Thursday, December 8, 2011

Getting in Trail Shape

Check out our Training page! We posted our training program that we developed to get into trail shape. We both are pretty sore after the first week, but we'll keep you updated with our progress.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Home Cookin'

Well it was a busy weekend for us as we decided to set out and decide the best stove option for our thru hike of the PCT.  We had done some research previously and decided that an alcohol stove would be best for us, so now all we needed to do was to sit down and come up with some designs to try out here at home.

Before I talk too much about how our various designs and tests came out, we would like to put out a BIG thank you to the #1 reference for us during this process, Zen Backpacking Stoves!  You can visit the site here. If you are looking for a great place to learn how to construct an alcohol stove for your next backpacking trip you can poke around and find a HUGE selection of templates and explanations of the different designs out there.  It was a great resource for us, and we're going to use their template for a windscreen/pot holder once our order of titanium foil arrives.

So after a lot of research, we decided to sit down and start to construct 5 to 6 variations of the classic Pepsi Can stove (using Miller Light cans we decided to utilize since we HAPPENED to have a 20 pack in the fridge).  These stoves are lightweight, dependable and you can find fuel for them in pretty much any store along the way.  For our purposes we used 90% isopropyl (not recommended as it does not burn very clean) and  95% Denatured Alcohol which worked great for our at home tests.  Here are some pics of the construction process:

Needless to say, Kristin wasn't too happy I set up shop on her Christmas themed dining room table.

This is an extremely high tech can cutting machine (razor blade/ cook book) and should not be operated without a license.

 Again, I am a certified technician.

 Ah, the push pin drill bit....a tool no stove maker should be without!

 As you can see, each cutting tool has its place.

Because we've already settled on a pot to use (a $7 grease strainer from Wal-Mart) we came up with the following versions of stoves to try and boil water and cook simple noodle meals on.

After multiple tests, we narrowed it down to (from left to right), stove #1, #3 and #4.  Stoves #1 and #4 are basically the same design, however instead of using a push pin for the jets as we did on #1, we used a #9 sewing needle on stove #4.  We haven't narrowed it down any further from there as the stoves are all comparable with their boil times, fuel efficiency, etc. so we will decide on which design we will take on our hike as we begin to try more trail recipes in the coming weeks.  We chose these designs because they were the best fit for us, and it will be that way for every hiker I imagine.  We liked that we could design a simmer adapter for these stoves to control heat output and create longer burn times, and they just worked really well with the size of our pot.

Here's some pics of one of the versions we like in action, pay no attention to the temporary pot holder, as it is a candle holder that just happen to hold our pot 1.75" from our stove, which is the distance that seems to work the best.  Once our shipment of aluminum foil arrives we will ditch the candle holder and build a windscreen/pot holder for our system.

 Jets firing right up!

Note the uncontrollable boil, and the addition of a simmer adapter (not pictured).

This last picture is a modification/addition to the pot lid that came with our stove.  We are still playing around with it, but basically it acts as a frying pan that can sit on top of the pot while other food cooks, or can sit directly over the stove.  Again, still playing with this "invention" and seeing what works and what doesn't.

We ate off our stove and temporary pot holder all weekend cooking Ramen Noodles, Mac & Cheese and some Knorr Noodle meals.  All worked GREAT!  Needless to say we are getting more excited by the day for our thru hike!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Free to Walk!

Last Friday was my (Seth's) last day of work!  So this has been the first week I've been free to begin planning and training for the PCT!  So far I've been able to do 11 miles a day (while still taking care of other responsibilies) mixing hiking, running, stairs and walking the dogs.  Just wanted to update any followers out there as we haven't been able to post for a while.  Look for many more posts soon!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Happy Feet!

A big thanks to Waldies for donating a pair of AT Clogs to the both of us. We are sure to have happy feet around camp.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Special Thanks to Our 1st Sponsors

We are officially sponsored hikers!!! A special thank you to our very first sponsors: Hot Chillys and the StickPic!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Sponsorship Update

Our search for sponsorship support has begun! We are eager to see who will be interested in our thru-hike.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Amateur Radio

KJ6PSN - Seth
KJ6PSO - Kristin

Listed above are our amateur radio call signs. For those of you who do not know, we are licensed amateur radio operators (yes, we are HAMs). We were encouraged by Kristin's dad, Richard, to get our technicians licenses and purchase a few handheld radios. So far we have been having a lot of fun with our radios and have used them on a few of our training hikes.

While we are hiking the PCT, we will attempt to share our experiences over the airways of amateur radio.  During these broadcasts we will speak with other members of the amateur radio community about our experiences along the trail. Even those of you without radios can listen to our broadcasts over the Internet.

We will be making a  HAM Plan before we go on the trip and will update our blog with a list of times and dates of our planed broadcasts and what frequencies we will be using.

Click on the links below to listen to live streaming audio of these systems:
WIN System
PAPA System

Check out our Amateur Radio page.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

HERE WE GO! Seth & Kristin On The PCT!

If you are visiting this website for the first time, you are finding out that we have decided to virtually vanish from society for approximately 6 months in the Summer of 2012 and thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail.  If you have not heard of the trail before, this may not seem like much. However, upon further exploration of our journal (and a bit of googling around) you, like we did over two years ago, will begin to fully understand the daunting task that is the PCT. 
If you are current family or friend, you may be asking yourself, “What in the world are these two thinking?”  But trust us, there is nothing you are thinking or are going to think about this adventure that we haven’t already thought of ourselves.  We think (humor intended). 
The decision to take a journey that demands as much time, commitment, training, resources, etc. that the PCT does was not one we have taken lightly. 
SO, first of all we’d like to say to our families………We promise, it’s all going to be ok! 
After first reading about the PCT two and a half years ago we were ready to go then!  But after further research and things like graduations and jobs getting in the way, we were forced to put it on the back burner.  But now, with our diplomas on the wall, rings on our fingers, and our jobs becoming a little more soul crushing each day, we’ve decided to say, “The Hell With It!” We are going to step out on the trail and actually live life while it’s still there to live and enjoy.  It won’t be glamorous or relaxing (all the time).  It’s going to be difficult, hot, cold, windy, wet and dry.  But it will also be personally fulfilling and an opening to the next chapter in our life together.
On this website we will chronicle our preparation for the PCT and once out on the trail we will continue to keep a journal of all our experiences along the way.  Leading up to our big departure, we will share everything from gear selection, food preparation, what we will do with our possessions while we are gone, and training hikes.
Many of you will more than likely not know everything there is to know about the PCT, so check out our PCT Facts section of the site to become more familiar with some of the interesting factoids about the trail.  Some of the sections of the site are not finished yet, and more than likely never will be.  They will continue to grow as our trip grows closer, and even more once we have left.  We are looking forward to all your support, and stay tuned, it’s sure to be an interesting adventure!