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Colorado Trail 2013
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Eli Zabielski
(ezabielski) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Colorado Trail 2013 on 04/02/2013 23:15:31 MDT Print View

Hey everyone, give me your thoughts on my gear list.

Goal Dates: July 4th-July 25th (21 days)

I have yet to add a sun hat on there, but I've got one.

Suggestions or questions?

Mike Stromsoe
(phstudio) - F

Locale: So. Cal.
Re: Colorado Trail 2013 on 04/03/2013 03:18:13 MDT Print View

Looking good. I only had a quick look so far and a few things jump out at me.

I notice you have a nice comfy and warm quilt but no insulated jacket for camp and breaks. I'm bringing my Montbell EX Light for my CT thru this year. I've never been to Colorado, but I've done 10 to 14 thousand feet plenty and it can be cold up there.

Are you going to use some sort of case for your Nexus 4? I've accidentally submersed one iphone in the back country before. Now I don't go without it at least in a small Loksak or Lifeproof case.

Oh, and the caffeine pills? Coffee substitute?

Andrew Urlacher
(anarkhos) - M

Locale: Colorado, Wyoming
Re: Re: Colorado Trail 2013 on 04/03/2013 07:49:36 MDT Print View

+1 on the insulated jacket. Even in July I bring a down jacket for camping above 10k feet in the Rockies. Doesn't need to be super thick winter grade, something like a Patagonia Nano Puff would do nicely. I always bring my GoLite BitterRoot; it's overkill for the summer but it's what I've got.

Matthew Zion
(mzion) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: Colorado Trail 2013 on 04/03/2013 07:54:51 MDT Print View

I'll be curt since we know each other.

So it is personal preference but since you are planning on taking rain pants why not drop the shorts and boxers and pick up some running shorts w/ a liner. Would let you drop belt, boxer, boxer2, shorts for just one 5 oz pair of shorts.

In Oregon I discovered Crystal Light Energy as a caffeine source. Forced me to drink a liter to get the caffeine and in my head helps counteract the diuretic effects.

You probably already have them but... Darn Tough is definitely a brand I'd recommend I, however, do not like cushion socks. It's simply extra material that really doesn't "cushion" (just feels plush) and soaks up more dirt and water than a thin sock would.

You can use my homemade poles if you'd like - 3.5 oz per pole. They are fixed length which might add a learning curve to setting up your shelter.

I'd recommend adding super glue, safety pins, needle and thread and a bandana as gear repair/first aid.

Your tooth brush weight is high, cut off that handle. Bolt cutters work pretty well.

Sawatch + bivy is going to be really warm. Try it out but I find bivies too stuffy and prefer the poly ground cloth. I also noticed (unless I missed it) you didn't have a hat for warmth or sun on there - might be something worth taking. Oh, and if your using a liner bag you really don't need an additional stuff sack for your quilt.

I would say "Wait for one of the sales and pick up a Jam at GoLite" but I don't think it would even be a weight savings these days.

And truthfully, you won't need maps for the CT proper, it's really well marked. If you decide to do alternate routes -- which I highly recommend the CDT from Twin lakes -> Monarch pass and even a little past until it joins the CT -- take some maps the CDT is moderately marked once off the CT. They're adding that stretch as an "Inner Loop" to the CT so don't you worry about it counting as a thru! There are also a couple pretty easy fording short cuts you can nip instead of walking a mile to a bridge to turn around and walk back (like Twin Lakes) if you have a map.

Edit: You don't need an insulation jacket - I was just fine with windshirt and a quilt.
Should of said "attempt to be curt"

Edited by mzion on 04/03/2013 08:05:30 MDT.

Eli Zabielski
(ezabielski) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Response on 04/03/2013 12:04:10 MDT Print View

Sorry everyone, I accidentally removed my ex-light jacket from the list before I posted it, it's back now.

Mike, I do have a ziplock bag for the phone. I was trying to avoid using a hard case.


I'll give some new shorts a try. At least something that solves the belt problem, but hopefully a comfortable liner.

I have been wondering about the socks. Maybe I will get a pair of non-cushion socks, bring both pairs, and then just use the pair I prefer unless they are soaked or something.

I'll add those first aid/repair items.

I have a wool buff in there for a warm hat. I don't have my sun hat on there yet, since I haven't weighed it.

The toothbrush is one of those travel ones that uses its case as its handle, but the case seems sort of useless, I'll probably get rid of it.

I was planning to do that route (Collegiate West). Not sure how I feel about maps right now.

Edited by ezabielski on 04/03/2013 12:08:33 MDT.

Tim Drescher
(timdcy) - M

Locale: Gore Range
Re: Response on 04/03/2013 12:41:58 MDT Print View

I’ll add to Matthew’s original thought that you won’t need maps. Go with the data-book instead. The Colorado Trail Foundation does such a good job of maintaining and marking the trail it’s ridiculous (in a good way of course).

I hiked with a couple that ended up mailing back their maps back home when they were on the trail, just because it was extra, unneeded weight they had to carry.

Mike Stromsoe
(phstudio) - F

Locale: So. Cal.
Socks on 04/03/2013 12:42:55 MDT Print View

I no longer wear wool socks for 3 season backpacking. Try some Wrightsock Coolmesh II's at your REI. They're some double lined hybrid thingies, but I didn't buy for that, I bought them for their comfort and fit. These are thin socks but they last forever. Wearing wool socks, even the thin Smartwool socks, feel like I'm wearing oven mitts on on my feet.

Eli Zabielski
(ezabielski) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: Socks on 04/03/2013 13:05:41 MDT Print View

The Darn Toughs in the list are not wool, even though that is what Darn Tough is known for. They are coolmax. I'll check out those socks next time I am REI, though.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
How to go without maps on 04/03/2013 13:30:22 MDT Print View

Eric the Black's guidebook weighs 3.5 oz and has basic maps in it. The new CT databook is supposed to have better maps then the old version but I'm not sure how they'll compare.

I'm going to be a bit different and say you might want maps in one or two places.

1. East of Breckenridge there are lots of unmarked trails. The CT databook and Eric's guide were both less then helpful here.

2. San Juans. There were lots of game trails and old stock trails in and around the Wimenchue Wilderness. Having a map here was nice.

Don't buy maps though. Use to print out maps for free (assuming you have ac color printer). You should be able to get all the tricky places on a few sheets of paper.

Eli Zabielski
(ezabielski) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Maps on 04/03/2013 14:49:51 MDT Print View

I've also all the maps for the trail downloaded on my phone with BackCountry Navigator. Do you guys think it would be fine just to go with my phone (thus depending on technology, battery life in airplane mode, and possibly GPS signal)?

Matthew Zion
(mzion) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: Digital Maps on 04/03/2013 21:34:57 MDT Print View

Eli, I used my phone as my only map source last year on the PCT. Just have to use airplane mode and be conscious of your use such as journaling or listening to music. Chore #1 in town is finding food and #2 is charging your phone.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
small neo on 04/04/2013 12:55:47 MDT Print View

How do you like the small Neoair? How tall are you and does it fit well?

Eli Zabielski
(ezabielski) - F

Locale: Boulder, CO
Re: small neo on 04/04/2013 14:07:04 MDT Print View

I am 6'2", so you couldn't say that it "fits". I put my pack under my feet and I have the Montbell pillow.