Over the past four months (if not much longer), I have been struggling to attain clothing and backpacking/camping gear which is what I consider to be minimally adequate in terms of maintaining warmth, blocking wind, resisting water, and enduring expected wear and tear without falling apart within a year of buying that stuff. Without going into too much detail, I feel that I have experienced a disgusting amount of physical suffering (and not just mental torture) over the past half decade.
I blame myself mostly for that suffering because I voluntarily put myself outside and forced myself to learn how to live “comfortably” outdoors so that I could get the experience of living on my own (rather than continue living in someone else’s house while I most prefer to live in my own studio apartment for exactly one person). Society does not make it easy to live outside nor does it make living without owning or borrowing a car very feasible. In fact, I would say that the single greatest factor in what has made my outdoor living experience so agonizing is (voluntarily) forgoing driving in favor of walking and riding BART trains (and I used to have a bicycle but the last three bikes I had were stolen within two weeks of purchasing them and the price of the bike I want has been steadily increasing over the years to more than twice the amount it was when I first bought that bike and I assume that it would take me more than a month to acquire enough money from working to buy a new one of those bikes (and I have been itching to get a new bike for well over four months now)).
Although I have a modicum of success purchasing outdoor living gear from Amazon dot Com and from REI stores, I still shiver almost every night and day and the wind feels like a bully penetrating the thin frabric encasing my skin to strip away what little body heat is there. The roar of automobile traffic is almost constant in my field of awareness (and I can certainly smell hefty amounts of combusted petroleum fules in the air I breathe in most places I frequent (accented by bursts of cigarette smoke at various junctions)). I am not okay with other people “forcing” my body to be so heavily exposed to toxic chemicals which are carcinogenic and otherwise poisonous and which are probably conspiring to prevent me from living as long of a lifespan as I otherwise could. (Lately I saw some disgustingly nihilistic and unhelpful social media comments which flippantly expressed opposition to the prospect of humans extending their lifespans from the current expected death age of 75 years old to 140 years old. Those comments amounted mostly to complaining vaguely about how human civilization is currently (and expected to be) so miserable that people are better off dying within 100 years of being born and that life might not even be worth living. Those comments also included sniveling remarks about how only the wealthy elite oligarchs will have access to the kinds of medical technologies which would make it possible to dramatically extend the human lifespan and as well as preserve and restore motor functions, sensory functions, and cognitive functions). I do mean to suggest that the root cause of my premature death and physiological decline is human overpopulation (and I attempted to provide hints to what I think are the root causes of overpopulation in the previous journal entry).
Anyway, to make this blog post proactive (i.e. solution-providing rather than merely problem-diagnosing or, even worse, mere complaining), I would like to remind myself to, as soon as possible, order some RefrigiWear clothes (which appear to be higher-quality than what is offered at REI and which appear to be more geared towards manual labor in cold, windy, and rainy outdoor conditions than towards lounging in a tent whilst on holiday with an RV parked nearby to go to for a break from being outside) and have those clothes deposited in a local Amazon locker for me to pick up (like I did with my camping batteries). After this post, I hope to be done (at least for this year) broaching the tedious and banal subjects of outdoor living, sexism (and sex, reproduction, and gender), and poverty (and mundane details of “adulting” which are a filibuster displacing what I think are more relevant and interesting facts about my existence).
I just got an epiphany! After telling myself I am more satisfied than not satisfied with my current gear setup (and I know that what I have now is a more comfortable setup than all the prior setups I had), I told myself that, if I order that RefrigiWear -50F coveralls for over $200, it will be like purchasing a place to live because, once I wear that shit, I expect to feel like I am indoors (at least beneath my clothes) even if I am outdoors. If the weather is bad, I can find a nice concrete “cave” which provides adequate shelter from the rain and wind to use my laptop (and, if needed, I will resort to using a tent).
Pro Tip: to prevent zippers from breaking such that sleeping bags, jackets, et cetera are no longer able to zip shut, simply leave the zipper all the way at the zipped-up position and just treat the zipper jacket like a pull-over sweatshirt and the sleeping bag like a giant sock to slip into through the top opening rather than from the sides.
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