My Third Shakedown Hike

You know what they say… you can never have too many shakedowns!!!

This time, I ventured into Cleveland National forest for a quick one day in, one day out hike specifically with the intention of testing (another) different backpack and my new HG quilt.

GEAR EXCHANGED SINCE LAST SHAKEDOWN ?

  • Osprey Eja 58 (instead of the Osprey Aura LT 65L which destroyed my hips in Joshua Tree 🙁 )
  • Hammock Gear Premium Burrow 30° quilt ( exchanged this with my Sea to Summit Flame 15 because I’m planning to bring this for at least half my AT hike since it’s hot and humid on the AT AB’s so my 15 def mummy will be too warm. With this quilt I’ll be saving weight and volume, but on this shakedown I’m specifically interested in seeing how warm this quilt is)
  • Bear canister (I broke and went out and bought a BV450 because my brothers Bv500 was way too Large and IT took up am the room in my pack. Also I know the BV450 is not a whole lot lighter than the BV500 but it’s a few ounces lighter and as they say… every ounce counts!)
  • Therm-a-rest NeoLite NXT (my S2S comfort light popped in JT 🙁 I sent it in to S2S for repairs but I’m not sure I’ll get it back in time, plus this sleeping pass is lighter and takes up less volume in my pack).
  • Pot lid (before I was using a circle I cut out from aluminum foil… AB’s yes… if you were thinking “that doesn’t sound very durable, you are right. So this time believe it or not, I bought a thin baking pan from the dollar store and to my most intense pair or scissors and cut myself a new, thicker, heavier, more durable pot lid. I also only packed one 1000ml pot rather than both my 1000ml and 500ml)
  • New wool clothes (a icebreaker tshirt that I expect to be less stinky than the synthetic TSHIRT I have been taking out with my on the shakedown hills up until now; and REI 185 Merino wool base leggings +tac merino+bamboo baselayer long sleeve shirt because, as much as I love my Brynje, it turns out I am one of very few people who have ever reported too then feeling slight itchiness from their synthetic ST line of baselayers similar to the itchiness many people experience with wool… for those of you reading this, please do not be deterred from investigating if mesh baselayers are right for you, they bring a load of great positives to the table but my skin is annoyingly sensitive)

NEW GEAR SINCE LAST SHAKEDOWN

  • Trail bidet!
  • Solar panels
  • Garmin 66i
  • Pot Cozy (homemade from a car sun shield)!
  • Pot lid (cut from a baking sheet)

Post Shakedown Review of Gear

Thermarest

Cons

  • Super annoying to blow up. There’s no way the deal between the pump sack and pad is airtight. I tried to count how many pumps from the air sack is took to blow up the pad to its full inflation, but I got distracted around 8… for context, my old S2S sleeping pad took 2.5 air suck pumps…)
  • They provide users with separate stuff sacks and sleeping pads. I may be spoiled by my S2s but my old pad’s stuff sack was also its pump sack and I loved how they combined. I don’t want to be carrying around 2 things so I left the stuff sack in the car and wrapped the sleeping pad in the stuff sack for the first day. I’ll update you on how well this plan works in the long run
  • Deflating this pad takes a lot longer than my S2S which would just let all the air rush out at one time. This thermarest you have to gradually squeeze the air out of as you roll it up. I know this is pretty standard but like I’ve been saying… I think my S2S spoiled me…

Pro’s

  • With all my complaints on blowing up the pad, its actual use was great. I was warm the entire night and could even sleep in my side if I wanted to! The side sleeping is improved compared to my S2S!
  • The valve is pretty good at letting you customize how inflated your pad is
  • The flat/baffled construction is quite nice and comfy in comparison to my spring cell that was very bumpy

HG Premium Burrow 30° Quilt

I wanted to test out my new sleeping systems ability, so I decided to try and push it. Rather than sleep in my long baselayers, I put on my shorts and short sleeve shirt and laid inside my sleeping bag liner+quilt on top of my thermarest.

Pros

  • Soooo soft
  • I was pretty warm through the night 

Cons

  • …until ~2 when I felt a coldness at my feet so I had to put socks on. I also got cold around my shoulders so I buttoned the top snap to wrap the quilt around me. This improved warmth at my shoulders. Around 2:30 I put on my beanie. Around 3AM I needed to put my long baselayers on. At 3:30 I put on my puffy

Experience on the Secret Canyon Trail

  • Do I need something to bring for Paul Oak or Ivy
  • Stream crossing best taking off shore, crossing, then putting back on with towel in way grabbing distance whole backpack is on
  • 2 liters is not enough water
  • Upper back/solders hurt with this park… Too small?
  • Pockets on hip belt are tiny. Annoying to put things in and out like my phone
  • Pole kinda hard to use in vegetated real
  • Incline first ~2.5 miles? Then flatten it
  • Knees hurt, did not tape them toss time
  • Do I need gaiters for the AT?
  • Pretty plants
  • Saw rattlesnake and a cow

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