Mount Rogers Trip – Route, Equipment, Meals…Face Scrubs

June 13, 2007 at 11:02 pm 2 comments

Here are some details about our hike last weekend, particularly our route and some of the items we had along.

We took the same route as our day hike last year:

  • From Massie Gap Parking Lot in Grayson Highlands State Park, we took the AT Spur Trail up to the Appalachian Trail (0.8 miles)
  • We went Southbound on the AT, past Rhododendron Gap, through Fatman Squeeze Tunnel and to Pine Mountain Trail (2.7 miles)
  • We walked down Pine Mountain Trail to Lewis Fork Trail (~1 mile)
  • We turned right on Lewis Fork Trail and camped on Lewis Fork between Pine Mountain Trail and Crest Trail (neglible). 
  • It was a great campsite– there was a spring right across from us.

    The next day we returned the same route because someone thought he dropped his cell phone on the way up.  Hint– my LG EnV was with me and Jimmie, being a dog, doesn’t own a phone.  🙂  It turns out the cell phone was not along the AT (aka The White Trail).  It was safe and sound in the car at the parking lot.

    I got to try out a bunch of new goodies and some old standbys this trip!  Here are some items worth highlighting:

    Extreme 55 From The North Face
    My friend Jennie lent me this pack for the trip.  It was quite sufficient for my needs– I had plenty of room.  Inside I was able to fit my stove, my tent, clothing layers, food, nearly 6 liters of liquids (I’m cautious about water– I have to worry about me and Jimmie) and still had ample room.  I originally wished I could have sinched the pack slightly tighter on the waist, but that turned out not to be a hinderance at all.

    Hubba Tent From MSR
    Jimmie and I finally got to use the new one-person tent outside of our yard.  Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.  We loved it.  It weighs roughly 3 pounds, so it is quite good for a wussy ascender like me.  Easy to put up, even easier to take down.  And we had plenty of room.  I had my area, Jimmie had his and we still had extra room (I’m 5″ 5′ and Jimmie sleeps in a little ball, so we may not be the normal occupants).  I found the mesh pockets on the sides super convenient for small item storage and most importantly– keeping my glasses out of harm’s way.

    Pocket Rocket from MSR
    This little thing RULED.  It weighs about 3 ounces (plus 4 ounces for the ISO Pro fuel canister) and it seemed like it boiled water almost instantaneously!  I ended up using it to boil water for three meals and still have quite a bit of fuel left.

    Beef Stroganoff ProPak from Mountain House
    This was my first dinner Saturday night.  I thought it was delicious.  It’s vacuumed packed, so it didn’t up much room in my pack and it was very easy to make (just add boiling water).  Now, that particular night, I also happened to eat chicken, corn on the cob, a baked potato, zucchini and squash, two toasted marshmellows and two smores.  But…I think I would have been pretty content with just the stroganoff if the other stuff wasn’t so readily available.  🙂

    PolarPure Water Purification Tablets
    Courtesy of Tony Airaghi– this is what we used to treat our spring water.  It was very easy to measure and very convenient to carry and use.  And I thought the water tasted great.  I didn’t notice any kind of bad taste from the iodine components.

    Flavor Fresh Albacore Tuna Packets from StarKist
    This isn’t a new item for me.  It’s been a staple of my day hikes for a couple of years now.  Bill and I took advantage of their 7 ounce packets for lunch both Saturday and Sunday.  They travel well, are easy to open and full of protein.  Can’t beat their convenience.

    SmartWool Hiking Socks (Medium Weight)
    I finally did it!  After purchasing 3 pairs for SmartWool socks for other people as gifts (even once off someone’s wedding registry!), I finally splurged on myself.  I can see why there is so much hype about them.  I found them to be extremely comfortable…and comforting.

    Exfoliating Clean Sweep Cucumber Cleansing Towelettes from Pond’s
    A few years ago, I bought this “instant shower” stuff designed for camping.  It was pretty much moist sponges in a resealable packet you use to wipe your body.  I didn’t like them.  They left a sticky residue and they dried up after the first usage (the resealable package’s seal wasn’t quite airtight). 

    This time on a whim, I packed this Pond’s item from our medicine cabinent.  It has proven resealable capabilities– I’ve had it for some time and the little towelettes are as moist as ever.  They also have proven cleaning capabilities– When Sean first broke his foot this winter, this *was* his shower until he got his real cast (oh and his cast condom).

    I used two on this backpacking trip and found them to be quite refreshing.  I used them mostly as designed on my face, but then used the leftover moisture to wipe down the rest of my body.

    Entry filed under: Appalachian Trail, Hiking, Mount Rogers, SmartWool.

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    2 Comments Add your own

    • 1. PassionFish (mythruhike)  |  June 15, 2007 at 8:54 pm

      How were the Pro Packs? Taste wise and cooking wise. I’m looking around for some packs to supplement our dehydrated foods.
      My main concern is calories per serving and protein content.
      so how ’bout it?

      On another note, have you seen the MSR reactor? expensive but wow!!!!!

    • 2. tgaw  |  June 20, 2007 at 8:37 am

      I thought the ProPak was delicious. Very easy to cook– add boiling water and zip up the bag and let it sit for 8 minutes. With the beef stroganoff– it was very tasty. The fact that it included mushrooms was a bonus for me and the beef, although a little chewy, was flavorful.

      I think the beef stroganoff had 520 calories in it. I don’t remember the protein content off hand.


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