it’s common advice that when traveling, don’t bring anything you can’t afford to lose. seems like wisdom - there are a lot of quick hands and kids to feed out there. and theft aside, the traveler will always leave something behind while packing up hungover. i think negligence responsible for much more loss than greed.
in four months on the road i’ve lost enough to feel embarrassed about it. but being able to ‘afford’ loss is a pretty subjective concept when you think about it. i could ‘afford’ to lose every one of these things - together they probably cost me less than $400. and now that i’m without them i’m functioning just fine with a few cheap replacements. more significantly, i could never have imagined not taking these things - these essentials - so i don’t regret making them vulnerable.
the issue is the memories. i remember when that boulder cracked the screen on my camera as i shimmied down a ridge. i remember putting that access fund sticker on my nalgene and scratching up my knife popping too many fireside bottle caps. and damn, how many mountains did that sweat-stained hat climb? i don’t mind having lost these things, especially when the locations they’ve been lost in are themselves so memorable. but i miss em. and now that they’re gone i reminisce about the good times like they’re exes i can’t get over. as i rode the other day i decided to put this post together to try and get a little closure.
automatic sprinkler systems hat
origin: gifted by my dad in palatine, il, december 2009
last known whereabouts: a mayan family hut in xexocon, northwestern guatemala
patagonia live simply hat
origin: purchased at a shop in whistler, bc, november 2010
last known whereabouts: dockside, lazy lizard bar, caye caulker, belize
panasonic lumix camera
origin: delivered to my door, richland, wa, january 2012
last known whereabouts: bottom of the rio chiriqui viejo, western panama
gerber pocket knife
origin: purchased at canadian tire, terrace, bc, august 2012
last known whereabouts: ocean campsite, coyote beach, baja california
narrow mouth nalgene
origin: purchased at rei, schaumburg, il, august 2012
last known whereabouts: riverside campsite, lanquin, eastern guatemala
native versa sunglasses
origin: purchased at rei, richland, wa, july 2010
last known whereabouts: sidewalk, san cristobal de los casas, mexico
origin: obtained at work, kitimat, bc, october 2013
last known whereabouts: street bench, santa elena, northern guatemala