Gear: rain protection, jacket

With standing puddles in the side yard and a squishy sound under-foot everywhere you go, it seems like an appropriate time to talk about rain gear.

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Bellingham, WA gets three dozen inches of rain in a year and that total doubles as you approach the Pacific Crest. Most of this precip comes in the form of a seemingly endless light rain and rarely opens up into a downpour. Continue reading

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Gear: shelter

There is nothing quite as dreamy as sleeping out under the stars. It is magical to just be out there. There’s also nothing quite as dreary as waking up to a steady pitter-patter on your face or mosquitos buzzing your ear ready to raise welts. Continue reading

Gear: trekking poles

At first I thought they were gimmicky. Then, one day on a climb, my left knee’s patella femoral syndrome flared up at 8,000 feet with 5,000 feet yet to descend. A fellow hiker leant me his poles for the remainder of the hike and from that point on I was sold. Continue reading

Gear intro

I must confess that as anti-materialism as I’d like to be known for, I am, for all intents and purposes, a “gearhead.” I spent hours pouring over glossy Mountain Gear catalogs back in the day when I was building my backpacking collection. I can still happily peruse the Seattle REI store for over an hour with no real agenda. Its weird, I know, but I feel at home amongst all the bear bells and emergency whistles. Continue reading