The time of departure is fast approaching now and we are realizing how ill-prepared we are for spending 1 year living out of what essentially is a metal box. Warm clothing and sleeping bags is going to be an absolute must in order for us to be fully recharged after each days "crushing". Neither of us have the luxury of being backed by a climbing/outdoor brand (at the moment) so it made perfect sense to start putting the feelers out and see how willing they (the outdoor companies) are .
Today we went to 5 outdoor specialist retailers and "pitched" our proposal to staff and management. With violins playing in the background, and armed with only our winning personalities, we tried to fully explain our venture and hoped that they would be sympathetic to our cause. Surprisingly we were not immediately showed the door and they were interested to hear us through. We have been given some good advice and the e-mail addresses of people to speak to about furthering this request.
Although it is still early days, we are both hopeful that we will get some good feedback and possibly receive help with crash mats, down jackets, camping equipment etc. Even if the best we do is a free bag of chalk, it's better than nothing and we can't kick ourselves later for not trying. To quote that well known saying.... "if you don't ask, you don't get".
Now time to start getting some e-mails sent to those numerous outdoor magazines that we have spent a small fortune being part of the readership over the years. I think I would happily read about the adventures of 2 boulderers on a year expedition through Europe chronicling the trials, tribulations and (hopefully) sizeable gains in strength and ability found along the way.