A Newbies' list of things learned on a 3-night trip/23 miles

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LBehrmann
Posts: 68
Joined: Mon Dec 16, 2013 10:11 pm

Re: A Newbies' list of things learned on a 3-night trip/23 m

Post by LBehrmann »

Why was your pack so heavy? Bring only what you need, in a well fitting, and properly adjusted pack. For example, my Kelty Trekker external frame pack required measuring my body, then adjusting for my torso size. In the field, you adjust the straps in a certain order. Also pack food and stove, or anything heavy lower. Use clothing to keep objects from banging around. Also, if with a group, you only need one of each item for the whole group. One good multi-tool, one trowel for digging cat holes, one stove, water filter, etc. A lightweight tent or tarp is so much better than a heavy tent. If there is more than one of you, one person will carry the poles, the other the tent.

Wear long clothing to prevent exposure to sun, ticks, and poison oak. Wear gaiters for ticks.

Yes, good boots or good trail running shoes. I go alone so I wear high top Danner boots. Wear Merino wool blend socks (like Darn Tough). Bring one change of socks and shirt for camp. Rotate back to hiking socks, etc. when back on trail. Dirty clothes? No, don't just wear something one day, then pack it away, just bring the minimum to stay warm, cool, and sweat free.

Wear good rain gear, then you will get sweaty, but not rain soaked. Yes, wear synthetic quick-dry shirt and pants, even underwear. A thin wool or synthetic layer is good if it is at all cold. The only cotton thing maybe would be a bandana for sweat.

Yes to the fresh batteries (the only thing I use them for is a headlamp), and yes 2 quart water capacity.

I bring one lightweight cook pot, one lightweight bowl, and a small metal cup, no tall cup.

But everyone has their own style... experience is a good teacher, lol.

You can list and weigh each item. Lay everything out and seriously ask, do I really need this?

Bringing food you don't have to cook, except one meal is nice, unless you go freeze dried the whole way, still then 3 meals is a lot of cooking. I just eat GORP and fruit for lunch a lot so I don't have to cook lunch. Maybe just cook breakfast and dinner.

Good job rain camping 23 miles!

Yes, check the trail and weather reports!
Guest

Re: A Newbies' list of things learned on a 3-night trip/23 m

Post by Guest »

Outstanding list. I think people that go out numerous times should once and awhile go back and check the basics. I agree with getting the right boot. Go to a true outdoor store and try on numerous types of boots with the type of socks you will hike in. They should feel good in the store. Once you have them go on several short trips with the weight you will be carrying in your pack. Again thanks for the reminder list.
Fatpopi

Re: A Newbies' list of things learned on a 3-night trip/23 m

Post by Fatpopi »

Fire restrictions have been lifted.
christiantmendelsohn
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:25 am

Re: A Newbies' list of things learned on a 3-night trip/23 m

Post by christiantmendelsohn »

Greetings all.
I did not get a citation, and was told about the lack of funding for Rangers in our area at this time of year- not sure about the busy/drier times of the year. & nope, didn't see a Ranger out there. Not even at the BSRanger station.

Cheers to all.
Fatpopi

Re: A Newbies' list of things learned on a 3-night trip/23 m

Post by Fatpopi »

We all know that there may only be a few rangers,but they are always on pine ridge and come thru after drk to give tickets very often.*wink,wink*

This is what I tell people when telling them to put out thier fires,no need to talk about this subject here,its already great challenge gettig people to act like adults out there..last thing we need is people knowing the truth
Gonehiking
Posts: 22
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2015 10:57 am

Re: A Newbies' list of things learned on a 3-night trip/23 m

Post by Gonehiking »

Great list, I have been burned by the battery thing as I use a Steri-pen. Just curious about the comment on only one ranger to issue cites? Did you get a citation or even see a ranger out there?
fatpopi

Re: A Newbies' list of things learned on a 3-night trip/23 m

Post by fatpopi »

This is hilarious. ;) Glad to see that what many would have considered a horrible trip was a true adventure for you my friend.
One thing tho, No fires during fire restrictions. Fire restrictions are still in effect.
christiantmendelsohn
Posts: 6
Joined: Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:25 am

A Newbies' list of things learned on a 3-night trip/23 miles

Post by christiantmendelsohn »

Here is a list of things I learned & wanted to share with other newbies. Some points might be wrong, so correct/add your $.02. Many of these will be obvious- they weren't for me until I took a solo 4-day hike from China Camp to Big Sur Station.

I. Never skimp on good/excellent boots.
A. The cheap one’s (Hi-Tec from Big 5. $99) are heavy. Taking 1000’s steps/day just isn’t worth it in heavy shoes whose leather soaks up water.
B. Though they might say waterproof, you’ll feet will sweat and slip in the boot, thus slamming your toes to the front of the boot when going down hill.
II. Always bring a saw for cutting firewood or cleaning trees. This Samurai Ichiban 13" Curved Pruning Saw saw worked great. $53 @ Amazon.
III. Bring two water bottles incase you have a long distance between water sources.
IV. Always put in new batteries for all your devices.
V. You used 4.21 ounces of fuel at each meal time for the camp stove (~ year 2006 Coleman 442 Exponent)
VI. Don't expect to read as much as you think. You'll have less time you think unless you give yourself a day or two without hiking or hike no more than 4 miles per day.
VII. Average 1 mph on tough terrain with incline, and 2 mph on easy downhill terrain (induing 5 minute breaks)
VIII. If you haven't hiked with a heavy pack in a long time, the first few days will be pretty brutal. Your legs won’t be used to it. So start your hike at maybe 3 miles/day increasing it maybe by 1 additional mile per day. Don't start out more than 4 miles max.
IX. Prepare/get your legs/knees in shape weeks before your hike by wearing a fully-loaded backpack overtime you day hike before you go on your backpacking trip.
X. Aspirin or Advil would have been good to bring as I was sore for the first three days.
XI. Wake up and leave early from camp every day.
A. You’ll want as much daylight as possible.
B. Especially if you get lost or are slower than you expected
C. You'll get to your next camp earlier therefore:
1. You can pick your campsite before others get there
2. You can pick and gather your firewood
3. You have plenty of time to make your nest
D. You can take many breaks along your hike to either rest your feet, think, aimlessly stare, write, or eat lunch.
E. You’ll warm up in the AM by starting your hike early, and maybe not hike in the warmest hours of the day.
XII. Don't wear cotton were synthetics for everything.
XIII. Try to bring cups and water bottles have A wider base than usual because the normal tall or car coffee mugs will tip over on rough ground. Plus you’ll waste a lot of time trying to situate your cup on the uneven ground, many times over the course of your trip.
XIV. Bring another plastic bag for separating your dirty/wet clothes, and prevent them from getting more wet, thus gaining weight.
XV. Make sure your backpack is water proof or get a backpack cover. Backpack will gain 5-10 lbs of weight in the rain (so it felt)
XVI. Make sure your tent won’t leak much before you go if your tent is older. Resealing the seams and spraying it with Waterproofing coating doesn’t work.
XVII. Don’t bring ink pens that’ll run in the rain.
XVIII. Use your backpack’s hip straps to carry more of the weight then you might initial think. Loosen the shoulder straps more thank you think too.
XIX. Don’t be late for your future father in-law, or anyone if you can truly help it.
XX. Buy Gortex everything, including a backpack next time.
XXI. Get a backpack with very wide nicely-cushioned shoulder straps- the narrow straps will rub the shoulder socket raw.
XXII. Print up ALL surrounding trail conditions (even of trails you are not planning to take) on bigsurtrailmap.net and bring them with you for other hikers incase they are unaware their planned route is unknowingly difficult/impassable… and for yourself, incase you need to take an unplanned alternative route.
XXIII. Ask passing by hikers their route and make sure they know/are aware of the trail conditions especially difficult or impassable.
XXIV. To dry the wrist sleeves of a shirt you are wearing, when you are wearing it, after you’ve been rained on and it has stopped raining, lift the sleeves to your elbows and let that water on your skin dry for a few minutes. When forearms are dry, lower sleeves. Alternate for 45 minutes.
XXV. A walking stick helps, especially to catch your balance when you are tired = important along cliff routes. Also, let your arms do some of the work.
XXVI. If you’re hiking from Big Sur Station to Sykes, spend a couple nights at Barlow Flats Camp- You can hike to Sykes form Barlow Flats (3 miles/way) without hiking in your bigger back pack. This will save you 6 miles from hiking with the bigger pack = 27% of your trip.
XXVII. If there is rain in the forecast/possibility of rain on your trip, start at higher elevation (China Camp) and finish at lower elevation- If you get wet, you’ll be hiking towards warmer weather.lower elevation vs. hiking into colder weather where it might be windy and frigid.
XXVIII. Don’t drink 2 hours before you go to bed in your tent - drink a lot up to that point, this way you won’t have to wake up so many times to use the bathroom- especially helpful if it’s raining.
XXIX. Accuweather.com is very accurate to the minute. The Big Sur Station uses it.
XXX. There is only 1 ranger that is able to issue citations for the whole Los Padres National Forest.
XXXI. Treat your future self with respect and consideration, and undo the backpack’s straps/buckles at the time when one unclasps the buckles: it’ll save time and slight repetitive frustration from trying to clasp the buckles together and they won’t after you put on the backpack again because they are too tight and in the position from when you since them around your body parts.
XXXII. Cut toenails before you go/bring a pair if the hike is long.
XXXIII. Guys: Do #1 standing before doing #2 squatting- therefore you will remove the risk of urinating on your pant leg.
XXXIV. Look at your elevation of your hiking segments before you go on your trip- it’s equally as important as distance.
XXXV. www.bigsurtrailmap.net is awesome! It took me a few hours to orient myself with the website and the backcountry to plan my route.
XXXVI. Ventana Wilderness Alliance is Awesome!! & so are the volunteers, and the donors. I never appreciated this non-profit until I experienced my hike, which would not have been possible without. Thank you VWA for keeping the trails passable.
XXXVII. MotionX-GPS smartphone app is awesome! It helped me orient myself and keep me aware of my location. For $1.99, the app is yours. You can download offline maps/map, upload your planned route (by downloading a .GPX file from www.bigsurtrailmap.net, and uploading into the app on your phone), and see your elevation, mark Waypoints, etc. The few other offline apps on the phone wanted a ton of $$.
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