Eduardo Lartigau is a longtime Gossamer Gear customer, and friend of Glen, who lives in Brazil. He’s probably the lightest ultralight hiker in Brazil. Heck, he may be the ONLY ultralight hiker in Brazil. From time to time, he makes the trip to the U.S. for shopping, hamburgers (LOTS of hamburgers), surfing and hiking, not necessarily in that order. Last year Glen and Eduardo discovered that, living at sea level, Eduardo does not do altitude well, after a disastrous trip to the Sierra which ended with Eduardo succumbing to altitude sickness. So this year, Glen planned something a little lower: the Pacific Crest Trail section B, from Marion Mountain trail to Hwy 74. Maximum elevation was a little over 8,000 ft.
Glen figured this would give Eduardo a taste of the mighty PCT, and by hiking southbound, the chance to meet a few real thru-hikers. Due to the big snows this year, Eduardo ended up meeting about 20 thru-hikers over the course of the three days.
Glen tried a couple of new gear items this trip. Here’s his report:
- Simblissity UnSlack Pack: I usually take a Gossamer Gear shoulder strap pocket that I use to keep my camera handy. While the UnSlack Pack is beautifully made and extremely functional, it was more functionality than I needed, and the side zipper on my usual pocket is easier for me to use for my simple need of holding the camera.
- Merrell Trail Glove shoes: I run in Vibram FiveFingers, so was anxious to see if a similar ‘barefoot’ type shoe would work for backpacking. We had a lot of snow to start, and some very rocky trails the last day, and the shoes worked okay. I will probably not try them again, though. I have a size 12, I remember having to choose between the 12 and 13, and the 13 seemed too large. But for long trail miles, the 12 seemed a tad too small. It didn’t help that I had retrofitted them with curly laces. Because of their unique lacing, the elastic laces just draw too tight.
- Gossamer Gear Tite-Lite V-stakes: I didn’t bother setting up a shelter the first night, but went through the exercise at Cedar Spring the second evening. With a small pebble to push them in, those V-stakes have great holding power.
- Montbell Ex Light down jacket: This was recommended to me by Will Rietveld. I was not excited about adding 1.7 oz. to my base weight by swapping it for my Montbell down vest, and it sure seemed pretty wispy. But under my DriDucks, I was amazed at how warm it kept me. Admittedly, this trip was not super cold, but it did get down to 32 the first night. I will be taking this one again!