Posts Tagged ‘travel gear’

How to Pack When going to a War Zone?

Posted on: March 6th, 2011 | No Comments

Packing depends a lot on your expected length of travel, gender and personal preferences but it’s helpful to think in the layer system (discussed in a previous post) and climate throughout the trip (not just at the destination).  It’s often cold in deserts and sunny in cold places, there could be a pool at your overnight stay while in transit and then there’s that unplanned requirement to sleep in the airport (here’s a worthwhile link to consider).  All these should be considered on one trip. 

Almost universally, things that stimulate the mind are carried by those traveling to Libya: books, MP3 players stuffed with music, laptops loaded with cheaply acquired movies and TV series.  But ballistic body armor is not: freelance stringers can’t afford it and aid workers are usually not that close to the fighting.  Besides vests and helmets are heavy, take up lots of luggage space and makes you stick out like a sore thumb.

So in most ways, packing to go to a war is no different than going to any place that is severely underdeveloped with a (possible) lack of electricity, clean drinking water, the presence of bugs and other annoyances that make travel more interesting. Even if conditions are fine today, what if the power suddenly goes out for three straight days?  A candle, matches and a flashlight that doesn’t need batteries would be great.  What if I need to wash my clothes in my hotel sink? I’d need a long cord to dry them.  What if my camera strap breaks, pack rips or jack tears at the elbow?  A bit of duct tape is essential.  This is what the Essential Journey’s Kit was made for and is included on my bag on the way to Libya.

Great Testimonials for Neverest’s Essential Journey’s Kit

Posted on: February 1st, 2011 | No Comments

Many of you know that we’ve been making an effort to connect with our customers and the response has been helpful and encouraging.  We thought we’d share some of this feedback about our Essential Journey’s Kit:

“This is a great product…Neverest offers way more items in one kit than any other company.” – Steve, Manchester

“My daughter is going to Patagonia for the semester and the kit will give me, and her, some piece of mind” – Gerard, Atlanta

“This [kit] really came in handy on my last trip.  Thanks” – Tammy, Sherman Oaks

“Cool name, cool brand, cool product ideas.  I’d like to see more products” – Brent, Portland

On this last point, we’re taking specific recommendations into account as we finalize our next two kits.  These will be available soon so please stay tuned.

Traveling to Utah’s Awesome Mountains

Posted on: January 24th, 2011 | No Comments

Following a productive trip to the Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, it was time to hit the slopes.  Big Cottonwood valley, less than an hour from SLC, is generally less crowded than nearby Park City.  Large pines, curvy roads and craggy mountainsides make traveling up the valley absolutely beautiful and worth the trip even if you’re not skiing.     

Topping out at over 10,000 feet, the area gets an average of over 500 inches of snow fall each season.  The skiing itself is great with many named runs and fresh snow that dumped on our trip the first time out.  But snowshoeing and cross-country which offered a nice change of pace after a day of downhill. 

Although Utah changed its drinking laws a few years ago, the bars near the mountain closed insanely early at 9pm (“so that people can ski”…the slopes do close at 4pm after all).  So, if you want to party and ski, everybody says you’re better off going to Colorado.

Eartheducation: Neverest supplies expedition to learn about sustainable development

Posted on: January 13th, 2011 | No Comments

Earthducation is a series of eight expeditions to climate hotspots over the course of four years.   The goal is to integrate the principles, values and practices of sustainable development into all aspects of education and learning.   Understanding connections between education and the natural environment on local scales will enable and empower change in education on a global scale by providing new approaches to education.

Right now, the Eartheducation team is in Tenkodogo, Burkina Faso (see map), where they are interviewing elders, students and others to learn and connect.  Through this expedition, they hope to create a world narrative of the dynamic intersections between education and sustainability.  The current expedition is led by Aaron Doering and Charles Miller, professors of Learning Technologies at the University of Minnesota. 

Neverest has outfitted them with gear including the Essential Journey’s Kit and On-the-go items.  We hope you find them helpful.  Best of luck and travel safe!

What is “Adventure” Travel?

Posted on: January 6th, 2011 | No Comments

“The word adventure has gotten over used.  For me, adventure is when everything goes wrong.  That’s when the adventure starts” – Yvon Chouinard in 180° South: Conquerors of the Useless (great movie, btw).    

This quote nicely sums up our attitude at Neverest.  It’s the idea that travel is about the journey, not the destination.  It’s the notion that things always will go wrong but that’s where the real challenge as well as the fun and learning begin.  It’s about being prepared, mentally as well as physically (this why we call our great product the Essential Journey’s Kit, not just another “adventure kit”).

Travel Delays: How to deal with it

Posted on: December 11th, 2010 | No Comments

Sometimes this happens.  The gauntlet of preparing for a trip, the dash to the airport and then an unexpected snow dump on the Midwest that shuts down everything.  So what to do when your plane is delayed?  Here’s five ideas for making the most of halted travel:

  1. Don’t wait in line: Rather than joining the long lines of people sorting out alternative travel arrangements, it’s faster to get on the phone.  This should get you talking to an airline representative within a minute or two.
  2. Stay active: Most airports are well suited for those waiting inordinate amounts of time.  Go to less crowded areas (a good excuse to stretch your legs) and seek out time wasters such as shopping, good restaurants, spa facilities including showers and massages, and even museums.
  3. Catch up: Get ahead and plan your next trip.  If you don’t have anything with you, airport bookstores are stocked with travel guides.     
  4. Consider going into town: While many airports are way outside of town, some allow quick and easy access to downtown (think Washington National and Amsterdam’s Schiphol).
  5. Be relaxed: Little or nothing can be done about weather, mechanical failure and “acts of God.”  Albert Einstein once quipped “I never worry about the future.  It comes soon enough.”   

Preparing for another trip to Haiti

Posted on: December 8th, 2010 | No Comments

Time for another visit to Port-au-Prince.  The cholera epidemic is getting worse and the elections have put everything on edge.  Yesterday, violence gripped the city.  Frustrated Haitians took to the streets, blocking off intersections and burning tires.   It is unclear how things might progress but air travel into the city is a no-go today.  Well before this, on 24 June, the following travel warning was issued:   

“The Department of State strongly urges U.S. citizens to avoid travel to Haiti. The January 12 earthquake caused significant damage to key infrastructure and access to basic services remains limited.  The country continues to experience shortages of food, drinking water, transportation and adequate shelter.  The earthquake significantly reduced the capacity of Port-au-Prince’s medical facilities and inadequate public sanitation poses serious health risks.  While the Embassy’s ability to provide emergency consular services has improved in the months following the earthquake, it is still limited.  The level of violent crime in Port-au-Prince, including murder and kidnapping, remains high.”

In any case, that’s hardly enough reason not to go.  In Haiti, people work, kids go to school and aid workers are helping to reconstruct the devastated city.   For Neverest, field testing for Hydro-Life is ongoing and the midst of the cholera epidemic, it’s as important as ever.

Travel Tip: Go with the Light

Posted on: October 26th, 2010 | No Comments

Flashlights are turning up in everything these days so it is always a good idea to have something that provides light.  Power outages are so common in many countries that it is always a good idea to have one handy if you’re going to an area with little or no electricity.  Neverest’s Essential Journey’s Kit contains a hand-powered flashlight, no batteries needed, so you’ll always be ready.

Great Travel Quote

Posted on: October 1st, 2010 | No Comments

“For my part, I travel not to go anywhere, but to go.  I travel for travel’s sake.  The great affair is to move.” – Robert Louis Stevenson

Aschiana: Kabul’s “Nest” for Children

Posted on: September 21st, 2010 | No Comments

Visiting our Giva-Knit partner again is always a motivating experience.  I met with Yousef Mohamed, Aschiana’s director and he shows me around their center and offices in central Kabul.  The staff are professional and dedicated.  Through their hallways are pictures drawn by children, photos taken of projects and beautiful landscape shots from different parts of the country.  Like a museum, one room is stuffed with paintings, drawings and sculptures made by children helped by Aschiana which have been displayed at various exhibitions.

We then visit different rooms where children are busy on computers, basic literacy and numeracy, doing wood carving and shop work as well as, of course, traditional art.  We also visit an outdoor court where boys play soccer.  This is what it’s all about – children being themselves just as they would in any other country while theirs continues to suffer from war and extreme poverty.  Moreover, the children are engaged, having fun and clearly learning.  Despite all their set-backs and obstacles they will face, they are laying the foundation for the future and deserve more support.