So, backcountry.com is having a closeout sale this week, where all their sale items are 50% off. This is mostly last year’s gear, but I am totally fine with last year’s gear for 50% off! It’s a little hard to order things over the internet, since sizing is so weird for hiking gear, but backcountry has a great return policy so hopefully some things will work out.
Even though I am hiking with RD, we are going to pack separate tents. RD says this is because if one of us gets hurt, the other one can go on without having to lug a 2 person tent. I say this is because otherwise we will drive each other crazy (RD is nicer than I am). I’ve looked at a bunch of reviews online, and think I’m going with the MSR Hubba SP tent. It’s light, it’s relatively affordable, and it has bunches of room. Still, I’m going to sit in one before I order it.
I have no idea what kind of sleeping bag to get. I need to purchase one, since I only have 40+ degree bags (one of the perks of living in the deep south is you never have to worry about a winter bag). I think a light 20 degree bag will be fine, because I have a silk liner that should give another 5-10 degrees of comfort. I want a synthetic bag so I don’t have to worry about it getting wet (down loses it’s insulation when it gets wet) – and so I can dry out gear in the bottom of the bag while I sleep. Other than that, I don’t know. Hopefully I will be able to get to an REI store and try some out soon.
I’m trying to decide if I need a new pack or not. I’ve only ever had one hiking pack, and I like the basic layout of it. But I’m wondering if I should try on some other packs, to see if there is something that will make these 2000+ miles a little more comfortable.
I also need to get some rain gear and cold weather clothes. I’ll be trying to find good deals on synthetics, and just hope I get something I can work with that I don’t have to pay full price for. Other things I’m looking at: hiking poles, trail shoes vs. boots, steripen vs. chemical drops. I’m hoping to spend $1k max on gear (including tent/bag/pack/boots/etc).
There’s other stuff to think about, too. Should Em move in with RD’s partner while we’re gone? She’d be living rent-free, but then when I get finished I’ll have to come back to apartment hunting (and, the cats will be totally unhappy about moving). Should I get a SPOT device to check in every night? (And, upon looking at reviews, are there other devices that are better?) Should we switch to Verizon so the cell coverage will be better, and if so, what phone should I get? Should I rely on the smartphone for music and books? How much audio should I allow myself every day? Do I want to try out a hammock instead of a tent? What will we eat? Should I “live blog” – posting public updates when I can, or should I post to a private blog or facebook group?
There are so many questions – and while I’m figuring it all out life continues. Work is still stressful (maybe even more so, since I have a finite end date in mind and an infinite list of projects). I have little moments of panic – am I really doing this? – but far more moments of excitement – I’m really doing this!