Over the last few weeks in Long Beach we’ve been paring down our gear and we put it all in this big duffle and left it in our friend’s garage. Today, we picked up that duffle to box up and ship out. Holy cow was it heavy! The final ship weight was 32 pounds! 32 pounds of gear that we have carried up and over climbs for the last four months.

Honestly, feeling the bag and our currently loaded bikes, it was hard for me to believe that we’ve traveled so far with so much weight. I suppose ignorance is bliss. Anyway, for the curious, here is what we’ve discarded and a short explanation of why.

I’m sending back my tripod, umbrella, SB-800, Pocket Wizard and lightstand. In the four months of traveling, I have hardly used any of it. I will still carry one Nikon flash, Pocket Wizard, reflector and a softbox. Laura will help with holding the light if I need it. It’s the absolute minimal gear I would need for a shoot that requires some light.

From left to right: bundle of redundant wires, tire lever, heavy air gauge, sharpening stone, 100ft of cordage, book, emergency space blanket, belt (got two pairs of Riv MUSA pants that don’t require a belt), heavy bottom bracket tool, crank remover, heavy allen wrenches, spoke tool, and 3-way wrench. I decided to let go of the bottom bracket tool and crank remover, since my bottom bracket isn’t serviceable anyway (cartridge) – and if I needed to get a bottom bracket from a shop they would most likely have the tool. The spoke wrench is nice but overkill – I won’t be building wheels on the trip. We are leaving bear country so I’m sending back the big spool of cordage.

Books and maps we’re not using. Also my journal. I’m more of journal 2.0 kind of person, so I’m sending that back.

Sending back the storm cooker for our Trangia, now that we have a Clickstand. Sending back Laura’s mug, now that we have Insulated Klean Kanteens. Sending back our cable for a thinner gauge one. The tin and the bags have some tools and jewelry stuff that Laura isn’t using.

Sending back my Ti mug that is replaced by an Insulated Klean Kanteen. Sending back our Sigg food box, speakers, tin of more jewelry stuff and Laura’s spare pants.

I feel that we’ve done a really great job at paring down. There’s still a few more things that I’d like to do, but don’t have the means to at the moment. Our computer is a MacBook and with the charger and neoprene pad it weighs in at about 7-8lbs. It’s a big weight penalty but I would argue essential for this whole project of ours. I’ve looked into netbooks but they all seem a bit underpowered to run Lightroom and OSX. I keep lusting after a Macbook Air (3lbs) but can’t afford to pull the trigger on it. I’m also trying to replace our external hard drive for one that is lighter and BUS powered (runs off the laptop and not an outlet), but that is also proving difficult. I picked up a Western Digital Passport external drive and it was DOA. I plugged it into 3 different computers and it wouldn’t work. Needless to say I don’t recommend them at all. I’m returning it tomorrow and will try to track down another drive.

That’s it for now. Our last day in Long Beach is this Tuesday. From there we head South and turn left at Oceanside until we hit Florida.