As you can see on the bottom left of the map the zig-zag switchbacks for a multi-mile climb. Followed by on the top right by even more switchbacks for the multi-mile descent. Yet at the top the view was again spectacular.
I had assumed wrongly that some of my gear would not need replacing over the hike. If anything you should assume to replace just about everything.
I expected my shoes would need replacing. I’m on my fifth pair of Brooks Cascadia trail running shoes and tenth pair of Injinji toe socks. My shirt and pants have been replaced once and these newer ones now are ragged, but I’m going to make do with them as they are. Surprise, surprise, but I’m still using my original underpants – go figure. My hat is a filthy mess, but is still workable and wearable.
However my back pack us falling apart. Not only is it filthy, but there are holes in it and the hip belt padding is ripped in half. I’m worried every time I hoist it on my back that the shoulder straps or hip belt will rip and then I’d be in a very big mess.
My sleeping bag is OK, but could definitely need a cleaning. It’s now got a funky smell to it which is a combination of me and the moisture from dew that has occurred many days throughout the hike. If it was damp when I put it away, then when I get to camp I try to dry it out if possible.
My tent has been patched twice. Once after the snow storm on San Jacinto. Then recently the rain beak got a hole in it, but I’m clueless as to how that happened. In addition the netting has numerous repairs especially after the mouse chewed through it.
I never expected to replace my Sawyer Mini water filter, but the new larger one is a wonderful and fast. There were times in the past where I drank directly because of the time it would take to filter the water. Now with the new one I am filtering more often.
And the list goes on and on. If you want to hike with lightweight gear then expect to replace most items, because you use them everyday – day in and day out.
[Ed. This deals with cleanliness and sanitation so you might want to skip it if stuff like that offends or upsets you.]
It’s hard to keep clean on the trail.
My hands and feet are always dirty. I think sometimes that I’ll never get them clean even after the trail. That is, the dirt is baked in. I’m a bit remiss on washing my hands and need to do it more often. I have probably washed my face and hair about once a month. I’ve gotten used to being dirty, and smelly. At times I’ve bought a shower at a resupply town. Other times I’ve washed in a lake, or stream. I’ve even walked through a dew laden forest and gotten so soaked it almost amounted to a shower.
There are a few things that I do each day faithfully. I take my medicine each night. I floss and brush my teeth each night too. Somehow having a clean mouth makes me feel good especially after all the food I’ve consumed throughout the day. However I only floss and brush once a day at night time.
I’m a regular guy and poop at least once a day in the morning. I’ve not found it hard to poop in the forest. This surprised me. I typically dig my cat hole the night before. I also set out my trowel, toilet paper and wet ones by my head. Then in the morning I can barely get out of my sleeping bag and get my shoes on before I have to go. I use a log or stump for back/butt support. I sparingly use toilet paper. When done I cover everything up with soil I had dug up. It seems to work for me.
After being on trail these past months I’ve become accustom to doing these things.