Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Upcoming trip

Two trips are planned in upcoming months:

I'm heading to the BWCAW this winter, around the end of December between X-mas and new years, with return new year's day. There are a few considerations to take care of:

We don't know where we're going to go - this includes entry, exit and route. Gear is a slight issue, being having proper shelters, bags and boots. I think the tents are taken care of (old kelty dome tent and REI half dome 2), but I don't trust them completely in winter. A heavy snow storm would really mess things up. I also lack snowshoes, but that is something else to think about.

More importantly, I'm going to solo thru-hike the SHT this May. I'll plan for 15 miles per day and try to do 20. I'm going to plan for 12 days and take try to do it in 10, me thinks.

Base packweight is somewhere around 12 lbs, and a fully-loaded water bag will add about ~5.5. The water weight will not go away, so I'll consider it an average of 2.5ish, so that's 14.5 lbs packweight. I'd like to cut that down to 12ish with water included. Food is heavy, naturally, but I'll be eating a lot per day.

Last May on the SHT, things did not go so well because of the excessive distance, poor conditioning and I believe that pack weight was too high (although it is not much higher than it is now). For the solo hike, some changes are in order.

I'm seriously considering making a 5'x8'+beaks tarp for the SHT thru hike. Such a shelter would by about 5 yd^2 of fabric at ~1.3 oz/yd or 8 oz. Lines, stakes and pullouts might add 6 oz. With a custom-cut tyvek, the shelter could weigh just over a a pound. It would cut two lbs off of my shelter weight. Also, we took a custom tarp/tent shelter last year, and it was floorless. It worked well. However, I have little experience with tarp camping. As much as I love the tarptent Double Rainbow, it is heavy when compared to the tarp. My gut says this is going to be a night-before decision, as bad weather could force me to bring the sturdier shelter.

I'm working on a design for a legitimate sleeping bag, something along the lines of the Sierra Designs bags with the jacket-like hood. In the same vein, the new Thermarest weighs in at 20 oz, and if one throw out the the tent, it is the heaviest single piece of gear in the bag. My blue foamer would weigh in at about 8 oz.

Anywho, I'll publish a full gear list before I head off, with weights, food and trip budget.

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