6/14 – 6/17 Gear Changes (0)

June 14, 2013 at 1:47 pm

While Maggie heads back to New England for a wedding, I’m sitting in a HoJo in Daleville with some fellow hikers. In between my long bouts of doing nothing and eating, I decided to let you all in on a few of our gear changes…

The temperate weather has held out long enough that we now feel comfortable sending home some of our winter gear. We’ve both dropped our sleeping bag liners, long sleeve shirts, hats, gloves and down jackets losing close to 3 pounds each! We will undoubtedly use this extra capacity for more food. In addition to this gear drop, we’ve had plenty of other changes in or line-up over the past two month.


Finally, Maggie has a pair of new shoes! She is now wearing a pair of Merrells that we had sent to her in Daleville, VA after about 200 miles of her deteriorating Vasque shoes. they fit her wonderfully and she’s now gone about 150 miles in them without any problem!

I picked up a pair of Oboz shoes in Damascus, as my Merrell boots had started to fall apart, thanks to the Roan Mountain mud. I also added a pair of Crocs for wearing around to my line up, neglecting to bring any at the start of our trip.


We picked up new ULA Catalyst Packs At Hot Springs, NC, after both of us experiencing knee pains, we decided that our poorly fitting, heavy packs may be to blame. If your bag isn’t distributing the load properly, pain can pop up in unexpected places.

We were both measured by the staff at the store and my bag was too large due my short torso, and Maggie’s was more designed for a person with a foot more height and 100 extra pounds. We had both bought our packs before doing any long distance hikes, using them for mostly 3 day trips. We picked out our new bags, ULA Catalysts primarily for their low weight, 2.5 pounds – about 3 pounds less than our current bags. After loading them up with all our gear and wearing them around the store for about an hour, we During the past e our choice official.


Water Purification

After running out of Aquamira two times in the back country and having to borrow filters from some fellow hikers (thanks, Lady Mac and DQ!) we realized that Aquamira drops were not the best solution for us, especially with the refill costs beginning to add up.

After 2 months of seeing everyone else’s methods, everything from UV light pens to household bleach, we settled on the in-line Sawyer Squeeze filter. It sits in the middle of a Camelback tube, allowing the user to fill their water bag with untreated water and drink it through the filter. You can also crumple the bag and push the water through the filter for storage in another container. You can also drop the straw directly into a stream and safely drink straight from it!

It has the advantage taking less time than the treatment drops we’ve been using and it is a one time expense, rather than having to replace it again and again.

Just to make sure we don’t wind up in the same boat of no water again, in case of another accident, we’re keeping some drops just for a backup!


Cook Set

This has stayed pretty much the same, though we sent home our metal bowl, as we didn’t use it nearly as much as we thought we would. We both just eat out of the one large pot and separating out portions into two containers just means more dishes.

We also got some spiffy titanium sporks after one of our plastic ones snapped in half!

Sleeping Pad

I started the trail with an inflatable pad, which I found my self rolling off of and landing on the cold ground more often than having it insulate me. Maggie had been using an egg-crate mat which also had the advantage of being able to be carried on the outside of the pack without fear of puncture wounds. In Franklin, NC I opted to try her way and have been loving it ever since.