Trying not to follow the examples in Wild my PCT hiking partner Jerry and I took out our new equipment on the trail to test weight, functions and gain experience with cooking, camp setup and pack organization. Jerry and I hiked in Point Reyes National park on Tuesday February 16th – to 18th. My pack with 2 full days of food weighed in at 20lbs about 4 more than target. (12lbs Base Weight + 2lbs per day for food). However, hiking with a 20lb pack + 5lbs of water was no problem and everything worked great. We hiked in 13 miles to Wildcat Camp just 100 yards from the ocean and set up camp. Walked down to the ocean and waded out at cooled off our feet. We returned to camp and cooked our first practice meal for our PCT adventure. Everything worked great.
We also met a camp Neighbor, Ben, trail name Juan Durder (pronounced wanderer) with his ukulele. He was planning to go hike the Appalachian trail and be a correspondent for “sounds of the trail. www.soundsofthetrail.com” He practices his interview techniques on us asking us various questions on our upcoming PCT adventure. Unfortunately, he did not test his air mattress prior to his trip and it had a leak that we were not successful patching, hey the ground is not that hard. (or cold).
We went on the next day to hike 16 miles about half of the trip in driving rain to coast camp. We were so comfortable hiking we did not stop and put on our full rain gear and got pretty soaked by 20mph winds and heavy rain. We got our tents set up in the rain and had to retreat about 4:30 into our tents due to heavy rain. My tent worked will with room to cook and hang out for the afternoon, no leaks and other then the noise of the wind and rain it was a very pleasant night.
Did have one issue with the rain. I need to remember to put my phone in a waterproof spot. My phone died due to the rain soaking through my jacket pocket. I have to thank Jerry for the pictures as mine were lost on the dead phone.
We hiked out 7 miles on Thursday and finished our 2 day 36 mile backpack with pizza for lunch in Ross. A very successful PCT practice backpack.