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[pct-l] Packs and water weights

Ron, I don't know how much more I want to say about this, but a couple of points 
may be worth responding to....but before I do, let me say that I appreciate the 
time you took to write all this out...Despite some slight disagreements, I've 
found it valuable and I'm sure others have, too. I should also say that I'm 
perfectly willing to be proven wrong on this; in some sense, I hope I am!

Ron Moak wrote:
> Steve,
> You should
> also note that heavy water carries aren't combined with heavy food carries,
> at least none that I remember. So you won't need to carry 6 or 8 liters of
> water plus 6 or more days of food simultaneously. 

I suppose it depends on one's resupply points, how quickly one intends to get 
from one to the other, on the temperatures at the time one does so, and one's 
heat tolerance.  There are certainly dry sections where you are absolutely right 
(and aren't we fortunate that that's the case!)

But there are other spots which I think might in fact be problematic. For 
example, I notice a 22-mile dry section just north of Agua Dulce in which I 
(though perhaps not others) will probably carry 5 days of food--in moderate heat 
that wouldn't require even me to carry more than about 4 liters, but in really 
high temps, even with a really early start, umbrella and so on, I could imagine 
needing considerably more. Then from Tehachapi/Mojave I'll be carrying 7 days 
worth to get to KM--others resupply at Onyx or, if not, probably do that stretch 
in 6 days. Again, I'm planning conservatively, knowing that if things work out 
well, then I can always get by with less or pick up the pace if that's what I 
want to do. Another couple of spots that could be troublesome are coming out of 
Old Station where I'll have 7 days of food, and coming out of Crater Lake where 
I'll probably have 6. Not saying I am _certain_ to need 6-8 liters, but I prefer 
to plan for what I consider the "reasonable worst case" while at the same time 
hoping for the best.

> On my 2000 thru-hike, I carried a poorly designed frameless pack (my own
> design) through the desert. It was uncomfortable at far less weight than the
> Starlite. Still with proper weight management, I was able to get through the
> desert just fine. 

Despite my cautious approach, I think I probably will, too. However, from my 
running I know that I do not do well in heat--in the group of about a dozen that 
I ran with, I was the absolute worst at tolerating runs on warmer days--where 
"warmer" was mid-to-high 70s; hardly the temps I might reasonably expect for a 
lot of the trail. Maybe a dozen people isn't a statistically valid sample, but I 
ranked dead last on that scale by a _long_ way, so I think I have some reason to 
pay particular attention to this aspect of the hike. Also, I don't think 8 
liters is a totally insane amount--other people _have_ mentioned taking that 
much. Now if I were suggesting 10 or 12 liters, that would be a different 
matter. And, again, I'm not saying everyone else should take that amount, or 
even that _anyone_ else should take it. This is purely about me (so to speak 
:-)). As some scientist once put it (referring to something else), "this is an 
experiment with an N of 1--averages are irrelevant".

Also, I have incorporated all the strategies you mention, plus a few others for 
coping with the heat: I'm an early riser and I expect to put that attribute to 
good use, I've mentioned the umbrella (not a sure thing because of the 
possibility of wind, but I've found that if used, it really cuts down on water 
consumption), mid-day siestas, light-colored clothing (maybe even long 
pants/longsleeved shirt--haven't decided yet), and my "plan B" includes hiking 
at night--never done it, but I'm willing to give it a shot if necessary.

Taken together, I think that should be enough to get me through--and may well be 
more than enough.  Again, I appreciate your suggestions and comments.