NEW Hyperlite 3400 Windrider pack – first look

I purchased the pack online from Hyperlite for US$365. Shipping to Canada was an additional $40.

With the pack I also ordered a small Pod which fits inside without wasting any space. I put it on the bottom with light items including clothing.

NOT inexpensive. 😕

That said, after my first overnight hiking trip, I’m very happy with the Windrider.

  • light (32oz) but not as light as my usual Virga 2 (18.5oz)
  • incredibly durable
  • waterproof finally!
  • expandable to 55L plus 3 big mesh pockets

Many on the PCT this year were carrying the white version. I much prefer black.

I’d say it’s the best looking lightweight pack available right now.

maximum capacity

Click PLAY or see it on Vimeo.

Unbounded – Greater Patagonia Trail documentary

“Unbounded” shows the beauty, the cultural richness but also the challenges of this trail network. I highly recommend watching this work of art to all prospective hikers as part of their preparation.
Jan Dudeck (creator of GPT)

Four young people who didn’t know each other at the start hiked 4 months on the Greater Patagonia Trail in Chile.

Only one had much experience hiking.

They made plenty of mistakes. Carried huge packs. At the start they could only manage about 7km / day.

The Greater Patagonia Trail is a route, not a trail. It’s unsigned. It’s wilderness. It’s very challenging.

Despite many, many problems, the documentary turned out to be quite entertaining. I recommend it.

Click PLAY or watch the trailer on YouTube.

I watched on Amazon Prime. But it is available on other video streaming sites.

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BikePacking Wesley Ridge, Vancouver Island B.C.

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles

AKA Mt. Wesley Traverse

I tried and failed to do the Wesley Ridge circuit:

  • close to tourist hotspot Cathedral Grove
  • trailheads on highway 4 between Parksville and Port Alberni
  • about 10km with 750m elevation gain/loss
  • about 6-8 hrs from one end to the other
  • additional hour or two walking abandoned rail tracks back to start
  • not maintained. Hundreds of fallen trees.
  • buggy but few mosquitoes
  • route finding necessary

I started at the end closest to Parksville assuming it would be less busy than the Cathedral Grove trailhead.

click for larger version

I made a video of the BikePacking trip. Cycling to and from my parent’s place in Parksville qualifies this as a #MicroAdventure.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

I hid and locked my bike close to the trailhead. Transferred what I needed to my hiking pack — and headed up the railway tracks.

I missed the turn-off up mountain. It’s not obvious. On my return I flagged the start to make it more conspicuous.

Steep.

The strenuous 2km climb up to the telecommunications tower is called Wesley Tower Trail.

Many continue on to the first lake vista. It took me about 2 hours to get here. There are two benches, one named Forever Tuesday after the Tuesday Walkers Club in nearby Port Alberni.

Most turn back at this point. There’s no one path across the ridge from here.

I gave it a good try. You follow different (competing) sets of orange tape flags. Some lead to dead ends.

A bigger problem was scrambling hundreds of fallen trees. Not bringing long pants, I got quite scratched up. It was bushwhacking.

Another problem is water. I saw no flowing water — only remnant snow melt tarns. 

With daylight failing, I finally decided to find myself a great tent site.

It doesn’t get much better than this. I had to HIDE in the tent at dusk, however, pestered by small non-biting flies.

From here I could see steam rising from Port Alberni.

Here’s where I stopped.

Good night.

Next morning, nearly out of water, I decided to hustle back the way I’d come. I’ll try the Ridge from the other end on some future trip.

related – Lonny Barr – Wesley Ridge Trail

Kepler Track, New Zealand

The Kepler track is a 60km loop that takes you alongside glistening alpine lakes, through dense beech forest and up into a spectacular alpine environment.

This video takes you through the alpine section of this ‘Great Walk’ to help you prepare for the harsher conditions, particularly in exposed areas. …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

DOC official website – Kepler Track

PCT Days – Cascade Locks, Oregon

Aug 16-18, 2019 near Bridge of the Gods.

schedule

Pacific Crest Trail Days (an event produced by Outdoor Viewfinder), is a 3-day summer festival that celebrates outdoor recreation, with a focus on hiking, camping, and backpacking.

Attendees are able to learn about outdoor products from exhibiting sponsors, participate in activities, games & presentations, win awesome gear at the raffle, watch a series of films, and get great deals at the Gear Expo….

I’m STILL carrying a wide mouth Nalgene

Amazingly, Nalgene is 70 years old.

Yet their classic is still my water bottle of choice.

They are selling limited edition 70th anniversary bottles for USD $11.54.

Or you can enter the contest to win one.

best hikes in Kashmir, India

India and Pakistan both dispute ownership of the Kashmir Valley, and political violence can flare up without warning. Because of ongoing security problems, many foreign governments advise against all travel, or all but essential travel, to areas outside of the cities of Srinagar and Jammu, and your travel insurance may be invalid if you ignore this advice.

Lonely Planet

For increased personal safety you could sign up for a guided trek with India Hikes:

The top question on  everyone’s mind is whether they … do the Kashmir Great Lakes trek (KGL) or the Tarsar Marsar trek. …

Which Kashmir Trek To Choose?