Sunday, March 15, 2009

Continental Divide Trail Gear List 2009

My goal this time around is to try and go lighter, and to try not to buy too much new gear.

Check out my AT and PCT gear lists for more ideas.

Granite Gear Nimbus Ozone, 48oz
I really like the suspension of the Nimbus Ozone. I tried hard to work down to the Vapor Trail, but I'm just not an ultra-light hiker. I just seem to carry too much darn stuff. Also, Vapor Trail isn't as comfortable for me. I needed to have enough capacity for multiple liters of water as well as room for up to eight days of food. I think Granite Gear has great customer service.
post-hike: This pack held up well. I stepped on the hip belt buckle and broke part of it, but Granite Gear sent me a new buckle for free when I called to buy one. I liked having a good suspension for heavy-water days in the desert and heavy food days in other areas. The CDT was cold, and I was glad to have room for all of my extra clothes.

Marmot Original Driclime Windshirt, 10oz
I'm excited about this jacket because I think it will be a great windbreaker and warm layer. Further, I'm not worried about ruining a DWR finish in the harsh sun or getting a softer layer wet with sweat. Bonus, found this one at 60% off!
post-hike: this was a great jacket! It was perfect for those chilly mornings and great for the whipping winds we frequently encountered. I slept in it many times. It was easy to wash. I really preferred this to my Montbell jacket as I was always worried about getting that one wet.

Isis Daisy bra
I was very pleased with this light-weight bra on the PCT. It's single-ply fabric dried much faster than the Patagonia Capilene bra I had on the AT. It has a barely-there feel and does not produce a uni-boob. FYI, this is an Isis bra.

post-hike: still a great bra! Dries quickly.  However, its life has come to an end.

I have a bunch of cheap, black synthetic undies. They've been to Europe, Asia, Australia, New Zealand, and soon they will be Triple Crowners. OK, that's probably too much information, but can you say the same for your undies?!

post-hike: worked like a charm! Now they're in the trash! PS - it is nice to have black undies for those occasional streams, swimming holes, and hot springs!

Smart Wool beanie
A nice, lightweight hat.

Montrail Hardrock trail runners
I discovered these on the PCT. I highly recommend them, though they are not for those who need a wide footbox. I found an outdated model-year at 30% off so I bought three pairs. Started with my last pair of Hardrocks from the PCT, then chucked them half-way through New Mexico. These shoes were great: comfy, quick to dry, and the nice, thick sole adds lots of cushioning.
Worked like a charm. Beware the thorns in New Mexico - they can go right through the sole! I would have preferred waterproof boots in Glacier as the heavy undergrowth soaked our shoes with dew and/or rain.


I used some Dirty Girls.
post-hike: I love them! They are so much fun. The velcro that attaches the gaitors at the heels works fine, though the Gila river is a bit tough on them. Easy to wash.

Six Moons Designs
A single wall sil-ny tent. Sets up with a pair of trekking poles.
post-hike: The first night we set up this tent, a mouse chewed a hole in the side. That's what we get for using a well-worn tent site. After that, we kept our food in the middle of the tent! This tent took some getting used to. It is very roomy for two people, and without a central pole there is lots of room for snuggling. The tent is long - as long as you aren't very tall- so it had plenty of space for our gear at our feet. The single wall does mean that condensation is a problem. The single wall also means that we need to set up the tent at lunch each day to dry it out. We never dealt with multiple days of rain in a row without an opportunity to dry the tent, but that was my fear. That would be very wet. It was helpful to have a dedicated bandana to mop the condensation each morning before collapsing the tent. It is light, but one person has to carry the whole tent.


old Ridge Rest
I'm just gonna weigh them and pick the lightest one. Incidentally, I tried out the Gossamer Gear 1/8 inch 2.5 oz thinlight mat during our AT warm up hike before the PCT. A great idea, but it bunched up underneath me during the night as I turned and did not keep me warm. Probably good for summer in warm areas.

We may not cook this time around.

Lexan spoon .5 oz
I may take my spoon, because it will also become a Triple Crowner. It'll still be good for peanut butter as well as dry, crunched up ramen. And don't forget oatmeal straight from the pouch with a little water.

If I don't have a cooking pot for dipping, I can always cut the end off of a plastic bottle to use for a dipper or bowl.

Water and Treatment
Platypus bladders and hose
I'll probably use these because I already have them. They are getting to be a bit drippy, but I can always replace them with plastic bottles from a convenience store.

Leki ultralight titanium trekking poles from 2002
These will be Triple Crowners, too!

Check out my AT and PCT gear lists for more ideas.

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