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Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



I'm doing the John Muir Trail next month, and one of the things I'm not sure about is a jacket. My current outdoors jacket cost maybe $160 at REI. It's two layers: an outer water- & wind-resistant shell and an inner puffy jacket for warmth. I've kind of racked up a significant bill buying ultralight backpacking stuff, so I'm not sure whether to upgrade this one to some sort of fancy softshell. On a similar note, do you think upgrading my inexpensive point-and-shoot camera to one with GPS would be worthwhile?

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Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Don't care about the specific GPS coordinates, I just want to easily figure out what & where I've shot when I get home.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Verman posted:

Is there anything wrong with your current jacket that would warrant upgrading for any reasons other than wanting new gear? Price has nothing to do with performance, so if your jacket keeps you dry and warm when it has to then it doesnt NEED replacing. If its starting to soak through rather than repel, try waterproofing it to see if that helps. I had my mountain hardwear rain shell for the better part of about 5 years and I replaced it when I realized I was having to reapply waterproofing every other time it got wet.

As for GPS cameras, its the sort of thing that if you are already looking at buying a camera and you find yourself constantly taking photos outdoors and putting them to a map then it would be convenient but as far as going out of your way to buy a new camera just for the GPS feature that you might not use, that just seems like burning money on unnecessary stuff.

If you are carrying a gps, just take notes of the coordinates when you take certain photos. If you look at a map after you return, you can probably retrace your route fairly easily and mark your photos pretty quickly.

Yeah, points well taken. I won't upgrade for its own sake, but I'm just not sure how well an REI jacket that I purchased for casual wear is going to hold up if I really need it in the backcountry. :ohdear: I guess I'll take it on a couple more short outings and try to decide. Still not sure about the camera either; my current one is kind of crap and even a $150 ruggedized model would be a major upgrade. I'm not interested in wasting money, but I do want to have good records of this trip a few years down the road. Hm.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



If you're thinking of putting three people in the "3-person" Fly Creek, by the way, expect to get very friendly with your tentmates.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



I'm starting the JMT from Yosemite tomorrow. I hope this is a good idea because I'm sure not changing plans now :v:

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Vivian Darkbloom posted:

I'm starting the JMT from Yosemite tomorrow. I hope this is a good idea because I'm sure not changing plans now :v:

Update: alive! We did it in 17 days, it was fun and pretty and I am never going outside again. :) Here's a pretty thing!

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



My friend did this one. I guess it's some kind of pose?

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



After doing the JMT with a few friends last year, we're looking for a new long-distance hike. Any special recommendations? We live in Northern California, so there's other Sierra hikes, like the Tahoe Rim Trail. We were also looking at Denali and the Grand Canyon.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Levitate, I live in the central valley near Yosemite and could help you get to/from the trail. If you're interested, twinxor at gmail.com.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Anyone been hiking in the Lost Coast area of Humboldt County? I really love the California coast and I'm hoping to do the 3-day hike through this summer with friends from the JMT. I know that you need tide tables to pass some areas, and there's a a lot of hiking on sand, anything else I ought to know?

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



We didn't get the Grand Canyon permit this year, but we're cleared to do Half Dome in July. Is it recommended to do that climb in a few days, while we backpack around the valley?

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Yeah, I guess that's not so bad, since I'll have a daypack instead of a full backpack.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Nifty posted:

Took a 2-night trip to California's "Lost Coast" this past weekend. Up in Mendocino County, where they decided not to build the 1 highway as the terrain was far too rough for construction. Surprisingly the trail was pretty drat packed but it honestly had no affect on the experience as there were ample camp sites. Beautiful place! Hiking on sand/beach stone for half the 24-mile trail sucks though







Looks like an awesome hike. I'm making plans to go in September. Did you use a shuttle service to get back to the trailhead?

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



I hiked Half Dome with some friends today. The cable climb was a little freaky, moreso because a ranger was strongly suggesting we not go due to the weather. But we made it, though it took forever to get down with a panicked climber stopping traffic for half an hour. The haze from that fire was unfortunate, all my photos sucked.


Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Uh, showing him up wasn't really my point. There weren't any t-storms in the area, at any rate, and lots of people were heading up and down.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Vivian Darkbloom posted:

Anyone been hiking in the Lost Coast area of Humboldt County? I really love the California coast and I'm hoping to do the 3-day hike through this summer with friends from the JMT. I know that you need tide tables to pass some areas, and there's a a lot of hiking on sand, anything else I ought to know?

Nifty posted:

Took a 2-night trip to California's "Lost Coast" this past weekend. Up in Mendocino County, where they decided not to build the 1 highway as the terrain was far too rough for construction. Surprisingly the trail was pretty drat packed but it honestly had no affect on the experience as there were ample camp sites. Beautiful place! Hiking on sand/beach stone for half the 24-mile trail sucks though







Just back from this one. It was a difficult 3 days - inland areas were steep and muddy, the beach has some zones that are still flooded at low tide, and more than half the walking is on the beach, usually a mix of crumbly sand and uneven stones. Worth the trip though.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Here's a few shots from the Lost Coast. And my bruised rib is almost entirely recovered!

Areas are often flooded at high tide:


Lots and lots of walking on beaches that all look like this:


Here are some birds

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Aww, was thinking of hiking the JMT again. I'm part of the problem :geno:

Tigren posted:

It's not completely dead! I did about 15 miles over the weekend in California's second largest state park, Henry Coe. Definitely check it out when you move this way. It was about 75* and I wore shorts and t-shirt until the sun started to set. It was pretty awesome.



Where did you enter the park/what area did you stay in? That's a good place for (hard) mountain biking.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



I'm partial to the Leatherman CS minitool, which is only an ounce and a half. But it's easy to imagine that on a longer trip a bigger knife would be more useful.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Wow, looks like the JMT might not be happening for me this year, if Levitate's posts are any indication. Maybe we'll do the Tahoe-Yosemite trail instead.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



So we're looking at JMT alternatives for this summer. Has anyone hiked the Tahoe Rim Trail, or the Tahoe-Yosemite Trail? They both look like a decent challenge.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



African AIDS cum posted:

I'm trying to get permits to hike the John Muir trail this summer, and it might be iffy with the lottery system they have.

PCT trail permits are free if you are doing > 500 miles, so what if I just got one of those and hiked southbound from Yosemite on it, and then left the trail "early" at Whitney Portal?

You'd be a jerk, I guess?

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



So write your loving congressperson. Lying about your plans to evade the quota makes things a little worse for everyone using the trail.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



bunnielab posted:

Hah, holy poo poo, so the old boyscout "walk 100 yards off the trail and bury it" isn't a thing anymore?

That is just so lame and depressing.

Well, it doesn't work so great if you haven't got any soil to decompose in.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Does anyone have insight about the water situation in the Tahoe area? I'm concerned about having enough water if I can carry only 3 or 4 liters. I've seen varying advice on this - some people say there's plenty of year-round water while other people talk about caching water at trailheads in order to have enough. We would be doing the Tahoe Rim Trail in late July, and between the dry year and the relative lack of water sources on the northern-western area of the trail I'm a little worried.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



I've been thinking of picking up an Atmos AG 65 backpack for hikes this summer; the 46 liter pack I took on the JMT was barely adequate and I want something that can comfortably hold 6 or 7 days supplies if needed. This pack has been getting good reviews, partly due to the "anti-gravity" suspension system:

Osprey posted:

A continuous panel of lightweight mesh extends from the top of the backpanel to the hipbelt. The seamless structure contours automatically to the body, providing outstanding fit and unrestricted movement when wearing the pack.

I wonder how durable something like this is? The mesh back has to remain taut for the suspension to work and if the mesh tears a little bit that seems like it could really screw things up.

edit: What's the benefit of a separate sleeping bag compartment? A lot of bags have them, but since I only need my sleeping bag at the end of the day, why does it matter if it's more accessible?

Vivian Darkbloom fucked around with this message at 13:36 on Apr 2, 2015

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



I'm going to head to REI tomorrow and check out their packs, can't quite bring myself to buy something so important online. Thanks for the feedback on the Atmos though. It seems like a solid choice but now I'm wondering if something lighter wouldn't be better than having all the bells and whistles.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



I wish inflatable pads weren't so heavy. I use a foam Thermarest pad which weighs 14 oz, and it doesn't look like I'd save much weight moving to inflatable, though not having to carry a big rolled-up pad is nice of course.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Tashan Dorrsett posted:

Looks like the past page has turned into a trailrunner vs boot shitstorm. The correct answer is to own both. If you have zero gear and you are starting out, I can say with absolute certainty that you should start off with a trailrunner. I used to be in the boot camp, and I live in a very rainy area, and the trailrunners get picked over the boots 90% of the time. The boots are nice to have in the winter for warmth, but that's about it. You have most of the year before you'll need a boot, do what I did and pick up a pair of $200-400 boots for $50 at an REI garage sale when you get the chance. Protip: most of the time they'll do 50% off after 2pm on the garage sales if you have a receipt. Buy something else you want in the morning, find your boots, and hang out around the store for a couple hours -- wham bam $400 boots for $50.

Argh, I love my boots but now I'm seriously thinking of using trail runners on the Tahoe-Yosemite hike. Probably will be pushing 30 lbs at maximum load, but my friend used trail runners on the JMT with great results, and my boots sure did feel heavy on those passes. That 1lb = 5lb thing would mean a lot of savings.

I was unclear on something - can you ford rivers with them, after taking off your socks? Sounds nice, if they drain easy.

Vivian Darkbloom fucked around with this message at 01:59 on Apr 15, 2015

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Do you all find you use knives much in the backcountry? Weight's not an issue so much because you can get folding blades around 0.5 oz, but I don't know if I'd really need it. On the JMT I don't think I used my multitool at all.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



khysanth posted:

My wife and I are looking for a two-night backpacking trip in Yosemite in the next few months. Preferably somewhere out in the Tuolomne area where we could camp by a lake one night, anywhere really on the other night, then loop back to our car. Maybe a peak if possible. Any recommendations?

Two nights is a great idea, because you can really get out to the backcountry. Also, Yosemite has that nice shuttle system, which means you don't have to hike back to your car. I haven't done any longer trips in that area besides hiking from the valley up to Tuolomne Meadows via Sunrise Mountain (which is great, incidentally). Just looking at the trailhead info, maybe try Glen Aulin to May Lake? There are plenty of side trails to check out too.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Is there anywhere I can cheaply buy a bunch of hot sauce, mustard, and olive oil packets? I found a couple sites that will pick out the number of packets you want, but the prices + shipping are really high. This would be perfect, but you have too get 100 packets. Alternatively, how do you package condiments to take them along?

Vivian Darkbloom fucked around with this message at 01:58 on Apr 22, 2015

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Atticus_1354 posted:

I have used this place some a while ago. They took my money and shipped me stuff no problem.

http://www.minimus.biz/

Oh cool, I didn't see they had free shipping over $20. Perfect!

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Tashan Dorrsett posted:

How does everyone like the Sawyer mini? I've been using drops for my water, but it seems like a decent step up in the world. Any reasons why I may hate it?

I like mine just fine, and I can't think of any reasons not to like it, if you're ok with gravity filters. Maybe that it stops working right if it freezes?

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



My pack's at a base weight just under 10kg, and I'm still unable to leave my Kindle at home. I've turned into one of those people who buys ultralight poo poo just so I can bring the kitchen sink along.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



I figured solo backpacking would be too boring or lonely, and I was happy to be proven wrong! I wandered around Henry Coe park for an overnight trip this weekend, and really enjoyed myself. I didn't see anyone else in the park at all for 24 hours and I got to enjoy the solitude. It was a little lonely after dinner, with only a huge swarm of ants to keep me company, but camp downtime is always a little dull. And a 1- or 2-night trip seems like a really good length if you want to get out in the backcountry but not totally trash your body.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Anyone familiar with the Emigrant Wilderness north of Yosemite? It's not far from me and I was thinking of doing a 2-night trip up there next week, if there are any recommended places to check out.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



I have a Jetboil that prepares boiling water but gets totally hosed up if I try to cook in it. I tried using and reusing one Mountain House pouch to rehydrate stuff (like couscous or oatmeal that doesn't need continuous heat) but this is pretty unhygienic and untasty. What's the best option - freezer bags to cook in, a titanium bowl, or just get a stove that simmers and a cookpot? I think having the ability to do real cooking would be kind of fun, if I have the energy by the time I camp.

Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



OSU_Matthew posted:

It's hard to cook with such direct heat in such a thin pot. Casseroles are usually the best bet in my opinion for cooking. Or, if you're winter camping and can deal with a few extra pounds, cast iron is amazing for camp stoves. My buddies and I have done everything from reeses pancakes to hash browns and bacon burritos with cast iron, and it's amazing. Totally impractical for most trips though.

I'm looking forward to trying the freezer bag meals someone here linked awhile back:

https://web.archive.org/web/20071016093037/http://www.freezerbagcooking.com/dinnerricedishes.htm

I've seen a lot of one-pot recipes online, but maybe they're better-adapted for steel pots - no way am I lugging cast iron anywhere. With the titanium pots do you think some basic sauteeing is out of the question? It seems like it would also be good for stews and other liquidy food.

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Vivian Darkbloom
Jul 14, 2004



Saint Fu posted:

This is my set up: stove and pot.

Jetboils definitely boil faster but I don't like dealing with a bunch of used freezer bags on longer hikes. For me it's worth it to carry the small Ti pot. And the stove is tiny and works great. Doesn't boil as fast as the Jetboil but it's definitely adequate. IMO, Jetboils are great if a bunch of people are sharing one stove, each with their own pot/cup.

Interesting, thanks. I'd probably buy a .9 L pot, since I have a 450 mL Toaks mug now and it's pretty small for cooking. I wonder if the cheap little stove you linked would be sturdy enough for that? Looks like the SnowPeak GigaPower stove is pretty well-regarded too, in that it's said to be a little more stable than other ultralight stoves.

Vivian Darkbloom fucked around with this message at 16:56 on May 15, 2015

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