The following content is comprised of personal opinions, and in no way reflects the opinions of the Peace Corps or the U.S. Government.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Scotland Gear: You Ain't Got No Alibi (But I Do!)

With only 4 days before I leave Duluth and start my Journey to Scotland, my brain is on overload and my body can;t take much more stress. I remember the six month mark, and even then I was worried about time. Not too worry, my brain can handle it!

However, I still have so much to do. Two group projects and a 20-page paper are still incomplete, and I have three finals to take on Thursday. In addition, it was recently finalized that I will be presenting a spotlight presentation on Scotland's Highland Culture for the Alworth Institute for International Studies here in Duluth on October 8th. Because of that, I have just another small stack of paper added to the slowly diminishing heap that is my desk.

I mentioned in my last post (nearly a full month ago!!) that I had two new pieces of gear. One was the Contrail Tent, which I already posted about, and the other finally made its way to my door. One of the minor oversights on made on the Superior Trail was not having a pair of gloves. In addition to warmth, gloves would have helped with the chaffing from the trekking poles (not very pleasant). Because of those two main reasons, I've spent the last few months trying on glove after glove, looking for one that is jsut what I need.

For this trip, I have decided to again go with a brand that is very familiar with the outdoors; Outdoor Research. While they make many fine gloves designed to keep your hands warm, they are all pretty bulky. The ones I settled on are the Alibi Gloves.

Pioneered for ice climbers, the Alibi has sticky palms that allow better grip rain or shine. Constructed Mainly out of Neoprene and Nylon, the Alibi hugs your palm and fingers tight enough to keep the water out while still allowing you to perspire and not feel waterlogged. The outside edge, along the pinky, is injected with a gel padding to cushion impacts and resist scraps. The cuff, made out of Neoprene as well, has been thermo-formed to contour tightly to the wrist, stopping water from entering there as well.

The Alibi Gloves also have pull-loops on the wrist to make them easier to get on. The velcro straps have a bite strip on the end, allowing you to still be able to put the glove on when your other hand is full. At 5.4 ounces, they are extremly light when compared to the 1 pound alternatives.

At first, I was concerned about their ability to keep my hands warm. However, I wore them for close to and hour in my apartment and my hands were starting to sweat. I suppose having the Neoprene that tight against your hand is what does it. After all, Neoprene isn't that thick of a meterial.

I'll make two posts before I board the place; one detailing my Route and another with the final farewell before I leave. However, both of these will ahve to wait till after thursday night so I can get my homework done!

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