[cdt-l] Stoves, shoes and layers

Karen Somers kborski at yahoo.com
Wed May 16 10:37:56 CDT 2007

Just a note on Marmot Precip rain gear, which a few
mentioned.....and which I should precede by saying
that I am generally a fan of Marmot gear.  I think
they do an excellent job with most of their products. 
I carried a Marmot Goretex rain jacket on the AT and
that thing literally saved my life in the Whites.

However, I was firsthand witness to five thru-hikers
who ditched their Precip jackets in Oregon after four
days of rain on the PCT (including myself).  We had to
actually hitch into Portland to the REI to buy WORKING
rain jackets, or risk our health by staying with the
soggy Precips.  The Precips had performed fine in
light rain and warm weather -- through all of CA and
most of OR.  But after that fourth day of 40-degree
rain in northern Oregon, we became official Precip

I don't know why my friends and I had such a bad
experience compared to so many other hikers, but I
wouldn't dare take a Precip on the CDT.  When we
returned our jackets to REI, they were flabbergasted. 
I bought a The North Face Stormlight Goretex jacket. 
At 24 oz. it is definitely NOT lightweight, but I have
never EVER had it fail on me, even after eight solid
days of rain in Washington.  

At that time, I also bought a pair of zip-off Goretex
rain pants (also very heavy, but hey, we were so
miserable that I didn't care at that point), which I
was extremely skeptical about.  I had never worn rain
pants much.  Now, I LOVE those things.  I can actually
hike in them -- I just zip down from the hip to aerate
when I start to sweat.  They are very warm and cozy in
camp, but I won't be carrying them for all of the CDT.

I'm a big fan of Esbit stoves, but I think Bald Eagle
and I are planning to take an alcohol stove that we
recently built and tested based on the "Cat Stove"
design (do a Google search).  It's very similar to
most other alcohol stoves, but it is particular about
base height being placed accurately above the flame to
maximize heat transfer.  This height above flame seems
to be quite a bit higher than our last few stove
stands/bases, and it certainly boils stronger than the
others.  Without this innovation, we had set our minds
on two smaller pots and Esbits.  I still think Esbits
are a lot lighter than alcohol, but Eagle doesn't like
them.  So, like most hiking couples, we learn to
compromise (esp. important since he does all the
cooking while I journal!).

Well, "D-day" at work yesterday ("disussion day"). 
They know what I've cooked up for this year, and now I
just have to wait and see if they'll help me out with
a leave of absence.

Regardless, I agree that June 15th cannot get here
soon enough.


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