about 1/2 a level teaspoon in a couple cups of water and I keep taking this if it's still there in 12 hours.  After that, I take a lesser dose as prevention.  Also, if you've got a dry throat brought on by a cold, I find it helps me to drink/gargle a teaspoon of olive oil mixed in a cup of water.