Saturday, October 25, 2014

Isle Royale Lessons Learned, 19-26 May 2014

For this short post, I wanted to list some of the lessons I took away from my Isle Royale trip.  This is not intended to be a comprehensive list!
1.  Don’t try to eat Paleo, and don’t take more food than I would expect to eat with only a modest appetite increase.  The Paleo meals from a startup company just were not appetizing.  And I ended up carrying pounds of food back to Texas.

2.  Try to reach ultralight (< 10 lbs pack base weight without consumables) weights to make the travel easier and more enjoyable.  35 pounds was bearable but used a lot of energy ascending hills and didn’t keep the posture as upright as I would have liked.  Plus, I’m getting older. :)

3.  Shift from full leather boots to trail runners if I can get the pack weight down.  The feet took more of a beating than I expected.  After I correctly sized my boots years ago, I've never had problems with blisters till I got to Isle Royale.  And I’ve never had problems with weak ankles.  Trail runners should be fine.

4.  Nothing seemed to dry out overnight, except some pure synthetics with loose weave.  Leave the bandana at home and carry some lightweight synthetic cloth(s) instead, like my nylon ‘wash rag’.  I take either a full brimmed hat or a ball cap with attached neck covering for hikes anyway.

5.  The Platypus Gravity system worked well, but took up way to much space.  Switch to a lighter, lower volume system.  And leave a bunch of the little things I didn’t use at home.  While half to one ounce items don’t weigh much each, their weights add up and create a lot of pack clutter. 

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