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Fireweed - An Older Woman Who Hikes Solo and With Friends

Cook Kit, Sleeping bag & Shelter: 5 days till departure

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Today, Sunday, I decided to go with my medium weight sleeping bag rather than my summer bag. This adds nearly a pound but increases the temperature span considerably. This bag is comfortable to 20 degrees. I always figure the temp they give the bag is the BEST you can expect. Anything lower will be too cold. At least I'm rarely disappointed. I have a Sea to Summit Down bag.

Saw the tarp discussion on the threads. On the AT I've used my tarp to great effect. I've watched folks in the shelter deal with wind and rain while I was snugged up under my tarp, warm and dry. I suspect folks who sleep on the ground find tarps inadequate. Hammock hangers find them to be perfect. Yes it requires a learning curve, but wow the payback.

My cook kit hasn't changed for the upcoming section. It looks a bit like those Russian eggs that open to smaller and smaller eggs.

Stove: Pocket Rocket - no self lighting. I'd like that when this one dies.
Pot: MSR titanium kettle - the lid fits well and the spout is handy.
cup: double walled Snow Peak w/lid
spoon: titanium - I could use plastic etc, but I have this so, why not.

I use a DIY cozy. Silver duct insulation - the bubble enclosed in foil type. 2 circles for the top and bottom + a band that fits around the kettle. I use stick on velcro the hold it in place. This allows me to stretch a canister of fuel to about 10 days of twice daily use. Once the water boils I wrap the kettle in the cozy. Then pour into the cup for beverage and use what's in the kettle for the main meal. Put the lid on the cup, set the kettle on the bottom duct circle and put the remaining circle on the top of the kettle. 15 minutes later both drink and meal are still too hot to eat w/out cooling.

Wind screen: cut down MSR to fit around the pocket rocket - with good ventilation at the ground level. Don't want to explode the canister! It's the flame that needs the protection not the canister.

Everything fits inside the pot. The lid and 2 duct circles go in the stuff sack first. Then, the pot w/ mug inside and the Pocket Rocket in side of it. The cozy is folded and sits in the mug along side the stove with the mini lighter and a tiny flat 1.5" x 1.5" french sponge. It makes cleaning simple. On top of all goes the canister. My spoon goes inside the pot and rests standing up along the canister side. The mug lid goes on top. Very compact. Close the stuff sack and you're done. 1.3 pounds with the canister full.

Snake skins: I wouldn't go without them. Both my tarp and hammock are housed in snake skins. I don't use stuff sacks for them. I coil them up and put the hammock in my pack and the tarp in the mesh back panel. Then, if I want shelter fast or even just for lunch, I can put up the tarp w/out opening the pack. In a downpour, a tarp is quick and really feels luxurious.

Food is still an issue at the moment. My usual isn't very healthy compared to eating real food - that is food that doesn't have a label.

Currently I'm packing: dried fruit and raw nuts that have been soaked and dehydrated, rolled oats & cracked wheat, dehydrated mushrooms and onions, ramen noodles & trail bars, instant coffee, hot choc. Too much MSG etc. Too many things that have chemicals rather than nutrition. But not sure what I can use that doesn't weigh more than I'm willing to haul. We shall see.

Keep walking