Sep 27, 2010 at 8:31 am #1263718
Hey folks, I just got back from 7 months of forcing myself not to look at the BPL forums. That includes a warm-up hike on the Appalachian Trail in March and April, then hiking the Pacific Crest Trail from ADZPCTKO until two days ago.
Now I'm back and getting used to the idea of having more consistent computer access, so I have two questions for everyone:
First, what did I miss? Any big news, events, new products, etc (related to UL backpacking, not world news or anything like that)? I'm going to start sorting through the feature articles back through March, but there's always a lot more than just that. I'd love to hear what folks here think of the past few months and what's been going on in the backpacking world.
Second, did I meet any of you? I know I saw Ben Tang and Hoosierdaddy at kickoff, and I met Evan Chartier a few times on the PCT. My trailname is Guthook, so that's the name you would have heard if I met you.
That's all for now. I'm looking forward to getting back and seeing all the crazy ideas that get spread around on this forum again!Sep 27, 2010 at 8:38 am #1649163
1. big congrats on finishing the hike!
2. you missed discussions about aquamira tablets vs. drops, TP vs. no TP, tarp vs. tent, global warming, guns, dogs in the backcountry, and some other important things i forget. in other words, not much. :)Sep 27, 2010 at 8:39 am #1649165
Ben 2 WorldBPL Member
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
A hearty CONGRATS, and welcome back!!
I bet 'kickoff' now seems a lifetime ago! :)Sep 27, 2010 at 4:01 pm #1649335
@rosierabbitLocale: Pacific Northwest
Actually, you may be the one with the useful news updates on backpacking. What pack/bag/shelter/stove/clothing systems did you use? What worked? What didn't?
And a hearty congratulations!Sep 27, 2010 at 4:06 pm #1649339
Robert CarverBPL Member
@rcarverLocale: Southeast TN
On finishing the PCT. I met you on the AT at Derrick Knob shelter in the Smokies.
The piece of gear the really caught my eye is the MLD Burn.
Got one and have been using it all summer.Sep 27, 2010 at 6:05 pm #1649394
Sarah KirkconnellBPL Member
@sarbarLocale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
If you survived meeting Hoosierdaddy then all is well in the world ;-)
(Long time hiking partner of mine!)
Congrats on your trip(s) though!Sep 27, 2010 at 8:05 pm #1649459
@snusmumrikenLocale: SF Bay Area
You really didn't miss much. Really.
But please do tell about your trip. Trip report and all that jazz.
And your gear … What worked well for a five month stretch? What was junk that you scrapped or sent home? What gear items did fellow hikers have that you wish you'd had? Please do tell!Sep 27, 2010 at 8:33 pm #1649466
Mary DBPL Member
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
You also missed a big squabble re Roger's state of the market pack review. The poor guy can't do anything right, according to the rest of us. Actually there's a lot of really good stuff in those articles!
I agree that your post-trip evaluation of your gear would be extremely valuable for the rest of us! Mahy of the rest of us don't have a chance for such extreme testing of our ger. Please tell us what worked, what didn't and what you'd like to have next time. Thank you! And congratulations!Sep 28, 2010 at 7:46 am #1649554
Well I'm glad I missed some of those guns, aqua mira, and similar discussions :) I had a few similar discussions out on the trail but I don't think I came to any conclusions.
@rob Carver: It was great to meet you, too. Except that you made me kind of jealous of that GG SpinnTwinn. One more thing to add to my wish list. What is this MLD Burn, though? The site is down for the moment, I think.
@Trip Report and Gear Analysis: Keep an eye out later in the fall or early winter. I've got a lot on my plate right now, but that is definitely on my list of things to do. For now, the heavy snow in the south and the early fall in Washington helped me justify spending a lot more money than I'd planned, so it's time to find a job… yikes.
@mary: Interesting point about the State Of The Market Pack reviews. I read the Sleeping Bags and Down Clothing system reviews already, and really enjoyed them. I wasn't planning on reading the Framed Packs review since I think I've got enough packs already :) ORSM is high on my list of things to read, though. And a few of those trip reports out there.
Thanks for the updates, even if it's just the same old same old. Like I said, I will definitely put up a trip report eventually.Sep 28, 2010 at 1:23 pm #1649658
Robert CarverBPL Member
@rcarverLocale: Southeast TN
Ryan, it's a great little pack that Ron came out with earlier this year. Large enough for a four night summer trip yet small enough to use as a day pack.
The Spinnshelter has been my primary shelter for the past year. I really like it. Sets up very taught and weighs very little.Oct 5, 2010 at 4:20 pm #1651772
Guthook, I'm sure we met, but I don't remember when. I went by Sir mixalot on the trail. Evan and I started the trail together.Oct 6, 2010 at 6:46 pm #1652175
Eugene, we met at the Big Bear Hostel. Or, actually we met at Kickoff, but I took a zero day at Big Bear and hung out with you a bit at the hostel. I seem to remember you had just gone to see Iron Man II…
How much further did you make it, by the way? I heard you were off the trail somewhere.Oct 6, 2010 at 7:00 pm #1652177
Big Bear Hostel sounds right. Your memory is much better than mine. I totally forgot I watched that movie there! I didn't make it much further than Big Bear. I got to Deep Creek bridge and slept nearby. I stood up on the morning and couldn't put any weight on my ankle. I knew I was done. It's still not better yet. I wish I could have gone farther, and might have if I could have dealt with doing 5-10 miles a day, but I had a great two months.Oct 7, 2010 at 5:42 pm #1652467
Well I hope that ankle gets better. And that you get back on the trail again after it does. Plenty of good times to be had out there. Enjoy!Oct 7, 2010 at 5:54 pm #1652471
@water-2Locale: pacific nw
Guthook: met you briefly at cascade locks when I drove Uncle Tom, Duff, and Axilla into town from barlow pass. I am 'Water' and Bucket and I always saw you so far ahead in the registers on the AT in 07.. it was neat to finally put a face with a name we saw all summer back then.
cheers!Oct 7, 2010 at 6:08 pm #1652476
I had an amazing time for sure.
Oh yeah, some gear updates.
HMG is using a cuben fiber-nylon hybrid material for their packs that should have the strength of regular cuben fiber and additional abrasion resistance.
Breathable cuben fiber is out of the bag now. Big Sky showed a sample using it in their tent.
Kookabay was already doing custom down air pads before you left, but he's planning on adding a page on his website to allow us to put together a pad with our own specs and see the price right then.
Goosefeet now makes down pants too.
BPL has some new stuff in stock. It took 2650 miles for that to happen.
Titanium Goat is developing a pack raft and external carbon fiber frame backpack.
LightHeart now offers a cuben fiber version of her solo hybrid tent with nanoseeum mesh.
Zebralight released the H51. It is light, very bright and uses a single AA battery.
Canon provided a mild update of their S90 by introducing the S95. The Fujifilm Z800EXR may be a good alternative if you're not as picky about image quality and want to spend a lot less while still having a very light camera.
Inov-8 introduced a leather boot and an extremely light sandal that seems like a more durable version of a latex glove for your feet…still not sure what to use the sandal for though.
One company introduced an ultralight air pad with big holes in it. Another company is working on inflatable clothing. I don't remember names for these, but both are in the feature articles here.
As far as the PCT goes, we lost one dear trail angel. Also, a fire burned over a portion of the trail within a couple miles of the start. I'm sure there's much more, but I've been rather detached lately.Oct 7, 2010 at 6:46 pm #1652485
@hoosierdaddyLocale: Western Washington
Hey Matt! I was also at Cascade Locks (And met Guthook again) and after hanging with Uncle Tom for awhile, I drove Duff, Axilla and Wizard back to Barlow pass where you had picked them up. Small world, huh?
Hey Guthook: What ever happened to Evan? He owes us a trip report & bunch of photos! (I even gave him a USB card reader at Kickoff…)Oct 9, 2010 at 6:25 pm #1652996
Those gear updates are interesting. I'd heard about most of them, but breathable cuben? Was there an extensive thread on these forums about that somewhere? Sounds like that could make for some pretty amazing gear.
And I didn't hear about the PCT losing a trail angel. What's that about?
Steve/Hoosierdaddy, last I saw Evan was in Old Station. I heard later on that he had to get off the trail to go back to school, but I don't have any firsthand information for you. He seemed to be doing quite well up to the last time I saw him, though.Oct 10, 2010 at 10:02 pm #1653283
There wasn't a dedicated thread. It was part of an outdoor retailer show thread. Big Sky put up a tent there. There was the regular cuben version of 3 tents at the pct kickoff and there were hints that breathable cuben would be coming. It seems like the ideal material for dusty areas. I've been dreaming about a breathable cuben rain jacket. I really hope that happens especially since SMD had a regular cuben one at the kickoff.
Did you meet Karen Keller? Hopefully this isn't too personal for posting on BPL… Karen and I both started super early and happened to meet at the trail head and hit it off almost immediately. Nelson had been helping as much as he could and he was great too. Besides trail angeling he was into rc planes, a master cabinet maker, had an incredible voice even after cancer took one vocal cord, and is responsible for the beautiful house they shared with many hikers. I really enjoyed chatting with him. I miss Nelson and wished I had met them earlier and returned sooner so I could get to know him better, but I'm so glad I still get to hit the trails with Karen. Yesterday we and the Spring Guy checked out the old PCT route near the end of Fuller Ridge. There's still lots of water in the San Jacintos, but it looks like everything south of there is bone dry right now.
I emailed Evan the day he got off the trail and he said he got to mile 1780 and would return next summer to finish the rest. Evan was there on day 1 too, although he caught up to us in camp.
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