29 Sep 2011

New JMT Photos

Hi Guys - As promised, I have uploaded the bulk of my JMT photos including the final couple of days on Mt Whitney. Just click on the photos to the right to go to my albums. Enjoy.
PS: I will get around to put some IDs on each ASAP

27 Sep 2011

Ideas on GG Gorilla Pack Changes

I took the Gossamer gear Pack on my John Muir Trail hike (not the first time used - about it's 5th outing). It performed superbly. However, nothing is perfect in the "lightweight world"!  But, Gossamer Gear have just about got it perfect.

I have recommended  to Grant at GG, along with others (see Brian's Outdoor Blog - link in right panel)  several "fixes":

1. Go back to a convention "s"  narrower, padded shoulder straps. The wide straps rub on neck sometimes, the internal padding slips and overall it feels "strange" on the outer shoulders.
2. The compression straps at the top of each side are useless - lower them or dismiss them.
3. The strop that the lid strap threads through is too narrow for the buckle and too low - it impedes entry to the top of the back mesh pocket.
4. The fabric , whilst bomb proof, does not perform well in rain - seems to "soak" through quickly.
5. The velcro secures for the internal back frame are too small

Having said this, the pack performed wonderfully and I got many comments on the trail as to the it's look/design. 

11 Sep 2011

Hexamid Bug Net

I'm soooooo excited. Just ordered Joe's new Hexamid Bug Net to go with my Hexamid Tarp - You can see all the details here:
http://www.zpacks.com/large_image.shtml?shelter/hexanet_solo/hexanet_tarp_lay_l.jpg

Can't wait to field test it - I will post report when I have.

Solving the "Pillow" Problem

I love my Mont-Bell pillow. It's very light and offers a nice bit of luxury when tucked up in my biv.

One problem, the pillow always drifts away from my mat. Throughout the night I am constantly (in a half awake state) always adjusting the mat and pillow to stay in alignment.  I think I have solved the problem - an in-field trial will answer that question.

I purchased some tough binding and a couple of duffel coat buttons - about a $4 purchase. Using contact glue, I cemented a loop of binding with the duffel button attached, to my Kooka Bay mat. My Mont Bell pillow has two holes in each corner that the duffel buttons fit through (Mont Bell have a similar system, but their mats are too thin/heavy).

I have included some photos below. Pretty proud of my work!!


 

Simblissity Leva Gaiters

 

Start of the JMT in Yosemite - I posted this to show you my gaiters. These are Simblissity Leva Gaiter - $US26.95. I can highly recommend these. Lightweight AND you don't need a tie under the arch. They stay in place very efficiently. To order or get more info go to http://www.simblissity.net/levagaiter.htm

Hydration for Tramping

It never ceases to amaze me how myopic some trampers are when it come to water purification in the backcountry.

Whilst researching for my John Muir Trail hike I was constantly reminded of the need to filter drinking water. I think this stems from the litigious American culture of the "powers to be" protecting themselves from litigation in case one gets sick.

Anyhow, I set about searching the web for some more scientific info about the High Sierra water supply, and there were plenty of papers available. I was also a surprise when I picked up my permit and told the ranger I was not purifying and he informed me that he had been drinking the Sierra water for 8 years and got "slightly" ill once. I did not purify any water.

But, be sensible. Only drink water that is source above people, farm animals and the trail. Giardia is a bigger problem with personal hygiene. You would have to drink 100s of  liters of water to get sick. In fact one source informed me that water out of a tap in San Francisco was a greater risk that drinking from a High Sierra river.

Their is a great short article about hiking hydration and purifying water at www.lightandmatter.com/article/hiking_water.html
 

5 Sep 2011

JMT Photos

OK Guys - I have loaded up some photos of my recent JMT trip - Missing some in the middle of trip when my batteries exploded and also the end (Mt Whitney) because my memory was full. My hiking buddy, Lee has this covered and I will edit and post these when he supplies his pictures - I will also label each photo. But for the impatient pups, here are some shots!

Click on the trip photos on the right. This will take you to my Picasa Albums - then choose JMT. Enjoy

4 Sep 2011

Inov8 Rocklite295

I am just back from completing the John Muir Trail. One of my best pieces of performing gear was my shoes. Did a couple of long day trips and one w/e trip before hitting the JMT. 18 days, 320 Ks, these shoes never missed a beat. No blisters, hot spots etc. Great comfort all the way. Highly recommended!