Waking up in a tent that is pooling with water, filled with blowing dust, climbing on a rope that is passable at best for repeated use, cooking with frying pans that were pulled from the trash are all reminders that there are some improvements in gear that are not a big deal and others that will make or break this project. Being able to suffer is part and parcel of climbing every day and living out of a station wagon–but the suffering is for a purpose and we are finding that some of our gear is lacking and rather than put the project (and ourselves) at risk we need a few more pieces of gear.

So here is our shameless request for some items that could make a HUGE difference in the success of Project 365. Some of you may have these items to loan, give or donate–and such offerings would be hugely appreciated. I have been as specific as possible in the following links/descriptions to simplify the selection process. In many ways gear is worth more than money because dollars can often be stretched. Yet something like a tent that is too small or a rope that is too haggard and beat up to be used—cant!

Realistically if we can’t get these items donated, we will take out of our Indiegogo campaign budget to get them because you can’t go about a project like this with your pants around your ankles. The idea as we see it is to be able to put more of your contributions towards MAKING the documentary and completing the project.

 

  1. 3 person Tent– Currently we have a 2 person tent–its works well enough for recreational use–except when you factor in the extra gear that we have with us in the backcountry that needs to be protected from the elements and wind and the fact that we are using the tent as a home base/work station. When we were in Joshua Tree we were beside ourselves as we were forced to decide between sleeping on/with several camera bags versus leaving them outside in the vestibule where they were exposed to a prohibitive amount of dust!
  2. Dromedary Bags (water containers)– One of the biggest concerns in the backcountry is water–if you are fortunate enough to be near a reliable source of water you can bring in empty containers and fill them once you set up camp. If “camp” is in the desert, good luck with that strategy. We are currently using hard plastic containers for carrying water in and they take up a lot of space and break easily. The MSR dromedary bags are BOMBER and are really great because they carry much more easily and they take up less space as you use up more of the water. They can also double as a wound irrigation system in a pinch…just saying!
  3. Collapsible Bowls We got 1, we need 1 more!!! or a Cookset– The saying everything but the kitchen sink takes on new meaning when you have a 75lb pack with bowls, dishes, ropes and cameras rattling around inside. Our current system doesn’t pack well, it takes up tons of space and is a pain to work with. We discovered these collapsible dishes and cookset that are the exact answer to this conundrum in the back country. They are light, flexible, easy to clean and they pack well. The simplest tasks are often the most frustrating if you don’t gear up accordingly (cooking and eating is what I am referring to…)
  4. Dry bags– Packing things ups and knowing that you can deal with a little precipitation or moisture is pretty important when camera gear is a large component of what you are doing in the back country…
  5. Rope– So this is what we frequently use to not die while climbing. It’s certainly not foolproof, but we try not to be fools when climbing so it usually works out well enough–but with the amount of use/abuse our rope is getting, having a backup to use is a big issue. Ropes generally have a pretty good long lifespan, but this is directly proportionate to the amount of use it is getting. We have been bouldering more to save wear and tear on the ropes since we have no backup. Most of our climbing so far has used a 50 Meter rope since it is long enough to do most climbs but light enough too. Ropes come in varying lengths, diameters and with varying options. Many of them are not a huge deal–here is what matters: MUST BE DYNAMIC. DIAMETER OF 9.2mm or greater, 50 or 60 meter lengths. 
  6. Belay Device– We haven’t been using a hip belay when we are climbing–but Stef’s belay device is not great–it frequently sticks when she is feeding out rope to me. This is called getting short-roped. So imaging balancing on a dime sized edge, hanging on by three fingers of one hand while you reach down to pull up rope to clip into an anchor–as the seconds of your life fly by, measured in lactic acid buildup, the rope sticks and you have to frantically yank on it with your free hand, hoping that you will have enough energy to pull out the rope without getting off balance AND make the clip…without plummeting. A new belay device could fix this problem…
  7. Chalk– We can always use chalk…gymnasts use it to get a better grip and dry up any hand sweat. We use it to help with the whole not falling thing associated with the above 2 items.
  8. Climb-On Salve– Your hands get chewed up when you are climbing every day. Climb on is a special salve made with organic ingredients that works healing wonders on hamburger-ed hands.
  9. Aiders and Ascenders/daisy chains– Aid climbing is a lot more fun when your partner gets to climb too! To be serious though, we have yet to do any aid climbing since we need to get Stef set up. I have my own, but she and I have not climbed any aid together in the past, so she is currently without.
  10. Crazy Creek Camp Chair-These chairs are specifically useful because they are super-portable and can be used to sit up in a tent for longer periods (like for when it’s raining and you are reviewing footage or editing!)
We don’t have much to offer right now but we will shoot a special update video highlighting our use of the item you are contributing so you can see your contribution in action and see how much it’s helping us–we will accept bartering offers too! It’s not a lot but its all we have, so we are going with that!

 

                       If you can help us out with these things please EMAIL US info@livingvertical.org