Monday, May 19, 2014

I'm Going on a Hike!

Oh my Godsh I'm going on a hike! You mean the PCT you ask? No! (Well yes, but that's not exactly what I mean at the moment). I mean I'm going on a hike now...like this week! I've done nothing but day hikes in the last four years. FOUR YEARS. Pathetic. What makes this even more exciting? A new backpack...AND a new tent.
I am now the proud new owner of a Big Agnes Fly Creek Platinum Ultra Light (UL) tent! In 2009 I carried a Big Agnes Seedhouse UL tent and I loved it! I loved it so much that it even got a name; Guss. Guss is gone now, worn to the seams. Sad times really. Despite the fact that 2009 was one of the wettest years on record for an AT thru-hike, I never woke up in a puddle of water. I know the Fly Creek isn't nearly as light as a hexamid (the currently popular choice of UL hikers), but it's pretty much guaranteed to stay standing in a rain/wind storm. Plus, its over a pound lighter than the Seedhouse. I hate being wet. I'll take the extra weight.


Image Courtesy of Bug Agnes
 Then I went out on a limb and purchased a brand new Six Moon Design Fusion 65 pack. They were set up at Trail Days this past weekend.  Cori and I got to talking with Brian Frankle, who was formerly owner/designer for ULA packs. I love Cori's ULA Circuit (2011) and the quality/durability of ULA packs is excellent. It's one of the most common packs used by PCT and AT thru-hikers. Brian joined the Six Moon Design (SMD) team in 2012, and has spent the past year redesigning SMD's packline. I was skeptical at first but after a brief overview of the new packlines functionality, fitting the pack to me, and knowing Brian's history of making incredibly awesome ultra light, durable packs I was sold. The only real choice I had to make was whether or not to get the Fusion 50 or the 65. Basically this boiled down to how much can this pack hold? I choose to go with the larger pack since it could hold a bear canister, a must carry for PCT and CDT thru-hikers, and it could handle the weight/capacity of all the extra water I'll need to carry when hiking through the desert. Done.



 As for the overnight hiking/backpacking, I'm in the last minute planning stages for 3-day hiking trip this week. Honestly, I'm slightly nervous. I haven't done this in what feels like a life time. Will my knees hold up? Will I really like the pack I just bought? Am I in good enough shape to handle some challenging terrain, even if its for 10-12 miles a day? I've been running and doing some weight training, but nothing consistent. Plus, running, although good for building endurance, is not the same as hiking with 25 pounds on your back. Well, it's time to find out where I stand (hike?). August is just around the corner and I need to get ready for the Long Trail. I can't think of a better way to figure out what I'm currently capable of. I am so ready to be hiking again!

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