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[pct-l] Jacket, stove, maps, pants...

Hello.  I have a few questions about some gear/clothing that I haven't noticed
on the list since I joined.  I'd be interested in people's opinions in any or
all of the following areas:

1.  I'm interested in opinions about getting a good gortex jacket vs. using a
wind/water repellent shell jacket with "polartec" fleece under (or other
layers as needed).  (I'm leaning toward the shell - based on weight, cost, and
somebody's equip. list and explanation I saw online somewhere)

2.  Stoves:  I have a Whisperlight.  Is camp stove fuel available at most
resupply points?  Have others carried this stove and what was the outcome?
I've used mine for 3 seasons of hiking with no major problems so far.  Should
I invest in the International Whisperlight (in order to use gasoline if
necessary - or will it most likely not be necessary)?  And, speaking of fuel,
when people fill up their bottles at resupply places, I assume they buy it
there, and what about leftover fuel?

3.  Maps:  Do people carry topos?  Use the maps out of the guidebook?  Use no
maps at all?!?

4.  Pants/shorts.  I've been hiking with zip-offs and love the flexiblity and
adaptablity.  I'm searching for another pair (looking for a lighter color and
a pair that isn't like "parachute pants" - big and balloony!)  Are there
others who have worn zip offs?  They seem to make sense to me.  Opinions?

That's all for now.  I've really appreciated everyone's thoughts, philosophy
on long distance hiking etc.  and supportive nature.  It has been very helpful
and encouraged me to think through my own goals for this adventure. 

Deborah  - GentlyTread
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