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Sierra High Route Part 4: Reds Meadow to Tuolumne Meadows

This ~50-mile stretch of the Sierra High Route took me four days. I left from Reds Meadows near Mammoth Lakes on a Wednesday afternoon at 12:30pm and came out in Tuolumne Meadows on a Sunday at 11:00am with heels on fire – I wanted to make breakfast at the diner!

Day 1: Devil’s Postpile to Superior Lake

July 15th. It began with a pleasant enough jaunt along the PCT/JMT towards Devil’s Postpile, a mind-bogglingly geometric statue sculpted by no other force than Mother Nature. Mostly hexagonal (44.5%) and pentagonal (37.5%) rock posts — some of them near perfect — arise out of the ground up a couple hundred feet. They cracked into this shape when a mass of volcanic lava cooled slowly gazillions of years ago, and then were smoothed off by glacier movement at the top to show their angles. It was great to take this short side-trip loop… continue reading

Stoned Boners May 14 2013 in Wrightwood

Backpack Choices for a Thru-hike

Here is a run-down of all the popular backpacks on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). Also included are a couple pack comparison charts for you, looking at a range of the most common and reasonable packs for normal people. I hope this helps your selection. Please correct any mistakes or omissions in the comments below.


Common Packs Outliers Other Ideas Considerations 55-60L Comparison Chart 65-70L Comparison Chart

Common Backpacks of the PCT

Here is a list of packs that would fall in the expected range seen on average PCT thru-hikers. One sees these being carried happily and successfully on trail, every day.

Osprey – For women the Ariel 55/65 and Aura 50/65 are most popular, and for men the Atmos 50/65 and Exos 58. Ultra-Lightweight Adventure (ULA) – The Catalyst (big),… continue reading

Soto OD-1R Stove Giveaway

A month ago I gave away two copies of the excellent PCT documentary “Tell it on the Mountain.” That was fun; people had a lot of interesting things to say in the comments of that post.

This month I am giving away one brand new camp stove from Soto — the OD-1R. This excellent little stove is very lightweight (2.6oz) and comes with a built-in Piezo ignitor. So handy. I know at some points I wasn’t even carrying a lighter on my PCT hike (gasp!) because my stove lit itself (and could be used to light other things). SOTO does not recommend you use your stove to “light other things.” They do; however, make an excellent mixed fuel stove with titrate-able heat. It retails for $69.95.

This little tiny thing is an excellent addition to any… continue reading

PCT Gear Review

I was really comfortable with my gear along the Pacific Crest Trail, so I thought I would share it with you, and explain why it worked. Please note beforehand that I purchased all these items with my own money after carefully researching them, and was not given anything for review. The following are my opinions.m

If you look at this photograph with me, I will talk about the items shown, left to right, one row at a time. Click a link to skip forward to that gear item. (more…)


Today I made a custom mitten pattern — everything I want, and nothing I don’t. It had to be dexterous for a mitten, and without stress points or bunching in the fist. I need to be able to hold handlebars or hiking poles comfortably. If you know mittens, you know this is a tall order. I took ideas from some gloves of mine as well as from these old seal skin mittens. I came up with a pattern that has one seam line, and a hem. Seriously.

Once you’ve seamed the strange pattern piece together with one 24.5″ seam, you hem the glove and you are done. Unless you want to put a grommet and draw cord in the hems like I did. There’s no wrist draw cord like the Haglöfs mitts, but since there is no seam at the inferior (ulnar) aspect of… continue reading

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