Elmer’s Sunnybank Inn


After being passed, I caught up to Freefall in Hot Springs, NC. We neroed and zeroed. It was excellent. The highlight was indisputably the hostel. For twenty bucks a night we stayed in a mid-nineteenth century manor. It’s full of antiques and staffed by hikers. One, recognized me immediately from this blog (hey!) I sat around in comfy old chairs and on a large second floor porch talking with hiker friends and reading from the house’s library. Elmer has nearly the same type of collection that I’d have if I had a collection. Another highlight were the vegetarian gourmet communal meals. Truly one of the best hostels I’ve been to.

Today, I helped Butter reoutfit. We sat at a computer and I chose a new backpacking setup for her. Once everything arrives, she will go from perhaps a twenty three pound baseweight to an eight or nine pound one. For the rest of the trail, she will be enjoying a true ultralight setup, with likely the lightest setup that I’ve seen out here. All told, the changes were made for about $800. Not bad for a new stove, pot, tent, pack, pad and sleeping bag.

After noon, Freefall and I finally hit the trail. We sill managed about fifteen miles. No views as we were walking through the clouds. We also stopped by a trail angel house to get some water as an “unreliable” spring was indeed dry.


    • Jack

      Really? That’s great to hear.. It was a hard thing to choose an entire setup for someone else… tried my best. Did she finish? Did she like the gear?

  1. Ryan

    Hi Jack, I know from chatting with you in the past that gear is neat to you but not your “focus” like some guys which I could fully understand.

    If possible, can you give me an idea of the new gear you outfitted Butter with? I’d be interested in knowing what SUL kit works well since you are out there as $800 does not seem too bad.

    • Jack

      Hey Ryan! It definitely wasn’t a SUL setup that Butter bought. But it’s good solid stuff. Lets see… She bought a ULA CDT, a zrest, a SMD Wild Oasis, a Tinman alcohol stove and a Titan Kettle and a WM Summerlite sleeping bag. I’ve been meaning to put together a “Recommended setup” page, something for people who don’t want to do their own research. I will.


  2. Dirk Rabdau

    Jack –

    Enjoying your blog and reading about your travels. I appreciate your candor…very refreshing. Have fun out there!


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