GOING WAY OFF THE GRID
Updated: Mar 19, 2022
I don’t know of anyone who hasn’t looked at their inbox just after their first cup of coffee in the morning at least once over the last 18 months or so, and hasn’t fought the sudden urge to run. To run as far and as fast as that first shot of caffeine could carry your stressed out body from the blue light that binds you. But what if your job is what actually calls you to run so far off the grid that you can’t even see the grid lines behind you?
My business partner Clint is often called to travel to some very far and away places as a videographer for some epic big game hunts in very remote areas. When we have had to travel to the same area, I have often marveled at his packing skills. His camera equipment is his top priority and he can generally expend 2-3 times the effort packing the gear than he spends on his own belongings. Recently he had to pack for a 3-week hunting expedition to Chignick, Alaska where they would be dropped by a single engine Supercub on a tiny little dirt landing strip and they would hike hours into the woods from where they set up a base camp for a group bear hunt. I was incredibly curious what you take when you know you can only take what you can carry with you - and he has to take an expensive camera (which personally I would have two hands on the whole time - so I would be in trouble!).
And did I mention that these cameras have heavy rechargeable batteries and they were going tp be using the camera every day, so recharging was going to have to happen every night. Excuse me, does Home Depot carry 200 mile long extension cords? No, they do not. Clint says this was the first trip where he employed Goal Zero Sherpa Solar Charging System to keep his devices running while he was filming this bear hunt. The challenge with solar power has always been, and still is, storing that energy for when you need it the most. This system has power banks to store the energy in reserve. The hunting party also needed to carry a satellite phone with them since no cell phone carrier has service in this part of Alaska.
It seems that cooking, brewing coffee and sleeping at base camp was easy for this crew. They all pitched in to support each other throughout the trip. The wind they experienced did make it difficult at times to stay sheltered and comfortable. Another product that proved to be a game changer on this trip was his Crazy Creek Chair. These chairs are so lightweight and comfortable, they make glassing for hours much more doable. This chair is readily available on many websites and in so many different colors.
I personally can’t imagine how I would pack to be completely unreachable by phone for 3 weeks, but as the Holidays feel as though they are approaching evermore rapidly each year, it is sure to be something I will fantasize about in the coming weeks as I try not twitch in long lines in stores or as I stealthily evade questions about the plans I’ve made. Wherever your travel plans take you, on or off the grid, pack wisely!