Friday, April 13, 2012

Outdoor Travel Essentials

Sometime back I had written a post on the ‘must haves’ for an outdoor trip, things without which you must never venture into the wilderness. Following that and even otherwise, people have been asking me to come out with a more extensive list of things to pack in when going outdoors. Pack in the thrills without the frills. What should be an ideal check of list for an outdoor trip, where you don’t take too much neither too little. So that it covers the essentials and few more as well. Obviously I had to think like a normal hiker or walker. My personal list would be too little for most people since there are times I don’t even carry food or source of fire. But then not everyone has adequate survival skills or experience, hence missing out on certain items could be calamitous. So here are my recommendations with few additional items that I think are ‘luxuries’ but then we live in different times and these days people often feel an ipod is an essential.

When I do extreme light-weight solo alpine climbs I scatter all the gear and stuff I feel are necessary and then go over each of them with a toothcomb; pointing at each and asking myself ‘if that object is going to save my life!’ if the answer is ‘no’ that object gets left out. Hence things like toilet kit, hand sanitizer often are left at home.

So let’s get packing, a lightweight list of outdoor travel, not too extreme, not too light, but light enough. Use your own discretion as I have given options too, but if you follow this list verbatim, you wouldn’t be too far from the truth. Happy traveling!

A Minute of Life – Gone in 60 seconds


Sometime back I did a survey through my FB friend’s and other networks asking them – if you had a minute more to live, 60 seconds of life left, how would you engage those seconds. I had no idea what to expect but within a fortnight I received 73 responses from around the globe. After that no one responded, so I waited bit more, hoping that I would be able to gather at least 100 samples before unravelling the findings and adding my two bits of wisecrack. Now I have waited for nearly a month and half without getting the 74th response to the topic in hand. And I can safely assume that those who thought about the last minute of their lives have already responded and the rest simply didn’t take me seriously. For which they can’t be held responsible since even I don’t take myself seriously.

Well, so let’s begin, as always, with the numbers –

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

World Without Boundaries



I have a large world map chart hanging in my room. It’s the first thing I see in the morning and mostly also the last before I sleep. Within and in between that span, everything that happens to humanity or to me happens within that map, in the depths of the oceans and across the length of those continents. The map shows me the places, geographical coordinates, rivers and the mountains, desserts, polar icecaps, islands, archipelagoes, ocean currents, air and shipping lanes, time zones, equator, international date line and the tropics as well. It’s not a large map, measuring around 40 X 50 inches. It’s mindboggling to think that this tiny planet as we know it houses seven billion people and counting and countless other things both from the living and non-living world.