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Friday 30 July 2010

The things I pack

I've started to pack, and among all the other things I've packed two 'things' I hope I wont need.

One is my huge bag of medications, bandages and field dressings - I've must have gotten more bandages and antibiotics than most people will use in a lifetime. Hopefully I'll bring it all home unopened - apart from the anti-malaria medication , that is ;)

The other is my 'protective gear' - my ballistic vest, helmet and respirator. All in tasteful UN blue, which goes so well with my blue eyes... The vest is a Class IV vest by the way, so it's pretty damn heavy to lug around.

Like the medication, it's dead weight until it's needed. And if it's needed I'll be very happy to have brought it with me.
It's heavier than it looks, but the armour plates can quite literary stop a speeding bullet
 I also discovered a neat touch with the vest - the apron that protects my groin can be velcroed in an 'up' protection, giving my guts and chest an extra layer of protection if I'm sitting in a car. The collar can also be folded up, at the expense of limiting the mobility of my head - but doing so will eliminate the gap between my helmet and the vest.

Of the stuff I pack that I do plan on using, it's mostly clothes - uniforms, socks and shirts - and off course the 'sundry items'; a pair of extension cords, a small ½l water boiler, sunscreen, sunscreen and more sunscreen, as well as food and utensils. Most of my food will off course come from local sources, but all indications points towards how nice it is to have something quick, simple and Norwegian for comfort food. With that goal in mind, as well as the need for food that will keep well unrefrigerated, I've invested in an ample supply of dehydrated dinners and instant soups. To top it off some crispbread and instant oatmeal will make it into the box as well, along with - perhaps - a sleeve or two of dry cookies...
Dehydrated dinners - simply add boiling water, wait for five to ten minutes and enjoy.
No Real Norwegian would forget to pack coffee...
Lots of spicy soups to combat the bland food - rice and beans feature largely in the local cuisine.
Sunscreen, sunscreen and more sunscreen.
For eating on the go - proper plates I'll get once I've arrived and gotten my bearings.
For when I'm REALLY on the go - courtesy of the Swedish Armed Forces (got it in Finland from one of the Swedish

All told I have two medium sized bags filled with soft goods, a small (60x40x40) Zarges box with various 'observer gear' and a large (80x60x60) Zarges with everything else. In addition comes the backpack and bag I'll carry on the flight as luggage - which will include what little civilian clothes I need to bring along.

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