Begins: May 20, 2008
Date: Thu, Nov 6th, 2008
Trip Distance: 2,140.8
Entry Visits: 1,302
Journal Visits: 107,823
Gear Review Part 2Part II
This includes other gear and non-gear related items
Trail Runners (Asic Trabucos) – These are definitely my trail runners of choice. They have a larger toe box than just about any other trail runner I have used, and held up quite well when not wet. When wet, they shredded like TP unfortunately. If I was not careful.
In S.Cal., I did not use Asics with Goretex. It was way too hot, and this would just have caused even worse blisters with no air flow. I switched to Goretex Asics in Packwood, WA and never looked back. They were great for the damper climate and cooler temperatures. I also noticed they tended to give my feet a little more support, and they did not tire quite as quickly.
I used “Extreme Fitness” inserts from CVS. I have used every insert made, and these are the best for my foot.
I used mail drops. I have used both the town and box resupply method, and find PO’s much easier for me. Planning ahead, and having everything I needed in the box, saved me a ton of time. The plans changed, but this required minimal changes to the boxes since the PO’s would hold them 2-3 weeks at a minimum, or til the ETA dates. There were often places with bad resupplies, and going shopping burned hours between the shopping and walking. I was also able to eat food I chose, which was much healthier than much of that found in convenience stores. As far as “supporting the towns we hike through”...the little money spent on groceries paled in comparison to that spent on restaurants, other food, motels, etc. I definitely supported the towns. I also found in several cases that my food and postage was less expensive than town resupplies.
My breakfast consisted of “Big Sur” bars, and at 600 calories these were fantastic! I froze them, and Box Mailer would put them in my boxes.
Snacks were mostly bars and peanut butter roll-ups.
Lunch was sometimes a dehydrated meal.Dinner was usually roll-ups and foiled tuna or chicken breasts (preferably garlic and herb).
I am seriously considering going stoveless on the CDT. I found that if it was cold or weather was bad, I would often not make my meals, and simply snack all day.
I also took a multi-vitamin daily, and for some time used protein powders. I ate well and did not eat a lot of crap. When in town I would supplement my trail diet with lots of protein, fruits and vegetables. I always tried to eat 3 big meals before heading back out. I found as I progressed that food became very functional, and most of it was just tolerated.
I used a Bear Cannister where required. The benefits far outweighed the minimal weight gain. Where not required, I put the food inside a compactor bag, wrapped it up, and put it in the bottom of my pack that laid in front of my tent.
On the CDT, I will probably go back to hanging my food due to the grizzlies.
The best people I met on this journey were the people that gave me rides. Hitching for me (with the exception of one instance on the AT) has always been a good experience. It is almost always locals that pick me up, and I usually drill them for information on the towns they are taking me into, which is always beneficial. I have refused as many rides as I have taken (tactfully), and my intuition has always served me well. I have never considered the hitching any more dangerous than some of the hiking itself, and that is not dangerous, although both have had their “unnerving moments.”
Schaffer’s Guide – I enjoyed reading the background and history of the area, but the negative trail tone of the guide was a little much on an already hot or long day. I really only used the maps, and even these, not too much. You will need maps though.
Databook - This small detailed summary was very good. This and the PCT Atlas (where available) were really all I needed.
Yogi Guide – This guide had good town information, and some water information, but I quit using it after 900 miles. Most of the towns were small enough that a guide was really not needed. It was easier just to ask, and things change constantly in these little towns anyway.
Asabat’s Water Guide – This was a must have for the water report, especially for Southern California water sources. It is also free on-line.
PCT ATLAS – This was my guide of choice!!!! It was small, light, had had better trail and topo maps, and simply gave me the data point information. It also had good town maps. This is an awesome little guide, and hopefully all sections will be finished for 2009. If I could just have carried this and the Databook the whole way, I would have been fine. It is also more accurate than the Databook.
Over time, it really does become more about the journey and not the destination.
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