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JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




TouchyMcFeely posted:

Thanks for the ideas, all. I've opted to get her a nice beanie since it's the only piece of gear I can think of that she's missing.

On another note regarding cold temp hiking. I did a couple of hours today in 20-30 degrees. My lung were burning from the low temp air and I developed a bit of a cough until I got back inside.

Is there anything I can do to help prevent that from happening when I go out in the future?
Wearing something in front of my mouth like a balaclava helps me with this a lot.

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JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




If you plan on backpacking a lot and have never done it before, really

please work out.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




Citizen Z posted:

I've had the urge to pick up hiking or backpacking for a few years now and haven't really acted on it. I currently live in central OK, which is pretty flat. Can anyone recommend some good parks for day hikes in Oklahoma, Arkansas or north Texas?
I'm in your boat, I live in OKC but travel to backpack.

Southeast Oklahoma has relatively secluded places, and the rest of the Ozarks.

Wichita Mountains has decent trails, though once you've been a couple times it's pretty boring. They do allow backcountry camping with a permit though. I usually only go to get in a sort of "test run" to get me ready for a bigger trip. However, depending on what you're after it's definitely near the top of places to start.

I've seen nicer photos of more places in Arkansas, but I gravitate to "real" mountains much more so I've never spent time there. I suspect that's where the better hiking is in the region.

That's about the extent of my experience. I usually just go to New Mexico for weekend trips, taking a Friday or Monday for driving. It's only about ten hours if you hoof it (8 to Albuquerque). ABQ also has an REI. OKC only has Backwoods and Sun and Ski Sports which are both a little more expensive and have a much smaller selection.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME fucked around with this message at 15:26 on Jan 21, 2013

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




The Meersburger is not good, not at all. But don't let me stop you.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




There's a big difference in any given manufacturer's bags at the same ratings. Even people who work at REI tell me that Marmot bags are going to be warmer at 15 degrees (the rating of my bag) than their own brand, for example. Down fill and quality make a big difference. Also a great sleeping pad can make any given bag warmer.

Or add something like this so depending on how much colder you expect it to be than your bag's rating: http://www.rei.com/product/705534/sea-to-summit-reactor-thermolite-mummy-bag-liner

I bought an REI bag and I returned it for a Marmot. I don't recommend it. However I do get cold easier than most.

e: I mean I don't recommend an REI bag, at least if you plan on getting properly cold.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME fucked around with this message at 04:31 on Feb 4, 2013

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




I used a Big Agnes inflatable about two years ago and hated it. I now own a Synmat UL 7 and it is so amazingly comfortable. Not sure what the difference is.

The Big Agnes also didn't help when it got down to maybe 25 degrees. I was still cold underneath. The Synmat has never let me down in similar conditions. Hell I spent a night in Canyonlands last summer and it was too warm, I slept without my sleeping bag and just on that.

http://www.rei.com/product/811907/exped-synmat-ul-7-air-pad

However others seem to love Big Agnes stuff. Go to the store and lay on them in the position you would sleep in, too, of course.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




Anyone familiar with backpacking in Wyoming in March? I want to try to photograph the east side of the Winds or the Bighorns, but know little of what to expect (I mean, sure, lots of snow). Obviously should be relatively easier paths given winter. Any suggestions/experiences?

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




I've decided the Winds are probably out of bounds. The two trailheads I used are almost certainly impossible to get to, especially with my Honda Accord (despite tire chains). Big Sandy trailhead into Cirque of the Towers is definitely a no go. I may have to be content with photographing from a distance.

I can only assume the Bighorns are the same, however I'm still looking into it. Medicine Bow seems possible, but the road closest to it is closed in the winter so, welp.

... exploring other options, I know Glacier pretty well. I know of a few places I would very much like to photograph in winter and that I could snowshoe to them with relative ease. It's just so far from me. :/ The Tetons are also a possibility, but again I won't be getting into the backcountry.

Any other ideas? How is Rocky Mountain accessibility this time of year? I can't handle any real ice or anything, just snowshoes, and probably not terribly far, maybe ten miles in max?

God, I just imagine all the places I've been, and then covered in snow. This will be the first time I dip into it, and by god I'm gonna figure it out. On that note, anyone with tips and trick for camping in snow beyond "layers, warm sleeping pads, etc." is probably good to hear too.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




I've tramped around White Mountain Wilderness near Ruidoso. Beautiful and you can walk all along the ridge. Great view of the desert.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




If you guys in the US don't use Google Earth to help plan trips, you're missing out. They have every trail in every National Park well marked, with distances between waypoints and campgrounds, you name it.

And here: http://www.wilderness.net/NWPS/geography click on the "Google Earth" tab you can download maps of all the BLM and Foresty Service areas, including Wildernesses. National Wilderness Areas are even more protected than national parks, and there's a lot of them!

e: and using Panoramio you can pull up snapshots people have uploaded, so you can actually see what the area looks like

e2: and places like summitpost have .kmz files with routes, also, and those can be loaded onto newer GPS units, too

JAY ZERO SUM GAME fucked around with this message at 03:13 on Feb 12, 2013

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




Sometimes boundaries butt up against private land. Sometimes the boundry is from when the land, now public, was private. I don't think it's purposeful. They don't even always denote an actual boundary anymore.

The boundary to Pecos Wilderness in New Mexico has a fence on the south side were it meets Santa Fe Ski Area. There's a gate for pack animals and all that. However where Bridger Wilderness meets Bridger National Forest there's just a sign along the path.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




That's perfect info on Rocky Mountain NP, since I was thinking about Glacier Gorge and hiking to the top of Tabletop. Thank you!

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




The trouble is, everyone thinks their dog is perfectly behaved and has defense mechanisms against anyone criticizing their dog otherwise. Leave the dog at home. If you absolutely must take your dog, keep it on a leash the entire time. Never let it off. For your safety, other people's safety, and the dog's safety.

Here it is straight from the NPS. Don't dismiss any and think "These don't apply to my dog!" and strongly reconsider taking your dog:

Dogs can carry disease into the park's wildlife populations.

Dogs can chase and threaten wildlife, scaring birds and other animals away from nesting, feeding, and resting sites. The scent left behind by a dog can signal the presence of a predator, disrupting or altering the behavior of park wildlife. Small animals may hide in their burrow the entire day after smelling a dog and may not venture out to feed.

Dogs bark and disturb the quiet of the wilderness. Unfamiliar sights, sounds, and smells can disturb even the calmest, friendliest, and best-trained dog, causing them to behave unpredictably or bark excessively.

Pets may become prey for larger predators such as coyotes and bears. In addition, if your dog disturbs and enrages a bear, it may lead the angry bear directly to you. Dogs can also encounter insects that bite and transmit disease and plants that are poisonous or full of painful thorns and burrs.

Many people, especially children, are frightened by dogs, even small ones. Uncontrolled dogs can present a danger to other visitors.

e: This applies to all wilderness, not just National Parks.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME fucked around with this message at 14:42 on Feb 18, 2013

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




Sea to Summit for compression sacks.

I don't know how people stand Aquamira stuff. I have a Steripen and love it, however I only use it on hikes of a couple days due to batteries. I use a Sawyer gravity system for longer hikes.

There is no perfect water solution.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




stealie72 posted:

I can't tell you how many middle of nowhere grocery stores/targets/walmarts/quick-e-marts/etc I've stood in the parking lot of dumping a bag of M&Ms, a can of peanuts, and a box of raisins into a gallon zip lock bag. There's pretty much no need to ever buy the commercial stuff.

When that gets boring, I've come up with some tasty accidents grabbing handfuls of random dry stuff in my kitchen on my way out to something. I would have never had any idea that pretzels, butterscotch chocolate chips, and granola taste good together if I stuck to store-bought stuff :)
making your own trail mix is definitely the way to go.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




i made the mistake of dumping huge chocolate morsels into mine last summer. Huge gooey mess. Peanut butter M&Ms are awesome though

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




Drinking fresh coffee in the morning at 12,000 feet miles from so much as a dirt road is like being a god and is the best experience.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




Time Cowboy posted:

If I had six months to spare (and insane amounts of money for equipment and supplies), I'd probably pick the PCT over the AT, but after discovering some AT books in my library, the AT has been edging up in the rankings. Unfortunately, I'll have to live vicariously through people like you, Akion. Maybe in a few years I'll have enough money and spare time to do month long segments, but I probably won't have six months free until I'm 45, at the very youngest.

It's a bummer. I kind of have thru-hike fever right now. Maybe next summer I'll find a 50-100 mile trail and do a mini thru-hike.
Hiking north to south through the Winds in Wyoming would be a good one.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




Depends on, well, a lot of things, but I use the REI Flash 18 for that. It's usually about $30. Depends on how light you wanna pack though. I get the impression 35 liters is a more common size.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




I just got back from backpacking in Glacier a bit.

Man, this winter stuff (even though it's technically spring) is serious.

I snowshoed about 7 miles up the Going to the Sun road past where it is closed. I waited three days for a winter storm to clear, 5F at night, 40mph winds, about a foot of snow fell at my camp, much more at elevation. And man, it was loving worth it. I owned the place, there was literally NO ONE there, and on the morning after the storm cleared the sky was crystal blue, stark white mountains all around me, and a frozen Saint Mary lake.

Also farted around RMNP. More people, but still gorgeous. The wind was so stiff there one day it was blowing my tripod across a frozen lake. I yelled at some people near Dream Lake when it was -20F wind chill "WOW THIS IS SO loving COOL" and they looked at me like I was a weirdo.

Go outside during winter. It owns.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME fucked around with this message at 20:09 on Mar 23, 2013

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




I have a softshell only for winter/snowy conditions. The minimalist rain jacket goes with me any other time.

e: I mean, that's where they come from. Alpinists wanting something that fits them closely while dragging themselves across poo poo, breathes, stops the wind, is water repellent. They're not for trucking around in the summer.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




You can get things a little cheaper online, but the ability to return anything and everything for any reason, forever and ever, is why I go to REI. I've used their return program a lot. They also generally know a thing or two.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




When I bought a huge amount of equipment early last summer, the guy helping me was very helpful and paid attention to my budget. It happened to be a friends and family weekend and he gave me one of the flyers to get 25% off my $800 or so purchase.

I buy most everything in ABQ or Denver just because of REI. When I was in Boulder recently and they didn't have the snowshoes I wanted, so they helped me call around to the outdoor stores in the area to find them. I don't mean to sound like some shill, but REI is super cool.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




It's education. It's common sense to some people not to approach a small bear or other cute fuzzy animal, but only because they have been educated. Others have been educated by seeing Jack Hannah handle a cub on Letterman or something similar.

They're not stupid, but their behavior is foolish and they would agree if they knew why.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




Internet Explorer posted:

I have three practical questions for those of you who have flown to an area to hike.

1 - How do you handle your backpacks on the plane? Obviously, you'll have to check them and you can't include JetBoil fuel. But, I'm a little hesitant in just checking my bag. It doesn't take a genius to know that backpacking bags can contain expensive gear. Do you pack them in a duffel bag and then just find a locker for the duffel bag at the destination airport?

2 - What's the easiest way to get JetBoil fuel between the airport and the hiking site?

3 - What's the easiest way to get from the airport to the hiking site? Most are probably a good distance away from the airport, making cabs expensive. It also seems fairly silly to rent a car just to drive to the site and then leave it there for 4-5 days.

I guess I'm really just looking for any advice revolving around traveling to backpack.
You can buy a huge duffel and just throw your pack in there. No straps or anything getting caught on any equipment, easy handling. I've also seen people wrap them in garbage bags/trash compactor bags. You can carry on anything that is kinda valuable; GPS units or something like that. No one's gonna jack your sleeping bag or something.

Can't bring isopro fuel on planes of course. I usually just google before I leave somewhere to get it between the airport and the trail. Call around, etc. Also, if you're going to a decent sized park or something, check with the ranger/admin building. They often have canisters for sale or to give away. I know I give away my leftovers when I'm in that situation.

As for getting to the trail, that's gonna vary. Hard to give advice there. Again, if it's a national park or other pretty well established area with good admin, give them a call and they can likely help.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




Getting from airport to park depends on season, too. For example, from Kalispell to Apgar in GNP, there's a limousine service that runs but it's only during the busy season. Off season you gotta rent a car or find some local to take you. You might be surprised, depending on the location, how helpful people can be in that regard if you're polite.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




Re: water, I still love my Steripen. I gotta keep the batteries warm when it gets below about 40 or 50, but it's so light and fast, it's worth it.

Speaking of Steripen, their tech support is super nice. I lost a tiny little retaining washer to my battery cap and I got an immediate email response saying they would send me a new one. Got here two days later.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME fucked around with this message at 12:23 on Apr 28, 2013

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




PRADA SLUT posted:

REI is offering the Osprey Aether 70 next week for $205 (normally $280). Has anyone used this particular pack before? I have a Talon 22 and have really liked it. I've never purchased a multi-day pack--how many days would this be good for?

http://www.rei.com/product/846410/osprey-aether-70-pack


Would anyone recommend something else instead?
This is kinda the default "I want a great pack for long hikes and am not super concerned about weight" bag. It is ridiculously comfortable. Tough to go wrong with it, really. I borrowed one for my first long hike two years ago.

I could go for two weeks out of that thing if not more but that depends on a lot really.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




single-mode fiber posted:

I'm going to be going up to Glacier National Park for a week in the middle of July. Since the park has a ridiculous amount of trails, what are some of the most "can't-miss" ones to hike in the park? This would all be done via day hiking.
People really aren't kidding when they say "anywhere," but some that I have personal experience with and are day trippable are Red Eagle Lake, Cracker Lake, Kintla Lake, and Cosley Lake.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




titanium spork crew in the house

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




I carry a folding knife that is useful for cutting and creating kindling sometimes. I'm not sure I've ever needed anything more; I could see needlenose on a multitool being useful perhaps but I've never run in that.

I just carry the one knife, in any case. Keep it very sharp.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




Levitate posted:

Probably gonna get a tent, maybe the Big Agnes Fly Creek UL2
A great tent.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




Pikas own

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




Please don't hike in jeans. Don't assume good weather all day, and jeans are awful and dangerous in bad weather, especially Colorado this time of year.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




I'm fine with the changes except the "30 day exchange for outlet items." I understand it's all a cash saving move with respect to abusers, and that's fine, but the Outlet one is lovely. I live far away from REI and only go once or twice a year, and use that time to return outlet items that don't fit right/etc., entirely within the spirit of the policy.

The 30 day bit is because they're items they're discontinuing and just want to write off. Lame.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




First aid is pretty much: small bandages (good ones that can handle sweat), maybe a gauze pad and small amount of tape, ibuprofen, maybe tiny tweezers, antibiotic, antiseptic wipes, unlubricated condom, moleskin.

Really, anything worse and you're gonna have to head out and you either 1) can and do or 2) can't and send help/die.

Iodine tablets, space blanket are kinda part of the basic 10 in my opinion. gently caress magnesium fire starters, just carry two lighters and cotton balls soaked in vaseline in a film canister or some other similar tiny kindling.

Don't carry some huge first aid kid from a pharmacy you'll never use it.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




Levitate posted:



By the time morning came around, this is about where she was:


My tent, with my compression bag, and what looks like my sleeping bag? :stare:

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




I spent two days in Canyonlands backcountry just this week. Don't gently caress with the desert. I hid out in a cliff half of the second day because I was so sick of the sun.

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




7 Bowls of Wrath posted:

Hey there westward-living goons. My wife and I are traveling out to the "Golden circle" area in august for a week and a half of vacation. we have recently gotten into light day-hiking and were wondering which parks in utah/arizona are worth spending a day hiking in. We are definitely going to hike at Zion and bryces, probably will just drive through monument valley, goosenecks, and arches (unless we are missing some great hikes there). I am interested in "The wave", and maybe going to see the delicate arch, but not sure what sort of hike that is.

Are we missing anything really cool and fun out in this area of the US? Any help or suggestions from those of you who live nearby or have spent some time out there would be great. If this question has been posted earlier and I just missed it, sorry for being repetitious.
The Fiery Furnace in Arches is awesome, but it does require a (easy to acquire) permit and it can be difficult to navigate. Ranger led tours are a regular thing. The rest of Arches is doable with driving and very short "hikes," as in less than a mile. It is also very crowded. More than a million visitors a year to what is basically a Y shaped road. I can recommend Canyonlands, which is essentially across the street, much more, especially for hiking. Hike in the Needles.

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JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




I just got back a couple days ago from Sneffles, RMNP, the Winds, Tetons, and Glacier. What a crazy three weeks with batshit weather (I was in Glacier when that huge storm that hit southern Alberta came through), falls, bears, and just lovely things.

The really nutso thing is that I came back to found out I've been asked to go make photos somewhere in Alaska. I have no idea where to start. I read through Denali's backcountry info, which is extensive, and found some great places but they read like this: "This area is extremely remote and rugged. There is no easy hiking. There are a few opportunities for multiday expeditions in alpine terrain unless you include glacier travel. The area is rarely visited and the scenery is some of the most spectacular in the Park and Preserve." Which of course makes me salivate.

Any suggestions? Any public land fits my needs, National Park or otherwise. I would love to visit Gates of the Arctic but that's stupendously expensive and would require a guide (minimum $3500, not including getting to Fairbanks and other things). So, maybe nothing quite that remote.

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