We have eight 18 gallon plastic tubs with lids in eight different colors.  If it doesn’t fit in the tub, it does not get to come.  We have a mandatory list of required tub contents and after that, it is up to the person to fill it up.  The mandatory list is:

  1. A pair of water sandals
  2. Comfortable shoes
  3. Sun glasses
  4. Two hats – one for sun and one is the DeCorso hats that Mr. Richards gave us all for Christmas in Mississippi
  5. Comfortable sleep wear
  6. Day pack
  7. Minimum of five bottoms (shorts / pants / skirts) and seven tops
  8. Two fleece jackets
  9. Rain jacket


Being connected to the internet is essential for our family.  My job requires it and we like to stay connected to family and friends.


We needed one phone that would work anywhere, a phone that would ring with one phone number and we wanted a US number (just easier).  We chose an international sim card  from and picked an unlocked phone to be the dedicated US number (Ryan found it at the transfer site, it is an AT&T Motorola).  We paid $7.99 to unlock it.  Our phone number is a Washington DC number and it costs everyone involved to call us – incoming calls cost us between $.20 to over $5.00 per minute (which is stillcheaper than roaming!).  We don’t know yet what they cost anyone calling us, the calls route through Estonia.  Here in Alaska at GCI, that is about $.25 a minute.

We seriously considered an iridium satellite phone, we even looked at a few used ones on Craigslist and called the iridium dealer in Anchorage.  The problem with iridium phones are that they are really expensive, calls are really expensive and – most importantly – you can’t be moving around when you receive or make a call, even with the expensive added antenna.

We also have three unlocked cell phones for local sim card so we can keep in touch with each other when we split up.  We are currently looking for an unlocked smart phone so we can do the same thing.






What we are bringing with us –  a comprehensive list!

  1. cribbage board and a deck of cards
  2. Uno
  3. Massive first aid kit
  4. Pressure cooker
  5. Printer with a scanner
  6. Spare tires

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