Saturday, May 18, 2013

2013 Gear List

The 2013 hiking season, for me at least, is now officially underway.  The highlight of this year will be about 600 miles along the Pacific Crest Trail in both Northern California and Washington.  This will be preceded by numerous trips into the Olympics to try out gear, get in trail shape, and just to chill out enjoying the creation.

I described last year's gear list in an earlier blog, but things have changed a bit and it's time to update it for the 2013 trip.  While this is still subject to change, up until the time I actually leave, it is at least close enough to share, and will be updated later if anything significant changes.  And, as always, am interested in other ideas and alternatives.

Worn or Carried

Pants0, 10 3/4ExOfficio Bug-off with zip off legs
Shirt0, 9 3/8ExOfficio Bug-off long sleeved Tee
Underwear0, 3Under Armour boxers
Shoes1, 15 1/2Brooks Cascadia trail runners (size 14)
Socks0, 1 1/4Cool Mesh II
Sun Gloves0, 0 7/8OR Chroma
Gaiters0, 1 3/8Dirty Girl 
Hat0, 2 5/8ExOfficio ball cap with short cape
Watch0, 2 1/8Casio Pathfinder
Trekking Poles1, 5 5/8Black Diamond
Total5, 5 1/2

Belly Bag *

Belly Bag0, 4with ID and keys
Maps0, 0 3/4For 1 Green Trails topo in a zip lock bag.  This weight will actually go up for the PCT and the maps will move into a side pocket on the pack.
Compass0, 0 5/8
Reading Glasses0, 1 1/2Small reading glasses in metal case
Nail Clippers0, 0 3/4
Knife0, 0 5/8Tiny Swiss Army Knife
Whistle0, 0 1/8Fox40 Micro
Notebook & Pen0, 4Used for note taking along the way.  Otherwise I'll forget something I want to relate to the wife when I get home.
Chap Stick0, 0 1/4SPF 15
Anti-bacterial hand cleaner0, 1Travel size
Light0, 0 1/4Photon Freedom Micro
Camera0, 10Sony CyberShot w/generic case
Phone0, 5 1/2Droid Bionic
Bible0, 3 3/8NIV New Testament
ID & Cash0, 0 1/4Drivers License, Credit Card and $20
Total1, 11 7/8
* Belly bags seem not to be terribly common on the trail, but I find using one to be very convenient.  My ID, phone, camera and other misc items are always handy; even when I drop my pack and wander away a bit.  It basically serves the purpose of big cargo pockets, without the rubbing against my legs.

Sleeping, Shelter & Pack *

Pack2, 4 3/4ULA Circuit without internal pockets
Dry Bag0, 4OR Medium.  Holds everything in the pack other than food, tarp and coat.
Hammock1, 10 3/8Warbonnet Traveler 1.7 sng with 14' straps, whoopie slings and bug net
Tarp0, 10 1/8Hammock Gear Cuben Fiber Hex Tarp with ridgeline, tie outs. stakes, snake skins and stuff sack
Top Quilt1, 6 1/2JRB No Sniveller
Bottom Quilt1, 0Hammock Gear 20o Phoenix
Pad0, 9 1/8Closed cell foam 53" x 20" x 3/8".  Used under my feet at night, and under my seat when stopped along the trail or in camp.
Thermal Sheet0, 1 7/84' x 6' mylar sheet inserted between the hammock and the UQ
Pillow0, 4 7/8REI self inflating
Total8, 4
* I realize that using a hammock means I carry 2-3 more pounds than I would with a minimalist ground dweller outfit.  But being able to sleep comfortably at night is well worth the extra weight to me.

Clothing Carried *

Coat0, 12 3/8Westcomb Specter LT Hoody
Long Sleeve Shirt0, 9Light weight fleece
Short Sleeve Shirt0, 4Performance tee
Silk Pants0, 3 3/8REI
Possum Down Socks0, 2 3/4Very warm sleeping socks
Skull Cap0, 1 3/4Smart Wool beanie
Gloves0, 3 3/8Running gloves with mitten covers
Socks0, 2 1/22 pair Cool Mesh II
Stuff Sacks (2)0, 0 3/4Sea to Summit Ultra Mesh 6.5 L
Total2, 8 3/8
* Apart from the coat and Cool Mesh socks, the rest of these clothes are generally just for camp and sleeping use.  I don't like snuggling under a down quilt wearing dirty and sweaty clothes.

Toiletries

Toothbrush and Toothpaste0, 1 3/8Toob - contains a small refillable tube of toothpast in the handle.
TP0, 0 3/4Pulled from a big roll and put in a small zip lock bag
Wet Wipes0, 2Travel Pack
Cortaid0, 1Travel size anti-itch cream
Insect Repellent0, 1 7/8Ultrathon - 34.34% deet
Sun Screen0, 1 1/4Banana Boat SPF 30
Total0, 8 7/8

Food and Water *

Water Filter & Bag0, 4 3/4Sawyer Squeeze filter with 2 qt Evernew bag
Scoop0, 0 3/8Top of a soda bottle
Chlorine Dioxide0, 0 1/810 pills in foil.  For emergency use.
UrSack and OP Sack0, 9
Bowl w/lid0, 1 3/82 cup bowl with screw on lid.  Works well for re-hydrating food while marching along the trail.
Spoon0, 0 1/8Cheap plastic spoon
Gatorade Bottles0, 3 1/22-32 oz bottles.
Total1, 3 1/4
* Does not include the weight of food and water

Other Stuff

SPOT0, 4 7/8Communicator mates with the phone.  Not really necessary but goes along for my wife's benefit.
Spare Batteries0, 3For the phone and SPOT
iPod & earbuds0, 1 1/8iPod Nano
Stuff Sack0, 0 3/81 small bag
Sun Glasses0, 1Cheap sun glasses in a lightweight bag
Headnet0, 0 7/8Sea to Summit Insect Shield
Bandanna0, 118" square cotton
Towel0, 1 3/4MSR Ultralite Packtowl
First Aid Kit0, 5 3/8Tape, cream & bandages in a Medical Kit .5 bag
Tyvek0, 1 1/82 foot square chunk of tyvek 
Soap Leaves0Sea to Summit Pocket Laundry Wash.  As many leaves as the days I am out.  Stick a leaf in one of the emptied quart or gallon ZipLocs from my food,  and some water and dirty socks, and I have a small washing machine.  Dirty soapy water dumped far from a water source of course.
Total1, 4 1/2

Totals

Worn or Carried5, 5 1/2
Belly Bag1, 11 7/8


Sleeping, Shelter & Pack8, 4
Clothes2, 8 3/8
Toiletries0, 8 7/8
Food & Water1, 3 1/4
Other1, 4 1/2


Total Carried in Pack13, 13
Grand Total (Carried & Worn)20, 14 3/8

Saturday, May 11, 2013

2013 Shakedown Trip to the Dosewallips

With the forecast calling for another couple of nice days, I decided it was time to head out into the Olympics for a night, just to shake off the rust and make sure I still knew how to hang a hammock.  I wasn't looking to go very far so decided to hit the Dosewallips River, hiking from the road washout up to the Ranger Station.

After running some errands Friday morning, I heading for the Olympics and got to the Dose trailhead/washout just before 2PM and started walking.  It's about a 5.5 mile road walk up to the campground at the end of the road, but it has been just a trail for long enough now that some parts of the road actually are no longer anything but a trail.  Much of it is still pretty broad, but it is a pleasant walk and was accomplished in a bit under 2 hours.  The Dose is running hard and loudly now, but the trail/road was pretty dry; only a couple of small wet spots where water was seeping across the road.

I found one Rhododendron blooming along the road, along with a few Dogwoods, a patch of Columbine and a scattering of Strawberry, Dandelion, Paintbrush and a few other small flowers.  Not a great display, but pleasant nonetheless.  The waterfall about 4.5 miles up was really roaring as well; a really pretty sight.

I found one other guy in camp when I arrived.  He invited me to share his fire with him, but I declined.  I really don't have much use for campfires normally.  He ran his that evening and again this morning; and then broke camp and left it still going.  Wish I knew his name so I could report him.

If you have not been to the Dosewallips campground adjacent to the ranger's station, it is a nice destination.  Prior to the winter of 2001/2002 it was a frontcountry campground with about 20 or so sites; each with a fire ring, picnic table and some food storage boxes.  All of that is still there, although the potable water and restrooms, apart from a pit toilet, have been turned off and/or closed.  There are a lot of branches and trees down on the road and sites, but it is still generally clean (unlike Elkhorn closer to the washout), and a great destination.  It also makes a great place to stop when heading out into the backcountry.

A couple hours after getting into camp my hiking buddy, Dwayne, showed up and we had a pleasant evening talking about our kids and the state of the world; watching the river flow by; and watching a pair of Barrow's Goldeneyes and one of Harlequins swimming and diving.

Spent the night in my new Traveler hammock from Warbonnet, swinging between a pair of trees near the river.  The night was pleasant and the sleep was restful; just something about hanging out in the woods near a river.

After breakfast Dwayne broke camp, put out the neighbors fire, and headed back, while I spent a couple more hours watching the river and praying.  Finally, after a second breakfast, I broke camp and headed back to the truck.  On the way out, I passed 28 people, and 3 dogs, on their way in.  About half were day hikers, but it appears like the campground will be hopping tonight.