A secret now that only fire can tell.

Some people say I get distracted easily.  Kathryn and I have been thinking about the PCT for a while, and not just because someone wrote a book (which was a good read btw).  My eyes tend towards rolling when someone mentions the book, or supposes loudly that Kathryn and I are doing this hike in answer to a call made by the author (which demonstrates who has read the book – a little like “Hey have you read the hitchhiker’s trilogy? … all five?”) tldr: there was no call.

In any case – my distraction of late has an office somewhere near the department of acquisitions and reclamations.  Kathryn thinks I have a problem.  She’s said to me on many occasions “is this your last [duplicated and rarely improved item NYD]?”.  To which my answer is of course always “every puffy jacket has a different purpose”.  My boss has taken to comparing me to lady who always has a shipment in the mail room.  He thinks I’m too fancy.

For my part, I’m guilty.  But I have ended up with a rather extensive document which details my progress.

Gear List.  Sheet 1 Ev. 2 Kathryn. 3 Randoms.

Google sheets is pretty handy.  This was actually the first time I used a cross platform application (other than the obvious use of iTunes / etc.) which is likely surprising to the weirdos born after the world was supposed to end.  It was handy to have a spreadsheet I could update from multiple locations depending on the scenario.  For example: I was weighing items on my coffee scale (more evidence pro go outside) and inputing data to the spreadsheet on the computer, and then had to quickly ran out to the store to pick up a few different items – I could see the data via the spreadsheet updated real time on my phone while I was comparison shopping in person.  There are more than just a few companies that routinely misplace the actual weights of their ultralight gear.

Kathryn made an amazing dinner today.  I didn’t take a picture of it – because thats not what I do.  But she deserves more credit.  Here is her gear sorted out on an expensive carpet.  Hopefully they won’t get used to it:


I’m not sure if those are my feet there… I should edit this photo sometime.  Yikes.   I think her base pack weight before food, water, consumables, temporary gear, and worn or carried items is about 15 or 16 pounds.  Higher than most who wear threadbare onesies, but a whole lot lighter than we’ve gone in the past.  She sleeps pretty cold, so some of the tradeoffs came at the expense of weight.  There are few other luxury items which might find their way home before we do – however this is mostly gear that makes life a little easier.  The unfortunate reality is that when you carry more – you go slower, and your body hurts more.  Conversely if you carry less, you can probably go faster, and you hurt less – so you need less to be comfortable… I’m not entirely sold myself, and I have a few more reservations about ultralight hiking.  Give me time – I’m a bit of a newb.  Don’t h4x0r my website please.  I’m sorry for implying an insult to you little whipper snappers earlier.  Google the search term ” Y2K” to find out what I was on about.

My gear doesn’t look nearly as cute.


Many thanks to Robyn Cooper at Minipi Outfitters.  He’s been a great help along the way to sorting this mess out.  Altra shoes don’t come in colours that we don’t possess.  *Missing from this photo obviously is the camera I used to take the picture.

Our basement looks more and more like the gear shop every day.  Compare:



2 thoughts on “A secret now that only fire can tell.

  1. Looking forward to following your adventure. Seriously though, who has the shoe fettish? I see 4 pairs on your mat and 1 + sandals on Kathryn’s.

    Darwin had surgery on his shoulder yesterday, necessary and anticipated, however, this summer will be dedicated to recovery and strengthening. Paddling and biking are probably on hold til late summer and not sure about the backpacking trip he had planned for August. Ultra-light is what we both need now, hope we win the lottery so we can convert our gear!

    Loved the hitchhikes trilogy and Wild but I am sure yours will be the best. Thinking back to Wild, I just figured out the shoe thing!

    Have fun, Cindy & Darwin


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