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[pct-l] SoCal info & apologies

To all those who have written with specific questions in the last month--
sorry, I've been effectively off-list. I also managed to save the queries
without address headers, so I'll send the answers blindly into the ether...

1. East side Sierra resupply access: I didn't see mentioned that there are
private shuttle services that run all summer, bringing hikers and supply
boxes to road-ends. Contact the Bishop or Lone Pine Chambers of Commerce,
or Wilson's Eastside Sports (760 873-7520). For details. The USFS in Lone
Pine may know too, but they often know so little.... This info may be
irrelevant for early-season thru-hikers-- they are coming thru well before
the normal season.
	Also, each roadend has a pack-station. I have mailed food drops to
many in the past (call CofC). But, they also don't open in early season...
	I know that most of you will climb Whitney-- an obvious target,
though a poor view. I still adamantly recommend against using the Whitney
trail for resupply access-- too long, and too steep. Kearsarge Pass is the
quickest-- you will likely only take 3 hours to get out from Bullfrog Lake.
At any given time in early summer, I think you are equally likely/unlikely
to catch a ride from Onion Valley or Whitney Portal. Both towns--
Independence and Lone Pine, are tiny, but I've resupplied numerous times
from each.

2. Lightweight tents: those of you with extra pennies would do well to look
at the Stephenson line-- these are lighter than ANY of the tents you are
discussing. I've used mine in Alaska and the Himalaya-- I now rarely leave
home without a 2-person tent that weighs exactly the same as the 9x12 tarp
I carried on the PCT in '73.

3. Wilderness Press PCT Book Annual Supplements: (I think Greg "the
weathercarrot" asked about these): Call Wilderness Press or hop on their
website-- you will get FREE updates, one for each book, that incorporate
ALL subsequent changes, since the last edition. Incidentally, I've known of
hikers who've tried to use old editions-- are ya nuts, or what?

4. The great boot and boot fit debate: Foot swelling: they will, every day.
They might (highly individual) over the course of the trip-- I know many
who have not. Not to worry-- most of your shoes will either stretch or blow
out, right along with your feet. Be SURE to break in your shoes (or your
feet, if you're going with tennie runners) BEFORE the trip--- I cannot tell
you how many dead-blistered, march-fractured would-be-PCTers I've given
rides to, in the last  25 years-- it is a heart-break.

5. Food: I get scared, when I see people asking how to cook this or that,
only a few months before the trip. I strongly recommend that you experiment
on your stomach, and your body-mass, long before the trip. Pack food that
you KNOW you like, when you're hiking, and know how to prepare it. My
partner in '73 took dried soy beans as his main protein-- he hated 'em!

6. Going light, in general: Great idea, but again, only if you know your
physical needs from past trips, and only if you know weather. You will get
VERY STRONG, VERY FAST-- carrying a few extra pounds is no BFD, no matter
what Jardine says.

7. Please have a great time, and WRITE ME about any changes in the trail,
or changes you want to see in the guidebooks--- they are written for you.

Ben Schifrin
Wilderness Press

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