Thursday, April 14, 2016

The Dangers of a Trail

This maker commemorates lives lost at the Laurel Fork Falls
We all know there are certain dangers found when hiking. Weather extremes. Injuries from the act of hiking over terrain. Illness. The occasional wildlife encounter or insect / plant life encounter that goes bad. But there are also other hazardous that can even be life threatening. Sometimes there have been drownings. Medical conditions such as heart attacks. Even crime, though extremely rare. The trail itself, in all its varying terrain, can deliver near life and death experiences. 

A few years ago year ago, a father and son lost their lives at Laurel Fork Falls, right along the famous Appalachian Trail near Hampton, TN. 


While thinking on this tragedy, I was alerted to another hiker that had a similar fateful fall at these waterfalls and nearly drowned. Hiker "Slim" shares her harrowing experience in this journal entry from her hike:

We stopped at Laurel Fork Gorge to dip our feet in the water.  We met another hiker, Bob, from upper
Hiker Slim nearly drowned at Laurel Fork Falls
New York who sells printing presses.
  We were all talking and hiking along the creek when we went around a two foot rock ledge at the water's edge and when I stepped up my pack’s external frame hit the rock above and knocked me off balance and I fell backward and head first fell into the water with a fully loaded backpack.  I was holding my breath while suspended in water just a few feet over my head but couldn't get up or down.  I was suspended there
Where Slim fell and could not breath
for a few seconds when I heard a splash behind me.
  Bogey had jumped over me into the fast moving stream still wearing his backpack and I felt him pushing my pack and me upward.  Then again he pushed me and finally I was able to grasp some air.  Bob pulled me out and then Bogey climbed out.  I don't know if I would have thought to take off my backpack as Bogey was in so quick to jump in after me.  I didn't have time to think. I probably would have drowned because I did not think to take off the backpack.  I was scared, shaking and weak when I climbed out. Then Bogey climbed out and the camera that was in his fanny pack began to make a grinding noise.  We then had to buy another camera when we got to Unicoi.  We did eleven miles today.  I hesitate to think what would have happened if Bogey had jumped into water that was over his head. 
Bogey jumped in and saved Slim. Here they are safe and only wet just after the incident. 

I told him he could have drowned. He said he would have pushed me out first.   Bogey lost his pepper spray in the creek.  I was so grateful to him for loving me enough to risk his life for me. 

 Wow. Such a story makes one think and appreciate life and those we love so much more. Heroism can be so overlooked by the bad we hear. Its good to reflect on the goodness we find in the trail experience. And also to take those extra precautions and be aware of our surroundings, knowing that danger exists on the trail.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

8 Ways to Save Some Bucks on Backpacking Essentials

We all know that backpacking gear can get fairly expensive. For many it’s not feasible to get the newest, lightest, greatest thing out there. So what are ways to save a little money here and there when it comes to gear without costing a bunch and carrying heavy gear?

Check your big box stores for clothing ideas. Many of them are carrying synthetic type garments just fine for backpacking. You don’t have to shell out $60 for a shirt but can get it for $15. Same with synthetic pullovers, hats, gloves, hiking socks (now is the time to stock up on winter clearance items too!).
Sitting on my 50 cent seat cushion.

Look for deals online and in your community. Browse thrift stores for gear. Many thrift stores like Goodwill, Salvation Army, etc. will get gear in that can be used. Clothes, outerwear, sometimes even other gear like sleeping pads. I have also scoured ads for yard sales that might be carrying gear and took for several years a Thermarest seat cushion I got for fifty cents at a yard sale. You never know! If you have an REI near you, get on their email list for their garage sale events. Great way to get gear real cheap. Many outfitters want to unload returned merchandise. Especially if they loan it out for rent. Ask around and see what they can do for you. Scour store clearance areas online for great deals where they are unloading old models of gear. 

Browse used gear forums. There are many online and in social media. Most go under Backpacking Gear Flea Markets on Facebook (there's at least five of them if not more). Whiteblaze.net has a used gear forum also. Negotiate where you can. 

Other ideas for gear:

Smartwater bottle for a Nalgene. $1 for $8-10 saved, and it weighs less too.

A grease pot for a titanium pot. Only $8 vs $20-30 for a small pot that works fine for cooking



A homemade alcohol stove. You can make your own soda can stove, but be sure you test it. Flair ups is what causes damage to shelters and picnic areas and can cause burns. There is also cheap canister stoves on Amazon that many have said works well too. A Lexan spoon for less than a buck is all you need for silverwear.

Make your own gear. If you are handy with a sewing machine or a family member is, there are patterns and materials available online to sew your own stuff sacks, quilts, vests and jackets, tarps, etc.. Check out Thru-Hiker.com or Ray Jardine for ideas


Dehydrate your own food rather than buying Mountain House meals or the like. Dehydrating and adding vegetables and meats to rice and other pastas (repackage in sandwich bags) with some beef or chicken base can make great meals for the fraction of the cost (watch the Knorr mixes which has hidden msg in it). Normally about $1-2 bucks per meal rather an $7-8. 

With a little bit of searching and ingenuity, you can make your backpacking dream come true without breaking the bank.


Related Blogs:



Monday, March 07, 2016

The Hiker Medicine Chest

So what do you carry on a backpacking trip with regards to supplements and other medicines? I’ve touched on this briefly in my blog on first aid, but I wanted to add in a few extra ideas that I found helpful on hikes.

Supplements

Drink Water!

While it would be nice to get all our nutrition naturally from what we eat, as backpackers it’s rare we can do so. Additional supplements helps the body recover quicker from the damage caused by hiking and provide more energy and less issues with health. Herbs can also help with inflammation and pain. Do not underestimate water consumption. Water is your best defense against achy joints.

These are supplements worth taking (some will be different with men and women)

A Multi Vitamin- some prefer to carry a chewable kind, but if you do, they usually have sugar on them. All vitamins should be hung then in your bear bag. I take just the plain pill form. Women, make sure yours contains adequate iron.

Turmeric for Inflammation
Joint supplement – this can vary, but to help with joints and knees especially, glucosamine sulfate, at least 500 mg and up to 1000 mg a day works well. So does Eggshell membrane that contains MSM and chondroitin.

For Inflammation – I carry Turmeric in pill form. Also Boswellia Serrata. Ginger has also been used for anti-inflammatory issues as well as the chief component in Cayenne pepper, capsaicin. Green Tea helps fight pain, which you can bring in pill form or as teas to drink.

For women, I highly recommend carrying calcium carbonate, extra Vitamin D 3 (helps absorb the calcium), and cranberry tablets to control urinary tract issues

Other Medications

Sometimes other pain relievers are needed. If you don’t have ulcer issues, you can bring some of the standard Vitamin I – commonly known as Advil, to help with inflammation and pain. I usually try to control pan with plain Tylenol though and use the other herbal supplements to help with inflammation. Do not plan to bring other kinds of narcotic pain relievers with you. If you feel the need for a narcotic, then the pain you are having is NOT normal and you should get off the trail and to a doctor.

Doxycycline – 200 mg of this, taken when you first discover a deer tick bite, can help against the development of Lyme disease. Talk to your doctor about having this prescription in your first aid kit. And carry a tick key too for tick removal. Use permethrin to treat your clothing, shoes and socks (do not apply to your skin!).

Stomach Aids – I do not recommend any kind of stomach aids for diarrhea such as lomotil. Diarrhea is the mechanism the body uses to flush out harmful bacteria and viruses. If you are experiencing constant diarrhea for a week or two that does not go away, you may have contracted the water borne illness giardia, and then, you need a prescription antibiotic to cure it. If you suddenly develop an onset of the runs and vomiting, you may have contracted norovirus. No stomach aid can help with this, but only time as it is a virus. Be sure when you are able, drink electrolyte solutions (such as Gatorade) to replace the fluids lost. Coconut water, if available, is helpful also. Try also broths and bananas. Carry with you a good hand sanitizer such as Purell with at least 70% alcohol content, and use it freely to help prevent contamination.

If you plan to be on the trail long term and are on prescription medication, use mail drops to mail the meds to your stops. Having a reliable person at home to help send them to you is a good idea. You can also get a vacation refill from your pharmacy so some drops can be made up ahead of time. Drops can be sent to a host of locations such as outfitters, hostels, motels etc besides just post offices. Check recent guidebooks for where to mail them. And always send your parcels Priority Mail.

 Related Blog

Sickness on the Trail - what to do, prevention



Wednesday, February 24, 2016

That All Important Gear List for a Spring Backpacking Trip


Ah, it's that time of year. Time when we are considering our hiking plans and what we need in the realm of gear to have a safe and enjoyable trip. Here is a typical gear list for a spring start of a long distance hike on the Appalachian Trail. Use it to help construct or modify your gear list. At the end are links to small business outfitters and other retailers.






Sample Gear List for Long Distance Appalachian Trail Hike
 (early spring in the South)
Compiled By “Blissful”  


Hiking
Backpack (be sure its the right size for you! Do NOT go by your height but by torso length), pack cover, pack liner (I swear by Zpacks liner, bombproof), hiking poles, cuben fiber stuff sacks are light and waterproof (Z packs has a nice variety to double bag your sleeping bag and clothes as they MUST stay dry)

Sleep
Sleeping bag (15-20 degree rating), silk liner (good for the cold sleeper like me, adds around 9 degrees), sleeping pad (watch the R value which determines how well it functions in cold weather), Tyvek ground sheet to protect the tent floor from mud, snow (necessary imo), tent – poles and stakes (or complete hammock set-up), air pillow (optional)

Cooking and Drinking

Stove, fuel and fuel container, lighter,  -windscreen (optional), titanium pot, pot cozy (all this is incl if you get a Jetboil system), spork (I use a titanium one after breaking three Light My Fire ones), cup (useful for stream dipping), container for getting water from springs and streams, personal water drinking containers (such as liter plastic bottles - Smartwater bottle is good, etc), water purification (Aqua mira, Sawyer Mini, etc), bear bag hanging system (50 feet of nylon cord), food, waterproof food bag (I actually take two bags to split up my lunch and snack for the day so the  heavier, main food bag goes deeper inside my backpack)

Clothing (can vary depending on your likes and the season)
Hiking clothes ( merino wool long sleeve top, one t-shirt top, convertible pants, fleece top) Insulated jacket (down is good to start), windshirt, hat, gloves, midweight merino wool or fleece top and bottom for camp and sleep (a must if your hiking clothes get wet), rain jacket (pants optional, but I believe needed for early start to help against hypothermia), rain hat (good if you wear glasses), underwear, sports bra (women), good socks (at least three pair), crocs for camp, trail shoes or hiking boots

Personal
Headlamp, First aid kit, medicines (Vit I, doxycycline for ticks, Tylenol, etc), tooth brush and paste, dental floss, earplugs, prescription (esp. if you wear glasses or contacts), hiker wallet with ID, cash, a few personal checks, credit card, debit card (have an extra on the homefront), toilet paper, a few baby wipes, hand sanitizer, whistle, DEET (later on), sunscreen, body glide (if prone to chafing, can take it out of its container), small jackknife with scissors, bandana, pack towel

Other
Maps and guidebook pages, small journal and pen, cell phone and charger, Yaktrax (optional), stuff sacks and Ziploc bags, compass (optional)

Places to Buy Gear or Change out Gear En Route

Some Outfitters near the Trail 



Other Retail and Online Outfitters (ones I have also personally dealt with)


Related Blog:

Gear List of a 2015 Appalachian Trail Thru Hiker   





Wednesday, February 17, 2016

What Goes in Maildrops?


I often see hikers ask on hiker forums what a typical maildrop contains. Here is mine for a reference. Adapt it to your needs and the specific trail you are hiking. Also there are links to other important maildrop info such as postal regs and drop locations down below.

Food for that time period. To avoid lots of extras at a store (like having to purchase a big box of Pop Tarts or oatmeal packets) I put in what I need for the days until my next drop. See the food blog for other food ideas I pack (including dehydrated products like homemade jerky, dried veggies etc). Items I can get easily at a small store (candy bars, granola bars, cracker packs) I buy in town as well as perishables like bread and cheese and heavier items such as a small jar of peanut butter. 

       Sometimes extra treats can be put into the box from home you can’t get elsewhere to enjoy on your day off from the trail. Especially treats you may not find.

       A roll of toilet paper in a Ziploc along with some baby wipes is good. For women, light pads are helpful. If you know approx when you might need feminine supplies, it helps to have that in your drop too along wit any meds you might take.

       Medications – The main reason for mail drops. I have a set of personal meds and vitamins I take (see the first aid blog for what I add vitamin-wise. I usually carry enough meds for ten days. Be sure you are ok on the homefront with your prescription meds and plan ahead (you can ask for "vacation refills" ahead of time to pack into maildrops). I have added a sandwich-size Ziploc with some extra Advil and Tylenol

       Maps and pages copied from the Thru Hiker Guide or the Companion you need for the section you are hiking. 

I've also added for long distance ventures – 

       Some brand new Ziploc bags to replace the ones I use in my pack

       A few extra band aids and some duct tape to replenish the first aid kit 

       Gear: If you are thru hiking the Appalachian Trail northbound, typically gear is switched out around Pearisburg, VA for the summer (after you pass the Mt Rogers area) or by mid May and pick up colder weather gear at Glencliff, NH for the Whites, including clothing and sleeping bag (if you go with a different bag). NOTE: At Glencliff, NH you can also send your box to the Hiker's Welcome Hostel or earlier to the PO in Hanover, NH. Southbounders - your cold weather drop depends on your start date, but you will need colder weather gear usually by mid October (I had mine for southern VA to Springer by then).  


For other trails such as the PCT and CDT, check your guidebooks for recommendations on gear changes you need to add to your drop as well as places to mail food drops. Yogi has a great Handbooks for this planning. Check other websites for other long distance trails for towns to mail drops.


If you mail a fuel canister to yourself, mail it separately from the main food drop and send it surface mail ONLY via the USPS. And yes, canisters can be mailed!


Be sure to send your food drop Priority Mail with Delivery Confirmation and allow plenty of time (I give it ten days to two weeks). 


The drop should be addressed as follows for a Post Office delivery (Use your REAL name and be sure to carry your license to pick up at the PO).
Jane Doe
General Delivery
Hanover, NH  03755
Hold for AT Hiker: ETA (state the expected date of your arrival)


Other businesses, hostels, etc are accepting maildrops and are good options if you feel you may arrive on a weekend when the PO might be closed. If you mail to other locations, be sure to put your real name and "c/o" - care of and the address being sent. Include your ETA.


If you are going to be late (like more than five days), courtesy asks that you call the place holding your drop and alert them. If you sent your drop Priority Mail to the PO and you have not received it or are going to be too late to get it, they can bounce it up the trail for you at no charge. See the mailing blog for other mailing information.

Other Related Blogs

List of AT Maildrop Locations
List of good Grocery Stores on the AT
Mailing blog on Mail Drops (USPS info)
Town Etiquette for Hikers

    

Friday, February 05, 2016

How Easy It Is to Quit on the Trail

How Easy it is to Quit


I have hiked in all kinds of weather. Snow, sleet, thunderstorms, rain. And I know how tempting it is to walk away from the hiking trip you’ve planned for weeks or even months, only to see yourself calling up a friend to take you home. It’s not easy when even your first day in the woods is spent in heavy rain and wind that soaks you. Or your muscles are crying out for relief. The terrain is battering your flesh to a pulp. Or this wave comes over you of – “What am I doing out here!” Yes, I have been through all of it and more.


Some reasons why hikers may quit their hike and some solutions:

1.       Heavy pack weight. You are carrying everything you can think of, and normally that means you are carrying way too much to make the hike comfortable. Take out needless ounces that add up to pounds. Take only what you will use. See if there are weight-saving alternatives, like a headlamp vs. a heavy flashlight. A small knife rather than a big one. Chemical treatment for water vs. a pump. A titanium pot vs. a heavy aluminum one. Also, hikers tend to carry too much food. I blog on food choices. There are lightweight choices out there, too. Even dried peanut butter. Just be sure you are also packing good nutrition. If you are out for only a weekend  or even a week, you won't yet have the hiker appetite of long distance hiking.  

2.       Long miles. Okay, so some buff hikers breeze by you on their way to a 15 mile day, and you think you should do that too. The next day you can barely move. Not a good idea. Slow miles at first until you acclimate. Give yourself a chance out there. It’s not a race. Or a competition. Take ti easy and enjoy the journey.

3.       Unreasonable expectations. It can go along with the above but you have some grandiose idea what the hike will be like, only to find it is not meeting your expectations of fun. Fun can be defined in many ways. It does not mean it will be pain free. But surely it is better than being stuck at home or behind a desk in the office. Shift your mental aspects to finding some positive things about the experience. A great sunset. A spider web dotted with dew. A flowing stream. The companionship of fellow hikers you meet along the way. The good feeling at meeting a goal, however small or large it is.

4.       Bad Weather.  Yes, a nasty rain can suck the life out of a hike. Things get wet. You get wet. Be sure you are protecting yourself and your gear. Invest in good raingear. A pack cover and a pack liner (I am liking Zpacks pack liner more and more after being through some nasty storms). Bag your sleeping bag and clothes in waterproof bags so if your pack gets wet, your core clothing and sleeping bag is dry. Most of all, realize the sun WILL come out and you WILL be able to dry out.



5.       You’re hurt. Not necessarily an injury (which is a different scenario that may require you to temporarily get off), but you are suffering aches, pains blisters. Well, you are putting your body through things it’s not used to. Realize the pain will not last either, so long as you are wearing the right shoes, the right socks, and carrying the pack that fits you properly. Reducing pack weight will help minimize the aches. Cut your mileage to begin. Dry out your feet whenever you stop. I think gaiters keep your feet pretty hot in warm weather, so I don’t wear them. The little aches and pains will diminish. Take frequent rest breaks. Drink plenty of water. If you can tolerate it, taking some Tylenol will help with the pain. Usually after a few days those pains begin to diminish. If they do not, then you may need to reassess your gear to find out what’s up. Or if there are physical limitations that need to be addressed.


The next time you are thinking of quitting, check out the reasons above and see if you can make some changes. Guaranteed with some minor adjustments, the idea of quitting a hike will become a thing of the past. 

Related Blogs:

Mental Aspects of Long Distance Hiking Explored
Rain...Part of a Hiker's Life
When Injury Sidelines You

Friday, January 29, 2016

Gear List from an Appalachian Trail 2015 Thru Hiker

Our guest blog is a list of gear from a 2015 AT thru hiker Chase and what worked and didn't work on his hike. His start was in February, but keep in mind that winter conditions can persist on the trail all throughout the spring.


A couple of people have asked for a gear list from my Thru Hike Feb 1st.  The first couple of weeks were very pleasant. Then we had several days of snow and ice with temperatures below zero long
Triumphant finish.
about the Smokies.
Here is a summary:

I am using a well worn ULA Catalyst back pack. When I no longer need winter cloths I would switch to the smaller ULA Circuit pack. I bought a new ULA Catalyst when I got to Damascus. The old one served me well for thousands of miles. I never did use it this hike since I switched to my ULA Circuit pack for the rest of the trip to Katahdin
Western Mountaineering 20* ultra light down bag less than two pounds

Xped Neo Air regular sleep pad 16 oz - this pad worked out great. At twice the insulation value of a Z Rest. In the past I have carried a Neo and a Z Rest in winter or a Ridgerest and a z rest. This pad did the job at half the weight. A generous seat pad offers some backup protection.
Ready to go for the 2105 thru hike
Mont Bell bivi 9 oz
Jet Boil titanium SOL stove, I think its’ about 11 oz long handled Sea to Summit aluminum spoon
Flash hoody down jacket
Flash down pants
Mont bell 6 oz down jacket
Fleece jacket 200 weight
Golight tights
Patagonia silk weight top and bottom
EMS zippered v neck top
2 pair Darn Tough socks I will be wearing one pair of these socks and some other items depending on daytime weather
Running shorts, worn over tights or capilene as needed...rain pants are the only pants I carry
2 stocking hats one much thicker than the other
wind bloc pro balaclava
a couple of buff hats
touch screen light gloves, fingerless army wool gloves, thick thinsulate gloves
Rain wear: Marmot Super Mica jacket, REI elements rain pants, Rocky Goretex socks, Mountain Laurel rain mittens
Water: Sawyer filter, a couple of Gatorade bottles and a couple of Smart Water bottles, one pint size Nalgene serves as coffee cup or emergency hot water bottle. I did not use my Sawyer filter until the Smokies at a shelter with mostly ground water and no privy. Next time I plan to use Aquamaira during weather where the Sawyer filter might freeze and ruin. It’s a pain to try and keep the Sawyer from freezing so it just makes since to carry Aquamira until the weather warms up then switch to a Sawyer original not the mini.
Leki hiking poles, three folds of a Zrest pad for a generous sit pad. 
Suunto altimeter watch, whistle.

ELECTRONICS
Galaxy S5 phone amazing battery life in black and white mode, Anker 16000 mah E5 brick battery at 10 oz its as heavy as a brick but this is a luxury cruise, 5.5 volt 2 amp charger, headlight. I sent the Anker battery brick home with its fast charger. Instead I just carried 3 extra batteries for my phone @ about 1 ounce each. I found that I didn't care to play with my phone as much as I expected as it distracted from my immersion in nature. The spare batteries were more than enough for pictures, Guthook trail maps and an occasional movie the day before town.
Guthooks AT Hiker apps, I love electronic gadgets, 2015 Data Book this is what I hike with when I take a break I jot the time down next to my position in the Data Book this makes it easy to judge location, travel time/miles. For town planning and additional water spots I use both AWOL and ALDHA Companion and I have both in pdf format also. 
FOOD
I have packed 6.5 ‪#‎s food for 4 days the last day being mostly Ramen. Mostly I am eating Mountain House freeze dried food and Lipton sides that has been repackaged into ziplock freezer bags. I do not care for the Liptons by themselves without doctoring them up. Last year I got to liking 1/2 a freeze dried meal and 1/2 a lipton noodle and rice side mixed together. Boiling water is poured into the ziplock bag with the food after about 15 min I eat from the bag, no cleanup and little trash and no food smell in my stove. No stirring while cooking KISS keep it simple stupid makes for a happy Thru hiker.
This year I did not care much for the Liptons mixed with Mountain House. They are so so if you have a can of meat to add and maybe a handful of raisins. I gradually moved to not having a hot breakfast, just coffee and a honey bun or something similar. Just in the last month I finally started liking oatmeal, well Quaker super grains blend with at least a quarter cup of nuts and berries. So I expect I’ll eat that some for breakfast next trip.
I do not like Starbucks very much but I often use the Via's on trail for a good dose of caffeine. Lunch is about a pound of candy bars, peanut butter crackers, nuts, beef sticks, cheese, cookies that sort of stuff. Mostly I eat one of those items every hour and sit down for a few minutes. This trip I abandoned my Jardean method of eating every hour with a 5 min break. Instead we did a more conventional longer break every couple of hours.

WEATHER CONSIDERATIONS

While in town I evaluate expected weather etc for the next section hike to the next town. At NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center)  with -10* below zero weather approaching, I purchased a second pint Nalgene and an extra 7 oz can of fuel beyond what I expected to use. The extra Nalgene and fuel where great luxury items and I enjoyed many hot beverages and hot water bottles.
My brother and I held up at Fontana Resort a few days for the worst of the below zero weather and precipitation. The Smokies was officially closed, all trails and roads. Luckily they lifted the ban on hiking trails and we were able to cautiously continue our hike. Sure its only 35 miles to Newfound Gap and I have made that in two days of good weather. But if Newfound Gap road is still closed then its another 15 miles to Gatlinburg for resupply. On my 2012 SOBO I narrowly missed 6 foot of snow around Newfound/ Cingmans Dome from a predicted major storm, sometimes referred to as the Sandy Hook storm. There were lots of unprepared sobo hikers with no gloves, warm clothes or rain gear braving windy temperatures in the teens. They foolishly listened to Thru hikers from 2011 a very warm dry year. Luckily I have never had one of those years where there is a cold rain for six weeks straight but it happens. So we headed into the Smokies with a few days extra supplies and about twice the fuel that we expected to need. Moving shelter to shelter with additional snow each day. Yea Newfound Gap road was open.
Weather can be expected to be anywhere form 65* to - 10* day or night, rain, snow, ice, packed snow can all happen. Oh yea I have a pair of Yaktrax Pro for additional traction if needed. The Yaktrak Pro's have served me ok in the past and are definitely better than nothing. With hard ice (daytime highs in single digits) and off camber trail they offered only a little grip. We switched to Hillsounds brand light crampon and wore them for 90 miles including the Smokies. They worked great. You can pretty much count on the Smoky mountains to be a sheet of ice until spring. April before last it warmed up to 4* before I reached Newfound gap it was awesomely beautiful. I walked the road down from Clingmans Dome because the road was closed and I knew the views were much better than from the trail.


All that and 20 oz of water leaves me with a 30# pack.

Remember take all advice with a grain of salt or maybe a shot of whiskey 


Chase Davidson is a long time distance hiker starting in 1982 with over 19,000 lifetime miles including: IMT-87, AT-99, GG-99, ALT-00, HATT-00, LT-01, TT-01, ART-02, BMT-04, AT-06, JMT-11,
AT-12, FHT-13, Big-O-13. FT-14, AT-2015.

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