The postman delivered my big order of most of my (non-clothing) gear from the States today, including the big ticket items of the tent and sleeping bag! It was a single consolidated package made up of lots of orders from small outdoors companies in the US such as Zpacks, Lightheart Gear, LiteTrail, Ultralight Designs and others.
I’m lucky enough to have a good friend in Maine, Nicole, who has been taking in these deliveries for a couple of months now, checking they are ok (so they could be returned if not, something I would really be unable to do from the UK), storing them and repacking them more efficiently so I only have to pay one smaller set of delivery and customs charges.
This is just the first of two such co-ordinated packages I will get from the US. I have a few more items still to go which will come my way in a second delivery in January/February. I should point out that I always buy items from the UK or at least Europe when I can, but that simply isn’t possible all the time, especially when it comes to high-end niche items like an ultralight hoodless sleeping bag with hydrophobic down and cuben fiber hybrid double-wall shelter. There simply weren’t any local equivalents. Once I knew those two items had to come from the US it wasn’t much of a decision to also throw in a less-important smaller items such as drybags, cuben repair patches, LED light, etc.
As well as being relieved that $1500 of equipment arrived safely, I’m now particularly excited to get the two remaining items of my Big 4 (I already have my starting boots and my Gossamer Gear Mariposa backpack). It really brings home that a truckload of reality is coming my way in just 17 weeks….
Now, time to go off and play with my new toys!