Thursday, March 28, 2013

Cocked, Locked, Ready to Walk ... Again

A week from today I'll hop into a rental car, drive to Asheville, NC, and take a shuttle to Franklin, NC. The next morning I'll be at Rock Gap where I'll continue my AT hike.

Ok so, I started in Georgia last year, intending of hiking a traditional northbound thru-hike.  I got into NC, woke up one morning with intense pain in my knee.  I hung out for several days, treating it for tendonitis, but it turned out I had a bursitis, and I came home to have it treated.  In July I hiked southbound from Maine.  I got 540 miles down the trail when I discovered I had an inguinal hernia that the doc said needed surgery ...

With those 644 miles under my feet, I'm going to hike from Rock Gap, NC and finish my AT hike where the trail crosses VT 11/30 in the green Mountains of Vermont.

More after the break:

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Rethinking My Pack - Clothing

I started up the approach trail on March 19 last year, packed for cold nights and snowy days. Instead it was unseasonably hot with highs in the 80s and lows on the 60s. Between carrying too much food, a 15 degree bag, extra layers, and an ill-fitting pack, I was grumbling.

I'll soon be starting where I got off last spring at Rock Gap, NC, and heading into the Smokies. It looks like it could be a cold/snowey one this year, offering me a different reason to grumble.

What I'm Packing - The photo shows what's going to be in my pack when not worn. From the upper right and going clockwise, I've got a mid-weight merino base layer that will be my dry, sleeping clothes. On top of the bottoms are my spare Icebreaker merino briefs. Below them is a Smartwool microweight merino tee for warm/laundry days. My spare pair of Vermont Darn Tough hiking socks, and a pair of Dirty Girl gaiters.

More after the break ...

Friday, March 22, 2013

Rethinking my Pack - Bear Baggin'

Fifty feet of parachute shroud and a biner weighed 104 grams in my pack. I played with thiner line, but it seemed it was cutting right into branches. I had a lighter biner, but lost it on the trail, and could only find this 37g beast in a trail town. Clearly this was an area rife with opportunity!

More after the jump ...

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Rethinking My Pack - Sleep System

In a previous post, I was rethinking my "Big Four." In a seemingly never-ending quest to reduce weight, I was contemplating using a backpacking quilt instead of my summer bag. During the summer I've been carring a Mountain Hardwear Phantom +32 Long mummy bag. It's 23 ozs, and packs up pretty small.

I found I was generally using it like a quilt - Sleeping directly on my pad with the bag unzipped over me. Of course it's not designed for that, and when it's cold I have a hard time sleeping on my side with it tucked in well.

What I decided on and why after the jump ...