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Lion Heart and Ginonatt
Begins: Apr 20, 2009
Date: Mon, Oct 26th, 2009
Daily Distance: 0
Trip Distance: 1,991.2
Entry Visits: 1,459
Journal Visits: 169,715
Guestbook Views: 18,040
Guestbook Entrys: 242
Gear list Journal Plan Training
Pacific Crest Trail Map
Lion Heart here!
Our quest for ultra-light found us purchasing the Ray-Way Quilt Kit. We got all the materials for around 100 dollars and then the big project was sewing it together. Luckily my mom assisted us with this project and after many hours and many days we had a quilt ready for adventure. My mom didn't particularly enjoy the directions and thought they could have been a lot more thorough. We had the 1st warmth upgrade and I think that the quilt was warm. The flaw is that every time I or Gino rolled over, it would dislodge the tucked draft stoppers. So, to keep the warmth in, you have to re-tuck the draft stoppers every time you move. We only used it in Southern and Northern California. Also had it for almost half of Oregon but we were extremely cold. We think that the quilt would benefit from being totally enclosed, just some kind of light-weight material that you could sew onto the draft stoppers.
Marmot Sleeping Bags
We used these bag when not using the quilt, in the Sierras, half of Oregon and Washington. These were rated 15 degrees and down. We were concerned at times about them getting wet but when wet really became an issue we made sure that was we had them bagged with two garbage bags inside our backpack. Even for me who sleeps cold, the bags were plenty warm, especially on nights in the Sierras when water bottles froze outside our tent. When temps were hotter, I just slept in it like it was a quilt. I always wore long johns to bed in an attempt not to get the bag too dirty. Maintaining the loft is really important and you may find that your bag doesn't seem as warm in Wa as Ca. If that's the case, you'll want to wash it.
We started with a Sweet Water filter system which we used for many miles in SoCal. We eventually switched to chlorine drops in an effort to same time and weight. Collecting and treating water became much faster even though the drops did not taste good. The chlorine drops were similar to bleach. We used the drops when needed but if we could see the water source we usually didn't treat it. There is so much wonderful spring water! And we didn't get any bugs along the way either.
Head lamps are a must. Make sure you get one that you can actually see in the dark and do some night hiking. The hands-free convenience is worth a little extra weight. Batteries, although still working, can loose their power over time. Replaced my batteries for the first time on the trail in Etna and the new bright light was amazing. Just hadn't realized how dull my light had gotten. Really liked mine. See Gearlist for model.
After much debate, I ended up using the wide mouth 1 liter Aquafina bottles. Because they were long and narrow, they were easier to get in and out of my backpack while hiking. We did have trouble finding them on the trail at times. Not sure if they weren't being produced anymore or if it was the area we were in.
We had purchased ice axes but decided we didn't need them. We made it through the Sierras with just trekking poles (2 for me, 1 for Gino) and our tennis shoes. Really didn't need much else. I tried a fellow hikers micro spikes which were like 4 wheel drive but again, I didn't really need them, even going over Forester Pass.
The Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is a 2,650-mile national scenic trail that runs from Mexico to Canada through California, Oregon and Washington. The PCT traverses 24 national forests, 37 wilderness areas and 7 national parks. The PCT passes through 6 out of 7 of North Americas ecozones. Learn more: www.pcta.org