Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Contents of My Pack

Well, Here we go. I'm going to do a quick blog about the items I'm taking with me when we head out on our big hike this weekend. We'll be headed out on Friday evening, the 29th, and returning on June 7th. This is a week long, no holds barred, sleep in the dirt kind of hike. We're also going to be raising money for the Faith and Fitness Center in Ironton by making this a Hike-A-Thon. Willing sponsors can pledge by the mile (75 of them) or a flat amount. But anyway, I thought I'd give you a quick tour of my pack, which is effectively my house for the next week.
First, a picture of all the contents. I have numbered them, and I'll go over each number to let you know what's what.
There we go. Let's begin shall we? 1. This bag contains my personal effects, and electronics with which I'll be documenting the hike. My phone, for micro blogging and GPS in a pinch, the camera for....well, pictures. My charger, spare batteries, a trail log, a new testament and a novel. Also included is my headlamp and my clip on light. On the test hike a few nights ago, it made an excellent overhead lamp in the tent. 2. This is the toiletries bag. Soap and deodorant, toothbrush and towel, you know. All the essentials to keep me from smelling any worse than I need to. :) 3. My emergency kit. All of my first aid and just in case gear is in this one. Hand warmers, gauze, band aids and ointments, and some pain and fever medication. Also a couple of chem-lights. You never know when all of your lamps/flashlights might all die. If everything goes according to plan, though, I should never have to open this one up. 4. Two 1 Liter bottles of water. This is all the water I'll be carrying at any one time. They'll be refilled at streams or springs along the way and purified. 5. Camp shoes. $1.00 Croc rip-offs from Walmart. Women's size 10. They were lighter, cheaper, and better looking than the men's. :) If I need to go slogging across a stream and don't want to take a chance on getting my boots wet, these will come in handy. Also, the one shower I get at Fontana Dam, three nights before the end, will require these. Would you stand in an outdoor bathhouse in bare feet? :) 6. My Eureka Silver City 30° Sleeping Bag. This is one of the pieces of gear I'm most proud of. Packed and compressed, it's not much bigger than a loaf of bread, and it's good and light. 7. The orange sack and the long black one next to it are my tent and poles. The tent, which I have blogged about before here is a Eureka Solitaire. I've slept in it twice now and it's a pretty cozy little getup, if a little shy in extra room. It only requires moderate skill in yoga to get around inside it. :) 8. This is my spare clothing. Nothing more than a change of clothes for the camp site so I can wash the stuff I'm hiking in, along with a set of thermals in case of a cold night. All of it is synthetic, quick drying and light. 9. Foul Weather Footware. This is a pair of socks, sock liners and small gaiters in case things get really sloppy on the trail. I'll have two spare pairs of socks and a spare pair of liners total. You can't be too prepared when it comes to your feet. 10. This is my rain gear. A Marmot Precip jacket and field and stream pants. It's all packed into one of the jacket's pockets. I hope we never have to get this stuff out either, but in all probability it'll rain on us some. Looking at the forecast, it may rain on us a lot. :) 11. This is my rain cover for my pack. Another piece of gear that's good to have along, but better if you never need it. 12. My fleece jacket, in case things get cold. I don't expect it'll get cold enough to need this, but again, an ounce of prevention and all that. This jacket actually works along with my other clothes for layering. I have my base layers; this jacket is my mid layer, and my rain jacket is my outer shell. 13. My kitchen. I like my little cook set. This is a Coleman MAX pot and pan, and inside is my stove and fuel, (Esbit solid fuel tabs) along with two mini Bic lighters. Also contained inside are coffee filters for my water and my purification drops. My drops are Aqua Mira, which is chlorine based and safer than iodine in a long term situation. 14. This is the majority of my food in our Ursack. The Ursack is a cool piece of gear. It's a bear bag, made of Kevlar. We're using the bag primarily to keep our food from rodents and such, but this is supposed to be able to resist the bears as well. Technically it should be bulletproof also. :) Laying next to the Ursack, you can see a sample of the food we're taking with us. That's a small jar of peanut butter, some dehydrated 3-bean Chili from, a bag of my famous homemade beef jerky, and in the back there is some freeze dried corn. It's a fantastic snack! Tastes just like a well buttered ear of corn! You can also see my all purpose spork there. Ya gotta have the spork. :) 15. This is my sleeping pad. It's basic, closed cell foam that you can buy at any Wal-Mart. I trimmed a little off of it to save some weight. 16. Here it is. The Gregory Baltoro 70. A 70 Liter Capacity pack with a legendary padding and suspension system. It had better be up to the challenge of carrying all of this gear, because I'm not certain I am. :) So there's the nickel tour of my gear. I hope you find it as fascinating and engaging as I like to pretend it is. How about a picture of the whole mess packed lovingly into the aforementioned backpack:

Total Packed Weight: 39 Pounds. A little high perhaps. I was hoping to keep it near 35, but in a couple of days it'll be down around there as I eat. My food weight will be reduced by about 2 pounds per day. Hard to believe that this is all I'll have with me for 7 days, but at the same time, It's hard to believe that there's so much there. :)

Alright, I have time to entertain a few questions, but as of Friday afternoon, I'm out of here! I'll see you all on the Twitter feed if there is sufficient service to update via phone. Later!



theamazingjaime said...

I didn't see a PSP or Game Boy in there. That would make the trip better if you had one of those.

Good luck man. Sounds like fun.

Gina Cooper said...

You will have so much fun! I can't wait to hear about it and I'll be following you on twitter. Good luck with everything. 39lbs sounds like a lot but I'm impressed at how much you've compacted! And I don't think you are girly for getting the women's shoes either :).

Dave said...

Don't you want the spork in a something to keep it clean? I can't imagine that the outside of the backpack stays clean enough to eat off of on a 7 day hike. :)

Yeyui said...

I'd rather eat with a spoon and a knife than a spork, since I'd alway have a knife handy anyway.