Dispatch from the Razor's Edge, the Blog of Michael Stephen Fuchs
2002.07.13 : All About the Gear
"But mad dogs and Englishmen
Go out in the midday sun."
        - Noel Coward

    Saturday, and it's REI run time. Yeah, boeeyyy . . . Picked up:
  • Microfiber Pack Towel: 25"x54" – but folds up to the size of a small paperback and weighs in at 8oz. Ultra-absorbant, and mega-fast drying. Not sure how I got by without one of these before.
  • Personal Water Purification (not "filtration") system. Looks like a water bottle, but three filters stop 99.9% of waterborne protozoa, 99.99% of viruses, and 99.9999% of bacteria. I dropped $50 on this, but I figured, Hey – what's nearly two months in Africa without Giardia worth? A lot, that's what.
  • Clip-on belt pouch for above.
  • THE HAT. Aside from the fact that I've lately gotten keen on keeping that killer star of ours off of my face – and thus avoiding looking like Robert Redford at age, oh, hell, whatever age he is – moreover, what's the point of trekking in darkest Africa if you can't sport an Intrepid Jungle Explorer hat? It's always all about looking cool.
    Took a really stellar late afternoon bike ride. Last week was my farewell climb up to Skyline (even going so far as to finally take the digicam with me and semi-document my favorite route); so this was just a short, flat loop to get my heart rate up. But it was really beautiful, and I felt so strong. Now that I'm leaving, somehow I'm really enjoying cycling again. Always the way . . .

Another thing about the MP3 player. These songs will come on that you've never heard on the radio – or, for that matter, outside of your own home. And they're immediately, perfectly familiar – but so far out of context you can't name them, by title or artist, for like 30 seconds. And if that's not an odd enough sensation, there's all the out-of-left-field associations and emotional resonances. The expression "like having the soundtrack to your life set on shuffle play" could be just a stunning figurative flourish, if it weren't ruined, in this case, by being literally true. 8^(

  mp3 players     stuff     my exodus     intrepid jungle explorer hat     africa     travel  
close photo of Michael Stephen Fuchs

Fuchs is the author of the novels The Manuscript and Pandora's Sisters, both published worldwide by Macmillan in hardback, paperback and all e-book formats (and in translation); the D-Boys series of high-tech, high-concept, spec-ops military adventure novels – D-Boys, Counter-Assault, and Close Quarters Battle (coming in 2016); and is co-author, with Glynn James, of the bestselling Arisen series of special-operations military ZA novels. The second nicest thing anyone has ever said about his work was: "Fuchs seems to operate on the narrative principle of 'when in doubt put in a firefight'." (Kirkus Reviews, more here.)

Fuchs was born in New York; schooled in Virginia (UVa); and later emigrated to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he lived through the dot-com boom. Subsequently he decamped for an extended period of tramping before finally rocking up in London, where he now makes his home. He does a lot of travel blogging, most recently of some very  long  walks around the British Isles. He's been writing and developing for the web since 1994 and shows no particularly hopeful signs of stopping.

You can reach him on .

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ARISEN : Last Stand, by Michael Stephen Fuchs
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