[cdt-l] Stoves, shoes and layers

Paul Magnanti pmags at yahoo.com
Tue May 15 13:52:59 CDT 2007

Hi Doug!

Attempting the CDT is quite the undertaking. Depending upon how much experience you have, you and Peggy may want to do a "shakedown hike" to get used to gear, clothing
and other items. Learning the ropes of long distance hiking before you go on a multi-month journey (and the basics about gear) would be very useful...esp for the CDT.  The thrust of your questions lead me to believe that you and Peggy may not have much experience with thru-hiking. If that is not the case, I apologize and you can just skip to the last paragraphs. :-)

I took the liberty of going to your company's business site and it looks like you are based in Colorado. A thru-hike on the ~500 mile Colorado Trail would be an AWESOME way to get used to thru-hiking, esp. for the CDT. While the navigation challenges are quite a bit easier, you will get some hands-on experience that you and Peggy may or may not need.  If you can't do the whole trail this year, (about 5 weeks for the average person), you may want to consider a 2 week jaunt.

The CDT is *not* a beginners trail. You can do it as a first thru-hike...it just may not be all you expected. :)

Onward to the questions:

STOVES: There is no one good stove. Esbit? Alcohol? Canister? White gas? THey all have advantages and disadvantages depending upon your needs.
Check out Zenstoves.net   I also wrote a blurb on my website about stoves:

There is much input for other people and should give an overview of that is pretty balanced.

SHOES: I've heard mix reviews of the GoLite shoes (made by Timberland IIRC with the GoLite branding on them).  Many thru-hikers find a trail runner to be quite adequate. Montrail Hardrocks are favored by many. If your pack is a bit heavier, you may want to use lightweight hiking boots.  I think many thru-hikers feel that Goretex is a waste of money for boots and rain gear. 

RAINGEAR: Many people love the Marmot Precip for a multi-purpose rain gear. Fairly light and reasonably inexpensive. 

CLOTHING: A popular replacement for fleece are Primaloft type jackets. Warmer, less bulky, wind resistant, lighter. Several companies make them now. Primaloft is the brand name, but there are other names, too (e.g. Thermawrap by Montbell). Basically they synthetic down coats that aren't as puffy.
Some popular options by several different companies: http://www.nextag.com/primaloft-jacket/search-html

Good luck with whatever choices you make! Most of all? Have fun!

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