Jul 3, 2020 at 8:20 am #3656005AnonymousInactive
This forum is Pre-Trip Planning. Well I’ve been preplanning forever. But is anyone actually getting out into the wilderness? I’m in NorCal. Everything seems to be closed, i.e. parks, campgrounds, ranger stations, etc. I catch wind or see YT vid’s of folks trekking off into the distance. How is this possible? I almost feel guilty leaving the city limits due to the lockdown measures in place. Kinda hurts to have nothing to do and all day to do it. Just some thoughts. Maybe this is the wrong forum. Mods , please redirect or delete. ~RLJul 3, 2020 at 8:50 am #3656013JacobBPL Member
I’m asking myself the same question.
The REI near me sold out of bear cans and water filters here in LA
I’m thinking a bunch of people planned urban/resort vacations last fall (beaches, Disney land, etc) but have now gotten refunds on all that and are buying stuff to do last minute camping road trips/backpacking trips?Jul 3, 2020 at 9:10 am #3656016Paul WagnerBPL Member
@balzaccomLocale: Wine Country
<p style=”text-align: center;”>I’ve posted three trip reports in the last month…all about trips in Northern California …</p>Jul 3, 2020 at 9:38 am #3656017AnonymousInactive
Eyes wide open. Just saw two of the Post Trip reports. My only tidbit of info is that if an area is described as “Wilderness” it’s still open? I’m in the East Bay and want to head over to Emigrant Wilderness to test out some of this gear that’s been piling up. I google the pinecrest ranger station and it shows temp closed. Never gave a thought to call or just go there for a look. That’s mostly due to the lockdown part I guess. No worries. I can live vicariously through the lives of others for a bit longer. I still have some more gear still trying to find it’s way here. sigh. ….And the band played onJul 3, 2020 at 10:16 am #3656021HkNewmanBPL Member
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
Many trails are open but especially campgrounds (and other congregation spots) may be closed. Then there’s public vs private. I saw some KOAs I’ve hiked through in So California start “reopening” a couple weeks ago … and ran into tons of mostly dayhikers-“peak”baggers-overnighters on the trails. The big thing is a vehicle unless arranging a drop-off/pickup.
The daytrippers would leave their car on nearby shoulders if need be and some overnighters would get dropped off. Now it’s hot in SoCal and REI ran out of fuel canisters (someone is getting out!). Not sure about NorCal, but I’ve heard the mosquitoes aren’t having a problem with wilderness access.Jul 3, 2020 at 10:30 am #3656024John VanceBPL Member
@servingkoLocale: Intermountain West
The wilderness is open. You are in all likelihood more at risk out there for everything other than Covid…Jul 3, 2020 at 12:34 pm #3656041HkNewmanBPL Member
@hknewmanLocale: Western US
One park just announced a closure going into July 4th due to one staffer testing positive, but that’s Big Bend NP Texas.
Summer is a little hot to plan an “activity” based Texas vacation that’s not water related though. Big Bend is a December-January trip for me (maybe a little later for the high mountains but before the Texas spring break in March), but it goes to show how organizations could shut down on a dime. Should be “interesting” when applied to the economy at large.
Maybe best to plan non-park backpacking, boondocking if car camping, etc..Jul 3, 2020 at 1:38 pm #3656048AnonymousInactive
Start a trend. Backyard Backpacking. Load up, traverse the city for a few, set up in the yard. The beer is colder this way I’m thinkingJul 3, 2020 at 2:02 pm #3656056Mike MBPL Member
I’m in Montana and have been getting out pretty regular since the $hit started- backpacking and day hikes both.
We have an ambitious trip planned for early this month- 70 mile/3 day loop in the Scapegoat and Bob Marshall Wilderness- almost a third of it off trail.
I did get nixed out of a Rae Lakes run we had started planning in November and settled on the end of August to give it a go- first the folks with campground reservations were told they were cancelled and a month later those of us with hotel reservations (Cedar Grove) were told those were cancelled. Maybe next year.Jul 3, 2020 at 2:08 pm #3656058Jerry AdamsBPL Member
@retiredjerryLocale: Oregon and Washington
I did a trip to Trinity Alps. Quite a few other people. I was able to keep my distance.
The only stop I made was for gas – self serve – stayed away from others
Don’t have a car break down, or get into accident
I had a mask but I don’t think I ever used it.
I am very serious about not getting infected for societal reasons, but I don’t think going on a backpack trip is much of a risk
Given that the infection rate is escalating out of control, maybe best to stay homeJul 3, 2020 at 2:20 pm #3656062Paul WagnerBPL Member
@balzaccomLocale: Wine Country
That phone number on the USFS website is there for a reason. Call it to get the latest info on Emigrant and Carson-Iceberg. Desolation has been open for week. Sierra National Forest is also issuing permits via phone./email, as is Inyo. And Yosemite…Jul 3, 2020 at 4:57 pm #3656089Mark VerberBPL Member
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
In June I did a couple of trips into the Ansel Adams wilderness backpacking. Not to busy from a human perspective. I think we saw a total of 10 people. Easy to keep distance. Transportation was fine… self serve gas and snacks pre-packed. What we could have done with less of was mosquitos… Paul bugforce 6-7, though my wife claims it was 11 :) One permit was reserved by mail (sent in exactly 3 weeks earlier), one was called in the day before we picked it up. No problem at all. In between went to Napa and spent time in Bothe state park which wasn’t full up at the time.Jul 3, 2020 at 7:29 pm #3656098AnonymousInactive
Bugforce Scale is epicJul 3, 2020 at 8:58 pm #3656108AnonymousInactive
Was browsing the Stanislaus website. Found the online permit section. Gonna go for it next week or week after. Probably four nights. One night at the trailhead to help acclimate and three in the woods. A few ordered items haven’t arrived yet but I have plenty of backup. My brain is getting lethargic from sitting around these past few months. Hopefully there’s fish in them lakes.Jul 4, 2020 at 12:04 am #3656127KarenBPL Member
This last, very cold Alaskan winter had me hating living here, really hating it and wanting to leave. Then Covid. Now I’m so grateful to live here with open space out my back door. I have done two short backpack trips this season including one on the bucket list, and many day hikes, kayak and bike excursions. Plan to do at least two more short backpack trips and a van trip on a remote road I’ve never driven. No need to encounter anyone at all, we bring everything we need except gasoline. Fill at the pump, hand sanitizer, done. Planning a cabin trip for this fall with friends, but may cancel if things get worse here and that’s not enough social distance.
I miss going on trips Outside of Alaska, but those will wait. Everything is on hold now, just waiting. In the meantime, being outdoors as much as possible and appreciating what I have. I’ve never been this grateful to live here with such easy access to wild places.Jul 4, 2020 at 12:27 am #3656129David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
I miss trips “Outside” as well. I was all set to go to GGG in CA in March, but I pulled the plug as Covid was taking off (and shortly after, the event was wisely cancelled).
In 2 weeks, I’ll be doing a 60-mile, 4-day trip on the Resurrection Trail here on the Kenai Peninsula.
Otherwise, I’ve been doing my twice daily 3-mile walks with the dog in the woods and 1-2 day hikes with the family each week.
As Karen mentions, we Alaskans are great at social distancing (when we choose to) – I’m on 13 acres, have 3 habitable dwellings and 4 chest freezers. A friend had a really off-the-grid guy come in to her store during April and comment, “The weirdest thing – there’s NO toilet paper at Safeway!” – he hadn’t heard or been aware of ANYTHING for over 2 months.Jul 4, 2020 at 2:33 am #3656131James MarcoBPL Member
@jamesdmarcoLocale: Finger Lakes
Yeah, I have the itch to get out. I am planning a 6 week trip up to the ADK’s with some back’n’forth. We have a fair handle on COVID at this point. Lots’a room to stretch out in the hills.
I hear you David. I upped my daily milage from 3-4 to 10-12 over 3 months ago. In the mean time, I am building a camper van out of a 2019 Dodge Grand Caravan. I have some new racks to install today.Jul 4, 2020 at 1:45 pm #3656191
I just got back from a trip to Sequoia NP, went from Crecent Meadow to Hamilton Lake & Precipice Lake. I did talk to a Ranger on the trail, SEKI is limited trailhead permits to 12 per day (normally 24). SEKI just upgraded their internet/phone/web provider, so everything is scrambled. It is hard to get confirmed reservations, we got lucky. At the timewe left, the campgrounds were closed so you you are not suppose to park overnight at the trailhead. We just stayed overnght in Three Rivers and drove up in the morning. Camping shopuld be open this coming Monday, but they are limiting capacity.Jul 4, 2020 at 1:54 pm #3656192
Oh, and something I don’t get. My wife and I went out for a 4 night trip. On the High Sierra Trail, we saw at least 3 group going from SEKI to Whitney and these groups were betwee 8 and 12 people. Close living quarters between large groups going on a 5-7 day trip. And what if one of them is a carrier? What if one of them get COVID on the way? What is your contigency plan? The Ranger and I discussed this for a while and we really couldn’t see why they would make this decision. At least break the groups up into 3-4 person subsets. But no, they were all hiking in a train. Oh well.Jul 4, 2020 at 2:22 pm #3656200Diane “Piper” SoiniBPL Member
@sbhikesLocale: Santa Barbara
Jon, how was Whitney? Was there a lot of snow?
As for is anyone getting out? I’ve gotten out more this whole spring starting in February than I ever have before. At one point I was going out almost every weekend. I’ve done several 4 day trips, some solo and some with a small group of friends. I live near a lot of national forest and wilderness, not the showy stuff everyone dreams of but great places known to Southern California locals. Many of these hikes were completely solitary once I got 10 miles out. I urge everyone who enjoys backpacking to stop only dreaming of bucket list destinations and just get out there to whatever is nearest to you. Make it your life. If backpacking is something you enjoy, then do more of it, don’t hoard it up only for the bucket list trips.
The way I managed on some of the more popular trails was to carry a mask and put it on when people came near on the trail. Then when it was time to find a campsite, I found a stealth campsite all to myself. Once I got 10-15 miles out it got a lot easier, and whenever I hiked on non-weekend days the wilderness was all mine.Jul 4, 2020 at 2:28 pm #3656202
We only went to Precipice Lake and back not to Whitney. Apparently an avalanche has closed Whitney Portal so people are exiting through Horseshoe Meadow.Jul 6, 2020 at 8:25 am #3656437Jeff McWilliamsBPL Member
I live in SE Michigan. My wife and I were fortunate enough to visit and backpack Death Valley at the end of January before things fell apart. We currently have no interest in trips that require long flights in airplanes and layovers inside airport terminals. Nor do we want to spend the bulk of a week’s vacation driving to/from a destination.
We had booked some back country permits for park in Ontario for Labor Day weekend but we canceled those. I’m not optimistic that Canada will open its borders to non-essential travel from the U.S. given the big spikes we are experiencing.
So we’re not sure where we’ll end up. Maybe we’ll head to Dolly Sods / Monongahela NF in West Virginia. We could take the long way around to reach to upstate NY, as the Adirondacks & Lake Placid is a favorite road trip destination for us.
Between shutdowns and stay at home orders and this oppressive heat we really don’t have hiking legs right now either, so I’m reluctant to plan anything too ambitious. Maybe it will be an off year for us and we look forward to bouncing back next year.Jul 6, 2020 at 11:58 am #3656485Murali CBPL Member
Driving to Colorado from Austin, TX (my zip code has had only 18 cases so far since March, been super careful wearing masks etc) to do the Colorado Trail July 14th.
On my training hikes on local crowded trails etc, I have been wearing the mask from HMG – they are pretty good. I have worn the mask and hiked with my backpack for almost 11 miles, 2K climbing – no issues. On steep hills, I just have to slow down a little to facilitate better breathing. Even though transmission outdoors is unlikely. Just being extra careful.
I plan to take a UV wand as well for the zero days and use it to sanitize pillow covers, beds and other surfaces. Have sent some clorox wipes as well. And will most likely wear a N95 lying in my garage with a face shield while checking into the hotels.Jul 6, 2020 at 12:24 pm #3656557Cameron MBPL Member
@cameronm-aka-backstrokeLocale: Los Angeles
The campsites at Lake Huntington and Lake Edison opened up on June 18. I went down a portion of the JMT where JMT traffic was about 1/2 normal and PCT traffic even less. Saw about 20 people that day. No face masks, but everyone gave way and made distance. So good to finally get out.
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