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[pct-l] introduction

Hi everybody!!  I am new to this whole mailing list thing, so please forgive
me if I'm not doing it right.  Anyway, name is Matt, and on the trail I
sometimes use the trailname "Ajax".  In 96 I thru-hiked the AT northbound
from late March to late September, then last year went to Vermont and
finished the Long Trail from Sherburne Pass to Canada.  Backpacking (and
adventuring outdoors in just about any other way) has become a hugely
important part of my life - any time I am out there I am high on the simple
life, and the lessons it teaches I've carried over into the so-called "real

In about a month I am planning to start the PCT.  I will have to do this one
in sections - this year I've got 4 weeks, so I hope to make it from Mexico
to maybe Agua Dulce.  So far in all my travels I've not had to fly anywhere
with my full array of gear, so I've got a couple of questions about how this
might work.

First, I've heard that the best way to carry a full pack on a plane is to
stuff it, empty, along with all your other junk loose, into a very large
duffel bag.  Has anyone tried this?  Or done it any other way that might
work better?

Second, I have heard that the Airlines won't let you take your fuel bottle
(with or without fuel in it), and sometimes not even your stove, on the
plane, checked or carry-on.  Is this really true??  If so, how do I get
around this very silly regulation?  I thought of mailing my stove & stuff to
my starting point, but will the postal service carry something like that?
Please if anyone knows how to get around these dilemmas, let me know.

I'm really happy to be on this list, and I'm looking forward to
meeting/hearing from/helping out anyone interested in the trail!!
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