Monday, March 30, 2015

Gear Talk

Serenity Bug Shelter and Grace Solo Tarp from MLD

I just purchased this bad boy to be my companion for the duration of my trip!  Like I said previously, the idea of a tarp tent really makes me happy.  There are a lot of things I like about sleeping in a traditional tent, like the security and coziness, but there are a lot of things I'd like to get away from like the condensation, the stifling feeling, not seeing the stars, no breeze when the weather isn't nice, and lots of poles.  Oh and weight.  The tent I got way early on was a bit of an over excited decision and resulted in a lovely 2 person tent that weighs almost 5 lbs.  This practical little guy, made for one, weighs a total of 24oz!  1.5 lbs!  I just saved myself pounds of weight to carry around for 4-5 months.  Go me.

I also mentioned before that the idea of being a bit more exposed scares me in a good way.  I feel like it will definitely be a challenge to get used to it, but the rewards will be worth it!  Also, to work a tarp tent you have to be a lot more aware of the weather and manipulating it according to the winds, which you don't have to consider AS much in a traditional tent.  I also have a smaller pack this time around and so need to save space.  This guy gets REAL small.  No poles either, just my trekking poles.

Gregory J38
This is the pack I have right now.  I also have my old pack that I used in Yellowstone (21 days), The Bitter Roots of Idaho (30 days), and Alaska (40 days), but it's quite the monster, and rather beaten up.  Oh it did get a trip to Europe with my best friend Sarah who hiked the Camino de Santiago.  I'm not ready to let go of hip belts, though a lot of ultra light backpackers are anti hip belt.  My legs are my powerhouses.  Have you seen my hips?  Hip belt all the way.  This Gregory, I might name it Greg, is 2 lbs 12 oz, which is light weight for sure.  I've seen some nice ultra lightweight packs that weigh in under a pound.  Just can't afford one of those yet.

At 2,320 cubic inches it is on the smaller end of a thru hiking pack, and frankly I don't think it's marketed as a thru hiking pack, but at this point it's either this one or my monster pack, also a Gregory Pack.  Considering some people thru hike using old mesh laundry bags or very typical nap sacks, I'm thinking this will be great.  It's been my city biking and produce delivery pack this winter.  Always surprises me how much it fits in there.

Ahnu Sugarpine

Merrill Barefoot

Salomon X-tour
One consistent thing I read regarding thru hiking is variety in footwear as well as lighter weight footwear.  I have some Merrill Barefoot sneakers, similar to the ones above that I know my feet enjoy a whole lot.  They are very aerated, which I haven't decided is a good thing or not in the New Mexico desert.  I'm going to go with a good thing and see how I fare.  Then I've got my Ahnu boots for snowy climates, which I'll have shipped in, and my Salomon's were a gift and will replace my Merrills when they die, which may be sooner than later.  I've been told I need about 5 pairs of shoes for my trip.  I'm gonna go for these 3 and pick up more along the way if I need them.

Dirty Girl Gaiters!
When I heard of Dirty Girl Gaiters, well, I was beside myself.  Obviously I wasn't going to settle for some boring black gaiters.  These have a great reputation and are lots of fun.  The amount of designs she has is astounding, and I ordered this galaxy awesomeness!  I'm sure they lose any semblance of color or design after not too long on the trail!

The MSR Whisperlite International from MooseJaw
ANDDDDD, this lovely stove.  We've been giving each other the eye since I decided to go on trail again, especially after my last big trip in Alaska.  We ran out of our White Gas and where we thought we could refuel, we could not!  they had not received any shipments!  So, stuck with minimal wood in the tundra, in 99.99999% rainy days, we had to eat mostly cold food for 3 weeks.  This stove can use Kerosene, unleaded gas, and white gas!  Yay!  It should be in the mail soon!  The fuel canisters cannot be flown out, so I need to buy some in Lordsberg, or put a bunch of stickers on the outside and put gatorade on the inside and pretend they're my drinking bottles.....

That's enough gear talk for today!  My life on trail is getting clearer and clearer. 3 more weeks!

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