The Trades

My Pre-hike gear list, was promising, the things traded:

27 miles into my hike my Vasque Monolith Mid boots ripped. I switched to Alture, after they came highly recommended by the owners of Laguna MT Sports. Sadly, after twisting my ankle less than 150 miles later, I switched once again to a pair Keen Targhee II Mids’, they are so comfortable I wear them regular post-hike.

I had gone 100 miles before my pack started to rip at the seams (at this point I questioned all of my gear choices, on principle alone). Duct held the straps of my Gregory j63 together. I tried for nearly a week to get a replacement. However, I learned that the Gregory limited lifetime warranty is indeed, limited.

I set out to find solutions, hitting up the always helpful Women of the PCT Facebook group. Lots of suggestions were offered, ultimately one kindhearted woman Cynthia Abdulla offered to and sent me a new pack, virtual trail magic. I was gifted an Osprey 48, and it made all the difference.

The chest straps were removable, ensuring a better fit than the Gregory. The Osprey is much lighter and well constructed, an instant favorite. I’m surprised I didn’t learn about this pack before my hike ( a lesson in why one shouldn’t go with the first option you’re given, even if the person is a Really Extreme “Insist-agator” employee). I am happiest with the Osprey trade off.

I have asthma, not bad in the least. I quickly learned that though comfortable, my Nemo took my breath away. The Nemo was not ideal for hiking inclines, then stopping to blow up an air mattress. The switch out ridge crest, not as comfortable or as light. However, it did convert as a butt pad, and as a midday sleeping pad, which I couldn’t manage with my Nemo. The ridge crest does fit perfectly on my Osprey, so that was a plus.

Within 300, I tore holes in two out of my three pairs of DarnTough. I switched to my regular Brooks running socks. They Worked wonders (this was another moment where I questioned my gear choices).
Things I absolutely wouldn’t change:
Brooks Moving Comfort bra. Truthfully, I was skeptical about the bra retaining sweat. Surprisingly, the sweat build up wasn’t as bad as I thought. It took longer to dry when wet, which was the only drawback. Truly, comfortable, though. (Product donation)

My home, Marmot EOS. I didn’t know what to expect living in a tent every day. My Marmot never disappointed. It withstood rain, hail, snow, wind and offered incredible bug protection. I had only one problem, it snowed heavily and piled up quickly. I woke up surrounded by ice. To be fair, other hikers experienced the same challenges, which brings me to my sleeping bag.

During the same snowfall, as I stated I woke up surrounded by ice. My Big Agnes Juniper kept me completely dry and warm. The outside of was a little damp, but dried quickly. I was overall impressed with how warm the Juniper kept me, even on the coldest night on my hike.

Ultimately, most everything worked to my satisfaction.

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