Edison and I At Grand Pass during our 2012 5Pass Hike.
Gossamer Gear Mariposa 2012 Pack, Golite Kenai Jacket, Fujifilm X-Pro1 Camera


I didn’t go into great detail about all the shelters I was looking at in part one. There were about eleven of them I have been looking at for over a year as possible replacements to the Gossamer Gear Squall. It was my hope that Gossamer Gear would find a solution to their shelter woes. I know they have been testing prototypes but I have been fast approaching the need of a replacement. Waiting is no longer an option.
For nearly two months I have had Zpacks Hexamid Solo and Bear Paw Bear Den shelters open in a browser tab. At the time of writing part one of my gear list I was quite sure it was going to be the Bear Den. Suddenly, at the eleventh hour, my final decision bounced back to the Hexamid Solo Plus. No turning back now, the order has been placed.

The decision was more of a coin toss and ounces than actual logic. However, the  reason for the Plus instead of the Solo was a matter of family peace. Deborah and Jessica made it perfectly clear that they are not the ones who would be kicked out the tent to sleep under a poncho as I had previously stated. The Hexamid Solo Plus soon became my obvious choice.

Now at 12.61-lb With Heximed Solo Plus. Dropped about a pound.


Last year the Marmot Plasma 15 became my blanky during the night. It has served its purpose very well and I am totally happy with it. I wish it was wider in the shoulders though. I cannot figure out why Marmot has chosen only to post hip widths and not shoulder widths. Unlike the growing obese epidemic we are facing in todays societies, my hips are not wider than my shoulders.

Edison on Marmot Plasma 15. Barnes Creek Trail, Olympic National Park

Beyond that little nitpick, the Marmot Plasma delivers everything they say. What I found impressive on a few occasions is though my bag became soaked, it maintained loft and kept me warm. There have been some nights during the winter where the weather dipped below its rating. While I was cold, it was not unbearable and getting up moving around solved that problem right away.

So, I will be using my Plasma 15 again this year. It is overkill during the summer but there is no rule that says you have to sleep with the bag zipped up. At least I haven’t had any sleeping bag police knock on my tent yet. I did cut the tags off so have been on the run ever since.

My consistently reliable sleeping pad has been a Torso Lite and my backpack at my feet. I have an attic full of air mattresses from Thermarest and an Exped all with holes in them. The Torso Lite has been the only air mattress that has withstood everything I threw at it. My dogs claws could not even puncture it. To this day it still works.

Klymit Inertia XL

Even I am questioning my reasons for giving another pad a try. This time it is the Klymit Inertia XL (I did not like the X-Frame). I have more reasons why I don’t really need to use it, yet I am determined to give a full length pad another shot. What makes me think I am going senile is that this pad, at 16.8oz, is twice the weight of what I use now.

I’m going to test it this weekend during a 4 day hike. That should wake me up to  a proper frame of mind.


I am a big fan of the Caldera Cone by Trail Designs. My stoves include a Caldera Keg-GVP, Caldera Cone for Trek 700, and now for 2013 a Sidewinder with Inferno for a Evernew 600.

Most of last year I used a Bushbuddy and the pot holder section with a Trail Designs 12-10 alcohol stove. That way I could burn either wood or alcohol. This year I will be lighter and much more compact with the Sidewinder.

Bushbuddy and Snow Peak Trek 900 (2012).
Boulder Shelter – Upper Dungeness River Trail, Olympic National Forest.

Can’t see spending money on another spork when my Snow Peak is working just fine.

Food will be stored in a bear canister whenever required and hung when not.  I usually use the BearVault BV450 on shorter trips but during longer trips I borrow a carbon fiber canister from the ranger station.

Guess I am going to finish this in a three or four part series.

To be continued…



 – 15912d23m00s


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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