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Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Day On the Trail


hiker with backpack by a trailhead

treating water with a SteripenI thought since most people don't go backpacking, I'd give you a really quick look at what the daily chores are. At first I thought I'd include a trail picture between the chores to make it more like there was travel/time lapse, but it put too many pictures in for one post. Maybe I'll do a "trail sampler" another day.

So, in the first picture, you can see that the first task is to find where the trail starts and put on the backpack. Then turn around and start hiking!

At least once, and sometimes several times a day you need to treat water in some fashion to make it safe. I cheated a little with this picture. That is Marie's hand, and the pic is from the Minnesota hike because I didn't take any pictures of me treating water on this trip. There are several ways to make water safe to drink, but whichever one you use, it's not wise to just drink from lakes or streams no matter how clean they look.

Kelty Dart solo tent

Then you walk a bunch of miles... whatever works for you, and pick a place to camp. This is my single-person tent. It's not the greatest. I have the one I really want picked out but it costs $300. (Anyone want to sponsor my NCT goal?) Anyway, you find a clear, hopefully level place that is off the trail, out of any active wildlife paths, and preferably legal! On this hike once I entered the National Forest dispersed camping is allowed. That means you can camp almost everywhere with some minor restrictions.

backcountry kitchen

Then it's time to fix dinner. I do one hot meal a day. This is in dappled sun, so it might be hard to see, and explaining all the pieces is probably way more information than you want. But basically, I have a little stove, and the picture shows all my pots and pans and utensils, water bottles, some bags of food, and water bottles all spread out. It looks like a mess, but it all packs up really easily after the cooking is done.

cache bag in tree

Before crawling in the tent you need to make sure your food is away from the tent and safe from animals for the night. Here is my food bag high over the trail and away from any side branches.

And if it is THIS hike, then you run like mad for the tent because you are being chased by 10001 mosquitoes!

See Hanging the Cache
See Steripen
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Joe Todd said...

I always enjoy seeing how other people camp.. Thanks Joe Todd

LyghteKeeper said...

Thank you for the "walk through" and a jogging of my memory of camping in the woods. It made me thankful for the great times I've had in the "great outdoors." Kath

Sharkbytes (TM) said...

Hi Joe- These tasks have to be done whether alone or in a group! Some things are always the same.

Kath! Remember when we slept out on the riverbank and used the big plastic bags your mom brought home from work as vapor barriers over our sleeping bags? Boy were we young!

rainfield61 said...

I have the experience in backpacking. It was tough but fun. But I think camping must be even more interesting.

Grampy said...

Yes back packing and camping. It can be great fun. My grandson and I go camping a lot but no more back packing for me.
Thanks for visiting Grampys Place.

Lin said...

It looks great to me, Sharky. Nothing like sleeping under the stars. I sleep best in my tent--forget the fancy hotels.

Sharkbytes said...

Rainfield- Camping... like base camping provides different kinds of opportunities. I like both kinds. We'll be base camping in Minnesota in August.

Hi Grampy! You sure do have lots of interests. Just keep taking those kids to the woods. Love your site!

Lin- But can you sleep well without your duck, wheel and string nearby?

Rick (Ratty) said...

Thanks for the look at what it's been like for you on the trail. I've done each of these things, but not necessarily all together. Most of my camping has been closer to home, and my hikes have been much shorter.

Julia said...

I can't wait to be able to take my kids out like that! All my gear is packed up and I am guessing OK. or at least I hope it is still.

Sharkbytes said...

Hi Ratty- I think you would like it... but maybe not. Some people really don't like moving all the time. It's true that you don't get to really absorb any one spot fully, even if you aren't a "speed demon."

Hi Julia! By all means take those kids out. Check the gear though... things have a way of dying in storage.