February 2016

Weighing in

Okay, so with my planned attempted thru-hike tabled for now, and my feet really torn up lately, so nothing better for me to do, than….weigh my gear?? Sure! I’m guessing anyone who has a job, house to clean, bills to pay, spends their free time weighing backpacking items that they may or may not use in oh, 6 weeks for a weekend or two! Yes, yes, I might be losing it!

Regardless, the standard rule of backpackers is to maintain 10 pounds or less for your big 3… The big 3 being, 1)Backpack, 2) Tent, and 3) Sleeping system..Now, when I started backpacking, I borrowed some gear, and I’m sure these things were much higher numbers. The backpack, an Osprey Aura, was 3 or 4 pounds, and the other stuff was significantly higher, I’m sure. Well, maybe not the tent, but I was so claustrophobic. As it is now, I’m excited about what I have, and my weight!

  1. My backpack is a Gossamer Gear Mariposa. It comes in at a very light 2 pounds 2.2 ounces. It’s comfy and has several great pockets, but still holds every thing well. When I went out last fall, in it, it was just fine! Here’s a link. http://gossamergear.com/mariposa-ultralight-backpack-all-bundle.html
  2. My tent is probably where I could shave some weight. I just don’t know right now, what makes good sense. I love it. I started with a Mountainsmith Morrison, and it was a great little 2 person thing, but weighed over 5 pounds. I decided to change up to a Big Agnes Copper Spur UL2, which I found at a great discount. When I got it, I realized that they had sent a UL3. This is roughly 1/2 a pound heavier than the UL2, and so I had thought to send it back. However, the service folks kind of acted a bit weird, and also were happy for me just to keep the bigger tent. My husband is a big guy. The UL3 will fit the two of us great. However, he currently is not at all interested in Backpacking with me. This tent is 4 pounds 9 ounces. I do love all the space, though, so for now, it’s mine. (I also seriously got it for like $150 cheaper than you can purchase them currently.) Here’s a link for what I have.    http://www.rei.com/product/865390/big-agnes-copper-spur-ul-3-tent
  3. My sleep system consists of 3 pieces of gear. The Sleeping bag is a Nemo Nocturne 30 degree. I also have a sleeping pad, which is a Thermarest Neoair, women’s. Finally, I got a Coolmax silk liner, which adds considerable warmth, and that plus it’s “Bug repellent” properties, I’m hoping it’ll be great on it’s own in the summer. Well, together, the system is 3 pounds 11.2 ounces.  Here’s a link to my sleeping bag.  http://www.moosejaw.com/moosejaw/shop/product_Nemo-Nocturne-30-Sleeping-Bag_10209126_10208_10000001_-1_?cm_mmc=PPC-_-BingPLA-_-na-_-Nemo-Nocturne-30-Sleeping-Bag&ad_id=BingPLA

This entire set up puts me at not quite 10 1/2 pounds. I think very doable! If I can talk myself into downsizing my tent, I could truly get a great weight!

I’ll play with my weights another day to determine if I can get all the rest of my gear under 6 pounds, so that I can hit a 16 pound base weight! That or less, is my goal! I’d like my overall weight including food and water to come in at or under 25 pounds. Carrying much more really causes lots of pain..

The blog name says it all!

I’ve been thinking about this blog, and my plans. I’ve not given them up. Just as I’m not giving up on myself in other areas. But I chose this blog name for a reason. In life, as in so many things, there are ups and downs. Trials and Triumphs. And we have just gone through some. So, here we are! It’s 2016, and we have trips ahead, and trails to conquer! I love to spend January planning things for the rest of the year. Since my husband has been out of a job, and only recently started working outside our home, again, I’ve had to be hesitant about my January planning. However! We have made some plans! And we’ve already been on a trip, and found some trails!

Hopefully, the jobless part (definitely a trial!) is over at least for the foreseeable future. Next up was a great triumph, in getting him back to work! Since we had checked those two off by mid January, it was time to take a quick trip! Our anniversary comes at the end of the year, and this past December, we celebrated 25 together! So, we agreed that this year, we will plan to go to 25 places we’ve not been to.

#1: New Mexico! Or more specifically, Tucumcari! Apparently, hubby knows a cartoon with Buster Bunny, who ends up wishing he’d have taken a left turn at Tucumcari. So, we stopped. Took pictures on Route 66, and headed further west.Tucumcari Route 66

#2: Albuquerque, New Mexico was our weekend destination. We spent a morning checking out the Petroglyphs in the area and enjoying the beautiful weather. Later, we took a ride on the Sandia Peak Sky Ride. 
another petroglyphtrail


I am starting to make plans for more adventures later in the spring, with a 2017 AT thruhiker hopeful. We’re planning to meet up in Arkansas for a couple days. And sometime, I am planning to do a solo hike. This is especially scary for me, but I need to do it.

I’m adding a link to an article I read today. I found it to be very helpful in thinking about different types of backpacking food.

Backpacker Food For 3 Extremes

The cable car hanging me and sandia peak

Thanks for joining me! Maybe this year will be a good opportunity for me to figure out the blogging scene!

“When my spirit grows faint within me, it is you who watch over my way.” Psalm 142:3a