Sharp Toenails & Patches
I'm going to need to make a change or two for this next hike. I've lost 14 pounds since the beginning of June, but that still does not offset what I've gained since my last hike. I've got another 4 weeks until I hike the Colorado Trail, and I will still lose some more weight, but not what is needed. Less weight is what is going to help my still sore foot the most.
My foot has improved. I really like the Protalis inserts I purchased, and my new HOKA ATR's have worked out well. I purchased a half size larger than I wear off-trail, because my feet always seem to “swell” if I hike for an extended period of time. The shoes and inserts will make a difference, but my foot is still pretty sore. I've been exercising a lot, and I don't think I've given it the time it needs to heel, so decreased weight will be important.
I've decided not to cook on this trip. It's a bummer because I wanted to try my new cozy, but I'll leave my pot, stove, fuel and cozy at home. Instead, I'll take a large, empty JIF peanut butter jar to rehydrate my food. It is light and easily replaced @ town stops. Even convenience stores have peanut butter, if pickings are slim. My main dinners will be Ramen and pouches of tuna. I usually put the ramen and water in the jar a couple of hours before I stop to eat. I mix in the sauce powder also, and just let the ramen mix soak.
I've also eaten rice and beans in the past, but the last couple of times they have ended up crunchy, so I'm going to have to try and find a better brand that rehydrates more easily. I add Tabasco sauce to give it a little more flavor, and it is pretty good. I also throw in some spicy sausage if I have it with me.
I had considered using my quilt, but it was only going to save me about 3 ounces, so I'm sticking with my Feathered Friends 10 degree bag. My quilt is 20 degrees, and while it keeps me warm enough at freezing temperatures, I get cold easily and love to burrow and sleep warm, so I'm sticking with the bag. On a side note – I always get a LONG quilt, so I can burrow.
I took the bag out a couple of weeks ago to let it fluff, and made the mistake of leaving it lying on the spare bed. Something with very sharp toenails (picture above) decided it made a fine nest, so I had to patch a toenail hole yesterday. (I really think she knows the bag means I'm going away, and was just being a little vindictive.) I used one of the clear patches from my Neoair kit. The picture is below, and I can barely see the hole. Of course if it does not hold, there is always duct tape.