ONE LAST CHANCE TO DISCONNECT
When I got an email about shooting photos and writing a blogpost for a collaborative giveaway from three awesome companies, I needed a little time to interpret the theme, “One Last Chance to Disconnect”. As it’s the end of summer and many folks hunker down for the cold months ahead, packing away the camping gear and hanging up the boats and bikes, the timing seemed to work, but what did the idea mean?
For me, “One Last Chance to Disconnect” isn’t about disconnecting from our devices, rather it’s about disconnecting from the tether that keeps a lot of us in our places and limits our ability and freedom to roam. By carrying a solar panel with me, I can do work from the road, keep my batteries charged and leave the concrete jungle behind to explore wilderness advocate and philosopher Sigurd Olson’s notion of “One foot in and one foot out”. In this day and age it’s hard to be all-in for the nomadic, traveling lifestyle, so it’s important to find the balance maintaining my relationship with the wild while maintaining my relationship with my community, family and friends. By being able to go on extended backcountry trips and have the ability to keep: my phone charged, my Delorme inReach charged, my headlamp charged, and my batteries for my camera charged—I can share these experiences with everyone else and get them motivated, excited and inspired to pursue their own adventures.
The Arc10W solar kit from Voltaic Systems is a simple, rugged and reliable approach to keeping the juice at 100%. I can set it up when I arrive at camp and strap it to the outside of my pack when I’m on the go, and charge any of my devices in the sun in no time. And while I don’t always have access to a full kitchen to make delicious meals, I carry a few things with me to make me feel like I do.
After 20 years of wilderness travel, and thanks to Jetboil and Good To-Go, I’ve finally found the best combination for quick, easy, delicious and nutritious meals in the backcountry. With the Jetboil MiniMo, I don’t have to prime stoves or deal with rubber o-ring gaskets on fuel pumps. I just start it up, boil water and go. I don’t have to worry about things falling apart in the backcountry. All the things that make the solar panel great are what make the stove great—simple, rugged and reliable. And when it comes to food, I don’t like to make a mess. I prefer quick, easy and delicious. With a serious culinary background and simple, real-food ingredients that you know and can pronounce, the makers of Good To-Go put a lot of time, effort, thought and passion into the food they sell and we eat. All the meals are gluten-free and more than half their line is vegetarian. I usually opt for the two serving bags as I need the higher caloric intake being the 6’3’’ guy I am. It also works out well that my favorite food on the planet is Pad Thai, and it just so happens Good To-Go makes the best one I’ve ever tasted.
With a full belly I can recharge my internal battery while my peripheral ones charge from the sun. I can stay out longer, experience the moments that last a lifetime, and come back to share them with everyone, encouraging their own opportunities to explore, create and live a full life. Don’t let your batteries run out before it’s too late.
(photos and story by Brian Threlkeld)