On Sunday, I had planned to hike up Rainbow Falls Trail and down Bullhead Trail to Mount LeConte, but I think I really did too much last week and now I’m just exhausted. Instead, I went shopping and bought some new trail shoes (Montrail is a really great shoe). I never thought I’d be into a non-waterproof trail shoe. I was a hardcore Gortex boot girl forever!
I’m also trying to start narrowing down AT gear right now. I was in the market for new trekking poles, but I think I’m going to stick with my Leki’s and get new tips for them before I head out. I was really wanting the quick lock ones they have now, but I couldn’t find any Leki’s with antishock and quick lock. The last thing I’m really needing to get is a one person tent and I think I’ve narrowed it down to the Hubba by MSR. I think I’m going to stick with my pocket rocket stove by MSR as well. I really wasn’t a fan of our alcohol stove and I know people who love their alcohol stoves, but it’s just not for me.
I think I’m going to stick with my backpack, which is a Nimbus Ki from Mountain Hardware. It’s an amazing and comfortable pack and it doesn’t hold more than I need. I think it’s 3800 cc and that’s enough room. I’d really love to switch to a Deuter pack, as my husband loves his, but I’m really happy with my pack and I think the AT would be a great trek and last hurrah for it. I’m pretty sure it will be happily retired when I return and I can switch to the Deuter when I get back.
The thing I’m having the most problem with now is clothing. Not just the whole when to buy synthetic vs. down/wool, but the sizes as well. I’m still losing weight right now and dropping clothing sizes and it’s been difficulty to pin down what clothing brands I’d like to stick with, mostly because my weight has been changing and my clothes for outdoors haven’t really ever fit correctly. I find that outdoor brands run smaller than other brands. If it says it’s an 8, I find it to fit like a 6 in Columbia especially. I think for shirts thus far I’m going to stick with a cheaper wicking shirt and toss them every 400 or so miles and have new ones sent. I’ve been reading that synthetic wicking shirts hold the smells a lot more, but if you buy the cheaper Champion brand (Target has them on sale for 7.99, but the most I’ve ever seen them for is 10 bucks) you can afford to toss them when they start to hold the smells and not be hurting like you would if you bought the 40-dollar Columbia one (I have two of them and I find the Champion brand seriously works just as well). I think I’m going to splurge on convertible pants for the entire trail. That way I can have shorts or pants depending on the temps in the spring.
As far as undergarments go, I’m seriously a fan of UnderAmour. It helps that my sister works for them too :) I find their sports bras and underwear are amazing at wicking and I’ll be sticking with them. For long underwear, I have Columbia synthetic base layers that I really like, but I’m not sure yet if I’ll splurge for Smartwool. I know that wool doesn’t hold the smells like the synthetic does and that it will breathe better. Breathability is always a plus in the base layer, especially when you know you’ll be sweating some time while you’re wearing it.
I’ll be taking my iPhone and I suspect I’ll have the newer iPhone on Verizon. Our AT&T contract runs out in September. The new iPhone is rumored to be coming out then as well and we’ll be switching to Verizon. I was really happy with Sprint for years, but I really like iPhones and it seems that whenever we’re out somewhere on the AT our friends with Verizon seem to have the most reliable service, especially in New England. Since the phone can play music and update my blog and emails and make phone calls and has a camera I think it’s wise to bring it along and turn it on every few days to do these things. I know some people hate the idea of using that stuff in the woods, but I think I’ll like talking to friends and family when my morale runs low.
So, here’s my gear list so far:
Tent: MSR Hubba is on the list for purchase
Sleeping pad: Thermarest Women’s prolite 4
Bag: Undecided. I have a synthetic 20-degree, but I’m not really liking it for the weight or comfort level…
Poles: Leki SuperMalaki I bought last year on clearance for only 75 bucks!
Stove: MSR Pocket Rocket
Pack: Mountain Hardware Nimbus Ki
Shoes: Montrail. I just bought the Badrock, but I’m sure I’ll change it up for the AT. For camp shoes I’ll be wearing Tevas or Chacos. I think Crocs are hideous and uncomfortable.
Clothing: Cheap shirts, convertible pants
Underwear: UnderAmour and probably Smartwool base layers. I wear Smartwool socks at all times in the woods.
Tech: iPhone with headphones for music on days I’d like to be alone.
That about sums it up… anything I forgot?