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This may be an old-hat topic, so you may wish to contact me directly
rather than post replies. I was a rabid backpacker until about 1981,
when I pretty much stopped to make room for my cosmopolitan fiancee (now
wife), who had no interest in hiking. The last pack I owned was a Kelty
external frame pack I bought in 1966. Now the bug has bitten me again
and I'm entertaining the outrageous notion of thru-walking the PCT in
1999 or 2000. I've started training and I'm reading everything I can
get my hands on, as well as wallowing in the "gear" phase. Which brings
me to my questions.
What reflections can any of you share regarding a pack? I'm 5'7", very
light (122 lbs.)and I'm near 60. I read reviews that say that, like the
Dana Terraplane is so terrific its additional heft is offset by how
comfortable it is. Ray Jardine's advice makes a lot of sense (I recall
the work of carrying a 75-pound pack in a NOLS course, years ago, so
this is a new tack for me), but I wonder if there are commercially
available packs that are in harmony with his advice. I read conflicting
reports re the Mountainlite 5200 and 4000; the 4000 seems to come
closest to his criteria, but I wonder about the design and the lack of
external pockets; the 5200 looks like a good compromise.
Are these fabric hiking shoes an improvement over running shoes? How
viable are they for the PCT?
Any thoughts on a very light bag? And tent?
I'll get over the gear insanity soon, but I'd appreciate it if, in the
meantime, those of you with experience and insight would indulge me!
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