[pct-l] Overseas plan to thru-hike
paintyourwagonhikes at gmail.com
Mon Nov 12 23:57:58 CST 2018
Exemplary post and advice! Take a bow...
My two cents worth: I wear breathable (size 17) Keen boots. I always have
and I almost never get any blisters or other injuries, save for my rookie
year when I wore a boot too small (size 14) and ended up with a detached
tendon, because I loosened the laces too much and rolled my foot. I've
decided to live with, and hike with, the injury, so... to each their own.
Disclaimer- I was a long distance runner and skydiver, before I was a
hiker, so I had a history of ankle injuries that included sprains and
rolls. By the way, the weight of the boots are inconsequential to me.
I like paper maps. I study them at night, and use the back of them for
notes (for me- one sided is OK). I also use the apps. Guthook, Half Mile,
Hiker bot, and HM's water report, and HM's resupplies notes.
Ice axe- Per Town Food- get the longest handled one you can find, and have
it in your hands when conditions dictate, AND use a lanyard.
Tent vs tarp. I tried the tarp, after first using a tent, and at times, had
ground bugs crawling all over me, AND... it's a refuge from flies, gnats,
and mosquitoes, especially when they are in the swarming mood. Driving rain
or snow, will make you appreciate a tent over a tarp too. Single wall vs
double wall? Double wall every time. I was at mile 127, in early March, at
Mike Herrerra's, and it literally rained 10'' over 48 hours on Mt. Palomar,
which was 10 miles to the west. I had put my poncho over my tent for added
protection and rode out the storm in this configuration, albeit I was
surrounded by a mini lake of about 1 inch of water. The tent and fly give
great flexibility- options wise. On calm clear nights, I rarely used the
fly, enjoying great visibility and ventilation, or I simply cowboy camped
depending on the bug situation. It makes a great "but heavy" pillow too.
Battery vs solar panel? I started with a solar panel and gravitated to a
battery. Reliability and mobility- you don't have to stop and charge the
panel, once the sun breaks out, after hiding for days behind the clouds. OR
& WA apply here in this situation.
Rain gear. Jacket and pants. OR & WA apply here, especially in this
situation. Whatever you use... test it out ahead of time so that you know
it will perform as intended. You are still going to get wet from
perspiration. I guarantee it! Where the trail is overgrown for miles and
miles, you'll appreciate the pants deflecting the rain and dew that gloms
onto the plants. I fell two miles from Canada, on the way up to the
terminus, and split my leg open below my left knee. I should have gone into
town when and where I could, and gotten stitches. Guessing around 12-16, to
close up the wound. Instead, I kept putting anything I had on the wound,
but because I did not have my rain pants with me at that time, the water
laden plants soaked my scab and caused it to remain soggy, preventing
healing for almost a month. I risked a staph infection or much worse, on
that boneheaded decision.
Water. Carry as much as you can handle. As a rookie, and until I learned
enough about hiking and about myself, I carried two gallons of water
everywhere I went. My fourth year of hiking I developed a bad habit of only
carrying one liter of water between sources while south-bounding WA. In
southern WA, the water started running out, and three days in a row, I ran
out of water, and had to walk an extra 10 miles at the end of each day, to
a known lake for resupply. Also, hiking food is so damn salty, that between
supper and breakfast, it's so easy to burn through a gallon of water. One
liter for cooking and one liter for drinking each meal, AND one liter for
bathing at night, if one wants to make the camping aspect a bit more
pleasurable. This is primarily a dry camping situation. Running out of
water- if it is the desert, don't panic. Seek shade and wait for it to cool
off, and then hike to a source. I know something about the desert, as I've
left Campo, in 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, & 2016- all drought years. Desert
hot! But spectacular in it's own right. Just about all of the coyotes have
relocated elsewhere, on what seems like a permanent basis.
Food- Get plenty of it, as it is one of the highlights of each day,
especially supper. I resupplied along the trail. There's resupply points
about every week or 100 miles, with a couple of exceptions here and there.
This aspect makes for interesting and creative excursions into towns, with
a mystery component now and then. You'll be surprised at the generosity of
people that are chance encounters along the way.
I'm fading fast- I have a 12 hour road trip back up into the Sierra
mountains tomorrow, to help shutter VVR (a PCT/JMT resupply point) for the
winter- at mile 878 NOBO.
All the best,
>>> Paint <<<
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