Forum Replies Created
Apr 7, 2019 at 8:28 pm #3587563
I have to question why you WANT more people to go.
Inyo NF had 66,000+ people backpacking last year – that was just the ones that pulled permits, doesn’t count people hiking into Inyo from other forests/parks, day hikers, those who didn’t bother with permits… the Sierra is having a boom of usage. 30+ thousand people requested the JMT permit – quota kept the numbers below 4000 for the Happy Isles to Whitney, but creative folks did other trailheads. Met someone hiking south from Florence Lake – plan was for him and his buddy to do the south half, come back to Florence, do the north half, because the quotas were more generous.
I think we’ll be wanting fewer people on the trail rather than wonder why more people don’t go, soon…. the water is starting to register contaminants. SEKI warned us at the usual pre-backpack lecture last year to wash off before you get in the lake to swim to avoid adding your sunscreen and DEET to the watershed.
SO, perception isn’t everything…Jun 18, 2018 at 2:38 pm #3542691
My podiatrist observed that I have bunions, and also a large neuroma in the left foot. I also have a small neuroma in the right foot. After hiking for more than a decade, hundreds of miles per year, wearing out one pair of light hikers after another – not barefoot shoes or Five Fingers, those were right out, can’t wear them – I can no longer walk barefoot anywhere, even inside the house, without pain.
I have a pair of leather boots, for the first time in my life. I always hated boots with a passion but having a thick sole that keeps me from banging toes around and walking on hard stuff helps. I have a prescribed lotion from the podiatrist that keeps the neuropathy in my feet from keeping me up all night. Without it, if I hike for a day in granite-filled trail and then sit down, taking all pressure off my feet, they start to hurt. In bed at night the muscles spasm, the neuromas ache and throb, and the toes just flat out hurt. Keeps me awake. With the anesthetic lotion I can tolerate life on my feet.
Neither the bunions nor the neuromas are accounting for the extreme pain – neither are at a point where surgery is an option. Best guess, I’ve really hurt my feet. Months of rest haven’t altered the symptoms. The lotion is about it for me. It’s expensive. But it keeps me from experiencing the worst of the pain. I’ve never done anything extreme, just hiking… no climbing, nothing.
See a doc, don’t mess around until it gets to the point that you can’t halt the damage.Jun 11, 2018 at 4:29 pm #3541442
I either rehydrate in the bag if using a smaller pot, or heat up enough water for a hot drink and a meal, plus a little extra to rinse out the mug I used to rehydrate/eat with.
I do NOT go out there to do dishes. I’d rather be fishing, chilling… or cutting trees out of the trail, or hiking.
Any water used to wash anything should be dispersed far from water sources.
Having been in the backcountry every month for years, either working or playing, I would never drink untreated water – friends in SAR have been treated multiple times for giardia, as have a few of their dogs. No one who is out there that much would drink untreated water. It’s a roulette wheel whether you are infected or not, but the visitation to the Sierra is on the upswing and you have no idea who’s been in that water before you got there, nor how many livestock have been in it.Jun 7, 2018 at 2:50 pm #3540683
I’d have a check with a podiatrist. That’s what happens with my neuromas – one in each foot. Can’t walk barefoot, feels like a hot spot when hiking, no matter what shoe I wear.
There are pads on amazon that fit over the forefoot – these days I have one for the bunion on each foot and a larger gel pad that cushions the entire forefoot to decrease the pain of the neuromas.
Have it checked out earlier rather than later. The right insoles can help slow down the progress of the problem, if it’s something other than a hot spot.Jun 4, 2018 at 2:39 pm #3540149
Caltopo does everything you need a GPS software to do, free. Generate elevation profiles, create a route with a few clicks on established trails or many clicks off trail (definite your own route). Also you can save routes under an account for sharing to others with links.
You can add maps as layers – say a USGS quad over a FS map — and adjust the transparency of the maps until both layers are visible.
You can add icons to show your friends where your intended campsites will be. Color code each day’s intended hiking in any color you like. Join or split a track you’ve added. Delete sections.
Printing sections of the map to your printer or to a pdf is pretty simple, and all the data you need (declination, scale, etc) is printed in the margins. If you want a larger map than you can print, save to pdf and email it to Office Depot – it will cost some money but you can print color maps on various paper stock. I’ve done it for trail crew trips. We share back and forth detailed maps on CalTopo of the work we’ve done, classifications for all the trails we work added in so we know how far off the trail we need to cut the logs, label/prioritize, and before the trip the section map gets printed and handed out to the volunteers.Jun 1, 2018 at 8:06 pm #3539673
Any gadget is unreliable – it’s been my contention for years, based on direct observation. Have had texts sent to me that took long hours to get through, from InReach. Have used a sat phone, and had the same issue. No message/failure, or long delays. And having been SAR, I know about the misfires and people found with functional devices that didn’t help them at all….
Regardless of what you use, leave an itinerary with someone always. Don’t let this or any device lull you into thinking you don’t have to. Reconn.org is a great template to use.
I have an ACR locator beacon – and while I have not had issues since I have yet to push that button I had an interesting experience with NOAA and some search organization in Chile — my device ID number was mistakenly affiliated with an organization somehow in the database that led to me getting an email asking where I was and had I activated my beacon. Several days later I had spoken to NOAA and then to someone in an office affiliated with the Air Force about the issue. I hope whoever actually activated that beacon near Easter Island got the help they needed while people were asking me questions about the not-activated beacon sitting in my house in California.
Then there was the panicked young woman whose dad had a SPOT that he left in a campsite on the High Sierra Trail. She was upset when the breadcrumbs stopped moving, and again when someone found it and started playing with it. Dad eventually figured it out, turned around, actually found the guy who gave the device back to him, but the non backpacking family members were convinced someone whacked dad and stole his stuff.
Don’t assume anything when it comes to this stuff. They are helpful but they aren’t going to replace that good old fashioned practice of leaving an itinerary with someone.
I may get the InReach Mini, but I’m still using reconn.org and occasionally the high band radio when out with trail crew. The high band radio isn’t reliable in spite of the towers all over the backcountry. When dealing with volunteers I am approaching the matter of safety with redundancies.May 31, 2018 at 3:17 pm #3539414
Filters don’t take out chemicals, just biologicals. It’s drinkable if not contaminated by chemicals – palatable may be another matter entirely. Choosing sources that are not downstream of potential contaminants such as a mine, or agriculture, or other human activity, is a good idea.
For very silty water you may want to settle out particulates in a container for a while before filtering so it doesn’t clog the filter. A lot of the pump filters have a prefilter to do a lot of that work, but that too can clog if it’s a lot of silt.May 30, 2018 at 9:29 pm #3539299
I have three season quilts and 0 degree quilts. i don’t snow camp often, but I do take the quilt, with adequate pad beneath and a heavier base layer/balaclava.
I have to toss and turn, as a side sleeper, and it’s habit now to tuck in and go back to sleep without freezing to death, been using quilts since before EE was even an option so I have Jacks R Better and Hammock Gear quilts, use them without straps and have zero issues with them.May 30, 2018 at 9:05 pm #3539296
Valley Food Storage – not the same as fresh, but also not as disgusting as Mountain House. Still a tad high on sodium but you don’t taste that at all. The meals I have tried so far have been pretty darn good, and ordering bulk it’s something like 4.80+- per meal.May 25, 2018 at 1:34 pm #3538278
Nope. Looks like the lost coast is getting nowhere near the amount of precip. For once.May 23, 2018 at 2:06 pm #3537777
I like the waistbands on Duluth Trading Post pants. Been getting them for trail crew. Some of the REI pants have buttons or other things on the inside of the waist band that annoy me, Duluth has some good wearing good fitting pants. They come in different lengths and have sturdy snaps instead of buttons to break off.May 23, 2018 at 3:57 am #3537702
Yep, Olympic limits you to day hiking on three trails and a few beaches. And that’s generous, as national parks go. Most only allow them on roads and in campgrounds, leashed, no trails.
You would likely have to enter the PCT to meet your friends via Cottonwood Pass, from Horseshoe Meadows, to avoid the southern boundary of Sequoia NP. If they’re going to be north of there by then, you may have to change your plans… the next opportunity will be all the way north of Kings Canyon, Piute Pass. And you’d have to hike north with them and leave the trail before it enters Yosemite.May 17, 2018 at 3:19 pm #3536213
Also, the only time I have witnessed actual “sweat out the down” action was in the mid 40s, on a stupid-short trip when I took an experienced newbie (“I haven’t backpacked in three decades but I absolutely positively want to go on that 50 mile trip with you”) out with me. He used one of my quilts, brought with him a beastly heavy three layer jacket and slept with that on, with the quilt over him, and chanted that he was “freezing to death” for most of the night. Later he confessed that he went to a doctor and found out he had an infection (staph, I think) on his skin, and also he was a poorly maintained diabetic. But the down in my quilt was soaked down to clumps in two baffles.
I have at times over the years felt damp while dry inside the tent and it is my impression, unscientific and skewed to subjective as it is, that how I feel is not always true. There have been times that I felt tingling on my skin that I thought was silnylon misting – it proved to be untrue, just humidity increasing in a light shower and the inside of the tent was cold but not wet. Cold nylon can feel to me to be wet, and there may be a little moisture, but I’ve not observed significant degradation of loft in such conditions. I wonder at times if when I perceive cold if my body responds by upping the circulation. I have had sweaty skin above freezing despite it being 39-45F and not really all that warm, by our day to day civilized standards. Nor did I perceive that I was warm — until I sat up out of the quilt and got back in it.
If I were routinely out below 25F I would consider an overbag, but have not had too many issues as I am, with the quilts I have.May 17, 2018 at 2:17 pm #3536201
I used one of those Klymit pads – froze, ditched it and went back to Exped, problem solved. I have been using a Jacks R Better Hudson River for 12 years. I knew it was not the quilt.May 17, 2018 at 2:11 pm #3536200
I used to rent one by mail from them every time I did a trip too long to use the smaller bear vault. Never had an issue with them, they are very friendly and helpful. The wife told me the story of the company one time when I got nervous and called to see if it had been shipped.
Now I own one. No regrets.May 15, 2018 at 2:57 pm #3535633
Treat my clothes with permethrin every half dozen washes, after embedded tick in spot I will only describe as impossible for me to see myself… the nurse and doc only chuckled for five minutes. I don’t doubt there is scar tissue… it required a few stitches. The rash that threatened to take over half my body lasted a few days, was taken care of by a round of intravenous antibiotic followed by a course of doxy.
Guess what they use for chiggers? Permethrin laced lotion.May 12, 2018 at 3:19 am #3534986
Yeah, I think I’m getting the times for permit pick up conflated with SEKI… the rules keep changing in the parks due to demand too so it doesn’t help.
“I am trying to understand if I can take the Porcupine creek trail south and then hike up through Little Yosemite Valley, possibly to Vogelsang and then back swinging by Clouds Rest. Maybe that is too ambitious or breaks the rules listed above. (?)”
If by this you mean hike down from Porcupine Creek via the Yosemite Falls trail or the Snow Creek trail, to the Valley itself, then up Happy Isles to LYV, no, you cannot do this. If by this you mean hiking north along the rim to connect to the trail to Clouds Rest, hike over the ridge to LYV, then yes. The Valley proper is outside wilderness boundaries. You stay inside wilderness boundaries or the permit is void. Also hiking up the road to another trailhead to continue – you can cross the road to continue on the trail on the other side, but not walk the road or shuttle or drive anywhere and continue.
You can park and take the YARTS or the hiker bus back to the starting trailhead. YARTS schedule is on their website, hiker bus schedule is at yosemitepark.com
You also cannot camp within a mile of the road, FYI.May 11, 2018 at 2:51 pm #3534818
Go to the Yosemite website and look at when they give out walk in permits. There are actually two ways to get a permit. The ones they held back for walk ins, the ones that other people paid for and abandoned.
The walk in permits are handed out starting the day before the starting date on your permit.
The permits that other people reserved, but did not pick up in time, are considered abandoned – those will be the ones you are picking up the morning of, for starting on the same day.
There are different times for these lines. They got sick of having a mile of people camping on their doorstep, and so this is the way it works now. Go in the morning and see about an abandoned permit for the same day. If that doesn’t work, hang out til 1 (or 2, not remembering exactly) and try for a walk in for the following day. If you don’t get that, come back the following morning and try again for an abandoned permit.May 11, 2018 at 2:48 pm #3534817
Two things can happen – mildew, or rotting PU. Mildew smells bad. PU rotting smells like barf, and you’ll see it peeling and flaking. Toss it if it’s doing that, no way to restore it. Clean it and dry it thoroughly before storing it again if it’s mildew.May 9, 2018 at 1:10 pm #3534484
Any time someone asks “what skills do I need in winter on a solo” the answer to whether they should go is no. Any time someone who has never backpacked says “should I do the JMT” the answer is no. Combine the two and whoa, son, that’s gonna hurt.
Everything will need to be heavier than it was in summer – more clothes, and you will have ALL your food for the ENTIRE TRIP because the resorts out there start to shut down and many are closed up by Sept 15. By October 15 roads are closed to overnight parking in anticipation of snow. There is not a bear canister big enough for 200+ miles worth of food and you MUST have one, so you will be carrying multiple bear canisters.
Electronics fail, especially in the cold that zaps batteries. They don’t fail consistently, but they are not an absolutely perfect solution. All you have to do is google the Bob Woodie search – they went to the last breadcrumb his Spot left, he wan’t there, they found him elsewhere dead. This is also what happens when you are hypothermic – and unable to think straight to recognize how much trouble you are in to press the button and get help before you die.
You aren’t even sure what gear you need. The right gear for you is partly determined by experience, which you don’t have.
You should take an experienced winter backpacker/mountaineer with you for a while when going in winter, to learn the skills specific to winter. You should go for one and two night trips, then longer, before you go for 10-20. If you’re not planning to do these things before you go, you’ll be running a much higher risk of being like this guy: https://www.nps.gov/yose/blogs/lost-at-hetch-hetchy.htm
Yep, you might go and have an epic time. But you’re increasing exponentially the chances that you won’t… As a former SAR volunteer, I can tell you that you are one of “those guys.”
Wait a year and get a bunch of good experience.May 5, 2018 at 12:56 pm #3533794May 4, 2018 at 5:31 am #3533634
No love for the satellite hotspots already in existence?
The satellite phone companies have expensive ones in various form factors as well.May 3, 2018 at 2:32 pm #3533505
A decent map: https://www.mobilemaplets.com/showplace/14157May 3, 2018 at 2:11 pm #3533498
Google maps of the Lost Coast. There are interactive maps online for the King Range and Sinkyone sections. There are trails uphill of the beach, but all in the trees with some views out to sea.
Not sure what you mean by the middle part – Shelter Cove, a small town, is between the BLM and state park sections. You end up walking on roads over to pick up the trail again.
Wonderland Guides has a website that helps you plan a Lost Coast trip, and even tho most of it is dedicated to hiking the beach there are other resources mentioned in the guide like shuttle drivers and where to pick up/drop off bear cans.Apr 30, 2018 at 3:23 am #3532887
To carry 35 pounds in my ULA CIrcuit, I found that I had to rearrange the pack significantly. If I put my quilt in the bottom smashed flat, put the Bearikade Weekender down inside vertically, and put all the rest in around the bear can, it carried better. I also pulled the Platypus out of the sleeve and put it down the side of the pack inside, rather than down the back panel, to force the can closer in.
While it’s possible to carry the Weekender horizontally inside the Circuit, doing so was terribly uncomfortable for me. I’ve never used any other bear can in the Circuit except for the smaller Bare Boxer.