Friday, December 28, 2007

wheelchairs, religion and the gospel according to eagle creek ...


The wheelchair access policy (above) at Morelia Cathedral more than hinted at a strong local belief in the healing powers of worship.

At this time of year many people turn their thoughts to matters of religious contemplation, but about the closest I get to evangelism is singing the praises of my Eagle Creek Pack Cubes to anyone who'll listen - over the past eight months they have proved themselves the single most useful item of my travel kit.

Anyone who's lived out of a rucksack will be familiar with the hassle of unpacking every time fresh clothes are needed, keeping laundry separate in plastic bags and of course the potential chaos of a bag search at the airport. Using the cubes with their clever floating panel which separates clean clothes and laundry, your clothes stay flat and folded at all times. It all makes for the easiest and quickest packing and unpacking imaginable

After carrying my rather large 65 litre pack around all year one of my objectives in LA was to reduce the size of my luggage - by swapping a couple of items for more packable alternatives I'd hoped to take my pack size down by 10 litres or so. So, you can only imagine than my delight at discovering the Eagle Creek ORV Gear Bag - a work of unparalleled genius, specifically designed around the Pack Cube system.

Not only have I been able to reduce my pack size by almost a third to a mere 47 litres, but my new bag is so well designed that I also added a super-warm down jacket in anticipation of some cold Andean nights over the coming months. Here it is all packed up alongside with a bottle of Sam Adams (purely for scale of course).



After testing it out on the road for the past three weeks, my enthusiasm for the Eagle Creek pack system has galvanised into a near religious fervour. As we head into the New Year and the final months of our journey I have ambitious plans spread the gospel far and wide ...

And no, I'm not on commission.

At least not yet anyway.


Our last few days in Mexico uncovered another strong contender for the Beer League - Noche Buena.

Only available at Christmas it is the final batch of the year before the brewery closes down for it's annual cleaning of the tanks. At 5.9% the translation of it's name into English couldn't be more appropriate - simply, Good Night

Finally I've decided the New Year deserves a new colour scheme - do let me know what you think ...

5 comments:

Mike said...

Well I for one am prepared to take your word on good gear. Up Helvellyn yesterday in 65 mph winds and horizontal rain, my Paramo jacket kept me 100% warm & dry. Hoping to see you sometime in 2008.

Mark said...

Sounds like lots of fun - a far cry from the 25 degree sunshine here in Mexico.

Still, I guess someone's got to do it ...

bobm said...

The bag looks interesting but it also looks just a bit big for overhead on airplanes, have you tried it as a carry on?

bobm said...

dang, hit submit too soon. Also can you comment on how you carry it around when full? (shoulder straps, backpack mode, etc).

thx

Mark said...

No, I haven't tried it as carry on.

Not so much of an issue for me as not all the gear we need for a year long trip is actually allowed on planes - liquids, swiss army knife etc. So I need to check it in anyway.

I usually just use the carry handles as it's small and light enough (12kg) - I find the end handles particularly useful as you can just let it hang by jour side as you walk along. Unlike other packs it's short enough not to drag on the floor - but I guess this depends on your height (I'm 6 foot).