I try to keep this blog less about gear and more about doing, but what the heck, a little geek out now and then never hurt.
So some random thoughts:
Touring on an aluminum frame with a thru axle suspension fork and 26" wheels is actually pretty sweet. Just like old days, I did not miss the bigger wheels really. Please don't hate me...
Schwable marathon extreme 2.25's are totally incredible tires. No flats, not a scratch in the sidewalls. Now they just need to come out with a 29" version. Way more dirt worthy than the XR's. Wish I had these on previous trips.
Bags - beat on and no complaints, at one point I had 25 lbs in the harness (water) , then later hung 20 lbs off the bottom of the seat bag and nothing ripped. awesome.
Megamid worked as it always does, but next time I might consider bringing just the outer of a Hilleberg for better performance in wind.
XGK burning gasoline - 3rd world no brainier. Except that the pump cup died on the very last morning. MSR switched the tried and true leather pump cups for rubber. silly MSR...
Pads - Julie's Big Agnes primaloft pad leaked like a sieve - on the top fabric! It's gotta be defective. we could not keep air in it despite many patch jobs. My prolite 3 3/4 length was not thick really enough for the hard Bolivian ground, it's the same pad I used last time down there so I must be getting soft.
Bags - I brought a 20 synthetic because that's the good mid weight "alaskan" bag I have. A 15 degree down would have been perfect. No need for a synthetic down there. I also brought a ultra light primaloft hooded jacket and slept in it almost every night (with all my other clothes too!). My Mont bell alpine light down jacket would have been better and warmer. (Last time I had a 5 degree down and a tent...and was toasty the whole time, I must have forgot that when packing...)
Shoes - I brought my Sidi's and trail runners... mistake. I was just too lazy to buy new bike shoes with winter coming. J had pearl izumi X alp enduro's with flip flops... I was Jealous as she walked with ease on rocky stuff while I stumbled in the plastic soles (not much left of them), later the soles delaminated and they are basically destroyed now. whoops.
We barely had any rain, even though we were expecting much more, so thankfully none of that stuff really got tested or used in any way.
anyway, this was all mulling around. now it's not.