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22 Absolutely Essential Diagrams You Need For Camping

12 Nov

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22 Absolutely Essential Diagrams You Need For Camping

From survival to s’mores, here’s everything you need to know to ensure a flawless camping trip. posted on June 17, 2013 at 2:27pm EDT

1. How to Build a Campfire

How to Build a Campfire

2. Tent Tips

Tent Tips

3. Everything You Need to Know About the Technicality of S’mores

Everything You Need to Know About the Technicality of S'mores

4. How to Estimate Remaining Daylight with Your Hand

How to Estimate Remaining Daylight with Your Hand

5. Snacks to Pack

Snacks to Pack

6. What You Can Do to Repel Mosquitoes

What You Can Do to Repel Mosquitoes

7. How to Sleep Warm

How to Sleep Warm

8. How to Survive Hypothermia

How to Survive Hypothermia

9. Backpacker’s Checklist

Backpacker's Checklist

10. How to Rig a Tarp

How to Rig a Tarp

11. How to Get Your Dutch Oven to the Right Temperature

How to Get Your Dutch Oven to the Right Temperature

You can very easily adapt recipes you can make in a kitchen oven to an outdoor dutch oven.

12. How to Identify Animal Tracks

How to Identify Animal Tracks

13. Know Your Stargazing Events This Summer

Know Your Stargazing Events This Summer

14. 10 Easy Fire Starters

10 Easy Fire Starters

15. Kayak Camping Checklist

Kayak Camping Checklist

16. A Guide to Hammock Camping

A Guide to Hammock Camping

17. Guide to Spider Bites

Guide to Spider Bites

18. Checklist for Car Camping

Checklist for Car Camping

19. How to Make Shelters in Survival Situations Using Nature

How to Make Shelters in Survival Situations Using Nature

20. How to React to a Wildlife Encounter

How to React to a Wildlife Encounter

21. Tarp Tips

Tarp Tips

22. Know Your Poisonous Plants

Know Your Poisonous Plants

Yosemite trip – Heaven on Earth

18 Jun

Next summer’s epic hike will bring us back to the valley here, but there really won’t be a chance to see everything. So what’s one to do? Make two trips!

Mid may and the melt was in full force so all the falls were at peak flow. If nature is your thing then Yosemite needs to be on your bucket list.

I’ll post some more later as I get around to it – this is just what I pulled off my GoPro this morning.

These are in the order they were taken. It kinda goes from “Oh, that’s cool” to “Ooooooh, holy crap.”

First real view of the valley:

El Capitan under clouds. There’s really no sense of scale here because everything is so massive, but here’s an idea – this wall is is 3,000 ft tall.

Bridalveil Fall

Merced River

El Cap minus the clouds

Cathedral Beach

800 miles in 4 days in a Challenger R/T

View of Yosemite Falls from Swinging Bridge

Midday drinks at The Ahwahnee

Merced River

Upper and Lower Yosemite Falls (2,425 ft) – this is the 6th tallest waterfall in the world and the tallest in North America.

Lower Yosemite Fall (320 ft)- there are people on the rocks for scale

View of the eastern part of the valley from Glacier Point -Half Dome, Nevada Fall, and Vernal Fall out there

Western part of the valley from Glacier Point – that’s Yosemite Falls in the middle

Sequoias in the Mariposa Grove

And finally “Tunnel View.” Probably the most recognizable visual from the park

More gear for the JMT trip

1 Nov

More gear added:

 

MSR Sweetwater microfilter
Weight: 11 oz
Can filter around 1L per minute. Around 750 liters per filter cartridge. Small and compact, active carbon core eliminates over 99.9999% of all waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of common protozoan parasites.

 
Black Diamond Storm 100 headlamp
Weight: 3.9 oz w/o batteries (x4 AAA)
LED Type: 1 TriplePower, 4 SinglePower (2 white, 2 red)
Lumens: 100
Max Distances: 70 m (TriplePower LED); 25 m (2 SinglePower LEDs)
Max Burn Time: 200 H (TriplePower LED); 125 H (SinglePower LEDs)

 

 

Thermarest Prolite Sleeping Pad
Weight: 1 lb
Self inflating, 1″ thick, three season capable. Lightest most compact self inflating pad available.

 

 

 

 

Total weight so far: 15 lb 13.7 oz

JMT plans – first gear update

30 Aug

Here’s what’s been decided so far:
I’m watching weight, obviously, but certainly not getting into ultralight trekking territory.

 

 

Crestrail 70 pack – 70 liter – (4271 ci)
Weight: 5 lb

 

Kelty 0* Cosmic Down sleeping bag
Weight: 3 lb 11 oz
This one is “comort” rated at 17*F and bottom limit rated at 4*F. It will definitely not get that cold on the trail, but for those nights sleeping above 10,000 ft I guess it could always get interesting (see pic at bottom)
Bag ratings are based on someone wearing full long underwear and a hat and I won’t be doing that. I’m adding a bit of weight over a 20* or 30* bag but there will be other (possibly colder) trips in the future so I’m not worried about it. Will be getting a compression sack though. The “stock” stuff-sack is a big big.

 

 

 

 

REI Passage 1 Tent
Weight: 4 lb 1 oz
Single person, 20 sqft floor area. Weight includes rainfly and footprint.

 

 

 

 

Komperdell “Trail” trekking poles
Weight: 1 lb 2.8 oz
Cork handles, aluminum shafts, removable snow baskets

 

 

 

Total weight so far: 13 lb 14.8 oz

 

 

BTW, I found a reaaaally detailed elevation profile of the trail

super hi-res:   http://images.summitpost.org/original/538195.jpg

 

Random pics:

This is Evolution Basin

 
September snow at 11,680 ft  (Consultation lake, 5.5 mi before Mt Whitney summit)

The Beginning of a Long Journey… a looong 500,000 step journey.

17 Jul

Of all the travelling and random shit I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to do, I firmly believe the seed for this one was planted years and years ago.

 

 

“There are no words that can tell the hidden spirit of the wilderness, that can reveal its mysteries, its melancholy and its charms.”

– Teddy Roosevelt

 

 

I suppose it all started the first time I went for a hike in Rocky Mtn Natl Park. I have always loved being outdoors and if I had my choice I would spend every bit of free time in the American West. From the vacations in NW CO growing up to the more frequent and recent trips to the FoCo area, Lake Tahoe, etc, I just can’t get enough. My wife tells people, only semi-jokingly, that she is the socialite and I could be content the rest of my life staring at a tree with a book in my hands.

 

 

So I guess I should have seen the writing on the wall when I found a copy of The Wilderness World of John Muir; a selection of entries from his personal journeys.

As a conservationist, John Muir traveled through most of the American wilderness alone and on foot, without a gun or a sleeping bag. In 1903, while on a three-day camping trip with President Theodore Roosevelt, he convinced the president of the importance of a national conservation program, and he is widely recognized for saving the Grand Canyon and Arizona’s Petrified Forest. Muir’s writing, based on journals he kept throughout his life, gives our generation a picture of an America still wild and unsettled only one hundred years ago. In The Wildernesss World of John Muir Edwin Way Teale has selected the best of Muir’s writing from all of his major works—including My First Summer in the Sierra and Travels in Alaska—to provide a singular collection that provides to be “magnificent, thrilling, exciting, breathtaking, and awe-inspiring”

 

My job affords me the opportunity to travel. A lot. I have enough airline points to fly basically free in the US. I fly enough that my wife has a pass that gets her a free seat on any flight I’m on. I have seen some really awesome places in my years here and we have a long list of places we still want to see. All of this travelling, combined with my love of the mountains instilled by my parents has given me a bit of wanderlust.

Seven months ago I had a thought: “I want to do something memorable. Something big… something that most people only talk about doing while sitting around being lazy but never pull the trigger on. I want a fucking EXPERIENCE.”

 

 

“Anything that puts a sense of the miraculous in you… we should appreciate the fact that we’re alive. Anything that makes you feel alive is good.”

– Ray Bradbury

 

 

So here it is. The John Muir Trail.

The hike begins at the Happy Isles trailhead in Yosemite Valley.

 


 

It wanders generally SSE for 211 miles, passes through Yosemite Natl Park, The Ansel Adams Wilderess, The John Muir Wilderness, Kings Canyon Natl Park and Sequoia Natl Park.

 



 

and ends at the 14,505 ft summit of Mt Whitney

 



 

USGS has calculated an elevation gain of approximately 46,000 ft and and a loss of 38,000 ft when travelled north to south.

 



 

The official length of the JMT, as stated by the United States Geological Survey (USGS), is 211 miles (340 km). From its northern terminus in Yosemite Valley, the trail runs northeast, passing south of Half Dome and then on to Tuolumne Meadows. From Tuolumne Meadows the trail turns south, running parallel to the main range of the Sierra Nevada, through Yosemite National Park, Inyo and Sierra national forests (including the John Muir Wilderness and Ansel Adams Wilderness), passing through Devils Postpile National Monument, Kings Canyon National Park, and ending on Mount Whitney in Sequoia National Park.[2] From the southern terminus of the JMT at the summit of Mount Whitney, an additional 11-mile (18 km) hike on the Mount Whitney Trail is required to reach the nearest trailhead at Whitney Portal, thus making an end-to-end traverse of the trail effectively 220 miles (350 km).[3]

 

There will be lots of this:

 

But that’s ok, because that means there will also be lots of THIS:

 

 

Starting near 4000 feet and ending at the summit of Mt Whitney, it will be a good long trek. Nearly the entire trail is over 8,000 ft so for a guy from TX the first couple days probably won’t be that great. With that in mind I am giving myself a bit to prep for this. I’m halfway through my 28th year now. I plan to complete the hike, in one shot, as soon as possible after my 30th birthday (but in ideal conditions, not in January). This means that if all goes to plan it will be September 2014. In the mean time I have a lot of conditioning to do… it’s been a while since the peak of my cycling days. With an effective length of 220 miles I’ll need to cover 11 miles/day to get out in three weeks. It sounds easy, and I would love to complete it in two weeks (15-16 mi/day), but shit happens.

And though I’ve told two or three people about this plan (with a loose invite) over the past 7 months, I’m also thinking about doing it solo.

Thoreau on foot, if you will.

My wife, who is an incredibly supportive person has actually encouraged this, and even had another great idea. I’m a bit of a nerd [understatement], I love to read, and research is fun to me, so I might try to write a book after all of this. Part journey, part history lesson, part wilderness education. I figure I can channel a bit of T. Roosevelt and a bit of Muir and come up with something at least semi worthy of reading.

Also, her first book is being printed right now… so maybe I just don’t want to be the only one in the house (other than the dogs) without my own ISBN number.

Anyway, this is all pretty pointless at the moment, but I might pop in with some gear or training updates now and then. I have some wilderness medical training (NOLS), but I’ll need to brush up on my orienteering… I’ll be spending time/money on new gear (lightweight, obv)… It should be a fucking fun time. Also, I’m really bored in an airport waiting for a long delayed flight to bring me home. Any other day I probably wouldn’t have typed this for you people.

 

 

tl;dr
I’m gonna walk a lot. There will be trees. Maybe bears. Fuck bears.

 

 

Anyway, with all of that in mind, I’m off to form a plan. All updates will be tagged “John Muir Trail”

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