Happiness and contentment in life come from the merging of Opportunity and Talent. My Dad had Talent but no Opportunity so could not find a way to learn to play the Violin. I had Opportunity but no Talent -- I lack the physical ability to complete a Thru Hike of the Appalachian Trail. I failed to learn this lesson even after numerous section hikes, but in the Spring of 2013, after 41.6 miles hiking in MD and PA, I learned the lesson that Dad had in mind when he told me to "hike the Trail." This Blog is now about the Merging of Opportunity and Talent more than it is about hiking the Appalachian Trail, but I still plan to include snippets of the Trail in the Blog. It's about Chasing the Trail of Life. I hope you enjoy my posts.

COMPUTER TRESPASS---RCW 9A.52.110---Computer trespass in the first degree.

(1) A person is guilty of computer trespass in the first degree if the person, without authorization, intentionally gains access to a computer system or electronic database of another; and (a) The access is made with the intent to commit another crime; or (b) The violation involves a computer or database maintained by a government agency.

(2) Computer trespass in the first degree is a class C felony.

This Blog is Dedicated to my Dad. Although he never accomplished his dream of learning to play the Violin, he did construct and play a Dulcimer at an Elderhostel.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Researching Gear

I spent most of my time yesterday researching one item of gear: sleeping bags. 

I use a bivy, ground cloth, torso pad and tarp.  Most people use a tent, some use a tarp, few use bivies. 

Bivy is from the French term "bivouac."  It is the term used to describe mountaineers and soldiers making a temporary camp by wrapping themselves up in their woolen blankets or perhaps animal hides.  My bivy is more sophisticated than that.  It's made of waterproof material on the bottom, water-repellent material on the top, and has no-see-um netting from shoulder to head height.  Entry and egress is made possible by zippers which open the top 1/3.  My REI Minimalist Bivy is approximately five years old and is RED in color.  I recently ordered a Tyvek Ground Cloth to use under my bivy.  I will cut it to size [larger than the bivy and round the corners] so that I'm not carrying extra weight.  My Silnylon Poncho-Tarp will be held up by my REI Trekking Poles with the use of a new item I found, Trekking Pole Cups. My guy-lines will be light reflective cord, for stakes, I'll use the MSR mini-ground hogs. 

As stated, I spent most of yesterday researching WhiteBlaze and Backpacking Lightweight, two websites with Backpacking Forums and all kinds of hiking related information.  I looked at a lot of sleeping bags referenced in those two sites. 

At the end of the day, I settled on two specific sleeping bags, one from Western Mountaineering and one from Eastern Mountain Sports.  Both were high quality goose down and both were in the $369 and UP range.  It's not that I don't want to spend money on quality items, it's just that I had that 'gut feeling' that I was missing something. 

I had gone to bed but not to sleep when it occurred to me that I had not studied the REI sleeping bags in my research and I got up 'in the middle of the night' and used my iPhone to do some 'stealth web searching.'  

And I found what I was looking for: a lightweight women's sleeping bag with polyester on the bottom and a wrap-around top filled with 800-fill goose down.  The advantage of this arrangement is that the back-side or bottom of the sleeping bag compresses any insulation up against the sleeping pad.  I sleep on my back and do not toss and turn, so this arrangement is not only 'ideal' the price is reasonable.  [I use a sleeping pad which went out of production in 2009; a Pacific Outdoor Equipment Uber Lite Torso Pad.]

Tomorrow on to a new adventure: A massage.

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