Bryon Bass on Watches, EDC, BMWs, and Travel Clothing
Show Notes for Podcast #90
Bryon Bass on watches, EDC, BMWs, and Travel Clothing
Scott Brady interviews Bryon Bass for his third time on the podcast, digging into his new R100 PD, vintage and travel watches, Every Day Carry, and essential thoughts around travel clothing.
For Bryon Bass, overland travel is often a vocational necessity rather than a purely
adventurous pursuit. While working on his Ph.D. in archaeology in Scotland, Bryon
rode a BMW R100GS/PD loaded with research gear to Croatia and back every
summer. He taught field survey, excavation, and collaborated on research with the
Department of Pre-and Protohistory, University of Zürich, and also worked as a
contract archaeologist. After enduring the corporate archaeological trenches, he
started his own consulting company. Work has led him to Africa, the Middle East,
Europe, South Pacific, and the Americas. In addition to authoring articles on
archaeology and photography, Bryon is a private pilot, scuba instructor, and
wilderness EMT, and serves on a search and rescue team and law enforcement
diving unit. @bryonbass
Scott is the publisher and co-founder of Expedition Portal and Overland Journal and is often credited with popularizing overlanding in North America. His travels by 4WD and adventure motorcycle span all seven continents and includes three circumnavigations of the globe. His polar expeditions include two vehicle crossings of Antarctica and the first long-axis crossing of Greenland. @scott.a.brady
This episode sponsored in part by:
SEIKO Third Diver 6306-7001
Scott Brady and Bryon Bass
Scott Brady:[00:00:00] Hello and welcome to the Overland Journal podcast. I am your host, Scott Brady. My co-host Matt Scott is not with me today because he is currently in Zurich celebrating his birthday. Happy birthday, Matt. Thanks for being amazing. And we have Dr. Bryon Bass with us today. This will be our first third time guest because we never get through all the cool things we want to talk about. Thank you so much for being back on the podcast, Bryon.
Bryon Bass: Thanks for having me again, Scott.
Scott Brady: Oh, it's good, man. And, and the last time that we got done with, we were talking about it while we forgot to talk about this and we forgot to talk about that. So we're going to talk a little about watches today, which is something we've been putting off. We're going to talk about kind of everyday carry, but from an international travel perspective. We're going to talk about some of the things that we wear. We're going to talk about kind of the day in the life of an archeologist. And we're going to riff on a couple other subjects that I think will be really interesting.
And special thanks [00:01:00] to Equipt for supporting today's podcast. More than 15 years ago, Equipt Expedition Outfitters became the first American company to import the best in breed vehicle expedition equipment from across the globe. Since their humble beginnings they've risen to become a go-to leader within the adventure travel industry, continuing to deliver a diverse portfolio of reliable long lasting products backed by unparalleled customer service. From shelter solutions from Eezi-Awn, to portable fridges from National Luna, to aluminum storage boxes from Alubox, their ever growing selection of best in class gear increases your capability, comfort, and confidence during any adventure. Visit equipt1.com to gear up.
What has been new? What is going on in your world right now?
Bryon Bass: Good question. Thanks for having me back. No pressure is the third time.
Scott Brady: Exactly.
Bryon Bass: I got it. Last time a Matt Scott was somewhere off on some adventure.
Scott Brady: Which is good.
Bryon Bass: Yeah. Mostly been working on a number of local [00:02:00] archeological projects in the Santa Barbara, greater Santa Barbara area, doing archeological consulting that part's all regulatory driven. It's people want to go find cool stuff in their backyard, going through some permitting or planning process. And so I'm helping them get through the quagmire of their bureaucracies, you know, at the local level.
Scott Brady: And then you do get to find cool stuff sometimes.
Bryon Bass: Actually with that kind of archeology, I usually recommend avoiding the resource whenever possible, which sounds counter-intuitive obviously, you know, I want to excavate stuff and check it out and learn more about our collective past. But frequently when we find stuff, it can get quite expensive. I always tell my clients when we have to break out the dental pick and the toothbrush, do the math on the per hour rates that I have or crew that I use. And so then we'll say, hey, can you guys move your hot tub about 10 feet this way and just make this, you know, kind of an ornamental vegetation?
Scott Brady: What's the most interesting thing that like surprised you, you were in the middle of a dig and then you came across something [00:03:00] that completely surprised you anywhere in the world?
Bryon Bass: That's a good question. Well, I mean, on the academic side, you know, when we're doing pure research frequently, we know we're going to be finding something if we've already established that there's a site there and we know the period and everything like that. But with the consulting side, there hasn't been some interesting finds. For example, I had a project just across from the train station in Santa Barbara. I want to say it was train station was set up in 1907 something, 1903, something like that. And across the road, they were putting in a children's museum in this one location that used to be where the conductors and other staff on the train could I think overnight, or just take a, take a breather when they would clean the train out. And when we started digging there, we found what was predominantly the first class dinner service.
Scott Brady: Oh.
Bryon Bass: Uh, that had just been thrown into this dump and a lot of the plates, egg cups, silverware that was, of course it had like the Southern Pacific stamp and logo on it. It was like maybe the cleaning crew didn't want to have [00:04:00] to deal with cleaning this stuff so they dumped it in this..
Scott Brady: Or it accidentally ended up in the trash.
Bryon Bass: Yeah. But a lot of the stuff wasn't broken and we found just bizarre Tabasco, jars, Tabasco, little bottles and things like that, that they had back then.
Scott Brady: Amazing.
Bryon Bass: So that was kind of interesting. It was just unexpected and it's it's of course, artifacts that, that, you know, as, as a guy of modern times, I can relate to, and kind of project yourself into the first-class carriage and see people ordering all this crazy stuff.
Scott Brady: Amazing. Yeah. Because railway certainly like the first form of mechanized, overland travel and, and it was, it was something that was very special and it allowed people to transit the country with a lot of efficiency, a lot more efficiency than we ever had before. And you can see why they had the same spirit of travel and adventure that we did, although they did get the egg cups, which I don't think I've ever brought one on a trip.
Bryon Bass: Crazy. Right. We found, we also found like giant clams.
Scott Brady: Interesting.
Bryon Bass: The dishes were shaped like the clam. I mean, [00:05:00] I mean, crazy stuff that I assume you could order off of a menu. I didn't dive in on doing the, his history of any of that kind of stuff. It's just weird as dealing with the dump itself and how we're going to address it.
Scott Brady: Well, and it seems like some, some of the most significant archeological finds have been trash heaps, trash dumps, because it's just a collection of so many things. Even in Prescott here, I know that they spent a lot of time excavating the dump of old Prescott because it was a significant place in the old west.
Scott Brady: Yeah, I remember being along the Southern coast of Australia and we would come across those massive dumps of shells where the Aboriginal people had been.
Bryon Bass: Yeah, the middens. Yeah.
Scott Brady: Packed with them. I mean, when you first see it, you think like, why would this be? And then you realize like, oh, they're like, this is, it would go grab them out of the ocean and this is where they would sit and eat them.
Bryon Bass: And with no population pressure.
Scott Brady: Exactly. [00:07:00]
Bryon Bass: Just the world's best location.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Amazing. Yeah. So, cool. Well, I think it'd be good to dig in a little bit on your newest project. Let's talk about your, you've been buying some motorcycles, man, since the last time we talked.
Bryon Bass: Yeah, I guess I, yeah, maybe since, I picked up another GS, I guess. Yeah. Well, a few years back, I picked up a 1994, R 100 GS that previous owner had put the Paris to car or the PD package on it to some extent. Which really is like the means of the tank, the 9.24 gallon tank, the little fairing panels that match up to the tank solo seat, the larger rack in the back. That's really like the, the crux of you wanted to convert like an R 100 GS to the PD variant.
Scott Brady: Sure.
Bryon Bass: There's some other small things like the lower fairing.
Scott Brady: Was the wheel diameter any different?
Bryon Bass: It's all the same. Everything else is the same, which is the beauty of tracking down the parts on, on eBay or wherever online, different shops is that those that GS or that R 100, the last iteration of the R [00:08:00] 100, the parts are completely ubiquitous, mostly ,and interchangeable. So you know, that it'll fit on your bike if you pick up a part somewhere. Anyway, I picked that one up and that was what became the, uh, the project bike for the 40 years, GS that we wrote about the first article, which was really just kind of getting it squared away and dialing it in for maximizing, I guess, the platform for international travel, where it could be repaired by the rider and not have to have it serviced.
Scott Brady: And wasn't that part of the goal with this project, because you have your original GS that you've owned for how long now?
Bryon Bass: Bought it new in 1990.
Scott Brady: Okay. So..
Bryon Bass: Bratton motors in the San Diego, California.
Scott Brady: That's that's unbelievable. So we're at 30 years that you've had that motorcycle. Yeah. Which is crazy to think. Right. You bought this other one because you wanted to build something that you could, that wasn't quite as precious to you personally, but you could take it traveling, leave it in countries, come back.
Bryon Bass: Exactly. Exactly. Yeah. The other one, I maybe I'm sentimental about it. I mean, I've actually built that one out, not to a great extent, but I've modified that. I think like the first, [00:09:00] uh, for summer that I had it in Europe sounds kind of crazy. I bought a bike and in California and shipped it over to Europe, it's made in Europe. I think it was my first summer crossing over to the continent from Scotland. When I was in grad school, one of my buddies there, he said, man, you got to turn this into the PD. So we went to some motorcycle shop in Hamburg and did it, just got all the parts and, you know, a couple of sixers of beer and took, it, took care of that. Any case I kept it mostly stock, mostly stock, but this other bike, uh, it was sort of the sky's the limit. I mean, I don't even know of the history of the bike, although it was fairly low miles than 1994 one that I picked up for the 40 years, GS project. Didn't have any problem taking things off tweaking things or so much for the R 100 GSs, well the R 100's in general, there's so much cottage industry out there of people that have it's the geeks, it's the airhead BMW geeks who have come up with, you know, a better widget for some of the small things, some of the large things, we relied on, a lot of that, where people have, it's tried and true, it's tested, [00:10:00] uh, they've demonstrated that what they make in their garage or, you know, they crank out 10 at a time of whatever it happens to be or better than the original and better than products that maybe HPN made back in the day for the race bikes and so dove into that. That was cool.
Scott Brady: It looks great. And we've, we're wrapping up a video on that as well. So those that are listening it'll either have already dropped or it's about to drop video of you going through the details on this new GS. So that'll be fun for people to check out on the Expedition Portal YouTube channel. That'll be coming out quick. And then you did buy another motorcycle though. It was a bit older.
Bryon Bass: Oh yeah.
Scott Brady: You forgot about you're forgetting about motorcycles.
Bryon Bass: I forgot about that one. Okay. Well that, yeah, I bought a 1966 R 69 S and it wasn't my intention to buy it. It wasn't like I had the cash sitting around gathering dust you know, under a pillow. That bike for some reason, when I was a little kid, I don't know if I saw one, my dad didn't have one of those, but it has the tractor, you know, the triangular seats on it, the den field seats on it. And that was like, that was motorcycle. [00:11:00] When I was a kid, when I thought of a motorcycle, surprisingly, it wasn't some motocross or a mini bike at that. That was like a cartoon. It looks like a cartoon in a way. And I had the opportunity. One came up for sale. It was in reasonable, nick. It ended up needing a little bit of work to get it dialed in. It was in the price range that I can afford. And so, so I picked it up. I can't get over riding that thing. I mean, it's..
Scott Brady: It looks so great.
Bryon Bass: It looks cool, but it's not just that like back in the day, you know, that was a Mr. I think it was Mr. Penton, did it rode from New York to LA and then people just started and set a record in whenever it was like 40 something hours. I can't remember. I mean, that's crazy just getting on an R 69 S and just going west. Refueling, I'm assuming going to the bathroom, maybe taking some food on and then just jumping back on and riding it's just total cannonball run. Yeah. And I know people after that, you know, then chase that record and beat it, of course, on, on two wheels, but just a cool bike, super comfortable. It's not even a 700 CC and it has no fairing, which is, [00:12:00] you know, I have been riding bikes with ferrings of some kind for, you know, at least after, you know, mini bikes and stuff. So it's fun getting the bugs, splattered all over.
Scott Brady: It's a different experience. I actually, cause the Moto Guzzi doesn't have the bike that I ride, it doesn't have a fairing either. And it is an adjustment. You also find which helmets work better without ferrings. A Schuberth works really well without a fairing. It's like they design it for that. The helmets that I would wear, like the adventure motorcycle helmets that I would wear with a big fairing, they don't work well with the Moto Guzzi without a fairing. So you kind of learn those things along the way. I also like the fact that at higher speed, you actually get this air pressure on your chest. It actually relieves some of the pressure of riding the bike. So you're actually being kind of supported by the air volume that's hitting you as opposed to always supporting yourself on your hands with those bikes. No, that's pretty interesting.
Bryon Bass: That's funny that you mentioned that helmets because, uh, one of the things that I've noticed is that my Arai ADV helmet, and I can't remember which model it is just one of the later models. You know, it has a visor and [00:13:00] everything that is the most quiet helmet without a fairing.
Scott Brady: Interesting.
Bryon Bass: And I have an AGV carbon fiber one because I assumed without a fairing and you know, I'm being an older guy, right? I want to have, you know, say this lightweight helmet on my head, but that AGV and I tested them all out without using earplugs, because I usually ride with earplugs in the helmets that there's a lot more wind noise around, it's full face and a racing helmet coming in. I can tell, I obviously, once a year plugs go in, it kind of drowns that out. It's definitely telltale.
Scott Brady: You got to match the right helmet to that kind of the way the Winslow's. Yeah. That's funny though, those bikes, so for me personally, that would be a bike that I would be really inspired to purchase because there's something about them and especially the R 60, cause it still has the drum break in the front, doesn't it?
Bryon Bass: You betcha.
Scott Brady: Okay. So which is of course terrifying, but there's something about that form with it being a little bit bigger bike than the earlier ones, things are a little bit, the brakes are a little bit better and all that than like an R 50 or earlier. And I really liked the overall shape of that, especially with the [00:14:00] tractor seat on it. And then Matt, Scott just recently picked up a vintage BMW motorcycle. So was in R 50?
Bryon Bass: R 50.
Scott Brady: Yeah, exactly. That's definitely, it's becoming a thing, so..
Bryon Bass: The thing is once you ride one, I mean I'm riding mine to do chores.
Scott Brady: Yeah.
Bryon Bass: To go over to Santa Barbara and pick up the other day, I put almost 200 kilometers on the bike going to pick up medicine for one of our dogs at a pharmacy where they compound this medicine for the dog. And then I decided to do a little scoot around. And by the time I got back home, I had put 200 cams on the thing it's just fun.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And I think I throw away. I think that was something about the BMWs back then is that they were really reliable. They were actually very well-made. Older vehicles or older motorcycles, they just really aren't particularly reliable. Like if you think about a Black Shadow or something like these, like Hortens and stuff like that, they were trying early Triumphs, it just really weren't that reliable of motorcycles. But the BMWs were.
Bryon Bass: As a matter of fact, I have to admit that at first it's only as kickstart. I mean, you can bump started by the way, which I'm a champion from being a [00:15:00] motors, you know, motocross guy. At first, I was like, oh man, you know, what if the thing doesn't start and it kind of flood it and everything like that. I dunno, maybe, maybe at the most it's taken me like four kicks. So at first I was a little hesitant to just go out in a random public place where what if there's no hill there? What if the parking lot dead flat? And then I got to like run my butt off to bump the thing, but that's never the case. It always fires.
Scott Brady: That's awesome.
Bryon Bass: Right? Yeah. I mean, it's kickstart, there's no other, you know, you're not going to be not pushing a button or doing anything. And I know it kind of gets me back to really being, not just analog, but in touch with my surroundings, like where do I park it? How do I set it up so I can kickstart it easy? You know? I mean, it's, it's cool. It just kind of..
Scott Brady: Everything on that bike, you can service yourself.
Bryon Bass: A hundred percent.
Not a single
Scott Brady: chip on it.
Bryon Bass: No, no zero. Well, this one, actually we converted it to, we switched it over to 12 volt and then put on an electronic ignition to make it a little more reliable. Although, you know..
Scott Brady: It helps with the starting.
Bryon Bass: It totally does. Although everything else that came out of it, you know, I just put it back in the box and literally, you know, [00:16:00] in half a day I could turn it back over to six volts when I wrote it as a six volts, I mean, when you'd gas, it, you could see like, especially at night, like the headlamp would put out a brighter and then you come off the gas and then all of a sudden it would dim out. I mean, you know, I can see how, you know, back in the day though, that was not the way to go oncoming cars and things like that. And so now this is like a super bright led in there that, you know, just stays, you know.
Scott Brady: Yeah it looks great. To segue into our next conversation, you also had this custom millet aluminum machined little bracket or a pocket watch installed on that bike.
Bryon Bass: Oh yeah. That's that is right.
Scott Brady: So talk about that a little bit. Cause that looks so..
Bryon Bass: Yeah, now that I bought one, I can give it away, right? This, this Heuer made this dash clock actually, it looks like a pocket watch, but it wasn't intended as one, they made this dash clock called the Naveah. It was intended for yachts, school buses, garbage trucks, locations, where it's it's shockproof and waterproof, which is different than actually a dash timer where it doesn't have to have any kind of [00:17:00] water resistant or waterproof capability because it's inside of a vehicle, car. This one was made so that it might be exposed to the weather, offshore racing boats and stuff like this. I don't know, really know how many Heuer made, but they, they were used on yachts, mostly speed boats, things like that. And they just kind of fallen into obscurity. Has an eight day mechanical movements. You gotta wind it and then it'll stay going mine for about seven days, it seems.
Scott Brady: Incredible.
Bryon Bass: And so I thought that would be cool just to have this sort of up by the, uh, the Speedo, which is a kilometer per hour Speedo on the R 69 that I have. And so then, uh, I had Trevor Dunn over at Dyna Cycle in, in Santa Barbara area, uh, in Goleta, machine a cool little ear for it that just kind of mounts to the.. It's, it's actually really cool because when I'm riding along and I want to know where I got to be and when I got to be there and I can just look at that thing and I don't have to fidget with my, my left sleeve to try and look at my watch. And I got this little analog waterproof clock there. Now, and it does, it is, it is cool. It's big enough for old eyes to be able to read it. [00:18:00]
Scott Brady: It's super cool.
Bryon Bass: And, uh, yeah, it's, it's really nice. I dig it.
Scott Brady: We're finally going to get into watches a little bit here.
Bryon Bass: We, we try to do this, the first podcast we have like two years ago.
Scott Brady: And I think it's important to kind of preface that no one needs to buy an expensive watch. We're not suggesting even remotely that that's a good idea. There are some of us that have learned to appreciate old watches. Sometimes they're expensive and sometimes they're not expensive at all. The less expensive ones are better watches than the really expensive stuff. When you think about a watch for travel, there's a couple of things that come to mind, an analog watch, just kind of takes a little bit of that electronic leash away from us. I do wear an Apple watch, like when I exercise, but I've learned to stop wearing an Apple watch for most of the time otherwise. Although one exception to that, like on Sundays, I try to just literally put my phone away and the Apple watch has cellular capability. If I get a text from a family member or whatever, or a phone call from a family member comes through, I can still receive that, [00:19:00] but I don't interact with the phone at all that day. So sometimes on a Sunday I'll do that. So it gives me a little bit of a break from the electronic leash. These analog watches, I think that they have a lot of charm and they like harken back, there's historic elements to them in significance to them that I think make them really special. And then there are arguably, there are brands of watches that are a form of currency that we can carry on our person, because it's not like we're all walking around with $10,000 in cash. Most countries don't allow for very much cash on your person, or at least it raises questions if you have it, or why would you want to expose yourself to that kind of risk, you know, with that much cash in your pocket or your bag? Whereas these watches are very easily convertible into cash. So you kind of can look at a, like a Rolex Submariner, for example, as quite the get out of jail free card. You could be in essentially any country in the world and there will be a watch shop that will gladly give you a pile of cash for the watch that you're wearing, so that way you can buy a ticket home. We live in an interesting [00:20:00] time right now, there's a lot of uncertainty and unexpected events that are happening that is stranding travelers. The pandemic did that. I myself was struggling to get back to the United States. Now we have a conflict, a war in Europe that is unsettling things, and it's pretty easy to get caught in a location where you may need to convert an asset like that into getting out of jail free.
Bryon Bass: Yeah, I definitely, um, I agree, although I will say that domino, that all my friends pony up, their watches first to get out of jail before then I pony up mine.
Scott Brady: Yeah.
Bryon Bass: Yeah. It's true. I mean, um, but the other thing is, depending on the brand that you want to carry with you, sometimes you just want to take, uh, an adventure watch along cause that's what it was made for and you want to experience somehow have it along for the ride. For me now, it kind of depends on where we're traveling, but I'll carry something that's super nondescript.
Scott Brady: Right.
Bryon Bass: You know, it just doesn't stick out. I don't stick out in a crowd. Uh, at least by the watch that I'm wearing other things, indicators, clothing, other things, backpacks, things like that. Yeah. I agree. You know, it can be converted to a currency. I mean, I've sold watches as a grad student [00:21:00] to the use watch shops in Zurich, Switzerland when I was passing through or helping out at the university there, teaching needed some cash sell pretty easily.
Scott Brady: Pretty easily convertible that an old, old, like a camera.
Bryon Bass: Or an old like lights glass, for example. I mean, you know, and then when you have like $1,500 worth of Swiss francs, so that goes a long way as a grad student.
Scott Brady: It certainly does. What are you wearing today?
Bryon Bass: Well today I have a Sinn 158. I don't know how many they made of these. It's a recent..
Scott Brady: Chronograph.
Bryon Bass: Yeah, it's a chronograph. It's the a, it's an, homage a watch to the old, well, it started out as a Heuer and later Sinn took over the repair and production of them for the Bundeswehr, the German army. It's like a throwback though. The original ones, the ones made by Heuer and then the ones that were taken over by Sinn to be repaired and later production ones had a manual movement. So you had to wind them manually at the crown. And so this one has a, uh, an automatic movement in it, which I prefer.
Scott Brady: I've come to enjoy the automatics.
Bryon Bass: I mean, I still forget that eight day clock that I have on the motorcycle. That's [00:22:00] definitely good for me because I would totally forget to wind it and then, you know, all got the wrong..
Scott Brady: You'll remember one, one time in the five or six days.
Bryon Bass: But you know what? I still do that. I have a few manually wound, uh, watches and I F I still forget, you know, a day and a half later I'm like, oh, what's something's wrong with this thing. It's like, well, you're just not wound, but, uh, yeah, this is a cool watch. It, it has a good water resistancy to it that the crown doesn't screw down which isn't something I prefer, I'd rather have a screw down crown, but it hasn't been a problem. I know that now they have gaskets and everything that are at surpass what they had in the past and that everything's going to be fine with it. And I do use the Krono for things. Usually it's something silly, not something like Mr. Tactical, cool guy. It's like timing, how long I cook pasta, uh, you know, right. Or some, something like that, or be baking something, you know, I keep it going so I can track it. But, uh, yeah, it's a fun watch. It's cool.
Scott Brady: The Sinns are, are certainly one that I've for a long time, really enjoyed. In fact, the first time I saw one was on Patrick [00:23:00] Ma's wrist. So Patrick Ma runs Promethease Design Werx, he had this Sinn on his wrist and I looked at it, I said, that is the cool.. It was a 8, 5, 6, and there was something very simple, austere about it. It had these big numbers that I really liked and, but I've never, I haven't bought one yet. So I ended up kind of, because of being a traveler, I started to enjoy the GMTs and that kind of thing.
Bryon Bass: And Sinn has one of those.
Scott Brady: They do. They do. It's a UTC, it's a very cool watch. And so that, one's kind of on the shortlist for me. Today I'm actually wearing a watch that my dad gave me, which is one that I wear most often now. So it's a very early Seiko chronograph. So this would be from very late 1969 into early 70. I don't know what exactly the timing that my dad's watch was made. For my birthday last year, we were all at the house and I was opening up was just a watch winder that I was going to, that I wanted to be able to keep the watches go in the automatics. And my dad says, you know, I've got an cool old [00:24:00] watch. And so he goes off 20, 30 minutes rummaging around and he comes back with this Seiko. And it turns out that it's just a very cool watch. It was actually the first automatic that was taken into space. One of the astronauts shoved it in his pocket to test out how an automatic chronograph would work in space because up to that point, it was just the Omega Speedmaster Moonwatch that was certified for those missions. Although a lot of those guys..
Bryon Bass: And they're manually wound.
Scott Brady: They are. And I think that that's why they were certified is that they felt like as gravity in that changed, it wouldn't have as much of an impact on the accuracy of the watch or maybe no impact. I don't know the full story behind that, but a lot of these guys were sticking watches Rolexes, and in this case, a Seiko. So there was this astronaut by the name of Pogue, shoved this Seiko in his pocket and took it up and tested it out in space, which I thought was very cool. And it was also the watch that Bruce Lee wore. And I mean, I'm figuring all this out after I get my, this watch from my dad. It's a blue dial it's an old school chronograph. It's got all the original scratches [00:25:00] and..
Bryon Bass: That's cool.
Scott Brady: Scuffed up crystal. And I took it in for service and the guy says, you know, that's going to be expensive to service. I said, it's my dad's watch. I can't really put a price on that. And I said, just don't change anything about it. Other than fixing it, like, make it mechanically sound. And I did buy a brand new old stock crystal. I have it available in case the case itself is unpolished. All the scratches, everything. My dad owned it since new, when he was in the air force, he bought it when he was in Thailand. Every scratch on this watch was done on my dad's wrist. So for me, it's really special.
Bryon Bass: Oh man. It's classic. Wabi Sabi.
Scott Brady: Exactly.
Bryon Bass: As the Japanese term for that. I mean every little ding and nick and scratch has a story behind it that maybe nobody even knows what story is, but it was on a wrist when your dad was doing something somewhere.
Scott Brady: That's right.
Bryon Bass: Yeah. That's important, you know.
Scott Brady: I think it is.
Bryon Bass: A lot of, it depends on, on the watch collector. I know a lot of the military watch people, military watch, collectors want to leave it all alone. And I'm definitely a fan for that. I mean, there's, there's a whole point to it. You know, some watch that was maybe handed [00:26:00] back in after it was issued and then eventually it was decommissioned and civilian gets a hold of it. Uh, you're not gonna really know why it has all these scratches on it, but there is an importance there there's like a, you know, it's transitioned to the next curator, the next owner. And when you wipe all that clean, it it's gone.
Scott Brady: And you can't get it back.
Bryon Bass: Yeah, you can't. And you know, I know, like for example, the, uh, the Rolex 5517, which was a military, it was a submariner that was made specifically for the ministry of defense and the British ministry of defense and ALEKS 5513, that there was a civilian version of it, but there was also a military issue version of it. And they had fixed bars. They weren't spring bars, you know, most people's waters in the early days when people were sending them back to be serviced at Rolex, they were just being cut out that, that fixed bar. Cause so you could only use like a NATO type band. You couldn't really, I guess you could clip some kind of leather around it. And I know that people did make a few minutes or with a little, some rivet or a screw or something, but really you had to use like a nylon type of a band and a Rolex was [00:27:00] clipping. Those fixed spring bars out was I'm going to spring bar, just a fixed bar and then putting in a spring bar thinking, well, I don't know why this was there, but we're going to just repair it. So now, you know, people, write, if they even have it service at Rolex, they write letters in nothing against Rolex. Cause I know that there weren't so many of them made. So, you know, later on when some service person is looking at that and they're like, oh, why, why somebody must have drift punched this thing through. And I just cut it out.
Scott Brady: Oh, that's amazing.
Bryon Bass: Also the crystals, you know, people would, are okay with maybe polishing out like a plexi crystal a little bit, but leaving in the scratches and all the little marks and dings and stuff like that.
Scott Brady: Yeah, there was a polishing compound that you mentioned the last time we got together. What was that, that you liked to use?
Bryon Bass: Uh, poly watch.
Scott Brady: Okay.
Bryon Bass: That's for, uh, plexi crystals. You could you'd do it at home just with cotton balls. Still, still leave all the dings in, but it just kind of polishes everything out. It's easy to do, like, you know, in 30 seconds you're done using it.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And I did have the guy who did the servicing incidentally he's right in Prescott.
There's a Seiko factory, [00:28:00] super certified it, a little watch place. And he's, he's great. And I said, you know, clean up the crystal a little bit, but you know, just so it could be easier to see because there was definitely a film that had kind of developed on the crystal that made it pretty hard to see at certain angles. And he, so he was able to get that film off. You know, using some compound, but all the scratches and stuff were still there, which is perfect.
Bryon Bass: That's the best.
Scott Brady: Yeah. So it's really amazing.
Bryon Bass: Also makes it, so you're not so afraid to scratch it too.
Scott Brady: Yeah, no, that's true. Yeah, absolutely.
Bryon Bass: You get something so cherry. Yep. That happens. Especially if you've collected some watch, that's rare, hard to find or, you know, whatever or a sentimental watch or he has a couple of dings on it. You're okay. Dinging it a little bit more that it happens.
Scott Brady: And what's your favorite of your collection or a couple favorites?
Bryon Bass: That's a hard question. You know, I have some that I never wear because they just, I acquired them back when they were affordable.
And now, like, I know I would never be able to afford that watch again. So they're like the one I wear out like to dinner once in a while, which kind of goes against the, you know, don't be afraid to get dings and stuff on it, but there's one thing when [00:29:00] you know that the crystals aren't available or they're, you know, you're not going to buy like a crown, you don't get on eBay or some other auction site and just find a replacement crown after you have dinged it. So, you know, I become a little more conscious of that. That's one of my, my go-to. Well, I would say I'm not letting the cat out of the bag here, but one of my favorite watches has to be, and I think we talked about this when you were out visiting not long ago, the Seiko it's a 63067001. That's the model number. It sounds like I know all these things. I just know that one because it's my favorite. And I actually wrote about that in that travel watch article. So it's the Japanese market only version of that super ubiquitous, 150 meter dive watch, and Seiko made. I mean, every PX all over the planet carried them for people in the military. Any watch shop had one of those Seiko divers and everyone, well, not everyone, but most people know them, especially by sight.
Scott Brady: It's a chunky case too, which I like.
Bryon Bass: Bezels were easily..
Scott Brady: Little offset crown.
Bryon Bass: Yeah. [00:30:00] It's at the four o'clock position and the bezels can be you, you can with glove, motorcycle gloves, scuba diving gloves, you know, back then the early ones earlier ones, they were a bi-directional. So the bezel went both directions. And I know that the scuba crowd didn't favor that, you know, the early Rolex has had that too. I've never had one bounce around on me while diving, because obviously you want to make sure you're keeping track of your time accurately, but they had that bi-directional, uh, bezel the parts out there are quite ubiquitous. Except for the Japanese market one had a really cool high beat movement that hacked. And that was the cool feature that the rest of that the other 99% of them out there did not have. I'm not sure what the, what the philosophy was with Seiko for that, other than something cool for the domestic market. But the other thing cool about it is they had a, a Kanji and English day wheel. So, you know, say Monday, and then it has the Kanji or for Monday and Tuesday, et cetera.
Scott Brady: So it has both?
Bryon Bass: Yeah. Yeah. So it kind of flips through, if you set it on the English setting, then it rolls through the Kanji around midnight or so and then it pops up with, you know, [00:31:00] goes from Monday to Tuesday, but if you were awake at midnight, you'd see that the Kanji would kind of pass by. And then it immediately says Tuesday, for example, at what would be the 24 hours of the rotation. But it's just a really super cool watch. They're not expensive. And you could find them out there for..
Scott Brady: Twelve hundred bucks or so.
Bryon Bass: Yeah. Even cheaper if they're kind of beat up. And the thing is that the crystals for those are out there, the bezel inserts are out there. The bezels are out there. You don't have to really be a sleuth or know a guy who knows a guy who knows a gal who has a friend to come up with the parts. The crowns I mean, so for all the other 99% of those Seiko, 150 divers, they're all out there at watch repair places and can be found. And so I think that's like one of the cooler watches, they're easy to read the dials. I mean, you know, if you have bad eyes, you know, or you're getting your vision starting to go like mine, for closeup stuff, it's easy to read the time they are quite ubiquitous in the fact that when you're out there and somebody sees that on your wrist, they'll probably assume that you're a person of some physical [00:32:00] means like you like to do active action person things, but most people know that it's not an expensive watch. So to bail yourself out of, you know, get out of jail, you're not going to be, you know, the watch guy in the silk is going to go up maybe 500 bucks, knowing that it'll turn around and sell it for a thousand. But that's one of my faves I have to say, you know, and it's not going along the lines of most watch people..
Scott Brady: It's on my watch watch list. So I've been looking, I've been looking for one that's a little bit on the cleaner side and I definitely find it to be interesting for sure.
Bryon Bass: But don't be afraid to find one that's not on the clean side and then just have it cleaned up by, especially have a Seiko repair person here in Prescott.
Scott Brady: Yeah, no, I've thought about that for sure. And probably the watch I've worn the most, which I got before I even thought about watches other than just as purely a tool. So this is a Traser H3 automatic. And I got this watch just when I was starting Expedition 7 because of John Lee. In fact, I would say that most of my interest in [00:33:00] watches came first from John Lee and Hoda Chung at Expedition Exchange. Cause they always had interesting watches and I, I just, I could never afford one or I wouldn't apply the resources to buying a watch like that. And they sold Trasers, so we kinda got used to the brand and then we ended up reaching out to them and doing a little bit of work with Traser and I was able to get this automatic and it is beat, like it is really beat, but that's because it has gone with me around the world three times and it's totally, most of the numbers are all whacked and everything like that because I didn't think of it as being precious in any way. And they're not that expensive new either around a thousand bucks, 1200 bucks or so. And I put it on a NATO band and I just, I literally beat it up on all seven continents.
Bryon Bass: Yeah, but that's fine. It's got 24 hour dial on the inner ring. Oh, that's cool.
Scott Brady: It's a really simple watch. So I think the Traser is, is one that, that I do like Swiss ran. In fact, I was going through Switzerland, I was able to stop and go in and say hello to the Traser folks and get a sense for their operation really impressive company. [00:34:00] Um, and then I think that one of the most handsome watches is that Omega Speedmaster the Moonwalk. It is probably a good investment as well. The first nice watch that I bought was around the 10 year anniversary of Overland Journal, but I've always wanted to get an Omega. So I waited and I waited and I bought a Omega Speedmaster and this is the craziest story though. Matt Scott sends me a text. He says, I just bought an Omega Speedmaster and he shows a picture comes through and I'm like, you gotta be joking. I said, because, and I sent him a picture back. I had just bought, we bought Omega Speedmaster on the exact same day unbenounced to each other. We had no, we had no idea..
Bryon Bass: Should have gone to the casino that day.
Scott Brady: We should have gone. How crazy is that? Yeah, so that's definitely a really beautiful watch. It's a manual wound. It's probably not the best watch. In fact, I would say it is not nearly, or even in the spectrum of best watch for travel because it is not waterproof. And I think that life happens when you're out overlanding, that's something to very much keep in mind. It is just a really handsome watch that is not really identifiable [00:35:00] to most people. They don't see it as a Rolex.
Bryon Bass: You know what, you know it, and otherwise it's just kind of disappears on, on your wrist.
Scott Brady: Any other watch brands that come to me, you have a good friend of yours ex special forces that started making watches. Is it the Resco brand?
Bryon Bass: Yeah. Resco, Resco Instruments. Yeah. Robert Smith. Oh, it was kind of funny how we all met, but you know, the early days of the military watch resource MWR, you know, we just haul, we had an online forum. Pure geekdom 100% and nobody, we just met there online, you know, it was early days of chat rooms. I mean, it was so stilted and there weren't too many options to do anything. You know, you can edit your response or whatever, and it just kind of peeled out sort of, you know, paragraph style with a chat list. All a hundred percent everyone had most people had their name, just spelled with lowercase letters as the handle. I went by Bryon, the owner went by Bob and Smitty, Robert Smith, his nickname Smitty. And he went by Smitty.
Scott Brady: Yeah.
Bryon Bass: And so nobody knew what anyone did. We just, you know, talked about watches, collecting, dive watches, [00:36:00] and military watches, things like this. And then at one of our first meetings, you know, it was to kind of like, Hey, so what do you do? I'm an archeologist. Hey, what do you do? I'm a Navy Seal. Really? Like you were a Navy Seal. No, I'm still in, I'm a Navy Seal. And then he was just a Navy Seal who's your, who's a hardcore, a watch collector. And later on during his career in, in the Naval special warfare, he started making his own dive watches and I mean, talk about going for it. So it's cool. You know, he's in that, uh, that let's say price range where people can afford it. You know, I mean, now a lot of the watches are just there in the stratosphere really, as far as the price is unattainable. And also if you're going to wear them and beat them up a little bit, then, you know, I mean, I always take that into account. Like, Hey, that gee that watch would be great, but, you know, once I ding it, and then now what, as far as like a collector piece. Or something that I would think about selling down the line. Um, I don't really have too many that I have in that category anymore. Everything I have has to be worn or, you know, I'm getting rid of it. Yeah. Anyway, his, his watches are really great. He has sport stuff, which [00:37:00] allows him to have a different price point for some people that maybe can't go into the four digits of, of, you know, buying a watch and then also automatic movements. Cool dials, all of his stuff I mean, he tested it, you know, way back in the day for real. And uh, and then he still has frontline people tier one operators using this stuff and getting back to them with comments. And so it's, it's cool. You know, his stuff's made..
Scott Brady: It does look great.
Bryon Bass: And then, you know, there's other brands too that I think have come along with kind of like saying, oh, I own a Ferrari, I don't own a Ferrari, but you know, like saying, oh, I own a Rolex, uh, certain thing that pops in most people's mind when you say that, but at the same time, their watches are made to just be flogged and you can't get around that. And you know, they are expensive and I know plenty of people out there will not, even if they could afford it, couldn't justify wearing something on their wrist. That's 5, 6, 7, 8, $10,000 of a dive watch. When it could get lost dinged stolen, you put it down, you forget, where is it now? You know, you can't, you know, you don't know where you put it disappears when you're traveling. I totally appreciate [00:38:00] that. But you can't get over the fact that their stuff is, is really bomb-proof.
Scott Brady: Yeah, the Rolex Dive Watch, GMT, whatever you want to call it. These are all really really well-made watches and they can be a decent investment.
Bryon Bass: Uh, well, they don't lose their value.
Scott Brady: Yeah.
Bryon Bass: I mean, that's the whole thing. I mean, even if you have like an early Submariner, I mean those now or an early Sea Dweller, I mean, they're, it's off the charts.
Scott Brady: Or a Daytona, if you happen to have just..
Bryon Bass: If you can find a Daytona, especially those super old ones or someone who collects the real old ones in there, they're just, they're cool.
Scott Brady: Yeah. They're very cool.
Bryon Bass: And if you buy it and you know, six months later, you're like, eh, you know, it's not, it doesn't, I don't like wearing it or it just doesn't look right on my wrist or you want to clear some cash, guaranteed you can turn around and sell it for more than you paid for it.
Scott Brady: In most cases.
Bryon Bass: In most cases.
Scott Brady: And what I do, because I do want to be able to enjoy them, so I insure them all. I have a personal articles policy. You can talk to your insurance agent, you can insure it for full replacement value. It's expensive to have the policy, especially if you have [00:39:00] multiple watches. But what I didn't want to have happened was that I wouldn't wear the watch because I was worried about losing it or you're getting stolen in this case. For any reason, if the watch disappears, you can get your money back to go buy another one. Um, that's something that I would recommend if you're going to really take an expensive watch with you anywhere in the world, or even into a big city in the United States. It's probably a good idea to, I mean, we were, we were on a motorcycle ride with some friends and we get to the top, you know, we were riding fast twisty mountain road in Southern California and we get to the top where we all kind of pull off and he's like, you could see him frantically looking around and he's checking and things and and he says, my watch has gone. And just because of how hard he was riding, the, his Rolex came off his wrist at some point on the climb and the watch was gone. It was a nice roll, nice Rolex.
Bryon Bass: Somebody found it.
Scott Brady: Probably, or they will, at some point in the future.
Bryon Bass: It'll be perfectly fine.
Scott Brady: Yeah, exactly. Pretty amazing though. Well, that's, that's fun. We finally got to talk about watches.
Bryon Bass: Yeah. I mean, it's, it's, you know, it's, it's a cool topic. I still see myself as the [00:40:00] current curator of the watches that I have. I don't have that many of them anymore, but I kind of take that seriously. Like, you know, they will be passed on or sold onto the next person. And maybe that's just the archeologist in me about taking care of the care of the artifact and making sure that when it goes on to the next generation or the next person that it's taken care of.
Scott Brady: Totally agree. And another good resource for watches too, it's something that I've just personally come to enjoy is the Hodinkee brand. They've got a beautiful print magazine for those that are watching on YouTube you can see this at just like Overland Journal. Perfect bound, beautiful book. They've got a couple podcasts. One of them that I really like is the Grey NATO podcast. Jason Heaton and James Stacey are the hosts of that. And they're into overlanding. One of, them's got a Defender. They're adventurous guys that talk about adventurous watches. I enjoy that podcast a lot. So for those looking to find out more information about watches, they can do that. And then you wrote an article a year or so back for Overland Journal where you talked about a lot of those watches as well.
Bryon Bass: Maybe two years ago, something like [00:41:00] that.
Scott Brady: I think so.
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I think we want to kind of riff a little bit on kind of [00:42:00] everyday carry travel stuff, because I've definitely found that in the, well, in the beginning of overlanding we all wore like an ex-officio baggy khaki colored shirt.
Bryon Bass: When many people did.
Scott Brady: Well, you were smarter than me and you still are. Yeah. I mean, I looked like I was a zookeeper, you know, driving the white rim trail in Utah, which there are certainly performance aspects of it, which is probably how I justified that very lame decision when I traveled internationally. Now I don't want to stand out like a zookeeper in some foreign country, so I have definitely started to tailor my clothing and the things that I wear towards blending in a little bit more. I mean, I'm a big person, so I automatically stand out. So things that I can do to kind of blend in, it allows me to better have an experience where I'm not the center of attention or standing out in a certain way that might elicit a response from the locals.
Bryon Bass: You did that one time remember in Kenya? And that definitely because of your stature.
Scott Brady: Yeah, that was, it was intimidating. I mean, [00:43:00] like, yeah, like on the, on the verge of, uh, it was getting, it was getting spicy for sure. And again, I was wearing kind of this, it looked more military. I mean, I had like a khaki pair of pants on and this dark gray shirt and, and I definitely, and that we got called out on that a lot by the Kenyans, even the Kenyan military or the police kept telling us, we had to disclose our mission. That was a real lesson in look like a tourist or look like a local, uh, but don't look like an operator in a country. So I've definitely changed a lot of my clothing around that. And I don't wear that stuff anymore.
Bryon Bass: I always carry an Aloha shirt and I think when we had that episode, I was wearing my green and white looks like I just got off the plane on Maui to go for a two week vacation.
Scott Brady: Yeah. And that was, that was the right call. That was the right call. So now like actually one of my favorite shirts and I bring it with me every time I travel. So Lululemon makes this is blue, oxford it's stretchy, comfortable [00:44:00] material. It doesn't wrinkle. I roll it up and I take it with me on every single trip, because sometimes you got to go into the consulate or you're going out to a nice dinner, or you just, you want to just dress at a different level. I've got a collared shirt with me that's super comfortable performance fabric. Doesn't carry a lot of odor. It's not cotton. So if you get a little bit wet, you know, it's not it dries easily. You can wash it in the sink, in the hotel room. I think bringing along an Oxford. Now, you, you had a different oxford, that you traveled with.
Bryon Bass: Yeah. So, uh, yeah, a couple of, of my archeology friends, we still talk about it, Brooks Brothers. I don't know if they still make 'em I still have mine, so I don't need any new new ones, but Brooks Brothers made a, a, an all a hundred percent cotton oxford. There was a short sleeve and a long sleeve different colors. It's a hundred percent cotton, but it always looks like, it's no wrinkle, it looks like it's been laundered. Like, as in, you know, with the creases down the sleeve. So whenever you had to look squared away, whatever, it wasn't even going, like you said, going to the constantly going out to a [00:45:00] dinner meeting, maybe the, the people that are funding your archeological project. For me, it's like meeting clients in the field where I can't just roll up with the ratty t-shirt all the time. Super cool, long sleeve. So, you know, when you're out in the sun now there's no UV. As far as I know with those, there's no UV protection, but you know, obviously back it up a sunscreen, but they have a collar and, you know, you can add button-down color by the way. So if you've ever had to wear like a tie, you're squared away with that, but you can also unbutton the color and then fold it up, flip it up so that you have your neck more protected. And those things, a few of us swear by them just because you can wear it on the plane, you can have it scrunched up into a ball in your bag. It doesn't matter. You take it out. You know, it's cotton so it it'll, it'll carry some odor after a while, but it doesn't, it doesn't carry for me anyway, as much as things like the synthetic material.
Scott Brady: Speaking of synthetic material, I really do like synthetics when I'm actively traveling. But when I fly or I'm on a small aircraft or whatever, I have really avoided wearing any kind of [00:46:00] synthetic because there is an accident and there is a fire, something like this wool jacket that we got from Promethease Design Werx, it's a heavy wool coat, um, and that there is a lot of fire resistance in wool. So it may be just enough to throw it up over your head and get out through the flames. Whereas synthetic will just bake down, literally melt onto your body. Having been a firefighter and been on several aircraft crashes, it's incredible. Sometimes people do survive those things. If you can limit the burns to your body, that makes a big difference. So wearing natural fibers, cotton is okay, wool is best. So I'll typically wear like a wool henley and then some kind of a wool coat like this one that I'm wearing now.
Bryon Bass: And nowadays with the merino wool products that are out there, I think we talk about this at miner length last time, last podcast, but I swear by merino wool. Every type of shirt that you could think of is t-shirt style to collared shirts, stuff, everything in between, there must be a dozen companies, if not more, that are [00:47:00] making stuff that's super, super quality looks super sharp. I find that it doesn't really wrinkle that much. So when it is kind of crunched in to near the bottom of your bag, or, you know, you had to wear it one night and roll it up and then two days later, pull it back out again.
Scott Brady: Sure.
Bryon Bass: Especially if you got like, you know, the steamy shower somewhere or in a humid, uh, locales, you know, you put it out and that thing looks totally fine.
Scott Brady: Totally does.
Bryon Bass: You don't take on odor, which is important. You know, people that it's like one of those, you know, that people don't like to talk about it, but when you're traveling and you can't get to the laundromat, the laundry, you know, or it's not even available, you're really on the road where it is just washing it in water, wherever you can find it.
Scott Brady: Yep.
Bryon Bass: That's a cool material. Beanies made from that are really great. Also merino wool, I like it because you can layer it and know it's not super thick. It's not going to like having some super old school sweater.
Scott Brady: Yeah.
Bryon Bass: Um, you can have different, different layers of it on.
Scott Brady: Yeah, that henley that I have a bunch of them usually we'll just wear black henley's cause it doesn't show stains and stuff, but Triple Aught Designs sells, they're made in the United States, Merino [00:48:00] wool henleys, and they just they're easy to own and I've, I've traveled them in them almost exclusively. They're great for on the plane because you get a little bit of protection from the cold and stuff when you're flying. So those are just my go-to and then Triple Aught Design also makes a button up wool shirt. Uh, they can be a little bit warm, so you're going to be going to colder climbs or more kind of temperate climbs, but they're a nice wool button up shirt. They're great. I mean, they, they really do. And they're again made in the United States, small company that a bunch of overlanders that work there. They're pretty passionate about what we do. So it seems like a good company to support.
Bryon Bass: Excellent company and quality materials. You know that you can't, and you can even repair them, you know, especially like the ones that are black or dark blue. I have a couple of tears in, like in the side, just from, you know, wearing it and shirts snagging and stuff, you can kind of fix it with your own little, little sewing kit and it looks fine.
Scott Brady: Totally.
Bryon Bass: Nobody's not going to call you out for it.
Scott Brady: And of course I wear a, a wool cap everywhere I go. [00:49:00] And the reason why I wear a wool cap is because I'm bald. So, um, for those that are curious..
Bryon Bass: Cause it's fun.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Yeah. For those that are curious about like, why I always wear this hat it's because I'm always bumping into something with my head. So I do wear, it's a thick wool it's they're made in Ireland. Uh, the name actually escapes me. Maybe I'll maybe I'll look real quick here. So it is, uh, the Boyne Valley Knitwear made in Ireland. They're, you know, they're 40, 50 bucks, but they're pretty thick so I can bounce my cranium off them.
Bryon Bass: Has a brim on it.
Scott Brady: It does. And it's they actually do super well in the rain. So I don't really worry about uh, the rain with them. Yeah. They, they last literally forever. The only time I've had to buy other ones is because I've lost them. I've left them somewhere, but they literally last forever. I may wear them almost every single day. And I like the fact that I'm getting, I've got some sun protection on my bald head, but that you don't stand out again, like the tourists. So wearing a baseball cap in most of the world is not common. Like people don't tend to wear baseball caps [00:50:00] outside of North America. So you stand out as, as someone that's not local, whereas a black wool cap, they don't even notice.
Bryon Bass: You could be the taxi driver. You know?
Scott Brady: I mean, totally. I mean, I can be in Reykjavik and they're going to start talking to me in Icelandic and I could be somewhere in Northern part of France and they're going to speak to me in French because I, I look more like a local when you're not, not dressed like a tourist.
Bryon Bass: No, definitely. I agree. I, you know, I have that gray one. I decided not to wear it, you know, so that we didn't have the dueling flat cap thing going on.
Scott Brady: We look like a couple of Uber drivers.
Bryon Bass: It sticks out like, so I still like it. You know, I have, I have issues, you know, that I have to pay attention to regarding sun on my skin and stuff like that, you know, just cause I'm out, out in the sun all the time for work. I wouldn't wear it like out in the heat of the day, but you know, in the evenings, I like, I like having a little head cover on.
Scott Brady: Yeah, I do need to find one that's that's a little bit better for the heat. Cause if it is real, I like hot conditions. I prefer to be warm than cold. So it doesn't typically bother me, but when it's really hot out a black wool cap, you do [00:51:00] feel it. You do start to sweat. Yeah. You start to..
Bryon Bass: Something else. I want to riff on, uh, I'm not promoting anyone's product. I don't really think that they're out there, are a hooded down vests. Do an internet search. You will come up with either stuff that's like in the $20 range that's purely just for show and maybe one or two companies out there that have a hooded down vest. So I don't know if I got to talk to Patrick Ma about this, but, uh, you know, there's, there's, I swear by my, my down vests, just as a backup, as a backup pillow, wear it in the sleeping bag, it falls in, it's just a little bit too cold and you know, it gets me to the next level. You know, if you'd have to keep the core warm when you're riding your motorcycle. I mean, that's like it's money. I won't say they fallen out of favor because you still see people wearing them. But I think like the technical hooded vest needs to be addressed. On belay, where you just need to know you're going to be standing there for three hours while your buddies are climbing and you just got to throw something on and it's keep warm and then maybe flip it up over your neck or over your head and the elements and [00:52:00] kind of stay out while you're doing your thing. And you got your merino wool underneath. And I don't know, we got to explore that.
Scott Brady: Oh, I think, I think, I think you're right. And probably like about a year and a half ago, I would have pushed back on it. I don't think that they are in favor. I got one, uh, Triple Aught started to make a down vest and I picked one up and I that's what I use it for. I use it on the motorcycle to keep the core warm. I don't tend to wear heated gear. It's super compact. So yet you can use it as a pillow if you've got a shell on, usually because the shell does a great job of blocking the wind and usually in the rain, et cetera, but you need to still have a little bit of insulation and my arms don't tend to get cold. My core will. So you're right.
Bryon Bass: You can't lose. Uh, keeping the core warm.
Scott Brady: I think you're right. Yeah. So I would, I would have probably pushed back is like, why, why not have the whole down jacket? So you have a, like, you can bring one thing along, but I think when you pair it as a layer with other things, it's, they're super functional.
Bryon Bass: And I don't even have one to talk about. I found a few out there.
Scott Brady: Well yeah, take a look at.. Just came out with, uh, a wool or maybe it's [00:53:00] a, a performance. It's either a performance, not wool, excuse me, it's a performance down, you know, just a basic vest shell. I think it's got a little bit of DWR on it. Black, super understated. I think it's down. Or maybe it's a synthetic material fill.
Bryon Bass: You've got to aim for the hoodie one.
Scott Brady: Oh it isn't, it isn't hooded. That's all right. I got you. So that's the whole package you get. Yeah, that's for sure. There's a couple of things that, you know, that we use. I've talked about these before, but these American Optical sunglasses, I buy them my self, I'm not sponsored or anything like that, but they're only 70 bucks for an American made glass, or you can get shatter resistant. They're just super simple. And they're really nice American made sunglasses for 70 bucks.
Bryon Bass: It also is a currency too, by the way, I've found like when you handed by yourself, buy your way out of jail. But you know, since you know, it's replaceable, you know, if you have to pass it on to somebody.
Scott Brady: Yeah, no, that's true. That border guard that helps you out.
Bryon Bass: Thanks for, you know, hooking you up in some way.
Scott Brady: Yeah, I got you. No, that makes sense. You can carry a couple of them [00:54:00] and when they're 70 bucks or you're able to buy a couple.
Bryon Bass: You're not going to lose sleep.
Scott Brady: Yeah, exactly.
Bryon Bass: And you could probably pick up a cheap pair of sunglasses somewhere until you get back home.
Scott Brady: Anything else come to mind on kind of the daily carry stuff?
Bryon Bass: Yeah. Well, when I travel where it's not just like, you know, coming from California over to Arizona, in my own gear, I always have tire pressure gauge and a pencil and a sharpie.
Scott Brady: Oh, there you go. Yeah, a sharpie is a good call.
Bryon Bass: And I even reused a, some little carrier that has a Velcro on the back. So you can kind of stick it in a, in a car, like a rental car, the tire pressure gauges that I, that I always have with me have PSI and also bar. And, you know, for, I mean, I guess, you know, if you're, if you're comfortable with one or the other and I am, but you know, if I have to show somebody, especially when you're in the America, as we'll say North America, you know, Hey, I want to run my tires at 32 PSI, you know, and they only know a bar you have to be able to show them a little mark.
Scott Brady: What is it, what is it, 14.2 PSI per bar or something like that?
Bryon Bass: So it'll be like one point, I mean, actually some of the, sometimes a little markers, it's hard to like you like it for a tire pressure gauge is only in bar. [00:55:00] I prefer that if we're only working in barometric pressure, But I always have that. For example, when, even if we're renting a car in Western Europe, first thing I do is a walk around on the, he doesn't, I don't care if they just told me now there's no dings, everything's fine, at the rental agency at the Frankfurt airport, always do a walk around. I always make sure that there's a spare. I always make sure the spare has as much air as the rears are going to need. I mean, it sounds geeky, but it's after getting burned a bunch of times with, you know, having no spare.
Scott Brady: You can waste a half a day of your vacation easily trying to get a tire fixed.
Bryon Bass: If you're working, you know, like, hey, now what? That's the one thing I always have and pencils obviously can write on almost anything and the Sharpie as well. So I've had to make a notes on something. I always have that some kind of, I still favor the original Leatherman tool, but a multi-tool and I don't mean the ones where there's so many things on it that, you know, you'll be at, can't remember how to pull out the bottle opener. But just the basic ones that have like the pliers, the wire cutter, you know, like a Phillips type screwdriver, [00:56:00] like one or two of the blade screwdrivers, and maybe just a knife blade. I still carry though, one of those on every trip, because something will come up. Something where..
Scott Brady: You need a set of pliers. That's so true.
Bryon Bass: You can be in the hotel room, just to tighten the shower curtain, or it could be in the, you know, the rig, the, you know, somebody said, oh, everything's fine. You know, you're going to be getting this 110 Land Rover and we had our guy go through it. And the first thing, you know, you get in there and then like the door latch doesn't work, or you got to tighten down, you know, some band clamp on something.
Scott Brady: Totally.
Bryon Bass: It happens.
Scott Brady: It does happen.
Bryon Bass: Can't make this kind of stuff up. So those are my solid, you know, go-tos, you know?
Scott Brady: Good suggestions. And we've talked about this a little bit on the podcast before, but I think one of the things as travelers is coming to terms with the limited amount of stuff that we actually need. I think it's, it's easy to get attached to the stuff that we travel with or think that we need this laundry list of everyday carry, or we've got to have everything that we might possibly need in most places of the world those people need the same things too, and you can find them, um, you can borrow them. You can ask for [00:57:00] help. Once I kind of changed my mindset and realize what I really need is a way to communicate and navigate, which our phones do both now, the phones have a flashlight on them as well. And then I need to be able to pay for things like, like I've lost, let's say I've lost all of my luggage and all I've got is what's on my person. Uh, you can buy stuff for cheap anywhere in the world. I mean, You're not going to go necessarily get the brand names you want or whatever, but if you've got a way to pay for stuff, so you're gonna want to have a couple of days where the cash on you in the local currency, if you've got a credit card. Um, so if we've got our passport, our phone and a means of commerce, then we're set. Everything else we gotta be prepared for it to disappear, get lost on in the luggage of the plane. And it just doesn't show up. I've seen so many travelers just kind of, kind of lose their way on their trip because something was missing or that they didn't have something that they thought they needed or something broke maybe that they brought along, that they really had a lot of expectation around. So I think letting go of [00:58:00] these expectations, just realizing that the adventure, the unpredictability of travel is the reason why we're traveling and kind of keeping, keeping those few items that we know that we need close to the vest. I do also like to bring along a Garmin InReach because if you lose local cellular, which does happen a lot in the developing world, your family may not understand what's going on, or you may not be able to communicate, but having a Garmin InReach, they've got these minis, they literally fit in your pocket and you now have a means of satellite communication. Anything goes wrong, could get it caught in a, in a sudden war zone, which has happened. I mean, I was right at the border of Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, and all of a sudden the war broke out in the Forgotten Valley and they weren't gonna let me into the country. I was stuck at the border and being able to communicate via satellite, allowed us to, to resolve that problem. But it's just a recognition that we should be able to communicate. We should be able to pay for things that we need, and we should be able to have, you know, our identification, our passport on us.
Bryon Bass: Yeah. And even backup [00:59:00] somehow, photocopy of your passport, address and phone number of the consulate, appropriate consulates and embassies for whatever passport you do carry in whatever country you're in, just stuff like that. But that can be on a little piece of paper stuffed in your pocket.
Scott Brady: Yep. And you can have copies of your passport on your phone photographs. You can have it up in the cloud as well. So that way you can get some support.
Bryon Bass: Friends can have it, and family back home. Yeah, definitely. There are a lot of the different angles to it. I mean, I I've found that overcoming adversity when you're traveling, that's like part of the fun, once you get over the initial oh my God, this is so lame. Then you just go, wait a second, this is probably going to be cool. At one time I was working, uh, in Peru, we were to teaching a high angle rope rescue course in Machu Picchu of all cool places to be doing that kind of, you know, course. And, uh, so in Cusco, as it turned out, there were a lot of jokes that went around about the fact that I lost my little, it was like the little visa stamp that went, it was a separate piece of paper that went in the passport when we landed in Lima. And so I had to go get a replacement and there we are in Cusco and [01:00:00] meanwhile, you know, we had it like two days of downtime and Cusco is a cool place.
Scott Brady: Super cool.
Bryon Bass: So, uh, so everyone else kind of wandered off and one of my friends, he's a French Canadian, Charles he's like, nah, I'll go with you. And it was like this whole adventure throughout Cusco. Cause he went to the office, we were supposed to get this replacement stamp and then it was closed. And then they told us where to go, but we got there and it was like lunchtime and it just turned into this whole adventure walking around Cusco, you know, in whatever 12,300 feet above sea level huffing it around. It was just a cool day of trying to overcome adversity. Of course we ended up getting, you know, I ended up getting the stamp put back in my passport so that we could identify who I was and what I was supposed to be doing there and all this kind of stuff. And it was a hotel that pointed it out when we handed in our passports, you know, and they're like, Hey, where's this little stamp thing. But it was like a whole day of us just running around and it was cool. And it was something we obviously didn't count on, but it was fun.
Scott Brady: It's almost like in the moment, maybe some people feel anxiety, maybe some people feel [01:01:00] frustration, maybe they feel like that their plans have changed. But if we can just reassure ourselves that in the future, our future self will look back at that adventure, of course, from a place of tranquility like you and I are sitting here talking on a podcast. I think Cahill said something similar to that in one of his books of looking back on these adventures from a place of tranquility, they are charming. Like these experiences, we look back on them and they are, they're wonderful. And we learn from them and they make us smile. In the moment we feel frustrated, but if we keep reassuring ourselves in the future, we're going to look back on this and we're going to be so stoked that it happened, but it doesn't feel like that in the moment, for sure.
Bryon Bass: Yeah. That's when you have to kind of overcome it immediately and just see things for what they are and assess your surroundings and, and your situation and go, wait a second, I'm totally cool. Everything's fine. I don't have my luggage, but uh, you know, I'm wearing some clothes and I'll just buy a local t-shirt or whatever, and I see everyone wears that kind of hat, I'll get one of those. You'll probably blending in better than anyone in your travel party.
Scott Brady:[01:02:00] Totally.
Bryon Bass: A hundred percent.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Not getting too attached to an outcome, letting the adventure unfold as it's supposed to.
Bryon Bass: And you can tell yourself positive things. Like I always wanted to replace that bag anyway or whatever. It's a good excuse to get myself a Filson or something.
Scott Brady: Yeah, that's right. Well, Bryon, somehow we have managed to not cover all the topics that we wanted to do where it's..
Bryon Bass: It's always how it is.
Scott Brady: But I love it. That means we get to have podcast number four. Are there any new books? Is there anything you're jamming on right now? New podcasts, something that's, you're really enjoying?
Bryon Bass: I'm still into the bb, I keep listening to them over and over the BBC history of the world podcasts like 15 or 20 minutes long each. And they cover very unique topics. They're in the bandwidth as far as the time and the information where you..
Scott Brady: Great suggestion.
Bryon Bass: Can retain a lot of it. Super cool. Super cool. And especially on a road trip, great to listen to. I think every, every topic is maybe at the most, a half hour of the topic and the narrator's cool. Any, any time there's like a British voice of course I always pay attention and [01:03:00] a little bit better. It's kind of a colonial thing.
Scott Brady: It works. It totally works.
Bryon Bass: But, uh, yeah, that's good. And for as far as reading, other than like just boring things, that'll put you to sleep for archeological reports that I'm preparing, track down uh, I believe it's published by BMW, but it's history of GS. And I want to say it covered the first 30 years of it. And I found that when I was doing some research for the Overland Journal article. And I still go to that, I'm really intrigued by the early ISDT Airhead Twins that were like pre GS. What else is happening these days? Oh yeah. A couple of websites that I like checking in on just to see what people for motorcycles, um, bikeexif.
Scott Brady: Oh yes. That one's excellent.
Bryon Bass: You know, stuff that's going on there, especially from Eastern Europe. Some of the makers, uh, it's not just of custom bikes, but then there have products for sale that are just insane. Cool controls, you know, aftermarket stuff, obviously by just thinking way outside the box and influenced by their own motorcycle history and trajectory, which is [01:04:00] different than, you know what I would say as a guy from so Cal growing up in the motocross desert kind of world.
Scott Brady: Sure.
Bryon Bass: Their background into motorcycles is different.
Scott Brady: Yup.
Bryon Bass: And, um, so anyway.
Scott Brady: That's a good suggestion. Yeah, bikeexif, if they've just got beautiful motorcycles on there.
Bryon Bass: Yeah. And the photography, I think it's one of the things you can't send in cruddy imagery. We're good.
Scott Brady: Yeah. It's super good. Well, it's funny that you talk about the BBC podcast because that's what I wrote down here for my current read. Bill Bryson has a book called A Short History of Nearly Everything, and it is, it is excellent. I've, I've tried to kind of dig back into some first principles stuff and learn a little bit about physics and science and in this particular case, kind of the history of the world, and I'm about halfway through it and it is transfixing. It's written in a style that someone that isn't a scientist or isn't a historian or isn't a physicist can really understand. And I just find it to be a fascinating view into how the earth came [01:05:00] about, how cultures started to develop, and how science started to develop in the world, and that's a really good one.
Bryon Bass: I'll have to check that one out. I've read others by Bill Bryson, but not that one.
Scott Brady: He's excellent, incredible writer. Uh, certainly inspiring for me as a writer as well. So again, how do people find out more about you? You're a regular contributor to Overland Journal, which we greatly appreciate, and then you've got, uh, an Instagram as well?
Bryon Bass: Yeah. Bryon, bryon.bass or..
Scott Brady: Something like that.
Bryon Bass: You know how it is. Yeah. There used to be a bass player in Canada who spelled his name like mine, B R Y O N. And somehow when you did a search, it would always point to that, which was okay.
Scott Brady: Totally.
Bryon Bass: Three pages in where you started seeing all the boring archeological reports and projects and stuff.
Scott Brady: Well, and if anybody has any feedback or you'd like to fill me in on the watch that you've come to love, we would certainly love to hear from you. You can reach me at scott.a.brady on Instagram. Kind of let me know, maybe your dad gave you a cool watch too. And it'd be, it'd be great to, to hear those stories and we can share those on a future [01:06:00] podcast and Bryon, I'm looking forward to having you back on.
Bryon Bass: Thanks for having me look forward to being on again.
Scott Brady: Yeah. Thank you. And we thank you all for listening and we will talk to you next time.