I thought I’d give you a quick breakdown from the past 30 days on the trail. What’s working out OK, and what’s not working out so well?
(Hopefully!) I explained in a prior post that I didn’t want to spend a bleeding nickel this year on gear if I absolutely didn’t need to spend it. (…Regrets, I’ve had a few….but then again….)
Well, I’m dropping body weight like crazy. At a rate of approximately 1.1 lbs per hiking day, or .84 lbs per day, if we include zeros. I was expecting weight loss, but perhaps not at the tune of 1.1 lbs per day! Hopefully bumping up my caloric intake will slow down the weight loss freight train a little bit. (I had a fair amount of weight to lose, so I’m not exactly heart broken over the weight loss.)
The Nemo 1 Person Elite sprang a leak in the bug netting by the foot. I’ve applied my own repair. The good folks at Nemo said to keep taping it and then send it to them for repair when the hiking season is over.
The pair I started using last month was the same pair I used for about 1200 miles in 2019. They’re literally falling apart. I moved onto my back up pair that I used for about 800 miles in 2019. The right hand glove is tearing out at the seams. I’ve used my trusty Leuko tape to try to keep it together. I just need another three hundred miles! (Oh, not that you asked, but I now have tan lines on my fingers.)
The new Columbia shirt (AKA prison attire) isn’t doing well at all. The front pocket is de-laminating, and two different buttons are seriously singing the blues. I’m not sure it’s going to make it another 300 miles. I’ll do my best to nurse it along.
The ULA Circuit has a broken clasp at the top of the backpack. It’s not a big deal. I’ll send it in for repair at the end of the journey. It still works. The backpack has a nice funky aroma of sweat. The shoulder straps absorb the sweat. I washed it after the 2019 season, but the funk has intensified.
Good God Almighty! I’m burning through my socks at a rather rapid clip. Here’s what I think is happening. I’m wearing a size 14 shoe. I really need a 13.5 shoe, but Altra’s move up in full sizes after size 12 or 13’s. So, my foot is moving around in the shoe a bit, and if/when I have dirt in the shoe, it’s like sandpaper to the sock. So, I’ve blown through three or four pairs of socks. Love the socks, but the wear and tear is something else. I still have three or four “newish” pairs from 2019, so I’m planning to use them next.
No complaints. They work well. I use Nike men’s running shorts because they have two pockets in the front and a mesh lining. I can put my headphones in the front pocket and the mesh liner equates to no underwear. Easy peasy.
I’m still looking for that elusive 2021 hat. I’m wearing the same running hat I wore for about 50% of the trail in 2019. It’s falling apart and on life support. I’m trying to nurse it back to good health, but it may be time to wish it farewell. …or not! I had a straw hat in 2019, but the Washington rain wasn’t kind to it. At all. I left it in a trash cash a long time ago.
I’ve managed to experience what were, in my mind, spectacular falls, two or three times in the past month. One of the walking sticks is bent. I’ve tried to bend it back to a reasonable proximity of its former glory, but, alas, it just aint’ happening. I tried to coax a sporting goods employee to bend it back for me…no love there either. Just 300 more miles!
The Sawyer Squeeze continues to function, but it’s output has slowed considerably. Maybe I’m at .5l per min. I’ve done a few back-flushes that haven’t seemed to help. It may be time for a vinegar bath.