Last of the Big Ones

Got the last major piece of equipment yesterday, the backpack.

Went to REI thinking of getting the Osprey Aether 60, but the rep felt this was a better bag for someone with a "slimmer build". So tried an alternative, the Gregory Baltoro 75, which actually turned out to be more stable. Early in my reading on doing the AT, bloggers were saying to buy your backpack last, and to bring your equipment to the store to load up the pack to see how it felt. This turned out to be good advice.

If you're interested in more detail on this back, watch this video.

While there also picked up a mid-layer fleece, the REI Rauk Jacket (on sale!), an outrageously bright orange (all the better to be seen in) which thankfully also comes with a hood to provide a third layer of protection between a wool skull cap and my winter shell's hood. Picked up some insoles for the boots as well.

Other items keep coming in from Amazon, the most interesting perhaps is a power supply for my phone and IPad. Power is available every few days, in a trail town diner or a hostel, but wanted some way to charge devices while on the trail. After lots of reading, settled on the Newtrent Travelpak+. This is a little heavy as my equipment goes, coming in at 10 ounces. What it has going for it is the ability to re-charge an IPhone four times (not sure yet about the IPad, which likely takes more of a charge) plus offer two charging slots while its charging itself. Looked at solar as an alternative but was not getting a sense there's a reliable product yet for trail use.

Picked up some food items this week, including "crystallized" eggs, dried milk, sample pouches of tuna and chicken, and a dehydrated rice and veggie meal. This is all going into a bigger goal of the next few weeks of figuring out which food might be best for the trail, and how much fuel to carry. People who are using alcohol stoves seem to carry a four ounce bottle, which sounds preposterously little.

Not sleeping well, keep waking up around 4 AM and think about the trail. A lot to prepare for.

Here's something you might like to see, a seven minute video of a thru hike from this past year.

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