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  1. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis Clark View Post
    "out and back" makes it too easy to bail after the first day. Hiking one way makes it hard enough that you will "embrace the suck" unless you are in real danger.

    I think I would have turned back regardless because of the shoes, but you point is totally true. A lot of life purely sucks, yet we just keep pounding away. When you don't have to continue, it's easy to just give up.

    REI tents aren't really backpacking tents.

    My wife is going to really be happy when I by another tent! Do you have a suggestion on who makes a good backpacking tent? I'm assuming that I should select one that uses my hiking poles as tent poles?
    See my above comment. #19

  2. #22

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis Clark View Post
    REI tents aren't really backpacking tents.

    My wife is going to really be happy when I by another tent! Do you have a suggestion on who makes a good backpacking tent? I'm assuming that I should select one that uses my hiking poles as tent poles?
    If you purchased your Half Dome less than a year ago, you can return it for a refund.

    The Quarter Dome 1 is currently on sale for $195. But personally, if I were looking for a reasonably priced one person tent, I'd probably get the Six Moon Designs Lunar Solo ($200).

    If you'll permit me to be blunt, a 90 liter (and 5 lbs.) pack is much more than any solo hiker needs. Your pack needs to go even if you can't return it. I have two packs - a 44 liter for solo trips, and a 60 liter Granite Gear Crown2 for when my wife comes along and I carry the two-person sleeping bag, the bigger tent, and food for two. Both packs are ~2 lbs. The Granite Gear Vapor Trail ($150) is also an option.

    And, depending on how much / what you were carrying in that 90 liter pack, you may find that your foot problems were caused by too much weight, not the wrong footwear. Our most recent hike was a two night trip - we glamped it up, I carried two camp chairs and wine, and even then my 60 liter pack was no more than 30 lbs. starting out, if that. On solo trips, my pack weight is usually around 13 lbs. plus food and water. If you're carrying significantly more than that, take a red pen to your packing list.


    Good luck.
    Last edited by johnacraft; 06-25-2019 at 15:41.

  3. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lewis Clark View Post
    How did your sleeping bag get wet? While in the pack? What was your shelter choice?

    ...The rain fly on my REI Half-Dome tent has about a 4 inch gap between it's edge and the ground. All of the sites for tenting are on bare dirt. I think all of the leaves have been scooped up for use in the privy. When it rained, and it rained hard, the water splashed up from under the rain fly in through the tent screens...


    REI tents aren't really backpacking tents.

    My wife is going to really be happy when I by another tent! Do you have a suggestion on who makes a good backpacking tent? I'm assuming that I should select one that uses my hiking poles as tent poles?
    So don't get another tent. First of all, that half dome is most certainly a backpacking tent. In fact, ALL of REI's 2-person tents are legit backpacking tents. What is true, though, is that REI has been slow to offer products that have been available for a while now through cottage makers like TarpTent, Lunar and LightHeart. A lot of hikers are realizing the value of reducing weight everywhere in their pack, and of course, including the pack. Think of it this way... how much better would your shoes have performed if they didn't have to support the degree of torque necessary with the extra 5-10 lbs in your pack? But, that said, there's lots of way to lose weight, and sometimes doing so means making a financial compromise like toting a half dome and saving elsewhere, so that's why I maintain its a legit backpacking tent.

    And about getting another tent... you should get a hammock. For one, you can tell your wife you're not getting another tent, but rather, trying out the hammock to see which works best.
    There's a lot that gets resolved by just not having to be on flat, bare ground, the consequences of which you learned first hand. I get that its sometimes hard to initially understand how a hammock keeps you warmer and dryer than a tent, but it starts there on the ground. Not only do you get more coverage from splash, but you get more room for your stuff and almost nil condensation. The one value of the ground is insulation, though one must have a pad to be fully insulated on the ground (bag doesn't do anything on bottom). In the air, your bottom insulation will need to be more substantial. In 3-season weather, your pad should still be enough. You can still use your bag, just don't try to zip up in it (only top insulation is needed). A hammock setup (with tarp) costs about the same as an inexpensive tent, maybe less, and should be comparable in weight with most cottage backpacking tents. Personally, I use a netless hammock year round in the mountains on the AT - bugs are never really an issue in the evening. This is another way to save some weight, but understood that's hard to give up without experience.

    Oh, regarding my comment about more room for your stuff... try to keep in mind that when hanging, you're typically not hanging over bare ground, so splash is really minimal if any. AND, depending on where you're hanging, there's little windblown rain in the forest among trees you might be tied to. So most of the time you can consider ALL of the space underneath your tarp to be free space to put your stuff. Won't get wet, doesn't get dirty because its not on dirt, though many of us bring "mats" (typically pieces of lightweight Tyvek) to put our stuff on. Imagine that you wake up in the a.m. after an overnite rain, and when packing up, you notice that there's this 11'x6' light-colored hex shape on the ground which you realize is the dry space that was under your tarp - the darker color is the wet ground all around. I consider this 11'x6' space to be my "tent" space. I just wanted to address that because question #1 for noob hangers is "where do I put my stuff?"

    Check out HammockForums.com for more info. And similar to how I described above, don't get your hammock at REI. Lots of cottage makers which can be found on the forum.
    "I wonder if anyone else has an ear so tuned and sharpened as I have, to detect the music, not of the spheres, but of earth, subtleties of major and minor chord that the wind strikes upon the tree branches. Have you ever heard the earth breathe... ?"
    - Kate Chopin

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