Packing it all up.

Once I decided to go hiking and gave up all pretense of finishing an online course and half of a tapestry before I leave, I was able to dig into the planning. I thought that I could plan a ten day hike pretty quickly, having done it many times before. Alas, it still takes a long time to pull it all together. Four solid days of planning, dehydrating food, making meals, weighing gear, making decisions, testing weights and packs. But except for a quick trip to FedEx to mail resupply, I'm ready to go.

The front half of this hike is relatively easy. I planned it that way intentionally. I love to jump into a big hike and hit 20 mile days and that has, more than once, knocked me off the trail after a week of pain. Nope. This time I'm taking it easy and listening to the voices of the various physical therapists I've had which still play in my head. Take it slow to start. Start on a level section. Rest.

There is fiber on this hike. I'll tell you about that here. If you're interested in the hiking details, read to the end.

My little spinning/weaving kit is ready. I've made some rolags at home as I can't bring the big hand cards (obviously too heavy). I'll bring a little flick carder which I can use as a lock carder or as a comb and hopefully will even be able to diz off short lengths of fiber. The goal is to weave a few tiny tapestries on the Hokett loom so I don't need long lengths of yarn, just a variety of colors and enough fiber to make me happy with the spinning. I have already spun some base colors on the spindle (the Olympics helped with that) so have some larger bits of yarn that have been washed and balled.


Here is the kit. There is a lot of fiber. Of course I hate to think about being stuck in a downpour for a day or two without enough fiber... Fortunately, it is extremely light.

The yellow fabric is to protect my pants from the flick carder. The spindle is a Jenkins Lark (the container to protect it weighs several times what that spindle weighs). A tiny Hokett loom in the lightest wood I had. A shed stick, metal needle, beater, and two tapestry bobbins. The button is a diz (that little tool that helps you pull roving off a mess of combed fiber). I was proud of myself when I thought to mark inches on the fabric instead of bringing a tape measure. An ounce saved!


For the most part, the planning has been a welcome diversion. I'm already on vacation, I just haven't left home yet. Tomorrow is the day. I'll see if I can update you from the trail. Photos on Instagram for sure.

And here is more about the gear and the hike.

I'm hiking for ten days on one of my favorite trails, the Colorado Trail. The gear is heavier than I'd like. The temperatures are falling at altitude and there are freezing nights in the forecast. When hiking alone, I don't have a supplemental heat source in another person or dog, so I end up bringing more gear to keep myself warm. Increasing the weight to a warmer sleeping bag and better protective tarp means the weight goes up enough to require a heavier pack. All of that adds pounds. My base pack weight is about 6 pounds heavier than I would like it to be, almost entirely because of the heavier pack, tent, and sleeping bag. But I've kept the mileage lower than my normal pace and hopefully by the time I hit the second half of the trip where the trail is significantly more difficult, I'll be ready to handle those extra 6 pounds with style.

I picked up a few new gear items. New rain jacket as there is much rain in the forecast and that means snow in the high country. New toe socks and a new potty trowel. At 0.63 ounces, that trowel is working to bring down the pack weight (and yes, you do need a potty trowel in the back country. Just bring one please. And pack out your TP for goodness sake.)


Keep your fingers crossed for a little sunshine tomorrow. 

I'm off to FedEx to mail that resupply box.

Oh, and the hiker's mantra is important. I think it applies in many areas of life.

Hike your own hike.