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[pct-l] Something Practical and something Poetic

1. "Yogi-ing" gear from companies all depends on your conscience. The whole 
thing is a kind of icky revolving scheme -- the gear companies advertise 
heavily and try to build up a good name with hard core individuals. This 
forces the prices up, and forces the hard core individuals to jockey for 
free or reduced price gear. Another round, another price increase. During my 
first long hike on the PCT, I was able to get some top Leki poles for free, 
a new North Face packpack etc. just by prostituting myself to the companies. 
   Making your own gear, or finding inexpensive outlets (ones that still 
provide honest gear at an honest price) seems to me a better way to go. The 
amazing thing about this is a lot of the high tech stuff that you can 
wheedle out of the gear conglomerates is total crap. My North Face pack, for 
example, has straps popping off of it and zippers breaking after two years 
of use. I wouldn't buy a sock from TNF; I don't like a single item in their 
line, but they sure do give a way a lot of free stuff! You notice how 
Patagonia (who usually sponsors humanitarian expeditions), Bibler and Vasque 
don't promo their stuff -- they don't have to.

2. The high sierra in late summer is truly amazing. It has given me insight 
into why people sometimes chastise the PCT-ers for their choice of dates to 
traverse the JMT. It's snow-free, bug-free, not too hot or cold, storm-free, 
wildflower-packed, and beautiful. Now that I have finished my goal of 
climbing the California 14-ers this season, I'm more likely to hike up to 
Sierra meadow and just marvel at how beautiful the summer has become. Makes 
me think more about the north to south hikers and how they are able to see 
some of the most beautiful country during the best time of the year.


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