Gearin’ Up For A Better Night’s Rest…

Featured pic is of the Snake River in Celebration Park, Idaho from our trip back in August.  Been busy with family and working on the house and haven’t made time to work my way through the rest of them. Hopefully I’ll get to those in the next couple of weeks.  Loonie had the two mirrored 750 Gb drives in the computer  nearly maxed out (she’s not a fan of cloud storage for some reason…nor is she quick to go through and cull out the junk) so I swapped those out for two mirrored 3Tb drives.  Now we’ll begin the process of deleting the crap and in the process I hope to upload the pics from the last trip.

After we got back from Yellowstone we decided to hold off on Yosemite for a year and head back to Yellowstone…just the two of us this time…and do a four or five night hike along the Bechler River.  After that, a two night hike in the Tetons.  I made all the lodging reservations for nights we wouldn’t be on the trail but then, after considering the cost of airfare, car rental, a shuttle for the Bechler River hike and on and on and on, we decided to postpone that trip as well.  As part of my “living amends” I’m determined to finally make some LONG-OVERDUE improvements to the house and the expense of those won’t leave much in the bank to spend on either trip.

Now the plan is to head to the Shenandoahs in the Fall and do six nights on the AT, hopping from shelters to the lodges or cabins at Lewis Mtn, Big Meadows and Skyland.  It will be far less expensive, considering we can drive there in a reasonable amount of time and we’ll be able to stay at one of our timeshares when we’re not in the national park.  I’ll be able to knock off some AT miles and the terrain should be much more forgiving for Loonie.  She certainly won’t mind sleeping  in a regular bed every other night either.

Speaking of bed, we’re loving the Enlightened Equipment Accomplice quilt but wanted a better solution for keeping our Exped pads together underneath us. We found that the included pad straps weren’t sufficient in keeping the two pads together and one of us would invariably roll over in the middle of the night only to find ourselves sleeping on the cold hard ground. Enter the Exped SynMat Hyperlite Duo…

exped_synmat_hyperlite_duo Exped SynMat Hyperlite Duo Sleeping Pad

I was freakin’ out about having to haul 28 oz worth of sleeping pad but considering I’ve been carrying two 11 oz uninsulated pads, that’s not too shabby.  Throw in the fact that we gain 3.3 R-value and don’t have to deal with separating pads in the middle of the night, it was a no-brainer.  The only remaining hurdle was the cost.  $280 was too much to swallow but then I found one at BackcountryGear.com for $200.  That sealed the deal.  Here it is with the quilt off and on…

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Exped Synmat Hyperlite Duo

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EE’s Accomplice Quilt on the Exped Synmat Hyperlite Duo

And packed…

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The pad fits nicely in the foot-end of the quilt and I think the existing pad straps will work great at holding the sides down.  Seems to be a great setup.  Still considering whether or not to get the “Schnozzel” Pump Bag.  The Duo pad actually requires fewer breathes to inflate than the two single pads combined but, seeing as how the Duo is insulated, using the Schnozzle would reduce the amount of moisture entering the pad. The insulation is synthetic but regardless, Insulation + Moisture is never a good thing, right?  The weight penalty of carrying it is offset in large part by the fact that it could be used in lieu of the dry sack Loonie currently uses for her clothing.

Exped Schnozzle Pumpbag

Exped Schnozzle Pumpbag

Deep Woods and I still plan to head back to the AT in the Spring and fill in a couple of gaps (Standing Bear Farm to Allen Gap and a short chunk in the Smokies) before we start heading North from Erwin, TN in 2018.  Loonie will then join me and she and I will try to get several nights on the trail in the park so stay tuned.

More to come…

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