Friday, October 05, 2007

Spending spree

So the other day, when I admitted to feeling a little guilty about greedily accepting my big check from the state, I also admitted I already spent it. This is technically true - over the summer, while I was dropping something in the range of $1,300 to build up my Pugsley, I promised myself I was doing so on PFD credit. But there are those nagging facts that the credit card bill has been paid, I still have a big guv'ment check trickling my way, and I have needs, real needs, itchy needs that recently erupted into a full-blown case of spenditis.

The first box from Sierra Trading Post arrived today. Inside was a badly needed pair of new trail-running shoes (because, yes, I am in the process of blaming my current foot woes on my assortment of terrible shoes. My overuse injury is definitely not my own fault, no way.) Also inside was this sweet new Marmot winter shell, all waterproof Gortex with all the pockets on the inside to keep your Power Bars and fruit snacks from freezing. I ordered the size large, which is a bit of a tent on me - plenty of room for a mixture of fleece layers, a full-sized Camelbak, and maybe a down coat that could be purchased sometime in the future.

Then today, while lamenting about losing an eBay auction for a sleeping bag, I finally bought the GPS I have been eyeing for a few months. Garmin eTrex Vista HCX. I was mulling all kinds of different GPS gadgets and their perks - heart-rate monitoring and elevation profiles and the like. But when I read somewhere that this one could record the points where you've traveled and relay them back to you should backtracking be required, well, I was sold on this one. Maybe someday I will care about how high I've climbed or how far I've come, but for now, with the whole big world threatening to leave me lost and wandering forever, I'll be happy with something that can simply tell me where I've been.

Among the other eBay treasures I have my eye on:

A Marmot -40 degree down sleeping bag. Never mind that I may only end up using it a couple times a year, and that I would have to travel quite a distance to camp somewhere where it even gets this cold. This bag would be my security blanket, my pacifier, and if I can somehow acquire it for a slightly less bloodsucking price by buying it used, I will cry warm tears of relief.

Two pair of Golite vapor barrier socks. All the warmth of wool, with none of the weight. The overcautious auction description promises that only a few people in thousands would even actually enjoy wearing these, given that they don't breathe at all. But given my love for Neoprene and PVC jackets, I think I may be one of those few.

A down coat to go under the shell. Also not a definite need. But can you tell I've become really, really obsessed with staying warm?

I really don't have any ideas for ski goggles dialed in just yet. I am skeptical of anti-fog claims ... every single one is dubious at best if you ask me. But I am looking for goggles with a clear lens, and probably just something really cheap so I won't feel bad about ruining them by supergluing a duck-bill-like flap of neoprene across the bottom (that's the best idea I've had yet when it comes to avoiding irreversible frost buildup.) If anyone has any suggestions, let me know.

I need a new face mask. Don't roll your eyes. Really, would you be able to resist something so delightfully tacky?


  1. Haha! The face mask is so cool! Don't try to visit your local bank wearing that! You might get into some serious trouble! :)

  2. I like the face mask too. Tacky is always in fashion.

  3. Great choice on the GPS! I've looked at quite a few and the vista is the smallest/lightest, most feature rich of the bunch.

  4. I need a new face mask. Don't roll your eyes. Really, would you be able to resist something so delightfully tacky?

    Dare you to wear it when boarding your next flight!

  5. Love the face mask! Cool stuff - happy shopping. Interested to see how the neoprene duck bill on the goggles works out. :)

  6. That face mask rocks! Thanks for the insight on the GPS, you have now narrowed my search.
    Keep the rubber side down.

  7. I am also with the pro skull mask crew. I'd buy one but it just isn't that cold here. Do they make a skull-buff?

    So you inspire me to buy those huge bear trap pedals as my rain shoes kept slipping on the old ones...those things are sweet! And they definitely add to the Mad Max-ness of my bike.

  8. I love my go-lite vb's!

    they also do dubble duty to help repair a siled side wall =)

    I've got my eye on a 5th dimension mt. hardware bag... I wish i wasn't allergic to down!

  9. I'd of thought you'd go for the Garmin Edge, apparently the thing to have for cycle training. I have a Vista, which I got for the mountains but it's brilliant on the bike, especially if you download your route to it first - it saves stopping to look at a map. You might also want to check out where you can upload your tracklogs and compare your performance against previous outings.
    Have fun.

  10. I apologize for contributing to your vice, but in addition to Sierra I also squander my funds at and backcountryoutlet. Great photo for today!

  11. Hello from Spain,(so sorry for may bad English.
    I think you have done a great choice with the Garmin Etrex.
    Good luck with your search, sometimes is too hard to meet with yourself, even with the best GPS,(a mí me sucede muchas veces).
    I suggest you a software that you can download in

    Salud y suerte.

  12. I don't know if Honorio realized how profound his sentence will be:
    "sometimes is too hard to meet with yourself, even with the best GPS". I love how it came out and want to make a t-shirt that says that!

  13. jh-

    not sure about anti-fog claims either
    but I am certain that some goggles will fog up more than others

    my thoughts...
    be sure to bring your helmet when you try things on
    the pressing down at the forhead and the fitting at the bridge of the nose is something to consider


  14. Thanks Anonymous, I was joking (maybe you can’t appreciate the Spanish sense of humour), but you can use it where and as you want, it’s "copy-left". If you do the t-shirt send me one, please.


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