Our life is frittered away by detail. Simplify, simplify, simplify! I say, let your affairs be as two or three, and not a hundred or a thousand; instead of a million count half a dozen, and keep your accounts on your thumb-nail.
- Walden, by Henry David Thoreau
Thoreau was right. You really want to cut down on the amount of things in your life, especially material posessions that you've purchased in the hope that they will make your life better or more enjoyable. Still, there are some items that truly have (at least I think they have) made our world a little bit sunnier.
You probably shouldn't own all of these things, but rather if you're shopping for something else like these items maybe put this into your calculus that it's met the Rebel Heart thumbs up seal of approval.
Wrist Watch: Casio Pathfinder
In Jimmy Buffet songs you might hear about throwing away wrist watches and living free. Well, the tide is on a schedule as will be your lookout rotation and you'll be clearing in and out of random ports and they keep schedules.
The PAG240-8 is solar powered and is a mariner's dream in that there's a barometer, including a twelve hour barograph history right on the top left. Glance at your watch and you'll know the time and weather forecast. Press a few buttons and you get sunrise and sunset.
The modification you want to make to this watch is to include the "NATO / Zulu" wrist band and dump the plastic "resin" band it comes with. You can wear it loose against your hand, tight against your wrist, and it will never accidentally fall off. You'll need to get the wristband and the lugs (a.k.a. strap adaptors), you can read a bit more over here.
Utility Knife: Cold Steel Recon
We have plenty of knives onboard: a rigging knife, a filet knife, butter knives, ceramic galley knives, and some small pocket knives. Hell, we even have a cutlass.
But the Cold Steel Recon is my default knife that I'd take nearly anywhere with me. It's sturdy, sharp, tough, and as a bonus looks like a murder weapon. A little big for the back pocket, it generally sits in my backpack or underway in my deck back tucked under the dodger.
Reading: Amazon Kindle
There are sill paper books onboard Rebel Heart, but the vast majority of our reading time is spent on our Kindles. We opted for the 3G with keyboard model, but really any of the dedicated reader models (not Kindle Fire) would be great.
We also got a hemp cover which feels good in the hands and does a decent job of protected the device.
And as a wink wink nudge nudge I happen to know a guy who has 20K Kindle eBooks (not just open source stuff) and lots of sailing books so maybe ask me about it if you see me around somewhere.
The Kindle doesn't have a light so get a little one to go with it.
I survived a summer in the Sea of Cortez, including doing physical labor outdoors mid day and walking for miles. Baja is hot, and the number of vessel crews summering over can be numbered in the dozens.
My Sol Cool shirt kicks ass for several reasons. First, it keeps the sun off your skin, especially your forearms which tend to burn the most. Second, you can rinse it in fresh water and wear it the next day with a barely noticeable odor. Lastly, you can soak it in Permethrin, rendering it as a potent insect shield for months.
Wearing sunblock and bug screen every day as a course of business sucks. Initially in the tropics I was stunned at locals wearing long sleeves and pants but when you calculate in the bugs and solar radiation, it's the only way to fly if you don't want to get eaten alive and look like a burned out piece of leather.