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Heading home

Heading Home — I remembered to take an end of hike selfie just before I left the trailhead parking lot. Piney Creek Wilderness, February 2024. Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

The hike out was generally unremarkable. Just as for my trip in, I opted to not take my usual route, and hiked part of the Piney Creek Trail, followed by the Lake Trail. I agree with my previous conclusions about the Lake Trail, it’s not a nice trail to hike down. Going up I was sure footed enough with my new shoes (the main reason why I picked this route was to try them out on a steep-ish climb with a loose footing.)

There was one minor disaster. Talking about leave no trace, I must have accidentally dropped my mechanical pencil near the stock pond on the Lake Trail (sob!). Enjoy it, anyone who finds it. On getting home I ordered a pen holder that will stick in the back of my trail journal, and hopefully I won’t lose another. I have a spare as this is not the first time I’ve lost my pencil on the trail, but hopefully the last.

Despite the disappointment of finding the campsite messed up, and the unexpected cold weather, it was a good trip. I needed some time out in the woods.

What worked

  • New hammock suspension and carabiners.
  • New shoes:
    • Did not need adjusting while I was hiking.
    • Didn’t pick up stones.
    • Easy on and off.
    • Great camp shoes too.
  • My adjusted pack fits much better (and the annoying squeak has gone away.)
  • Mesh bag for the odds and ends I keep in the outer back pocket of my pack.
  • Sit pad.
  • My plan to keep warm when the temps dropped way below my expectations.

What needs to improve

  • Gaia GPS, an update has introduced a bug, and it didn’t record my track properly, and the ascent/descent calcs are way out of whack. Checking online I’m not alone in finding these problems. Annoyingly the company has been bought out, and I suspect this might be the beginning of the end. The cost has increased significantly, and the product is not getting better.
  • I wore thin sports tops. This was one occasion where I would have been better with my merino wool top.
  • Packing the wrong tarp. I may have to relabel my gear my current red=hot weather gear, blue=cold weather gear isn’t working. I’ve got it wrong several times now.
  • Hammock site. I should have moved for the high winds and wrong tarp.
  • Hiking shorts. They were okay but there was a bit of rubbing on the nethers. To quote my trail journal:

— Shorts 50-50. Worked okay but needs some more ball room! (rubbing)

What didn’t get used

  • Emergency items.
  • Towel.
  • I had too many firelighters (though I would have used more if it was less windy and there wasn’t a Red Flag warning.)
  • Earbuds.

Finally … I have a new hammock coming and that will give me an excuse to get out again pretty soon. After all, I can’t spend cash on a new hammock, and not get some use out of it, can I? 🙂

Copyright © 2024 Gary Allman, all rights reserved.

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