October 29th, 2007


Backpacking gear

So while on the Smokey Mountains, I hiked around with 35 lbs on my back. There was a drought in the area, the worst drought recorded.. so in the first day we had to bring all our water (about a gallon).

I had been excited about my 25 lb weight, but after the water and group gear, it got really heavy.

I rented a pair of trekking poles, and oh my goodness, there was so brilliantly awesome! With such a load on my pack and the trail being so hilly it was helpful.

Each time I took off my backpack and started to walk, it felt like I was moonwalking, very light and bouncy.

So I was inspired by "Ultralight backpacking". There are groups of people who eschew expensive backpacking gear and just carry a shower tent and sew their own gear.  Or you can buy expensive ultralight gear.

On Backpacker magazine, I saw a really light backpack, read the phone number and saw that it was area code 512. Turns out that Gossamer Gear, one of 4 lightweight manufacters.. was right here in town, operating out of a house. I dropped by the place and got a new backpack (crazy light: 1 lb 4 oz) and a foam sleeping pad (8 oz) and trekking poles (2.4 oz each). *beam*
Oh. And a tiny alcohol-based stove.

So the only ultralight thing I don't have is a sleeping bag, the ones I saw that I liked were over $300. So, I'll stick to my cheaper and heavier one, it's only about 2 lbs.  And a tent. My backpacking tent is 6 lbs and for 2 people. Ok for 2 people. Not ok for one person.

I seem to always dive headfirst into a hobby. Like my first year doing improv, I was going to the Chicago Improv Festival and Keith Johnstone's workshop. 

Tonight Andy and I hiked the greenbelt and I'm looking forward to a bunch of backpacking since it's nice and cold in Texas right now. 

I am eating fast food for lunch to offset my gear buying. KFC today.