Thursday, November 28, 2013

The state of my things

Last time I made an equipement check, I was about to enter Turkmenistan. Everything was still quite new compared to now. Now, I am in China, about to enter the Qinghai province and things are very different.

Tent:
I confirm that this tent is a good choice. It's holding up very well. No holes, like new. The bag of the tent is starting to rip a little but it doesn't matter really, that's just aesthetics.

Inflatable mattress:
Still not a bad choice because if I had a normal mattress it would probably be destroyed right now and I wouldn't fit in the bag. But now the mattress deflates slowly, I don't know why but it does. I couldn't find any hole. It's definitly worth keeping even though I have to blow in it two times a night if I don't want to feel cold.

Sleeping bag:
It's written confort to -10 but -10 is actually a very scary temperature. I have to wear all my clothes, sleep on an improvised mattress under my inflatable mattress not to feel too cold. I think that sleeping bag lost a lot of it's isolation power when it was too often packed because of people's overwhelming hospitality in previous countries.

Clothes:
My wardrobe has changed a lot. I still have my original pants, they are quite good. They are repaired on multiple places by multiple people, including me. They have lost a bit of their original color but they're still good pants, I am glad to keep them.
I have bought another pair of pants in Bishkek that look better but are of a much worse quality. They already had a big hole in them which was repaired by a good Kyrgyz lady from a mountain village on the way out of Kazarman.
I also bought a red and black sweater, it's very usedful, it keeps me warm in combination with all the other clothes.
I have a green t-shirt, gift from armenia (it also lost some color) and another blue sweater also from Armenia.
I have a blue t-shirt too small for me, gift from Janela but it has long sleeves. It's my only t-shirt with long sleeves but since it's too small, it's kind of middle sleeves.
I still have all of my socks (4 pairs in total). I have forgotten my Kalpak at Janela's parents.
Instead, I have a very good and warm cap, gift from Igor from Bishkek. Bless him, he's a drunk but without his cap I would be in deep shit. I still have Nata's cap that she knitted for me. I don't use it much, it's more of a souvenir.
I have Adlet's warm stockings, thanks for them, they really keep warm and they are dully needed. I have warm pants from the last Kazakh family that I stayed with. I use them also very often, everytime I sleep in a tent. I have three layers, Adlet's gamashe, Kazakh pants and my original pants.
I have a jacket. It's orange, it's ugly but I was lucky enough to get it. It is from Igor. Also, I really don't know what I could have done without this jacket.
I have a scarf, a real scarf, I never put it off. It's from the last Kazakh family also. It protects my neck, prevents me from losing all the heat trough it.
I have a table cloth from Nesluu from Kadzhi-say. It's very beautiful, I sometimes use it as a spare blanket but I'm not sure it makes a lot of difference. Before I had a real scarf, it served as a scarf. I also use it as a towel.
I lost my swimming suit but who would need that?

Electronics:
I have all of my electronic equipement. My GPS beacon seems to be working but a scary red light shines from it more and more often. I have no idea what it means, I just hope it's low battery.
My secundary GPS beacon seems to be working allright.
My camera is still working, I am still learning how to use it, discovering new features every now and then. It's really resistant and there is absolutly no problem with it.
My solar charger still works but it's almost useless. I plug my phone to it from time to time.

My tablet is so amazing that it's starting to have sentimental value. I try to treat is better. It has already been used and overused during six months, I write my blog on it, I look on the map using it's GPS chip, I use the translation program. I don't know how much more it can take but it has to hold on. It just has to, it's of life importance to me. It still doesn't have a scratch on his touch screen. It is pretty dirty now but I think that if I ever clean it, it would look like new.
The charger however is in bad shape. It still works but not on all plugs and I have to orientate the plug and then pray until the power catches. My SD-card reader stopped working for a while but now it works again. Maybe it was the cold.

My phone is great, I love it, I use it all the time though not as much as my tablet. The altimeter is very useful and the flashlight too. The screen has a few scratches on it but nothing of note.

Medecine:
I used a bandage as a towel to clean a small wound. I gave some aspirin to Igor. And I noticed that I lack desinfection, that's stupid.

Bag:
Many changes here. My bag got torn on multiple places in the Kyrgyz mountains. It got repaired first by Asyl in Saruu and then by Janela in Tegizchil. Janela's repairs are holding for now and I hope they will hold forever because in these harsh conditions I don't have time to repair my bag and nobody in this country will help me.
Next thing about the bag, the metal skeleton has somewhat deformed and sometimes I feel it on my back and it hurts. Luckily, I often wear countless layers of warm clothes so I don't feel anything through them.

Shoes:
My Salomon trekking shoes got completly destroyed, I threw them out. Only item I actually destroyed beyond repair and had to throw out. Shame on them, stupid brand. I bought new shoes for about 30 euros, cheap chinese stuff and they are holding like a charm. And yes I went to the mountains for them. Note to self, buy chinese crap instead of Salomon, it'll serve you better.
Sylvie's shoe implants are holding up fine, still. Unbelievable.
I also got a new pair of shoes from Igor. They are nice shoes, city shoes. Completly useless from a practical perspective but I can put them on from time to time.

Misc:
I sharpened my knife in Naryn, it's sharp again.

I still have my twoo sunglasses and my spare normal glasses.
Money wise, still under 2 euros a day.

And that's all for now, I think there might only be one last checkup of equipment before the end of the trip!