Wednesday, June 26, 2024

Thousand Mile Gear Review

So it’s been a thousand miles and I’m still carrying a few things I haven’t used and a few things that are damaged. 

I’ve yet to use my really cool Lixada Solar Panel Charger so it’s time to put it in the hiker box. 

I’m also still carrying some emergency items like Guardia medication,antibiotics, Benadryl, allergy medication and burn ointment that I haven’t had to use but I will keep those in my pack. 

About my pack, before this trip I bought a brand new special edition Gossamer Gear Vaporwave backpack. It cost a lot and even more to ship to Canada. I don’t know how soon the frame broke through the bottom of my pack but I noticed it on day 31 of this adventure. I didn’t think it was a big deal because cottage companies are usually great about sending replacements on trail. I was shocked at how poor the customer service is at Gossamer Gear. Even though I do love their packs (this is the third one I’ve owned) and they fit me perfectly, I will look for a company with better customer service and ethics in the future. 

Another Gossamer Gear item that went in the hiker box is the sun umbrella. I actually liked the umbrella on those really hot days where there was no wind but let’s face it, there is always wind! I hardly ever used it and it was just deadweight. 

Other damaged gear includes my Frogg Togg rain suit. I actually split the pants the first time I wore them and after a thousand miles my jacket has a few pinholes. I knew from the beginning that I would need a replacement pair at some point. Back when I hiked the AT the Frogg Toggs rain suits were only $10 so replacing them even twice on a long trail was no big deal. Now they are $40 and I’m not sure I can justify the replacement before the halfway point. And for that matter how much waste am I creating by continuously buying something I know I will need to replace. For now they are staying in my pack and I will assess as time goes on. 

My luxury items didn’t even make it a thousand miles before I realized I just wasn’t using them enough to justify the weight. They went into a hiker box a long time ago! They include my speaker, my phone tripod and an extra tank top. 

That reminds me, I should mention turn that my really old merino wool base layer sweater was getting shoulder strap stains and the seams were falling apart so I replaced it with a heavier Melly.  

The only other changes to my pack have to do with water filtration. I started with a Sawyer Squeeze but when TBD’s Sawyer failed she acquired mine (she does ALL of the water filtration) and I started carrying Aquatabs as a back up. We used them once when the water was disgusting along with the Sawyer. Sawyer is still my first choice but because there is two of us, I think it’s beneficial to have a different option as a back up. 

And that’s it! Other than the damaged backpack I am happy with my gear choices so far. I will do another gear review at the end of the hike.

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