When we made the decision to go on the run, I immediately was taken aback by what to bring with me. The astounding thing was we had already been robbed for almost everything of value, so we didn't even have it as tough as many do in that regard. I knew from the beginning the destination was Mexico, so it gave me an idea of what kind of clothes to bring. What possessions other than clothes really depended on our ride out of Detroit, the beginning of our on the run journey in the truest sense. When we realized we had a bit of space to work with, we carefully picked through the last of our possessions. Despite our appearances, John and I are not the no-possessions type of people, we like having a large array of useful items at our disposal. While we didn't have much left, it made going through what we did have very difficult.
Basic tools were important, being screwdrivers, pliers and such. John had just recently bought a chainsaw for a very cheap price and was wanting to do whatever he could to bring that with him. That chainsaw had the potential to support us in a place like Oregon, which was where we were headed to start with. We both had nice Fiskars splitting axes and a Fiskars hatchet (shown above)that we had before we were arrested. My axe and the hatchet were fortunately with us when I was arrested so we had those left, although John's was stolen with everything else in Detroit. So long as we had the space, we were bringing the axe. As far as the hatchet was concerned, that could fit in a pack and was coming regardless. In the event that we end up homeless in the forest we wanted to be prepared. We also brought along sharpening tools for both the chainsaw and the axe.
When we were arrested, I had all of my favorite cast iron pans with me in my car, which saved them from being robbed from us. I resolved pretty early on in the on the run process that I wanted to bring at least one of them with me, if not my three favorites, a frying pan, a dutch oven and a griddle/grill pan. When we found out we'd have some space to bring some things, I resolved to bring all three and I did. When facing homelessness in Oregon, we were counting my cast iron frying pan into the weight of our packs. As you can tell, these are very important to me. We also wanted a means to cook on the run as well, which is why I also brought a cutting board and knife as well. I still use that cutting board, and those pans every day.
We had everything we needed to produce dabs. We had: a glass blowing tube, a pyrex pan, coffee filters, parchment paper, heat gun and butane. We also had a glass bong and a smaller glass dab rig we referred to as Renegade. We left Detroit with about a half ounce of dabs and a good amount of weed. I had jars of rubbing alcohol with reclaim dabs dissolved in it from cleaning my pieces. We kept filling the jar when we cleaned our pipes and carried these to Mexico, where they kept us going when we were out of money and out of dabs in Acapulco. Since then some of the things we brought with us in regards to dabs have broken, from blowing tubes to quartz glass nails, reminding us of the irreplaceability (or at least extremely difficult to replace) of certain items we brought with us.
In terms of technology, we had barely anything left. John had a cell phone when he was arrested and I had one that wasn't connected to a network. We brought both of these things with us, and I still use the phone for certain things. We also wrote down any and all important phone numbers, in the event one of these devices were to fail loosing the number forever. We acquired a phone in Detroit that we later used for navigation through Mexico. John also used this for internet access in Oregon, which made helping us get out possible. We had a power inverter and deep cycle battery with us when we were arrested, both of which came all the way here with us to Mexico. In the event that we needed lights or power, we wanted some sort of backup plan. We had no idea what this on the run adventure was going to be thrown at us, we wanted to be prepared for anything we could.
The plastic box contains what John last left of his father. The box with paw prints contains the ashes of our blue nosed pit bull, Smokey. The jar contains the salve mentioned in this article, pictured here cause it's essentially a sentimental item for me.
While we didn't bring a lot of them, we did bring some sentimental items. John has a box full of his father's items that was coming with us, no matter what. I have a stack of pictures of my siblings and family. We brought our old dogs ashes, partially because they are sentimental, partially for certain uses. I've always planned to encase her ashes in glass, something I'm actually working towards doing. We plan to use some of her ashes on the garden, both to grow food and cannabis as she loved both equally.
We both went through our clothes and it basically came down to what was trashed and what wasn't. I acquired a sewing kit in Detroit to bring along, that I still use here in Acapulco. John bought me a dress from a local store, with the intention of bringing it to wear here in Aca. I've never worn that dress in the United States. We brought some bedding, pillows and a blanket we've used the entire duration of our relationship. John had the shoes he was wearing, essentially, which sadly were crap. I had more options, partially due to a pair of Jordan tennis shoes I found in an abandoned house that were fairly new and my size. Those shoes were lost somewhere in Mexico sadly.
I spent a lot of time in the fall last year in Detroit collecting seeds. I knew I was headed to Mexico and I had no idea what plants I'd find here, but I figured they wouldn't be the ones I'm used to. A friend managed to save my seed stock after we were robbed, which I had to condense for travel purposes. I gave the extra seeds I didn't need to a friend who's probably the best gardener in that neighborhood. I saved seeds from tomatoes in my friends garden as well, all with the intention of growing them in Acapulco. The seeds I brought with me started my garden here in Acapulco. The plants themselves are a comforting sight, as there is nothing else like what I've got in my box here in Acapulco, at least not in the markets.
As far as hygiene items were concerned, we had the basics with us. I was the only one with a hairbrush as I was the only one with brushable hair, but for the most part we took what most people take with them traveling. When we left Oregon I had another of my special salves in tow, made with; coconut oil, plantain herb and comfrey herb. I had a raw version of this when I was arrested, which was confiscated sadly. About 2 weeks ago, the dogs were rough housing and knocked the jar containing this salve off the table onto the floor, where it broke. John and I spent an hour sopping up the oil with a paper towel in an attempt to save as much as possible. It was then that I was reminded that there are certain things that we brought that are irreplaceable, as I haven't been able to find either of the herbs in that salve.
Packing to leave your life as you know it behind is not easy, even having been robbed of most of your possessions. There are always things that you'll try to talk yourself into keeping. What's important is regardless of situation you take the time to really consider the journey ahead and what you're actually going to need for it. Depending on circumstances, you might bring many possessions or few. We got made fun of by traveling hippies in Oregon for being what they called housey hippies (hippies that prefer to stick to their property, rather than traveling). Comparing our belongings to theirs was almost comical, as everything they owned fit into a pack and we had a carload of stuff.
Knowing we were leaving the US, these items we did bring were very important. Not only were most of the items useful, they're little momentos from our old lives. Whenever I wear an old tee shirt, or cook in my cast iron pan, I'm reminded of how far those items have come, and why they're here with me now. The fact that I use many of these items daily just confirms that they were worth it to bring. It is always nice to show someone something and to let them know how far it's come. It almost makes things more special, as they were worth carrying so far. During my packing and seed collecting, I was struck by the fact that I was preparing to do what my ancestors before me had done themselves, leave behind their life for something they hoped would be better.