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[pct-l] Re: pct-l-digest V1 #614

I'll be interested in the internal frame recommendations. I have a pack
I love but it is very heavy, and I'm absolutely in the market for
something lighter than 6 pounds that will still carry 45 pounds
reasonably comfortably. I'm a 5'2" female with a short torso so that is
always a consideration.

I haven't used liner socks in several years but neither have I done
anything that even resembles long distance hiking. My travel has been
either trekking which is more about up and down than distance or
climbing which is all about up and down. Bring on the opinions!

Namaste, m



I have had a difficult time finding a light weight pack that is comfortable
as well.  I spent about a year researching packs and came to my own personal
conclusion that even if my pack was heavier than I ideally wanted, if it was
super comfortable, carrying extra weight was a breeze.  Most light weight
hikers laugh at the almost 5 #Aryx Terra Bora65 (4,200 ") pack I use, BUT it
feels great.  Being a female, I had several problems with finding the right
pack. I needed an atypical hip belt size and a long torso pack. Aryx can
switch hip belt sizes and the length/torso size(including small)of the pack.
It was considerably expensive at $300 (REI), but MEC in Canada has some
decent deals or about $250US. This pack has a special hipbelt that is wide to
accommodate for a females hips (for me boney hips), and swivels when moving
to reduce hip friction.  It had many additional features that I found very
useful. It also can be altered to take some of the weight off. If weight is
of more consideration than comfort, my father purchased a pack from
Mountainsmith in Colorado (I believe a 4,000) that weighs only 3 pounds.  For
me, weight matters, but not IF I am forced to give up comfort in such an
imperative piece of gear. Any weight will cause more distress if it is not
carried comfortably. I have not yet found both comfort and low weight in a
pack that is designed for a woman.       
I carried about 45# in this pack and it felt great.

RE: socks/liners. I also have had great luck with Smartwool socks. The best
feature I've found in these socks is that they have an "elasticy" sort of
thing around the middle of your foot that keeps the sock from riding up or
down and because they are sized more than a S/M/L, they seem to fit really
well with no extra bulk. They also seemed really good to accommodate my
narrow feet. I've used them with and without polypro liners, and the only
benefit I noticed is the liners did keep my feet drier. I still use the
liner/Smartwool combination.    

My philosophy on weight with gear is I spend a lot of time finding ways to
reduce weight where comfort is not a consideration. When comfort is of very
high importance, I do my best to take weight and comfort in consideration. 
The question I ask constantly when I pack for a long hike is not if I "need"
something (we all know how gray that area is) but rather "How bad do I really
need this if I "need" it?" IMHO, there are in some cases many more
considerations than solely weight. 

Once upon a time when Early Winters was here in Seattle, they had a Gortex
two person tent that was only 3.5 pounds.  My father bought one many many
years ago.  We used it on many trips on the PCT. He added a vestibule to it,
and it was ideal. Unfortunately, Early Winters no longer sells this awesome
tent, and I have been searching for one that is comparable.  He has found one
for a ton of $ (I think $600) which is not an option for me. He also has
tried the tarp/netting/trekking pole concept, and found that when he added
all the weight up (ground cloth, 4 stakes, netting, rope, etc.) that it came
up to about 3.5#. I have a hard time forgoing a tent. 

Although I haven't done the PCT in huge distances.  I'm still working on
completing the PCT in the state of Washington. This summer my walk will
hopefully be from Stevens Pass to Manning Park.  Last year was Crystal to
south of Mt. Adams, year before was the Alpine lakes region from Snoqualmie
to Stevens. 

I moved to Seattle from Rhode Island the day I finished my last final exam at
U.R.I.. I've been backpacking since I was 4, for a total now of 23 years. I
will someday be able to proudly say that I have hiked the entire PCT and AT.

Laurel Menoche
Seattle WA

"Many people would rather die than think, in fact, most do"
   - Bertrand Russell
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