Haleakala 2013 - Imgur This was a 2 day 10 mile in, 10 mile out solo backpacking trip. Both my first solo trip and longest to date. Started off at the summit (10,000 ft) and hiked down Sliding Sands trail to the Paliku tent campsite (6,380 ft) on the other side of the crater. I was very luck to have great light and virtually no cloud cover over me during the hike in. Temperatures were probably high 60's with a good breeze. Incredibly scenery, I am from the midwest and I've never seen anything like this before. Ten minutes after arrival at the Paliku campsite it started drizzling and didn't stop until I was a few miles away the following day. It was very surreal walking through the clouds as I was making my way through the cinder cones on day two as shown on the crater floor in the image set. It felt very alien, compounded by the fact that I was completely alone, only trailed by a couple maybe a mile or two behind me. I hiked out via the Halemau'u trail which goes from Paliku to a lower part of the crater rim (7,990 ft). With the majority in elevation change being the last mile or so via a series of switchbacks. My pack weight was ~30lbs, I packed extra clothing for the evening as it was supposed to get really cold. It did not so I spent much of the evening sweating and saying to myself "it's gonna get cold any minute now." This the first trip I used trekking poles on, I truly understand their value now. They really saved my legs and knees. I've been piecing the rest of my kit together for the past few years now getting to really test one piece here or there. I got to get everything this trip, and I've very happy with all the gear decisions I've made so far. Everything performed very well and I was comfortable the whole time. I did trash my cheap "try them out" trekking poles, so I will be looking for a good durable lightweight pair, and a lightweight two or one person tent and I borrowed the medium weight 2 person tent that I packed. All pictures were taken with micro 4/3's Panasonic GX1 +14-45mm + polarizer and processed in Lightroom 4. I did over-process some of the images.