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Discussion in 'Off Topic [BG]' started by Ziltoid, Jul 19, 2013.
Any guys here into backpacking? What kind of trips? What's your gear? Cool stories? Advises?
Not recently, but I used to go on a lot of trips with my 4-H Backpacking project (yes, I can admit I was in 4-H). My favorite trip was Weaver Lake in the Sierras. ~7 mile hike one way, through gorgeous pine forests to the most idyllic little lake you can imagine. The opposite bank rose up into a sheer granite cliff that was reflected by the lake.
I've gone a few times. Know your abilities and your limits. Otherwise you might almost die on the side of a mountain on your first backpacking trip ever. Long story. Don't feel like typing it this morning. Plan your food and water very carefully.
I used to do a lot of backpacking for work. Not as much now. The key is good boots and plenty of water. Everything else is fancy.
One piece of gear I really like is I have a Platypus water filter that has two gallon-size reservoir bags, one labeled clean the other dirty. You fill up the dirty bag with water, hang it on a tree, connect the hoses, and in a few minutes you've got a gallon of potable water. No furious pumping required, gravity does all the work.
Another thing I like is web gear over conventional backpacking packs. Hard to find outside of specialty shops but there's a few advantages. They're modular so you can strip them down. Most have a large pack in the back that can carry a lot of gear but that can be removed in twenty seconds. Nice for when you've setup camp and just want to carry water and essentials for a litte side-trip to a peak or whatever. They also ride a lot lower than backpacking-type gear and are made to carry lots of stuff on the waist belt. It's a lot more accessible there. The big disadvantage is capacity. Web gear designs can't compete with conventional packs here. You're talking 2000 cubic inches instead of 5000. But you can get a lot of extra space by lashing your tent, sleeping bag, and pad to the outside of the pack rather than putting them inside.
Don't read Backpacking magazine. They'll try to convince you that you'll die in the woods unless you spend $8,000 on the latest lightweight gear which will actually add up to an 80 lb. pack.
I go out in the North Cascade Mountains which are very nice.
I didn't take that particular photo, but it gives a great sense of where I go.
Lots of fun. I'd recommend starting with a few shorter trips before increasing your distances.
I have backpacked all over the AT through the GA, NC, and Virginia sections. 9 days was my longest time out, but I used to be a trip leader for an outfitting service, so they paid me (very little) to play.
Best advice when it comes to gear is to not fall into the money traps that tend to be there. What you "want" and what you "need" can get lost in the mix...
Any further info about building a good pack? I'm a noob. Never did more than day trips with only a backpack, I camped a lot but it was car-tent camping, not backpacking.
When I was in high school, we used to do the Sol Duc trail in the Olympic Forest every summer. Another summer trip was to start at Rialto Beach on the Washington Coast, go up through the Hole In The Wall to Lake Ozette, and back down to Rialto Beach. That hike could be scary since you had to hit the tides just right to get through.
I try to do at least one backpacking trip in the Sierra Nevada every year. My gear is on the lighter side but nothing like the ultralight maniacs are doing. I NEED my coffee in the morning so I don't go stoveless. Also, I need to save weight since I usually bring a backpacking guitar.
I used to do some back backing myself. My last trip was cross country 17 miles throught the Immigrant Wilderness just north of Yosemite. I know a beautiful place there, it is a granite valley that is high enough that there are no mosquitos. There is also a stream with trout running throught the valley. On full moons it is one of the most beautiful places I know.
On my last trip I fell and hurt my ankle 10 miles into the hike. I thought it was just sprained. I took me until the next day to hike into our base camp in the valley.
I spent 5 days soaking my ankle in the cold stream and then two days hiking out.
My wife took me to the emergency room when I got home. The doctor told me my ankle was broken in three places and scheduled me for surger the next day.
After three hours of surgery, a long time in a cast and several months of phyical therapy, I discovered there was no cartilidge left in my ankle.
The doctors said I wouldn't be able to do much. Yes there are no more 20 mile hikes for me and I miss the wilderness. But I can still hike for an hour or so and I ride my bike to work everyday. Maybe I can canoe into the wilderness somewhere.
I also went to Israel and spent every day walking all over the place sometimes for six hours a day. I wasn't supposed to be able to do that or a lot of other things I have done. I do believe that divine intervention had something to do with it. I understand a lot of people might not see it that way and I am okay with that. I am just happy I can still do the things I can.
It has been 12 years since it happened and it hasn't gotten any worse, in fact it seems to have gotten a little better. I refuse to be defined by this inury. I don't want to be remembered as the guy with the gimpy ankle. I would rather be remembered as a bass player and a person who tried to love and encourage other people.
Nice pic NWB! That 's the west face of Eldorado, looking up Marble Creek, taken from somewhere around the Tripletts AKA, the "Three Dicks."
I Looooove the N. Cascades.
Oh cripes, that reminds me of the trip I did a long time ago with my cousin. We misstimed the tides at Shi Shi Beach and found ourselves against a sea-cliff with the ocean waves coming at us and logs rolling beneath us. That was the scariest trip of my life....and almost my last.
The trick is to get something big enough to carry everything you'll need for a given trip but not so big as to lull you into bringing more than you actually need.
I've had the same Dana Designs Bighorn for over twenty years. It's only 3,800 cubic inches but it has provisions for keeping stuff on the outside for longer trips. It's not the lightest pack at around 4.8 pounds but it's durable as hell.
Wow, I've had my Dana Designs for 20 years too!
It was the most comfortable pack I could find and has held up extremely well over all these years. Definitely a good investment.
I certainly recommend spending the time to get the most comfortable pack that you can. I've had a couple with all sorts of nifty features that I ended up hating on the trail.
I've had my little Kelty tent for over 30 years!
What does a gear "checklist" for a weekend (2 or 3 nights) looks like to you guys? Also, anybody here favor hammocks over tents?
I prefer sleeping in the open but will take a tent if rain, skeeters, or privacy is an issue. Here are my basics for a short trip to the Sierra.
- backpack (duh)
- sleeping pad
- sleeping bag
- groundsheet/tarp for tent
- headlamp w/extra battery
- multi tool
- camp footwear (flip flops, sandals...some people don't bother. I find it's a necessity)
- trekking pole(s)/hiking stick
- small first aid kit (athletic tape and ibuprofen at a minimum)
- water filter/chemical water treatments.
- water bottles/hydration pack
- stove w/windscreen
- 1 liter pot
- french press
- one "entree" per day (dehydrated or canned)
- trail mix/power bars/jerkey for the day
- sun hat
- shirt on my back
- convertible pants
- additional warm/waterproof clothes depending on season
(long underwear, beanie, gloves, rain jacket, etc)
- sun block
- bug juice
- lip balm
- fishing pole and tackle
- backpacking guitar
I always would build my pack depending on the trip. Items that I always carry: headlamp, knife, fire starter of some sort, water purification.
When it comes to long trips, comfort is the game when carrying a pack. I have found that internal packs offer more lumbar support, but you need to go to a retailer and get properly measured. A pack that does not fit can be a huge issue on longer trips, especially on multiple days.
I pretty much only use my eno hammock these days. Very lightweight
I like your taste in backpacks! The only problem with mine is that it has a panel loading option that I've never used. One of these days, I'm going to have the panel zippers replaced with some sort of elastic.
My backpack is too small for more than day trips (25L). I was thinking about getting one more suited. I was thinking about this one: MEC Cragalot Backpack http://www.mec.ca/product/5024-266/mec-cragalot-backpack/ It looks like a good pack for the price. 55L is enough for weekend trips I assume?