Thanks to the generosity of friends, family, strangers and Novack’s, I have raised $2000. I’m still looking for generous donations to help me reach my $5500 price tag. In the mean time, I hope this post inspires you to Dream it. Do it.
Exams are starting to slow down, which means my training is starting to ramp up. Today, I decided to do two things that I’ve been wanting to do for a while: 1) Test out my new expedition jacket from Novack’s AND 2) Go for a hike with a weighted back pack.
Here are the things that I used for weights. I took two 5 lbs hand weights and four cans of beens and shoved them into my backpack. I carried the water bottle on the side as both a weight and a water source. The beans don’t weight too much, but with the water I was probably carrying 15 pounds. This is what the bag looked like when it was packed.
Now, this is not the backpack I will be taking on the expedition. This is actually my school bag, which I got from Novack’s last year. With shoulder problems and nerve issues in my hand it is very important that I have a backpack that will keep the weight off my shoulders. Between my laptop and textbook, my bag can get pretty heavy at school. The expedition backpack is twice the size and has been generously donated to me (thank you) from a family friend. Lucky for me it is the exact backpack that Novack’s suggested I take to Svalbard. The brand is Pine Ridge, one that Novack’s firmly stands behind. There are some key features that makes this pack great for the expedition:
1) Has a rain cover that tucks away in the bottom (for those snowy/rainy days on the coast),
2) There are multiple straps at the waist and shoulders to take the weight of my pack off my shoulders and onto my hips,
3) It has a back flap to cover all my straps when I travel (for bag protection). The important thing about my pack is that I know how to wear it properly.
Later this month I’ll be going back to Novack’s to get it properly fitted. Yeah, they offer great help like that. They’ve also been giving me great tips about how to take it on and off with ease (remember I’m carrying EVERYTHING in it . . . it’ll be heavy). Here is a picture of Andy showing me the pack.
Now, back to the hike.
The hike was really quite lovely. The trees are beginning their transition into spring and there was just a sprinkling of green along the trail.
I thought that this hike was a great chance to start testing out my new performance shell jacket provided by Novack’s. This jacket is made by Outdoor Research and is made with 70D Gore-Tex. This makes it waterproof, windproof, and comfortable. Since it is made with Gore-Tex, it is guaranteed for life (that’s pretty cool). This will be my outer shell and I’ll be wearing layers beneath it. If you want to learn more about the layering process check here, for an article by Novack’s. Here’s a view of my layering for today.
There are a couple of features this jacket has that will be key for my expedition:
1) Waterproof — I’ll be battling snow and rain and it is important that I keep dry,
2) Windproof — since we’ll be on a glacier we won’t be protected from the elements,
3) Underarm side zips — being able to unzip along the lateral sides of my body allows breathability when hiking, but will also be important when I’m wearing a harness as I traverse the glacier, and
4) Adjustable hood — this is large enough to fit a helmet under and can be adjusted to fit tight or loose to my head.
All the features that makes this shell great for the Arctic, makes it great as a hiking jacket here in Komoka. Although, the rain stopped before my hike began, the wind was absolutely really quite brutal. Even with the trees protecting me the wind was harsh. I was definitely thankful to be wearing this jacket. My core was extremely warm and because I layered, I was able to take my fleece off when I was climbing up a ravine. The jacket kept me quite warm, in fact my face was really the only exposed part on this hike and that’s where I felt coldest. At the end of the hike my upper body was well taken care of thanks to my Outdoor Resesearch jacket . . . next step however is foot and pant wear.
I hope you have gotten some information about how to dress for the great outdoors. Getting my gear together is great, however my fundraising has hit a lull. I’ve raised about $2000 thus far. There is still some pieces of equipment I need to buy: hiking boots, plastic moutaineering boots, wool socks, and more. I am still in need of help in reaching my $5000 goal. Thanks to the generosity of friends, family, strangers and Novack’s for helping me reach the $2000 mark.
Just to keep reader’s intrigued here is a glimpse of what is to come.
My battle with the dairy-filled ration packs . . . not looking forward to it!