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  1. #141
    Registered User vaporjourney's Avatar
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    Am I the only one looking forward to the desert portions of the trail as much as if not more than the High Sierra?

  2. #142

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    I love desert hiking. I think a lot of people are worried about it because it is a bit of an unknown for them.
    Once you get comfortable hiking in the desert, it can be a real treat. Learn to dry camp, camel up at water sources so you don't have to carry a whole lot. eat your meals at water sources, learn how to dress for no shade hiking, what cactus plants are friendly and which ones are not, etc.

    I remember i dressed so much like a Mexican that the border patrol guys were slamming on their brakes and doing doughnuts to come and question my butt. Big straw hat, thin cotton long sleeve shirt, baggy lighweight pants. Hey those people know how to stay hydrated.

  3. #143

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    I like the desert too. Maybe it was growing up in the USVI but i like the heat..

    Good Neighbor, ya gonna wear fish net ?? i may have to come to see that .. don't forget cdt 09 dillweed !

  4. #144
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
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    As for socks....the thin nylon one's Yogi recommends seem to wear out real fast, as do just sock liners. The sand and grit will tear apart socks. I used an ankle high thin wool sock the whole way with no problems. Check out Smartwool running socks, the Smartwool Adrenalines (expensive) or the Thorlo Scramblers.

    Never used the Inov-8 but I heard nothing but good things from people. Scott Williamson uses them now. 'Nough said.

    Can't stress letting your feet air out enough. Everytime you sit down or have a snack, take your socks and shoes off and let the dogs breath. This will cut down on blisters.

    IMO, the desert difficulty is over-blown. That being said there are some inhospitable sections I'd try to traverse at night, ala Mission Creek, The Aquaduct and Anza Borrego. Water shouldn't be an issue this year, and you can have a hell of a fun time in the first 700 if you keep an open mind and allow yourself to have fun and stay flexible.
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  5. #145

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    I'm looking forward to the desert! I'm going super minimalist - not carrying any food, I'm going to survive off boiled lizards, scorpions(ala Les Stroud), peyote, and cactus pears - not necessarily in that order!

  6. #146

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    Funny you should say that as there is a discussion going on right now in the Phuket, Thailand thread on another forum i belong to about eating lizards.
    The Burmese workers who come here to do the crapwork labor always carry a slingshot in the pocket for birds and lizards and frogs. They live off the land here except for spices. Lots of edible plants here. Not so much in the desert. Not saying you should do that as the lizards a vital part of the desert.
    I've seen a 5 or 6 acre construction site feed about 8 people!

  7. #147

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    I wore short gaiter over the liners and had no problems with them falling apart becuz of dirt grit etc. Now that i think about it i haven't worn true socks on a long hike in yrs.. except maybe in to town or in cold weather.

  8. #148
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    Ok, getting everything put together here. I've got about 95% of my gear sitting on the floor next to my PC right now. 3 last things:

    1. Inflatible pad vs. solid core? Yogi's book says that self-inflating pads will get holes, but what if I'm just careful about site selection/make sure there aren't any thorns under my campsite? Also, I'm not sure she's reconed with the BMW TorsoLight, the thing seems indestructible.

    2. How cold do the nights get south of Kennedy Meadows? If I have my 20 degree bag and Capilene 4 thermals, do I need a fleece?

    3. What's the deal with rain up north? Everyone says it can suck, but then the also say that it starts to get bad in September, by which time I'll be safe and snug back at school. If I pace to finish by the first week of August, do I have to worry about serious rain (ie, should I get a good shell)?

    How many days to May 14??

  9. #149

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    For weight reasons I'd go with a foam pad. For $5 and less weight, and no need to worry about it going flat, its hard to beat.

  10. #150
    Registered User vaporjourney's Avatar
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    well, you have to worry about closed cell foam pads going flat, but not due to deflating. Instead you'll probably be replacing them every few hundred miles if you like to stay comfortable. Having said that, I'm still taking a Gossamer Gear NightLight pad to save over half a lb, as well as not have to worry about a leaking pad out there.

    I asked the same question about nighttime lows south of Kennedy Meadows on the PCT-L. Replies seemed to say that you can definitely see temps down to 25 deg, though rare. Typical lows are in the low to mid 40s, and several nights around 35 deg. Pretty cold, but nothing crazy like consistent 20 deg nights like on the AT. My plan is to carry my summer, 45* quilt, and supplement with Montbell jacket, thermal tops and bottoms and windshirt. Don't forget the warm hat/balaclava.

    It's probably a good idea to have a good rain shell for WA, but like they say, August is supposedly BEAUTIFUL up there. Then again, you know that I'm going to be thru-hiking the same time as you, so someone else should be answering this instead of me wasting your time.

  11. #151
    usually confused but never lost Fannypack's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by clured View Post
    3. What's the deal with rain up north? Everyone says it can suck, but then the also say that it starts to get bad in September, by which time I'll be safe and snug back at school. If I pace to finish by the first week of August, do I have to worry about serious rain (ie, should I get a good shell)?

    How many days to May 14??
    I hope u are right about the rain...
    Here is some info about WA in September:
    2000: a couple friends had rain 20 out of 25 days of hiking
    2001: I had only 1 day of rain out of 25 days hiking

    Have a great hike...

  12. #152
    Registered User A-Train's Avatar
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    1. Foam pad, hands down. I watched those who couldn't part with their therma rests patch them up in trail towns. Seems like a no brainer to me. There are stickers everywhere in the desert.

    2. You'll be fine with a 20 degree bag, especially if you start mid-May. I would have some type of top layer though, be it down or fleece. Remember there may be times it's almost necessary to hike at night and it can get damn chilly in the desert when the sun goes down. I only experienced below freezing one or two nights before KM, but was glad to have the warmth.

    Typically (key word being typically) the weather is great in August in Wash. I had one phenomenol day after another until the last 3 days of the trip (when I got nailed with a snowstorm...in Sept.). I would carry some kind of shell, or poncho just in case. The Glacier Peak section is just down right remote and you'd be screwed if you get caught in bad weather in that section without some protection, no matter how fast you hike. You aren't near ANY towns at all.
    Anything's within walking distance if you've got the time.
    GA-ME 03, LT 04/06, PCT 07'

  13. #153

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dogwood View Post
    I'm looking forward to the desert! I'm going super minimalist - not carrying any food, I'm going to survive off boiled lizards, scorpions(ala Les Stroud), peyote, and cactus pears - not necessarily in that order!
    Hope you find lots of peyote......you won't realize how hungry you are!

    geek

  14. #154

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    this trail sounds like alot of fun

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