From dust to tribe . . .

Dust and Tribe (D&T) is the experience of growth through adventure.

Our quarterly excursions are opportunities for men and women to push through the boundaries of supposed mental and physical limits into a new awareness of what we can be when we support one another.

It is where we discover what we are (dust) and what we become together (tribe).

Winter 2019: D&T Grind

On January 24th, 2019, nine men and nine women will head into
the mountains of Santa Cruz for three days and thirty miles of cold and grit. This is their story.

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Some Loose Ends

Two things you should know.

Whenever I'm getting ready to write one of these posts, I put on Metallica's . . . And Justice for All.

They were my first real concert- 1989 at the recently demolished Irvine Meadows Amphitheater. I went with my brother. He was one year younger. We were by ourselves and we were scared. And then everything got awesome. Our lives were forever changed that night, for sure.

The second thing you should know is that by the time most of you read this we will have less than four weeks before we're together on the trailhead. One month. Two paychecks. The minimum gestation period of a muskrat.

we're having a baby!

It's that soon.

And in reviewing previous posts, it's obvious that I've left off several loose ends. We need to tie things off in a neat little bow before we move on to food.

Clothing Revisited

I forgot to mention a hat in our last post. Specifically a beanie. You want something warm to wear over your head at night. We lose tons of heat through our head and a warm beanie or scarf will make all the difference.

Also, stay away from cotton. I wear flannel and that's hard to find (and expensive) in wool, so I will wear cotton. That makes me a hypocrite, yes, but I look nice in flannel.

And besides, my cotton flannel can be easily shed. That's key. If it gets wet, I can take it off. When wet, cotton doesn't hold warmth. That's the problem. It gets super heavy and takes forever to dry and you'll be really cold unless you take it off. That's why you shouldn't wear jeans.

You might look fabulous in those jeans, and that's usually sufficient justification. But the caveat is that you need to be able to take them off if they get wet.

On second thought, we should probably ALL wear jeans!!!!

Except Sheikh Suhail will be there. Never mind. No jeans.

Packing List

This is my personal packing list that I use as a template for trips like this. Feel free to modify as necessary.

sleeping bag
sleeping pad
single-burner camp stove
fuel canister
cooking mug
head lamp
first-aid kit
50’ paracord
canteen (or bladder or both)
toilet kit (trowel, toilet paper, soap, washcloth, glasses, tooth brush/paste, floss, deodorant, contact lens storage/solution, eyeglasses, medications, brush/comb)
Zip-Loc gallon bag
garbage bag
water purifier

My clothing list may or may not include clothing worn. I need to weigh everything and decide. Food is not on this list. Also, a stuffed backpack may double as camp pillow.

I'm going to try and keep it to around 20 pounds. We'll see.


I've gotten a few repeat questions about some things, so this is a good spot to answer for the benefit of all, God willing.

There will be pit toilets and running water at the trail camps. These are not maintained in the winter, so we'll need to bring our own toilet paper. And we'll have a couple of options to purify water just in case.

Campfires are not allowed at the trail camps. We're going to have to cuddle.

Except Sheikh Suhail will be there. Never mind. You will freeze alone.

We meet at Waddell Beach the morning of Thursday January 24th and then shuttle up the mountain to the trailhead some 3000 feet above. With God's help, we make camp by nightfall.

Friday we wake early with a plan to make camp by dusk. Saturday we wake early to make the beach by sunset. That's actually the end of the trip.

All of this assumes a good, solid collective pace and no injuries, may we be protected. We've added an extra day, Sunday just in case.

But in the event that we all make it out on Saturday, we've got a special surprise planned that night.

So if at all possible, don't make plans to head home before Sunday morning.

And please don't forget to add your names to the carpool and lodging spreadsheets. We need to know what you're up to.

We'll talk about food real soon.

We've got an 11-mile training hike with Sister Sama next Saturday, January 5th! I'm planning on being there, God willing.

Hope you can make it :)


  1. Dear, This Saturday is Jan 29th :) .. plus I am for sure NOT wearing jeans 😏..

  2. Thanks again for these beneficial tips. Today I looked a little close to the Metallica album cover and realized a small similarity to Jackson Browne's album "Lives in the Balance". Though seeing Ozzy in New Orleans while standing in rain and mud was unforgettable, Metallica with Guns N' Roses was a great concert. I think it was was at the L.A. Collesium. I see how this album can be very inspiring. Soundgarden's "BadMotorFinger" really moves me. I like your packing list, and might add to it: Headphones and MP3's of heavy metal... to lighten the load

    1. Metallica and Guns were at the Rose Bowl. Motörhead opened. I was there :)

  3. The creepy clown kinda makes me feel like I don’t want the surprise :)

    1. It's not what you want. It's what the clown wants . . .

  4. Very helpful suggestions. Thanks Ahmed