A while ago I played around with GPX files and uploading them to a Google Fusion table. You can upload them to google maps (the best method for smaller files) but the file can only be a few miles long which is really, really annoying.
Given that there’s been wildfires on the Great Divide Trail, and I will probably have to find another route, recording a trail might be useful. It won’t be available for this years hikers (because I’ll have to do the hike, then edit the file when I get home) but it might be useful for future hikers! I will try write down a little note about supplies in the area or that kind of thing. Fusion tables lets you add a lot actually, so I guess I could add it to the map, possibly (it’s reallllllllllllllllllllllllllly boring to do though, lol).
Some people suggest bounce boxes or mailing your supplies, but given that I’m from England, it’s a lot, lot more difficult. I can’t promise I will make extremely useful notes because I want to enjoy the hike and in my free time I want to take photographs, but if there’s anything you want me to make a note of, let me know and I’ll try.
Certain questions I have (silly things like water supply, washing, etc.), I’ll write down, hopefully answer them on the trail, and then if you have similar questions perhaps they’ll be answered.
Unfortunately, I have run into some unforeseen financial and health troubles. My legs work, and I will still be doing the hike (even if I have to sell a load of stuff). It’s just I’m in a depressing situation so I haven’t been around much. I don’t feel comfortable talking about it much further than that.
My plan is to try get a lot of nice photographs and build a following, so I feel even if I were comfortable writing about it, now is not the time as I want my site to be positive!
On a more positive note, it’s only a minor thing but Gatwick Airport and Air Transat have both agreed, via email, that it’s okay if I bring my titanium knife to Canada. I’m waiting to hear from Canadian customs if it’s legal to import though. Terrorists really screw things up for innocent people.
My flight has been booked to Canada. Certain parts of the GDT aren’t open yet (in Waterton) and may not be this summer, which is just my luck (I’m good like that) but I’m hoping I can navigate around the obstacles.
I feel like the list of items I’ve had to buy has been neverending. I saved some money with ravpower np-fw50 batteries (they’re much cheaper than Sony’s own) and I saved a few quid with a headnet, too (mine was only about £3 from China, haha.)
I realised that I had focused too much on equipment lately when I began booking camp sites. A few were taken, so I’ve had to pick other sites. This has promoted me into making a “mistakes I made with the GDT page.” I will add to it as I go along. Rather than wait until I’ve completed the GDT and add everything, I’ve posted it now and I’ll add each thing bit by bit so it’s fresh fresh in my memory.
This week I’ve really focused on clothing items and logistics. I decided to return the Arc’teryx Konseal as it is a nice fleece but it’s heavier and warmer than I need (hopefully.) The hood is a bit convoluted, specifically the balaclava bit. I’ve decided to buy a Delta LT instead, it’s a bit lighter and a separate balaclava can work with either the Delta LT or with my Atom LT jacket. My total base weight excluding camera gear is pretty respectable. The camera equipment I’ve chosen to bring much heavier than I’d like, and what I planned for the PCT was a lot lighter (two prime lenses) but this gives me way more photographic options. I’m considering sending home one lens, but I’ll see how things go.
I’ve found the route I need to take to get to the trail head, and it’s a long journey. I can’t book everything yet as there’s a website error. The trip if you’re in England is a coach to London -> fly to Calgary -> Shuttle to Greyhound Bus -> Greyhound to Pincher -> Motel -> Taxi to the Trailhead. I don’t know what public transport is like in Canada, but I’ll soon find out! Here it’s great. The heaters work in the summer and stop working in the winter.
I still need to buy some storage for my camera. I was hoping it’d drop a bit more in price with the GBP going up, but it hasn’t. I think 512 gb SD and 512 gb Micro SD will be enough to start with, if it’s not I’ll buy some more in Canada. You can soon rack up a huge bill with things like this, so I am trying to be careful. The backup system I decided on is going to be pretty simple. My phone case will allow me to take out the MicroSD card, I’ll then put in a new one, copy from the USB port to the MicroSD card and that’ll be it!
A part of me wants to arrange sponsorship, to get donations for charity, but after my PCT plans went tits up, I’m nervous I’ll embarrass myself! Does anyone else worry about this with through hikes? Mountain lions, wolves, grizzly bears, etc. They’re not really on my fear list. The fear of only hiking 2 miles in and then breaking an ankle. Now that’s another story, haha :).
A few more items have arrived! I own half of arc’teryx by now. I’ll definitely have a lot of equipment to review in the future, haha. At the end of the month, I should be placing an order for an opsack, bearbag, etc.
Now that the equipment side of things is completed, I’m going to focus on maps, navigation and permits :).
This post is going to be a bunch of unrelated gibberish much like the last, haha.
I’ve been researching a few final items for my hike in June/July, maps, apps, and everything in between.
I bought an Arcteryx Konseal fleece, I love it but it’s sooo long. It’s longer than the Arcteryx Atom LT jacket, and my Montbell Storm Cruiser rain jacket. I’ve ordered a medium and I’ll see if that fits better than the large. I get the impression my shoulders might be too wide for it, but we’ll see. The Arcteryx Konseal is an interesting fleece, it includes a hoody and a pseudo balaclava type thing, so although it’s quite heavy, it’s not that heavy when you include those separate items.
My Nitecore F1 charger has arrived, it weighs 29 grams. It can turn a single 18650 battery into a power bank, and so far I’m impressed with it. It charges slowly and its output isn’t that great, but what it does, it seems to do well. I also bought an Anker Powercore 13000 C, so I can have something with more amp-age. This will integrate with my other electronics quite well and I’ve grown to really like my little Zebralight.
Speaking of which, I did some additional tests in daylight, and the colour balance is real nice.
In regards to the mapping situation… For my Garmin Fenix 5x, I’ve downloaded openstreet maps, and I’ve basically downloaded every part of Canada, plus a file with all of Canada from another site. I’ll keep these on a MicroSD card and will be able to move files to and from my watch but I’ll probably keep them all on my watch as well (it has a lot of storage.) On my phone, I may have to pay a Gaia subscription, and there’s also a Great Divide Trail app you can get too which is cool! I’ve also downloaded a map (Ryan Silk’s GDT maps), in PDF form. I might print a few pages off or get someone else to print them. I’ll see.
The clothing situation still isn’t complete. I’ve fallen in love with Arcteryx, as they’re the only company that makes clothes which fit me well. I hate their prices though.
I’m thinking of getting some micro fleece bottoms, underwear, and some psiphon lf shorts. They’re for “rock climbing” but as I’ll only be taking one pair of shorts, I thought something a bit more durable than their normal fabric might make sense.
I also bought Berghaus Mens Paclite Pants but amazon sent the wrong length. The waist is also REALLY painful, like the elastic they’ve used is the worlds most powerful elastic? The trousers (pants) are more than wide enough if you stretch them out but the elastic makes them feel one size smaller. I’m considering getting another pair in extra large, but I’m also thinking about getting some Montbell Storm Cruiser trousers.
One of the problems for me is that the Great Divide Trail isn’t quite long enough for what I’d like. It’s funny, I’d have thought such a hike was really long years and years ago, but two months isn’t enough time to lose yourself in my opinion (or find yourself as it were.) If I buy slightly heavier clothing, it gives me more options. Additionally, if I do a SoBo and then NoBo hike, i.e. yoyo it, the durability will be a benefit. I don’t really have the experience to do that but it’s something in my mind.
I’m considering only taking the one camera lens too. My items are starting to pile up, but again I’ll think about it some more.
When I actually do the hike, my posts should improve a bit as I’ll be more passionate :). I don’t enjoy writing reviews much, so they’re of poor quality. I want to provide information after my hike, because the Great Divide Trail really doesn’t have that many websites with information (in comparison to the Pacific Crest Trail at least.)