Wednesday, July 2, 2014

93. Borrowing From Thy Neighbor

Most long distance hikers have less than 20 possessions with them at any time, and almost everyone is carrying with them items that fill the same role, or that are along the same theme. For example, most everyone has a camp stove of some kind, most everyone has a lighter, most everyone has a section of toilet paper, etc. This means that if you have an item that breaks or ceases to be functional, odds are that you can beg for mercy from a fellow hiker, and they will be able to let you borrow precisely what you need. All hikers find themselves in this sort of situation every once in a while, and as such, most everyone is generous and kind with their sharing of goods and wears.

The best example I have of this is when Whistle lost her spork, and had no way to eat her food every night. This was back in Virginia, when Grim had recently started hiking with us. Whistle was willing to just eat her hot food with her fingers, but all of us would scream in terror when she reached into a bowl of steaming noodles with her unprotected mitts. Grim had an extra spork, and he let Whistle borrow the spork indefinitely under one condition:

She must wear it around her neck at all times, suspended by a length of paracord, such that she could never lose it.

We called it The Spork of Shame.

The Spork of Shame had the added bonus of being BRIGHT RED.

Whistle wore the Spork of Shame around her neck for several months, until Grim was truly satisfied that the spork would not be lost. At that point the Spork of Shame could be kept in Whistle's backpack with her other cooking supplies.

I present to you now, the gallery of the spork of shame:

Can't see the spork, but you can see the paracord. The spork is just below, out of view.

Again, spork out of view... paracord visible.

Whistle is my hero.

Clever Girl

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