Miles: 0 (@ Kick Off)
-Sunday. Kick Off is over. Time to pack up and leave. But wait. Shit. We just got invited to a party with The Andersons (amazing trail angels). Their Sunday after Kick Off party is a tradition. Kelso, Story Time, and Giggles left Lake Morena, but Puff, Moist, 1-Track and I decided to stay. It would be fun to be with everyone a bit longer, and I had to wait to mail a box home on Monday, so there was no point in hurrying. We moved to their camp, set up, mingled, drank, warmed up by the fire, and ate Terri Anderson's famous chili. I had a rice crispy treat from Kushy which was yummy too.
-1-Track asked Puff and Moist for help "shaking down" his pack. A shake down means you empty your pack completely of every little thing. Then you comb through your gear with experienced ultralight backpackers and go over things you need and thing you can do without. Shakedowns are a way of life for a long distance backpacker. With every shakedown, you realize you can part with a few more items which, over time, will make your backpack weigh less and less. There is an "ultralight" school of thought when it comes to backpacking which uses Ray Jardin's mantra that "the fun goes up when the weight goes down." It's true. Having a lightweight backpack makes all the difference in the world. 1-Track had never had a shakedown, and I wasn't even going to try since no one likes it when little sister tries to tell you to get rid of your gear. I figured Moist and Puff would be better at offering their input. It was a success and 1-Track lightened his pack weight by about 3 pounds which was a great improvement (3 pounds is a lot of weight by backpacker standards).