The best and worst gear

  1. MEC Wool Hoodie.  I wore this to bed every night, and sometimes in cold weather I didn’t take it off for days.  It’s cheap for a Merino shirt too, and so versatile.
  2. Kindle.  Apart from breaking one early in the trip, I loved being able to read as much as I wanted.
  3. Montbell Ex Light Down.  I was amazed how warm this 5 oz jacket kept me.  I didn’t wear it hiking much, but whenever I stopped, it went on.
  4. iPhone.  Great as a GPS, but also was so handy in towns.
  5. MSR NeoAir Sleeping Mat.  I slept like a baby on this, and never had cold spots on my hips or shoulders.  Choosing campsites was easier than ever, as I could trust it to even out pretty rough ground.


Most irritating/useless/worst:

  1. Gossamer Gear LT4 Poles.  They were finicky, broke easily and were expensive.
  2. Mountain Laurel Designs eVent Rain Mitts.  The failure was entirely my own.  It takes someone very crafty to successfully seam-seal these, and I am not that.
  3. Wigwam Rebel 1/4 socks.  The least durable socks I have ever owned.
  4. Camera Tripod.  This falls under the “useless” category, as I used it a total of maybe 4 times on the entire trail, for that much use, I should have just figured out ways to prop the camera up on the few occasions I wanted to use it.
  5. MSR Lightning Ascent Snowshoes.  I love these, but they were also just useless in the conditions I found (consolidated snow and steep side-slopes).  I should have known better, but I was nervous pre-trail and just piled on gear to make myself feel better.
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