With under a month left until we begin our journey North, Sara and Zeno and I have finalized our gear list for the trek. Our pile of gear and food is beginning to take over our apartment, which means we need to leave soon before we run out of room to get from the living room to the kitchen. Fortunately our house for the next six months arrived in the mail a couple weeks ago, so we have some shelter in which to move.
|Caldera Cone and K-Mart Grease pot|
For sleeping bags we both settled on the Mountain Hardwear Phantom 15's. I have been using this bag the last year and have loved it so Sara decided to get one as well. The bags are right around the 2lb range but are still very warm. Underneath the bags we will be using the ThermaRest X-Lite NeoAir 2's, which provide a couple inches of air mattress and insulation for very little weight. We are just hoping that Zeno does not continue his practice of lunging at squirrels while in the tent so our sleeping pads remain leak free.
|Water filter and filter bag we will be carrying.|
|Zeno on a training hike up on Mt. Elden|
We also just purchased dog booties for Zeno to protect his feet on the hot sand in southern New Mexico, the lava fields around Grants, NM and all the snow. The trial run we put him through last night was hilarious. He never tried to remove them, but did look like he was trying to walk or run through big drifts of snow by trying to high-step out of the things on his feet. It only took him five or ten minutes to get used to them though and then he did not mind.
|Chicken about to go in the dehydrator|
With less than 20 days before we start hiking, our preparation process has gone into overdrive. We now have the food dehydrator running all day and night to prepare meat sauce. We are dividing and mixing oatmeal into different packages. We are mixing trail mix and going on training hikes. But it still seems like there is a lot to do. Sara is guiding two river trips before we leave and I am working and coaching up until the day before we leave. Now any free time we have must be devoted to establishing our resupply boxes. Strangely it has not gotten too stressful yet, but instead every task reminds us that we are about to go on the adventure of our lives. It is just plain exciting.