Greetings from Southern California, and Happy 2018!
I hope you enjoy this inaugural newsletter for AT-level and above Patreon supporters. Future issues will be password-protected, which will be sent to you via email. If you aren’t already a supporter, please check out my project page and sign up to help supportpubliclands.com!
December was a busy month: prepping for my upcoming long walks to honor the 50th Anniversary of the National Trails System Act of 1968, road-tripping to New Mexico to house-sit for family, and the holidays. Here’s a summary of December project highlights!
News & Highlights
The NPS & US DOT Collaborate to Produce the Nation’s First ‘Noise Map’ (via Outside Magazine)
Bringing Veterans into the Outdoor Industry Workforce (via Outdoor Industry Association)
Did you know? $18/night (only $9 for lifetime Interagency Pass holders!) gets you your own PENINSULA on the US Army Corps of Engineers-administered J. Strom Thurmond Dam & Lake on the South Carolina / Georgia border!
#11 at the Modoc Campground is the best site I have EVER had. By forgoing RV hookup amenities, you get almost 30% off the regular site rate, privacy, and more beach than you’ll know what to do with. Learn more about this awesome spot on the blog.
ULA Ohm 2.0
3 of 4 packs I’ve carried since returning to backpacking in 2012 have been ULAs. This is my second Ohm 2.0, probably one of the least well-known packs in the product line, but my absolute favorite.
The Ohm 2.o sports incredibly spacious side, back, and hipbelt pockets, so I can access virtually anything I’d need during the day without having to get into the main body. Stripped of the non-essential extra items, even with the more bomb-proof and durable custom color fabric, the Ohm weighs less than 2 pounds. **NOTE: most bear cans will not fit in the Ohm, but can easily be strapped to the top, meaning less hassle from rangers in areas where a hard-sided bear can is required since it is easily visible.
Custom color ordering options will be available soon, but you can already personalize your ULA with embroidery on the side panel. Most people opt for their trail names, which can be helpful when trying to find your pack among the stack of ULAs typically lined up outside the store or restaurant in any trail town, and it’s probably also a theft deterrent.
ULA packs are made in the USA, and their customer service is incredible. I ordered this custom pack the week before Christmas, and it was in the hands of the USPS and on its way to me in less than FIVE HOURS.
If you’re in the market for a new pack, check out ULA’s redesigned and easier-to-navigate website to see their full line. And make sure to let them know SuperClassy sent you!
Pack-buying Pro Tips:
- Pick your pack LAST: amass all your gear and a typical re-supply, THEN buy the smallest possible pack that will fit it all. If you have extra space in your pack, you’ll probably fill it, which means more weight.
- Try before you buy: the only way to assess whether a pack will be comfortable is to try it on, loaded. This can be more challenging with packs from cottage manufacturers, but ask around! Chances are, someone you know has the pack you’re considering.
- Get an accurate torso measurement: this is vital to ensuring your pack’s hipbelt rests where it should for max comfort – from the bottom of your waist over the top portion of your hips. This video has detailed instructions on measuring your torso.
Pre-Adventure: Breakfast Bowl
Rich in protein and supplying around a third of the recommended daily value of fiber, this breakfast bowl is also high in calcium, iron, and potassium, in addition to vital minerals manganese, magnesium, and copper. The variations possible with this recipe are virtually endless – have fun! If you’re concerned about saturated fat, swap in low- or no-fat Greek yogurt. 482 calories per serving.
- 1 1/4 cup Barbara’s Morning Oat Crunch (protein, fiber, iron, potassium)
- 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt (calcium, protein, potassium)
- 1/2 cup fresh blueberries (Antioxidant Superfood! Vitamins C & K, potassium, manganese)
- 1 T raw organic cacao nibs (potassium, magnesium, copper, manganese) – Find them here via Austin, TX-based small business Wild Foods!
- 1 1/2 t honey
- Dash vanilla extract
- Sprinkle powdered ginger to taste (antioxidant, anti-inflammatory)
Out There: Nut & Berry Wrap with Jerky
Maybe it’s because I’ll eat virtually anything once I get on-trail, I am so hungry, but I came up with this oddity on a weeklong PCT trip last summer in Washington’s North Cascades. It’s got good protein, plenty of calories, simple and complex carbs, and some actual nutritional value, unlike many no- or quick-prep trail foods. With the jalapeño jerky, all 5 taste sensations get hit! Bonus: it’s stoveless, super fast to prep, and there’s virtually no clean up other than licking your peanut butter knife clean, so you don’t need to carry any extra water for it. I can’t provide an exact calorie count, because it changes every time.
- Large tortilla
- Nut butter
- Raw nuts
- Dried fruit (blueberries, cranberries, &/or goji berries provide superior nutritional benefit)
- Jalapeno beef jerky
Pro tip: I usually carry a baggie with most of these ingredients pre-mixed: nut butter, dried berries, raw nuts, honey sticks (most of these bust open in a food sack and leak everywhere) and just add to it as it gets low with whatever is available and sounds good; I’ve even put Nutella in there. Then I just seal the baggie and moosh everything around to mix it up. Then I only have one container to dig out instead of 4-5 separate items making prep even easier.
Pro pro tip: Be careful to NOT let aforementioned baggie blow out in your food bag. My dinner one night on the PCT literally consisted of me licking this mix off of other items, which was the opposite of fun and delicious, but… no calorie left behind!
In January, I’m heading out to start the Florida National Scenic Trail, the first of four long trails I’m planning to do in 2018 in honor of the 50th anniversary of the National Scenic Trails Act of 1968, which makes all of our National Scenic and Recreation Trails possible. Since I’ll be away from a real computer most of the year, project updates will be mainly by video blog, so make sure to subscribe to my YouTube channel!
Thank you so much for your support for this project. I hope you have a wonderful month… Get out there and have a great time exploring, enjoying, and advocating for our public lands!