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Nathan Moody
(atomick) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Point Reyes National Seashore on 08/04/2007 10:20:07 MDT Print View

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.

Gear Highlights:
----------------
Gossamer Gear Miniposa
Tarptent Contrail
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!

Jessen Jacobsen
(SmokiesHanger) - F

Locale: Boulder
Nice pics! on 08/04/2007 11:11:03 MDT Print View

Could you perhaps comment on your experience with the Miniposa? I'm planning on getting one of these and I would love to hear some first hand knowledge. What size torso did you get?

Nathan Moody
(atomick) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Nice pics! on 08/04/2007 11:31:20 MDT Print View

Jessen, I have a medium pack and waist belt (I am 5'11", 160 lbs, 19-20" torso, waist 32"). The Miniposa worked out great, staining issues aside. I actually, in retrospect, might have opted for the Mariposa for with more space for extended trips. However, for an overnight, the pack wasn't full and I didn't need any of the extension collar space. The carry was nice, if a bit on the low side...extremely comfortable, though. I used the included foam inserts on the hip belt and shoulder straps.

I also added hip pockets, which worked great; I wrote about this earlier in the MYOG forum.

I think you'd lose a LOT of usable space if you used a hydration bladder in the inner sleeve, so I opted for water bottles instead. I used a trash compactor bag as a pack liner. My tent was held in the large back mesh pocket.

Even with some careful handling I had some mesh rip out from the outer pockets' elastic mouths, but that was due to water bottle choice on my part. A 1L Gatorade (wide) bottle was a real hassle to extract and return to the lower right pocket, but on day two I switched to a 1L (thin) SmartWater bottle, which was a dream to draw and stow.

Hope this additional detail helps!

Edited by atomick on 08/04/2007 13:40:04 MDT.

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Great Trip on 08/04/2007 15:28:12 MDT Print View

Looks like you went to Coast Camp. Nice hike. Glad your first solo overnighter went well. Mine is at the end of this month at Point Reyes too. Nice pics by the way!!

Nathan Moody
(atomick) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Great Trip on 08/04/2007 16:25:49 MDT Print View

Ken, I went to Wildcat Camp, actually, taking a very indirect route. Coast Camp is just a bit farther north and can actually be a bit more sheltered from the wind...I liked Wildcat, the wind helped reduce condensation in the single-walled Contrail! :-) Thanks for the kind words on the pix.

Have a great time when you're up here, yourself (I live in Marin County, 45 minutes away from Point Reyes)!

Dylan Taylor
(nevadas) - F

Locale: California Coast
I always stealth at PR on 09/01/2007 00:30:16 MDT Print View

I hate camping at the two sites in PR-- unless you go in the winter, they are always packed with obnxious peeps. I like camping on the top of Alamere Falls on the south side or on the bluffs up north.

I always try to get out there once a year -- usually in the winter or early spring.

You should try coming down to Big Sur. But there is nothing here like the Coast Trail section, where you are just on the bluffs looking out. Well, okay Lost Coast, but thats a long drive...

Yeah. I think I am going to get the miniposa too. Did the backmesh stain? Did you have the torsolite in?

Dave T
(DaveT) - F
nathan. on 12/12/2007 23:13:27 MST Print View

right on for trips to point reyes. sounds like we are using some of the same gear.

but i didn't see your pics at the flickr link. however, i did see your sweet digital artwork... tight! nice work...

if you didn't see it, i yap about my recent 3 day trip to pt. reyes in this thread:
http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/xdpy/forum_thread/10491/index.html

Edited by DaveT on 12/12/2007 23:19:52 MST.