Stoves and Day Packs, oh my!

So in my research for the PCT, and in my ventures to Havasupai, I realized that if I wanted to make my own stories out in the backcountry, or even camping, I would need my own backpacking stove.

In Havasupai, I had to depend on someone else, T, to provide heated water for our ready to eat meals, and knowing that his and my relationship has been dissolved to nothing, I will no longer be depending on his equipment or insight for my future adventures.

Hence, my search for my first stove began!

Immediately, the predominant brand was the JetBoil series among many backpackers. I was set on getting the JetBoil Flash Lite because it was the lightest one of them all, and because as a true thru-hiker wannabe, I was focused on the weight.

However, the frugal side of me wanted the JetBoil Zip because it was only $79.95 compared to the Flash Lite, $99.95. Much cheaper, and almost the same weight.

But of course, I started reading reviews and discovered that the people who used the MiniMo and the MicroMo series really liked them as well. The MiniMo was more of a pot instead of a cup, but the MicroMo was almost just as light as the Zip, so I had a winner.

So how did I end up with the MSR Windburner Stove?

Well, while I was waiting for a sale, or for a moment of clarity that would spur me to buy my JetBoil MicroMo, and then I read a gear review from a PCT Thru-hiker–a random blog that I cannot even remember because I stumbled upon it. This person talked about the pros and cons about this stove, primarily its capability of COFFEE MAKING.

I was sold. Not to mention that the fuel life is about 30 minutes longer in the SPEC comparisons between all different brands. Finally, it was on sale for $99.99, and I couldn’t pass up that option. Yipee!

I was also perusing facebook when I saw a fellow hiker who said that she was in the market for a new daypack. Something in my brain clicked, and I thought, well, I should get one too.

Haha, I am such a sucker.

Anyways, the more I thought about it, the more it made sense. I couldn’t fit anything in my little Gregory Day Pack that was not the bare essentials. Not even an extra sweater would fit if I filled up my 3L bladder all the way. Plus, adding a first aid kit just eliminated any free space…no kidding, I found out it was only 16L! It was a pack that I took to Havasupai and it was PERFECT for it.

So as I began looking at bigger packs, I decided to stay within the Gregory options and began looking at bigger sized packs. Initially, I just wanted a slightly larger pack. But then, as I started to read product review of the packs between 30-35L, I began to realize that I could get a pack that not only was small enough for a daypack and would be light enough, but would be versatile.

I began to realize that backpacking trips are like my bloodlust. Havasupai was SO stressful for me because I was so out of my element, and the final weeks leading up to it and getting all my gear ready was just overwhelming. It was exciting but stressful. In that stress however, I realized how fun the process of planning was, and that I actually had a knack for it. I did not have an entire thing that I was missing, and it was because I was meticulous in my planning.

So in realizing this, I started pondering about backpacking, and through conversations with other hikers, I DO NOT HAVE TO TAKE WEEK LONG TRIPS. I could take a backpacking trip that was only one or two nights, just like a trip to Laguna or wherever.

So hence, my day-packing searching began. I wanted one around 25L, but as my backpacking borders were beginning to expand, I realized that I may want a bigger pack, one that can be lightened if necessary, but one I can stick a sleeping bag, a stove, a sleeping pad, and my tent, and meander to a mountain.

So because I am a indecisive, I decided to buy the Gregory J 28L AND  the 33L in order to test them both.

Kept the 33L and am so excited to start exploring the mountains nearby.

SO EXCITED. Okay, I’ll shut up.