I’ve picked up some new pieces of gear for my trip. I don’t usually buy very much gear, but after years of using the same equipment it was time for something new.
Motorola Droid Razr Maxx HD: This is the newest phone I’ve had in 3 years and I’ve made the move from my beloved iPhone to a Droid. The transition from an iPhone to a Droid is quite a change, but I wanted something that had a large storage capacity. It comes with 32GB internal memory, with a microSD slot to extend it to 64GB. All Droid phones have a built in GPS so I will be able to find my location on the built-in maps if I get completely lost. It has a 3,300 mAh battery, which is the biggest on the market right now, giving me plenty of battery life. The phone also lets me load up all of my documents, such as my data book of waypoints, my master excel spreadsheet of my trip that includes town stops and other vital information. My microSD cards will hold lots of Dharma talks, audio books and music.
Enlightened Equipment Revelation 20 degree Quilt: I’ve been sleeping under a quilt for a couple of years and like them much better then sleeping bags. They are not only lighter in weight, but also more versatile. I ordered this custom quilt from this cottage industry company because I wanted something wider (58”), longer (6’6”) and 20 degrees of toasty down. I couldn’t be happier with it. It’s super warm, packs down small and gives me the coverage I wanted.
Hyperlite Mountain Gear 3400 Windrider Pack: This is my first new pack in many years. They are one of my sponsors and make packs that are pretty sweet. It’s made of Cuben Fiber which is lightweight, but very durable. Its going to hold all the things that I will need for my hike, hugging my hips with a wrap around hip belt and the thick shoulder pads will treat me right. The 3 outside mesh pockets will hold all of my immediately needed items and my shelter, so it can dry in the sun after it rains and provide me with a nice warm and dry home at the end of the day. It’s internal stays will keep form to the pack when fully loaded, but the straps will let me cinch it down when not fully loaded.
Goal Zero Nomad 7: As I mentioned in a previous blog post, I’ll be carrying more electronics during this trip then I ever have before. All of these electronics will need to be charged somehow and this lightweight solar panel (.8 lbs) will charge my cell phone and my Petzl Tikka Core headlamp, all by USB cable. It’s the lightest and most powerful solar panel, charging my cell phone in 2-4 hours and my headlamp in 1 hr. Some would say you can charge it in town but, since I’ll be using my phone frequently for navigation, blogging, journaling, videos and some photos I think it’s worth its weight.
Suunto Core : A good watch is indispensable on the trail. Not only does it tell time, but this watch accurately tells you your elevation and includes an elevation gain/loss log. It also has a barometer with storm indicator and weather trends, a loud alarm and a compass that is very accurate. At $299, this watch isn’t cheap, but for the rich features and the durability that Suunto watches is known for, I think it was a great investment.
Gossamer Gear ‘The One’: Again this was provided by one of my sponsors, but this tent is great. It uses two trekking poles instead of actual poles and is completely enclosed in mesh, with a bathtub floor and a vestibule to keep my pack and shoes dry. It’s the right length to stretch out in, with a high enough apex to sit up in, comfortably, and a quick setup after you’ve set it up a couple of times. This shelter will keep me nice and warm during the high winds, rain and snow that will inevitably hit me on the trail.
New Balance Leadville 100’s: These shoes are made for the crazy 100 miles race that is held in Leadville each year. I don’t know how someone can run 100 miles in 24 hours but, if this is the shoe for them, then it should be able to take me across the country comfortably. The shoes, themselves, are light (10.3 oz pair). They have a synthetic/mesh upper which will allow them to breathe, drain and dry out quickly when wet, and a great Vibram sole that will last. The shoes I ordered are larger then I usually wear, but as I hike my feet will swell. I’ve been breaking in the 2 pairs that I’ve bought already and they are very comfortable and I believe they will get me to the end.
Delorme InReach: This device will allow me to communicate with the outside world. It’s just like the popular Spot system, but with much more features. It will let me connect with all of you by sending text messages, and Facebook and Twitter updates . In case of an emergency, like breaking my leg or being attacked by Bigfoot, it will let me send out a SOS message to get help. A nice feature of this system is that I can communicate through text using my phone to say exactly what is wrong with me. The Delorme system also allows me to drop ‘breadcrumbs’, creating a track of my hike that will be updated every hour, giving my followers the ability to know where I am each hour through a link that will be posted on my site. Honestly, this is mostly for my family and friends for worst case scenarios, but if it gives them piece of mind, that’s good enough for me.