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Gear

Here’s the list of equipment I’ll be bringing on the expedition. Some items might change, I’ve already had to make adjustments based on new information from the previous Mars160 crew. Check back every once in a while leading up to our launch. I’ll return here after the expedition with some notes on how the items worked out.

Seiko 5 Field Watch

I wanted a field watch that was rugged, water resistant, automatic (no batteries), and not too expensive. The OMEGA Speedmaster costs more than this expedition. This is strictly a timepiece, I have other tech that will give me other information. The fact that the Seiko 5 family has a deep history of reliability drew me to it, in addition to it’s simple form.

Update: This watch worked just fine. It is off by 1minute/day which is a lot, but does not cause issues. If you need precise timing I would choose something else.

Ibis EX 0 Sleeping Bag

Feathered Friends has been a Seattle staple of my life. When I first walked into that store more than 10 years ago, I knew one day I would own one of their extreme sleeping bags, and I knew that day I’d have something interesting to do with it. This 0 degree bag represents a silent promise I made to myself a long time ago.

Update: I consider this top-of-the-line. It was plenty warm for me to sleep comfortably in light pajamas. The temperature in the hab was a little below 0C.

Lowa Renegade GTX Hiking Boots

The first thing you need to select in your shoe is fit, everything else comes second. So line up some shoes that meet your secondary requirements and pick the ones that fit the best. I needed waterproof for water collection and sampling, ankle protection from the sharp rocks, and a stiff sole – but not mountaineering stiff. I knew as soon as I put these on they would work great.

Update: I chose these for fit and I still use them every day.

Utility Mechanix Gloves

Consistently in my toolbox for as long as I can remember. These will provide a little bit of cold protection. I’ll be bringing 2 pairs.

Update: Nothing wrong with these until they get wet, but otherwise a solid resource to have.

Katadyn BeFree 1.0l

A 1.0l bottle with filter for EVAs. The flexible pouch seems prone to damage but we’ll see.

Update: I used this daily and it worked great taking water straight from the stream and did not clog.

Lifestraw

It’s pretty easy to drop a lifestraw in a cup of water. We’re fetching water from a nearby snowmelt stream and there shouldn’t be any surprises, but this is some added insurance against a stomach issue on the island.

Update: Was not used, this was a backup.

Towel

A towel is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitchhiker can have.

Update: toweled well.

Smartwool socks

It’ll be cold.

Update: Great, and I still use them today.

And Darn Tough socks

I got advice for both brands, so I’ll try both.

Update: Very little difference between these and Smartwool.

Adjustable Wrenches

Just a few odd tools of my own. Coffee mug for scale.

Update: also hammers.

Fjallraven 1960 Logo Hat

Like Patagonia, Fjallraven has a lifetime repair warrantee. When I tried this wool hat on, it was almost aggressively hot. It should do well as my primary headpiece when I’m not in a spacesuit.

Update: This was almost too warm, which is great.

Camp soap and hot sauce

And I wont get them confused. There are several varieties of hot sauce from Yellowbird and I got one of each.

Update: both came in handy.

QiSa branded solar charger

By popular demand, I will bring this tri-fold pocket solar charger to see how it handles the low, fast-moving sun. Forecasts are mostly overcast but it should still take a charge with clouds, as solar panels do.

Update: This need a lot of direct sun but it held a charge well. It was good to have, but I had to point it sunward every few hours if I wanted the best charge.

Garmin InReach Mini 2

We have satphones and handheld GPS walkies but I’ll be bringing mine as well.

Update: I can’t say enough good things about this. We sent text all over the world and tracked our EVAs. I had this on my belt loop the entire time and it was excellent. This is one of my prized tech.

Cocoon Mummy Liner

Same as the sheet on your mattress, this liner will keep my sleeping bag clean.

Update: I’ve never used one before but I highly recommend it.

Fairy lights

You know, for fairies.

Update: After a few weeks they still worked fine and provided plenty of light at “night”.

REI XeroDry rain pants

Gotta stay dry if you want to stay warm.

Update: I used these over my pants almost every day in case of rain. They were somewhat durable and did well under the circumstances.

Takmly Borescope, 16ft

We will use these borescopes to inspect inside the walls and structure.

Update: This did well and easily integrated to my laptop. I didn’t try connecting to cell phones.

SanDisk 64GB SD Cards

I have enough SD cards for over 40k photos.

Update: These worked.

Yaktrax Boot Spikes

We aren’t expecting much snow but just in case.

Update: Not used.

More gear…

I’ve got plenty of gear yet to showcase, check back soon for more updates!

2 thoughts on “Gear”

  1. I am truly excited to see the results of these choices- the boots will be the one I’m most paying attention to. Any knives making the trek? Interested to see how those fare.

    1. The boots are excellent so far. I had them for a month prior to break them in. I have a couple multi tools with knives that I’ll add when I return. I’ve had to sharpen the blades out of the box as I usually don’t think they are sharp enough.

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