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Steve Casimiro

If it involves fresh air and the threat of bodily harm, Steve Casimiro does it: mountain biking (120 days a year), skiing (50 days a year), surfing, skateboarding, climbing, backpacking. Makes you wonder how he has time to be a contributing editor for ADVENTURE (see his "Vegas Rocks" online and in the January/February 2001 issue) and to write and photograph for Outside, Men's Journal, Skiing, and Powder (where he was editor for nine years), among others.

Let me know when Steve posts answers!




What to do? Where to go? What to buy?

Powder Buff Steve Casimiro Answers Your Snow-Sports and Winter Gear Questions.

Q:

My two friends and I are going on a 12-day trek in the Guyanian rain forest, South America, to Kaieteur Falls. We are very excited of course, but we do have a limited budget and wondered what you would consider to be the most essential items of "kit" we would need to take. We are new to trekking and would be grateful for your advice.

—Terri Macdonald, Devon, England

Ah, the essential kit. The question of what's necessary has fueled many a barroom debate, the occasional fistfight, and the rare but not unknown duel. As for me, the one thing I would never, ever leave the country without is Imodium-D. Suffice it to say, fortified intestines are one of the underpinnings of enjoyable travel.

The good news about Guyana is that it's still cheap, so you won't need a ton of money, and it's warm, so you won't need a lot of clothes. The bad news is that crime is still rampant in the capital, Georgetown, to the point where it's recommended you don't walk anywhere at night. I've heard the crime reports are exaggerated, but don't take chances: Go light, keep your luggage zippers locked, wear a money belt, and secure your passport and tickets at all times. You'll be in the rain forest, so take wet-weather gear (just make sure it's light, because of the heat). Also, you'll want sturdy shoes and several changes of socks (try SmartWool, www.smartwool.com), mosquito repellent (malaria is endemic in the interior), and a water purifier or tablets on the odd chance you can't find bottled water. Also, bring medication you might need (illnesses that are easily treated in the States or UK, like bladder infections, can be dangerous in undeveloped countries like Guyana) and extra glasses or contacts.

I tend to err on the side of taking too much stuff. My wife and I were caught at the epicenter of a 7.4 Richter scale earthquake in Costa Rica and stranded for days, and a couple years later she caught a nasty infection in rural Indonesia. Since then, when traveling in less-developed places, I haven't been shy about carrying everything I think we need for self-sufficiency, just in case. But remember, the more you take, the more you carry.

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