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  3. Pocket

    Beginner hiking gear - please help

    Thanks as we have ordered some of your USB training & Survial tips Videos. NO Joke, some good stuff. Thanks, as we did follow your advise and found some good sorces as well as yourself.
  4. I need help. I'm looking for a meshless backpacking tent (2 person). I grew up with tents, where I could unzip the and zip the mesh windows closed. I don't want to have to use a rainfly to cover mesh that is otherwise always 'open'. I found a rockin Marmot tent (link below). It's pricey. I'm wondering if anyone knows of a similar tent, that has no permanently-open mesh 'windows'? https://www.marmot.com/fortress-2-person-tent-39480.html?dwvar_39480_color=9945&dwvar_39480_size=0000ONE&cgid=equipment_tents#start=1 I appreciate your help. Thank you for your time. Sincerely, Christopher
  5. James Y

    Hello from Belgium!

    Hi there, My name is James and I'm currently living in Belgium with my wife and two dogs A couple of years ago I started hiking around Europe with a good buddy of mine who was an avid outdoorsman. Unfortunately he's now moved back to the States so I'm now left planning the trips for my wife and I. We did have a walking holiday planned for the Balkans this summer which would have taken us to Montenegro, Bosnia etc. However, the current restrictions have meant that we've had to postpone the holiday. As I'm fairly new to hiking I have made a few mistakes along the way - forgotten my phone, left my sandwiches on the kitchen table etc... nothing too serious but I'd definitely like to learn more and hopefully find some spectacular but lesser known trail routes. All the best, James
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  7. Aaron

    Alternative to freezer bag cooking?

    Hey Charlie, I do use freezer bags for some rehydration (often cold) and on occasion for some hot, but not quite boiling rehydration. However, my primary rehydration / cooking method (unless it’s a freeze dried meal in the package, which is fairly often), would be in the cookpot that I’m already carrying.
  8. Aaron

    Hello from Northwest Arkansas

    Welcome and glad you’re liking the magazine. Let us know how the overnight goes!
  9. Charlie Vee 1961

    Alternative to freezer bag cooking?

    Hey fellow travelers! I watched an interesting YouTube where a hiker was extolling the virtues of his travel mug for rehydrating his dehydrated food. He remarked that a travel mug was kind of narrow and required a long handled spoon. I did a bit of research and found a Thermos brand stainless steel food storage container (20 oz.) that I later purchased at Target store for just under$20. The idea is that certain elements of the plastic can leach out when boiling water is poured into the plastic freezer bag. I know it's another piece of gear to carry but the idea certainly got my attention. Any opinions on this? BTW - the YouTube in question was titled "freezer bag cooking sucks" or something similar. I hope this is of some use to someone. Regards, Charlie.
  10. Lucha360

    Hello from Northwest Arkansas

    I started trail running, hiking, and camping in 2019 and got a little derailed during 2020. My running trail got filled with people suddenly getting outside when the shutdown happened, and the state parks got closed down for a bit. I'm getting back on track and planning my first overnight backpack trip in October. The magazine is great, and I look forward to learning more about this new hobby of mine.
  11. We're just back from a ten day trip to the Ruby Mountains in northeastern Nevada, with stops at the South Ruby Wildlife Refuge, Angel Lake, and Lamoille Canyon. What a spectacular area! We loved the refuge--and lost count of the number of different birds we saw. Angel Lake (with hikes to Smith Lake and almost to Winchell Lake--gotta read the whole story) was wonderful. But all of that paled in comparison to Lamoille Canyon and the hikes we took there: Thomas Creek, Island Lake, and Liberty Pass to Liberty Lake. Stunning scenery, more beaver ponds than we'd ever seen in our lives, excellent fishing, and did we mention spectacular scenery? Yep. This was a treat. The whole trip report is here: https://www.backpackthesierra.com/post/the-ruby-mountains including a link to way too many photos. But it was so stunning...
  12. One thing I’ve been focusing on recently for my backcountry meals is adding variety. When it comes to prepackaged backpacking meals this variety is often found in what is essentially the same meal but just in different flavors – for example flavor and cultural variations on rice or pasta based meals. Finding something that is truly different however can be difficult to find unless you’re making your own dinners from scratch. For an off the shelf pre-made meal however, the Mountain House Yellow Curry with Chicken & Rice Meal breaks out of the different flavored rice and pasta dishes and offers a meal that is quite unique. The Yellow Curry option from Mountain House offers 510 calories in a 2 serving pouch and is ready to eat in 9 minutes after adding 1.5 cups of water, with a stir about half way into rehydration time. The resulting product rehydrates perfectly. Chicken and coconut cream are at the top of the ingredient list, after which you’ll find an abundance of spices and flavorings to make this into a yellow curry, all the way to fish sauce and shrimp paste plus rice. For those who might be looking for gluten free options in the backcountry, this is one option from Mountain House that is certified to be gluten free. The unopened pouches are good for 30 years from the manufacture date. The meal however is not yellow curry flavored rice, it’s definitely a yellow curry with rice, as in the rice does not dominate the dish. In fact, the rice is very much an equal to side player to the curry in this case. Overall taste appeals across the board, the meal is sweet, savory, and spicy all at the same time. While the rice doesn't come across as the main attraction, the chicken is included in large enough chunks that you’ll notice it. While the meal is great as is, it begs for some traditional naan bread to be included and for soaking up any sauce in the bottom of the bag. Unfortunately, naan bread is not an item I typically stumble across in my food bag, but I’ve found tortillas make a good substitute while boosting your calories for dinner up to more reasonable figures. Despite the fish sauce and shrimp paste ingredients, the meal is not fishy and is not quite as odiferous as another new meal from Mountain House – their Pad Thai. On account of the empty pouch and smells however this is one I’ll save for overnights or save for the last day or two of trips, along with using an OPSak. Overall, this is one of my favorite meals from Mountain House and I wouldn’t say a word if I got this in a bowl at a restaurant or from take out. Throw in some tortillas or bread of your choice and you’re set with a backcountry meal you can truly look forward to. The Mountain House Yellow Curry with Chicken & Rice Meal retails for about $10. You can find it here at Amazon.com.
  13. Backpack Burls

    Hello from Alabama

    Been day hiking and a few overnighters but planning a thru hike of th pinhoti trail. Any suggestions ?
  14. From beaches to rainforests to glaciers, Olympic National Park provides hikers with access to a stunning variety of landscapes. Although I’ve barely scratched the surface of what there is to do in the park’s 922,650 acres, I have had the privilege of soaking in its hot springs, swimming in its alpine lakes, and walking among the giant trees in its rainforest. The extensive trail network of Olympic National Park allows for memorable backpacking trips of all lengths, from overnight outings to weeklong journeys. The mix of topography, elevation, and cultural history allow for an incredible diversity of experiences. With certain national parks, you can get an adequate sampling of the landscape from a single backpacking trip, but Olympic National Park is a piece of public land requiring multiple visits just to get oriented to its grandeur. And once you’re oriented, you’ll certainly find yourself wanting to come back for more. For backpackers looking to plan an enjoyable multi-day trip that samples some of the best of the park’s interior mountain scenery – while avoiding crowds and often some of the more rainy and unpredictable weather closer to the Pacific – the northeastern corner of the park is hard to beat. Beginning a trip at Deer Park Campground, which has some delightful views to the high country and a handful of quaint shelters that you can camp in if you don’t mind the high likelihood of rodent companions, is a great choice with longer loop options leaving from this campground that cross over high mountain passes, visit beautiful mountain lakes and tarns, and travel through verdant forest along the Gray Wolf River. Leaving from the Obstruction Point Trailhead is also an excellent option for trips into the northeastern section of Olympic National Park. Backcountry regulations are, for the most part, not as complicated or restrictive as they are in more high-demand parts of the park; indeed in 2017 I was able to simply show up at the park’s Wilderness Information Center with no advance reservation and get issued permits for an outstanding four-night trip, starting on a Saturday, without any obstacles. However, the backcountry campsite reservation system changed in 2019 and new rules regarding the reservation of campsites and the number set aside for first-come, first-served use have been put into place. Thus, despite there not being as much competition for campsites as in other parts of the park, it would be wise to make reservations in advance. Highlights in the Northeast Olympics are a blend of valleys and peaks. Complimented by beautiful lakes, the lovely meadows and stunning mountains make the park a paradise for the eyes. Competition for campsites can be stiff, especially if you’re planning a trip from the popular Obstruction Point Trailhead. Fortunately, there are several different lakes to camp at within a few miles of each other so if your first or second choice isn’t available there is still a reasonable chance that you will still be able to camp in this magnificent landscape. Having some flexibility with your itinerary in regard to when you stay at the campsites can also help your chances of being able to put together a trip that works for you and doesn’t require you to rush through this part of the park or hike a long day to get there, leaving you little time to enjoy your stay. For those looking for a bit more solitude and who don’t mind some cross-country travel, there is ample opportunity to plan a trip to several meadows in this corner of the park that are a true feast for the eyes. There is a designated campsite at one meadow, but zone camping has also been allowed in certain areas in the past – just check with the rangers when getting your permit and see what the current regulations are. Numerous passes in this area and non-technical peaks also provide scenic highlights, several of which I had the pleasure of experiencing during my trip through the area in 2017. Near the headwaters of the Dosewallips River, you can find opportunities for scrambling to the top of peaks and you can then easily relax in meadows below on your way back to camp. Several trails lead to the area. Those comfortable with cross-country travel will find many worthwhile detours in the area and in this corner of the park if you have energy to spare and a good map. Spending an afternoon hiking to an offtrail meadow was one of my favorite parts of the fieldwork for the revised third edition of Backpacking Washington. Walking almost felt like being on a treadmill; for every few hundred yards of progress I made it seemed like the mountains that hemmed the meadow in stood in the same spot. The stillness was beautiful and profound in the meadow and I found myself often pausing just to take it all in. A black bear making its way through the meadow mesmerized me for a half-hour as it ambled along and splashed in and out of a small stream. If you’re looking to catch trout and don’t mind steep, faint paths that sometimes disappear altogether, high lakes in the area can become must-visit destinations. In late August, so many trout were rising to feed at one particular lake that I almost thought it had begun to rain. Although not as impressive as the Hoh Rainforest or the Queets Rainforest, the forest along the Gray Wolf River Trail is absolutely enchanting. Several campsites allow you to extend your stay in this delightful ecosystem and enjoy the beauty it has to offer before continuing on to other destinations. For those looking for real “top of the world” scenery, the upper Cameron Creek area is one area to explore, while the Obstruction Point and Deer Park Campground / Trailheads offer start or end points for ridgetop hiking options that should not be missed. Views from quintessential alpine scenery with meadows, streams, rugged peaks, and above treeline terrain to views into the park’s interior as well as out to the Strait of Juan de Fuca and distant Vancouver Island can all be found. If you plan a multi-day backpacking trip it might necessitate bringing an extra memory card, as the views are pretty much non-stop. Regardless of where you end up in the northeastern Olympics, you’ll almost certainly wish you had more time. While it is easy to put together a multi-day backpacking loop that hits some of the most majestic scenery, having twice the time would always be better. There’s simply no such thing as swimming in too many refreshing mountain lakes or enjoying the view from too many mountain passes. Information: Permits are required and can be obtained through recreation.gov Best Time to Go: Late July to Late August for wildflowers, although early season hikes might need an ice axe and traction devices to negotiate the passes. That said, there really isn’t a bad time to hike this part of the park – the stunning mountains, lakes, and lush forests are gorgeous any time you can reach them (which is usually July to October each year for non-mountaineering pursuits). If you can only do a trip later or earlier in the year, then sticking to the rainforests or beaches of the park’s lowest elevation would be more appropriate. Getting There: From Hwy. 101 east of Port Angeles, WA turn onto Deer Park Road and continue for 16 miles to the road’s end and the Deer Park Campground. Maps and Books: The National Geographic Trails Illustrated map for Olympic National Park is adequate for completing most backpacking and dayhiking trips on trails, although persons interested in doing more cross-country travel might want to print detailed topographic maps for certain sections. A detailed description of a loop in the northeastern Olympics, along with several other trips in the Olympic Mountains, is in Backpacking Washington, 3rd Edition by Douglas Lorain and your author of this article, Mark Wetherington, published by Wilderness Press.
  15. HerrKaLeu

    Trail Running Shoes for hiking

    Thanks for the suggestions. I went to some local stores. First to Sierra. There I saw the quick-lace shoes and decided I definitely want that. That sure helped narrowing down the selection. I found one Salomon for $69 that felt good. They didn't have a huge selection, though. Only 3 or 4 shoes with QL. Then I went to Dicks. They only had one shoe with QL, but not in my size. So that was even faster. At REI they had 3 or 4 shoes with QL. The Salomons man supercross fit best. They wer $110.I didn't buy then since I wanted to compare to the original $69 shoes at Sierra again. While googling comparison between these 2 shoes, I saw the Supercross are available for $77. Anyway, they will arrive Friday and i hope to try them out this weekend.
  16. Aaron

    Exped Synmat UL Sleeping Pad Review

    They are without a doubt trying to save weight wherever possible. Let us know how it goes!
  17. Aaron

    Trail Running Shoes for hiking

    Not inexpensive (you'll be looking around $100 - $120), but I like the Altra Lone Peak line for a trail running shoe for hiking and backpacking. They are zero drop though, so work up the mileage to allow time for your body to adjust if you go that route. They are moderately cushioned, lightweight, breathable, and have a rock plate. No matter which way you go though, I would go with what is most comfortable instead of looking at the labels too much. You'll have to settle on something that (for your tastes) has enough cushion without going overboard, has an outsole with decent traction, is lightweight overall, sufficiently durable, and most of all comfortable.
  18. PaulGS

    Trail Running Shoes for hiking

    I would suggest you go to REI and see what they say. You might even take your hiking boots along and see if they can figure out why they are causing you foot pain. A 20 mile hike is a long hike and a lighter shoe could be beneficial. And since you say you go over a lot of rocks, a shoe with a 'rock plate'/nylon shank would be a very good idea. Lots of good brands to choose from: Merrell, Salomon, Oboz and Keen are all excellent brands and I've used both Merrells and Keens for daily walks as well as hiking. Price varies but you shouldn't have much difficulty finding something around the $100 price range, especially if there is a sale going on.
  19. PaulGS

    Exped Synmat UL Sleeping Pad Review

    I finally purchased the Synmat UL MW as it finally went on sale here. Material seems rather thin, compared to my older NeoAir All Season. I hope it can stand up to a bit of abuse. Looking forward to testing it out properly soon.
  20. HerrKaLeu

    Trail Running Shoes for hiking

    I researched more, and found this REI explanation. i still don't know what i want (toe drop, cushioning), but think i would need a "rock plate" since going over small rocks is part of my hiking. i think i have to go to a local store and try them out. We have Cabela's REI and Dicks. it looked like REI has the largest selection. they separate shoes in "light trail", "ruggesd trail", and off-trail". i suspect i need rugged trail? Or light trail? And which companies are good ones? Looks like which brands I can buy Depends on which store (i.e. brands carried by Cabela are not carried by REI).
  21. HerrKaLeu

    Trail Running Shoes for hiking

    I currently use boots for the WI State park trails. After 10-15 miles my feet hurt while my legs still could go on. For shorter hikes they are fine. The trails in the parks go from smooth to climbing over some smaller rock gardens. Nothing really technical or real climbing. My normal shoes are just some $40 tennis shoes, so assume I know nothing about really good shoes. I just heard a podcast with a lady that hikes for thousands of miles all over the world and she recommended "trail running shoes" instead of boots since they are lighter and try fast. I'm willing to spend $100 or more if they are the right ones. Obviously all the companies offer something and the choice is overwhelming. i don't want to pay extra because some NBA star was paid to wear them. just want to pay for the actual quality. Ideally I get shoes I can try locally (Madison, WI) or an online source that has free returns. My shoe size is 10.5 - 11 and depending on the brand this differs. I'm 45 yo and weigh ~170 lb if that matters. My goal are maybe 20 mile hikes without feet hurting. No overnight or heavy cargo trips. So if someone could point me to a source or a brand that is decent, but inexpensive, that would be great in narrowing down my search. If the shoes i end up are not too expensive, I also would wear them in my normal life, assuming if they are comfortable on long hikes, they should be on normal short walks. (trying to consolidate to few good shoes instead of many bad ones)
  22. Aaron

    Hello from Nashville!

    Hey Charlie and welcome to the forum. Best of luck getting back out there!
  23. Charlie Vee 1961

    Hello from Nashville!

    My name is Charlie, I have not hiked for several years for personal reasons I'm hoping to change that soon. I had a heart attack a few years ago so I guess thru hiking the AT is out... I've hiked lots of miles in Australia when I lived there, through the middle of Tasmania, the Victorian alps and other places closer to my old home in Melbourne. This looks like a great spot! Lots of friendly people. Thanks for reading. Regards, Charlie.
  24. Charlie Vee 1961

    Packing Dehydrated or Freeze-dried Foods

    I have done the same. When I lived in Australia I dehydrated my own meals, stored them in the freezer, then hiked the Overland track through the center of Tasmania. I had the meals I wanted, the portion control and taste tested them before I left home. Regards, Charlie
  25. Charlie Vee 1961

    Hello from middle Tennessee

    Hey Robert. I live in Nashville as well. Have a look online; I think there's an easy overnight in the Mt Juliet area. The trail name escapes me at present. It should be pretty easy to find online. Regards.
  26. StackedOus

    Planning a Trip to Yosemite

    Trying to plan a trip to Yosemite with some friends, but not sure if you need a permit to hike the trails, or if they are for lodging and special activities. If anyone has been there recently, and can share some insight, that would be much appreciated.
  27. balzaccom

    Five days in Yosemite

    Yep. It's not AT the lodge, there is just a day-use parking area near the lodge...which amounts to the same thing.
  28. Eric T

    Five days in Yosemite

    That's a great idea. I didn't realize there was long term parking at the lodge -- something to ask the ranger. Thank you!
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