By: Mandela van Eeden
The possibility pack came into my life over a year ago and has been a constant companion in my quiver of river gear for expeditions both on the Grand Canyon as well as the Middlefork of the Salmon. When it’s not sitting in the dash of my old Land Rover, I toss it inside my pack for long distance motorcycle rides, local mountain bike loops and afternoon fly fishing trips.
The main reason I greatly appreciate this pack is due to a common phrase shared by my fellow kayak guides in New Zealand: Prior Planning Prevents Piss Poor Performance. Over the years, I have discussed a curious phenomenon with fellow guides, the fact that we are incredibly prepared for every possible situation when we are responsible for the lives of our paying clients but when it comes to a solo mission or romp with fellow guides, we often find ourselves under prepared.
Enter the “Possibility Pack”, an incredibly portable, durable and useful piece of gear which can easily be thrown in your day pack, fishing tackle box, pelican case, bicycle paneer, or glove box. The possibility pack does just that, it expands your possibilities. One of the many things which attracts me to mountain men here in the northwest, is this underlaying spontaneity in the wild, an attribute which can be expanded upon with the help of a Possibility Pack. Let’s break down the pack a little…
The pack pouch itself is incredibly useful for a myriad of reasons. I often zip tie my pack to the frame of my road bike or toss it inside a mesh river bag—the bag itself has remained 100% waterproof even during those occasional times when you find your raft upside down. I realize they don’t market the pouch as being 100% waterproof but it is from my experience.
In a world full of camo, the MTN Man Buff remains unique with a creative custom camo pattern. As a multiday river guide and traveler during the time of COVID, I have lost count of the number of folks who compliment me on this buff. The buff has been a trusty companion on the river and most recently in the bush in southern Africa. I have successfully avoided bothersome insects, sunburn and windburn while remaining stylish.
I worked as a desert river guide on the Orange River Gorge, a river which slices through the southern Kalahari and Namib deserts while marking the boundary between South Africa and Namibia. During those years, I worked with a man who managed to keep his expensive sun glasses scratch free. I will tell you his advice in three bullets:
The pack comes with two condoms. I have used mine to cover the end of my hunting rifle and managed to make a dozen rubber bands when I cut the condom into pieces using my trusty Outfitter knife. I have been able to replace the condoms for free every time I visit my doc. If nothing else, this pack will remind you how useful the simple things can be.
Voile straps have endless uses. I don’t have the space within this blog to list all the ways in which I have utilized the bright green 20” voile strap included in my possibility pack. The most recent time I used it was just yesterday when I secured my KLR 650 dual sport motorcycle to the trailer before driving from Montana to Arizona. I am a huge fan of using this strap to attach spare oars to my rafts as they as easy to release when you need that spare oar fast.
I hope the person reading this doesn’t need me to explain why they have included Duck Tape inside the possibility pack. Duck tape is perhaps one of the best inventions within the past 100 years and seeing it inside the pack proves to me that the product designers for the MTN Man Toy Shop actually get into the wild and put their products to test. Furthermore, I love the design on the tape!
Claims for the earliest definitive evidence of ‘control of fire’ by early humans range from 1.7 to 2 million years ago. I get a chuckle just thinking about how far we have come since the first friction fire. What would our possibilities pack be without the original Bic lighter and a couple fire tablets? I have lost all my lighters other than the bright yellow Bic provided by MTN Man Toy shop. The fire tablets work GREAT when I lose patience with my bow drill fire attempts in wet conditions.
Whistles are a considered mandatory safety equipment for river guides around the world. Most whistles are made from cheap plastic and don’t last long. I am pleased with the sound, strength and design of the titanium whistle include within the possibility pack.
The usefulness of 550 paracord is up there with Duck Tape. Be sure to pack half a dozen extra bundles of paracord if you’re traveling in Africa as rope can occasionally be hard to come by and it is probably the best item to bargain with when you are in a culture which values trade over currency. I use my paracord for hanging wet gear, bear hangs and securing boats and bikes for long distance road travel.
The last items in my pack include MTN Man ranger bands, disinfecting wipes and a green Cyalume 6” Chemlight. Ranger bands have served me well as emergency kindling and a splint for broken fingers. As an adventure guide, I find myself often hanging the Chemlight on low hanging branches at camp and on the sides of rafts during full moon floats.
In closing, the Possibility Pack by MTN Man Toy shop makes for a perfect gift for almost any occasion. I plan on gifting one to my sister on her 18th birthday in hope that it can help prepare her for the next big adventure in her life when she attends college and starts backpacking around the world.