It has been a summer of dreams. They usually are. The snow clears out, the animals are out in plenty, the trails open up and suddenly there’s a whole new world to explore. Right out our back door. The Eastern Sierra backcountry. A place where dreams turn to reality. A place some wild and free mountain monkeys call home.
This summer I dove head first into the world of trail running which became incredibly fun for me because of the amount of terrain I could cover in a short amount of time. Suddenly, things that would take years of mellow hiking for me to see, I was able to accomplish in just a few short hours; alone. Mix trail running in with some solid mountain climbing, and boom! Suddenly you’ve got a backcountry mountain mutant; and I’ve gotta say, I’ve honestly never had more fun.
Jason has taught me a lot in the mountains. He has taught me how to stay motivated for long durations of time, how to move swiftly across rugged mountain terrain ultra light and fast and how to endure the “pain” and pleasure of it all; sustainably. Along with that kind of invaluable knowledge, I’ve also had the opportunity to sample a range of gear that makes life out there so much easier.
There is a plethora of outerwear and gear that I have grown deeply fond of (which I should make an individual post about), but for the sake of this post, I’ll just list a couple of my trail running favorites that are always in my pack.
First, I’ll start with my favorite and trusty Osprey Rev 6 running pack. Small, compact, stretchy and fast, this is my go-to day pack for high mileage days. The stretch of the pack moves perfectly with your body as you move across technical terrain. It becomes part of you and after a while, you won’t be able to tell it’s even there.
Second is the super-slim and lightweight EnerPlex Jumpr Slate power bank to charge my iPhone. I use my cell phone as a multi-tool device. I can read my mileage, use topo maps, take photos, etc. However, as we all know, when we use multiple features on our phones the battery life diminishes quickly. This uber lightweight power bank is an awesome backup for all backcountry adventures.
The third item I will mention in this blog that I never leave home without is the Patagonia Houdini shell. Also extremely light weight, this jacket is the best light weight and extremely packable trail running jacket I have came across. Used to protect yourself from wind and mild elements, this jacket does a lot. I have been in torrential downpours that left my belongings soaked for days; however, despite contrary assumptions, this Houdini jacket left me totally dry. I never believed it until I experienced it myself, but trust me. This jacket works!
Trends and fashions come and go. Some backcountry gear is liked one second, then gone the next; but these are the things I have came to love. Trends and fashions don’t mean squat in the backcountry. We want reliability and productivity.