Thanks for your comments. It's very interesting to get someone else's perspective. However, I think you do a different sort of walking from us. I get the impression from your web site that you often go from town to town, and often eat and sleep in the towns. We live in the mountains and only go into towns to shop, then we leave quickly. So our needs are different.
> I can't believe an Australian would choose a dinky canvas bucket hat versus a stylish Akubra felt hat.
Chuckle. The Akubra hats are what we sell to tourists from overseas - for megabucks. I make my own hats from heavy unbleached calico, so they cost me maybe a dollar each. Unfashionable but very functional.
> Contrary to what you wrote, tightly quilted polarguard, such as the Patagonia Puff pullover, will NOT break down under heavy use. If you get a piece of raw polarguard insulation and pull at it, you will immediately see that the fibers are extremely strong in one direction, as strong as polyester thread in fact, and so all you have to do is prevent the fibers from separating in the other direction by quilting every 2 inches or so.
This is very interesting, and encouraging. Maybe these synthetics have improved over the years? Sounds good, because we are taking the Cocoons instead of the 200-weight fleece. Thanks for the information.
> I am not sure if the Cocoon is this tightly quilted. Tight quilting reduce loft some.
No, there is no quilting in the Cocoons at all. Ah well, we shall see.
> don't understand this comment about soft alpine soils.
> My own experience is that about 50% of my campsites have very hard ground. In particular, I often find myself on the tops of hills where the ground is basically nothing but rock. Any less than a titanium nail stake is unlikely to work in places like this.
You should see some of our local Australian ridges! Hammering in Ti wire pegs witha rock takes time and breaks the rock ... trying to push the wire pegs in just wouldn't work. Our experience in the Pyrenees has been that the soil there is generally softer than our hard stuff at home, but I know that doesn't mean it will be the same everywhere. So I am taking some Ti wire pegs and some larger tubular pegs, to cover all bases. Of course, in really rocky situtaions I can often wedge a tubular peg in somewhere and then cover it with rocks.
> Personally, I'm quite happy eating uncooked food
No stoves and no cooking? Not for us. But we live in the mountains and don't eat in restaurants like you. As well, we find the ability to make hot food to be an absolutely vital safety factor in cold wet windy alpine situations.
> I think you should spend a lot more effort worrying about the appearance of your hiking clothes as opposed to funtionality. In the wilderness, no one cares what you look like. But when walk into town, it is a wonderful feeling to be able to dump your gear at a hotel or campground, shower up and wash your clothes, then put the clothes back on and let them dry from body heat (20 minutes for Taslan/supplex) and walk around town looking like a normal person rather than some geeky hiker. I would be especially surprised if your wife doesn't feel conspiciously underdressed during town stops.
Ah well, we don't spend any time in the towns you see. We shop and run. We have stayed in campgrounds a few times for the hot showers, but the hotels and restaurants thing - never done that, except when the trip is finished and we are waiting for our flight home
No, my wife does not feel any concerns about looking fashionable either. She usually just wants to get out of the town and back into the mountains.
> Silly kangaroo pocket, or a purse around your neck
Ah, but we aren't in the towns much you see. In our experience the kangaroo pocket works much better in the mountains than something hanging awkwardly around our necks. Very different requirements I think.