Seasonal Gear Swap

It’s a bit late to be writing about this, but I’ve been meaning to share what I sent home once summer descended with her heat, humidity and bugs. 

My parents planned to meet me at Harper’s Ferry — the emotional halfway point of the A.T. — so I planned to switch everything out then. 

  1. Sent home my 20 degree REI bag and packed out my 40 degree (also REI) down bag. I kept my sleeping bag liner, not for extra warmth, but to serve as a bag itself on very hot nights. More often than not I end up wrapping up in that and use my bag for extra padding. 
  2. Sent home my Melanzana fleece. I kept my Patagonia down puffy jacket. You never know when there’s going to be an unexpectedly cold morning, or a quick change in weather (especially in the White Mountains). 
  3. Sent home my Melanzana tights. Just shorts for me from here on out. I still have a pair for hiking and one for town days. 
  4. My wool beanie. Just a brim hat for sun and rain!
  5. …never got my gloves for the Smoky Mountains, but if I’d still had those, they would have been sent home. It was such a sad moment when I realized that I’d forgotten to grab my gloves from my parents car at Fontana Dam. It snowed the first day in the Smokies. 
  6. Eventually I switched out a hiking t-shirt for a hiking racer back tank. I prefer no sleeves. Downside: mosquitoes love my shoulder blades. 

I’m at mile 1,611 (Bennington, VT) and the White Mountains are getting close. Many hikers get their winter gear sent back for the unpredictable weather the mountain range is known for. I personally don’t want to take on the extra weight just as I’m feeling strong and moving fast. 

I have decided to get my fleece sent back, and will probably try to procure some gloves before hiking into the Whites. There may be some cold nights, but with my puffy and sleeping bag liner I’m prepared for some less-than-quality sleep. The epic views may just make it worth it!

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