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[pct-l] PCT Gear

Reply to Robert Knoth (post of 28 Oct 99)

	Good luck in your preparations.

1. Boots - Good boots are hard to beat. To see how to beat 'em, read Ray
Jardine's "The PCT Hiker's Handbook," for a discussion of doing the PCT
with running/cross trainer shoes. Ron Moak mentioned his own use of
cross-trainers here in the past few days' posts.

2. Tent - Read Jardine for material regarding tents vs. tarps on the PCT
& elsewhere

3. Stove - "A friend on a cross-country bike trip recommended a stove
that uses a battery-powered fan to feed air into a contained fire. 
Seems like a good idea since the fuel is easy to get and the stove is
light.  I also have an alcohol stove.  Not sure on which would be a
better choice.  Are the fan-type of stove illegal in any parts? (ie.
contained campfires?)"

	Ah, I assume you refer to the Zip Ztove! This baby was invented by a
guy who intended it for use in the impoverished 3rd world, where fuel is
scarce. It can be fabricated of scrap metal and the electrical
arrangement is elementary as can be, it will burn ANY flammable solid,
and it could be described better as a miniature forge than a campfire.
As usual, mission agencies underestimated humans with darker skin tones
and declined his genius idea, claiming it would be too difficult to
teach indiginous folk how to build 'em, thus demonstrating once again
which group really has difficulty thinking clearly...
	Anyway, the stove is relatively lightweight, tough, burns literally any
combustible non-liquid and is ridiculously simple to repair. I have
fixed one, in just a few minutes, using electrical parts from Radio
Shack (exact matches, hmmm...) which I had drop-shipped. The thing gets
so hot that burning container trash is easy and leaves almost no ash.
Fuel can be debris picked up during the day and odd bits of bark or
tinder found scattered trailside; it makes good charcoal of woodscrap,
and burns very efficiently. Carrying no fuel has its own advantages, in
weight & safety. And I know of no other stove which can be set to cool
itself off automatically (simply by reversing the turbine direction!).
PLUS, I use a little solar charger for the battery, which goes for a
week or more between charges. Zip doesn't care about altitude. Some
stretches of the PCT will require advance planning for fuel.
	The downside: if you burn certain trash items, hydrocarbon particulate
crap gets distributed downwind in the wilds, so you may want to pack out
plastic trash; on the other hand, just what IS the pollution impact of
those other fossil-fuel-fired stoves on trail ecology?
	And yes, last I knew, the USFS had some maniacal opposition to these
stoves; stoves & campfires might be banned in a desigated wilderness,
but then again, sometimes ONLY stoves are allowed there, HOWEVER, the
USFS considers the Zip to be some kinda campfire and frowns on its use
where campfires are forbidden. Perhaps some concern is justified in
terms of damage to the forest floor by careless fuel scavengers, but a
responsible user will gather from a wide area. I never wear a t-shirt
advertising that I have one.
	I've used just about every other stove type out there and now I hike &
bike with a Zip.

4. Gear - see Jardine, read here often

5. Start Date - get on the pct-l mailing list and keep an eye out for a
final date

6. I live in Vancouver, WA; email me if I can bluster about anything
else or maybe for some hiking partners

To everyone else - love this mailing list!
Jene-Paul Lemieux
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