2/15/13 Toleak Pt. Camp Using My Well Used Golite Hex 3. Inside is a Marmot Plasma 15, REI Bivy (didn’t use it), Caldera GVP Keg Stove, Golite Poncho for ground cloth.

Beyond a few solid hiking days I am planning the rest of this year’s hikes which will include a 50 day hike through the Olympics. I missed the Bailey Range last year so it is a priority – August 23 thru September 3.

This year my Olympics hike is called 5050x. 50 days for 50 years. The first draft of camping gear weighs in at 13.76 lbs. I haven’t included my camera gear yet so that is sure to rise.

My Gear Plan This Year


The Gossamer Gear Mariposa 2012 replaced my old Gorilla pack during my hike across the Olympics last year. The mesh pockets of the Gorilla took a beating crossing the Bailey Range in 2010 and are in need of sewing. I like the fact that Gossamer Gear no longer uses mesh for the side pockets anymore.

Gossamer Gear Mariposa 2012 packed and ready to leave Marmot Pass.
Tripod is a Gitzo 2542L with Really Right Stuff BH-25 Ball Head.

I am a photographer so I do carry some bulkier items. The extra volume of the Mariposa provides room for my equipment, especially in areas where it is required to bring a bear canister. The Gorilla will work and fits everything perfectly, however there is no room for unexpected extra gear and the pack is too full to use the straps as load adjusters. So the Mariposa’s size works perfect for me.

I can’t say enough good about Gossamer Gear backpacks. They are amazing! The Mariposa is comfortable, durable, and has all the right pockets. All the advantages of a 4244 c.i. bag at only around 27 oz.


This year I am thinking about replacing my aging Gossamer Gear Squall. It has served me incredibly well during the past 6 years. What I find astounding is how difficult it is to find a shelter its equal. A shelter of its size and weight (21oz) that also includes a floor and netting. Even cuben fiber shelters don’t match it, especially when durability is the issue.

The GG Squall has been used to shelter my wife, two Aussies  and myself. There was plenty of room left over for our gear. It is used year round in snow, rain, or sun. It has survived dog claws and a few fights.

2008 Gossamer Gear Squall. At Mary Falls, Elwha Trail. Barefoot Jake and I saw a goat here.

My only complaint about the Squall has been how low it is in the back half of the shelter. The front peak is kind of tight when two people are trying to sit up. But this is only a minor inconvenience.

Gossamer Gear Squall and Edison

Everyone must weigh their shelter decision based on their own personal needs and comforts. I know exactly what I am looking for in a shelter. So if I am to replace my Squall, it would be nice to find one with some features I wish the Squall had. Fortunately for me, I prefer to use cottage companies for my gear and they are the only avenue for custom shelters.

My ideal criteria for balance was:

  • Weight – absolutely no more than 18oz.
  • Shape – pyramid or similar with steeper walls.
  • Netting – I like full enclosure, so a tarp is out.
  • Setup – I don’t use trekking poles so an alternative is a must.
  • Cost – no more than $350.
  • Size – has to fit my wife and I with our dog.
It is obvious there will be some trade offs. My criteria isn’t set in stone, it just gave me a list to compare by.
Top of my list so far is a Bear Paw Wilderness Designs Bear Den 1 in .74 cuben. I’ll have to kick my wife and dog out of the tent, but if I cover them up with my poncho they should be okay.

Well, I decided on a Zpack Heximed Solo Plus. Just finishing up part two now that will go into more detail.

Next I will discuss the rest of my list witch will include kitchen, sleeping, and clothing items.

Longway is the trail name for Tim Todd and is quite fitting due to the fact that every aspect of his life consist of taking the longest route and time to arrive. For Longway the journey is the destination.

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