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Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Add me to the list of Hikers too please.

Located in the UP of Michigan. Can advise on hikes in the UP and Isle Royale. If you're hiking and need another dude let me know.

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Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



mastershakeman posted:

I've done the apostles in the summer and it was gorgeous, but this looks amazing:
http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2014/02/05/272126457/almost-otherwordly-the-sea-caves-of-lake-superior-on-ice

My only worry is my first free weekend is in early March but the ice should be solid, I think??

The entirety of Lake Superior froze this year, and hard. It's been like 75 days since it got above freezing. If there was ever a year where you had good ice in March it'd be this year. I wouldn't be a bit surprised if you still had ice at the end of April.

And post some pictures of it! I've never seen it this time of year. It'd look similar to Pictured Rocks in the winter I'd imagine.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Hi again hiking thread.

Has anyone tried the Marmot Force line of tents? How does all of the mesh hold up? Any thoughts on the value?

I'm looking for a good 2 person UL tent, that ones on sale at REI for $280.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Hungryjack posted:

I'm more of a Big Agnes guy myself, but browsing around, I found the Marmot Ajax 2-Person for $137 after online coupons and it has a 4.5 star rating with almost 100 reviews. It's worth considering. Full disclosure, I have no personal experience with this tent.

EDIT: At 5.5lbs it's on the heavy side, but you never stated what your goals were. For drive-up camping or light hiking, that would do you just fine, especially as a starter.

EDIT2: Big Agnes Fishhook UL2 is closer to 3.5lbs, but I can't get it down under $279 even with codes. Is a 2-pound savings worth $140 extra? That's completely up to you.

Thanks! I should have added some more info.

Looking for ultralight, ~ 3 lb-ish. Price below $400. This'll be my Alaska / Trail running / Isle Royale kind of tent. If all else I'll go with the REI Half-Dome 2. I don't have any experience with Big Agnes stuff, though it definitely looks nice. This'll be my "return to hiking" tent now that I have a five year old. The bivy would be a touch tight with him inside. Ideally it's light enough that I can use it solo too.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



facey fred posted:

Have you looked at Tarptent? The Double Rainbow seems pretty close to what you're looking for.

How are the single wall for condensation? It looks like an awesome tent, but I'm in the Midwest and humidity is always a summer issue.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



BaseballPCHiker posted:

I dont know why everyone seems to forget about the REI Quarter-Dome. It's slightly smaller and weighs much less than the Half-Dome and is still reasonably priced. I've had mine and used it all through NW and SE Alaska for years without any issues, it's held up really well. I got the two person for myself and it's perfect size and can accommodate two and a dog when my GF and dog come with me.

If you want to get any lighter than 3-4 pounds you'll have to start looking towards tarp tents and bivy setups instead of freestanding tents. For the money though I think the Quarter-Dome is one of the best ultralight tents out there.


Huh , to be honest I never even noticed it in the search results. I like the looks of that one, the price and weight are right. Eventually it'll have to survive near Seward for a week or so, glad to hear of some SE Alaska cred.

Thanks!

I'll nab some trail report pics, we're headed up to Grand Island on Lake Superior for my wifes first hiking trip.

:getin:

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



REI shipped my Quarter Dome 3 crazy fast. Original delivery date was Wednesday, instead it showed up today. A nice surprise for sure, man, what a light tent. I was going to get the QD2, but for like another 6 ounces and an additional 4 inches pack length I got the next size up.





I set it up solo in about 10 minutes even with a 20 mph breeze. Very pleased with it so far, can't wait to try it on the trail.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



I have one of the Kelty Cosmic Down 20's and I've used it for four years and its held up great. Only now is the down starting to bunch up. For a $99 bag I've been really happy. I'd have no problem getting another one for summer hiking.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Man, it's hard to post trip pics from the boring old Midwest after seeing vistas like that.

That view is stunning, loving beautiful.

I'm jealous :(

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



You got it! We did a nice trip around Grand Island a couple weekends ago. Amazing how different a National Forest is from a National Park. No paperwork, no briefings, they weren't even particularly curious when we were headed back. Just gently caress it, have fun!

Our first day was 9 miles to the North tip of the island. We were the only people up there. At 5:30 two Japanese girls come into our campsite and ask what time the last ferry leaves (6:00 PM). When they realized they couldn't make it they then asked where the hotel was on the island. (There isn't one). So off they went, not sure how they ended up getting off.

The next day was a really chill 7 miles. The trail is very mellow with a few great vistas looking West over the Huron Mountains. You're on 300 foot cliffs most of the time, but it doesn't feel like it. A few more people here, but not bad at all. Last time I saw a family of pine marten at this campsite, nothing this time.

The last day we waited for the ferry and headed out. A few bikers asked us how many bear we saw. They seemed disappointed to learn none. It seems Grand Island has the highest densities of black bears in the midwest.

I'll get some pics up later.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



mastershakeman posted:

Is that the place right off pictured rocks?

Yup.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



liz posted:

Any recommendations for Upper Peninsula camping for late September? Can't decide where to go! There are too many nice places... We will be car camping and I was thinking Pictured Rocks area but can't decide on a campground... Also open to other areas as well, just looking for a central base area for activities. Looking at 5 days but two of those will be driving from Chicago area (so really 3 full days). We definitely want to canoe and hike, is there anything else we should do/see?

I'll second Pictured Rocks. Camping at Twelvemile Beach is very nice in the fall. Further West you can hit Craig Lake State Park and (if you reserve it soon) can crash in a Yurt. The cabins get booked up really early, but the Yurt might still be open. Going even further west you can either head to the Porkies, or go north and stay at Fort Wilkins State Park just outside of Copper Harbor. Should you go that way you must, must, must, visit the Eastern Orthodox Monastery and buy baked goods. They have a cranberry muffin as large as your head. If you're adventurous keep going to the very tip of the Keewenaw peninsula and find the NASA rocket range for some goon cred.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



liz posted:

Thanks for ideas, Twelvemile Beach looks amazing! Does it get pretty cold in the fall with the wind coming off the lake? Is there anywhere around the area to grab a quick shower? I also checked the aurora forecast for that time but unfortunately it was low... :( Been chasing that forever. Either way, pretty excited to finally get up north and away from the city for awhile...

It can get cold in mid-July with a stiff North wind. The campground has a back loop, which is probably 100 yards off the beach, go there if it's a nasty north Wind.

As far as a quick shower, I'm not aware of anything in Grand Marais area, but Munising has a "tourist park". If you hit Munising grab a pasty at Muldoons, it has the second best pasty in the UP.

I know Marquette has a Senex station on US41 that does a $5 shower. All of the bigger state parks have showers, the nearest would be Muskallonge State Park. (20 miles East of Grand Marais on the Lake)

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Thanks man! We ended up getting the Quarter Dome 3 and we're very pleased. Though what sort of people they use for sizing is up for debate, there's no way 3 full grown men are going to sleep in that tent unless they're from the Village People.

Our plan was to head up in August but well, life and all that jazz, so next summer. I'd love a goons eye view of the area.

We loved Seward when we were there last year. I did a kayak tour out to Fox Island. We were staying in Soldotna which I regret now, Seward was much nicer. Homer was decent too, but with Seward it was like BAM, mountains!

edit : Beautiful pic too, I'd love to camp in the mountains when I'm up there.

Yooper fucked around with this message at 12:14 on Sep 11, 2015

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



MojoAZ posted:

Did a fun 7 day solo backpacking/packrafting trip to Denali National Park. Spectacular scenery, zero other people and LOTS of wildlife encounters. Unfortunately my jury-rigged solution to try to strap my camera to my head didn't really work, so I didn't capture video of the packrafting section, but here's a video of the rest:

https://youtu.be/MwLAFGJIN2Q

That looks like an amazing hike. How long until they stop running the buses?

I was there last summer, our bus somehow lost the radiator cap and I had to jog back a couple of miles through polychrome pass. Luckily enough there it was, sitting right in the middle of the road. Probably the most beautiful jog I ever had.

That and I couldn't wait to get off that loving bus.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Depending on the type/size of fish, I prefer to cut the gill plates and bleed them out.

edit : or a rock.

Yooper fucked around with this message at 16:36 on Oct 28, 2015

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Desmond posted:

I've been editing an upcoming book by a guy who hiked the Appalachian Trail, rode a bike from the west coast to the east coast, and has been living off-grid in Saskatchewan for a long time with his wife. It's really interesting; he obviously is pretty fit and rugged and a handyman to boot, as far as knowing how to build stuff, how to cook stuff, how to get by in the wilderness. He's interviewed in Knowledge Base's Life Off Grid, which airs tonight.

Haven't done any hikes lately due to a cold, but I'm getting over that and back into running. We haven't done anything but day hikes so far and may not venture into more until slightly warmer weather. Our last trek was in Lynn Canyon in North Vancouver. I had never been there and was pretty amazed at this pocket of rainforest in the city. Looks like parts of it further up have some nice running trails too.

I would like to read this book.

Tell us more.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Desmond posted:

The book is called Off Grid and Free: My Path to the Wilderness, by Ron Melchiore.

February 2016!

:negative:

Be looking forward to it.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Levitate posted:

Harmony House was the company I was thinking of that sells a "backpackers mix" of stuff that you can find at REI or order online for like $45. If you can get a dehydrator and don't mind spending some time, it's probably going to be cheaper and more efficient to make your own though.

http://www.harmonyhousefoods.com/Backpacking-Kit-18-ZIP-Pouches_p_1866.html


I picked this up and was pleasantly surprised with the variety in the pack. Took my wife on her first backpacking trip and every meal was pretty awesome. We did strictly freezer bag meals with flat bagels, tortillas, etc, and I was very impressed.

The meatish bits are actually meatish. Just don't let them sit too long otherwise they get rather spongish.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



I was snowshoeing not far from there in that same cold snap. It hit about -35F on the Gunflint and my windshield washer lines all ruptured on my subaru. :saddowns:

Good liner, food in your belly, and a way to get out of the wind and you'll do fine. You've got the right basis and skills. As long as your current setup isn't a My Little Pony Sleeping Bag rated for "a warm living room."

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Speaking of winter camping, my wife has been inspired to give it a try by Picnic's tale.

Which leaves me without a decent tent. All I have is my REI quarterdome. I'm thinking I can use snow and seal/pack up the edge of the rainfly to keep a crosswind out. We've got some quality ground insulation along with good bags, I'm just worried about the tent.

I'm not going to buy a $550 MSR 4 season tent just for one night to learn that she doesn't like winter camping.

Anyone tried 3 season tent in winter?

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Heners_UK posted:

I've used my REI Quarterdome in snow several times. You're fine, use it.

You might find that you get a bit of condensation freezing on the meshing... and it may collapse (but can be quickly righted) in heavy falling snow. Other than that, it's perfectly fine. 4 season tents essentially cover those two situation specifically, otherwise, 3 and 4 seasons are the same functionally.

Awesome, thanks everyone. Snow is a pretty distinct possibility. We'll either head up into the Huron Mountains or snowshoe into Chapel Beach on the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore.

If we wuss out we can rent a Yurt from the Michigan DNR for a weekend. That sounds pretty cool too.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Desmond posted:

Someone a few pages back expressed interest in a book I was editing about Ron Melchiore, who now lives off grid in the wilds of Saskatchewan. Leading up to this, he also hiked the entire Appalachian Trail in the winter and later rode his bike across the US. The book (Off Grid and Free: My Path to the Wilderness) is now published.

Awesome. I just picked up a copy.

But tell him to hit the cover artist with a stick. Seriously, if the dude needs some cover advice I can point him to some really great (and affordable) designers. It's a really lovely cover.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



mastershakeman posted:

The UP of Michigan is populated solely by ticks and mosquitoes, it's annoying.

Hey!

Don't forget the sand flies that live near Lake Superior. Attracted to DEET too, so if the mosquitos aren't biting the horrible flies are. They were so bad on one trip that it looked like I was wearing shaggy black pants.

The ticks mostly die off after the first heat wave, same usually for the mosquitos.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Spime Wrangler posted:

And the blackflies. Oh god the blackflies.

If a bugspray doesn't melt plastic its pretty much not worth using up here.

Another yooper?

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Contrast of weather, but still an island.



It's called Au Train island, it's west of Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. Which you can buy for a princely sum of $1.75 mil. http://www.autrainisland.com/

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Spent some time up on the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore today. It was a wonderful 55f with a stiff North breeze. I saw less tourists then I did mosquitos...





Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Ropes4u posted:

Does anyone roll their own freezer bag meals? If so can you post some pro tips and favorite meals.

I just got into this last summer and I made a lot of my meals using instant mashed potatoes and a mix of stuff from Harmony House's backpacker pack. Most of it was so good that we even doctor up our mash potatoes at home using that stuff.

We sewed up a heater coozy out of some water-heater insulation. It rather looked like bubble wrap with mylar on it.

Oh, if you add the "meatish bits" toss em in towards the end. They get a rather strange texture if they soak the whole time.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



SaltLick posted:

Random fire question. Is there a good fire build for a bright, kinda inefficient fire you'd only use for light instead of heat and cooking? Pretty much that hanging around the campfire just to bullshit instead of warmth.

Dry softwoods is your best bet. Pines. Cedars. Tamarack. Spruce. Thin, small pieces instead of large ones. But it's gonna burn fast, and light = heat so it's going to be warm too. Personally I prefer to let a hardwood fire roll into coals and let my eyes adjust to that light level.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Verman posted:

I switched from my whisper lite to a micro rocket. Much smaller, quicker, lighter and has the ability to simmer. I use it for 2-4 people depending on what we eat. Also, I switched from a stainless msr alpine pot to their 2 liter ceramic nonstick pot was huge. I'm finally able to make stuff in the pot without worrying about messy cleanup or toxic chemicals when the coating wears out.

I also retired my bigger stove for the micro rocket. At the same time I transitioned to freezer bag meals. I've not used a windscreen with it, mainly because the water boils so drat quick as it is and I haven't been out in nasty weather yet.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



I hiked around Pictured Rocks over the weekend. The normal parking lot was jam packed so everyone lined up on the road. Seeing as it's a nasty one lane road it didn't take long to clog up. Luckily a NPS Ranger was going down the line with a tow truck and pulling anyone who parked like an idiot to the end of the line. At first I thought they were towing them away, then I realized that'd be a dick move seeing as it's at the end of a 5 mile dirt track.



It was still crazy packed. The Coast Guard was out as there's a pontoon rental place and every beach and cove was filled with loving pontoon boats.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



BRAKE FOR MOOSE posted:

What are you thinking of? I'm a MI native and haven't been back to hike for several years, but I've had a trip on my radar to show my wife some cool parts of the state because I've never taken her outside of metro Detroit / Ann Arbor. I was thinking about hitting spots like Sleeping Bear, Porkies, and Pictured Rocks (considering Isle Royale but probably too much of a pain in that kind of trip). All of those are obviously big tourism spots that I remember visiting as a kid so I'm definitely interested in calmer options.

McCormick Tract and Craig Lake State Park are both excellent spots for low tourist density. If you're into mountain biking there's some good trails for that in Copper Harbor. Though I'm a bit miffed that it's bike only, no hiking.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



I hiked into a campsite once and found a dude with a flute.

I kept on going.

No way I'm hanging out with random dude and his flute.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Rime posted:

My local mountaineering club is building their first alpine cabin since the early 80's, spent last weekend up there helping out with a bunch of crusty old mountaineers. One of them was 73 and blowing my stamina out of the water.



It's going to be a beauty when it's finished, sure feels nice to be contributing something other than instagram shots to the hiking ecosystem. :3:

I would like to hear more about this and maybe some progress updates too. That's seriously cool poo poo to be working on.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



The prices are very competitive for a middle of the pack priced kayak. More expensive than the roto-molded but on the low end of the composites. I'd love to try one, the weights are very attractive. No idea on durability, but seeing as the life of a roto-molded kayak is about infinity, these should probably do pretty well. I've worked with some engineered plastics and you can abuse them nearly endlessly (to a stress point) before they fail.

Make magazine did an interesting piece about the base material, coroplast : http://makezine.com/2012/11/26/a-folding-kayak-made-of-corrugated-plastic/

One thing I've learned about my kayaks, the easier it is to get out, the more often I use them.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



You can get a cheaper roto-molded unit for 1/4 the price. But it'll weigh about 60 pounds and track like a cardboard box. To get a comparable weight would cost you more than the Oru, (say an Epic GPX) a few hundred bucks more. The big selling point for me is the portability.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Rime posted:

I have a long term plan to pack an Oru over the coast range from Squamish to Jervis Inlet, and then kayak down the Sunshine Coast. But I think I'm getting close to an age where packing one + a months gear up, across hella remote Alpine, and then back down 4000' would blow my knees out permanently. :black101:

Also, hut:



https://www.instagram.com/p/BKzqwxRgdm3/

There were only two of us last weekend and the snow is coming, so I have taken extraordinary social media measures to try and rustle up more helping hands before we're screwed. :ohdear:

If I wasn't, you know, 2,000 miles away I'd help you guys knock that out.

Who am I kidding, I'm an engineer, I'd gently caress it up.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



With the crazy warm weather I've been able to get in some late-season hikes. After the shitshow that was Pictured Rocks on Labor Day, I went for much more secluded hikes. Cool Trivia : The Park Service employs tow trucks to tow idiots who parked like assholes and brings the vehicles to end of where everyone else has parked. So when you get done hiking, and think your car is stolen, you'll really find it a mile down the road.



The first was the McCormick Wilderness. It was a short 3 miles in, that turned into bushwhacking in order to dodge beaver dam rampage. About a quarter mile of trail was pretty well flooded. The North Country Trail also follows this section through. The site of the old resort was interesting. But we ended up having more fun picking through the old trash pile and finding crazy old beer cans.





The Peshekee River, it dumps into Lake Michigamme.



This was the foundation of a very massive building. Maybe 4,000 square feet or so. When the McCormick family gave it to the State, all of the buildings got torn down. The guest cottages were all on an island with a ferry boat running to it.



The kitchen / dining area looked like something out of the Blair Witch Project.

Next up was the Craig Lake State Park, about 10 miles west of the McCormick Tract. This was a 6.5 mile loop that felt like it was only three. Very easy, though some of the trail markings were sketchy. There's two cabins on the lake that you can rent from the State, both were very nice. They also have two yurts nearby for rent too. I'm going to do some winter camping there.



The North Country Trail.







The trail was either like this, or rolling hardwoods.



I crossed this sweet bridge on the back side of Craig Lake.

Unfortunately I didn't get any sweet MapMyHike trail maps like Cheesemaster200.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



nate fisher posted:

I just wonder what other things we could add to make the trip even better. I've been looking at things like awnings that hook to the side of vehicles and nets that allow you to leave windows open. Any other things I should be looking at? Any advice or experiences would be appreciated.

I've got a '14 Outback, I've never slept in it, but have camped out of it. One cool thing I could see getting is a trailer hitch table.



The fold-up tables always felt pretty wobbly to me so I could see using one of these if you've got a htich.

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Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



I can second using the MSR Pocket Rocket. Mine is stuffed inside of GSI Pinnacle Soloist cooking pot and fits pretty good along with that mini shammy thing MSR gives you. That thing keeps it from clunking about. In regards to coffee I usually pack instant coffee because a french press is a mess to clean with all those grounds. Though I do pack an Ikea french press on occasion because the coffee is usually worth the effort. I just hate cleaning the grounds.

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