UPDATED 5/23/06 - CHECK BACK OFTEN FOR UPDATES
About The Gear
The objectives are simple: Walk. Eat. Rest. With an emphasis on the first two.
Ultralight gear is not a chosen style because "it's cool". It's absolutely mandatory. Without ultralight gear, how can one carry the amount of calories required to travel nearly 1,000 km over some of the most difficult trekking terrain in North America?
Shoes, Footwear, and Foot Care
Shoes. We're all wearing trail running shoes. As of 5/22, we haven't decided whether we are taking one or two pair. Roman plans on using Salomon XA Pro's, Ryan is fairly well set on Montrail Vitesses (but is taking the Inov-8 O'330's to the gate in training, just to see...), and Jason's undecided.
Socks. We'll use a combination of Smartwool (Roman and Jason) and Darn Tough (Ryan) socks, all in a trail running cushion/light hiking style. We'll carry spare dry socks (Smartwool) for sleeping - with Ryan using PossumDown socks at night.
Footcare. The bulk of Roman's kit will be "pills, tape, and a needle". Ryan's adding Hydropel.
Expedition packs are being custom made by ULA Equipment and Brian Frankle of Logan, UT. The packs are "harness-style" packs with internal frames that mate with dry bags (from Pacific Outdoor Equipment) which are required to keep gear dry in prolonged rain and river swims/crossings. The packs are being designed to carry 50 pound loads in comfort, but weigh less than 24 ounces.
Active Clothing for Trekking, Wind, and Rain
We won't be moving slow on this trek. Active clothing will focus on a lightweight, breathable base layer setup (with capilene or wool hoody shirts and spandex shorts, combined with mosquito-proof pants). Rain gear will include a 6-ounce rain jacket (Patagonia Specter or GoLite Virga) and 3-ounce Pertex pant (Montane Featherlite). Hat and gloves will be that which is sewn into the base layer shirt.
Sleep System & Insulating Clothing
All synthetic: Polarguard Delta and Pertex Quantum. Custom clothing and quilts from Bozeman Mountain Works, including a hooded Cocoon Pullover (10 oz), Cocoon Pants (7 oz). Sleep system is as yet undecided but will be either a shared 3-person quilt, or if we split into two shelters (e.g., for increased bear safety), a 2-person quilt (25 oz) and a solo quilt (18 oz). Sleeping pads will include Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uberlite Pads (3 oz, Roman and Jason) and the Gossamer Gear Nightlight Torso (3 oz, Ryan).
- Tarps made by Dave Olsen at Oware USA (www.owareusa.com) using Cuben Fiber racing sailcloth that use carbon fiber trekking pole shafts for support.
- At this point, we are as yet undecided on whether we'll be sharing a single 8' pyramid tarp or one pyramid tarp and one "half-pyramid" tarp (two shelters offer some advantages in terms of bear protection).
Cooking & Hydration
- Cooking: bush fires and a titanium pot.
- Hydration: soft-sided bladders, one per person, Platypus & Nalgene Cantenes
- Maps, compass, pencil, and one GPS to find and mark America's remotest spot
- Toothbrush, dermatone, headnets, tape, bug dope, pills, sunglasses, titanium spoons.
Journalism / Publishing Gear
- Nikon DSLR camera kit
- Iridium / Hewlett-Packard Satellite PDA publishing system
- Brunton Solaris solar panel
- A lot. About 45 pounds per person. Includes a bunch of mashed potatoes, cream of wheat, almond butter, Cadbury bars, Kellogg's Fruity Snacks, and Pringles. Details to be revealed later. Suffice to say that each person will be packing about 100,000 calories of food and another 50,000 calories of excess body fat (~15 lbs).
Stay tuned for a PDF file containing the expedition's detailed gear list.