New Gear, Same Vibe

On my second day of work at Stevens Pass, it was slow enough that I was able to take a long break and try out some of my new gear. The conditions were fair – mostly clear at the top of Skyline and holding just above freezing – which helped to keep the slopes fairly empty. After my first run I realized that my new snowboard, bindings and boots proved to be very good investments. It’s going to be a very good season!

When I first reached the top of Skyline and the cold mountain air hit me, I felt at home. The view from the top was awesome, as usual. There was a light blanket covering the valley floor between the peaks and a dense cloud cover above. It was at the same time surreal and tangible, and very much peaceful. I’ve never looked down and disliked the view from there, but this was definitely one of my favorites.

Scene from the top of Skyline at Stevens Pass.

Scene from the top of Skyline at Stevens Pass.


The 20 essentials of road tripping

After reading through numerous articles and blogs on road trip planning, I feel inundated with information. Everyone seems to have different criteria for what the “essentials” are, and I’m left wondering… are there essentials for a road trip?
The answer, I believe, is an unequivocal yes. Just as there are essentials for camping and backpacking, there are essentials for road tripping. The list is just a bit longer though.
The ten essentials according to most survival guides, which should also be included in the road trip essentials, are:
1. Map
2. Compass
3. Sunglasses and sunscreen
4. Extra food
5. Extra water
6. Extra clothes
7. Headlamp/flashlight
8. First aid kit
9. Fire starter
10. Knife/Multi Tool
Now, obviously some of these items may seem obsolete or unnecessary, but they’re still essential, especially on a road trip. There’s no telling how bad things could get. Just because your phone has a map, GPS, a compass, and a flashlight, doesn’t mean it’s always going to work. And batteries don’t last forever either.
Likewise, in some parts of the country it’s easy to go a hundred miles without seeing another soul, or rest stop. It may seem unlikely, but sometimes things just go wrong. It’s in those times that the essentials are, essential. And the ten to add for road tripping are:
11. Cell Phone/GPS device
12. Extra 5 gallons of fuel
13. Spare tire/Jack/tire iron
14. Small Tool Set
15. Battery Jumper/Cables
16. Soap
17. Blanket
18. Sleeping bag
19. Rope/Twine
20. Duct Tape
Depending on the time of year and terrain, this list can be modified slightly. It’s difficult to plan for every possible scenario, and near impossible to prevent the unexpected. But with a little consideration, bad situations don’t have to become life threatening.