First item of business: someone landed on this blog the other day by searching 'best earrings for a thru hike'. What?
Lots of gear has arrived in the mail recently... tent, rain gear, AWOL guide book, patagonia jacket, sleeping pad, and the third pair of boots after I wasn't happy with the first two. And a food bag.
Behold! The TarpTent Notch, as seen on the right.
|Beau thinks they look like little space ships. Stratospire2 on the left, Notch on the right|
I've set it up a couple times and it's pretty quick and easy. I'm a little concerned about needing to pitch it when the ground is too hard to get stakes in, as it's not free standing. But I've spoken to a few thru hikers who have had tents like unto this on their hike and they said it was only an issue a couple times and it turned out okay. My dad just got the StratoSpire 2 for him and my mom, and we had a TarpTent party in the yard.
On one of my (many) research trips to REI, a 2010 thru hiker englightened me about using Frogg Toggs for rain gear. Orginally made for fishers and hunters, these two piece suits are incredibly light and durable. I chose the DriDucks Dura-Lite Rain Suit. It's 10 oz for the whole suit. I'll keep both the top and bottom for the colder weeks, and ditch the bottoms when it's warmer. I should take a picture of these, becaue they look pretty ridiculous. But I think it will work really well and I'm excited to try them out. Actually, that's a lie. I hope it never rains the whole time I'm hiking except for on zero days or when I'm sleeping in a shelter (but the springs will magically stay flowing).
I am super happy to have found a jacket and boots I love- a hot pink Patagonia Micro Puff, and I switched to the mid-ankle option on the Keene Voyageur boots. The low ankle boot was creating weird pressure points where the tongue lay on my foot, but the mid ankle length is working fine. I LOVE the wide toe box and they are just great.
Also, 2 copies of the AWOL guide- one for me and one for Beau, my official thru hike coordinator. Initial perusing has brought an immediate sense of panic towards resupply stops. My type-A personality will have quite the experience adapting to the "figure it out as you go along" nature of thru hiking.
I'm electing to use the AT Guide over the formerly universally used Thru Hikers' Companion, mostly because of the handy profile maps. And the distances listed to the next three shelters, instead of just one like in the Companion. I just love the comparison found on their website:
My gear list is just about complete!