Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Get the Gear!

One of the main causes of injury on the WCT is an over-heavy pack. Men should carry no more than one third their body weight, women no more than one quarter. It's definitely possible, I only carry 25-30 pounds for my solo trips (I weigh around 130lbs).
 For the WCT I carry:
-sleeping bag
-sleeping pad
-water purifier
-first aid kit (small! but with essentials like disenfactant and bandages)
-swiss army knife (small, I've used in maybe twice in my aprox. 100 nights in the backcountry)
-lightweight rope/cord
-small digital camera (optional)
-firestarter and lighter/waterproof matches
-bandanna (sun hat)
-sunscreen and bugspray (small!)
-camp sandals (which I have decided are essential for foot health)
-toilet paper
-toothbrush and medication
-'camp' soap and packtowel (optional)
-food....more on this later.......keep it lightweight!
-a timepiece and tidetable
-hiking poles
-emergency blanket-can double as a lightweight tarp!!
-clothes-two sets of 'hiking clothes', one set of camp/night clothes which should be kept dry, plus LAYERS (nights are coldish by the ocean)

For the WCT you DON'T need:
-a GPS (maps.........lightweight and serving people for centuries)
- a really expensive camera with lots of cool lenses that are ultra-heavy and need to be cleaned but will get you that perfect shot. Treasure the memories instead of nursing the wounds (and the broken equipment that you dropped while ascending the Sandstone Creek ladders).
-a hatchet (driftwood comes in many sizes!)
-a big-ass hunting knife (I see these all the time....really guys? really???? You gonna fight a bear with that thing?)
-deodarant, moisturizer, chapstick, hairbrush, comb, etc. LEAVE IT. YOU'RE GOING TO BE DIRTY. and STINKY and UNKEMPT. DEAL WITH IT.
 -NO DENIM and NO COTTON. These will not dry and are hypothermia-inducers. Seriously. Don't. Even if they're super-comfy. There's a good chance those jeans will become saturated weights of DOOM around your legs.
-booze....no more than a small flask of something. There's beer at Nitinaht and Chez Monique's. Really. That post-trail drink will taste all the better.
-a tarp-invest in a good tent fly....mine can handle snow! 
-swimsuits, fresh underwear, fresh t-shirts etc. MODESTY AND DECENCY?! What are they???!!

Anyways, that's my two cents, and all I can think of for the list now. I will update with a post more related to my study soon, just saw the video below and was inspired. It sure feels good to be opionated sometimes. Next post will be back to social science......or will it?

I've definitely encountered a few folks like the one's in this Portlandia sketch.


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