New gear and packed

7 July 2017


454, but I’m still Zeroing in Missouri.

In two days, I’m getting on a jet plane and heading to Maine to resume my Thru Hike.  I’ve been home for more time than I planned, but that’s what happens when you get injured.

During my time off, I’ve had to adjust my hiking plans.  I’ll now be a Flip Flopper vs a NoBo.  Also, I’ve picked up some new gear while here.  There’s nothing like a good internet connection and access to Amazon for growing your gear.

New Gear

While I’ve been recuperating (aka sitting on my butt), I realized I might need some new gear.

Since Joiner (my GSMNP hiking buddy)  told me he didn’t know of anyone who completed a Thru Hike with a Jetboil stove, it made me start the hunt for a lighter weight stove.  I found many UL stoves, but when you added the new stove and a pot…the price started adding up.  AND…the weight savings wasn’t that much.  So…I’m staying with my Jetboil!  Hopefully, I’ll be the 1st Jetboil users to thru hike.

Additionally, I contemplated a new tent, but didn’t end up buying one.  While I like my free standing REI Quarter Dome 2, it is a little heavy.  Therefore, I looked at hammocks and other tent designs, but realized I like a free standing tent. Also, the addition cost for a few ounces left me with buyers remorse before buying so I skipped going lighter. However, ditin mu research I found the hammocks don’t really save weight.  With the tree straps, tarp, stakes, etc…the weight adds up quickly.

So then I looked for ways to drop ounces from my tent package…Like the use of carbon fiber tent poles and stakes.  I even looked at some DIY options by making them from archery arrows. Check out YouTube…many good videos to show you how.   However, the lack of strength in this DIY design and the fact that carbon fiber breakage creates a total pole failure, I decided the aluminum poles and stakes where worth the added weight.

Finally, I considered, again didn’t purchase, a new pack.  After a lot of contemplating and research, I decided the Gossamer Gear Mariposa was the one!  However, after a little adjustment with p-cord, I believe I have been able to fix my Osprey Exos 58 waist belt issue.  However, only time (and additional weight loss) will tell.  If it doesn’t work…Gossamer will get my business.

So…the only things I ended up purchasing were replacement clothes.

My Frogg Toggs didn’t work.  I split the crotch in Gatlinburg and I torn up the jacket later on.  While a good price at $29, they didn’t breath (you sweat profusely in them) and they tear easily.  That lead me to an online sale at Eastern Mountain Sports ( for the Outdoor Reasearch (OR)  Helium II rain jacket.  I also ordered the OR Helium pants from REI, but no deal here…full price was paid.  Good thing I’ll get some dividends from that purchase.

After hiking 454 miles in Altra Lone Peaks, I realized these shoes were not doing my feet any favors.  In fact, I have some numbness from wearing the zero drop shoes.  So I’ve returned to a known good which has done well for me during 3 marathons.  I’m now back in a Hoka. However, this time I’m chosen a hiking high top design.  We’ll have to see how it works, but I hopeful it’s all good.

Finally, because of the high top shoe, I had to buy new Darn Tough socks.  My 1/4 socks just didn’t come up high enough to protect my ankle skin.

With that bright green jacket and bright orange shoes, you can see me from miles away.  A good thing if I need a rescue helicopter to pick me up.

New Plan

Since I’m now heading SoBo, I’ve had to review my guide book. Today (and tomorrow) I’ll finish marking it up with notes.  I will continually need to read backwards to watch where the next water source and campsite are.  It will take some getting used yo.

Thanks Cindy Loo Who (Shauna Riddensdale) for the info on color coding the guide book.  I wish you could purchase it already color coded…that would have saved me time.

I’ve even taken the time to mark my NEW 100 mile markers since it won’t match with trail mileage.  So now at every ##46 I’ll be at another 100 miles.

New Suitcase

Today was packing day for my flight.  Since the TSA is very particular about items in the cabin, I’ll have to check a bag.  While many hikers have successfully had their stakes and trekking poles allowed in their carry on bags, I didn’t want to chance it.

So I headed over to the local Thrift Store and purchased this bag for 25 cents!  That was the bargain of the century.

Since I have 10 days of food for the 100 Mile Wilderness, this bag was the right size.

And boy did I load it FULL.

It was overflowing too…

That’s a LOT of crap to put in my pack.

BTW I added a DIY food coozy and seating pad to my gear.  Since it’s made from reflectix, it’s almost zero added weight.  Also, I added p-cord to my crocs to aid in fording the riverd.  No need in chasing a floating croc down river when the current takes it off my foot.


As for food, Ramen and Yakasobi noddles work well for my dinners.  However, lunch hasn’t worked well for me.  So for the first 12 days I’m going to eat beef jerky for lunch.  That will give me some needed protien and hopefully I won’t quickly tire of it. I’ve also added some peanut butter crackers for a snack and some chex mix.  I hope it works!

However, tomorrow I tie up some loose ends and try to get some rest before my long travel day on Sunday.  It’ll be up at 0300 to drive 2 hours to the airport before jumping on my flight.

It’s a good thing I have Monday as a rest day before tackling Mt Katahdin on Tuesday.

It’s been great being home with myWife.  I really enjoyed the July 4th parade with my daughter, son-in-law and granddaughter.

However, I have 1700 miles remaining and they’re not getting done with me in Missouri.


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Comments 3

  • Ralph : Jul 8th

    Glad to hear that you are about to head out. Hope your health issue is resolved. The rest surely allowed your legs, and rest of the body, to recover. Pleased that you were able to modify your Osprey pack with cord, which will be easier on the rear. Hope my suggestions were helpful. It bothers me that so many products, even expensive ones from reputable companies are not designed or manufactured as well as they could be. In any case, onward.

    • Up n Ready : Jul 8th


      Your suggestion worked great! I have addec a strap as a load lifter for the pack.

      Legs feeling pretty good, but still some nerve sensations.

      I’ll just take it easy for a few weeks in Maine.

  • Carnac Jack : Jul 8th

    I believe Gary “Green Giant” Sizer, author of “Where’s the Next Shelter,” carried a JetBoil on his successful thru-hike. Best of luck and happy trails.


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