I met lots of groups on the Wonderland trail. Everyone hiking this circle around Mount Rainier needs one, so that in the end, each campsite is full, but none overfull. There's a lot of rock and slope, so finding a stealth camp would be hard.
When the chef gave me 4 days to go get er done, I did. Permit in hand, I left my motorhome eating an apple. The first photo opt, at the Longmire junction, was before daylight.
With GORP and gear, my pack weighted 10 pounds. Water, was extra. I kept a good handle on that so never got dehydrated. Below, see the prototype 'bivy'. It weighs 12 ounces. A tad claustrophobic, but it held the heat in good. You can see the red quilt inside, tested for 40 degrees at one pound. Primaloft fill, the best I could find, is considered synthetic down.
I asked a woman to take my photo. This was coming over Summerland. You can see the sleeping pad is used for my hip belt. My food bag is in the front. I carried 4 pounds of Gorp.
Because there is over 20,000 foot elevation change in these 93 miles, the toes take a beating. Even with my wide toed hiking boot (not trail runner) I fear I might loose toe nails. The price we pay for freedom!
This magnificent trail usually is done in 10-12 days because it is indeed brutal. I did it this way because it was the most days off I could snag up here while cooking for the employees. Many, many thanks to my chef, Chris, for understanding my need and ability to undertake the challenge.