We are back in the 4SR under the stars. All is good in the world. Last night, after our movie and dinner in the cabin, we met Canary, B and The Ghost at Chad’s Place in town for a pitcher of beer that led to drinks at their cabin. We stayed up late and the morning came a little faster than expected, but we still had plenty of time to pack up and meet Papa for lunch. It was a nice big group since Mellow, his stepmom and her friend joined as well as the rest of the trail family. Papa got to meet everyone and get a flavor for our trail life. We only hiked in on the trail a couple miles so we could set up camp, get a good nights sleep and start the 100 mile journey to Wrightwood tomorrow. We have less than 3 weeks before we take the coastal train up to Seattle for a little break and let the snow in the Sierras melt. That time will go by fast. Unfortunately, I left my pajama pants in the cabin which means I won’t have any clean pants to sleep in this week :(. Trail family is going to get them for me and carry them until we meet again sometime in the next week. Very helpful, but I’ll really miss my snuggly, warm, clean pants to sleep in. While laying in my sleeping bag I was looking up details on the Te Aroroa trail in New Zealand. It’s 1,864 miles and goes between the north and south islands. Supposedly, the best time to begin that trail is Sep – Dec which would give us time to rest after this trail before starting that one. It’s just one of many ideas we have for what to do when we finish here. The task at hand though is still another 2,400 miles 😉‼
2.5 something of a nearo (near zero)
Since we are growing up from being rookies hikers quickly, I wanted to give you a little insight on our gear and how we are evolving into a more efficient little team every day. We talk with locals, other rookies and veteran hikers to help adjust our gear constantly. We had a good idea of what we needed to begin with from previous long weekend trips but some doesn’t translate into long term thru hiking. Backpacks are today’s chat. Packs have a lot to do with personal preference but a few must haves, no matter the brand, is that they are ultralight with internal frames. Fit is a huge part too. The packs we are using come in 3 different torso lengths for the exact same size and model. Get the right fit so you can balance and rebalance the weight of the pack from your hips to your shoulders. I keep mine pretty light on my shoulders with most of the weight on my hips. One exception is when we have really long steep uphill sections, I’ll tighten the shoulder straps to pull some weight off my waist. It still carries the bulk of the mass but it lets my hips n butt muscles have a little more room to do the hard work of bigger climbs. Lacy is also a big proponent of balancing weight to the best spots in the pack for your style. She also learned to NOT roll up or compress our down sleeping bags anymore. They get shoved down to the bottom of our packs everyday to use every open space and air pocket that happens when you load your pack. Then heavier things like tent n gear next near the back of the pack. Then light again to top it off like extra clothes and our down jackets. Your bag is also so much fluffier when you pull it out at the end of the day. Another must have which is showing up on a lot of packs this year is a “trampoline” that separates the back of the pack to your own back. Mine let’s 2″ of air circulate where you would normally have sweaty full contact between you and your gear. It’s saving me in the desert sections so far. These are just some things we’ve found to be a big help for us. The less you are dealing with gear issues, the more you can enjoy your hike. You find yourself looking up at where you are going vs down at where you are walking.