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  #21  
Old 2 March 2016, 18:21
34RX 34RX is offline
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I put off using an air mattress for years and then used one on a 2 week trip on glaciers. After an avalanche, our only safe place to sleep was on jagged rock. Thankfully I had a good repair kit and only one puncture. When winter camping, I have taken two pads to increase my R value. One pad would be closed cell (Z rest-nearly indestructible) and the other my Thermarest. Big Agnes makes nice ones as well and conform to their sleeping bags.

Trekking poles. I can't stress these enough. I grew up cross-country skiing so they are natural for me but others may not see as much benefit if they can't get comfortable with them. You could also use them with your tarp if you go that route.

Personally, I'd go with a bivy sack. Outdoor Research has been my preferred bivy for quality and cost. I have a Bibler right now that has a collapsible rod (not tent pole type) that keeps the bivy off your head but still allows you to compress the bivy down. Some have gotten too big and fancy making them a one person tent.

It looks like the Cascades down to at least Mammoth Mountain area are forecasting a significant dumping. I'd recommend calling the local rangers to find how much traffic has gone through the area to find out if you will be post holing as you approach. Trekking poles and some MSR snowshoes might be an absolute necessity.
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  #22  
Old 2 March 2016, 19:08
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Quote:
Originally Posted by northwesttech View Post
If you make it up here to the PNW I would recommend a synthetic fill sleeping bag over down. If your bag gets wet the synthetic will stay warmer. Wool socks are great too. Dry faster and don't get stiff when you wear them for several days.

I'm envious of you. I've only had time to do day trips on the PCT here but the views are awesome, especially in the Columbia Gorge.
Excellent point. I have a 35+ year old NorthFace Bigfoot synthetic bag. I gave up on feathered bags four decades ago. The greatest things I like about synthetic bags are: more easily cleaned; and you can sleep in them wet if necessary.

Regarding socks, Thorlo makes a good pair of hiking socks that are a wool-poly blend. I ALWAYS wear a pair of smooth nylon dress socks underneath the hiking socks. The best I've found are Gold Toe. Coupled with foot powder, the nylon socks help cut down on friction (blisters) by allowing the feet to slide a little in the boot, instead of rubbing.
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  #23  
Old 4 March 2016, 15:42
EightyDeuce EightyDeuce is offline
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few years ago I did the Bataan Memorial Death March and ended up with many blisters. I did the march again and wore these and didn't get a single blister.

http://wrightsock.myshopify.com/page...blister-system
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  #24  
Old 5 May 2016, 14:11
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Quick update: my first planned getaway was supposed to happen a couple weeks ago - Apr 15-17. It didn't happen.

I had a "perfect" storm on the homefront: busted water main shutoff valve, black mold, roots and critters discovered in my exterior wall and my gutters on the rear patio fell off (we actually got a fair amount of rain in SoCal this year). All within a week. Guess it's true shit happens in threes.

I was still planning on going, but the wife's head was about to explode so I decided to canc the trip and get the house fixed - did most of the work myself.

Pushing out the next attempt till June. Don't want to wait that long, but that's what my schedule allows.
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  #25  
Old 5 May 2016, 14:19
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^The PCT isn't going anywhere and a happy wife can be priceless!
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  #26  
Old 6 May 2016, 12:09
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^The PCT isn't going anywhere and a happy wife can be priceless!
Very true - hence my decision to not go. Who knows what I would have come home to!
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  #27  
Old 6 May 2016, 20:57
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RGR.Montcalm RGR.Montcalm is offline
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Some thoughts- I had an ultra marathoner friend who told me the way he avoided blisters was washing his feet, drying thoroughly then washing his feet again with alcohol. Evidently, it strips the pores of the feet so they don't sweat as quickly. Then he used silver duct tape to 'line' his footprint- outside of the foot, heel, and the balls of his feet. he said that it allowed his feet to slide inside his socks and acted as a second skin.

I like the Fox River socks that are sold in Clothing Sales that have Teflon woven into the bottom. I turn them inside out so the smooth surface of the sock is next to my foot; I did the Bataan Death March in 2001 and no blisters at all.

I like the Thermorest mattress as well- I used it in Alaska with a ground cloth to prevent punctures; the ground cloth was the same material used on parachute packing tables- a rubberized nylon.

Last but not least, I LOVE my Whisperlite stove- yeah it adds a little extra weight but the more you use it the lighter it gets and the happier you'll be...
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  #28  
Old 8 May 2016, 03:07
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Thank you, CSM.

As with all the other posts - so much great info I have obtained here. SOCNET rocks.

Quote:
Originally Posted by RGR.Montcalm View Post
Some thoughts- I had an ultra marathoner friend who told me the way he avoided blisters was washing his feet, drying thoroughly then washing his feet again with alcohol. Evidently, it strips the pores of the feet so they don't sweat as quickly. Then he used silver duct tape to 'line' his footprint- outside of the foot, heel, and the balls of his feet. he said that it allowed his feet to slide inside his socks and acted as a second skin.

I like the Fox River socks that are sold in Clothing Sales that have Teflon woven into the bottom. I turn them inside out so the smooth surface of the sock is next to my foot; I did the Bataan Death March in 2001 and no blisters at all.

I like the Thermorest mattress as well- I used it in Alaska with a ground cloth to prevent punctures; the ground cloth was the same material used on parachute packing tables- a rubberized nylon.

Last but not least, I LOVE my Whisperlite stove- yeah it adds a little extra weight but the more you use it the lighter it gets and the happier you'll be...
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  #29  
Old 29 August 2016, 13:44
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So I did my first "pilot" hike this past weekend. Just an overnighter. 5 miles out, setup camp, explore the area, sleep in tent and do the 5 miles back to starting point next morning. I started between mile markers 109-110, which is in the town of Warner Springs, and went to the camp site marked at 115. It was hot. Glad I brought plenty of water. Also realized that even in this relatively easy landscape, my land nav skills need some practice. I need to get some good topo maps.
All in all it was a great time and has increased my desire to do more and longer treks, which I plan on doing in Sept and Oct.
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  #30  
Old 5 April 2017, 19:15
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Sanity check...
Here is my planned route, which I will be doing in a few weeks. Total distance ~60 miles over 3 days. Day two has the biggest mileage, but terrain is fairly flat. Highest elevation I will hit is approx 8,500 ft. Day 1 and 3 have a fair amount of ups and downs. This is in the SoCal area of the PCT - Segment "B" I believe. I had to get 3 separate topo maps to get the whole thing covered and annotated.



I have been doing a fair number of day hikes, between 4 and 8 miles and am feeling pretty solid with those. I want this experience to be challenging but not insane - i.e. I would like to enjoy the landscape as I go.

So does this seem reasonable?
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File Type: png PCT Route.png (663.5 KB, 152 views)
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  #31  
Old 5 April 2017, 20:19
northwesttech northwesttech is offline
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From what I've read having enough water is the biggest concern on the southern end of the PCT. 60 miles in three days seems doable if you are used to the pack and your feet are ready. Maybe an extra day if you want to enjoy the scenery a bit more or if the altitude will mess with you.
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  #32  
Old 5 April 2017, 23:33
DB8541 DB8541 is offline
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YouTube literally has hundreds of people who have documented the entire trail and have done gear videos pre and post hike reviews. The same goes for the AT. Hikers have been doing the videos for years and they are full of info about the gear and trail itself.

There are also apps for your phone for the Triple crown hikes PCT, CT and the AT. Guthooks is one that I have used and it is a great source to have on the trails.
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  #33  
Old 6 April 2017, 03:44
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Originally Posted by DB8541 View Post
YouTube literally has hundreds of people who have documented the entire trail and have done gear videos pre and post hike reviews. The same goes for the AT. Hikers have been doing the videos for years and they are full of info about the gear and trail itself.

There are also apps for your phone for the Triple crown hikes PCT, CT and the AT. Guthooks is one that I have used and it is a great source to have on the trails.
Thanks, brother. I am trying to go as low-tech as possible on this. In addition to just getting away, I also want to test my old school land-nav skills and shit-hits-the-fan/bug out scenario while I do this. Example: I don't want to turn on my phone the entire time I am out there. On the other hand - some of these videos couldn't hurt in the preparation and planning, so maybe I will check them out. Appreciate the pointers.
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  #34  
Old 6 April 2017, 03:48
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Originally Posted by northwesttech View Post
From what I've read having enough water is the biggest concern on the southern end of the PCT. 60 miles in three days seems doable if you are used to the pack and your feet are ready. Maybe an extra day if you want to enjoy the scenery a bit more or if the altitude will mess with you.
Thanks for the feedback. I have multiple water sources mapped out on the route, as you are correct regarding hydration. And I have also considered the extra day. In fact, I took an extra day off for just that reason. I will start out with a 3 day plan and see how it goes.
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  #35  
Old 6 April 2017, 09:30
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Not an authoritative source, but a good movie about the trail, is "WILD" with Reese Witherspoon. There are some pointers, and there be boobies. (But after watching the movie, your wife may not want you on the trail alone).
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  #36  
Old 6 April 2017, 14:31
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I section hiked the AT, as a young man in elementary school. Five days on the trail, four years in a row. Dad carried everything, except my clothes, water, sleeping bag, and pad. Two pair of clothes. He said, put on your cleanest clothes... :D

Section hiked the AT again, as a grown man. We went to section hike because our truck driver was doing a through hike and we decided we should meet up with him and walk a little bit. When he had us slow pokes with him we're doing about 10 or so a day. When he was trying to pick up time he was doing 20+ a day.

You will figure it out; can a man do 20 a day and stop and smell the roses?

Take care and be safe,

S
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  #37  
Old 31 May 2017, 19:10
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Ok I finally went for a segment of this trip. Almost didn't happen again since I was fighting off the flu the week leading up to Memorial Day weekend. But there was no way I wasn't going out this time around.

I did about 12.5 miles out the first day, which was harder than I was anticipating, but I definitely still had remnants of the flu - lungs were nowhere near capacity. That 12.5 miles took about 8 hours - with two water fill-up breaks and a lunch break. I setup camp with plenty of daylight available, had some grub and crashed once it got dark. The next morning I decided to head back since I actually felt like the flu was making a comeback. All things considered I am glad I at least got out there and did a part of the trail. But I think I realized that 20 miles per day may be too aggressive for future trips. Hard to say for sure since my lungs were clearly not working to capacity on this hike - but even if they were I think 20 is too much of a goal for multiple days while also trying to enjoy the land.

It was a great 2 days to get away and I am looking forward to an extended hike in the fall with a goal of 12-15 miles per day for a minimum of 3 days.
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  #38  
Old 31 May 2017, 20:42
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Pictures???

Glad you hiked in and out safe.
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  #39  
Old 1 June 2017, 00:05
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Disregard the following if you don't want to geek out on this. Do you know what your pack weight is? This would be something to keep track of on your future trips and gauge your exertion level. There are also backpacking time calculators that can give you a ballpark timeframe based on you and elevation gain/loss.

Once I get back from a trip I always assess my food and fuel consumption. Particularly in winter, fuel gets measured in pounds and if I can make myself more effiecent in its use for cooking or melting snow, I can carry less and generally increase my margin for error in case of an emergency.

Glad to hear you got out.
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  #40  
Old 1 June 2017, 13:58
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Originally Posted by 34RX View Post
Disregard the following if you don't want to geek out on this. Do you know what your pack weight is? This would be something to keep track of on your future trips and gauge your exertion level. There are also backpacking time calculators that can give you a ballpark timeframe based on you and elevation gain/loss.

Once I get back from a trip I always assess my food and fuel consumption. Particularly in winter, fuel gets measured in pounds and if I can make myself more effiecent in its use for cooking or melting snow, I can carry less and generally increase my margin for error in case of an emergency.

Glad to hear you got out.
Pack was just under 30lbs. I would expect that a more northern hike in the fall would increase the weight by a fair amount. This was a SoCal segment. This is very good info - thanks for the tip.
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