This was the third and last day of our backpacking trip. We packed up and left Telephone Pioneer Shelter headed toward our vehicle which was parked at a trailhead on New York Route 52. It was a cooler day which made it more comfortable to hike. We started the day hiking uphill. There was a deer on the trail. I love seeing deer.
During our three day hike, we saw and crossed so many rock walls. I was surprised at how many rock walls there were. The area before Nuclear Lake had some really odd rock walls. One I noticed was a complete rectangle, but didn’t appear to be an old foundation. One ran along the edge of a stream. These walls just seemed odd, odd placement, odd shapes, etc.
With cool temperatures, some easy terrain, and an end destination pulling us in, we moved faster today. We did 12 miles by noon.
We tried out a new water filtration system during this trip, the Katadyn Be Free Filter. In the past we have used a Sawyer Squeeze. The Katadyn was convenient and worked well. We drank right out of the Be Free most of the time. We each have one. When we wanted to carry more water, between water stops, we squeezed water from the Katadyn into Powerade bottles. You can get a larger water bladder that fits the same filter drink top as the Katadyn Be Free. Now, we will have to see if the Katadyn Be Free stands the test of time.
I also tried out Dirty Girl Gaiters. I have never bothered with gaiters before. I have mostly day hiked and haven’t gotten much debris in my shoes. When I wore hiking boots, I used to get much more debris inside my shoes. On a longer hike, though I didn’t want to deal with little bits in my shoes. I have an old pair of Salomon Speed Cross trail runners that I wear hiking. Despite the name, I don’t run or speed in them. I stuck a piece of Velcro, included with the Dirty Girls, on my shoes to hold the gaiters in the back. The front is held on by a hook attached to the laces.
The gaiters did their job and kept dirt out and were comfortable. I did have one issue. I got a rash on my ankle. My skin freaks out easily and gets small itchy, red hives at the drop of a hat. I used the gaiters on a later backpacking trip and didn’t get a rash until the fifth day. I like the gaiters and at this point will put up with a rash.
I also had a new backpack. I had a Gossamer Gear Gorilla. I got the retired version on clearance. The big difference between my version and the redesigned Gorilla is that my pack has a brain. The Gorilla is an ultralight backpack. The pack worked really well. I love the hip belt pockets! The only issue I had is that the bump of bone on my shoulders got sore to the touch. I didn’t mind this though. I like the removable back pad. When we stop for a break, I can take the pad out and use it as a seat pad. Here is a link to the new Gorilla.