What’s more imporant about celebrating a new year than the ability that one has to share their perspective on the gear triumphs from the previous year! Given that Frank only provides climbing-related posts now, I’ve taken the liberty to reflect on Franken’s gear additions in 2008 and have made my best attempt at summarizing the top five! Top ten lists are too cliche to be used here . . . in this case, only five will do.
Ladies cotton underwear (available where granny panties are usually sold): Why wear boxer briefs into the woods when cotton panties will do? They are extremely light and while not skid-proof, they are disposable! Say “nah” to modern fabrics with odor-defying properties and heavier solutions . . .. Ladies panties are the best solution for any self-respecting male backpacker! Goes great with an ultralight scarf!
REI OXT Tech Tee (in white): When not used as a thong, cotton kills! This solution wicks moisture and handles abrasion extremely well! It’s also suitable for wearing into town. In a white color, this tee is sure to attract any dirt, food spills, and tobacco residue that a week on the trail can provide. Guaranteed to make other hikers stay out of your comfort-radius and establish that hobo presence that anyone would want in the woods!
Drum Rolling Tobacco: When one travels ultralight, they would generally segregate their needs and wants for the trail. The critical wants are often categorized as “luxury” items and indicated as such to avoid gear list heckling! One precious luxury item for Frank from 2008 is roll-your-own tobacco. When hankering for the taste of the trailer while in the woods, only one solution will do, Drum tobacco. If only it came with ultra-light moonshine. Remember: leave your health at home when you travel in the woods . . . tobacco actually enhances one’s performance at altitude!
Homemade hollow aluminum stakes: Do stakes really need to withstand the blow of a misplaced foot? Do they? Fashioned out of hollow aluminum. 6 weigh less than .5 oz. Just be very careful as they are highly susceptible to breakage from a gentle breeze, a landing mosquito or any precipitation, much less a drunk Franken!
Homemade space blanket tarp: Why be stealthy when camping in the woods? Throw out the cone of silence and use Franken’s homemade space blanket tarp. While extremely light, this item is certain to keep everyone awake within a 200 yd radius due to it’s very loud mylar material. Just remember to bring a buddy with more dependable gear for use in windy or damp conditions and/or a roll of duct tape in case you need to complete a field repair! In 2009, perhaps he’ll consider “moving-up” to Tyvek!