I don’t feel like I have the ability to paint with my words, so I’ll keep it simple:
Now topped with a layer of ice. Freezing rain is not my favorite. I’m all snowed in, so you’d think I’d have plenty of time to lay out fundraising plans and organizing the minute details for hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. You would be wrong. No power and lots of animals kept me busy enough. Plus, the Olympics started!
Planning for this hike has me all sorts of excited! Permits were mailed away the beginning of this week. Eeeeeee! But then the excitement distracts me and I just want to go hike, I don’t want to sit and talk about doing it. I have gotten a shopping list all together. My gear list only has a few expensive gaps that I don’t know how to fill. So since I haven’t posted in awhile, I figure a post about my gear will help me organize. Thank you for listening. Or you can just scroll to the bottom where it will say I need money :)
The Big Important Must Haves:
Backpack- taken care of, thanks to one of the most splendid women I know.
Sleeping bag and mat- possibly taken care of…?
Silk bag liner- I expect to have to buy one, but don’t want to invest until I know about that sleeping bag
Tent- have one that weighs over 5 pounds with the ground cloth and rain cover (about 4.5 pounds too much, depending on who you talk to), have a good friend offering one that sits in storage but may or not be able to make its way to me before April.
Water filter- all packed up and ready to go! Muchas gracias, Tio!
Water holding thingies- I have one Nalgene that will go with me for old time’s sake, I think… But I do need to get some water bladders
Shoes: Do I need shoes? I mean the bottoms of my feet are thicker than the soles of some shoes. Ok, maybe with a 35lb pack on my back, this isn’t such a good idea. I have plenty of shoes. Some good ole trusty boots I wish were ultralight. But they’re not. They’re Danner’s Steel Toe Boots I’ve had for years and years and years and love even if they weigh closer to ten pounds… But there are so many different opinions on what a thru hiker needs to put on their feet. And with a 500 mile limit? Ugh. That’s going to get expensive. So I bought some nice trail shoes. I will wear them to their death. Unless Danner comes out with an ultra-lightweight trail boot and gives me a lifetime supply for giving them such a great idea!
Journal and pen: Nope
Less important- Other people think I must haves:
Cook stove- not sure I will use one. Cold camping means less equipment to pack and never having to worry about fuel (finding it or the cost of buying it or the toxicity of cooking with HEET). But it also means cold camping. No hot beverages, no soup, no fried egg for breakfast. Not sure if I will be able to handle that through the Sierra Mountains.
Cookware: dependant upon the stove decision. I have an old enamel cup (probably three times heavier than it should be) I plan to take and use for beverages and bowl but I can’t seem to find my spork… My old man knife was lost last year and my pocket remains empty. It was the greatest- looked like an Old Timer, but without the stainless steel ends. I loved it!… Better to have loved and lost, eh?
Bear canister: Borrowing one when needed. Thanks to the PCT Bear Can Loan Program
Ice axe: Nope. Highly recommended for dangerous snow crossings where it would, theoretically, be used to stop someone’s sliding back down the hill. In reality, I’d probably kill myself with it.
Biodegradeable soap- Honestly, what will I have to wash? It will only be a week or so away from “civilization”
Headlamp- Check! Thanks, buddy!
Compass- Necessary? I dunno. But if anyone sees a compasa/thermometer/whistle/carabineer combo, send it to me!
Hiking poles- Another conflicted gear item. Make my trek much easier by spending money? Nope. Anyone have some I can borrow?
Clothing- We all think I must have:
I have most everything I need, but the only thing that is unused is the sunhat (who wears sunhats in Oregon?!). So if I have it, it’s old, stinky and may actually do what it is supposed to do any longer. Like my ultralight down jacket that’s had all the warmth washed out of it. It’s one of those awesome Columbia OmniHeat Jackets. The ones that are shiny inside to reflect your heat back at you? I’m not sure if that’s true or if I just wanted to buy it cuz it was shiny, but it kept me toasty warm on every hiking trip I ever went on in New Zealand. But I failed to read the fine print. Something about always wearing a base layer or you’ll sweat and wear off the shiny layer and something else about never washing down unless you buy special detergent to preserve the keeping warm power of down. So now it’s just a jacket.
Puffer jacket: My old Omni friend
Rain jacket: Have a hand me down. Not light at all, but it will keep the rain off. Might leave it behind if I can find a great poncho instead :)
Fleece: Have a couple. But honestly, can you ever wear a fleece out? Ok, they don’t have the super soft, thick, cushy heat holding power they had in their youth, but they work!
Pants that zip off to shorts: Don’t have. I do have shorts which is about all I ever hike in, but these might be a nice investment.
Rain pants: Nope
Warm camp pants: Have some old fleece
Thermal base layers: Again, I have long underwear in all sorts of colors, my all time favorites being the fun colored stripey ones from NZ, but they don’t do much for warmth anymore. I will probably need to invest in new models.
Moisture wicking tops: Have and they have fun scents too!
Light weight long sleeved top: Have one. It also comes with lovely sweat tones.
Socks: Probably should be at the top of the list. I have some good woolies and some ancient liners that need replacing. So yes, but could use new [silk] liners and a good pair of cold weather duzies.
Swimsuit: Ok, Underwears. But it seems odd to put on a gear list. Again, have but could use some of those fancy super fast drying cotton free kinds.
Hat: Sunhat is taken care of, I do want some ear warmers. I’ve lots of lovely head covers, but I do get pretty hot headed at times. Earmuffs, perhaps?
Gloves: None both light and warm. I would like some lobster claws to keep my claws warmer. Hooray mittens!
Lightweight long sleeve desert shirt: Nope
Camp shoes: Surely there’s some unwanted Crocs out there in a size 8?
Pajamas: Especially if I don’t buy the soap. Clean clothes for bed keep sleeping bags cleaner longer.
Gaiters: The one thing I do not have and would really like to have.
Ok, I don’t really need all of that. I could go with silk pajamas or a silk bag liner.
Toothbrush: Nope. I use an electric one now, but obviously that’s not going to go on the trail. Too bad the toothbrush tree isn’t a PNW native
First aid kit: To be compiled
Gear repair kit: To be compiled
Nylon cord/clothes line: Nope
Bandana: Yes! Is it breaking the rules if it’s cotton?
Sunglasses: Nope. Not sure I want to with glasses. But Ugh the desert!
Bear spray (pepper spray): Nope. Not sure I’d spend on this one, either.
Bug net: Nope
Mirror: Yes, but no. I have plenty, but don’t plan to pack eyeshadow with me for the sake of the case’s mirror.
Trowel: Nope. And no I am not opting for Imodium instead.
Camera: Don’t have one. Would be nice to share photos when I send you all updates (yes, I plan on trying to continue to blog), but I will Not be buying a new one. The one I would want to buy would cost more than the new tent I’d like to buy (Big Agnes Fly Creek UL1, I have been convinced this one looks the best). Plus, you know how it goes. If you give a girl a camera, next she’ll need rechargeable batteries. If you give her rechargeable batteries, next she’ll want GPS. If you give her the GPS, she’ll want a solar charger. If you give her a solar charger, she’ll want a Tablet so she has camera, GPS, phone, internet AND her journal all in one. And after all that hard work, she’ll need a cookie.
What else, what else? It’s almost my bedtime and my planning skills have been overused for today. Maps and a pot scrubber? Duct tape and bug spray? Chapstick and toilet paper? Money! Definitely. I need more money!