A few nice Super Bowl 50 images I found:

Pack Gong
Super Bowl 50
Image by pellaea
This is a tradition I learned while through-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. Everyone gathers round (say at Barrel Springs in the Anza Borrego Desert, very early in the trip, in the case I saw), and one hiker takes everything out of their pack (a "pack explosion" as we called it). Then they go through everything, one item at a time, while people "gong" everything not absolutely necessary. The result, assuming the unlucky soul going through his/her pack actually leaves everything that’s "gonged" behind, is often a *significantly* lighter pack. This, of course, means better mileage, healthier joints, less food required, which means even lighter packs, and so on. Or so goes the ultra-lightweight gospel teaches us.

This was my private "pack gong", in preparation for the grueling (or so I’m led to expect) Carretera Austral, which I’m about to embark upon (after one last pleasant week on Chiloe Island on the last blessed pavement I’ll see for practically a month).

In order to be considered a true pack gong, I suppose this needs to be public. So here goes — I invite anyone reading to make suggestions about what has to go! (Which I will almost certainly ignore. 🙂 Remember I *am* a botanist, so don’t even think about gonging the "Key to the Families of Vascular Plants of the World", or "How to Identify Mushrooms to Genus"…

Since the photo is probably insufficient resolution, here are the contents, roughly left to right:

water bottles
food bag (Ursack)

composition book (spare)
composition book (botanical notes)
key to plant families
key to mushroom genera
southern constellations
trekking map (Tierra del Fuego only)
road atlas
Hija de la Fortuna by I. Allende
Spanish pocket dictionary

black duffle bag: (homemade)
spare sdcard
spare camera battery
spare pen cap
army can-opener
spare bottle cap
soap (Ivory)
razor blades (no razor, I’m hard-core 🙂
dental floss
antifungal cream
toilet paper
nail clippers
pocket knife
clip (my pants keep falling down!)
rubber bands (for pants legs)

emergency gear:
bic lighter
tiny bottle of bleach (for water)
eye-dropper (for bleach)
ancient iodine tablets (first aid)
ancient climbing tape (first aid)

gray duffle bag: (homemade)
plastic bowl
wash cloth
unbreakable plastic spoon
non-stick frying aluminum fry pan
one-cup measure (cut from 1 pt bottle)
coke-can alcohol stove (so cool!)
titanium 1 qt pot
4-ply MacGuyver aluminum foil lid

bad weather gear:
fleece hat (homemade)
gortex gloves (homemade)
fleece gloves (homemade)
3 pairs wool socks
"waterseal" socks
3 garbage bags
ace bandage (first aid)
water-resistant pants
Mountain Hardware rain jacket
Golite umbrella (so nice!)

tools (on half-size foam sleeping pad):
spare chain
socket (for crank extraction)
socket (for freewheel removal)
chain tool
spoke wrench
4 spare brake pads
JB weld
barge cement
seam sealer
2 toothbrushes (keep chain clean)
14 and 16 gauge wire
spare brake cables
spare changer cables
3 hex wrenches
4 plastic tire irons
fix-a-flat kit
altoids can half full of spare nuts, etc.
clean and dirty rag
spare "cork" and rubber bits
about 20 spare spokes
file (probably larger than necessary)
green tool bag: (homemade)
small flathead
large flathead
large phillips
large crescent
small crescent
2 conewrenches (one is 2-in-1)
wire cutter
needle nose
two spare tubes

spare tire (will get one more)
3 pringles cans (lichen specimens!)
4’x4′ 2 oz ripstop tarp (homemade)
16′ cordelet
Zefal pump (great pump, btw!)
10 oz backpack (homemade)
tyvek groundcloth (never use it though)
2 bungees (lash on sleeping bag)
capilene longjohns
fleece pants and jacket (homemade)

biking moccasins (homemade)
hiking moccasins (homemade)
"dress" moccasins (homemade)
Climb High bivy sack (can’t beat it!)
sleeping "quilt" (homemade, inside)
women’s garden gloves
warm hiking shirt
light cotton "nice" shirts
two light hiking shirts
two light hiking shorts
2 boxers (homemade, no comments!)
jeans (yikes! heavy! for town)

3’x2′ towell:
small box of detergent
credit card
ATM card
driver’s license
insurance card
phone numbers
a few checks
three notepads (diary and notes)
4 spare shoelaces
acu-pressure bands (seasickness)
spare dental floss
whetting stone (need super-sharp knife for dissecting flowers!)
spare bic lighter
spare handlens and case
6 spare pens
several ziplocs of various sizes
spare toothpaste (I’m almost out)
Bonzai sdcard reader
baggie and 5 spare sdcards
plug adapter (ugh! heavy!)
camera battery recharger
spare camera battery (number 3)
spare camera and case
bag, IPOD, cable, earphones (luxury!)

rear rack (homemade, on bicycle)
two aluminum flat-bars (keeps bags out of spokes!)

not in photo:
paniers (homemade)
top-box (homemade)
duct tape (wrapped around various parts of bike frame)
5’x4′ heavy fleece blanket (forgot to include)
one last pair of boxers (I had to wear *something* while arranging the photo!)

Phew, amazing how much crap is in there, isn’t it?? Here I thought I was going light…

There are a few things to note:

The spare chain is stupid without a spare derailleur. Not sure why I’m keeping it.

The plug adapter is a cheapo light Chinese-made extension cord I picked up near Concepcion because I forgot to bring one of those super-lightweight handy European-to-American plug adapters. Which I have several of at home, duh!

The rack is 100% solid heavy steel, with 3/4" plywood top. Very expensive in weight, but it’s the only thing I’ve ever used that hasn’t broken under the extremely heavy strain of 50+ lbs of gear bouncing on washboarded gravel roads. I have made the decision (and always do) to put all my weight on the back in order to give me (I think) far greater maneuverability. It has the drawbacks of: 1) very uneven wear of tires, 2) loss of traction of front wheel going up steep hills, and 3) excess strain on rack and frame. (Remember, only two little screws holding that baby on, eek!! That’s what the loctite is for!)

I’ll go bivy sack every time over tent or those stupid tarp tents. The ease of setup and packing up, the ease of finding places to "stealth camp", the extra sense of security knowing that I’ll be warm no matter *what* the conditions or how wet my sleeping bag may be (I’ve slept in fields that were 2" under water in the morning, and was still warm!), etc. No question in my mind. I’ve tried to make my own several times, but in the end, I’ve never come close to beating my 15 year old Climb High sack. Probably unbreathable as hell by now, but I don’t dare screw with it! Sort of my lucky-sweaty-shirt, if you will…

Jeans: *very* expensive, but it *is* what everone wears outside the US. Probably should dispense with pride and/or cultural sensitivity and just get a pair of lightweight khakis or something… Hey, but I left the belt home, and use my cordelet instead. It’s something…

(Color: what is with that neon lime green?? How the hell am I going to sleep tonight?? What is it with Chileans and total lack of color sense??)

Paper Airplane Super Bowl 49 Football Squares Internet Meme
Super Bowl 50
Image by @BackstageGabe