Dec 31, 2010 at 1:59 am #1267119
@backfeets1Locale: Midwest.... Missouri
I would like to know what people believe to be a reasonable time to break camp, including eating breakfast. Any tips on speeding up the process? This is only an issue for me when I travel with others, but threatening weather and getting on the trail without the tent getting wet have been a problem in the past.Dec 31, 2010 at 2:18 am #1679196
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
If I am pushing time, I can have a cup of coffee & pack camp, in about 30 minutes.
With a group, I plan on an hour.Dec 31, 2010 at 4:15 am #1679198
Three things had a major impact on reducing my morning breakdown.
1) Going UL. Less stuff to pack allowed a set packup which was faster.
2) Moving to tarp/bivy. Most nights are spent in only the bivy and I just stuff the quilt, still in the bivy in the bottom of my pack.
3) No stove in the morning. I will eat something as I pack up and get going but I will wait till my first morning break to have my breakfast with coffee.
I am usually out in under 15 minutes. But I also would rather be hiking than sitting around camp. Did I mention I was ADD as a kid?Dec 31, 2010 at 9:25 am #1679230
You can speed up a lot of your morning chores by getting most of your gear ready to go the night before.
On multi-day trips, I always get my next-day's food ready and bagged up separately. If I am wearing any different clothes the next day, they are put separate from the rest of the clothes bag.
I don't usually have a hot breakfast, so my cookset is packed up after dinner and ready to go.
By doing this night-before prepping, I save myself several minutes in getting things packed the next morning and can be up and gone well within 30 minutes.Dec 31, 2010 at 9:46 am #1679232
@cal-ee-for-niaLocale: Central Valley, Lodi-Stockton, CA
Forget that nice hot tea/cocoa/coffee in morning. Too much time loss!
Have some Caffe Latte Perpetuem, or HEED Strawberry/Melon (shot of Espresso/chocolate Gel mixed in?). With a bananna (or dried bananna chips/fruit).
Eat/drink this while packing.
Pack up and get on trail as light arrives.
Snack on trail.
Your gone in minutes!Dec 31, 2010 at 11:46 am #1679249
I can get going pretty quick when I'm solo (20 minutes or so w/ cold cereal/breakfast bar/cup of coffee and packing up)- when I'm w/ my wife it takes a lot of longer- she likes to lounge around and wait until the coffee is ready :)Dec 31, 2010 at 12:55 pm #1679275
@chadnscLocale: Duluth, Minnesota
I solo backpack so . . .
When it's not raining, about 20 minutes with eating.
When it's raining, about 40 minutes.Dec 31, 2010 at 1:07 pm #1679278
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
"…when I'm w/ my wife it takes a lot of longer…"
I hear that! I often can't get her to wake up for an hour or two despite banging around camp!Dec 31, 2010 at 1:41 pm #1679284
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I'll spend a couple hours if I'm lazy – several cups of coffee and tea, oatmeal, set my sleeping bag in the sun maybe.
The most I'll hike in a day is maybe 13 miles, 10 is better, 6 or 7 is okay if I end up at a nice place and explore around. Especially in the winter I'll do fewer miles because of shorter days and worse weather.Dec 31, 2010 at 1:52 pm #1679286
Ditto on getting ready the night before. Also see
these previous posts.
-LanceJan 4, 2011 at 1:13 pm #1680465
@climberslackerLocale: Your guess is as good as mine.
I tend to get up with the sun so it has a tendancy to be on the cooler side of things.
To help with that here is my routine:
Get up, pack up as quickly as possible
Hike a few miles untill it is warmer (warm enough to stop and not all of my layers)
The benefit is that you are not sitting around and waiting (generating no heat) during one of the coldest parts of the day thus keeping you warmer and getting you out faster.Jan 4, 2011 at 5:18 pm #1680544
A great change I've made lately is keeping my breakfast/coffee in a OPSAK (odour proof sack) in my shelter. So the first thing I do when I wake up is put water on to boil for coffee/oatmeal in my vestibule using my pre-assembled caldera cone & MSR Titan Kettle. Then I've got about 10 minutes while the water heats up to pack up and get dressed. About 15 minutes after I wake up I'm having breakfast. Then I spend 10-15 minutes eating/drinking and then I exit my shelter. I spend another 10 minutes or so packing up my shelter and retrieving my bear bag and then I hit the trail. 45 min is a normal time. I don't rush too much. I don't like to rush, but I do like to be efficient.
Keeping your breakfast in your shelter saves time on any morning, but it really pays off when it's raining because it sucks to get all your rain gear on to retrieve your bear bag/canister, and then have to crawl back into your shelter with your wet stuff on. Previously when it was raining I would just skip breakfast because I hated getting my rain gear on/off.
Eating on the trail instead of at camp makes sense, but I personally enjoy breakfast too much to put it off and/or have an entirely cold one. Cereal + Nestle Nido milk is yummy though when combined with a hot coffee.Feb 8, 2011 at 9:39 pm #1694353
@penndudeLocale: Western PA
How are you guys making coffee on the trail? Do you use instant or is there a trick to having an actual decent cup of coffee on the trail?Feb 8, 2011 at 9:44 pm #1694356
@hereFeb 8, 2011 at 9:45 pm #1694357
@penndudeLocale: Western PA
Nice, quick draw. Thanks.Feb 9, 2011 at 4:46 pm #1694690
@ouzelLocale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
I've never timed myself but, as a general rule, I'm slow out of the gate, always have been. The kind of places I frequent, the last thing on my mind is hurrying, especially in the morning. High remote places are why Allah, in His infinite wisdom, invented Peet's Arabian Mocha Sanani. That said, I woke up one mid October morning in the Upper Kern Basin to an ugly looking front that had me thinking I'd better be over Shepherd Pass before the dump. I didn't time myself, but it had to be less than 15 minutes from the time I popped out of my bag until I was on the move. It left a bad taste in my mouth, though, not to mention being a waste of some mighty fine coffee.Feb 9, 2011 at 5:29 pm #1694708
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
I've always been pretty slow getting going in the morning, in the past often taking as much as 3 hours to get on the trail. I have really worked to cut this down, and have gotten my time down to 1 1/2 hours without rushing. It is, after all, a vacation! If I go to the Rockies for a trip, it's really important to get on the trail early so that I'm off exposed areas like ridges or passes before the usual mid-afternoon thunderstorm. Some days this means getting up before dawn so I can start at daylight. It's not such a big deal here in the Pacific NW where severe thunderstorms are relatively rare. (Out here, a thunderstorm is considered "severe" if there are more than 2 lightning strikes per storm.) On the other hand, there's a much better choice of campsites (limited by the brushy undergrowth out here) if I can get to my destination early.
Part of my morning routine includes taking care of my dog, which does take a little longer. He's unfortunately quite prone to vomiting (sensitive Labrador stomach). Since he drinks a lot of water when he wakes up, I have to wait about 20-30 minutes after his morning drink before giving him his food, to make sure he has burped up swallowed air. I then have to wait another hour for his breakfast to settle before starting out on the trail. In the meantime, of course, I eat my cold breakfast (usually cereal), brush my teeth, do the potty routine and pack up. By the time the dog is ready for the trail, so am I. With the dog's schedule, therefore, 1 1/2 hours is about as fast as we can get.
Since, thanks to old age, I always have to get up during the night, I plan to start taking the dog outside during one of those outings so he gets a drink in the middle of the night, as he does at home. Hopefully this will cut down on the amount he drinks in the morning so I can speed up his morning routine a bit. I'd love to cut another half hour out of our morning routine!Feb 10, 2011 at 12:44 pm #1695035
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
When alone it takes me about 20-30 minutes.
1. Pop up
2. Eat while still in my sleeping bag. Cold cereal usually.
3. Pack as much as possible of the things inside the tent.
4. Pack the tent and everything else.
5. Take care of a little personal hygiene and stuff.
6. Done!Feb 10, 2011 at 1:30 pm #1695048
@holdfastLocale: Bergen, Norway
Ryan Jordan wrote an essay on his morning routine as part of an early article here:Feb 10, 2011 at 3:32 pm #1695100
@hikinggrannyLocale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
I guess it would be nice not to have to dash out of bed immediately upon waking up and run (not walk) behind the nearest tree, but unfortunately some of us have to do that every morning. Nor am I about to keep food or eat in my shelter, relying on OP sacks (which work only until your fingers transfer odors to the outside). I'm rather surprised at this casual handling of food around the shelter, considering that Ryan lives in grizzly bear country! Since I'm up and have my rain gear on anyway, my dog and I eat breakfast out in the rain, and don't go back inside the shelter until I'm ready to pack up. Saves putting the rain gear off and on multiple times.
I'm wondering why the urge to put so much stress into what is supposed to be a recreational activity. I go backpacking for fun and relaxation, not to stress out nor to rush to get (to quote the late Harvey Manning) "from Bug Bog to Blister Pass in 4 hours flat"! I noticed in the current PCT article series that the author really regrets rushing through northern California and Oregon and wouldn't do it again.
What's the big hurry? Why not slow down and smell the flowers!Feb 10, 2011 at 4:05 pm #1695114
What's the hurry? It depends on why you are hiking. And not everyone can do a nice leisurely 5 month PCT trip so they have to have tradeoffs to make an adventure like that happen, so a quick start in the morning may be the answer.Feb 10, 2011 at 4:12 pm #1695117
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I agree with you that it is a good idea to try to slow down a bit and have more time to smell the flowers, however, in practice, I do find that I am trying to push out the miles.
I am greedy, I want to see as much as I can in the relatively short periods of time I can get away from work. I have trouble sitting still and perhaps for me, taking 10 minutes to appreciate my surroundings, is like someone else taking 30 minutes.
Yes, my ego is definitely involved. I enjoy trying to push myself to see what I am capable of and maybe in those moments of pushing hard I find something new about myself.
In time, perhaps, I won't find the need to push my body hard to learn something about myself and that the quiet moments will be just as revealing and enjoyable as the ones where my body is screaming to stop walking.
Maybe the short answer is that I am completely and utterly nuts. Nuts for tying to find ways to cut more weight and nuts for thinking that it would be cool to be able to hike 20-25 miles per day, everyday….which I cannot do at this time or have not tried yet to.
That said, I do have to say that some of the best hiking is in the early morning when the air is cool and sweat does not trickle off my body as I move at a fast pace.
I would definitely prefer to hit the trail early and do 8-10 hours of hiking with more of that in the morning vs. the hotter afternoon sun.
Just a view point, not disagreeing with you or maybe I am rationalizing my insanity?
-TonyFeb 10, 2011 at 4:25 pm #1695120
The few times i spent camped with other hikers on the PCT they called me the "alarm clock". As soon as the sky begins to change from black to light blue I begin to pack up. Don't wear a watch.. never needed a watch. I have a game i play with the sun. i like to be on trail and hiking before the first rays hit me. Yes, cloudy mornings really screw up my game.
I eat breakfast while I am hiking.
Coffee? Yea i put one of those freeze dried packets into my Aqua Fina bottle with some carnation instant breakfast and shake it up cold. It's friggin' delicious!
Anyhow I am stoveless and love the freedom and quick getaways with this strategy.
Typically I like to get as close to 15 miles by noon as possible then put it into cruise the rest of the day.
Mostly i just like to get moving as quickly as possible in the morning.
In the real world I have had co-workers cancel our commute plans after the first week because I am "too awake" first thing in the morning.
Actually I get angry with myself sometimes if i wake up late and the sun is already on the trail.
Morning has always been my favorite time of day on the trail.
Hmm.. I wonder why I am always hiking solo?
LET'S GO! LET'S GO! LET'S GO!!!!Feb 10, 2011 at 4:34 pm #1695124
@b-g-2-2Locale: Silicon Valley
When I lead group trips with a central commissary, I found two things worked really well for getting people moving in the morning.
First, I fire up the MSR XGK stove. Some liken the noise to that of a navy fighter jet taking off from a carrier. That gets them awake.
Then a few minutes later just as the big pot of water is hot I yell, "Last call for breakfast." That gets them moving fast.
–B.G.–Feb 10, 2011 at 4:58 pm #1695128
@mzionLocale: Boulder, CO
Big fan of early quick starts. I love catching sunrise and can't think of any better feeling than stopping at noon and having already knocked out 18 miles. Use a mixture of what other people have posted, except I prefer walking and eating. My breakfasts are always cold and typically a bar of some kind. I also prefer to take hiking season to detox from caffeine. Don't get me wrong, I live off coffee but I don't like that groggy dependence feeling when you don't have any. Takes a couple weeks but I find I sleep better and when I do get coffee or a 12 oz coke I feel like I'm on coke, haha.
edit: "Some liken the noise to that of a navy fighter jet taking off from a carrier"
You just gave me flash backs.
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