Stansbury Front Trail

So. There is a local trail with some elevation. The Forest Service puts it as two segments of 12.5 miles each.

The north trail head branches off an ATV trail. The south trail head is about two miles up a dirt road that has a channel cut down the middle of it.

I was thinking it was going to be pretty mild.

It goes up and over several gaps—about six thousand feet of total ups (but only a thousand or so at a time). With matching downs.

We started a day later because the weather shifted and a cold front dumped some snow on the trail we hoped would melt.

We got off to a great start. Finished the first leg quickly.

Then it slowed down some. I didn’t have enough snacks. But I had a full backpack and plenty of food if I wanted to eat it.

But the last six miles or so was all downhill

Me. Adjusting my pack.

The net result was 27+ miles hiked in one day and 658 floors of elevation climbed as Fitbit measures it. For comparison our roughest day on the Appalachian Trail was under 500 flights and a benchmark day was around 425.

An “average” or nondescript day would be 2000 floors.

This was our longest day and by far our highest climbing day. High point was about 7856’ and the lowest trail head I measured was ~6000.’

We drove to the south end and left my car. Then yesterday morning we drove to the north end and started hiking. (related video).

This morning we drove up, hiked two miles and grabbed Win’s car. Drove home.

We were a little sore but it really built some confidence as we are shooting for 20 mile days in Oregon after our first few days.

Updated gear

It may be silly, but I seem to continue to tweak my gear from time to time.

Currently the following is what I am using in addition to my shoes and hiking poles.

On the outside of my pack:

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  • Camp shoes & night bottle in side pocket one.
  • Large back pocket has my rain coat (Lightheart gear), rain paints (Versalite), tent (Triplex. with pole pockets), Core water bottle (the cap doubles as a water scoop and works well).
  • Other side pocket: toilet bag (toilet paper, trowel, hand sanitizer) .
  • Hip belt pocket one: possom fur gloves, rain mittens, sun gloves.
  • Hip belt pocket two: gaiters, bug net, head lamp, chemicals for water purification.
  • Shoulder pouch: sun glasses, PCT Class of 2022 bandana, chap stick, snacks.
  • Shoulder harness: Smartwater/lifewater bottle.
My backpack. Bear canister only for the required area.

In my pack:

8.6 ounces. Weighs less than a typical sun hoody. Full zip. Of course it was discontinued by Marmot.
  • Food bag with food.
  • Two Platypus 3 liter bags for water and tent pegs (titanium shepherd’s hooks, two v-stakes)
  • Medical/Electronics Bag:
    • Battery power pack (Anker 10k).
    • Wall charger and cords.
    • Ibuprofen, cotton swabs.
    • Vitamin D, multi-vitamins. Sawyer Micro Filter (back-up). Spare reading glasses.
    • Toothbrush.
  • Bag pump, Therm-a-rest pad, air pillow, microfiber washcloth.
  • Pack liner:
    • Sleeping bag (in the liner instead of a stuff sack).
    • Clothes:
      • Fleece.
      • Eos puffy.
      • Zip-off pants.
      • Underwear (one set).
      • Baselayer: currently polartech silkweight top and bottom. Wear top to hike in as a sun shirt.
      • Three pairs of socks (one to wear, one for back-up, one for sleeping in).
      • Two buffs, both wool. Bought a new buff just for the trail as my old one is finally developing holes in it.
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I’m currently using the ball cap — the two weigh the same, but the ball cap fits under my rain coat better and with a bandana protects my ears and neck just fine.

That is my current gear set up.

With five days of food and two liters of water it comes to about 24 pounds, much to my surprise. That is definitely less than the 35 pounds with three days of food and a liter of water I had for my first-time section hiking Georgia.

And obviously, I’ll be wearing a pair of socks, a shirt, pants and underwear on the trail. So the weight carried in my pack will come down.

As I eat the food it will weigh less and less until the next resupply :).

The big changes for the PCT are the need for sunglasses, sun protection on arms and hands and legs (or why I’m back to pants instead of just a pair of shorts), and the bandana. Also, I continue to realize I need less gear. For laundry day I can just wear my rain pants.

My hat and the bandana protect my ears and neck from the sun. I’ll also treat the bandana with permethrin though I have a bug net.

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The essential hiking partner. She is just the best. Carries the cook kit and both our spoons.

Prior post

Since then I’ve switched the swift water sandals for the croc clones to save weight and will just wear my trail runners for fording rivers—I’ve done that before.

We switched from our pot to another that weighed what turned out to be barely less (and bent too easily for $100 worth of gear) and then to an aluminum grease pot which is lighter. Returned the failed pot to REI.

We dropped the quesadilla pan which was actually heavier than the pot.

Just don’t use the quesadilla pan enough. Forgot about my wool sleep beanie, so it isn’t listed above but is in my pack. I may drop it as I’ve never quite used one on the trail.

I carry the tent, Win carries the pot, stove and our spoons.

I have two platypus bags instead of one.

Weighed it with the five days of food and two liters of water but me wearing the clothes and it comes to ~24 pounds.

Me on the Stansbury Front Trail.

DIY footprints

When I’m not using a Dyneema tent I like polycro footprints.

They don’t absorb moisture from the ground.

You can see everything under them.

But they need to have anchors or other corner points to keep them from blowing away and for fly first set up.

That is a kit you can buy. But you can do without a kit. —that is a blog entry I did at Trail Journals years ago about how to make one.

Here is a video of someone making one:

You can do tabs or you can just tie a sheetbend knot with shock cord in each corner.

If you are not in a Dyneema or a Polyester tent (both are hydrophobic) after the first night things will pack up lighter with a four ounce polycro footprint than with the moisture a silnylon tent will pick up from the ground in many areas.