3 comments on “Back!

  1. I’ve always wondered why hikers don’t switch out their gear choices more often on long trails like the AT. For instance, using a lighter shelter, packs or sleeping bag in summer. Obviously economics are a factor, but sticking with the same kit for an entire hike never made sense to me either.

  2. Phil, that is a very good question. You’re right that economics are a big factor, since having several tents, sleeping bags, backpacks, etc. gets kind of expensive, and mailing them can also be expensive.

    The other factor is the hassle of mailing things at all. While on a big trip I find it difficult to find boxes to ship bigger equipment in, and then I have to rely on whoever is back home dealing with my stuff to ship something from there, hoping it gets to where I want to pick it up by the time I get there. This year, I found that even a small priority mail box often took eight to ten days to make it from Maine to California, so I would need to know what I needed about two weeks in advance of when I need it. Cell reception isn’t always certain, so then I would have to wait until I find any, call home, hope that my parents were around and could get a package together right away, then hope it could get to my destination in time.

    I still switched out my little things somewhat frequently by using my bounce box. Clothing sets, headlamp, stakes, and little things like that are easy to deal with if you have a bounce box (first time I’ve used one). In fact, the only equipment that served me for the entire trip were my tent, sleeping bag, cookset, trekking poles and camera. Luckily, most everything I used was small enough to mail easily, except the backpack, which was a bit of a pain to ship.

    Of those things that I used for the entire trip, they were all pretty ragged by the end. My sleeping bag had done the entire AT, 600 miles of section hiking, and the entire PCT by the end of the trip, and is holding up quite well (though it needs a thorough washing). My tent is holding up well, but needs to be seam sealed again. I broke one pole 200 miles from the finish, and my camera got wet and the battery died 100 miles from the finish, but those are both fixable. Not bad, I think!

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