Food & Gear class
Wednesday, February 17, 2016 10:00 pm

I continued to slowly announce my impending disappearance. I now have a friend who's agreed to watch my place and bring in my mail while I'm out, and they live about 5 minutes away, even, so that's one significant issue resolved. (Thanks, Mo!)

I attended the Appalachian Trail: Food & Gear class at the College Park REI this evening, led by Bob. This confirmed my suspicion that trash would have to be stored in a bear bag until disposed of. (Because used food packaging still smells like food.)

I was initially thinking of not cooking food on the trail (and just going with dry food), but now I am leaning towards taking a stove of some sort, just to allow a larger variety of on-trail food. I saw (and initially rejected, due to weight), the BioLite Wood Burning Campstove wood-powered stove that also uses the heat to charge a battery (and USB devices), but now I'm thinking of taking both that and the smaller MSR PocketRocket Stove. Both may be overkill, but the wood-powered stove might be a suitable replacement for taking a solar charger, and having two fuel sources (one of which is "free") would help stretch supplies and provide an alternate fire source. The major downside to the BioLite is still it's high weight (2 pounds), and the need for dry wood for burning. And if I'm in the "green tunnel", as the AT is also known as, getting any sort of reasonable charge on solar is going to be difficult, and I'd hate to buy a solar charger only for it to turn out to be largely useless.

I also learned the importance of using two-layer sock liners: they move friction from between your foot and the sock, to between the outer surface of the liner, and the sock. This can reduce the chance of blisters, and also can improve wicking of moisture.

Bob also suggested gaiters instead of rain paints.

I was intending on getting a pair (for redundancy) of Sawyer Mini water filters. Bob was recommending the Platypus GravityWorks 2L Water Filter, because of the reduction in physical effort required to force water through the Mini's in-line filter. Hiking the AT is going to be strenuous enough; being lazy and still getting filtered water appeals to me. Having separate "clean" and "dirty" water containers also appeals to me.

Bob said he usually carries 3L of water. That's already 6 pounds. I was considering 4-5L (8 - 10 pounds), but I should actually check and see how much I normally had been carrying around in my Camelbak (between the bladder and additional bottles).

Plan for tomorrow: Deadpool, then try out packs at REI Columbia and ask more questions, and then stop by the Apple Store and see about a shorter Apple Watch charging cable and a waterproof phone case. I suspect I'm going to be unhappy with the options.

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