Getting lightweight ducks in a row.

This is the final contraction. Savasana is the final posture of any proper yoga practice. It means surrender. Savasana is that delicious moment when you get to lay flat on your back and just melt into the floor in complete relaxation. To increase the sensation of surrender and relaxation, some teachers like to have a final contraction right before Savasana. The body is rolled in as tight of a ball as possible, all muscles are contracted, face scrunched, breath held, squeeze, … and relax. I leave for the PCT in 7 days, and life sure feels like it’s giving me a final squeeze before I can be released into the wild.

I have weighed every piece of gear I am planning on taking. The final count is 11 Lbs for gear, with an additional 7 Lbs for wearables, which include clothes, shoes, poles and rain gear. So a total of 18 Lbs before food and water. Add a bear canister, some warmer gloves and additional rain gear for the Sierras for a total of 22 Lbs. This is lighter than the day packs I usually carry. For the PCT though, it’s too heavy. My task today is to go one more round through, cut labels, reduce containers and  question every piece going into my pack.

There are different levels of needs. There are basic needs. I need a pack to carry my things and shoes to walk on the trail. They’re going. The long phase of research of what’s the cheapest, lightest, most functional gear I can find and afford is done, and I will likely not change my system this late in the game (though I might after I start hiking if it really doesn’t work for me). There are safety needs. I probably will not sleep in that tent more than a few nights on the trail. I know how I work in the woods, I always want to be outside under the stars, but if the weather really turns epic, I’ll want that tent. It’s actually a tarp-tent and it’s only 20 oz, so it’s going. Even with the safety needs, there is some grey area. Do I really need rain gear in the desert? Can’t I just dry off? My criterion for this category is ‘will it significantly reduce my chances of death or injury?’, if yes, it’s going. Everything else is luxury. Some luxuries I am willing to suffer a few ounces for, like the ipod, journal, harmonica, camera. My criteria is ‘will it significantly improve my quality of life on the trail and entice me to keep going?”, if yes, it’s going.

I still need to lay out my maildrop boxes, put the maps in the appropriate box, with some food. I will be resupplying in trail town. I like the idea of “living of the land” and of keeping trailtown in business. The trail to me is not a hiatus from life, it IS my life. We don’t go through real life sending ourselves food packages, but a pack of Saos occasionally to wake up childhood memories is fun (this is a hint, if anyone in New Caledonia is reading this!).

On the topic of mail. You can send me things, but obviously, nothing I’d have to carry. You’ve seen the criteria. Food falls in the basic needs and is always welcome. The link above that says PCT Plan has a spreadsheet with addresses and estimated dates of where I might be.

D-7! Excitement level: off the roof!

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