Since there were many heavy, non-negotiable items to carry, I saved weight by bringing few clothes and never smelled too bad.
I brought 2 t-shirts, 4 pairs of underwear, and washed one out every day; lots of wool: leggings, 2 long sleeve shirts, sweater, 1 pair of hiking pants, hand knit hat, 4 pair of hand knit socks, a lace shawl, gloves, down sweater, waterproof shell, hiking boots, and a pair of crocs for camp. I wore every item more than once since it was November and temperature dropped to the low 40’s at night. I used a camelback for the first time and was very happy with it.
Here is a tableau of my hand knit socks. The blue patterned socks were knit specifically for hiking and are made out of heavier yarn than I usually use. I used one pair as a pad under my shoulder straps.
My feet remained pretty happy. They really hurt on days we had heavy loads – water, all our food – and walked longer distances. A little lambs wool tucked into my socks usually did the trick.
We had long and short days. Here is our itinerary and National Park Service information. We needed backcountry permits for all our campsites.
- South Kaibab to Indian Garden: 8+ miles, fully laden with 6 days of food, ouch, descent 3500 feet
- Indian Garden to Salt Creek: 7+ miles still with lots of food and 6 liters of water.
- Salt Creek to Monument Creek: 3+ miles, starting to feel good and little elevation change
- Monument Creek to Hermit Creek: 3+ miles, rocking it except for dreading the hike out, which is getting closer and closer
- Hermit Creek to Hermit Rapids and back: 5 miles, with NO PACK!
- Hermit Creek to South Rim: Light pack, especially since I gave everything to Tim, 7+ miles and 3500 feet elevation gain.
I wore a hand knit lace shawl I had just finished around the camp, always stylish. It’s the forest path stole and was fun to knit. Made of silk, linen and cashmere, it’s as light as a feather and warm as toast.
I started knitting a lace shawl from the same yarn on the plane to Phoenix, which kept me occupied until I went to bed at 7:30 most night. 26 repeats, about 2 yards long. I’ll pick it up again after my Christmas knitting and weaving is finished.
Here’s a 360 degree view of our campsite at Salt Creek.The image works best on an iPhone because you can move the phone around and see it all.