Yo, I’m Joce. I’ve been a bum for over a year now. Some people prefer the word nomad, but I think I’ve earned both considering I prefer couches over beds, bridges over ceilings, and a backpack is my replacement for an apartment. Along the way, I’d like to think I’ve learned a few things about being on the road, but I’ll admit I’m still what some of my friends call a ‘shit show.’
Gear is a pretty important part of any adventure; I spend a lot of time daydreaming about what life would be like with the right gear. More often than not I come unprepared. Despite that, I’ve accumulated a list of some pretty weird (or at least unconventional) essentials. When you forget to bring/buy half the junk – I mean gear – that you need to survive, then you begin learning how to make everything a multi-use tool.
You will never see me travel ANYWHERE without them. Sure they are meant for wiping your butt, but when you haven’t showered in two weeks these ‘babies’ are a life saver, especially for females. It’s super important to keep your regions clean, armpits and face included. Life gets messy and I can’t tell you how many times I’ve whipped out a baby wipe to save someone else’s day. Hopefully, these will save yours.
A ton of people have converted to the coconut oil obsession. This is my attempt to grow the coconut cult population because, if you haven’t joined yet, you are absolutely missing out on the millions of uses it has to offer. Moisturizer, hair conditioner, butter/oil cooking substitute, itch/bug bite relief, deodorant, toothpaste (with baking soda), sunblock aid, blah, blah, and blah. The list goes on.
Some people think of hand sanitizer, others choose rubbing alcohol, but too many completely forget about carrying germ killers. Staph infections are scary and if you’re a barefoot bum like me, then you’re surely at risk of cuts, scrapes, and infections. Germ-killers are necessary. My choice is a classic brown bottle of hydrogen peroxide. As weird as it sounds, I also use H₂O₂ as mouthwash when needed, but some bottles need to be diluted beforehand or they can cause some serious damage. This stuff is magical.
Yeah, I know it smells. Seriously get over it, because this shit is ‘the shit.’ I primarily use it as shampoo (if you have dreads or dandruff you might love this cheap alternative more the average mate). Just dilute it with water and spray on your roots; your scalp will feel so clean. Feet and special regions can also benefit from being cleaned with vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is good for your insides too, drinking a tablespoon a day helps balance your digestive system. However you use it, don’t forget to dilute.
6. Bonus Essential: Inspiration
It might seem impossible to run out of inspiration when traveling outdoors, but I have been mid-wander and wondered where the heck is my lust. The lust for adventure and growth is a must have; otherwise, you’re the wrong kind of lost. As the saying goes, ‘not all who wander are lost.’ Still, some can find themselves a little of both. In order to keep a tight grasp on my hunger for the road, I constantly ask myself: how can I be a better person? What are my goals? Why am I here (wherever ‘here’ may be) and where do I want to go?… WHO AM I?
Recently I allowed myself to ditch four months of plans because, even though they were cool travel ideas, they weren’t what I wanted most. What am I doing instead? Working on music (mostly in northern Michigan), as well as volunteering and attending music festivals (I’d highly suggest checking out Summer Camp Fest, ROMP, Bunbury, & most of all Bonnaroo).
What are your essentials? Let me know in the comments below and at findjoce.com