Ask Darwin Q&A #42 w/ Neemor

by: Darwin onthetrail

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hey guys it's Darwin here with my weekly Q&A to answer more of your questions if you want to ask a question for next week's Q&A you can either leave it in the comment box below or send me a video question over to Darwin on the trail at and then next week I'll answer as many as I possibly can all right so as promised in last week I have a special guest here on the Q a mr. Neame or how we doing sir I'm good we I asked last week for you guys to ask some general questions for both of us to answer about long-distance hiking so we're gonna try our best and answer as many as we possibly can have you ever considered barefoot or minimalist shoes for a hike not necessarily five fingers more like the marrow trail gloves so as some of you guys might know the shoe that I prefer is the ultra Lone Peak 3.5 I've been hiking that now for about a year and I used to use more of a like traditional I can chew like the marrow Moab but this has become my favorite hiking shoe and it is definitely minimalist it is zero drop so not a crazy amount of cushion what about you I started out with my first pair of minimalist shoes was the superior by ultra and I used that on the Pacific Crest Trail and then after that I switched over to some Merrill's I used the treble of threes and the treble of fours and then I also bought their vapor glove which is a very very thin down version of the trail glove and there's almost no soul there it's basically walking on a very thin piece of rubber and then this later this year I started using some shoes by zero' the prio and then also these that I used the Grand Canyon the high-top version which are pretty minimal these are the daylight hiker as far as barefoot shoes go I think if your feet are strong and you're ready for it I mean I like them a lot personally I know people can start to have problems when they switch to a barefoot shoe specifically with their Achilles is that mostly I guess yeah I think I've had the same problem I had a pair of the five fingers actually for quite some time I tried to do a couple hikes in them and yet it wouldn't happen I tried really hard yeah I think Achilles problem is what a lot of people have a problem with just not strong enough to be able to handle something like a barefoot especially whenever you have a pack on your back or that extra weight it just doesn't always work for everybody yo Darwin what up e from Jersey coming to you live from Norman Green State Forest in New Jersey just I just want to know you ever got burnt cooking with your stove I just used my MSR pocket rocket and folding up the stove could it burn my fingers do you recommend bringing any burn cream or anything for burns have you ever been burnt on the trail let me know you from Jersey watch love love the channels of the videos keep them coming holla back so I personally don't carry any type of burn cream or anything usually I just burned my fingers and then I scream obscenities really loud but I try not to after I get done cooking I'll turn my stove off and just let it sit for a while if I am gonna grab it I'll usually like grab my buff and grab the stove just to make sure that I'm not gonna burn my fingers but no no burn cream burn your hand on the stove ever I don't know if I've ever burned myself back packing the majority of the hiking I've done has been without a stove and I rarely light fires so that pretty much keeps me away from getting wrecked yeah no no burn cream for either of us just be cautious don't burn yourself man I also got a few questions from some of my patrons and the first one is for Darwin how are you gonna be filming your upcoming PCT hike also how often will you be putting out videos so I'll be filming with the camera and I will be filming as much as I can on the trail kind of vlog style probably pretty similar to what you did and then I'll be uploading it once a week I'm gonna try to get like a month out on the trail before I actually start putting out videos so I can have enough time and then all yeah I'll just be doing a weekly video from the trail in that kind of vlog style hiking past the camera style you know the typical hike video so you know okay I mean you're taken already yeah I'll be taking the canon g7x mark - as of now that is my camera of choice and what I've been using on the trail when a few more establish thru-hikers head out on the trail together do they share supplies and shelters or do they hike their own hike but alongside each other yeah I think that mainly its hike your own hike I've never shared gear with anybody aside from my wife snuggles we have obviously hiked the 80 together the entire 80 and we did share some gear we shared a tent and then we also shared a cook system aside from that everything else was different and yeah we just kind of like our own hike even sharing stuff we still hack her own hike and there were times of the day that I wouldn't see her all the way through the day and we would meet up at the end at a shelter or a campsite so but you think with especially with longer stuff it can be it can be a problem if one person either decides to get off the trail or they're injured and you're sharing gear Hey we were talking about this earlier and them getting off the trail can totally ruin your hike or blow your budget or something like that so it's definitely has its pluses to not sharing gear but I mean if you share gear you can both have a lighter system I met a family on the 80 in 2015 who they all had pretty light packs because they all cook together and they all had like they had a couple shelters but they were all able to share all the weight so yeah I mean when snuggles and I hiked the 80 we had the same tent and we split it up to split the weight up but I think if we were gonna do it again we talked about it we would have our own separate tents and our own separate cook system just because there was a lot of times where I might get to a campsite before she gets there and then if I'm hungry I'm kind of waiting on her other half to be able to like fire up my stove and stuff it's like she would carry the fuel and I would carry the stove so yeah I totally agree with that I don't my name is Tommy I've been watching your channel for a little bit trying to get into backpacking I really liked your ultralight gear in a budget videos I really like those I was wondering do you carry mag bars for a backup fire starter or no no no I've never carried a mag bar I've seen him but little too heavy I just carry a Bic lighter good and simple I had one like that when I was in scouts that had a little antler horn that I got for Christmas yes I've never actually used it to start a fire but now I've just carried like I've carried lighters before or I just won't carry any fire starter it depends on the trip just curious what you cold soak your food in I've read about hikers using peanut butter jars etc I would like to try it but don't want to risk any leaking in my pack so the jar that I am currently using as my cold soaking container is a tol NT gelato jar which is really sweet because they're like only eight bucks and you get free ice cream with them so they have a really nice seal and to this point I've pretty much been able to put all the types of food that I want a cold soak in it I haven't needed any more room than that so it's you know about that big it works about you I did cold soaking on the 80 in 2015 and I used a peanut butter jar I was really lazy about cleaning it though and it got pretty gross and then I got sick from it so since then what I've done is I'll just open the packaging that the food comes in and pour the water into that and let it sit it works but you can also like tip it over pretty easy but yeah that works for me and then sometimes it blocks I brought a ziplock on our trip that we did this week and worked well for me yeah and then there's some containers out there Vargo makes a thing called the bot that is a metal container so if you want to cook with it you can but it does have a screw top seal lid so it's good for cold soaking - yeah is it going Darwin my name is David I'm from the LA area in Southern California I have a question for you I purchased one of these down jackets Mountain Hardwear down jackets just like the one that you have just wondering how do you pack this thing do you roll it up or do you just stuff it in your backpack so I just stuff mine I usually just jam it down on my pack into like any open areas to try to fill space and add maybe a little bit of cushion on my back I've never never rolled it up or folded it or anything that's I stuff most of my gear stuff things just better yeah I generally don't use any stuff sacks except for like a liner to keep everything dry and then my food bag because everything can smash down together and fit in your pack a lot easier and I think I've set it in the past that you know a lot of jackets and tents and rain flies have a DWR coating so whenever you fold them or if you roll them you can actually put little creases in the fabric and break down that DWR coating a lot faster so by stuffing you kind of eliminate that process at least a little bit and it makes the garment last a lot longer what's your favorite meal on the trail my favorite meal still to the day and something that I am NOT burnt out on it all is instant mashed potatoes Idahoan because Betty Crocker are total crap and they're really handy so Idahoan like loaded or four cheese mashed potatoes with like a tuna packet that is definitely my favorite meal I would say probably chili ramen noodles right now a lot of food in the past three years of eating trail food I've got burnt out on almost all of it except ramen a couple other things that I really amazing a couple other things that I really like to bring our tomato and basil Wheat Thins and a bag of carrots which Darwin is pointing out that those aren't good for calories but terrible for calories I don't really care for crunch but yeah those are a few things that I've been bringing recently also taco chips I was wondering about rain suits I want to step away from a traditional rain suit and start using a backpack poncho wonder what your thoughts are about using those and if anybody if you've seen anybody wear them and how they done for you thanks have used the poncho never I used the poncho for quite a bit on the Appalachian Trail this past year and switching from a rain jacket a few of the benefits are you always have a breeze going through I guess that's a benefit and a downside if you're on like some big mountains out west and there's a breeze like it's not going to do anything to keep you but if you're down in the trees it does a great job and it also stops you from sweating another cool thing is a lot of them can be set up as a shelter depending on which kind you get but that can be used for a shelter for eating lunch under or if you're really ultralight just as your only shelter another downside of it is if the winds blowing through that keeps you from sweating but it also doesn't act as a warmth layer so the majority of the time that I use my rain jackets it's not to keep the rain off it's to keep warmth in like when I'm setting up camp or something it's just another layer of warmth yeah I'm the same way and it's a reason like why I don't wear like rain pants and stuff it's just because I don't use it to really stay dry because I don't think I've ever owned a rain jacket that's actually kept me dry they always wet out it doesn't matter what rain jacket is it will let out eventually especially it's like you're hiking on the 80 or it's just pouring rain all the time but yeah more is just like a warm layer to make sure that you're not getting super chilly more like a wind jacket I think is more what a rain jacket comes into play as and as far as using a poncho I have personally never used one I've thought about it I've looked at some of those poncho tarps and yeah they're super cool I've just never personally used one of them I'm arrange a kit guy do you feel like you have to compete when hiking with another strong hiker I don't feel like I have to compete with another hiker I come from a really competitive background racing triathlon and cycling for so many years so I think it's kind of ingrained in me regardless if I'm on a trail and like I see somebody out ahead of me like my brain instantly kicks on and tells me I need to pass that person so I do have that but I don't I don't feel like I have to compete with another hiker so I think whenever you're out on the trail like everyone's out there to do the same thing especially I give you talk about a long-distance trail where you're going from point A to point B like everyone has the same start goal in the same end goal so yeah I don't I don't feel like I compete I think whenever we just did this trip and the Grand Canyon I never felt there was a time we kind of flip-flop back and forth on the trail all day and I never felt like I needed to catch up with you or anything well I need to compete we also did race up to the top first take it as it is because I really wanted to finish in the light never finished on a grand canyon rim in the light it's always been dark but ya know I don't feel like I ever have to compete yeah I've never felt that competitive like push when I'm hiking as unless well if it's stormy and you're on the 80 and you know there's a shelter coming up and you know there's people around you it becomes a competition to see who gets that shelter yeah that for sure yeah I've definitely run to a shelter to make sure I could get a spot that's pretty much the only thing my question is which step on the trail is your favorite ie the first or last and will you compare and contrast the emotions experienced for each well what comes to mind first with that question is the first step I'm usually really excited to get out there because I've been planning and just excited to go like where we went to the Grand Canyon you know I was excited to see the canyon excited to get down to the Colorado and just see something I had never seen before but then also at the end we were both talking about food and we were really excited getting to the top and so I don't know if either one is better yeah I think I think really they're both like I I look forward to both I look forward to the beginning and the end and sometimes the end especially whenever you're doing like a long section or if it's a thru-hike the end can be kind of that bittersweet thing too to where you're excited to be done because you're excited to move on something different but you also know that like you're gonna go away from this thing that you've gotten so comfortable doing and this amazing experience that you've had is about to be over so there's definitely that for sure and then obviously there's the thing that always sets in after a hike like where you wish you were back out there so I think it's kind of both ways all the time we can also depend on how the trip ends like how your last step is so in 2015 finishing my first through hike those last few steps were amazing and I was super excited and almost relieved that I was done and then this past year I wasn't able to finish the long trail I'd set out to do a thru-hike and do two other plans and I just wasn't able to finish in the time that I had so I had to get off like sixty miles short and so I was kind of kind of sad at the same time but it was just it was different yeah I experienced the same thing last year on the Arizona Trail whenever I went up to bike pack it like I was really bummed that I hurt my knee and I had to get off the trail but I was really content with it for some reason like I think I had for like that 250 300 miles I was on the trail I think I got all that I needed from the trail to like have the experience that I was looking for so yeah always all over the place hiking is like an emotional roller coaster non-stop alright guys so if you have any question for next week's Q&A you can either leave it in the comment box below or send me a video question over to Darwin on the trail at and then next week I'll answer as many as I possibly can big thanks to neem or for being here and thanks for doing that trip with me you guys haven't had a chance to check out his channel yet I'll leave a link in the description box below and at the end of this video his videos are awesome check them out if you haven't had a chance yet go over and check out me and him over on Instagram if you found any value in this video go ahead and hit that like button subscribe to my channel if you haven't already and as always guys thanks for watching [Music] [Applause]

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** Stuff/Gear I Mention in this Video ** Neemor's Channel -

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Altra Lone Peak 3.5 -

Merrell Moab -

Merrell Trail Glove -

Merrell Vapor Glove -

Altra Olympus -

Vargo Ti Bot -

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