This is a link to my most recent Adventure: 2018 Colorado Trail
Everyone Loves Gear!
My gear list consist of many of the same items I used on the AT and PCT. The biggest change is I decided to try out a a Nemo Hornet Elite 2p tent. This tent is one of the lightest in the semi-fresstanding category…the bonus being it has two separate side entry doors.
The total baseweight came in around 11lbs. I’ve found that I don’t really notice much of a difference from weight savings once I get much below 12lbs, and I can’t realistically get below 10lbs without sacrificing safety/comfort. Most people (including me) notice these additional weight savings on long food/water carries when total pack weight might be 28lb vs 30lb.
Ultimately, it’s usually a better use of mental energy and finances to save these final pounds by understanding how much food and water is actually needed for any given stretch. For example, reducing your carried water by 1- liter saves ~2lbs. Reducing gear weight from 12 to 10 lbs could cost you $1000. It always kills me seeing someone carry 4 liters of water and $600 ultralight tent…kind of like ordering a Diet Coke with a super-size double Big Mac.
2018 Colorado Trail Gear List…
(still amazed how all this stuff fits in backpack!)
Shoes: Altra Olympus
Socks: Darn Tough (crew-no cushion)
Compression Calf Sleeves: Zensah
T-shirt: 32 degree cool (Costco)
Shorts: Patagonia Nine
Baseball hat: quick dry amazon
Sunglasses: orange lens
Trek poles: Fizan
Bacpack: Osprey Exos 38
Tent: Nemo Hornet 2p Elite
Stakes: 5x V-stakes (12g ea)
Sleep Pad: Neo Air regular
Sit Pad: Cheapo eBay
Sleep Bag: EE Convert (20 degree w/overtstuff, 23oz)
Polycryo Pack liner (homemade w/inflator hardware)
Umbrella: Chrome Dome (attachment to pack)
Trowel: Deuce of spades
Homemade Polycryo Pack cover
Hiking sleeves: Smart Wool
Leggings: 32degrees (4oz)
Down jacket: Montbell ultralight sweater (5oz)
Long sleeve: Outdoor Research Echo Hoodie (4.5oz)
2nd hike socks: Darn Tough
Sleep socks: Possum down
Rain pants: MontBell Versalite
Rain jacket : Berghaus Hyper 100 (3.5oz)
Glove: convertible fleece mit
Waterproof Mit: Borah
Filter: Sawyer Squeeze
Bladder: 1.5L Evernew
Homemade Dipping cup nests on smart bottle
200ml protein shake container
Spoon, knife: lexan
Utility Razor blade
Head lamp: Petzel e+lite
Lighter/matches, Fire starter
Repair Tape (Tenacious)
Hot Hands Handwarmers (1x)
Lithium Batteries for headlamp
Trails Illustrated Colorado Trail Map
Power Bank: Anker 10,000ma+ cord
Refillable Sunscreen container
Nail clippers (Nail File)
Ear plugs on cord
Advil / Naproxen/Imodium/Ambien/Allergy meds
This final day was easy downhill trail to the outskirts of Durango. With the drop in elevation the temps were rising quickly even by mid morning. The last couple miles there were lots of folks on the trail…and even more dogs.
Tomorrow I will pick up a rental car for the drive back to Denver.
This is the last full day on the trail…tomorrow will be a quick ~10mi to the trailhead in Durango.
There were several climbs that got back up over 12,500’ before descending to the first water in 23 miles. It was cool to see the ground cover starting to change to yellow as summer is coming to an end at these elevations.
Two “firsts” on this penultimate day:
1. Saw my first bear of the trip… mostly just his black rump scurrying up the hill when he heard me (so no pics).
2. My first blister…on my big toe. I have no idea why all of the sudden, other than the usual constantly dirty feet. A quick poke with a needle to drain the fluid and all was good 🙂
The 9 miles to the Molas Lake Campground was fairly easy trail with one moderate climb out of the Animas River valley.
It was nice sleeping in a bit today…6:15 🙂
I strolled down to the Lake City Bakery and figured it must be good based on the line…then I realized to they could only fit three people in the store at a time (it was still good!).
Around 9:15 I hitched a ride back up the mountain to Spring creek Pass. Janet and Mike were a nice older couple who have lived in Lake City for 40yrs., although their little Honda Civic wasn’t breaking any speed records going up Slumgullion Pass they got me to the trailhead safe and sound!
I got to a great campsite around 6:00 and I had enough time to eat and relax before the rain came around 8pm. At 7:30 Albert rolled in (he hitched out of town an hour after me)… unfortunately, he didn’t get his tent setup before the rain.
Today was a short day to Spring Creek Pass and then a hitch into the town of Lake City.
This morning was the coldest morning of the trip…probably just below freezing. After a couple miles of hiking we arrived at a trailhead parking area where hikers did their best marmot impressions warming themselves in the sun on the rocks.
The last half of the day was a grind with all the steep climbs. All-in we climbed over 6500’ and my legs were feeling it on the final descent into camp.
There weren’t many water sources today and the few there were looked like this…plus lots of cow poop in the vicinity! Luckily, the creek was still running and I was able to fill up just before the mud puddle.