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City: Cameron Park
Begins: Apr 2, 2018
Date: Sat, Feb 9th, 2019
Trip Distance: 2,605.8
Entry Visits: 1,133
Journal Visits: 88,359
Guestbook Views: 1,602
Guestbook Entrys: 101
Gear review the BIG three
I’m a bit late on this but for what it’s worth here I go.
ULA Circuit 68L pack: I liked the size and fit of my pack. I don’t like to use a camel-back for water so the side pockets worked perfect for Smart Water bottles. As I lost weight my belt became too small and the pack put more weight on my shoulders. I should have bought a new smaller belt along the way so if you’re between belt sizes go smaller. The pack held up with no rips or holes and I will be using it for years to come. I don’t know how people were able to get all their gear and a bear container inside the pack but it worked out just fine putting the bear can on top. I kept my food in my pack and then transferred it at night to the can. I put things I may need throughout the day, rain gear, crampons, lunch, jacket, and fishing pole in the bear can. That made it really convenient not having to dig stuff out of my pack. I like to hike without my trekking poles sometimes and I want to be able to switch on the fly so I put a loop of cord through the eyelets on the side pockets in order to put my pole tips in there and then the top of the poles through the bungee loops on my shoulder straps, hands free now. One thing I learned was how to pack my stuff to avoid digging through my pack during the day. At the bottom was things I didn’t need, rain gear, tent fly and pants. Above that in order was my sleeping bag, food bag, clothes bag, ditty bag, and stove. Above that was a Ziploc with my food for lunch. Then my tent and ground cloth (I did this so that my meat and cheese were not on top taking the heat of the sun). At the top was breakfast and snacks with the most important thing, TP with the duce of spades. I would load my next day’s food into Ziplocs the night before. This packing arrangement also helped setting up at camp as one of the first things out was my ground cloth and tent. I would set them up first then empty the rest of my stuff into the tent.
Copper Sur HV UL2 tent: I choose the 2 person so that I would have room for my pack if needed. Between rain, snow and mosquitos you’re going to want your stuff in the tent with you. The tent was perfect and I had no breakdowns or rips. All zippers held up just fine. I did get a few small holes in my rain fly but that was from something in my pack and I’m still not sure what it was. I patched them up with tape. I got by with just 6 stakes to hold it down or pitch the rain fly. Although I liked my tent I did see many Zpacks Duplex tents. Everyone I asked about them like them and at 19 ounces it would drop 1.5 pounds from your base weight. I think I will get one someday. I used a Tyveck 1443R for my ground cloth and it worked fine but moister was getting though by the time I hit KM so I replaced it with the regular Tyveck. This lasted longer but it too broke down over time and allowed moister to pass in areas.
NeoAir Xlite pad: Ive had this pad for a few years prior to my PCT through hike. I like my pad and it held up for the entire trip. I did get some holes but was able to find and patch them without issues. I would blow it up and submerge it in a lake, pond or bathtub to find and patch it.
Zpacks 20 degree bag: My sleeping bag kept me warm when I needed and I was able to use it as a quilt with foot box too. In the Sierras there were a few nights that I slept with my down jacket on but other than that my sleep cloths (base layers) were fine. It worked well for me but if you’re a cold sleeper then I would recommend you get something else.
Mike's PCT Adventure
Living the DREAM
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