The class at REI was awesome! By far, the best class I’ve attended there. The instructor was really interesting and had traveled to Everest Base Camp. He was full of helpful tips like creating a heat radiator for your sleeping bag by boiling water in a thermos and putting that in the bottom of your sleeping bag at night. As I was listening to him, I started worrying about how I’ll dry my gear at the end of the day. For those of you that don’t know me, in addition to being an obsessive worrier, I’m also a profuse sweater. Five minutes into a workout and I start sweating like Brendan Fraser in Bedazzled. If the temperature drops below freezing, how do I dry my shoes, socks, shirt, pants, etc.?
I had a chance to try out some new gear. I tested Outdoor Research’s Crocodile Gaiters and Kahtoola Microspikes on a hike up to Lake Blanche. On a side note, mountain hiking is incredibly beautiful. It’s amazing how a few hours of tranquility and solitude can put my soul at ease. Anyway, the gear worked wonderfully. The gaiters kept my feet completely dry and the spikes are phenomenal however they were definitely overkill that day. I wonder if I could put bread bags over my trail runners secured by the microspikes as a cheap lightweight water resistant barrier. I’ll definitely be taking the gaiters and the spikes through the Sierras however I still haven’t decided if I want to carry a mountain axe. I was saddened to hear that several hikers slipped down an icy ravine last week and one of them died from their injuries. My heart goes out to their families. Hug your loved ones, the time we have together is precious but uncertain. Just another reminder that I need to be prepared and at the top of my game.