Wednesday, March 3, 2010
When soldiers deploy, they have a mandatory packing list of equipment/clothing which must be fitted into a ruck sack and a duffel bag - and it takes good packing to get everything required stowed. Any personal items must fit into a backpack, that is basically a carry-on bag - not a lot of room.
When you only have about 1.5 cubit feet of space to pack personal items to last a year (or at least until care packages start arriving), you have to be very judicious in what you decide to bring.
Some people cram an X-box or other gaming system and not much else. Beef jerky, twinkies, and other snackables are also common since the closest 7-11 is a couple thousand miles away.
For me, a voracious reader who is addicted to the written word and regulary devours several novels/books a week, having the room for only a few books - even paperbacks tightly packed - could be a very frustrating dilemma.
Thank goodness for e-readers! Particularly the Kindle by Amazon since it is very much up-front and beyond its competitors with availability of titles and ease of wireless receipt. When you can carry 1,200 books in a device weighing ounces and smaller than a magazine, you are a happy camper. Or soldier.
When I started this blog, I had the option of "monetizing" by having pay-per-click ads columnized in the layout, but that was a bit distasteful to me as I wanted this to be a memorializing effort versus pecuniary. But with that said, I would like to plug M-Edge for providing me with a Kindle, a cover, and an E-luminator2 for my own benefit and to promote the awareness of e-readers to soldiers - I hope to "lead by example" how e-reading will be a way to while away the hours of down-time and, heaven's forbid, self-improve.
Contrary to possible popular belief, soldiers are big readers and are very tech savvy, so an e-reader could very much be a future common item for personal packing lists. M-Edge is coming out with a military-camouflage line of covers and accessories I think could be very popular with soldiers, marines, etc.
Along with my Kindle, I will be bringing a harmonica. I don't know how to play one, but I am also taking a how-to book and there are more available to download to my Kindle...my poor future roommate.