If your floor gets dirty or damaged, you just get a new one.
2. It doesn’t weigh much. It is quick and simple.
3. It is easy to dry.
Just hang one edge and let it drywhile not worrying about the sides sticking together or it getting bunched up.
4. You sleep with less mosquitoes.
When camping in mosquito dense areas, follow this procedure:
Lay down your floor cloth
Arrange your pack and other belongings on the floor cloth
Lay your tent on top of your things
Pull up your tent
Climb in quickly
Enjoy listening to other backpackers zip and unzip their tents while swatting mosquitoes and swearing
5. When the stars are nice but you think it may rain, you can have it on standby and put it up without rearranging your things.
See mosquito control tent procedure above and follow steps three through five.
6. Rodents can go both out and in. – yes, this is a benefit, please see below.
After a few episodes of rodents running in but not finding a way out, CD learned to prop up the edge with a shoe in order for them to quickly get back out. If you are wondering why this would be a benefit, hikers with traditional tents also had problems with rodents. The difference was that in the case of a traditional tent, the rodents chewed their way in but there wasn’t an easy solution to getting back out.
If you are interested in keeping your food safe from rodents, here is CD’s preferred item. Have fun!
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This was CD’s PCT kick off and the first day of a nearly four month hike.
Today, CD chose to take a side route. Each hiker makes these choice and he decided to take a blue blaze route up San Jacinto Peak. The descent was 5000 ft over 16 miles. He grew tired of hiking in the dark before he could find a spot to camp, however. So slept in the middle of the trail before returning to the valley floor.
CD arrived at the Pink Hotel. Apparently it was a water-less off grid trailer filled with hikers of all types. He took a nap, played cards, and observed the questionable atmosphere and chose to hit the trail with his group by dinner time.
He arrived in Big Bear City a day or so later. Strangers picked him up and shared their style of trail magic, including transportation, dinner, shower, and laundry.
Shortly after, the trail magic seemed to really take off.
The Saufley’s, Hiker Heaven, has since become so famous that it could no longer continue to function in the same capacity. In 2004, it was a highlight of CD’s hike. In 2020, it is transitioning to an AirBnB model.
Amenities included laundry and loaner clothes for while you are doing laundry, phones, informational boards, internet, shared supplies, and designated sleeping spots. Sleeping options included couches, beds, air mattresses, and open space. Everything was organized by using sign up sheets.
CD and his group borrowed one of the loaner cars and made a trek to town for margaritas and food. He then scored a couch for sleeping among the 31 hikers that slept there that night. There was campfires, storytelling, laughing, and camaraderie.
From there, lunches had 16 people, wind farms filled the desert, running down hills was the newest sport, and water sources were trickling streams.
5/29/2004 PCT Hike
May 29th brought magic in the form of a family at campground that was also a water source. Cake, fruit, snacks, beer and wine were abundant and everyone was grateful.
May 30th looked different, however. It was a hot day and the hike was quite exposed. Several rest breaks under Joshua’s trees were generally insufficient and water was scarce. Shortly after CD and his group decided to use a minimal amount of water from a water cache, they stumbled upon a pop-up oasis of sorts. The “Robin Spring Pass Resort” was a hiker’s resort in development.
A friend of a thru-hiker was inspired to offer his own form of trail magic. He set up camp on a section of trail where it was needed. His “resort” had water, shade, sports drinks, sodas, sandwiches, a generator powered freezer full of popsicles, a DVD player with movies, a picnic table, and a library.
A big climb from there and CD had his first real view of the Sierras.
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Food is a common topic among PCT thru hikers and backpackers. How does a backpacking menu look and how many calories do I need? When should I eat?
CD’s trail journal is full of words of wisdom. Job #1: Eating and Job # 2: Hiking.
1/3 lb of granola with re-hydrated soy milk
Pop-tarts (may be substituted by something else with 500 calories)
gorp or other trail mix
bagel and cheese or Nutella or peanut butter – whatever gets it up to 750+ calories, frequently snack a bit, too
Clif Bar, gorp, granola, recently Twix or Snickers bar
1/2 a bag of Bear Creek Cheese and Broccoli Soup mix (4 servings), 6-8 oz of pasta, and 7 oz of tuna (the tuna is every other day recently) – which usually fills about to the 1 liter mark on the pot and totals 1000+ calories.
Twix bars or Sourpatch kids
With this backpacking menu, CD eats 3 lbs of food per day and it sounds like most other hikers were averaging 2 lbs per day. Since I don’t weigh my food, I have no idea what that means, however.
Food Inspired Quotes From CD’s Trail Journal:
I heard about a Mexican restaurant near the highway up ahead, I hadn’t intended to walk that far but I was hungry for margaritas and good food, so I pushed on. It was Del Taco.
For breakfast I had four eggs, toast, an orange. Lunch was most of a large pizza and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Mint Cookie.
“After breakfast, snack, ice cream, errands, and fixing the rub spots, we hung around at the grocery store”
“I had a veggie burger, a 22 oz. Arrogant Bastard Ale, a fudge ice cream dessert thing, and a small pizza”
Buying the whole apple pie with ice cream was cheaper than piece by piece, so I did that
I carried the Five Iron of Love for two consecutive days so they owe me a pint of Ben and Jerry’s.
“Another town, another pint of Ben and Jerry’s”
Stay tuned for the Pink Palace, The Saufley’s house, all kinds of trail magic, and Kennedy Meadows!
CD also has a hidden talent that he apparently picked up on the trail. He can open the ice cream freezer at any gas station and know exactly how many calories are in each option. I thought it was kind of bizarre until I read this record of his daily diet, however.
To learn more about CD’s 2004 PCT Thru Hike please follow our blog and check out these links.