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Alphabetsoup - Pacific Crest Trail Journal - 2012

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Alphabetsoup (Soup)
City: San Diego
State: CA
Country: USA
Begins: May 1, 2012
Direction: Northbound

Daily Summary
Date: Thu, Dec 29th, 2011

Journal Stats
Entry Visits: 1,209
Journal Visits: 8,098
Guestbook Views: 499
Guestbook Entrys: 7

Last PLB Location

Gear list Journal Plan

Pacific Crest Trail Map

Much needed Gear Changes

Last year, I spent many thousands of dollars buying and testing gear and attempting a thru-hike. I even took a Wilderness Basics Course through the Sierra Club-San Diego North county chapter to better prepare myself for the journey. Along the way I tested, replaced and traded gear until I got things to my liking. Towards the end of my hike last year, which, ended very early due to injury-It became very clear that I needed to make some more changes to my gear.

Starting with my Tent.

Last year I used a Six Moons Design Lunar solo. For all intents and purposes, this is a fantastic tent. Its Light, easy and fast to set up. The problem with it: It is prone to heavy condensation, even with the fly open. This year, I am upgrading to a Big Agnes Seedhouse. I saw this tent in action and its not much heavier than my lunar solo!

Next, my stove.

Last season I used a Jetboil. I swear by it, even now. The problem: It weighs 16oz dry not counting the fuel cannister, spoon and safety stand. Granted, I was usually eating well before everyone else but this coming year, I am opting for the lighter weight, more packable combination of the following:

Snow Peak Titanium trek 700 Mug/pot at 4.4oz

Pocket Rocket stove at 3oz

the can of fuel gets lighter every day. I can use a smaller titanium spoon and all of it, with a small piece of cheese cloth will fit neatly inside the Mug/pot and take up half the space and be half the weight of the jetboil with only an additional 1 minute of time to boil the same amount of water.

Probably the one thing that I had the most trouble with last year was my backpack. I didn't get fitted for it when I bought it, therefore I had a pack that was way too big for my torso. I carried it well below the hip bone down on the joints. I suspect this is a big reason for my hip problems in the beginning. Thank goodness for REI's return policy, because I have taken back 3 backpacks since this time last year. Finally though, I have the one that fits is the perfect size and feels right when I am wearing it- Actually, That was the problem...I was carrying it, not wearing it

So heres the list of packs I tried out-

Osprey Atmos 65 - This would have been ok if it were a small/medium. I had a large and after a month, I shrunk out of it, wore it wrong and it cause all kinds of problems. PLUS, it really was WAY TOO BIG for a thru-hike.

Next, I traded the Atmos in for an REI Flash50. It was just not comfortable, it was hot, and it came apart on me...

Third- I went to an Osprey Kestrel 48. This was a good size, but the top was attached and it had way too many pockets and zippers and it was heavy.

Finally, I traded the Kestrel 48 for an Osprey Atmos 50 Size Small; This is The one I should have gotten to begin with. When I put it on, I am wearing it like its a part of my body, with the ultra-light, ultra compactable gear that I carry, there is plenty of room inside for a Bear Vault BV500 and all the gear I need for a thru-hike!

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Journal Photo

Soup's Big Adventure

The truly simple life exists within the zippers of my backpack,powered by my own legs, burning only natural fuel, leaving no trace I was ever there.


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