Adventures with Jay King: How to Travel Light and Pack for Survival
Well, it’s Thursday morning on July 28th. I’ve resolved to write my August blog early for a change. Instead of writing it on the airplane, airport lounge, or in some far off place where I can’t seem to get on the internet no matter how hard I try.
I want to thank all of you who took the time out of the day to watch the July 27th event. It was the most successful July I’ve ever had in the almost 16 years I’ve had the privilege of doing my show. It was so much fun, and the day just flew by. I love the feeling you get when you just are running on all cylinders, and it’s a nice smooth ride. This goes for boats, planes, cars, trucks, motorcycles, anything and everything in my life that keeps me moving in the right direction.
I’m glad so many viewers realized the great value of the three-piece lapis Today’s Special, and were able to get one. We all worked very hard on this project. It took a long time to pull it off, but the greatest feeling I get is from sharing what we’ve done with all you viewers. I often wonder if people realize what it takes to get a project like this done. In my weird way of thinking, I’ve often thought that taping a miniature camera to a piece of rough would make a great b-roll. We’d be able to follow it through everything it goes through from the time it’s harvested from Mother Earth until it arrives at its new home as a finished design . Can you imagine the stories each piece could tell, and all the stamps it would have in its passport? All the people and cultures it would have experienced on its trip, but most of all the stories it could tell.
The new bowls were a big hit! I’m sorry for any confusion that was created trying to get it posted on dot com or getting it on the show in a timely fashion. It was just one of those things… We had lots of road blocks thrown in our path trying to get it to market. We did manage to get it done in the end through a huge team effort. Thanks again for all of those who were able to get one in the end, and, as always, we will do our best to improve on getting things done in the best way possible going forward. And, because of this positive response I will pursue even more of these handcrafted bowls in the future from all sorts of new natural rough materials we acquire in our travels. I love these bowls and boxes, and if you were to come to my house you would find them all over. Filled with all kinds of interesting specimens, jewelry, and odds and ends from my travels around the world. Like I said, usually in my house when something goes missing in my life; be it keys, money clip, watch, pocket knife, business card, etc. it usually can be found in a box or bowl in some strategic location in my home or office. I’m now in the process of finishing up my latest projects, which I’m hoping to show you on the November and December events. As soon as I’m sure when and where they will be released I’ll give you a heads up on the blog.
I’ve been traveling a lot, as usual, beating the bushes for new Mine Finds, making deals on acquiring our rough materials, and getting them placed in new designs. This month will be no different. After a few days at home to get my personal affairs in order, and to catch up on all the little things that are due, or, in some cases, late by now, I’ll pack my bags and head out the door. This brings to mind a subject I would like to share with everyone…
I’ve traveled for the greater portion of my adult life, so I do feel I’m a qualified traveler. One of the things I’ve learned to do is travel light and fast. I’ve tried to teach this in the “Jay King School of Travel”. Some of my students have learned well, some I don’t think will ever learn my method. In some cases, I’m sure this is done on purpose to just annoy me. I like to pack specifically for each trip I’m taking. I do this by listing everything I might need to accomplish the task at hand. The greatest factor is where I’m going, and what I really will need when I get there to make my adventure smooth, yet uncluttered.
After making my list mentally, or physically, I start to lay out all my gear. Then after it’s all piled up I try and decide what I really need, and what I can leave behind. In my case, I can travel with very little. For a two week outing I usually have the following as basics: Two pairs of jeans (one to wear and a spare), four shirts (one to wear and three spares), a pair of hiking shoes or tennis shoes stuffed with socks, and, of course, a good comfortable pair of cowboy boots and a kit bag. I’ve gone around the world many times in just this fashion. Most people over pack. I’ve found even in the most remote regions on planet earth you can get your laundry done. It might be having someone beat it on a rock and hanging it out to dry on a bush, but you can get it done. If all else fails, I can do it myself. Of course, this is the last course of action I take, and only in times of absolute necessity.
I would like to have a dollar for every time a customs official has said, “Let me get this straight. You’ve been out of the country for a month. You’ve been to a half-dozen countries, and you have a small backpack?” To which I respond, “Yep!” And to which they say, “Please step this way, Mr. King, and empty your knapsack on the counter.” Even better is hearing, “Mr. King, you have a portable aviation GPS, a small hand-held GPS, a GPS that has mounts for a car and motorcycle, aviation headsets, a survival pouch, a first-aid kit, and lots and lots of maps and charts. What is it you do, Mr. King?” Got to love that.
One little tidbit I would like to share with you is that I’ve been to several survival schools in my day. They all teach one thing, and that is sometimes your survival is dependent on what you have in your pockets. The basic things I carry at all times are a pocket knife, lighter, and tissue. I’m never without these. I also always have three ounces of 22kt gold around my neck at all times. Believe it or not, in more than one instance this has come in handy.
I can’t tell you how many times these basic items have made a huge positive outcome in one of my many trips or in day-to-day life. I’ve gotten out of many scrapes having these on my person at all times. It’s not usually what you have in your closet or in the glove compartment when a situation arises that helps you out of a tight spot. It’s what you have on you that will. Of course, with things being what they are in today’s world I have to find a pocket knife and lighter as soon as I get where I’m going–if I go by commercial airlines, that is. I’ve left a fortune in pocket knives and lighters in the trash bins at airports all over the world. I could check them in a bag, but this would violate in most cases the first rule of the “Jay King School of Travel”, which is never, never, never check anything. If you do check a bag it should be a last resort.
Of course, this can’t always be helped. Such is the case when I need to film something. There is absolutely no way to travel with professional camera gear without checking lots of luggage. Hence that’s why you probably don’t get to see as much footage of the cool places I get to visit, and some of the awesome things I, at times, wish I could share with you all.
Well I’m going to get moving on, so until next time, safe travels, and thanks for all of your support and interest in what we do.