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[pct-l] PCT shape and Optimus 8R's

 First , PCT shape? As the largest ( or I mean fattest) living thru-hiker, I 
can shed some light ( and some pounds) on this subject. I always show up 30 
pounds overweight to most any trail I do. Right now maybe even forty!! You 
enjoy the first few weeks much better and your feet are happier if you come 
to the PCT in shape. On the other hand, you may not always have the time to 
train with job , family and etc. . In this case, the trail will put you in 
shape if you are patient and don't over do it! Just be mellow and hike in 
your own comfort zone and don't try to keep up with faster hikers ( This 
might mean starting a thru-hiker a bit earier). At 6 foot and 240 lbs., 
hikers like Brick or Flyin Brian could pass my tonnage and play 5 games of 
chess before noon and I till may not catch up!! The thing is though, if you 
can hang in there for 3 weeks , you start to change into a hiker and won't 
even know it!! I would train if you have time , but drop off the easy weight 
first!! ( That is your pack) Your gut goes down in due time, but if you start 
with a big gut and a big pack, you may be doomed. Pick a few thru-hiker's 
brains and reduce your base pack weight. I have seen a few guys that look 
like they came out of a fitness commercial flop on the PCT and a few folks 
who look like their parents owned the " Little Debbies" franchise do great on 
the PCT. As my old Wrestling coach used to say, " Looks are deceiving". Some 
of my most difficult matches were against guys that looked like " Cream 
Puffs".------ As fall approaches , I was messing with my old Optimus 8R for 
an upcoming trip. A naked 8 R with no metal box will fit perfect in your 1.4 
liter Everwear Titanium pot. Just make a pot stand out of half a 12 oz. 
coffee can or heavy wire. This stove is very compact and works well with the 
mini-pump in cold weather. ( Same goes for the old Svea's laying out there. 
The like the alcohol burner for thru-hiking and summer use, but not too great 
at melting snow!!