Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Shopping Spree (Wont somebody please stop me?)

OK. I've done it again. And again. (And again).

Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Anorak
I was eyeing this very nice and lightweight wind shirt (The Mountain Hardwear Ghost Whisperer Anorak) at Sierra Trading Post for a while now, keeping it in my shopping cart. At first I was really excited about this special sale they were having, offering it with an additional %30+ discount over their usual discount rate (I think it's %25), and then I decided I don't really need it at the moment (=got vetoed over it at home), and was a bit bummed the sale was over.

Then I noticed that STP are having sales constantly, each with %25-%35 off on most items, and sometimes even more on several selected ones. So I decided to just keep an eye on the jacket, and see how it goes. Over the past 1-2 weeks I think I once saw "my" jacket for as low as $60, and I didn't buy it at the time. But it got harder and harder to just check it out every day or two, and convince myself that I can manage without it, or at most just buy it as I go along on the trail.

Finally, I decided I will actually get it and be done with it. I might regret it later, but it was on for $65, and the shipping and tax brought it up to ~$80. It's still not bad, considering its full price is $140, though currently even the Mountain Hardwear site is offering it for $107.90.

GoLite Chrome Dome Trekking Umbrella
Then I started looking at the Chrome Dome Trekking Umbrella. I was watching the movie "Tell it on the Mountain" several weeks ago with my girlfriend and several friends, and one of the things that struck us most was the heat and exposure in the desert parts of the hike. I don't mind getting wet in the rain (At least, that's what I'm telling myself at the moment), but I don't want to ruin my skin in the long term, just because I wasn't careful enough in the California Desert. I am not sure that the umbrella is neccesary, and not just an over-weight luxury item I will be carrying for no need. But I decided I'd give it a try. It is not too expensive, and at most, I can just leave it at some hiker box and carry on under my wide-brimmed hat.

Ordering the umbrella wasn't easy, though. The GoLite site does not allow using an international credit card, or PayPal/Google Checkout account, even though my shipping address was in the US anyway. I had to contact their support and ask for instructions, and was told that I can order using an international credit card by phone. It took me several days, but today I finally called them, and ordered the umbrella. The order went surprisingly smooth, except for a mistake in the email address they wrote down, but I have just fixed that by chatting with their online chat support. So that's good.

As a final purchase, I have also just ordered a set of Halfmile maps from Yogi's store. The maps themselves are free to download from his site, which I have. The "problem" is printing all 455 pages... I was trying to print them somewhere in Israel, so I can experiment with double sided and even half size printing, but I failed to find a local print shop that can print on Letter size paper (Over here the standard is A4). I almost found one, but they weren't really answering my emails, and wouldn't give me any quote, even for a 3 page test print.

Even though Yogi is offering the full set for $30, I asked Matt Signore, who is the one dealing with the printing at Yogi's store, for a quote on half size maps (2 per side/4 per page). He offered this option for $18, but at the end I decided I'd go with the full size maps. A small test print on A4 with half size seemed almost ok, but some of the numbers were a bit too small to read, and at the end I decided that I'd rather be a bit on the safe side on this one.

So, three items. I hope this marks the end (apart from some smaller items I'll buy in the US, maybe).

I got all three items shipped to the Trail Angels' house in San Diego, so thanks again for their kind help in keeping my shipping costs to a minimum. It makes a very big difference.