Treasures, Lint, Blisters, Kids, Beaches, Cayenne and Notebooks

GIVE OUT YOUR TREASURES

Every time I travel, I bring along a box of ‘hand me down treasures.’ This box includes a collection of small items that may not be worth much in monetary terms but have some sentimental value. Whenever I make new friends, especially children, I give them something from the box. Whether it’s a pin I kept from camp, stamps I collected as a kid, silly stickers too cute to be thrown away, comic books I’ve read too many times, old sports cards or that odd piece of jewellery, it’s all about sharing a piece of myself with people. In many of the places I’ve travelled, the people I met have never seen a comic book before. Seeing the awestruck look on their faces and letting them keep that memento is what life is all about.

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Tents, Backpacks, Humidity, Camping, Hemp and Alarms

TENT LOFTS

My daughters love their tent, and they love it even more now that I’ve added a ‘loft.’ I stitched the four corners of a rectangular piece of fishnet to four inside seams of the tent, keeping the needle well away from the outer walls. A piece of cloth would serve as well, or one of those cargo nets. (If you want to keep the net hooks for easy removal, just sew o-rings to the seams, or else remove the hooks and sew the net directly to the tent.) It’s like an attic for your tent, with very little extra weight, and it allows you to hang your flashlight from just the right place. As long as you don’t overload it, it won’t harm your tent.

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PJ's, Laundry, Cappucinos, Sewing, Rain Cover and Lists

STUFF YOUR PJ’S

On chilly campsite mornings, there’s nothing worse than having to get out of your warm pajamas and into your cold hiking clothes. A great way around this is to stuff your next day’s clothes into the bottom of your sleeping bag so they’re nice and toasty when you wake up. Makes for great mornings in colder climates: fresh air in warm clothing.

 

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Rocks, Salt, Bank Accounts, Inner Tubes, Insoles and Passport Photos

HOT ROCKS

While camping in Lake Minnewanka near Banff, Alberta, fellow travellers from Europe suggested heating rocks in the fire, wrapping each of them in an old T-shirt or sock, and then putting the parcels inside our sleeping bags to keep warm. I tried it and it worked great—the rocks stayed warm all night. One warning: don’t heat the rocks too much (your clothes may start smoking), and use cotton or wool to wrap them.

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Headlamps, Giftwrap, Expenses, Mongolia, Dental Floss and Pillowcases

HEADLAMP DIY

Packed a bandana? A white ‘turtle’ bike light? Then leave your headlamp behind. When you need hands-free lighting over the camp stove, roll up your bandana, wear it like a hair band then loop the turtle light into the bandana at the top of your head. Don’t worry how it looks—it’s dark anyway, right?

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