Learnings

  1. Lake Superior weather is no joke.
  2. Don't listen to anyone who asserts that their way is the only way.
  3. Even if you don't think a tip sounds like a good idea, you might want to try it.  You never know.
  4. When your pants get wet, even if it's just tall grass covered in dew, your socks get wet.  When your socks get wet it doesn't matter how waterproof your boots are.
  5. I can not eat two pounds of food a day.
  6. At some point you'll be pitching your shelter in really shitty weather.
  7. Always use a topo map when route planning.
  8. If random but fortuitously-placed walking sticks save your ass not once but twice - buy a proper walking staff.
  9. I was not meant to wear heavy boots.
  10. Exped > Therm-a-Rest.
  11. The most expensive rain gear is not necessarily the best.
  12. One liter of water weighs 2.2 pounds.
  13. Permathrin, Permathrin, Permathrin (I hate ticks).
  14. If you decide to ignore #13, the Liberty Mountain Tick Key actually works.
  15. Backpacking GAS is worse than guitar GAS.
  16. I'm a "vest guy".
  17. There is no such thing as bad weather, only bad gear (I stole that, it's a great quote).
  18. iPhones suck at wildlife photography.
  19. Lighter is usually (but not always) better.
  20. I would rather be hungry the last day than carry out extra food (which doesn't stop it from happening).
  21. My favorite dinner is Mountain House Pro-Pak Beef Stroganoff, which has 1680 milligrams of sodium.
  22. If you think you're going to have to "go" - dig your hole while there's still daylight.
  23. The worse the weather, the more likely all the shelters will be full.
  24. I am not wired for taking my time on the trail.
  25. One day of coming down a mountain can beat me up more than two days going up.
  26. Northern Goshawk parents with a nest are mean as hell and not afraid of you.  Swinging a trekking pole over your head while you haul ass out of the area will keep the dive bomb attacks from actually hitting you.
  27. Moose do not smell very nice.
  28. Places like Pigeon Forge and Wisconsin Dells are an abomination.
  29. Regular backpackers think ultralighters are crazy.  Ultralighters think regular backpackers are crazy.  One of us is right.
  30. Cuben Fiber is worth the money.