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.

2 Foot Adventures mobile gear shop

PCT schedule 2019:

  • Warner Springs, CA – March 15 to May 16
  • Lone Pine, CA – May 24 – June TBD
  • Etna, CA – July TBD – Aug TBD

I met Mary and Charlie at Warner Springs and really appreciated their advice on very light hiking gear.

I bought my first pair of Injinji toe socks. They worked well.

2 Foot Adventures carry Granite Gear, my pack of choice for many years.

But I was convinced to try a Hyperlite next time I’m buying.

100% waterproof Dyneema®. The external mesh pockets are bigger than my Granite Gear. Weight is a bit more, however, at 2.17 lbs | 34.82 oz | 987g (Black).

There’s no doubt I should switch from sleeping bag to quilt soon. The Jacks R Better “Sierra Sniveller” 20 degree is my choice, so far.

Palm Springs to Paradise Cafe – day 3

Trip report by BestHike editor Rick McCharles 

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Having hiked 1 day and 2 hours so far … I took a zero in Idyllwild, California. 😀

Most PCT hikers take a zero in Idyllwild. It’s one of the most popular towns on the PCT. Party time. But most hikers have put in 10 hard days or more to get here.

Civilization

I hadn’t planned on taking a zero. I was fresh.

But the day prior my beloved MSR Hubba tent pole broke in two places. It took a couple of hours, one splint and plenty of duct tape to hack a fix.

There’s one good gear shop in Idyllwild – Nomad Ventures.

By the time I got the tent fixed and packed up … it was Noon.

The library opened at Noon. Free internet. A chance to fully charge all my electronics. I couldn’t resist. One thing led to another and …

… the library closed at 5pm. Too late to get back on the trail.

I returned to the $5 PCT camping area and set up my fragile tent. Again.

Reportedly the least expensive rooms in town were $150 / night. And were full.

Dinner was rotisserie chicken, my favourite townie food. And then I headed over to Higher Grounds Coffee Shop for LIVE music on Friday night.

I hung around the campfire until 10pm. That’s an hour later than usual. Hiker midnight is 9pm.

PCT hikers were in holiday mode. One insisted I have a beer.

OK.

Day 1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6

Andrew Skurka interview

Backpacker Radio spoke with the thru hiking legend, author, blogger, and backcountry guide Andrew Skurka.

Very entertaining. Very informative. He shares strong opinion on gear.

Andrew names Cam “Swami” Honan and Justin “Trauma” Lichter as two thru hikers he admires in 2019.

Zach and Smiles host the podcast. Listen online – Backpacker Radio #33

Andrew Skurka

related – You Think Your Winter Was Rough (Trauma’s winter PCT)

Jetboil MiniMo – my fave stove

In recent years I’ve been using the JetBoil MiniMo.

I cook and drink out of the one pot.

I love the convenience of the piezoelectric igniter. The auto-igniters on early JetBoils FAILED quickly, but they seem to have solved that problem now.

You can fit an 8oz canister in the wider pot of the MiniMo. You can also fit a 4 oz canister along with the MiniMo’s burner in its pot sideways. That’s handy.

I don’t need simmer so that’s not a selling point for me.

The MiniMo replaced my much used MSR Reactor.

The best thing about the Reactor is that it is NOT locked on to the stove. I find it safer.

MSR Reactor

Both those stoves might be nearing end-of-life. … Or they may keep working for another decade. Both are bashed up.

So in advance of my recent, remote Patagonia trip I bought a new stove …

JetBoil Flash.

I hadn’t realized it had a colour changing boil indicator. Cute. I did watch.

But I found myself more often boiling over my dinner in the Flash. For me the larger capacity MiniMo is just right. And the MiniMo is easier to clean.

Adventure Alan likes the MiniMo best, as well.

Read about other, lighter options here

related – Outdoor Gear Labs review – JetBoil MiniMo

my favourite hiking meal

Most nights tenting in the backcountry I cook up the same basic dinner:

Instant mashed potatoes with instant soup (often Knorr brand).

Instant mashed potatoes are available in small grocery shops the world over as is instant soup.

United Kingdom

To keep gear as light as possible I cook, eat and drink out of one pot.

I carry only one metal spoon. No knife, fork or spork.

To enhance the fairly bland base meal I add chilli powder or lemon pepper. Then something like peanuts, raisins or tuna.

I never seem to tire of this grub. Cook up is fast using very little fuel. Clean-up quick and easy.