Gear list video

Wuhuuu… So the 19th of August is getting nearer and I am getting more and more excited. I still have some preps to do, yet my gear list is almost complete. Due to the fire restrictions I’m still doubting ’bout whether I should take my alcohol-stove or rather go with a gas canister stove. One of the moderators of the JMTyahoo group offered me to borrow his daughters jet boil (thank you John!!!) so I might go with that.

I just made a little gear list video that I wanna share with you… (Don’t mind my English, it should get better again once I hit the trail and have some english conversations ;c)
I made the video with the camera I’m gonna take along. It’s a Canon Powershot G15.

Dirty Girl Power!!!

Juhuuuuuuu! My original Dirty Girl Gaiters arrived yesterday… Bring in those colours!!! I opted for a pink-blue colour-combi with some fancy parrots… Now don’t they match my shoes perfectly? (ánd my personality? haha)

Check out http://www.dirtygirlgaiters.com if you wanna run like a dirty girl!
Dirty Girl Gaiters for Trail / Ultramarathon Runners…Keep the debris out of your shoes with these simple and lightweight trail running gaiters. Made by an ultra runner, the soft, comfortable & breathable four-way stretch spandex unisex gaiter hooks under the front shoe lace and secures to the back of the shoe with a self-adhesive velcro strip. Something fun to look at too while you hang your sorry head and shuffle your tired feet. With over 40 DG Gaiter designs you can choose a style to match your clothing, backpack or personality…”

Finally… Shoeeeeeees!

Finally I found a pair of trailrunners that fit my wide feet. I ordered the Brooks Cascadia 7 (though there is an 8-version out already… the 7 was about 40euros cheaper ;c) at Globetrotter.de. All other brands somehow are too narrow and just didn’t feel comfy. But as soon as I got my feet into the Cascadia, I felt like:Yes, finally! Don’t know why I didn’t order some Brooks earlier. After all my marathon shoes were from Brooks too. It was a friend who remembered me of the fact that Brooks shoes are wider than others…

I’ve been giving it long thoughts whether I should give trailrunners a go or not. I’ve always been the type of hiker walking with her heavy Meindl leatherboots on. Actually just due to not knowing that one can hike the mountains in trailrunners. I must admit I’m still slightly sceptical but I’m gonna give it a try. I mainly worry about spraining my ankle. By the end of the day my concentration tends to lessen and I tend to twist my ankles. Though I’m not sure whether high top boots are the correct solution to that problem or not. A better way to deal with it might ratherbe to stop walking as soon as I notice my decreasing concentration and break camp… Or have a rest and a snack….

Well actually last weekend for the first time in my life I hiked with trekking poles and I totally liked it. I think these might offer me some stability too and help prevent twisting my ankle…

Anyway… I’m totally curious about my trailrunners experiment. I want to make sure they’re well worn before I hit the trail in Yosemite NP… O o it’s gonna be an adventure!!!

Tarptent Notch

Some time ago I ordered the Tarptent Notch (with the partial solid liner) at sackundpack.de. Yet I haven’t had the chance to pitch it… Well mainly because of the lack of trekking poles (borrowed some from a friend now till I buy my own) and because of the humid weather… But today the sun came out and temperatures were actually above zero (wuhuuu), so today was the day… for pitching and seamsealing…

What I learned while pitching it two times:

  • Search for an even spot (yeah you don’t want a mole trying to come out exactly where you are trying to sleep, or you don’t wanna put your trekking pole into a mole hole either… yeah that is sort of what I did whoops)
  • Make sure your trekking poles are long enough (first time I probably adjusted them too short and the fabric on the “roof” -between to two poles- somehow wasn’t tight)
  • adjust the guylines after pitching 

Anyway I guess I still have to give it some more goes before it’ll be pitched perfectly… Somehow the inner fabric still touches the outer fabric… gonna have to look into that…

Seamsealing was kind of… a lot of work…. I had bought silnet silicone in a tube “ready to use”. So I took a brush and started on the inside (rather uncomfy), followed by “painting” all the seams on the outside… It took me quite some time… Luckely the sun was shining and I had a hearty sandwich afterwards, laying next too (no didn’t want to go inside as the sun was shining, which hasn’t happened in the last two months) my new tarptent notch… happy and content… Even Phoebe (my cat) and Maya (the dog) came to have a closer look…

After about 5 hours I thought the silicone should be dry by now… but no no… still a bit sticky and it was getting dark and cold and damp… and I wanted to take my tent inside… But being all sticky that didn’t seem to be such a good idea… Anyway along with the silnet silicone there was an explanation that said sticky is normal and that I should put talkum powder on it before folding my tent (otherwise it could stick together… I don’t want that!!!)… So that’s what I did… afterwards it looked like as if someone’s used tooooo much talkum powder… but it ain’t sticky no longer… :c)
And now my new (well not anymore-certainly doensn’t look like that with the talkum all over it) tarptent notch is hanging all over my tiny bedroom and I hope the silicone dries out over night (didn’t want to fold it yet, even with the talkum powder)…

So tomorrow….. I’m gonna spend my first night in the Notch…. wuhuu looking forward to that!!!

Geartesting II

Last sunday me and a friend of mine decided to walk a small part of the “Rheinsteig”, a mid-distance trail along the Rhein. As I live just a few meters off the trail, we started at my place and walked to Burg Scharfenstein in Kiedrich. On our way back we just went straight through the woods, following the sun and our body radar :c) I love hiking without following a certain trail or road, no maps, no compass, just me and nature… The amazing part was that -as we nearly got back home- the first place I recognized was a place where the day before I’ve seen a fox (and the day before I was saying to myself: I have to come back here tomorrow, to keep track of that fox). Somehow my body radar brought me back to that place, remembering I wanted to go there… Pretty amazing I’d say!!!

As for geartesting:
I was wearing
* Quetchua winter hiking boots
* Two pairs of Quetchua socks
* Capilene 4 long bottoms
* Montura pants
* Quetchua long sleeved T shirt
* Montane fireball Smock
* Patagonia Houdini
* Meru hat
* Patagonia liner gloves

In my backpack (Go Lite Pinnacle) I had packed (just in order to add some weight, I actually didn’t really have to take stuff… except for some food and water)
* TaR Neoair XTherm
* Trail Design Caldera Cone Stove
* Tarptent Notch
* Some small stuff and some clothes to add a little weight
* 1,5 liters of water
* Bisquits, Apple, M&Ms

Temperatures were below zero and there was a really cold wind blowing. As long as I kept moving, I felt warm and comfortable. Standing still for to0 long in a windy spot, made me feel cold quite fast…
I’m in some concern my fireball smock won’t keep me warm enough whilst not moving. For instance in the evening or in the morning around camp at the JMT… Should I add another insulation piece??? (Of course I can’t compare German winter to Californian Summer…. yet at higher altitudes the temperature can drop below zero at night.)

The Capilene 4 long bottoms underneath my Montura pants kept me warm… yet I noticed them getting a bit wider. Better  not to loose any weight cuz otherwise they’d get too big :c(

The piece I felt most pleased about was my Go Lite Pinnacle. That backpack is really comfortable!!! Maybe it was because of the fact that I haven’t really packed heavy stuff. I actually carried all weight on my shoulders (I felt the pack wasn’t heavy enough to carry some weight on my hips) and didn’t experience any problems at all. Next time I go for a walk I’ll carry some heavier stuff. Curious how it’s gonna perform then.

OR Helium II jacket

This morning I’ve been testing my new Outdoor Research Helium II Jacket… with the Montane Fireball Smock underneath. Quite an expensive combi… :cP
Weather: Snowing
Temps: about 0°C
Some wind
Equiped with a Canon Eos I wanted to take pictures of some deer. And although I spotted them I could’nt get a decent pic. Instead a nuthatch came along to pose…

Back to the clothes: As expected the OR Helium II Jacket kept me completely dry and as long as I kept moving the Fireball Smock did it’s job. Yet waiting for some deer to cross my lens (and thus keeping still for about 30 minutes) I did start to feel a bit cold… I guess the Fireballs intention is to keep someone warm whilst moving, even when the smock is getting wet… And of course even Size S is way too big for me, but there isn’t a women’s version of the fireball smock!!! HEY! We womads do not like that! I guess I’m gonna keep it anyway, it’ll have to do! It’s one of the lightest primaloft jackets you can get, and as I don’t wanna take a down jacket (if it gets wet, my insulation layer would be kinda gone!)… Anyway, I can imagine it keeping me warmer while wearing some sort of merino base layer or a Patagonia cap 4 hoody under it. (today, I wore a longsleeve cotton tshirt from Quetchua).

I know, I look kinda tired in this pic… The thing is… I am… :cP
Still happy with my Montura pants I bought about 1,5 years ago. Yet those Quetchua boots are no good for my cold cold feet!

Western Mountaineering Antelope Super MF

Allrightyyy… So I decided to swap my WM Apache Super MF for an WM Antelope. I used the Apache just on its own (no bivy, no extra bag, just a silk liner inside) at about 5°C and I was cold! Not really freezing, just cold… I guess I’m a really really cold sleeper… As the temperatures on the JMT might drop below freezing in September nights I decided the Apache wouldn’t be enough to keep me warm.
So I got in contact with sackundpack.de and I must say they responded really friendly! I really can recommend www.sackundpack.de!!! Great service, great stuff!!!
The WM Antelope Super MF do is a bit heavier (logically as being filled with 735g of down instead of 535g compared to the Apache). It comes at 1275g. Thus 300g heavier than the Apache but hopefully keeping me warm.
Following description can be found on the Western Mountaineering homepage: “When the Sierras or the Rockies are your usual destinations and you need the maximum protection from your 3-season bag, leave nothing to chance with our Antelope. Its roomy 62″ shoulder girth allows for comfort and the 7″ loft from 26 ounces of high lofting down provides warmth to 5°. The security of this bag is sealed with a full 3-Dimensional down filled collar and a robust draft tube. While extremely weather resistant the MicroLite XP™ shell retains maximum breathability and its down filled collar is sewn with MicroLite XP™ fabric. These Antelopes take over in early spring and last through late fall. At a total weight of 2 lbs. 7 oz., they are the most substantial 3-season bag available. They are also available in 5’6″ length.”

I’m now thinking of buying my tent (I might get a Tarptent Notch) and a lightweight cooking system (TrailDesigns Caldera Keg-F Stove System – even though in the future I want to experiment in making my own alcohol stove) at sackundpack.de