Oct 3, 2008 at 10:13 am #1231386
First I would like to thank everyone here at BPL. This is a great site with a ton of Quality information. I am going to Guadalupe peak national park the first week of Nov. The temps should run from the 20's to the 30's at night. I have been in these temps inside my Kelty teton(4lbs 6oz) before but I have never slept under a tarp before. I normally backpack in the Texas winter and in the summer I car camp with the family. Most trips during the winter are with atleast one of my 3 kids. In fact this will be my first solo trip. I have about $500.00 to spend on new gear.I have been looking at a new bag for a while and had settled on the Mountain hardwear ultralamnia 15 (due to down allergies) but after read several post here I do not think I will have a problem with high quality down in the WM. I am 6'1" and about 175lbs. I also wanted to but may not have the funds to purchase a montbell UL parka to replace my monkey man fleece.
Option 1 current gear
Kelty Teton (4lb 7oz)
Mountain Hardwear Lamina 35 (3lb 5oz)
Fleece liner bag (1lb)
BA insulated Aircore or ridgerest 34
Equinox 8×10 tarp 13oz (own)
WM ultralite ($335)
Bivy ($135 to $235. do I need it or can this wait)
BA insulate Aircore
Plastic or tyvek ground sheet
Tarp tent double rainbow ($235)
WM Ultra lite ($335)
BA or ridge rest pad
I may not be able to replie to posts right away. Going out of town this weekend. Thanks for any help.Oct 3, 2008 at 7:02 pm #1453174
Jeff JeffBPL Member
I love tarping and I have used my Equinox 8×10 in some pretty windy places, but I am not confident enough to take it up to Guadalupe peak. Surprisingly, many of the sites in the park are sheltered from the extremely fierce winds, but camping on the Guadalupe ridge would be rough. There are some windbreaks that people constructed and I think a bivy would be fine, but a tarp will flap all night at best and fly off the mountain in the worst case scenario.
Then again, I am sure others have done it and been fine.Oct 5, 2008 at 6:33 pm #1453358
I have never been up the ridge before but I heard it was windy. Do you think a double rainbow or squall2 would be okay. My other thought is to just bivy if the weather is okay. I am planning to stay one night on the ridge and then return to refill my waterand supplies at pinespring camp ground, then head up to the bowl. I don't think the wind should be a problem in the bowl. I am think about the REI bivy so a can take it back if I don't like the tarpbivy. My proplem then is wieght. The combo of my tarp(14oz) and the REI is 30 oz. Heck for 4 more oz's I have a Squall 2 or a Rainbow.Oct 5, 2008 at 9:49 pm #1453371
Jeff JeffBPL Member
I have a rainbow and as much as I like it, I would not take it into heavy Texas winds. I used a Mountain Hardware ripoff of the Clip Flashlight and it barely made it through the beating we got at pine springs. I can't remember too much about the bowl, but I don't remember the wind being bad at camp. I was sheltered by some trees. I am sure it can still get windy though.
Basically, if I were to take a tent with poles and a large cross sectional area, I would make sure it's a solide tent. Doesn't need to be a 4 season, but something with multiple poles, lots of guyout points, and strong fabric. A bivy would work well if you get a site where someone built a rock wall.Oct 6, 2008 at 10:48 pm #1453476
So where are you going in the park? The campsites going to the peak are semi-protected by short retaining walls on the tent pads. In the bowl, you'll be in trees once you get to the campsites. But it's not unusual to have 60-70 MPH winds.Oct 7, 2008 at 6:49 am #1453493
60 to 70 mph winds. DANG! Definietly no tarp on the peak. Do you think the Kelty Teton could handle those winds. Maybe just a bivy behind some rocks would be better? I am hoping to spend the night at the peak campsite the first night, get up early and watch the sun come up over Texas. Then head back down to the pine springs, Grab some water and head up to the bowl. I have not decided where I am going from there. I hear Hunters peak is awesome. What would you recommend. Also how are the bugs in that area. I know the ants may carry you away if you are not careful. I have family cloudcroft, NM. So I am going to spend a week in this area. I was thinking of going to Last Chance canyon just outside of Carlsbad. Any one ever been there. I have been to Sitting Bull falls and loved it.Oct 7, 2008 at 8:59 pm #1453636
The campsites in the saddle below the peak are somewhat sheltered. You may not have those kinds of winds, but the wind will howl. Haven't been to last chance canyon, I'll have to look it up.Oct 9, 2008 at 8:54 am #1453822
@mikeclellandLocale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Are you worried about rain? If not, just sleep out under the stars. Without a tent you can squeeze in to a tiny spot between rocks, and be out of the wind.
I've used tarp in windy areas above tree-line, just practice pitching it PERFECTLY in the backyard BEFORE going on the trip. An 8×10 tarp should be awesome. Just pitch it low and snug with the foot area pointed into the wind.
There are good "Tarp Craft" article on this site (or in Ryan Jordan's book)
If you pitch it low and snug, you won't need a bivi.Oct 9, 2008 at 12:17 pm #1453841
Somewhere I have pictures of the campgrounds, I'll try to find one and post it.Oct 9, 2008 at 1:19 pm #1453859
Not the greatest picture, or the newest, but here is my son sitting on a tent pad at the Guadelupe Peak campground several years ago. You can see where previous campers have built windbreaks. If you're there in November, you should plan to dayhike up McKittrick Canyon to see the maples.Oct 9, 2008 at 3:41 pm #1453886
Think I will take your advice about sleeping under the stars. I may just bring my tarp as a back up. I do plan on doing a lot of practice set ups between now and Nov. Do you recomend a bivy. I don't think there would be a lot of dew. Since it is high desert country. I have my eye on the Ti goat bivy but just have not pulled the trigger yet.
I thought I recognized your character. I went into my sons room and there lying beside his bed was your Really Cool Backpaking Book. My kids and I love that book. The kid takes it every where. He also and reminds me and I Quote "thats not the way my book says do it, Dad". In fact reading that book is what got me thinking about how I could lighten thinks up, which is what led me to this site.
Jeff and ColtonOct 9, 2008 at 3:44 pm #1453887
Thanks for the pics. It looks like all those that came before me have already done all the hard work. I should be able to slide down between some of those rocks and watch the night sky. I do hope to check out McKittrick Canyon, I hear the Colors are great in nov. I may stay the night at the peak and then drive around to the Dog Canyon camp ground. That would set me up for Last Chance Canyon and the Bufflo Falls area also.
I hear Last Chance Canyon is a lot like McKittrick Canyon. This is the descrition of the trail in the Lincoln National Forest trail guide.
Last Chance Canyon is an unbelievable, natural gem that is as exceptional, rare and unusual, as nearby Sitting Bull Falls. Resembling the famous McKittrick Canyon in the Guadalupe Mountains National park.
Sounds Awesome!Oct 9, 2008 at 5:52 pm #1453905
Well, we may see you there. We're taking our scout troop over one of those weekends to Dog Canyon, and we're going to camp on McKittrick Ridge, then go out McKittrick Canyon.Oct 9, 2008 at 7:34 pm #1453915
Have you taking the troop to the Sitting Bull falls cave. It is not large by any means but it is behind the water fall. I took the kids there this summer. To enter you must get a permit from the guadalupe ranger district and have head protectionlight and gloves.
Oct 9, 2008 at 8:19 pm #1453918
Didn't know it was there. We've taken them to some other caves in the area though. That would be a good trip for next spring.Oct 15, 2008 at 5:59 am #1454541
@romanlaLocale: Southwest Louisiana
I stayed in a Kelty Teton 2 in Hot Springs National Park during Hurricane Gustav. I was told that the winds were over 60mph. I was having trouble getting the aluminum stakes that came with the tent into the rocky ground. I ended up grabbing some of the big plastic ones from Wal-Mart and hammering them in. That reminds me I need to buy some good heavy duty aluminum stakes! lolNov 5, 2008 at 8:02 am #1457643
Hoping for a trip report.Dec 5, 2008 at 5:12 pm #1462430
Awesome trip to the park. Stay there for 5 nights but only one night was in the back country due to a knee issue. The kelty did fine behind a wind brake in the 60 to 70 mph gust at pine springs camp(The main camp) but the bivy worked even better. I tried out my new Tigoat bivy in pine springs camp and at the Tejas camp(backcountry). I loved it! I set up behind a stick wind brake at the Tejas camp and slept under the stars. Saw a awesome shooting star about 4 am, would missed it in a tent. I have been converted!
I saw 2 big horn sheep above Devils Hall and they were only about 40 yards away. Got to test out gear I am definitely going lighter.
My only issue with the Park was Suzie, the evil mule deer. Okay I know it sounds weird but there is one meanevil mule deer on that mountain. Picture this, I was minding my own business in some mountain hypnotic trance trying to remember the PCT bear bag clip-carabineer-tie a knot-with a stick somewhere-how in the hell do I do this Method, when I here a stick break behind me. Now several thing flash thru my mind. The park ranger said I would not see a bear, But he didn't say I would not hear a bear, wait a second that sounded like bear stepping on a stick just 10 feet behind me. Did my ninja skills totally failed me. Is there a man-hanging-a-bear bag-eating bear behind me, No way, the ranger said "I may see a mountain lion" and if I do I should feel lucky, My wife was right I am going to die out here. My ninja training kicks in and my ninja quick reflexes allow me to turn around faster than the normal slow tried hiker I look like. I see a Brown, no Grey shaped mountain Lo– Mule Deer! I am going to live!!! My wife was Wrong!!(First time for everything). Cool I have survived this sudden brush with death, everything is okay now. My heart rate slows down and the cold sweat that I broke into now turns to ice. I think to myself the worst is over. Several more deer pop out of the trees and watch me with their hungry little eyes. I finish hanging the bear bag up the old fashion way and tell myself that I will learn that PCT something-knot-stick-Ryan-somewhere method when I get home. I start heading back to camp and noticed Suzie(The evil one that snuck up behind me) is gone. I named here Suzie because her evil human twin is named Suzie(that’s another story). I am a little more cautious now and thanks to my awaken Ninja skills no more evil deer are going to sneak up on me. I keep telling myself use the force ,Luke.(I have some Jedi training to.) As I round a tree near my camp I notice something big next to my bag. It was big foot and he was in my camp. Yes a sasquatch. Okay maybe not the big guy himself but it was Suzie! She had raced back to camp at break neck speed and was in the process of stealing my ONE and ONLY Watermelon Jolly rancher. The wonderful ,rot your teeth out ,sugar laden , raise my blood sugar, treat I had set aside was being molested in front of me by and evil monster. She stole my freaking jolly rancher dude! I know deep down inside it was my fault(I am married It is always my fault). I know the rules, don't feed the wild life ,don't leave food lying around. But the evil Bit– took my treat ,my precious, my watermelon jolly rancher. Suzie stole it from me and I will never forgive her for that. She is evil! Evil I tell you!!!
Other than that it was a great trip.Dec 5, 2008 at 5:30 pm #1462436
@jdw01776Locale: Southeast Texas
Great story — I need to make trip out there before it gets too hot. How long was the drive from the Houston area?Dec 5, 2008 at 5:39 pm #1462439
It took me about 11 hrs to get. And that does count the pit stop the the DPS trooper made me do on the side of the road. Something about failure to yield right of way. I did not think anyone had the right away in west Texas.Dec 5, 2008 at 7:50 pm #1462469
Our BSA trip got cancelled due to cold, so we day hiked. Up Bear Canyon to Tejas, and down the Tejas trail. It was way over what I am in shape for. I blame it on old age. Anyway, this needs pics, so here's a pic from Tejas……
Dec 5, 2008 at 8:35 pm #1462474
I bet that was heck going up bear canyon. I had fun coming down it. Heres a pic from about half down( or up). Its near the rock slide tunnel
.Dec 6, 2008 at 6:56 am #1462511
@romanlaLocale: Southwest Louisiana
I was thinking about heading that way in a couple of weeks. I'll be doing one of my insane long weekend trips though. I'll leave after work on Thursday night and have to be back to work Monday night. I have a 13+ hour drive each way. I'm going to stay at the peak campsite, summit before sunrise, then head down and do the Devil's Hall Trail. I may bring along my kayak to hit the whitewater park in San Marcos for a little while on the way home. :)Dec 6, 2008 at 9:20 am #1462530
I went up the Tejas trail last spring, and everyone I met was coming down, after going up Bear. So I believed them when they said it was easier. Old dopey me. Going up Bear is just brutal. I didn't take any pics in Bear Canyon because I was too tired to get my camera out. When we went down Tejas, we met a youth group going up, and I bet their packs averaged 50#. It was supposed to be under 20 that night, and I felt really sorry for them. I bet there were some kids in that group that will never want to go out doors though. You know Jeffrey, if you get your CHL, those DPS guys will give you a warning about 95% of the time.
Dec 6, 2008 at 5:52 pm #1462624
Roman , my only question is do you drink the red bull or just mainline it.
Joe, Already taken care of that and she did let me off.
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