Zenbivy:What item(s) in your pack would you describe as "luxury items"? And what's the strangest thing in your pack?
Journey Man: Looking at everything laid out helped me see I have quite a few luxury items… I also believe some luxury items can be up for debate. Some may see an extra pair of socks as luxury, but I think they are almost a necessity. I would highly recommend having more than one pair. As for the other luxury items such as down booties. Probably not necessary, but oh so luxurious! The back country bidet is also luxury, but can easily fall into the category of a necessity. My cork ball, thicker winter gloves, pot scrapper, tiger balm, headphones, notepad, camera and all the extra doodads that go with it such as the backpack mount, extra battery and charging port. Soooo yeah, just a few luxury items…
Mantis: My strangest piece of gear overlaps as a luxury item and perhaps one of my favorite pieces of gear as well—my pot scraper. I love it because I can get every morsel of my dinner! Additional luxury items include my town clothes, camp shoes, my small journal, and pillow.
Snackbar: The Rawlogy mini massage ball is one of my “luxury” items. Totally travel sized and like having a spa day in your tent. If you’re hiking big mile days for me this is a must have item. [My strangest thing in my pack is a] Lego hiker. Sent to me by my dad and totally unnecessary (it’s a toy) but it brings me a lot of joy and lil’ Snackbar is quite photogenic.
Zenbivy: What is the least favorite piece of gear you are carrying and why?
Journey Man: My least favorite piece of gear was my Nemo air pad because it had a huge rip in it and leaked every night to the point where I was on the ground within 45 minutes of blowing it up. Luckily Zenbivy sent me a replacement and it has been wonderful in this last section!!! Thank you Zenbivy for a full night's rest and no sore backs in the morning!
Mantis: My least favorite gear is my snow gear—ice ax, waterproof tall gaiters, additional pair of weatherproof gloves, and microspikes. Though this gear is important in necessary conditions, it is frustrating to carry it through 80°F+ weather!!
Snackbar: My Trekking Poles. Now this is a somewhat complex situation. I thought I enjoyed using poles while hiking (I have in the past) so I am carrying a shelter this year that pitches using the trekking poles (first time with this style of shelter) however I haven’t used my poles to hike in nearly two months (I just find having my hands free and relying on my legs more comfortable) and they take up quite a bit of space on the outside of my pack/weigh more than most ultralight tent poles sets. If I had known I was going to hike without poles I would be carrying a more traditional tent and not have to deal with strapping the trekking poles to my pack each morning.
Zenbivy: What is your favorite piece of gear (not Zenbivy) you are carrying and why?
Journey Man: My favorite piece of gear is actually one of my luxury items. It is my Canon EOS M50 camera. I use it everyday and love capturing the moments and the people. It helps me slow down and really appreciate the small things like flowers and fungi, but also see the larger picture and the grandiose views! Overall I love all my gear! To have everything I need on my back is a strange, but rewarding feeling!
Mantis: My favorite piece of gear—my pot scraper. I love it because I can get every morsel of my dinner!
Snackbar: My pack! Legitimately could not be happier with the size, comfort, features and durability of my 40 liter Crestone pack from Neighborhood Packs. Being in love with the piece of gear I ask the most of is quite a treat! Many hikers go the whole trail with a pack that doesn’t fit properly or is too large for their overall needs, not this hiker (humble brag?)
Sleep, oh glorious sleep. It is not always easy to achieve on trail, though! When I get into camp, all I want to do is just throw down my pack and collapse in a heap, but there are many tasks to do before I can rest. The tent must be pitched, my bed made...
From food wrappers to water bottles, take-out containers and utensils, single-use plastics are everywhere in our day to day lives.... Turns out: you can't even escape them out in the wilderness. While thru-hikers are typically living for months with a much smaller environmental footprint than the average American, we wanted to challenge our Ambassadors to see if they could try to eliminate all single-use plastics from their thru-hikes.