GDT Prep: Final Stretch…

We’re in the final stretch of prepping for the GDT with Toothless and this is probably the most stressed I have been about any trip (other than that one PCT section where I was still printing maps at midnight before we left but we don’t talk about that trip).

Regardless of how much there is to do, and what lessons we learned from our SCT shakedown trip (trip report to be posted shortly), we still have that bliss of knowing we’re going to be on trail soon.

So what are we dealing with last minute?

  • Changing our water treatment/ filter system from a gravity filter to a coarse prefilter + chemical treatment.
    • Our BeFree filter died after only 1.5 seasons (it is what we bought to replace our clogged filter after our 2018 GDT hike and it’s already dead!). We carry chemical treatment as a backup anyways and had to use it on the SCT shakedown hike.
    • We learned that Toothless likes to drink our water from our water bladder hoses so he just spills our water everywhere, unless we disconnect the hose, which discourages us from drinking…
    • We originally went with a bladder system years ago to encourage us to drink/ sip as we hike and to make water treatment and filtering passive and efficient while we do other things, but for a shorter / slower day that’s less critical. We already carry water bottles as an “overflow” and for coffee/ gatorade/ meal supplement (carnation instant breakfast).
  • Gear and pack repair.
    • I have found a few holes and worn straps on my pack that I have been repairing.
    • I have repaired my “warm” running gloves.
    • I had to replace the shoulder pouch on my pack – a mouse chewed through mine on the SCT.
    • We will be adding snaps to Toothless’ sleeping bag to keep his sleeves rolled up to the right length.
    • We will be altering my dance pants so I can put them on over top of my shoes (easier when carrying a baby)
  • Med kit refresh
  • Resupply boxes
    • We found we aren’t eating as much food when carrying Toothless, both due to shorter days and because he tries to snatch it out of our hands when we snack! We also will have heavy packs on large food carries so we are reevaluating some of our food packed to make sure we aren’t overpacked.
    • We need to figure out if we can bring the resupply boxes to Coleman to ship or ship before the GDT. Is there space in our vehicle? If so, maybe we can do it during our first zero to alter them if necessary?
  • Natasha testing baby carrier systems
    • Possibly an entire overhaul of our system. While I am fine carrying Toothless in the front carrier with my pack, something wasn’t right when Natasha carried him on the SCT and she got shoulder pains. This is a much different outcome than our previous tests and is worrying.
    • Natasha is testing different packs (current vs old) and carriers (front vs back) and weights to see what works best. Any major change in system can create a lot of work and uncertainty.

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