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I’m a Porsche with No Brakes

Working Out the Kinks

My work has been closed for a two-week holiday break. Mandatory vacation for me and I am certainly not complaining! Spent Christmas in bed and the first week of my vacation super sick.  Took a Covid test five times to be sure, but it was just a nasty flu.  Been a while since I have had my ass kicked by a virus, and kick my ass it did! Just about fully mended now and taking full advantage of my days off by testing out my gear and messing around with my packing skills!

Bear Canister or Bag?

First problem solved.  I struggled with deciding to take a bear canister for my food or use a bag hang system. A bear canister is made out of a very hard smell-proof plastic (almost bear-proof), and a bear food bag can come in a variety of types and qualities (from smell and tear-resistant to a regular drybag) but will need to be hung from a tree or designed system at campsites.  I do not have any experience with either and decided to take the option recommended by the ATC, a bear canister.  To be honest, I have been regretting my decision up until a couple days ago.

First of all, I was unable to purchase the one that I wanted in Europe (Bearvault500), so had a friend mail me one from the US but still got taxed in customs.  So I paid about triple what the Bearvalt is worth (which was not inexpensive to start with). So now I have this very expensive awkward plastic vault for all my food, cook system, and other smellables (toothpaste, sunscreen, bug spray, chapstick, etc.).

Continue reading more details on Margaret Blauvelt's gear list here.


January 10, 2023

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Margaret Blauvelt

The Trek


Fresh drinking water is essential. This water filtration system ensures you will never run out as long as there is a nearby natural water source. It can filter out bacteria, protozoa and microplastics.

Allen Foster


Faster and more efficient than pumping or waiting for chemical treatments, the Sawyer Squeeze System offers on-the-go hydration at a good flow. This product is long-lasting, affordable, reliable, cleanable, and very user-friendly.

Alan Dixon


But Sawyer was way ahead of me — 15 years ahead, to be precise. In 2008, the brand started its Clean Water for All initiative, which provides Sawyer filters to developing countries around the world. And the company spends 90% of its profits funding it.

Shauna Farnell