Statement of Purpose and Intent

On March 12th, 2011 I began a 400 mile trek along the Arizona-Mexico border from Agua Prieta to San Luis Rio Colorado, an adventure with a purpose I am calling BorderVenture.

Through BorderVenture I hope to raise awareness of border issues, expose exaggeration of border violence, combat the racial profiling, discrimination, and often outright racism that seems prevalent of late, and to record and recount personal stories of people living near or trying to cross the border. I will record my experiences and stories in this blog, and hope to have them further covered by supportive media, organizations, and other websites and blogs. I plan to aggressively publish my experiences through media outlets, interested groups, the Internet, and through whatever other avenues I am able. I will write tirelessly and advocate my findings to all who will listen, publish, and share them.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

So what's in the pack???

I wish Border Patrol could just look at this for reference when I cross at the Ports of Entry!  So here is what I've packed for BorderVenture- life on the run, in a backpack.

Read the picture like a book:
Backpack - Deuter 30L, pretty nice pack
Waterproof stuff sack
MSR 2L hydration bladder (2L of water in it)
Sleeping bag: 40 degree synthetic LaFuma bag
MSR 2L water bladder (with 1L of water in it)
(2) 0.6L water bottles (full, use these for electrolyte drinks)
SPOT beacon and carrying case
Toilet Paper
(4) aluminum tent stakes and parachute-cord (In case I need to make a shelter)
Journal and pocket Spanish book (the book isn't very good, I don't really recommend it)
Katadyn water filter and water-purifying tablets
Electronics goodies on top of waterproof sack: iPod Touch, (4) AAA batteries, (2) AA batteries, Phone charger cord, camera and case, headphones (in case I'm losing my mind), Camera battery charger
To the right of the waterproof sack: lighter, sharpie marker, mechanical pencil, spork, toothpaste, Dr. Bronner's biodegradable soap
Adventure Medical Ultralight Waterproof kit
(1) pair synthetic underwear
(1) pair cotton underwear
(1) pair synthetic superlight weight long underwear (warmth at night)
(1) "Buff"- pretty neat thing, new to me, light and can make it into hat, headband, protection over face, etc
The ole wide-brimmed hat- an instant classic, great looks and great sun protection in a lightweight and breathable package
Lightweight waterproof tarp
Lightweight fleece jacket
Cotton t-shirt with custom "Hombre de Paz - BorderVenture" logo- having people sign this through the trip
(1) short sleeve synthetic running shirt
Teeny tiny running shorts
(3) pairs of socks
(1) pair of lightweight, synthetic hiking pants
(1) long sleeve synthetic running shirt

Missing from picture: GPS, iPod charger cord, cell phone, toothbrush, and food

 All packed up with room to spare!  It will actually be a little less full because I'll be wearing some of the clothes in there, and then the remaining space will be filled with food.  I eat a lot.

 And there she is in business form.  I wish I had a scale to weigh it, but I've cut down weight a good bit from what it was the first few days- dropped the rain jacket, a running hat, a warm hat, a couple small things I can't remember now, and a couple liters of water.  Doing this a little smarter the second time around I hope.  A true minimalist would probably laugh at this assemblage of items.  The electronics certainly add a bit of weight, but I need them to document this properly, update along the way, and navigate (not that a GPS is necessary, but I don't have any good maps really, so this is the replacement).  There are some other things I could drop, but I'm keeping them as (very small) measures of comfort and cleanliness.  I don't want to be a total dirtbag when I'm trying to talk to or stay with people in border towns.  Well, that's that.  I'm still planning on starting again tomorrow morning- the achilles isn't quite 100% yet, but it is much better, and I think I've removed the original source of the problem by changing shoes.