Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Please Stand By...

If you read my last post you know that I'm off to Africa. I'll be gone for almost six weeks, and I'm not at all sure whether I'll be getting much internet time. So probably, things will be very quiet here for a while.

On the bright side, I will return with tales of adventure and excitement aplenty (or I should do anyway) and will start posting those as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, you can turn off your computer and go outside! ;o)

Saturday, August 22, 2009

What to Pack When You Need Everything

Packing for an active overseas trip is a challenge at the best of times. You need a lot of gear, it's hard to know what you'll be able to buy at your destination, you want to make sure you're prepared for the unexpected etc, etc.

What's even worse is a trip where you're going to be facing a variety of different weather, conditions and activities.

Right now, G and I are preparing for our trip to Africa. While we are on this trip we will be:
  • trekking up Mt Kilimanjaro for a week, where temperatures may well dip below freezing at night

  • going on a camping safari in the Serengeti where malaria is a concern and temperatures will be pretty hot during the day

  • staying in a cabin in Kruger National Park in South Africa where it could also be hot during the day, and possibly quite chilly at night

  • hanging out in Cape Town where it would be nice to look like we didn't just crawl out of the bush

  • visiting wine country, and attempting to show how classy we are - or at least get allowed into the tasting rooms!
So - what to pack? We're bringing one piece of checked luggage and one carry on each. I'm fitting in everything from a swimsuit to a down jacket, from sunscreen and a floppy hat to fleece gloves and thermals.

Strangely, when I went to choose a shirt to wear on safari that would afford me some protection from mosquitoes, I realised I didn't have a single thing that met the simple criteria of long sleeves, high neck, no holes or mesh, not too clingy, and too thick to bite through. I actually had to go buy a new shirt just for malaria protection! (And yes, we're also taking anti-malarial pills.)

And that's another issue - what medications to take along. Which anti-malarial? What about diarrhea? Altitude sickness? Bladder infections? We appear to be packing a small pharmacy, complete with water purification tablets. Better safe than sorry and all that.

I guess the upside of all of this is that I won't be tempted to buy a lot of cheesy souvenirs, since I'll have nowhere to pack them to bring back! I am, however, bringing an extra memory card for my camera so that I can bring back lots and lots of photos!! (Many of which I'll be posting here no doubt.)

So I'd better get back to it. Time to find out just how many stuff sacks I own!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

One for the Ladies

Hanging out with Sir Ed Hillary (in statue form) reminds me that we need more hiking role models for women

There are lots and lots of resources out there for hikers and backpackers - but very few are aimed specifically at women. Now there is a new chick on the block - Hiking Lady.

This site has the makings of a good resource, but is still looking like it's just getting off the ground with just a few bits of gear and clothing listed so far.

I was a little disappointed that the books featured on the "Book of the Month" list are all by and about male adventurers. Come on - if you're going for the girl market, give us books about women, by women, or at least acknowledging the existence of women! Perhaps I need to send over a copy of "Sex in a Tent" for review ;o)

I'll be keeping an eye on this site to see if it lives up to its potential. Sadly I'm just a bit too lazy to set up such a resource myself. Maybe I'll get around to it eventually! I've already done most of the research - I just need to build the website to put it on.

Meanwhile I hope the Hiking Lady keeps building up her site and gets support from the outdoor women's community.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Sleeping Bags Get Sexier!

Photo: Outdoor Retailer Show 2009 (photographer unknown)

Sleeping bags are design to be warm, light, durable, and compact - but finally someone has gone and specifically designed a sleeping bag that is meant to make it easier to have sex in a tent!
Alite Designs are newcomers in the outdoor gear world, but they are certainly doing their best to make a new niche for themselves. At the recent Outdoor Retailer show (which I had to read about online because I live way too far away to attend) they launched a range of new camping products - among them the "Sexy Hotness" sleeping bag.
What makes it designed for sex? The main feature is a zipper that opens straight up the middle of the bag, exposing your necessary bits without forcing you out of the bag completely. As an added bonus, this means you can walk around wearing the sleeping bag, and they've added reinforced "booties" on the bottom for this purpose.
The bag also has outer pockets where you can keep sexy essentials like condoms, lubricant and tissues, or whatever you like to have on hand. I'm told there's also a sexy Kama Sutra print inside the bag, in case you need inspiration.
The Sexy Hotness bags can be zipped together, or to other sleeping bags with a compatible zipper size, for added space.
I'm not sure how this will catch on. Zipping two regular sleeping bags together still seems like a better option to me, since you can remain completely inside an envelope of warmth and have easy access to each other. But perhaps this one will have appeal to some couples in ways I have not yet imagined!
To see a demo of the "Sexy Hotness" bag, check out the GO Blog video here. It's quite entertaining.