I’ve always rather liked the concept of testing gear to its limits. To see just how good any piece of kit is. Indeed, my favorite pieces of equipment are almost always those that I have had the longest and which never seem to give up the challenge. They become a part of your outdoor identity and have earned the right of your company. Each with their own personality, stories and memories. The kit you just never consider an alternative to and never leave home without.
When you go backpacking during the July/August monsoon season in the San Juan mountains of Colorado you can expect rain and sometimes a lot of it like this summer, one of the top 5 wettest in history. It rained almost every day of this hike that began on June 23 at Cumbres Pass on the Continental Divide Trail (CDT) at the New Mexico/ Colorado border. Ironically, Deb and I drove to Chama, NM the day before where we discovered the town in a state of emergency! The entire town was without water due to an undiscovered leak and the town’s holding tanks had run dry. In town our favorite motel, the Chama Trails Inn, was open but with portable bathrooms in the lot and serving bottled drinking water. We made do with deli food from the nearby grocery store as I organized my gear.Continue reading