busy, busy

It has been a crazy few weeks.

I have traveled to my home state to celebrate my grandmother’s 90th birthday, and caught up with family one last time before the hike. I have been working a whole bunch, trying to save up as much money as I can, and to round it out I have been working on more logistics for the trip.

It’s been hectic, but it has been worth it.

My mind has been on gear a lot lately. I am still thinking about a long sleeve shirt for the desert. I usually get really hot while hiking, so I need something light weight that breaths well. I looked in several thrift shops for a polyester dress shirt, but have yet to find what I am looking for. I am a bit tempted to purchase a Columbia Omni-Freeze shirt, as the technology sounds amazing. As you sweat the fabric cools. Normally you sweat, the material gets wet and then is heated. It sounds pretty awesome, but it is pretty spendy, so we shall see if I can find a deal or something.

I am also trying to decide if I should update my sleeping pad from a very well loved and patched prolite 3 to a new shiny Therm-a-rest Neo Air. As well as deciding to change out my well worn and slightly bent trekking poles for something new and fancy. It’s hard to justify these changes, but it is so hard not to hit the purchase button. Perhaps I should stick to the whole “if it ain’t broke don’t fix it” mentality, but what if it does break when I am on the trail. It will be a while before I will be able to replace it. See… a cycle of gear thoughts. Whatever I do go with though, will be fine I am sure.

As for what is new: while at home I bought some new zip off hiking pants as my old ones are very patched. I had my new replacement darn tough socks come in the mail, and my external battery also arrived. I am still waiting on my sleeping bag to come in, but while I wait I put together a new sleeping bag liner out of some fabric I got on sale at Joanne Fabrics. It is a bit thicker material than my old nylon one, but I think it will work great, plus its super fun colored. I am also thinking of attempting to make some short gaiters, I need some more time to work on this though as I am trying to work out a way to attach them to my shoes.

I have also been working on the dehydrating more food on my short weekend off. I’ve added some Quinoa Vegetable Soup, blueberries, and blackberries (not all at the same time.) Plus I have been starting to gather extra stuff for my mail drops like hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and of course, pop tarts. Little by little, it all is coming together. Hopefully when I return from the hut next week I can start to really work on my resupply drops.

Busy, Busy. 🙂

Soup-er Bowl

Sweet Potato CurryWell here it is super bowl Sunday. In the words of my dad “It’s kind of like Christmas.” So am I watching the game? Nope, I am being a horrible American. Instead I cooked curry this evening, and now 5 heaping portions are in the dehydrator doing their thing. So let’s just say this Soup-er Sunday has been great! However, I may have made too much, so hopefully I can find some space in the fridge for another batch tomorrow.

I also stumbled upon some really cheap frozen veggie mixes at the market. I am hoping to dehydrated these as well, not sure of the taste yet, but it will save me a ton of time on cutting my veggies into the same size bits.

In Other News

I was lucky enough to get accepted into the bear can loan program. There are small sections in California where you are required by law to have a bear canister to deter the bears. Since I live on the East coast, where our bears are not quite intelligent enough to get a bear bag down (Yet) I don’t own a bear can. They are heavy and cost between $70 and $120, so I wasn’t looking forward to investing in one. Well, then came Mr. Jim P. and his awesome Bear Canister Loan program. I was approved to pick my canister up at Kennedy Meadows (about 700ish miles in) and use it for the Sierras. This is just another amazing thing I have discovered about the PCT. While the community is considered much smaller than that of the AT, the people are just as awesome and look out for one another. The trail provides, once again.

I ordered my printed map set for the trail. Two great folks from this years class have been heading up this. By printing the free Half-mile maps as a group we are really cutting down the cost to have them printed. I decided to use both my phone, (which has PCT apps, GPS, and digital copies of the ) and hard copies of the maps and a compass to hopefully help me reach my destination. I like having tangible things to look at and hold, especially if something happens to  my phone.

My dear friend Sarah is going to let me borrow her ice axe (snow dependent, come on Mother Nature, help the good folks of Cali out, give them some flakes.) There are sections in California where you can pass some sketchy terrain, an ice axe (and the ability to use it) can save your life. This is another item where I was trying to figure out how I could get one with out having to purchase it. I am not much of a mountaineer. I usually prefer to winter hike on surfaces where I just need my microspikes. But for safety I am going to learn how to use one this winter up in Tuckerman’s Ravine. It is a good skill to have, and I am lucky enough to have friends with the knowledge and the kindness to share. So that is one more thing to mark off my list. Thanks Sarah!

On the docket this week:

  • Order an umbrella for the desert. (Giving up on GoLite, going to find one from another site.)
  • Order Dirty Girl Gaiters (emailed them about sunshine fabric they used to have, they had a super fast response, I like them already.)
  • Find some fabric for a new sleeping bag liner. (Silk or Nylon?)
  • Find zip off hiking pants
  • Find a good desert shirt
  • Daily rain dances for the West Coast
  • Head to the Midwest to see some very important people!

It’s going to be a great week, get out an enjoy it! 🙂