This was a trip of firsts:
- First backpacking trip outside of the mountains...right at sea level!
- First true ultralight trip, base weight of 11.75 pounds
- First solo backpacking trip
- First tarptent experience
- First alcohol stove experience
It's been the forums and articles on BackpackingLight.com that have given me the insight, research, and finally the experience to make a trip like this possible. Thank you goes out to the staff and the entire community for all your knowledge.
It was only one overnight, but it was pretty interesting and lots of fun. Conditions were in the high 70's during the day with 15% humidity, and inthe mid 50's at night with massive fog and 100% humidity.
Pictures are here on Flickr.
Gossamer Gear Miniposa
Western Mountaineering Megalite sleeping bag
Gossamer Gear Nightlight and ThinLight pads
Trail Designs/AGG Caldera Cone stove system
New Balance 907 trailrunners
Patagonia MicroPuff vest
Icebreaker Mako 1/4 Zip
REI Sahara pants
(et multiple cetera, ad infinitum)
What went right is too long to list: tent had no condensation even in fog, the stove was superlative, I was perfectly warm with just a longsleeve shirt and the vest. What went wrong, or could have been better:
- The Icebreaker Mako 1/4 zip L/S shirt was way, way, way too hot for this trip; even with 65° F temps, it was 100% humid in the fog, and the 200g/m wool was too hot and heavy when wet. I hear there's a Superfine 140 1/4 zip L/S coming, which would have been far better (or a Capilene 2 shirt).
- The Miniposa's pad sleeves are not colorfast in certain conditions (verified by the very nice Grant from Gossamer Gear), possibly based on body chemistry or per-unit manufacturing variations. Ruined the back of my shirt rather permanently.
- There are clouds of non-biting gnats on the coast that get in everything: arm hairs, you name it. They are attracted to water, and I had nearly 100 on my wet groundcloth on the back of my pack. Should have packed a headnet, as I had to tie a bandana around my face and put on my sunglasses (7am in dense fog!) to not choke on the buggers. A very short term but insanity inducing problem.
These are really just nits - it was an invaluable experience!