Modern Conveniences for Primitive Living...

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Modern Conveniences for Primitive Living...

Postby Ultra Swain » Sun Jan 16, 2011 7:57 am

Having discovered the best packs, boots, hammocks, knives, and other big ticket tactisexual items already, I wanted to share the little things that make jungle life just a bit saner and more comfortable. These small items I will never again go into the field without. Please post your must haves.

Miracle Foot Repair
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This stuff is a lifesaver. Spend 3-4 days in wet boots and you will know why. It has kept my feet from falling off more times than I can count. It is also great for helping reduce chaffing.

Starbucks Instant Coffee
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In the land of Birdie and Nescafe, Starbucks instant coffee is king. Yes its Starbucks and normally gay if you drank it at home or in your cubicle but here its the only choice when you absolutely positively need some decent coffee to get back on the trail when the 3am chickens and snoring locals kept you up all night.

DAC Butane Lighter
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Cheap, rugged, and sexy buy 3-4 and give them away as gifts but keep two for yourself. They are great for getting a fire started in damp jungle and melt Nepali hash like a dream.

Kindle
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Svizz sold me on this, getting decent books is hard here and lugging them around is even worse. PDF reader, very basic web browsing, and 3-4 week battery life is a huge bonus and now I can carry this instead of needed to bring in a laptop most times.

Tapatio Packets
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Refugee food sucks, this will make that mystery meat they hid under the rice eatable.

Trader Joe's Vegetarian Indian Curries
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Taste's great, cheap, foil packed, actually made in India, and tastes good enough cold. I carry a couple with me just when there ain't time to eat or they just forget to feed you. Plus it will mask the taste of whatever you pour it over.

Tiger Balm (white)
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This is a must have, it takes the itch out of mosquito bites, and that alone will keep you from sleepless nights spent scratching or trying to mend the whole in your mosquito net. Also works great for stingray wounds, headaches, muscle aches, and helps kill the stink in those Clive Barker-esque 3rd world shitters.
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Re: Modern Conveniences for Primitive Living...

Postby suwon fish » Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:26 am

Ultra Swain wrote:
Tiger Balm (white)
Image
This is a must have, it takes the itch out of mosquito bites, and that alone will keep you from sleepless nights spent scratching or trying to mend the whole in your mosquito net. Also works great for stingray wounds, headaches, muscle aches, and helps kill the stink in those Clive Barker-esque 3rd world shitters.


I agree this is a miracle cure for just about anything. I found it relieved (but didn't cure) infected sandfly bites quite nicely.

Question: I used white and orange Tiger Balm interchangeably. Why do you prefer the white kind?
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Re: Modern Conveniences for Primitive Living...

Postby Ultra Swain » Mon Jan 17, 2011 7:38 am

The white is cooling, which is nice here in the hot humid climate. The orange was warming and that made it less comfortable was all.
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Re: Modern Conveniences for Primitive Living...

Postby suwon fish » Mon Jan 17, 2011 2:37 pm

Thanks for the heads up, I always wondered...

I never spends more than a few days in the Bundi withouth these babies...

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Not much to look at but they can feel like a $500 spa after a week or so in country.
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Re: Modern Conveniences for Primitive Living...

Postby kilroy » Wed Jan 19, 2011 6:11 pm

excellent recommends, good stuff swain. you ever try using a french press instead of instant coffee whilst trekking around? it's worked quite well for me, but i've only ever taken one when i wasn't hurting for space in my pack. still, could work if you find a nice durable/semi-compact one.

hipsters like that 'camping wine' bullshit but i always liked to take some 151 or 100 proof rumple mintz. a nice drink can be made and you get a lot of bang for your space. the rumplemintz goes nicely with coffee, coincidentally.

i've also always thought it would be cool to learn harmonica because it's the only instrument that wouldn't be a pain in the ass to lug around on a hike. i've always been too lazy though.
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Re: Modern Conveniences for Primitive Living...

Postby Jimbo » Thu Jan 20, 2011 1:26 am

There's a brand of instant Indian food named MTR (since 1924) they sell in BKK around little India it's about 60 baht per packet and they're all good, my personal fav is rajma masala, chana masala is good too. Swain let me know if your interested in having some shipped up to your neck of the jungle & I'll talk to the lady who runs the shop that sells them.....you can only eat insects for so long before your shits start to look funny......
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Re: Modern Conveniences for Primitive Living...

Postby vetparatrooper » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:03 am

those are all great suggesstions ...thanks very much for them....once my leg is back to hundred percent I plan on thru-hioking the Appalachian Trail and alot of that stuff will comein quite handy.
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Re: Modern Conveniences for Primitive Living...

Postby ktrout » Thu Jan 20, 2011 4:49 am

vetparatrooper wrote:those are all great suggesstions ...thanks very much for them....once my leg is back to hundred percent I plan on thru-hioking the Appalachian Trail and alot of that stuff will comein quite handy.

I have some. I like a Trangia alcohol stove for cooking and never go anywhere without a wide brimmed hat. Tilley makes awesome ones. With climate appropriate material, long sleeves means never having to carry or use sunscreen (blech!).
I also stay away from velcro. Wears out fast. Chaco makes some awesome long wearing, repairable sandals.
Might have to give that Tiger Balm a try.
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Re: Modern Conveniences for Primitive Living...

Postby suwon fish » Thu Jan 20, 2011 5:56 am

+1 for Trangia. It's an awsome piece of kit.
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Re: Modern Conveniences for Primitive Living...

Postby Ultra Swain » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:44 am

kilroy wrote:excellent recommends, good stuff swain. you ever try using a french press instead of instant coffee whilst trekking around? it's worked quite well for me, but i've only ever taken one when i wasn't hurting for space in my pack. still, could work if you find a nice durable/semi-compact one.

hipsters like that 'camping wine' bullshit but i always liked to take some 151 or 100 proof rumple mintz. a nice drink can be made and you get a lot of bang for your space. the rumplemintz goes nicely with coffee, coincidentally.

i've also always thought it would be cool to learn harmonica because it's the only instrument that wouldn't be a pain in the ass to lug around on a hike. i've always been too lazy though.


I would love the french press, but space and weight is such an issue that the packets are much easier and the taste is much better than Nescafe.
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Re: Modern Conveniences for Primitive Living...

Postby Ultra Swain » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:45 am

Jimbo wrote:There's a brand of instant Indian food named MTR (since 1924) they sell in BKK around little India it's about 60 baht per packet and they're all good, my personal fav is rajma masala, chana masala is good too. Swain let me know if your interested in having some shipped up to your neck of the jungle & I'll talk to the lady who runs the shop that sells them.....you can only eat insects for so long before your shits start to look funny......


That would be great, and its about time you came back up here for a visit. You will hardly recognize the place. PM me when you get time.
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Re: Modern Conveniences for Primitive Living...

Postby ktrout » Thu Jan 20, 2011 8:46 am

Yeah, that Via stuff isn't too bad. Would really hit the spot in a banana republic dictatorship like Burma. That granular stuff? Shudder....
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Re: Modern Conveniences for Primitive Living...

Postby redharen » Thu Jan 20, 2011 11:12 pm

Jimbo wrote:There's a brand of instant Indian food named MTR (since 1924) they sell in BKK around little India it's about 60 baht per packet and they're all good, my personal fav is rajma masala, chana masala is good too. Swain let me know if your interested in having some shipped up to your neck of the jungle & I'll talk to the lady who runs the shop that sells them.....you can only eat insects for so long before your shits start to look funny......


I get MTR here in the States at the local Indian store. Just the other day I ate their Pav Bhaji, I believe, and found a hair in it. I ate the rest of the meal reflecting on how somewhere in an Indian factory, someone was missing a long black hair, and how many miles that hair had traveled before it came to me. The food was OK.
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Re: Modern Conveniences for Primitive Living...

Postby Kurt » Fri Jan 21, 2011 6:57 am

Via rocks for an instant coffee.

My cure all for ailments that is amazingly hard to get in other countries is Hydrogen Peroxide. Cures cracked feet quicker than anything.
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Re: Modern Conveniences for Primitive Living...

Postby ktrout » Sat Jan 22, 2011 7:28 am

Kurt wrote:Via rocks for an instant coffee.

My cure all for ailments that is amazingly hard to get in other countries is Hydrogen Peroxide. Cures cracked feet quicker than anything.

The nuts at Boulder Outdoor Survival School - the instructors who would walk around the desert in handmade sandals - would heat up pine pitch then slather it into Grand Canyon sized cracks in the callouses on their feet.
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