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Richard "Rowboat" Jones
City: Salt Lake City
Begins: Jul 31, 2012
Date: Fri, Mar 23rd, 2012
Start: Salt Lake City, Utah
End: Manatua, Utah
Daily Distance: 28
Trip Distance: 28.0
Entry Visits: 554
Journal Visits: 8,690
Guestbook Views: 528
Guestbook Entrys: 6
100 Mile Training Walk
I just finished a 100 mile training walk and found that I am woefully unprepared to begin the PCT next month. It would have been disastrous for me to have shown up at Campo with the equipment and food I had anticipated taking, as well as the food items I would receive at my resupply points. When I left home, my pack weighted 40lbs including 4 days worth of food and two Gatorade bottles of water. I learned many lessons from this 100 mile experience, and would highly recommend anyone contemplating a long distance hike to do likewise. I am now on a determined quest, to reduce the average daily weight of my pack by 10 lbs.
Most important lesson learned, the feet have to be comfortable every step of the journey, otherwise, it will be a miserable experience. I have boots and trail runners that I anticipate using during various sections of the hike - two Merrell's, and two Solomons. I walked in the Merrell boots with WrightSock - Coolmesh, Socks, that are guananteed to prevent blisters. However, I ended up with a silver dollar size blister on the pad of one foot that made walking the last 30 miles very painful. On the positive side, I discovered the product Second Skin, a gel type adhesion pad that can be placed over the raw skin, and promotes fast healing of the wound. I'm going to re-evaluate these Coolmesh Socks. On the subject of shoes, on the PCT_L forum, several writers made mention of the Montrail Sabino trail shoe as being an excellent shoe for long distance walking. Fortunately, I have an REI just a few blocks from my home. They didn't have the Sabino - it's a model that's being discontinued, but I did try on the Badrock, which is its replacement. It felt comfortable, much more so than the Solomons. The Sabinos can still be found on-line, and I ordered a pair from Amazon. Cost, about $ 67.00 vs. $ 100 for the Badrock.
Once at home, I took a serious look at all of my clothing items, and determined that to reduce pounds, I have to reduce ounces. I tossed my rain jacket, hiking shorts, second set of gloves, knee-high gators, stove and fuel. I have North Face rain pants that weights 8 ounces. I ordered a rain jacket that weights 4 ounces, as well as a poncho that also weights 4 ounces.
My main jacket for warmth is my North Face Redpoint Jacket filled with Prima-Loft. I can not speak highly enough of this jacket, or any jacket filled with Prima-Loft. It's every bit as warm as a down jacket, but without the bulk, or loss of warmth if it gets wet. For the really cold days and nights in the mountains, I ordered a Redpoint Vest to wear under the Redpoint Jacket.
My tent is a Tarptent Contrail - 28 ounces, which I wish I had the courage to leave behind. On this training hike, I used my 1.6 ounce bivy sack, and was comfortable when the winter storm blew into the Salt Lake Valley as I was leaving home. The first night, I got rain, snow and much wind, but I stayed warm and dry through the night. Temperature dropped to 25 degrees.
For my resupply boxes, I included trail mix - two cups of mixed nuts, M&M's, raisins and dried Mangoes - one bag for each day. During my hike, I didn't eat but 1/2 of one bag. I just wasn't interested in them. Subsequently, as they add a lot of weight, I'm taking them out of my re-supply boxes, as well as the Oreos and Wheathins. As for my stove, I only need it to heat one cup of water, in the evening, for my Mountain House dinner. For one cup, it's not worth it to me to carry it, plus the pot and and fuel.
The Malto Dextrin drink mix worked well, as did the Orothin bread. I found Skippy Peanut Butter with honey mixed in, so that will now be a part of meal planning. Power Bars, Cliff Bars, Carnation Instant Drink Mix, they all worked well.
My family and friends enjoyed following my breadcrumb trail, left by the Spot GPS Tracking Device. They knew where I was at all times, and friends came by to say "Hello," and offer me treats. If you would like to see what the Spot Tracks look like, here is the link assigned to my personal Spot Device:http://share.findmespot.com/shared/faces/viewspots.jsp?glId=0kLGCUoK92Yyx0qG7RciaHIxZxER3luMD Once the page is open, if you save it as a favorite, you would be able to follow my breadcrumb trail along the PCT.
I look forward to seeing you on the trail.
Rowboat's Pacific Crest Trail Adventure
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.
If you are prepared, you need not fear.
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