field gear

James Carucci (Carucci@SMTP.LMS.USACE.ARMY.MIL)
Fri, 16 Dec 1994 08:13:10 -0600

during two years of peace corps service in truk, micronesia [one year
on an isolated atoll, one year on moen in truk lagoon], i thought the
following 5 plus 1 items were the most important:
1] a mirror; small enough to pack; sturdy enough to last; cheap
enough so when it's broken, stolen, or given away as a gift that you
don't whine about it too long.

2] grape tang [or some other space-age drink powder/drink mix]. it
adds flavor to musty rainwater; helps make filtered water palatable,
and provides sugar in a form that is easy to store and consume....
unfortuantely, 'tang' was a vulgar slang word in truk, and i had to
remove all the jar labels!!

3] a nikonos camera-- i'm lucky enough to own an old nikonos II,
which i bought new prior to a trip to jamaica when i was an
undergraduate. if you really want a rugged camera, do not get one
that requires a battery. the old Nikonos II was not a 'point and
shoot'... i learned ALL about photography with that camera because it
does not have a light meter. they are rugged, massive, and
practically indistructable. they do, however, heat up easily in the
sun and bake your film if you're not careful. i have no experience
with the new, bright yellow 'underwater cameras'... but i suppose
they would work about as well.

4] a came of monopoly. yes, that's right. NO!! i am not advocating
that you teach decadent western capitalist ways to the 'noble
savages' of the world; but i do recommend that you bring along
something odd and different that will allow you to play and interact
with your friends and informants for hours at a time. i ordered a
copy of monoploy through the mail; it arrived on my outer island, i
taught my trukese friends how to play, and we often played complete,
long-version games three times each day!!! [my peace corps assignment
on the outer island left me lots of free time to lear/practice my
trukese, teach english, etc..]

5] take the best pair of thongs/beach walkers that you can find in
the states, or buy the kind that those at your destination claim will
last the longest. in micronesia, you are barefoot, or wear thongs.

6] a thick foam pad, mail-ordered from sears. if you can get a
sears catalog at your field destination, you can order from it. get
yourself a twin-sized, 3 or 4 inch thick, firm, polyurethene foam
pad. they are sold by cataloge; see the furniture sections. they
make a great gift to leave behind, too.

your feild gear selections really depend on whether you will be
travelling or staying in one place. my six recommended items reflect
the fact that i was sedentary.
have a nice trip!!
jim carucci