In our arsenal of trekking equipment, pretty much everything gets used everyday, except for the First Aid Kit, thankfully.
If it doesn’t, it is obviously superfluous to our needs and it gets chucked out or sent home in a bid to keep excess weight off the bubs (and off my own back, of course!) . There is a real feeling of satisfaction that comes with this intense owning and loving of each of our few possessions.
Looking over our pile of equipment, there are the obvious items that one would be hard-pushed to do without. The portable water bucket (anyone noticed I have a bit of a thing for water?), saddles, halter, blah blah blah. But some of our handiest items don’t even seem to have names. Here are a few of our best-loved thingamajigs on the trail:
1. The Orange Bauble Thingamibob.
This thing is epic. An unassuming plastic bauble at the end of a loop of black elastic, it in invaluable for attaching Drizabones to saddles, to secure rolled up horse rugs, or as a makeshift electric fence insulator. Make sure you loop the bauble through twice If you don’t want it in your eye though!
2. The Pot Grabber Thingamibob.
This thing comes with most Trangia stove sets. It picks up hot pots and things. Took a while or me to get the hang o it, but now I can grab, move, place, shit, swap and pour as though I am performing an elaborate culinary campfire dance. A whole new skill set to add to the CV! A ew months ago I discovered that the Thingamibob also grabs billies, which now means my infers need not be dirty AND burnt.
3. Ye Old Duct Tape.
The Trekker’s trusty repair-all tool. Ours has held extra water bottles and rain gear to the bike, fixed our snapped visibility flag, and very classily repaired Z’s sunnies.
4. Zip Ties.
Zip ties are to cyclists, as duct tape is to hikers. As long as you have enough of them, They fix EVERYTHING. Ours held spare spokes to the bikes frame, attached random bits and pieces to the handlebars, and holds Z’s camera case to the saddle.
5. The Orange bag Thingamabob.
I have tried a myriad of waterproofing techniques for my backpack. I started out on the BNT using a poncho that covered me as well as the bag, but in a super heavy shower, my pack would still get soaked.
Also tried all sorts of backpack rain covers, but have found most of them to leak after a few showers, and besides, who wants to stoop on the side of the track in an oncoming deluge, fiddling around with a badly-designed pack cover?
Enter the trusty old orange wheely bin liner. If you use one to line your pack, nothing inside EVER gets wet. Best $1.50 I ever spent.
When this finally ripped the other day after 10 months of heavy use, I almost cried.
I am not a particularly emotional or sentimental person, so it took me by surprise how attached I had become to it.
It’s been our kitchen and storeroom area in the rain, and all-round gear coverer, ensuring everything stays dry.
What Thingamibobs have you found useful when trekking?