This is the final entry for my series about stuff that I brought with me into isolation. I saved the best for last. Even though Britt and Lola are not gear, they have certainly been the factor during all of this craziness that have made things bearable. Britt and I joked at the outset of this adventure that it would either make or break our relationship. I’m happy to report that she hasn’t dumped me yet. Transitioning from the inflatable mattress to a real one certainly aided the cause. In all seriousness, this has been an experience in team building like we have never had with each other. I don’t often publicly share many details about our personal life, but I would be remiss to finish this series without nodding to Britt as the amazing partner that she is.
Burton glove liners are awesome. As a person who prefers mittens over fingered gloves when participating in winter sports, I have found these glove liners to be nearly essential on very cold days. It enables one to remove the mitten while on a ski lift in order to shoot off a quick gram or two without getting frostbitten fingers. I also keep one of the heavier weight pairs (seen above) in my jacket pockets to use as commuter gloves. Back in the days of riding the subway, they kept my paws toasty and enabled me to be a strap hanger without having any actual skin contact with the strap. Both index fingers and thumbs are outfitted with touchscreen friendly material. Seeing how it has been snowing almost every day since we have been in the Catskills, I’m really glad to have brought these with me. A wintertime must-have, in my book.
First of all, everything Muji is awesome. Britt got us matching pairs of these for like $4 each. I was never the type to wear slippers around the house until these ones came along. They were one of the last items to go into the duffel when we were packing to get out of dodge. Man, am I glad I brought ’em.
I have had a few different GPS running watches. One was powered by Tomtom. The rest were all Garmin. This is my favorite, to date. I picked it up last year on Prime day when Amazon had it for like 50% off. The beauty of the Garmin 645 Music, is that it pairs with bluetooth headphones and I can listen to my Spotify playlists without having to bring a phone with me. This is also the first Garmin that I have owned with a built in heart monitor. Heart rate has been a fun new metric to track. The watch has all of the regular smart watch functions as well for those who want to get alerts on their watch, count steps, etc..
As far as the GPS system is concerned, it works the best of any that I’ve owned. When I have GLONASS enabled (this allows it to talk to the Russian satellites as well the GPS satellites), I rarely have to wait more than a couple of seconds for the GPS to link up when I start an activity. I use it predominantly for running. But when I was recovering from surgery I used it on the bike quite a bit. It has also been fun to wear on some hikes that we have done here in the Catskills. The only drawback is that the battery life is not great compared to other models I’ve used. But I don’t mind charging every couple of days, so whatev. It is an awesome device that I have really enjoyed using.
Business casual gets a bad rap for being boring, and rightly so. Boring or not, I find nicely fitting khakis to be much more comfortable than jeans. This was part of the reason that I brought these along with me. I would get sick of wearing jeans every day, and unfortunately it has not warmed up enough yet to wear shorts (other than when running). At this juncture I still have too much self respect to wear sweat pants all day (except for those days when I have been sick). Not ruling out the possibility that could change in the near future if current status quo persists.
They are super boring pants, for sure, especially when paired with dad shoes like in the photo above. They do look pretty decent with boots though. I don’t have any special affinity for Banana Republic, but they do seem to be what I usually buy. It is mostly because I know exactly how their various cuts fit me without having to try them on. Also, the perpetual 40% “discount” makes them the right price for a person who goes through as many pairs of chinos as I do.
I love this camera and lens combo. I have been a Canon guy since before the digital era, and this 5D is my favorite camera I have ever owned. My 50mm f/1.2 is essentially glued to this body. It is not the most versatile lens, but in my opinion the quality of images that it produces makes up for the extra work required to get the shot. I did a cheesy unboxing video over here, the day that this body arrived. I was super stoked that day, and have subsequently been stoked every time I feel the shutter click. In case it is not already clear, I heavily endorse this setup.
If you have ever made a floor plan with a regular tape measure, you will see the value in this thing. I picked it up on Amazon for under $20. It has been a game changer, especially when measuring larger spaces and ceiling heights. Also: lasers…
I was going to style up a little shoot for my jeans, but after seeing these action shots Britt snapped the other day, I thought that they would work just as well. Rag & Bone has been my go-to for jeans since the first pair I bought over 10 years ago. I love the way that they fit, and they have just enough stretch. I have worn out 3 pairs, and plan to continue replacing them with the same thing when I wear these ones out.
Even though it is tempting to just wear sweat pants all day every day in the current times, I feel like it has done me some good to get up, shower and put on normal clothes every day. These jeans have served me well while we have been camped out in this place. They have also picked up some custom paint details along the way.
Canon AE-1 (with 50mm f/1.4): This kit is very similar to the one that I used in Jr. high when I was learning how to use an SLR. I picked it up a few years ago, with this project in mind. Since then, I have collected a few additional lenses (thanks Mike), and amassed a stack of exposed yet undeveloped film at home. The great thing about shooting film is that it causes me to be much more selective about what I actually snap. I have been observing my new surroundings for the past month, and finally broke out the 35mm this week to start documenting some of my favorite aspects with film as well. Here are a couple of more from a bygone era of normalcy.
The quilted down jacket has been a staple winter item for many a year. Only in the past few years have I delved into the offerings of Mountain Hardware. Performance-wise, in my personal experience I’d say it is on par with Patagonia and Cold Smoke. I like the stylistic take of Mountain Hardware’s quilting. They do make models with the regular old Michelin Man horizontal stitching. But the ones I like have staggered blocking iteration. Not sure if this makes any difference in performance (probably not). But I like the way it looks. I brought the one shown here with me to the Catskills. But I also own an electric blue hooded version. I love them both quite a bit.