Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Packing list, short trip

This is a note-to-self more than anything.  I tend to get stressed before trips and I feel it takes me too long to get ready.  The fact I have similar packing lists for biking and hiking trips, but with crucial differences, makes packing harder because I can't go on autopilot; I don't take windbreakers or arm warmers (or a pump) when I hike, but I do when I bike.  I'll probably update and refine this entry over time, but I wanted to write it down while stuff from a recent trip was laying on my floor.  Figured I may as well share it with others.  If any readers want to post their own lists in the comments section, that'd be cool. - RM

Packing List for One- to Five-day Rides
Some items may be unnecessary, depending on distance, duration, destination and weather.

Food: 2,500 cal/day (for up to 5 days)
Water bottles/reservoir filled

Socks/knee socks, one pair
Bike shoes
Walking/camp shoes

Underwear/compression shorts
Riding shorts, outer
Long pants, nylon, wind proof

Short-sleeve shirt, wool or synth
Arm warmers
Insulating layer, windstopper fleece or wool
Wind shirt or wind vest

Cold and Wet Layers:
Rain coat
Rain pants
Gloves, insulating
Gloves, vapor barrier
Vapor barrier socks/plastic bags - inner
Plastic bags for feet - outer

Reading glasses

Night/"Dry or Die"
Base layer, bottom / tights
Base layer, top
Wool socks, dry
Hat, dry
Jacket: down or synth
Sleeping bag
Sleeping pad

Toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, soap, sun screen, bleach, hand sanitizer, lip balm

Stove, fuel, lighter
Cook pot and lid
Cup, bowl and spoon
Water treatment
Water bottles or reservoir
Scrubby sponge

Swim suit and goggles
Sketch pad and pen

First Aid kit (check contents)
Fingerless gloves

Repair kit and tools, pump, spare inner tubes
Maps and compass
GPS way-finding device
Lights: front, rear, check operation
Head lamp
Extra batteries (if no generator)
Camp rope

Credit card
Insurance card, blood donor card
Business cards

# # #

Have fun and stay healthy,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2012 Robert Matson

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Surge Tales from a friend

A customer/friend and silver Street Machine Gte-rider who lives in the Village wrote me about his experience during Tropical Storm Sandy.
Reprinted with permission.

Subject:   Surge Tales
From:   I---@aol.com
Date:   Sun, November 4, 2012 9:10 pm


Dear Friends:

I trust that those of you in the path of Sandy's fury,  as well as your  family and friends, are all well and safe.

I've survived the week in relatively decent shape  - experiencing what many of us, especially those in the blackout zone below 26th  St. (on the West Side) have: the hurricane itself, followed by cold days  and dark nights, no hot water, electricity, light, TV, radio, internet, or  cellphones.  Of course sadly, many in and beyond the city, have suffered  far more grievous harm.

Monday afternoon, I decided to venture out and see the  roiling Hudson.  Everything seemed OK until, at Washington St. a  powerful gust more or less plastered me against the side of a  building. I thought better of it and headed home.

After a day, I packed a knapsack and hiked up to  midtown, in the illusory expectation that there were hotel rooms to be  had.  I soon realized there were none in all of Manhattan.  What I  did  however chance upon, was a coffee shop in the Westin Hotel at 43rd and  8th.  It offered all the basic necessities of life - espresso, central  heating, light, well-appointed restrooms, newspapers, and last but not  least, numerous outlets for charging my iPad and phone.  A number of other  downtown refugees also spent their days camped out at Bar 10 for the  duration.

Every evening I would hike back downtown, to check  in on a neighborhood friend, and to sleep as best I could in my  own cold, dark apartment. In the absence of light, I fell into a pattern of  going to sleep at around 9.  In the morning, I couldn't wait to get out  when the sun rose at 7, and make my way back to my warm  midtown haven.

All in all, for me, a trying but ironically interesting  experience.  For too many others  a terrible tragedy.  The  modest light at my bedside never looked as good as when it  suddenly flickered on at around 6 Saturday

Warm regards to all,


# # #

Stay well, all,
Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2012 Robert Matson

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

10 Tips for Getting Warmer When the Heat Is Off

By Robert Matson, WFR
Illustration by Mike Clelland
To download this entry as a reprintable PDF, click here.

Do you lack heating in your home? These ten tips will help you stay warmer.

1. If you start feeling cold, get moving. Jump up and down or do jumping jacks every time you feel a chill. If you have trouble moving, voluntarily force yourself to shiver. You can also shake your arms, your legs, your head, and your hands. The more you move, the warmer you'll get. Talking to others — and yourself! — will also help.

2. Wear dry clothes. If your clothes get damp, remove them, including underwear, and put on dry clothes.

3. Eat! When you feel cold, you can quickly generate warmth by eating sweet foods like candy bars, hot liquid Jell-o, and sweet breakfast cereal. Beverages like hot chocolate and milk with added sugar are good whether served hot or at room temperature. If you like coffee or tea, add sugar -- real sugar and lots of it -- to help you warm up. In addition, eat complete and nutritious meals throughout the day to maintain your energy and do not skip dessert. This is not the time to diet. Have a snack before going to bed.

4. Sit on a cushion. When you sit down, sit upon something that provides insulation between you and whatever you're sitting on. These are good: a cushion, a pillow, a piece of foam, a towel, a spare piece of clothing, a yoga mat, or a blanket. Avoid sitting directly on cold, hard surfaces like metal or wood chairs or benches or floors.

5. Wear layers of clothing. On top, layer-up like this: first a t-shirt, then a long-sleeved t-shirt, then a baggy button-down shirt, then a hooded sweatshirt or sweater. On the bottom, layer-up like this: first underwear, then sweatpants, then jeans. Loosely-fitting stockings are also a good first layer.

6. Wear loose-fitting, baggy clothes. Avoid tight clothing, which may inhibit circulation to your extremities and which may, in turn, make you feel cold.

7. Wear a hat, and a scarf, and a hooded jacket. Instead of a scarf, you can also tie a dry towel or shirt or wrap a men's tie loosely around your neck.

8. Wear two pairs of thick socks and a pair of extra large shoes. The socks should be thick, warm and non-constricting. Find shoes that are big and loose enough that you can comfortably wear them over your socks (you may look goofy, but you'll feel warmer).

9. Cover all exposed skin, including hands, ears and neck. Wear mittens, gloves or thick socks on your hands. Button all buttons. Wear a hat that covers your ears. Pull up your pants.

10. Put on a thick, insulated winter jacket if you're still cold during the day. If you're still cold at night, wear all your layers to sleep and cover yourself with blankets.

Written by Robert Matson, Wilderness First Responder, 2012 (Brooklyn, NY) blog.nycrecumbentsupply.com

Illustration by Mike Clelland, 2012 (Driggs, ID) mikeclelland.com

Sources: Wilderness Medicine Newsletter and Stonehearth Open Learning Opportunities, www.soloschools.com

Rights and Permission:
Permission is granted for reprints as long as: no fee is charged for those reprints, no changes are made without permission, and the writer and artist are credited as listed here.

Stay well,

Robert Matson
New York City Recumbent Supply
The Innovation Works, Inc.
copyright 2012 Robert Matson