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Kate Moody

Locale: Acadia
1st post plus Tentative Gear List on 05/08/2014 19:02:05 MDT Print View

Hey all!
I am a long time lurker and someone who has dreamed of backpacking for a long time. Now that I am out of a relationship and getting on my own again I figured it was time for me to follow this dream. I'm not getting any younger, right?

Anyways, this is a so-so list I was working on to purchase next winter when I am all set up again and have the spare cash. (I will try to rent gear for trips this summer if I can afford it, sucks that I may have to wait a year due to moving and having to get a car :( )

Anyways, here is the list:

Shelter/Sleep System:
Marmot EOS 1
Tyvec ground sheet
Z-lite Pad (full length with last two folds cut off for seat/pack support/pillow filler)
30* Synthetic sleeping bag (No idea what brand)
Space Blanket (backup ground sheet/vapor barrier if the temp drops below expectations)

Cook System: (All meals will be homemade BiB, and only dinner will be cooked)
Esbit Titanium stove or Alcy/esbit stove
500 ml titanium pot with folding handles
lightmyfire spork
Aluminum sheet for reflector
Aluminum foil for lid and wind shield
Mini bic and backup matchbooks (or a second mini bic or magnesium striker for backup)
Bear hang bag (maybe one that is “odor proof”?)
Milar bubble-wrap BIB cozy

Water System:
Sawyer mini
Aquamira as backup/supplemental
3L Platy (only filled fully before camp)
Smartwater bottle (Kept empty unless needed. Also backup for the sawyer mini in case the sawyer bag leaks)
Cut off bandana as a pre filter.

Clothes on body:
Synthetic base layer shirt (long sleeve?)
Cheap sports bra
Bicycle Shorts
Nylon convertible pants
synthetic socks
Affordable trail runners (no idea what brand)
Brimmed hat w/bug net
Walmart trekking poles with duct tape wrapped on them

Clothing in pack:
Microfleece outerlayer
Rain gear (? emergency poncho w/ trashbag rain skirt OR proper rain/wind gear???)
two pair synthetic socks
Aquasocks knockoffs (fording and camp)
Long Johns
Light garden gloves
Small umbrella (brand?)

White/red light headlamp sewn in to the brimmed hat
Keychain squeeze light
Swiss army knife (the small one with the blade and single “multitool” forgot what it was called)
backup batteries for lights
whistle(pealess) on lanyard
Paracord (Or lighter option? 75 ft for bear bagging)
Waterproof mini notebook and Pen
tent repair kit (Pole sleeve and patches)

Maps printed on waterproof paper
Cheap compass w/ baseplate
Common Sense

Child's toothbrush cut off
Small baggie with tooth powder
Small epoxy mirror (tick checks as I live in tick central as well as signalling if it was ever needed for that)
Bronners in small bottle
Hand sanitizer
half roll of TP (de-cored?)
Steel stake for catholes or maybe a Duece of spades or similar?
Bottom half of small soda bottle as “cup”
Mechanic's disposable “towel”

First Aide:
Small kit w/
Medical tape (Saw some mention of a good tape that works on forming blisters forgot what it is called...)
Vitamin I
Sterile Gloves
Several Largish sterile pads
Safety pins

ULA Circuit (? I know, this is the last thing to pick, but something like this depending on the load)
Compactor Trash Bag

Example of one day of food:
Baggie of dense cereal w/ powdered soymilk added. Mark on baggie as “fill line”
Herbal Tea (opt)
Bag of Second Nature Wholesome Medley (Nuts, dark choc, cherry raisins). Eaten during the day. 1960 kcal @ 14 ounces (140 kcal/oz)
Homemade Goulash made with tomato powder, TVP, mac and spices. In freezer baggie with sharpied on “fill line”
Olive oil added to BiB meal
Dark Chocolate bar

As you can see, there are a lot of questions in the list as I haven't nailed down all the items I may want/need, so as the title says it is tent-ative ;).

Some points tho:
I am looking towards Lightweight, not ultralight. Trying for a 12LBS base pack weight.

I live in "Lime-Bear" territory so a full tent is a "must" (may take awhile of doing this before I would feel comfortable going to a tarp, and it is too humid here for most single walled tarp-tents (or maybe not).

I am vegan, so no wool, down, leather etc.

Anyways, love the posts here and can't wait to hear some advice to help me narrow my options down to specific time-tested products.

Oh, and sorry for the long first post. :)

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
RE: 1st post plus Tentative Gear List on 05/08/2014 19:38:38 MDT Print View

Welcome! You seem remarkably thoughtful for a "newb"! :^)

And congrat.s on dusting yourself off, and doing the things that interest you!

Of course budgetary concerns will have to determine some of the items currently marked with a question mark. [And may I recommend keeping a keen eye on the GearSwap forum, and "pouncing" on things when a real bargain comes up...that can really help you get the high quality stuff at affordable prices.]

The most important thing on your gear list is -- definitely -- common sense. Sadly, many people leave home without it. Glad you won't be doing that.

You might add a bandanna, which is a great all-purpose item with a 1oz weight (hat, towel, washcloth, nosewipe, hair tamer, etc.).

You haven't told us what climate you'll be hiking in -- that would help us direct you properly (vis a vis rain gear, etc.).

I'd suggest leaving off the Aquasocks. Just cross in your trail runners.

Are the bike shorts in lieu of undies (and if they are, no spare? Otherwise they may not be needed (as you have convertible pants listed).

Not sure what the garden gloves are for...bushwhacking? If not, maybe a pair of lightweight fleece gloves.

The umbrella will be controversial, I'm sure.

Have you considered using a Steripen instead of the Sawyer (less fiddly in the field for someone who's new to this)? Or just use the Aqua Mira.

Well, that's what I have for you at the moment... well done!

Kate Moody

Locale: Acadia
Tent-ative on 05/08/2014 20:00:55 MDT Print View

Thanks for the reply, Valerie! Yeah, you can kinda tell that I am a long time lurker (been living vicariously through all of you fun-loving people!)

To address some of your suggestions:

Bandana: I had listed a cut down bandana, but I guess it would make more sense to just bring a full sized for the reasons you suggested.

Climate: I live in Maine. Specifically within a 5 minute walk from Acadia National Park. Very frustrating as it is pretty much the only national park that you cannot (legally) camp in. (grr!) When I do get to get out there, it would most likely be in the Baxter area, or some of the other managed lands in Maine. Maine is an odd one. Cold snowy winters with hot humid summers. Its not the heat, its the humility! :)

Aquasocks: I could just use the trail runners for fording, but I was concerned about blisters from wet feet. Also, is it a good idea to have some sort of camp shoe? Or is that not really needed? I figured that aquasocks weigh about the same as flip-flops and stay on the feet better. Also, kinda packing my fears, they would be better at keeping ticks off of my feet during midnight potty runs. Or atleast they do in my head...

Bike shorts: I actually dont know about these. I heard that they are good at preventing chaffing so I added them. What would be a good panty to wear? If I did go with bicycle shorts, should I wear them with panties or just use them as undies with a spare?

Garden gloves: I added these since I saw something similar on many gear lists to keep hands warm. Or was it "liner gloves"? I honestly don't know the difference. This is something I would need some more advice on.

Umbrella: Until a few months after lurking and googling, it would not have crossed my mind that any backpacker would carry one. Then I started reading about how much of a life saver (literally) one could be, as well as making a zero day become a decent nero day. (I do dream of doing a thru hike some years from now, so maybe some of my gear ideas are influenced by that) This is also one of those "up in the air" items.

Steripen: I'll have to admit, I am a squimish weakling when it comes to the idea of drinking dirty looking water, even if I know that it was treated. Dor some reason the idea of a filter makes me feel more comfortable (I would be supplementing the treatment with the AM if in an area with humans upstream for virus destroying). Also, Ive read too many stories of steripens going bunk (broken glass or batteries dying for whatever reason). On this one, I would rather deal with the finicky nature of the sawyer mini, I guess. (For better or worse)

Anyways, thank you for your quick and helpful reply! :)

Edited by KitKatKate on 05/08/2014 20:02:47 MDT.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Tent-ative on 05/08/2014 20:14:13 MDT Print View

Welcome, see now you are already up to two posts. :-)

Umbrellas are great, almost more for sun than rain. Not controversial in my book at all.

Synthetic liner gloves should be fine since you are already using fleece.

On the fording, that is one you have to experience to get used to. It depends on a little on the environment and weather you are in, but try fording with your regular shoes a few times to see the actual result. Might convince you.

As for brown water, just to be clear, filtering will not remove the brownness, which is usually from plant material with tannins. On the one hand, same class of molecules that make tea brown. On the other, not nearly as good tasting. It usually doesn't taste bad though.

So if you are going to use a synthetic bag this will be a large part of you pack space. Depending on what temperatures you want to use it, it could be pretty large. They compress, but not too well, and over-compression can be damaging. Plan on needing a bigger pack than you might see other people on here advertizing, with similar gear but using down bags. A synthetic quilt might help in the volume department when/if you feel this is comfortable for you.

Edited by millonas on 05/08/2014 20:24:31 MDT.

Kate Moody

Locale: Acadia
re: tent-ative on 05/08/2014 20:38:15 MDT Print View

Now 3 posts! :P

I guess I am unsure what "liner gloves" are... Are they the fabric ones or the rubber ones? Its funny, I live in Maine (one of them cold places) and I have no idea about gloves! LOL

The tannins, yeah I knew those wouldn't filter out, so the water will still be dirty looking, but I guess I have an idea of floaties in the water. Odd that I would think that since I even included a prefilter in my list. Must just show how squimish I may be about it. Im sure when I'm out there and thirsty I will be far less picky, and may end up embracing other technologies.

With the synthetic bag, yeah that is a bummer. It would be nice if I could go out there with a "day pack" to more easily stealth camp (not in Acadia tho. No need to do something illegal). But it looks like it wont be in the cards for me. Add to that the Closed Cell pad, I will be looking at a fair bit more bulk than anyone here (except maybe Tipi, :) ). It is a small price to pay. One thing I was considering tho, I would be starting out only doing May through mid October, so I may be able to get away with a 40* bag or even a quilt. I will probably start off with a super cheap walmart bag just to get a feel for it (and by it I mean freezing my butt off in a cheap walmart bag for a night and then burning my debit card on a purchase the next day...). This is something I will certainly have to learn from experience.

Also was wondering about the tent I seem to be fixated on. I rarely see any mention of the Marmot EOS 1, but it seems like everything I would want. I see a lot of similar Big Agnes ones mentioned here, but it weighs a bit more and the only "to me" improvement is a bit more head space...

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: re: tent-ative on 05/08/2014 21:44:56 MDT Print View

Liner gloves are just very thin, usually stretchy non-waterproof knit gloves - in your case get synthetic. The are usually cheap - unless you get them from Patagonia. They are nice when you just need a bit of protection from the chill. And sometimes people use then inside bigger gloves or mittens, hence the moniker. The next step up would be fleece gloves, which are thicker. Might be too much for the summer, even in the mountains of Maine.

Tanins - it helps, I have found, very much psychologically to add gatoraid, crystal light or some other flavoring powder to "brown water". In addition to totally drowning out any slight "off" taste it gives a reason for the water to be a funny color. Ironically iced tea mix is pretty good for this.

Edited by millonas on 05/08/2014 21:46:10 MDT.

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(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
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Edited by RogerDodger on 07/01/2015 13:55:14 MDT.

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(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
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Edited by RogerDodger on 07/01/2015 13:53:56 MDT.

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(RogerDodger) - F

Locale: (...)
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Edited by RogerDodger on 07/01/2015 13:50:17 MDT.

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: 1st post plus Tentative Gear List on 05/09/2014 13:39:43 MDT Print View

Quick thoughts:
1) OK, you have obviously deliberated this through to the max when you know to bring Vitamin I. You are ready to roll.

2) I love umbrellas. Wind Rivers took out my little one. So I invested in the Golite 8oz one. Sometimes you have to go ‘up’ in weight for comfort.

3) “ I could just use the trail runners for fording, but I was concerned about blisters from wet feet.” Good concern…

4) Biking shorts have decreased my chaffing big time. But you’ll have to experiment in that area; cotton vs synthetic is tricky down there.

5) “ I am a squimish weakling when it comes to the idea of drinking dirty looking water, even if I know that it was treated. Dor some reason the idea of a filter makes me feel more comfortable (I would be supplementing the treatment with the AM if in an area with humans upstream for virus destroying). Also, Ive read too many stories of steripens going bunk (broken glass or batteries dying for whatever reason). “

As has been posted, with a sawyer, brown water will stay brown. So hopefully you find clear water for psychological reasons :) Also, the vice versa is true (referencing steripen); there has been just as many mechanical filter failures also. Thus a backup pill is nice. If you do want to totally wipe out tannis, the First Need Filter is the only one that can. But it’s 16oz! And I do take that when I’m going to brown-water areas.

6) I also like quilts. They will be lighter and pack smaller. Check out MLD or Enlightened Equip for synthetics. But in cool weather I also don a balaclava.
7) The Eos appears to be a good sturdy tent. But it packs large. It uses a silnylon fly so you will probably experience the joy of condensation. For almost a pound less and more floor space and height, the Tarptent Rainbow is nice. Howbeit, I use the hexamid that packs smaller and gives me much less condensation.

Get out soon!
-The mountains were made for Tevas

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: 1st post plus Tentative Gear List on 05/09/2014 14:02:04 MDT Print View

With what you feel comfortable with, I could see some significant weight savings in a Henry Shires Tarptent model (some the new versions are double walled). Also a rain jacket - ponchos are rain protection but it's tough to see your feet, especially if wind-swept. A synthetic quilt maybe...

Edited by hknewman on 05/09/2014 14:04:00 MDT.

Valerie E
(Wildtowner) - M

Locale: Grand Canyon State
Re: Re: 1st post plus Tentative Gear List on 05/09/2014 15:37:45 MDT Print View

I'm from just north of Maine, so I know the climate well (and I've been to Katahdin via Chimney Pond and the Knife Edge).

OK, bug defense is going to be a major issue for you until August...that definitely has an impact.

So, for daytime, a lightweight nylon shirt (hiking shirt) will likely be "biteproof". I don't know about you, but I hate applying DEET, so I try to do as much as I can with barrier methods (long pants, long sleeve shirt, bug net, etc.). What can I say - June is hell there!

Undies: I think bike shorts are going to be hot. Many of the gals here are fond of Smartwool (or other brand) merino panties. Very lightweight, non-odor-forming; dries quickly.

Camp Shoes: Usually in ME, NH, VT, and NY there aren't many creeks to cross because there are footbridges. Maybe they've been washed away and not replaced now (like Marcy Dam in the Adirondacks)? I think you could cross creeks in your (non-Goretex) trail runners, take them off, wring out your socks (or put on a dry pair), and continue on without blisters -- but only time will tell. There has been I like camp shoes, but I'm not UL (only "L"); the majority here tend to argue against them.

Water: I've been using a Steripen-like device since before Steripen existed (but that first one - I forget the CO company that made it - did break in the field). So far, I've had no troubles with the Steripen brand (I've upgraded twice to newer models). I always bring clor. diox. drops as a backup. And if you're really squeamish about water -- then "double treat" until you become more comfortable (filter, then drops or boil the same water). You are in beaver country, so you want to be careful. And with a bit more experience, you'll learn to trust the process more. Give yourself time.

Not sure if you've seen this cheap down bag ( - since you mentioned Walmart, I thought I'd mention it. It's been discussed on BPL, Hammock Forums, etc., and folks generally like it. It would be quite compressible, and should be fine for summer nights in ME until mid-Sept in a normal year. But I would still try to haunt GearSwap to get a bargain on a 3-season better-quality, lightly-used down bag! And I 100% agree with Roger's advice about NOT believing the temperature ratings on sleeping bags! I am a cold sleeper, so I offset most manufacturers' ratings by 15F to 20F degrees (so, a bag rated at 15F by Marmot is a 30F bag for me) -- then I know I'll be comfortable.

Kate Moody

Locale: Acadia
re: tent-ative on 05/09/2014 19:10:52 MDT Print View

Thanks for the replies so far! This is helping to clarify some things for me.

@Marko: Ok, gotcha on the gloves, basically thin synthetic gloves. That will be on the list. Also, thanks for the tip on using tea powder to help with the "brown water" mental block.

@Roger: Ok, space blanket is a no-go then. It was in there as an emergency backup anyways, maybe another piece of tyvek would make more sense for some of the ideas I had for the space blanket. Ill look into the mailerbags. TP: Good to know that recycled napkins are better for the environment than "proper" tp. My butt can handle a little John Wayne, so that will be the approach I may take. Bag: Yeah, I've seen many posts on the "ratings" that have been given bags. I figure a 40* "rating" will be OK for late spring to early fall, but I guess I will just have to get out there to find my own comfort zone (in a safe manner)

@Barry: Will add the Golite umbrella. 8oz is a small price (weightwise) to pay for for such protection. Im still confused about the biking shorts... With panties? Without? Guess personal experience will be the way to go with this. Quilts: Ive been looking in to them, my worry is draft. Tarptent Rainbow: Hmmm. This thing is very similar in design to the EOS, and can be made free standing with trekking poles. Same price too... I think I may be convinced to go tarptent!

@Newman: So a rain jacket (with rain pants maybe?) is much better for hiking. That is actually obvious, but I was trying to be a gram weenie (on some things, anyways ;) ). Any good brands for lightweight rain suits? Home depot tyvek suit? Dry Ducks?

@Valerie: Cant do Wool or Down. I am vegan, so only plant fibers or synthetics for me. Camp shoes: I think I will try to start out with something like aquasocks and do a day using them and a day not here and there to compare and see if they would stay in the pack or be relegated to the beach. Filter: The sawyer mini is uber cheap, has no moving parts, and has the psychological effect of "filtering". It will take some time before I would be comfortable with UV, I intellectually know it works, but ....

Anyways, thankyou all for the info! I will be updating my list a little bit and asking some more questions here and there I am sure.

Also, anyone know of a good place to rent gear in Down East Maine?

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: re: tent-ative on 05/09/2014 21:06:45 MDT Print View

Heard those gram weenie options work great on regularly used trail but not if there's any bushwacking (also just wear out). I've just used whatever light patagonia rain jacket is on sale (mostly due to warranty). Half the time I use the jacket as a rain cape (hood over head and knotting the arms -- there's no perfect rain shell while on the move usually), but every now and then, I get hit with horizontal rain, ... or am stopped on a break or looking for a campsite ... and am glad I brought a jacket. Not so sure about dedicated rain pants for the summer. I'm thinking a rain skirt (er, ...kilt) myself. Winter I bring the rain pants.

I'd check out Andrew Shurka's book if you can (was on sale $8 new)

Edited by hknewman on 05/09/2014 21:22:39 MDT.

David Hyde
Re: re: tent-ative on 05/10/2014 10:14:19 MDT Print View

If you decide to get a cheap starter sleeping bag, don't get it at wal-mart. Campsaver has numerous 15-30 degree models from reputable brands under $100 and under 4 pounds. The main downsides of synthetic bags is that they are bulky and wear out,

Also, you seem to be a vegan for ethical reasons. Great. But if you proceed to shop at wal-mart, you're frontin...

Kate Moody

Locale: Acadia
Rain and Walton on 05/10/2014 13:02:23 MDT Print View

Ok, good. Proper rain jacket. Patagonia or dry ducks good choices?

Campmor. Ok. I've ordered random (non backpacking specific) stuff from them before. I will check out their selection of bags. As per the Walmart thing, I avoid them as much as possible. I order as many things as I can from other companies. Walmart does "happen" to be the only big store around here. I hate them with a passion, but sometimes I have no other available options.(the Walmart episode of the penn and teller show is why I never watch anything they do anymore). So yeah, not fronting, just trapped sometimes ;)

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re: Rain and Walton on 05/10/2014 14:45:51 MDT Print View

Patagonia or any other true jacket will have much tougher material than dryducks (which is polypropylene iirc). It is a few to several oz lighter but at a cost is durability over the long term -ADD if in the middle of a "dry/drought" cycle, I'd consider dry ducks (i.e. if rarely used), but if wetter I would just keep my rain jacket. Thing about warranty is reading Christine ("German tourist") and other long time users, the zippers tend to go out first, so a company with a decent warranty (Patagonia)is the way I've went - plus they'll recycle it when finally worn through. Still waiting on Pata to release a 6 oz rainshell if anyone is listening.

Edited by hknewman on 05/10/2014 16:07:49 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Rain and Walton on 05/10/2014 14:54:56 MDT Print View

About the down and being a vegan, hear me out here. Synthetic fill insulation is not environmentally responsible. The loft degrades every time it gets compressed. Over time you will turn a 30 degree bag into a 50 degree bag. I've had synthetic fill bags crap out on me after less than 60 nights. I went and invested in a high quality down bag because I didn't want to be wasteful and buy another synthetic bag. A good down sleeping bag can literally last decades. So you need to balance your values here, limited lifetime of gear and waste vs. your vegan principles.

Buy a used down sleeping bag here on gear swap so you aren't supporting the industry. Or do some research and find a sleeping bag manufacturer that sources it's down from farms that treat their animals with respect.

From what I know, and I could be wrong, down is a product of the poultry industry. They kill birds for meat and down is a secondary product. If everyone stopped using down the birds would still be killed and the down would be wasted. Recently the price of down has gone up because people over in Asia are eating less birds. You could argue the same thing about leather which is a secondary product from the beef industry. If people stopped using leather, the cows would still be killed for beef.

I'm not trying to challenge you here, just giving you some things to think about and consider.

Your list looks very good for a newbie. It shows that you have been lurking on here a while. One thing I would recommend is to try camping with a tarp which would save weight over a tent. But you know your environment and weather better than I do.

Edited by justin_baker on 05/10/2014 14:55:51 MDT.

Luke Schmidt
(Cameron) - MLife

Locale: The WOODS
Synthetic on 05/10/2014 16:34:23 MDT Print View

My summer bag for humid weather is an 11oz synthetic quilt. I've gone a bit under 40 with it by using a puffy down vest and warm hat.

I'd look into a cheap quilt or try making your own. Since nothing lasts forever I'd go for a summer quilt (lighter, smaller) and a fall quilt (heavier). Using the summer quilt saves wear and tear on the heavy quilt.

Barry P
(BarryP) - F

Locale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
Re: re: tent-ative on 05/10/2014 18:34:02 MDT Print View

“@Barry: Will add the Golite umbrella. 8oz is a small price (weightwise) to pay for for such protection. Im still confused about the biking shorts... With panties? Without? Guess personal experience will be the way to go with this. Quilts: Ive been looking in to them, my worry is draft.”

There’s so many rain methods and I’ve been in several hard rains. I always use that Golite umbrella. I sometimes put on the $1.00 poncho. It’s also big enough to drape over my pack to keep that dry. Once we had a hard drench in the Tetons and it flooded everywhere. My brother donned his rain coat. I just used my umbrella. He was shocked how my shirt and upper pants stayed dry; and he was soaked. Yes my pant cuffs and sandals were soaked but it’s actually fun that way. It was about 50F so I wore pants to help with warmth. But above 60F, shorts and rain are fun.

Biking shorts are great if you’re doing long hot miles. My daughter and I wear them. Let me tell you what my daughter does. She wears cotton undies underneath the biking shorts. She likes cotton on her more than synthetics for hygiene reasons. But synthetics on top dry faster and totally prevented chaffing. Or look for some other style of compression shorts. What also helps on a hot steamy day is to make sure your shirt hangs out back so most of the back sweat will drip outside the pants/shorts and not down the gluteals. Anyway, you may need to practice with a couple different styles to see what method prevents the chaffing. Maybe a tightey whitey is all you need.

Spray your clothes with permethrin to kill ticks and thwart off mosquitoes. Great stuff. I think I saw a good deal on Deals on BPL. Yes be careful with DEET. It will melt all your hard earned money. (i.e., nylon and deet don’t mix).

Quilts: Draft is a good worry. Draft is great on warm nights. But on cold nights, you have to learn to tuck yourself in. It’s warmer to keep the pad out of the quilt rather than tucking under the quilt.

Go out and hike,
-The mountains were made for Tevas