I’ve always admired long-time BPL Member Francis Tapon’s thirst for adventure that leaves most of us well out of our comfort zone. In the face of adversity, including the burden of carrying an ivy league education and the unexpected death of his father, Francis has a unique ability to meander his way through trials by facing adversity gracefully, patiently, and without surprise.
The young guy in blue led me across dunes in the pre-dawn darkness so we could climb to the tallest dune and get a view. He would hike up the sand as if it were pavement – effortlessly! I huffed and puffed behind him. – at Erg Chebbi (Sahara Desert).
Francis is currently on a four-year mission to visit every African country (54 of them!), document their unseen culture, and develop the media into a TV series. Francis is currently raising money for the pilot episode via Kickstarter, check it out:
An Interview with Francis Tapon
I had the chance to catch up with Francis recently to discuss his African adventure, and dive into a little bit of the philosophy, style, and equipment that drives his quest to search for the Unseen!
RJ: Africa is pretty big. You planned out a serpentine route circumnavigating the continent. What was the biggest challenge you faced in route planning before you embarked on your journey?
FT: Nothing really because I didn’t put too much thought into the serpentine route that I drew. I simply spent a few minutes drawing my ideal route. It’s a route that avoids backtracking yet allows me to visit all 54 African countries.
It’s the equivalent of you drawing a line on a map of Alaska for your Arctic 1000 route. First comes the basic, idealized line, which takes a few seconds to draw. Next comes the miles-by-mile map based on meticulously studying topographic maps, which can take weeks to draw.
I have never done Part 2: I don’t know if my route is really feasible. Instead, I just plan a couple weeks or months in advance as I go.
In a village in Guinea Bissau.
Although I’ve pretty much followed the route perfectly in the first year, I suspect that at some point I’ll run into some border that is closed, for example, and I’ll be forced to re-route. That’s similar to when you run into a forest fire on a thru-hike.
The one thing I did know before I drew that line is that the Morocco-Algeria border has been closed for decades. That’s one reason why I wanted to start in Morocco and end in Algeria.
RJ: I’m sure you’ve deviated from the route you originally planned. When I deviate from my route in a Montana wilderness, it’s like … there’s a snake in the trail, so I better step around it. When I dream of the types of things that you are facing, I’m thinking about packs of lions, armed militia, or flooding rivers. What sorts of unplanned trials caused your biggest route deviations in Africa?
FT: The biggest headache is one that backpackers never have to worry about: visas. Most African countries require a visa. Getting them are often complicated, time consuming affairs. They’re usually expensive ($50-100 each) and they expire after a few weeks.
For example, my visa to Nigeria was expiring on March 5, 2014, yet my car was getting repaired in Benin in February. This forced me to go into Nigeria by hiring a motorcycle driver to take me there. From there, I explored via buses and then I returned to Benin 10 days later.
It was annoying because I really wanted to spend more time in Nigeria, despite Boko Haram.
Still, you’re right that I need to constantly make adjustments as I go depending on what I hear on the ground.
For instance, the Moroccan military forced me to make detours twice because they didn’t want me to go into restricted military zones.
The Sindou Peaks look like dozens of stone fingers clawing at the sky. – in Sindou, Burkina Faso.
Similarly, in Mali, the police refused to let me to enter the town that has the tallest mountain in Mali. So I had to sneak in at 2:00 a.m. That caused two of my Malian friends to be tossed in jail when the police couldn’t locate me (they thought my friends had conspired to kidnap me).
I eventually got them out of jail, a few hours later.
RJ: When I think of Africa, I think of heat. I get anxious when the temperature gets above 80 deg F on my backcountry expeditions – that’s siesta time for me! Other than the usual travel magazine advice (“drink lots of water and wear a wide brimmed hat!”) what sorts of practices and equipment do you have to employ to adventure and explore in sustained heat like this?
FT: Hiking the PCT’s and CDT’s deserts prepared me for the Sahara, although the temps can be even more brutal in the Sahara. Only in Death Valley will you find temps that are comparable.
Overlooking Burkina Faso.
Outside the Sahara, in West Africa (where I’ve spent over a year), the temps are lower than the Sahara, but the humidity is much higher. From December to June the temps have been in the 30s C (90s F) nonstop. During the day in Niger (where I am now) temps hit 45 C (108 F) in the shade. It’s just unsafe to backpack in those temps.
As I wrote for BPL, I’m a big umbrella fan, especially for the hot desert. I’m against a wide brimmed hat, which just traps heat in your head and doesn’t prevent the sun from cooking your body.
An umbrella more than makes up for its weight penalty in the desert as it allows you travel much farther with the same amount of water.
Keeping the sun off your clothes is critical in the Sahara. Think about when you put your hand above hot coals. If it’s far enough away, you hardly feel anything for a few seconds or even a few minutes.
M’Goun is Morocco’s 3rd tallest mt (at over 4,000 meters). It’s rarely seen even in the summer, but I enjoyed a lonely climb to the summit in March 2014.
However, if you keep it there long enough, it will start cooking/burning your hand, just like you’d cook a piece of meat.
Same goes for the sun. Step out of the shade, and the sun feels marginally warmer than the shade. However, stay in the sun for several minutes and hours, and then you’re going to get baked, literally. It’s going to sap your energy. Your hiking efficiency (and enjoyment) will decrease.
So it’s imperative, in the hot desert, to prevent the sun from touching you or your clothes. A wide hat is ineffective at doing that.
Hats, as we know from winter backpacking, trap heat and help keep you warm. That’s wonderful when it’s snowing, but dangerous when it’s boiling.
Ideally, you want to be naked yet in the shade, so that as you sweat, the breeze cools your body. The only way to make such shade is an umbrella.
RJ: Have you experienced “cold” in Africa?
FT: On the crest of the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco in March. I traversed the length of the High Atlas (800km/500 miles). The summits of the 4,000-meter (13,000+ ft) peaks were covered in snow and had fierce wind. It reminded me of being in the San Juan Mountains in May.
RJ: You’ve been around Backpacking Light for a long time; it’s been really exciting to watch you grow as an adventurer! Your books, presentations, and travel styles all reveal this smoldering “ultralight ethic” under your hood. You are living this ethic on so many levels that I can’t help but admire your ability to transfer that philosophy into living practice. What role has Backpacking Light played in development of your travel and living styles and philosophies?
FT: What I adore most about BPL is its scientific approach to backpacking. It’s a quantitative, fact-based, analytical way of looking at an activity that is largely about feeling and spirituality.
Some think the two shouldn’t mix. But I disagree and I’m glad BPL does too.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Religion (the feeling/spiritual side of me) and an MBA from Harvard Business School (the analytical side). So both styles and philosophies co-exist in my brain and heart, and I’m thrilled that the same is true with BPL.
RJ: What remains in your life right now that you feel is still too complicated? Is it something you feel you need to simplify or have you accepted that it’s complicated and “that’s that”?
FT: The only thing in my life that is complicated is managing my many dreams. Boredom is something I have never felt in my life. I see idle and bored Africans and I want to borrow their time.
I think about my mortality every day. It motivates me so much.
On the other hand, it also saddens me because there’s so much I want to experience that I’ll never be able to do even if lived to be 1,000 years old.
My life is comically simple for a man in his 40s. However, it’s still somewhat complicated to prioritize a bucket list that stretches to infinity when you have such a finite existence.
“I may die tomorrow or next year,” I remind myself every day. It keeps me focused, it makes me a better person, and it encourages me to live a fulfilling and simple life.
RJ: You could be “back here” with the rest of us dealing with stupid and insignificant first world problems and obligations. I’m glad you’re not. They’re terrible things to waste your life on! But you know that, certainly. But I also know that you miss something back here, yes? Other than the usual (“I miss my family, friends, reliable hot showers, safe(r) food, and insect-free accommodations…”), what insignificant things about first world living do you miss?
In 2013, I explored the west side of the Sahara (including Morocco, Mauritania, and Mali). I’m excited to return to the Sahara in early 2014 to see more precious unseen landscapes like this. I’ll be traveling to Nigeria, Niger, Chad, and the Central African Republic. They’re not exactly touristic hot spots. They’re more like terrorist hot spots. They’re home to fun folks like (Boko Haram and AQIM. So I don’t plan to linger long, but I do plan to treasure my time there. – in Western Sahara
FT: Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. High-speed Internet. Reliable people and services. Reliable electricity and water.
I don’t miss my friends and family as much as travelers of yesteryear did. Skype, Facebook, and email keep us connected, even in Africa. When Livingstone traversed Africa, he was truly unplugged. Nowadays, it’s hard to do that without having your loved ones revolt.
RJ: What are your most valuable pieces of equipment?
FT: The most expensive thing isn’t listed on my gear list (below): it’s my car, worth about $15,000.
The camera is worth about $5000. One shotgun mic is $700. A wireless mic is over $500.
RJ: What are the most challenging aspects of resupply in Africa?
I was climbing North Africa’s tallest peak by the rarely used southern approach. I used my umbrella as an ice ax on the steep, slippery snow fields. To learn more surprising uses of an umbrella, visit: Tapon.org/umbrella – at Mount Toubkal summit 4,167m.
FT: Electronics are hard to replace. So if you break your camera or your ultralight LED light, then you can’t order it on Amazon and have it shipped to a post office. At least not easily.
Same goes for ultralight gear. Even Europeans complain about how hard it is to find ultralight gear in Europe, so you can imagine how impossible it is to find any backpacking gear in Africa.
RJ: Can you describe your day to day travel “routine”?
FT: Only in the broadest sense: I wake up, eat, move, and sleep.
Beyond that, there’s little routine, unless I’ve decided to park it for a few weeks to reconnect digitally and write my book. Then I can be pretty sedentary, although I must run every day just to stay fit. It’s just hard when it feels like a nonstop sauna.
Normally, though, every day is an adventure. I often have no idea what will happen or how the day will end. Surprises abound.
And that’s the way I like it.
For example, just like I traversed Spain twice without maps, I traversed the High Atlas Mountains in Morocco without maps. Only advanced backpackers should do this, of course.
I’m disappointed that I will no longer be able to donate blood in the USA since I got malaria in Ghana. I’m banned for life. Naturally, since most Africans have gotten malaria at least once in their life, they don’t have such a restriction (otherwise nobody could donate!). So I was happy to give to Niger. – in Niamey, Niger.
What I love is that you get to feel like Livingstone or Lewis and Clark: you have no idea what’s over the next summit or the next bend in the river. Suddenly, there’s a waterfall or a swamp and you have to adjust. It’s thrilling and spontaneous. And those are two ingredients for a fun life.
What’s in My Pack?
Given the miserable internet facility of Niger (where I tagged him recently) and the inability to transfer high-bandwidth video, I begged Francis to give us just a little teeny bit of visual insight into some of the things he carries in Africa. These are not necessarily the same things you and I would carry in the Wild American Backcountry!
Francis Tapon’s African Gear List
|Model||Description||Store||Weight(oz)||Purchase price||Estimated current value||Notes|
|Canon XF300||Weight includes UV filter||eBay||86.8||$4,557.00||$5,000.00||Cost includes 2 batteries, 1 charger|
|Lexar, Sandisk||(5)Lexar($99 ea), Sandisk Extreme($150), Sandisk Extreme Pro ($202)||Amazon, eBay||3.3||$847.00||$1,480.00|
|GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition||Underwater/timelapse/slow motion||MP Gear||2.6||$400.00||$400.00|
|SanDisk Ultra||MicroSDHC, 32gb, Sandisk, 30MB/s||MP Gear||0.1||$0.00||$0.00||Included with Go Pro|
|MP Gear||1.5||$0.00||$0.00||Included with Go Pro|
|GoPro LCD Touch BacPac||Touch LCD monitor (weight includes case)||MP Gear||1.3||$80.00||$80.00|
|GoPro Battery BacPac||(weight includes case)||MP Gear||1.7||$50.00||$50.00|
|BP-975||7350mAh, 7.4v, 55wh||B&H||11.3||$215.00||$215.00|
|Tiffen Digital HT||eBay||4.4||$200.00||$300.00|
|iKan 144 LED||Includes (1)battery, charger||B&H used||26||$0.00||$251.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|iKan||$0.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Flyweight camcorder handheld rig||B&H||55.7||$0.00||$500.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|WS XF300/305||Protection for the main camera||B&H||10.7||$170.00||$170.00|
|B+W UV Haze MRC 010M||82mm, weight included in camera weight||eBay||0||$47.00||$106.00|
|NP-F570||2100mAh, 7.2v, 15.8wh||B&H||3.6||$39.00||$39.00|
|BP-955||4900mAh, 7.4v, 37wh||eBay||7.5||$0.00||$160.00||Included with Canon XF300|
|CA-930||8.4v||eBay||11.9||$0.00||$130.00||Included with Canon XF300|
|BP-945||4500mAh, 7.2v, 31wh||eBay||9.9||$0.00||$50.00||Included with Canon XF300|
|Plugs into the charger and powers camera||eBay||2.3||$0.00||$0.00||Included with Canon XF300|
|Air blower and lens cloth||N/A||4.5||$0.00||$0.00||Bought by Josh|
|Ballhead X Focus||With Quick Release Plate||$100.00|
|Brunton Solarroll||4.5 watt, waterproof, UV resistant||Brunton||16.2||$0.00||$300.00||Previous Francis Tapon Sponsor|
|Ice Tech i12k||12,000 mAh, 5V-24V,||15.5||$0.00||$500.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Bestek 300w||300w DC 12v to AC 110v-220v||Amazon||15.2||$25.00||$25.00|
|N/A||US/world > US/world, Surge protector||N/A||3||$0.00||$10.00|
|N/A||World > US(2 prong)||N/A||0.7||$0.00||$10.00|
|Master Electrician PS37UOGH||Amazon||3.7||$5.00||$5.00|
|Monster MP OTG BK||300v||Amazon||5.7||$10.00||$10.00|
|Lenmar ACUSB4||Includes all world adapters||Amazon||5.9||$18.00||$18.00|
|Sanyo Eneloop XX||2500mAh, 1.2v, NiMH||B&H||8.4||$35.00||$35.00|
|Sanyo Eneloop||2000mAh, 1.2v, NiMH||N/A||3.7||$0.00||$0.00|
|Sanyo Eneloop charger||Input: 4w, Output: 1.2v||N/A||3.3||$0.00||$0.00|
|ew 112-p G3||Mic and on-camera receiver B freq||eBay||11.8||$500.00||$629.00|
|Seismic Audio||1′ right angle to right angle XLR||eBay||3||$9.00||$11.00|
|Zoom H4n||4 channel recorder, AC adapter, windscreen||eBay||14.8||$212.00||$270.00|
|Meelectronics Sport Fi S6||Amazon||0.7||$26.00||$26.00|
|Asus Zenbook UX31A||13.3″ 1080p IPS, i5, 4gb ram, 128gb SSD||eBay||49.2||$900.00||$1,100.00|
|Targus APA037US||65w||Best Buy||8.2||$70.00||$70.00||Bought by Josh|
|Targus A7 Slipcase TSS108US||15.6″||Best Buy||9.9||$21.00||$21.00||Bought by Josh|
|Logitech Marathon M705||AA batts, laser||Best Buy||4.7||$40.00||$40.00||Bought by Josh|
|Asus||eBay||0.8||$0.00||$0.00||Included with ultrabook|
|Transcend||1TB, USB 3.0, meets military drop standards||Amazon||8.9||$93.00||$93.00|
|Western Digital Elements Mini||(1) USB 2.0 @ $45.00, (4)USB 3.0 @ $200||eBay||36.9||$245.00||$280.00|
|Transcend||Multi-card reader, USB 3.0||Amazon||2.2||$16.00||$16.00|
|Sandisk Cruzer||4gb, secondary backup||N/A||0.3||$0.00||$5.00||Bought by Josh|
|Asus Google Nexus 7||32gb, AT&T cellular version||11.9||$300.00||$300.00|
|Zagg Bluetooth Keyboard||Amazon||11.4||$40.00||$40.00|
|TP-Link TL-MR3040||3G, wireless N (weight includes charger/CAT5)||Amazon||7||$0.00||$45.00|
|Amazon||High speed with ethernet||Amazon||1.3||$0.00||$8.00|
|N/A||0.8||$0.00||$0.00||Bought by Josh|
|iPhone 4||Verizon, 16gb||Apple||6.4||$150.00||$500.00||Bought by Josh|
|30 pin USB charger||Apple||0.7||$0.00||$0.00||Bought by Josh|
|Midland GXT1000||36 mile, 50 channel||B&H||15.5||$57.00||$90.00|
|Midland GXT1000||AC/car charger, charging base||B&H||9.8||$0.00||$0.00||Included with walkies|
|DeLorme inReach for Smartphones||2-way satellite communicator with GPS||DeLorme||8.5||$0.00||$250.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Parallax Elev-8||Pain in the ass||16||$0.00||$1,000.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Spektrum DX6i||6 channel transmitter||22.3||$138.00||$160.00|
|Storm Logic Sweater Jacket||Ensign, M||ExOfficio||14.3||$0.00||$125.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Roughian Hooded Long Sleeve Sweater||Loden, M||ExOfficio||15.8||$0.00||$105.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|BugsAway Halo L/S||Lt. Pebble, M||ExOfficio||7.7||$0.00||$85.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|GeoTrek’r Field Collection||Sage, M||ExOfficio||8.4||$0.00||$60.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Teanaway 1/4 Zip||Black, M||ExOfficio||9.3||$0.00||$70.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Takeover Trek’r L/S||Graphite, M||ExOfficio||15.3||$0.00||$75.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|GeoTrek’r Field Collection S/S||Rainier, M||ExOfficio||6.8||$0.00||$37.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Give-in-Go Boxer Brief||(2) Black, (2) Blue – 2.9oz each, $26.00 each||ExOfficio||11.6||$0.00||$104.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Give-in-Go Boxer Brief||(1) Black, (1) Blue – 2.9oz each, $26.00 each||ExOfficio||5.8||$52.00||$52.00||Bought by Josh and Francis|
|GoLite||Gray, M||GoLite||5.5||$0.00||$50.00||Previous Francis Tapon Sponsor|
|BugsAway Classic Cap||Lt. Khaki, One size, Unisex||ExOfficio||3||$0.00||$24.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|X-O-FISH-E-OH Twill Hat||Lt. Pebble, One size||ExOfficio||3.2||$0.00||$20.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|BugsAway Cape Hat||Slate, S/M||ExOfficio||3||$0.00||$25.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Sol Cool Neck Gaiter||Oyster, One size||ExOfficio||1.3||$0.00||$20.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Possumdown||42% merino wool, 33% possum fur, 17% lycra, 8% Nylon||Lite Trail||2.1||$0.00||$41.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Possumdown||40% possum fur, 50% merino wool, 10% nylon, (3) pairs||Lite Trail||3.9||$0.00||$64.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Smartwool||3 pairs, ankle height||Massey’s||4.2||$0.00||$45.00||Bought by Josh|
|Smartwool||1 pair, crew height, thick||Massey’s||3.3||$0.00||$15.00||Bought by Josh|
|550 paracord||N/A||0.4||$0.00||$0.00||Made by Nicholas Whelton|
|Lite Trail||0.6||$0.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Gossamer Gear Mariposa 2012||Ultralite||GG||27||$0.00||$235.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Gossamer Gear Mariposa 2013||27||$0.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Platypus Big Zip II||3.0 liters||4.5||$0.00||$30.00||Previous Francis Tapon Sponsor|
|Ruko Muela 5161||6-1/4” Nylon/Zamak Handle Survival Knife||N/A||5.8||$0.00||$59.00|
|Leatherman Juice CS 4||Mulit-tool||N/A||5.4||$0.00||$60.00|
|REI Field||8×21, 7.2 degrees||REI||3.8||$0.00||$50.00|
|Husky HD-74501 AB||Home Depot||1||$14.00||$14.00||Bought by Josh|
|Generic||For handheld camera rig||N/A||0.5||$0.00||$0.00||Bought by Josh|
|General Brand Pro Gaff||1″, black|
|Black Diamond Spot Headlamp||90 lumen, AAA batteries, red||Jacks R Better||3.3||$0.00||$40.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Black Diamond Spot Headlamp||90 lumen, AAA batteries, green||Jacks R Better||3.3||$0.00||$40.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Brookstone No Batteries||Hand-crank light||Brookstone||4.9||$0.00||$15.00|
|Jacks R Better Self-Tensioning Line||9′, thera-band, 0.4oz ea||Jacks R Better||1.6||$0.00||$40.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Go Lite Chrome Dome||2 @ 8oz. Ea||Go Lite||16||$0.00||$40.00||Previous Francis Tapon Sponsor|
|Gear Aid Tenacious Tape||60 sq. inches||Jacks R Better||0.7||$0.00||$5.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Dukal Survival Wrap||52×84″, 1.8oz each||Amazon||7.2||$28.00||$28.00|
|MSR Packtowl Ultralite||9×20″, .8oz each||1.6||$0.00||$12.00||Previous Francis Tapon Sponsor|
|N/A||0.4||$0.00||$0.00||Previous Francis Tapon Sponsor|
|Scrubba Wash Bag||Scrubba||5.4||$0.00||$60.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|GG||5.8||$0.00||$150.00||Previous Francis Tapon Sponsor|
|Gossamer Gear Polycryo Ground Sheet||72×96″, 4.9oz each||GG||9.8||$0.00||$7.00||Previous Francis Tapon Sponsor|
|Evernew Titanium||2 liter||REI||11.2||$60.00||$60.00|
|Platypus||1 liter||Cascade Designs||0.9||$0.00||$15.00||Previous Francis Tapon Sponsor|
|Evernew||(2) 2 liter pouches, 1.5oz each||GG||3||$0.00||$10.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|N/A||Custom by Francis||N/A||16||$0.00||$0.00|
|Lite Trail NyloBarrier Odor Proof Bag||Lite Trail||0.9||$0.00||$5.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|SteriPEN Traveler 3-in-1||4 AA required||SteriPEN||3.4||$0.00||$120.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|SteriPEN Freedom||Rechargable, microUSB (weight includes case)||SteriPEN||4.4||$0.00||$120.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Sawyer Squeeze||Filters over 1 million gallons||GG||3||$0.00||$45.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|ZPacks Hexamid Twin Tent||Cuben fiber||Zpacks||18.5||$0.00||$415.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Tite-Lite Tent Stakes||Titanium, 6.5″, short, Hi Viz, $3.50 ea, .2oz ea||GG||1.6||$0.00||$28.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Tite-Lite Tent Stakes||Titanium, 6.5″, V, Hi Viz, $4.00 ea, .4oz ea||GG||3.2||$0.00||$32.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Vargo Outdoors||Titanium, 6.5″, 8pack = $21.20, .2oz ea||Zpacks||1.6||$0.00||$26.65||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Zpacks||Cuben fiber seam tape/replacement zippers||Zpacks||1.2||$0.00||$5.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Zpacks||Included with Hexamid tent||Zpacks||0.1||$0.00||$0.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|High Sierra Sniveller||800 fill down, 78×52″, 3.5″ loft||Jacks R Better||30.3||$0.00||$280.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|The Katahdin Quilt||900 fill down, 85×61″, 3.5″ loft||Jacks R Better||38.1||$0.00||$300.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Gear Aid Revivex Down Cleaner||Jacks R Better||14.4||$0.00||$8.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Gossamer Gear Thinlight Insulation Pad||GG||2||$0.00||$11.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Gossamer Gear Nightlight Sleeping Pad||GG||4.6||$0.00||$22.00||Previous Francis Tapon Sponsor|
|ZPacks||Ultra light toothbrush||Zpacks||0.6||$0.00||$3.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Gillette Fusion Proglide||N/A||2.8||$40.00||$40.00|
|Sawyer Stay Put Sunblock||1 fl. oz., titanium dioxide||GG||1.2||$0.00||$0.00||Previous Francis Tapon Sponsor|
|Sawyer Picaridin||.5 fl. oz., 20% picaridin (doesn’t harm gear)||GG||0.8||$0.00||$3.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|
|Sawyer Maxi Deet||.5 fl. oz., 98% deet||GG||0.8||$0.00||$3.00||Sponsor for The Unseen Africa|