Hello! I'm a newbie and very grateful for this site. My wife and I plan to start a NOBO hike of the AZT, starting in March 2017. We have a good bit of experience in Appalachia, Blueridge. But the desert is another beast. I have a couple of specific equipment questions and would appreciate guidance from experienced AZT hikers.
1. Sleeping pad. I prefer a blow-up, such as the Neo Air because I'm a side sleeper, but am wondering if the desert is too prickly for it. Am I better off with a foam pad, such as thermarest Z-lite? Or, is this a campsite selection issue, and not an equipment issue?
2. Hanging Food. I hang my food here, but we have plenty of trees. What is a wise way of securing food during the night? I have used an Outsak before, in the Grand Canyon, but don't want to carry it if it isn't necessary/helpful.