So, what’s in my cryptozoology backpacking backpack? Well, in no particular order…
Here is my backpack:
It’s a Osprey Aether AG 70 Pack. It is my largest, most expensive backpack. I do have smaller packs as well, but this is the one I use for longer trips.
This is my tent
It is a two-person tent-the MSR Elixir 2 Tent with Footprint. We each carry our own tents (we don’t share tents, as *some* of us snore, we all have different sleeping times, and we also sometimes just want to be alone and work), so I have the tent to myself. It’s a two-person so I can bring my large backpack in with me, since I worry about the vestibule protecting it properly and about animals (including cryptids!) taking it. I also like some more space to be able to work, especially at night or in bad weather.
This is my sleeping bag
It is a The North Face Furnace 20 Sleeping Bag and Therm-a-Rest Trail Pro Sleeping Pad sleeping pad.
Map, Compass, GPS, and Guidebook
I never go backpacking anywhere without these items. I like using a map and compass, as I go to remote places and don’t want to completely rely on technology. However, I do want accuracy in where I am, since it is important to have that when conducting scientific research. My compass is a Suunto M-3 D Leader Compass, and my GPS is a Bad Elf 2200 GPS Pro (Black/silver). My map and guidebook changes with wherever I’m going, which is why they aren’t pictured.
Sunglasses and Sunscreen
The sun can be your worst enemy when backpacking. I am trying to have my eyesight as good as possible for as long as possible, so these are my Smith Parallel Max Polarized Sunglasses. I am also trying not to get skin cancer, so I use Thinksport Sunscreen SPF 50 – 3 fl. oz.
Headlamps are important if you’re walking around at night, such as if you’re looking for cryptids! This is my Black Diamond Cosmo Headlamp.
Hats are also important to keep the sun off your face. This is my REI Co-op Vented Explorer Hat. No, this picture is not me!
Clothes (including extras)
Obviously you need to bring clothes, but it is very important to bring extras incase you get stranded or items get wet or ruined. Moisture-wicking clothing, such as this REI Co-op Sahara Heather T-Shirt – Women’s that I own, is great for when you are hiking, backpacking, or even just exercising.
When you’re backpacking for many days, the likelihood of getting hurt is rather high. This is my Adventure Medical Kits Ultralight/Watertight .7 Medical Kit. When backpacking, your can’t take too much, so a light kit is best.
When searching for cryptids, you go to very buggy places. Sunscreen such as Ultrathon UltraThon Insect Repellent – 34 Percent DEET – 2 fl. oz. helps you avoid getting bit and the diseases from the insects.
Food (including extras)
Obviously you also bring food, especially freeze dried items such as Mountain House Chili Mac With Beef – 2.5 Servings. It is important to bring extras, just like clothing, in case anything happens.
Water (including extra) and Water treatment
Again, water is obvious. This is one of my water bottles-REI Co-op Nalgene Wide-Mouth Water Bottle – 48 fl. oz. 48 oz. may seem like a lot, but it’s really not! It is also important to have ways to purify water, such as with Potable Aqua Iodine and Taste-Neutralizer Tablets.
Fire is an essential when backpacking, to cook food, boil water, and keep warm. Items such as UCO Titan Stormproof Match Kit that I use help start the fire.
Knifes and Multi-tools
Knifes and multi-tools are essential when backpacking. I carry with me a Swiss Army Classic Knife and Leatherman Squirt PS4 Multi-tool for whatever I need, a Gerber Gator Golok Machete to cut through the underbrush, and a 14-inch Bowie Knife for cutting and protection.
Since weather can be unpredictable, an emergency shelter like this Space All-Weather Blanket is an essential, especially if you’ve already set up your tent and are not nearby.
Before I go on trips, I like to research to know more about what we are looking for. I bring the journal, this Tooled Border Brown Italian Leather Journal with Bead Tie-( 6″x8′) with me as basically another guide.
Out in the field, I takes notes, which I put in this Bombay Brown Leather Journal with Tie 6″ x 8.5″.
Although Thiago is the cameraman, I do like to take pictures too, especially if I want them immediately after the trip or if I go off on my own at any point. I use this PowerShot SX410 IS Red, which is much less expensive high-tech than Thiago’s equipment.
Cards and Games
When traveling to the destination on plane, train, or car, it can be boring, and if you’re stuck in bad weather or at night, it helps to have fun things to do. My friends and I play many card games, as a single pack of cards, like my LotFancy Playing Cards, can be quite versatile.
I love to read, and again during the down time, it’s nice to catch up on academic reading or simply fun books. Books luke Folklore and Symbolism of Flowers, Plants and Trees (Dover Pictorial Archive) by Ernst Lehner is somewhat both, and can give me something to think about as I backpack.
Cryptids are often shy and reclusive (sometimes, of they have sharp teeth and claws, that can be a good thing). Binoculars, like my Nikon Prostaff 3S 8 x 42 Binoculars, help me to try and spot them, and help me scout out where to go next or if there’s other dangers nearby.
Of course there’s many more items, but these are some of the essentials and extras that I always have. Other items are: permits, camp stove, toothbrush, toothpaste, etc.
So, for my character, Maria Segreti, I chose to do her backpacking backpack mentioned in the two posts I made that involved her last week-the character post and the assignment post I made about the bunyip. While it’s not something that she carries around every day, in my opinion it says more about her and what she does than her purse might, and I think it’s just more interesting too!
I will admit that I had to look up some of the information used in this post. I have never gone backpacking, and what little I know is because one of my brothers has and I’ve gone with him when he’s been shopping for stuff. I used several articles from REI, one of my brother’s favorite stores, to help me with figuring out what she would need: https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/backpacking-checklist.html, https://www.rei.com/content/dam/documents/pdf/expert-advice/Backpacking_Checklist_Printable.pdf, and https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/ten-essentials.html. That is also why all of the pictures stem from REI. The items I wanted don’t have much in the way of uncopyrighted material, so at least this way I can keep the sources of the pictures the same. I swear that I am not sponsored by REI! It was just one of the first website that popped up for me to look at the backpacking gear list, and I recognized the site from visiting the stores before!
I have put the full names/titles of the items here because I am worried about not doing so, since these are real, copyrighted items. Also, in real life, people would explain what they use, in detail, if they’re talking explaining a hobby or career of theirs. Again, I am not sponsored by any of these brands/companies!
The “ten essentials list” was my main source, as including everything on the other sources would make for a horrifically long post! I used the other sources for the links provided and for a few extras.
However, I did want to add some special touches to make it less generic and more Maria. That’s where the journals come in. She does research before she comes, which is the research journal and has a field journal that she writes in when out in the field. This way everything is separated into two camps: the legend/myth and her experience.
This wasn’t a horribly difficult assignment, just time-consuming. I really wanted to be thorough, especially since I could draw on these items to make appearances in later assignments and posts I do. I am also indecisive, so all decisions on what items to pick were difficult! I first looked for highly-rated items, as I don’t know what’s good, and then price. She isn’t the wealthiest person, but I also imagine that since this is part of her career, she also invests in items, so I went for highly-rated, middle-of-the-road priced items. I still don’t know how accurate this all is, but I tried!
Though for this week, this isn’t an assignment that counts towards a 10-star goal, but is it’s own separate thing, here is the link to the assignment posting:
Here is the link for my featured image: