Sunday, September 28, 2008


Tarptent: because a shelter is a terrible thing to lug.

After careful research I have come to the conclusion that this is the tent for me.
It is the result of years and years of research and field-testing by its creator the owner of the tarptent. He is triple crowned thru-hiker who started using a tarp in 1999 after years of improving he has come up with Tarptent.
While keeping an ultra light philosophy over time he added features that make it more bug and water-resistant than a tarp but without the bulk of a tent. If astronauts could sleep in tents these would be the tents they would have. Made from the latest and highest quality in
outdoor fabric; sylnylon.

The model I bought is the one pictured to the right. The Contrail. Weighing in at 24 oz it is the lightest solution that has a floor. Its interior length is 84 inches and it gets as wide as 42 inches making it roughly the size of a single mattress. Because of its simplicity of design it can be se up in two minutes or less.

In fact the first time I set it up it took less than 4 minutes. When it arrives at your house you cant believe how light the box is. And after you set it up you cant believe how awesome it is. It comes with 4 stakes and an optional center pole weighing in at 2 oz. but the tent does a lot better if you use your hiking pole.

It also comes with a stuff sac but I got a Sea to Summit E-vent dry compression sac. Making the tent smaller but a few ounces heaver is fine by me. Saving space in your bag allows you to carry a smaller lighter bag and also allows a better center of gravity.

But don’t take my word for it go check out their site and go check out their products they have a wide selection of tents and, hey if you think you can do a better job and want to make your own they will even give you the plans. Oh did I mention the price tag 199.00, you can't beat it no matter how hard to try.
Here are a few more photos I have commandeered of the contrail just being rugged.

That is Everest behind him.


Sunday, September 14, 2008


So the first thing you need to pack for any overnight adventure is shelter. This is a tricky thing, shelter can range from something extravagant like this bark hut to the right right, and as plane and simple as a sleeping bad and to a sheet of mosquito net for your head.
Shelters need to keep you warm and dry, that is their only function. So when it comes
time to make a shelter choice keep
I stick to the old keep it simple stupid rule.
After your back pack the tent you choose should be the second heaviest thing you'll carry, but we will talk about that later.
The main groups of camping shelters are:
Tents: usually the best option for times when being warm and dry overpower your desire to
carry a light pack. Heavy and
complicated to set up these are pretty much the norm. They come in all ki
nds of shapes and sizes, some have gimmicks like "gear hammocks" unless you look you cant find one that weighs less than 4 pounds.

Tarps: Tarps oh man, what do I say about tarps. Its a sheet of silicone coated nylon stretched
out and held up with ropes or "geuy" lines as their called when their on a tent. These offer great protection and are quiet modular. You can get a poncho that you can turn into a tent and that means less shit to carry but it also means if its raining and your wearing your poncho it will be hard for you set up your shelter without getting soaked. Most of the time the don't have a floor and don't have 4 sides. This set up is definitely useful for people trying to save the ounces, also it helps to be pretty rugged, you'll end up sleeping face in the dirt during a rainstorm at least once. However combined with a "bivy" these tarps can be a great and versatile system.

Bivouac: Some people swear by "bivy" sacks
its basically in impermeable condom for your sleeping bag. It should be bug proof and water proof, but breathable. You don't wanna get the inside all sweaty it will be hard to stay warm if your soaking wet. Waking up right outside, no tent separates you from the sky , the moon, and the incredible view you just hiked to will be waiting for you to simply open your eyes to see it.
These are great for a flash wain storm, keep it stowed in a very accessible location, if it gets shitty out just climb inside and chill out dry and warm.

So there they are the most popular methods of sleeping on the ground during bad weather.
Next post ill show you the options i looked at and show you what i choose for my CDT thru-hike.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, September 11, 2008


Next April my best friend and I are setting out on one of the greatest adventures,we will ever have. We are setting out to thru-hike the CDT trail. It will take us around 5 months, we hope to be able to take our time and do some side hikes to break up the daily grind.

Here is a bit about the CDT.

The Continental Divide Trail (CDT) is a 3100 mile hike along the backbone of our great nation. The Rocky Mountains separate east from west, well in terms of watershed that is . All the water that runs down the east side of the divide goes to the Gulf or the Atlantic, and all that falls on the west side is sent to the pacific. These Mountains are where water our country needs to survive comes from.

So there is a bit about what this hike all is about: Water.

We will start down at the Mexican Boarder and walk our way to Canada, through; New Mexico, Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana.

The trail will have an average altitude of approximately 10,000 feet, and a high of 14,000 feet.
This trail has not yet been established by the American government as a official trail. Which is what truly sets it apart from the other two massive hiking trails the AT and the PCT. There is no one trail map and there is no single defined trail.

What good be better...

so yeah that should do for a first post.
im going to talk a lot about gear, food, planning, mail drops, and anything else i can possibly think up that is of value to this trip including maybe a DIY carbon fiber banjo....