Saturday, April 20, 2013

Gear update!

So, I took some time today to look at the gear I have and see if I can fit it into my backpack and/or how much it is all going to weigh.  Based on what I have learned and what I have bought, I currently have the following for my Camino Trip:

This is everything on the list below.

Basically the clothes/personal items

Outerwear and backpack/sleeping bag

Toiletries and my new shoes!

Socks, 8 pr (4 pr regular hiking, 2 pr thin hiking, and 2 pr fuzzy socks for night)
1 pr long underwear
1pr running capris
1 pr running tights
cetirizine (allergy meds)
Scrubby sponge
Flip Flops
glue stick
head lamp
bandannas (2)
Waterproof matches
Insulated mug
Water bottle
ballet shoes
fleece jacket
Long sleeved shirt (2)
Short sleeved shirts (3)
Sports bra (2)
Fleece Scarf
Beanie hat
Dr. Bronners
Soap Caddy
Feminine Pads
Airtight container
ziplock bags
First aid kit
Ear plugs
Toothbrush and toothpaste
writing utensils
fingernail clippers
hand sanitizer
hiking shoes
knee brace
wind breaker
Sleeping bag and compression sack
Emergency Blanket

I still need:

Drinking Bladder
Waterproof/woolen gloves
Rain Coat
Hiking underwear (2-3 pr)
Hiking skirt
Running tights (1 pr--would replace the long underwear since I could wear them without anything on top of it)
Hiking gas stove
Blister care
Power converter
Extra batteries/rechargeable batteries and charger

Total weight of everything I have BEFORE the gear that I still need:  20.5 lbs.  Now, about 2 of that are my shoes, and another 1-2 lb will account for clothing that I will be wearing.  I need to try to pare down what I have to get it lighter, which will probably mean that I will need to get rid of some duplicates.  I also forgot to get my hiking poles out of my car so that I could weigh them and pack them....they add about a lb each.  I should also try to find a lighter journal, since the one that I was planning on taking weighs 12.5 oz.  It has the benefit of being free, but I am going to need to shave off more weight, not to mention space!

I could barely fit everything into my backpack that was laid out.  I have absolutely no idea where I'm going to find the room to add a drinking bladder, a rain coat, and a poncho, not to mention gaiters!
Even though I really didn't want the weight of bigger pack, I'm thinking that I really should have gotten one that was at least a 40 liter.  Instead, I got an Osprey Sirrus 36.  I'm also going to need someone to teach me how to pack this thing, as it just might be my bad packing skills that is causing my gear to barely fit.  I'm most surprised at how much of my pack is taken up by my sleeping bag, even in a compression sack!  I would say that it probably takes up 2/3 of my pack, so space is really at a premium, and unfortunately, it will only fit in my pack oriented vertically rather than horizontally.  Part of me also wonders if it will take less space if I take it out of the compression sack completely...I suppose I could see if I could find a different compression sack, but I really doubt that it can be compressed more than it is in the compression sack that came with the sleeping bag--I am amazed at how much air can be squeezed out of it as it is...Down is a wonderful thing!

My sleeping bag: a Big Agnes Fria, rated at 15*F, and only 3 lbs!
These wouldn't fit, but I expect them to be on my feet and face, so that isn't a problem!
In spite of being a good 5 lbs heavier than I wanted it to be, I'm glad that I went to REI and got fitted for the backpack--it is surprisingly comfortable when on my back.  At the same time, I haven't taken it hiking yet, so just putting it on around the house doesn't really count.  That will be the next step--taking it for a hike while it is weighted down.  I just want to get the rest of my gear first, though, so that I can know what the grand total is, as well as to figure out how to make it all fit into my pack!
Me with the backpack on.
and me with my backpack on from the back.
I have also come to the conclusion that, even though I would really like to use this backpack when I eventually through-hike the Appalachian Trail, it probably won't be big enough, especially when you figure in the 5-10 lbs of food that you need to have with you when hiking the AT.  In fact, even though it will add weight, I'm thinking that I might need to return my pack to REI so that I can get one that is slightly bigger, that way I have a little bit of breathing room for gear if I need it.  At least the sleeping bag is a really good one, so I can probably continue to use it for the next 10-12 years or so. I will just need to add a sleeping pad if I ever use it when camping. Since I will be staying in the Pilgrims' Hostels the whole trip, I won't need it for my Camino, though.  From the research that I've been doing, Big Agnes is one of the better companies that create light and ultralight hiking and camping gear. 

Things are starting to come together, and for that I'm incredibly thankful.  The next step is to buy my plane ticket and renew my passport....I will be renewing my passport in May, and probably won't be able to buy my plane ticket until July/August.  I'm really hoping that there is a sale about that time so that I won't be paying $1200 for the ticket, but I'm not really holding my breath....The price has held steady since January!

I am so excited about how the Lord is making things come together!!!  The only thing I could wish for is someone who could and would walk with me.  Even so,  it is going to be a trip of a lifetime, and I get to share it with all of you, so I will just have to carry all of you with me.