Saturday, May 23, 2015

Packing for the Coast to Coast Hike - Duffel



Clockwise from top right

Icebreaker wool hoody
Warm layer for evenings.

I ended up using this as my insulating layer while hiking, and also as a warmth layer in the evenings. I never washed it, and it never smelled. It has 2 zippered pockets. It gets an A+.

4 Patagonia underwear
Lightweight. Easy to hand wash, dries in an hour. I expect to be doing a little hand washing every other night.

Hand washed during the trip. Could have just 3. Another A+.

More first aid/sanitation
Individual moist wipe packs, blister care

I went overboard with blister care. I didn't get 1 blister. I did use moist wipes - for cleaning my hands before eating lunch.

7 pairs socks, 2 pairs sock liners, 4 pairs evening socks
My hiking socks take forever to dry. So I'm bringing more than I'd otherwise like.

I could have skipped the sock liners and gone down to 4 pairs of hiking socks. They usually take 2 days to dry, but we did hand washing practically every night anyways.

Shirts and sleep clothes
3 Icebreaker wool short sleeve shirts, 1 Icebreaker long sleeve wool shirt, 1 Smartwool long sleeve wool shirt. 1 pair leggings & a short sleeve synthetic shirt. Seems like a lot of clothes, but then again not. Wool is supposed to be less stinky than synthetic shirts, so I'll be able to hopefully go a couple of days between hand washing them.

I could have done with 2 Icebreaker wool short sleeve shirts, and 2 wool long sleeve shirts. It was normally very warm in our rooms at night, so leggings to sleep in weren't necessary. On 2 or 3 nights we didn't have an en suite bathroom - but I could have just put on my evening pants to go out of the room. Didn't need a sleep shirt either. Shirts lasted 2-3 days between washings. Wool works much better than synthetic this way. Usually they dried overnight - occasionally not.

Hiking pants
I'm packing 1 pair and wearing 1 pair. The idea being that I'll have one dirty pair to hike in and one clean pair for the evenings. One pair is very lightweight and one pair is medium weight.

This worked fine. I wore my warmer pair for hiking and my lighter pair at night. I occasionally would wash just the bottoms of the pants legs of my hiking pair in the sink - due to them getting very muddy. B&B's often had carpeted floors - so they don't want you tracking in mud. I never fully washed either pair.

Stuff sacks
I use for collecting dirty clothes. I might also use for storing clothes I hand wash which aren't fully dried

Worked well. 1 stuff sack for dirty clothes that need washing. 1 stuff sack for clean clothes that aren't fully dry.

Ziploc bags
Useful for all sorts of things

Wished I brought more.

These will be my town shoes. I might use them for easy hiking days as well, if my feet need a break from boots. I wanted to bring Crocs too, but having 3 pairs of shoes seems like overkill.

This worked well. Since I never had blisters, didn't feel the need for Crocs. In B&B's we normally walked around in either just socks or clean sneakers. Never hiking boots.

Food bag 1
Individual Ziploc bags with dehydrated food that we can use for meals. We expect we won't always have vegan food available and we will always have hot water machines at our B&B's.

We didn't know how food would be - we ended up using our dehydrated meals for lunch, since we did pretty good about getting vegan/vegetarian dinners at pubs. It was nice to have a warm meal for lunch, as it often was windy and brisk. It helped provide a mental boost.

Food bag 2
Snack foods for hiking. We will buy energy bars when we get there. They are heavy, and I don't want to have to carry that weight while traveling to St. Bees.

We bought Flapjacks along the way as we hiked. We carried some snacks with us though - Sports Beans, dried edamame, dried chili/wasabi/salted chick peas, etc.

Itinerary, hotel list, map photocopies, etc.

I tried to keep more data on my phone. Worked well.

Credit card - Barclays chip & pin
We finally found a U.S. credit card that offers both chip & pin, and chip & signature. It has an annual fee, but we decided it was worth it.

This worked great! If you are buying something from a restaurant or store, it defaults to chip & signature. European credit cards are chip & pin only - so on occasion you'd get a confused look from the shop keeper, but others were very familiar with chip & signature. If you buy train tickets from a machine, these will default to chip & pin (since you can't sign your receipt & give it to anyone). We could have gotten away with a chip & signature card (which my regular credit card is), but this just saves a lot of hassle. Woohoo!

Toiletries Bag
Includes Brommers Soap for hand washing.

We did a lot of hand washing. We ended up buying more soap from an outdoors store while we were there.

Wainwright book
Book by the originator of the trail. Decided to leave at home. I'll read it when I get back and have experienced the places he describes.

Glad we left it at home.

Yes, it is a huge tub. We use on our feet at night in order to keep them healthy & help prevent blisters. Very thick cream.

Next time bringing something smaller!

2 cup Klean Kanteen. Used for our dehydrated meals. Heavy. Might carry in our packs on longer hiking days. We'll see.

Carried in pack every day. Worked well, didn't leak.

For listening to audio books on my IPhone. On previous trips I've brought a Kindle. This time, I'm skipping the Kindle & will only use my phone.

Only used on the plane. In the evenings, we usually were busy eating & doing chores for the next day.

The Stick
We talked quite a bit about this. Now that I foam roll daily, it would be weird not to bring. Yes, it is added weight. I do get very tight calf muscles from hiking which can aggravate my plantar fasciitis. Using a foam roller helps to keep it from relapsing. Even Glen has started using it some.

Used it almost every day. Glen used it too. Next time, I'd look for a smaller version to save weight. It did help with muscle recovery. I found that some days I'd need to use it in the morning as well because my muscles were tired.

Eyeglass Case

Luggage Transport - Packhorse
A few people carry everything in their packs. Some of these people tent, some stay at B&B's. Most people use a luggage transport service like we did. This means that you only need to carry a day pack, and your duffel bag would be transported every day to your next night's destination.

You tell Packhorse which towns you'd like to stay in, and they will choose your lodgings, book your lodgings, and transport your luggage. You pay them ahead of time for accommodations. With Sherpa, another company, you choose where you stay, they will do the bookings for you, but you need to pay each B&B along the way. Many B&B's don't take credit cards. We liked Packhorse because it meant we wouldn't need to worry about carrying a lot of cash with us since everything was pre-paid. We only needed enough cash for evening meals & buying snacks. Packhorse was great, and I highly recommend them. Our luggage was always delivered before we arrived at our B&B. They chose a good variety of B&B's, pubs, and hotels.

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