Kraig Becker sent me an early prototype of a Helly Hansen LifaLoft jacket for my 2019 trip to Patagonia. I wore it non-stop for a couple of months cycling and hiking in wet, windy and sometimes cold weather.
LIFALOFT™ is not down. It’s arguably lighter and warmer.
The idea is to trap a maximum amount of air in a small space. And due to the hydrophobic properties of LIFA®, LIFALOFT™ has an inherent water repellency that should keep you warm, even when wet.
It worked for me as advertised.
The best test came when I got caught in a surprise downpour while hiking without my shell. I was worried.
But next morning the LifaLoft looked and felt 100% perfect.
UPDATE: I bought two more LifaLoft jackest – in different colours and sizes. I often wear two rather than a heavier down jacket.
I machine washed and dried one jacket. It come out looking like new.
Our favourite hike to Machu Picchu is Salkantay. (Even better would be Choquequirao to Machu Picchu — but that might be difficult to do independently. One guided 7-day adventure for 2 people would cost USD $2275 each.)
I’m recommending they instead take the bus Cusco to the Ollantaytambo ruins. Stay there one night. Then take the train to Aguas Calientes. Walk up to Machu Picchu – 6 kilometres (3.7 mi) in about 90 minutes. Best is to walk in the early morning to arrive at the gates before the tourist buses.
So … Cusco and Machu Picchu to acclimatize. Their first hike would be Ausangate , about 100km south of Cusco.
Next they’d head south towards Lake Titicaca on the well trod Gringo Trail. There are many tourists stops en route.
From the lake they are hoping to detour into Bolivia. La Paz and the local attractions.
For hiking, I’m recommending they bus up to the mountain town of Sorata, Bolivia. Speak to locals on recommended hiking options.
Returning to Peru they’d continue up the coast towards Lima.
I’ve made hundreds of flight over the years with camping stoves in both carry-on and luggage — and only really had problems in New Zealand. They are VERY strict on all camping equipment, not wanting to introduce foreign pests.
But in 2021 I’ve had stoves questioned twice. The were not confiscated.
Friends had stoves taken and not returned!
Air Canada last week — for example — took my very clean JetBoil and had to have it approved by SOMEBODY before I could take it on the plane.
Variant no. 2 may be the easiest, but it leads through the roads used by cars, which may be tiresome.
Variant no. 1 is more demanding.
Variant no. 3 is the fastest traverse from all of the options. Going east-west requires more time and planning, and it is combined with bigger difficulties (less roads, more paths and sometimes the wilderness, crossing the rivers, long distances with no water). Choose it, if you are sure of your skills and you can survive far away from people. …
The biggest surprise for me on the sunny 😎 John Muir Trail 2021 was the number of hikers wearing sun-hoodies rather than the more traditional button down shirt, buff and/or bandana (that I was wearing).
Sun-hoodies are particularly popular with the ladies.