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City: San Francisco
Begins: May 27, 2009
Date: Mon, Dec 21st, 2009
Start: Hutchinson, KS
End: Hutchinson, KS
Daily Distance: 0
Trip Distance: 2,655.0
Entry Visits: 2,065
Journal Visits: 38,795
Guestbook Views: 2,142
Guestbook Entrys: 46
Pacific Crest Trail Map
I'm happy to let everyone know that I'll be attempting a NOBO thru-hike of the Eastern Continental Trail (ECT), beginning January 1st, 2010. The southern terminus of the ECT starts at the southern most point on Key West and ends on Belle Isle, Canada. When complete, I will have hiked over 5,400 miles through the Florida Keys, National Everglades Forest, the Florida Trail, Southern Alabama, the Pinhoti National Recreation Trail, Benton MacKaye Trail in Georgia, the Appalachian Trail, and the International Appalachian Trail to reach Cap Gasp, Quebec and Belle Isle (Newfoundland and Labrador).
Please feel free to follow my adventures by following this link:
Finally, as promised I have included the "final" gear-list that I had with me when I crossed the Canadian border. Here are a few thoughts on a few gear choices I had in the beginning vs. what made the cut.
1. Tarptent vs. REI Dome Tent (or any double-walled tent): I'm a fan of the Tarptent. It's lightweight and easy set-up and break-down were a huge asset in DRY WEATHER. My Tarptent made it all the way to Oregon (the Sisters). But when it rained, hailed, snowed, and then rained for four days in a row with no sun, my tarptent was completely soaked and I wasn't able to get it dry enough on the inside to feel comfortable that my stuff wasn't getting wet. With a double-walled tent you can actually get the rainfly fairly dry because it's only one piece of fabric, as opposed to the floor and ceiling pieces of a tarptent. Hope that makes sense.
Additionally, the footprint, and the fact you have to use stakes to set-up, of the tarptent makes it difficult to find a good spot to sleep. This was a huge annoyance in the High Sierra for two reasons: mosquitoes and granite. Enough said...
If I had to do it again I would probably just use my REI Dome Tent for the entire PCT. Most hikers aren't so lightweight that 1.2 lb. makes that much of a difference.
2. Alcohol Stove vs. JetBoil: Yes, the JetBoil is considerable more heavy. With a 4 oz. fuel canister it weighs around 1.5 lbs. But I can tell you on several occasions that I was able to cook, eat, and clean-up before some of my hiking companions were able to boil their water. Honest. Thanks JoBo for convincing me to switch this out...it made a huge difference!
Again, I'd just probably carry my JetBoil from Campo on.
3. Anything Down vs. PrimaLoft or Synthetic: Down is certainly lighter and packs a lot easier than anything synthetic. But the main issue is if you get it wet it is very difficult to get it dry. I switched out all my down (jacket and sleeping bag) in Sisters, OR after the crazy weather we had.
If I had to do it again I'd probably carry a down sleeping bag and jacket from Campo to Ashland, OR and then switch to a synthetic version. (hint, REI rental program)...smile.
4. Start Date: All I would say on this is that I'd start earlier, around May 10 or so, and not make any plans to meet up with friends or family. I know that sounds harsh, but it really set me back a few weeks I think when I met up with my best friend and sister.
Okay, that's it for this journal.
"A journey of a thousand miles must begin with a single step". - Lao Tzu