Saturday, August 17, 2013


Just as we prepare to enter Turkmenistan, it is time to take a look at the state of my equipement so far and judge what choices were good or bad.

My tent was definitly a good choice. It's light and small and still in perfect shape. Taking an inflatable mattress, that was such a good idea. It's so confortable and doesn't have a single hole in it. It's supposed to be auto inflatable but that's bullshit, it doesn't work that much, I have to blow into ut manually, never mind. Many people advised me not to because humidity could accumulate inside but that seems to be bullshit too, eveerything is OK.

My sleeping bag seems to be allright. It got really wet from transpiration the time I was sick in tbilissi. Now it's OK though a little stinky but I don't have a sense of smell so that's Ilona's problem. It has lost some of its isolating power though.

I have lost all of my warm clothes, two on Aragats and a guy from the rainbow didn't give me my only warm t-shirt back. Never mind, I got another T-shirt in Yerevan from Sarkiss. It has short sleeves so I can use it more often in this heat. I got a sweeter from a bielorussian guy in Armenia. It's heavy and not waterproof obviously but it keeps warm. I've lost my hat the first day the sun started to hit. I still don't have a hat but I am getting used to it.

I also lost my microfiber towel when running away from the guy who wanted to beat me in Armenia because Nata is my wife.
I don't have a towel now but I manage without it, everything dries quickly in this heat, including myself.

My 32 GB micro SD card was bad from the very beginning, I threw it away. I still have all of my other electronic equipement though. My GPS beacon is still running on the same batteries as those it started from home. The signal is getting less reliable though, maybe I should change them.
My other GPS beacon remains unused but I still have it on the bottom on my bag.
My camera is still there and I still have a backup battery.

My solar charger isn't very useful. It doesn't work very well. Sometimes there are bad contacts, it doesn't charge anything. When it charges, it doesn't have much power accumulated. I still carry it around though. A car charger would be more useful.

My tablet rocks! I don't treat it like a princess, it got heated to 50°C on the sun on 4000 meters, I had silver spots on the screen from the heat, it got dragged into mud and water, it got rained on and it still works. It's not a special tablet, not waterproof or anything, just an asus t300 hybrid with a keyboard. Sometimes it freezes and needs a restart for no reason but I can live with that. Wifi and GPS still work just fine.

My phone is still there and allright but I don't use it that much. The battery isn't that good and it gets depleted faster than expected. The two functions I use the most often on my phone is the altimeter and the flashlight.

We didn't use any medecine from our stocks so far. At least not for ourselves. We've used it to help others though.
My knife is fine but isn't as sharp as before.

My grey-white t-shirt is dirty beyond repair. My black t-shirt with the little prince sawn on it has lost most of its color. It has a weird shade of blackish green on the back. The little prince is still there though.

My pants are repaired on at least 5 places and torn down around one of my ancles. But they are still great, I'll keep repairing them until they die completly.

I still have my twoo sunglasses and my spare normal glasses.
Money wise, We should still be under 2 euros per day per person but I have no idea how much exactly.
My bag is still there and doing great!

Last but not least, my trekking shoes. I thought my Salomon shoes were any good but I am dissapointed. They are starting to be used from the bottom and after descending Aragats, they even started falling apart. The sides started to open, it didn't look pretty. I had to repair them, now they're OK for a while. Very surprisingly, Sylvie's shoe implants which I use to correct my posture are still in an amazing state. I didn't give them more than a month, yet almost three months later, they're still in great shape. Ironically enough they might last longer than my shoes.
This is crazy. Thanks Sylvie!

That is all for now, see you in another three months for another equipement check.