As I round the corner to my next tour of the Great Allegheny Passage, what are my biggest challenges? You know, other than the pandemic thing. The GAP 4×44 Loop tour preview has all the answers…
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News and housekeeping
The GAP 4×44 Loop
Considered going lighter and hammock only, but decided to roll full loaded in case tent is a more comfortable solution (which it may be)
Considering a new camping hammock, but bringing my cheap one
Biggest challenge – water. Unlike the C&O, the GAP has very little water on-trail, and I’m going to assume those sources may be shut due to COVID.
Plan on bringing my water tank (4L) plus several .5L bottles to be safe
Heat index has been very high lately, so I’m assuming it may be the same.
Food. Toying with no stove for this trip and cold soaking or eating whole foods (good!) or stuff from cans (bad, but tasty!)
Cold bag – I might attempt some chilled delicacies and use a modified cold bag with frozen water bottle and cold brew for day 1 and buy ice at resupply after day 2 if I’m wanting to keep things cold for day 3 and the final night of camping. It’s easy to say yes to this for the first day and night since I would consume the melt on day 2. Tested it on the Brompton overnighter, so it works ok.
Limiting the clothing. Look, I talk a big game, but I tend to wear the same stuff. My partner may not be excited by this when she picks me up on day 4. I will bring at least 3 masks, 2 of which will be gaiter style. I’ve got one I really like that has elastic on both ends and that makes it ideal for holding above the nose. I have a new ear hook one I may use as my camp-only one.
New ride: the bike rides like a champ now that it’s been reconstructed. New fork is black, so the bike has a decidedly Frankenstein vibe, but that’s ok by me.
I’m glad I’ve done the whole trail before but I think I’ll miss completing the last 62 miles to PGH. Given that I’ve done the whole C&O in pieces this season, I might look to do that western third of the GAP in the fall, depending on how things go.
Next week’s show is the August Best Of, featuring Episode 087 on hot weather touring. You know, in case we get any hot weather ¯_(ツ)_/¯
The GAP 4×44 Loop Tour Journal will start August 13th and get us into Labor Day and the September best of, TBD
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Mark Van Raam