My mum and Francis Galton
For each white man (independently of duration of journey)
Clothes; macintosh mg; ditto sheet; blanket-bag; spare blanket
Share of plates, knives, forks, spoons, pannikins, or bowls
Share of cooking-things, iron pots, co£fee-mill, kettles, Ace
Spare knife, flints, steel, tinder-box, tinder, four pipes
Provisions for emergency—
Five days of Jerked meat, at 3 lbs. a day (on an average)
Two quarts of water (on an average), 4 lbs.; share of kegs
Total lb each white man: 66
Francis Galton, The art of travel, or, Shifts and contrivances available in wild countries, 4th ed., 1872
My mother of course never read Francis Galton’s essential travelling handbook, that some have called “the original rough guide”.
In case you are interested, Galton’s own web-page, Galton.org (old Francis was ahead of his times, you see) holds a pdf version of the second edition, dated 1856 – perfect for use as reference for Hope & Glory, incidentally. Or maybe you’d like to check out the Long Riders Guild’s fine paper reprint.
And what better book as a supplement and resource for a game in which travel and exploration play such a big part? Galton’s book has it all, and it’s a great read if you want to capture a certain Victorian mindset.
But as I said, my mother never read the Galton book, and that’s a good thing, or she would have forced on me five days of Jerked meat and an iron pot every time I took to the road for my work – I was, if you’ll remember, an itinerant lecturer for a time, moving between universities to hold my courses.
My mother – but probably all mothers are like that – was for luggage overkill.
Two days off? Why not take a spare sweater, a rain-proof jacket and two extra pair of woollen socks? Whaddyamean it’s August? What if it is, then?
I thought back at my mom last night, as I was putting together an overnight bag for my jaunt at Pinerole. One night out. Spare underwear, a rain-proof jacket…
But it’s October, for goodness sake.
I could actually fit all I need in my old overnight backpack, including the gaming material and some reading stuff. But old habits die hard. Also, turns out my late father gave my backpack away to someone before he died. He liked to give my stuff away.
That’s my mum and dad for you, it pretty sums up the dynamics in our family. Yet I miss them.
As you read this, I’ll be on my way to Pinerole.
I’ll be travelling light, but not as light as I’d have liked.