76 days and time to start making dryer lint fireballs soon!

Today shows seventy-six days away from departure to the great white north.

For the last several years I have made plans to ride up to Alaska and in that time I have swapped out riding gear, camping supplies, tools, and about everything that would go on the motorcycle as I struggled to find exactly the proper things to work for this epic trip.

Over the past winter, I have utilized my down time from work and personal commitments by researching and evaluating gear.  The decision was made last fall to just bite the bullet and get the “best of the best” gear once and for all.  Over the winter, I made a list and slowly acquired exactly what I wanted that I did not already own.

As time passed, different online triggers I had created to monitor prices of things I wanted went off when things went on sale…slowly allowing me to upgrade the things I would be taking.  Today, the absolute last item I needed was acquired.  There is absolutely nothing I still need in order to feel complete about leaving my driveway and riding ten thousand miles.  It’s almost an addiction…shopping and then getting excited when coming home and finding a few packages on the porch from UPS, FedEx, and the postal service. It’s been like Christmas several times a week over the entire winter…but alas; there’s nothing needed left to acquire.

The project for tomorrow is to double check the “to do” lists, which covers many things I had done at about this time last year when I was preparing for the first departure to Alaska that eventually got cancelled and then rescheduled to this year.  Items such as having enough Canadian money in advance, having the required “yellow card” for insurance purposes in our friendly neighbor to the north, and ensuring there’s enough batteries available for days worth of video shooting are already lined up.  Just need to make sure that I start putting dates to other needs…like renewing the inReach SE tracking application, which creates the map you see at the top of the page here.

Some other oddball things include making sure to review my Living Will, my actual Will, POA, DNR my international MedEvac insurance, and having updated copies of things and scanning onto the iPad and securing the data before leaving.

Got to make up some firestarters for camping….a neat trick I learned some time ago is to take dryer lint, one of the most easily combustible things in the universe, and make “balls” out of them.  Smother them with Vasoline or some type of petroleum jelly, and stuff them into a old 35mm film canister.  These things ignite very fast, burn hot, and can stay lit in a decent rainstorm with very little protection.  Easiest way to start a campfire…as long as you have a Bic lighter with you as well.  It’s stuff like this that still needs to get done; all to be taken care of on a schedule over the next seventy-five days.

My thanks to a reader named Ben who sent me the following graphic on how to secure a bear bag in a tree when camping when the fuzzy creatures may be around.  Apparently bears can smell things like toothpaste, mouthwash, medicines, and even dental floss from a long ways away…and when they smell it in your tent, that light nylon fabric is not going to stop it from coming through faster than you can wake up and start screaming for help.

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