38 forum posts
It's about time I got into the outdoors for some good TLC. 3 years now I've been working on getting BP gear and such. Although the trip was short, it was a good lesson.
It started when I finally got my last needed part of gear, the MSR fuel bottle. Now the action may begin. My dad and I combined calendars to find a weekend to do this. In short, I skipped prom to go backpacking ;) Best decision ever!!! (besides I didn't have a date).
I saw how busy my dad is so I decided to organize the details. I did the food menu and organized the meals per day. In great anticipation I couldn't resist the urge to just put the stuff in my pack and try it on. I couldn't wait! Our destination was up in the local Ochoco mountains up near Mill Creek (3880' approx.). The trail was mentioned in the news paper, which triggered our curiousity...
While packing my pack, all the hints and ideas from Trailspace and Backpacker Magazine were flowing through my head. How do I pack this? How do I organize that? Who caries what? Finally I decided to learn through trial and error... In otherwords, I carried the brunt of the load. It was kind of an expiremental trip for me. I'm way out of shape, and I chose to carry most of the stuff to see if I'm really up to this backpacking sport.
FINALLY the day arrived... Around 10:00am we arrived at the trailhead. "Wow, late!", some of you may be thinking, but keep in mind that the trail was only 5 miles in. (we chose this short distant trail just in case "something" happened, besides, we're new!). I was the first one in the pack and ready to go, 10 minutes later dad was finally ready... The trail is located in a valley next to a creek, everynow and then the trail went through the creek onto the other side. We on the other hand didn't want to get too wet, so we hunted for a good place to cross, always a downed tree. The trail winded throughout the canyon along the most beautiful trail. The actual destination though of this trail is the twin pillars. Stacks of rock supposedly created by volcanic sediment washed away over time.
My pack (jansport klamath 85) worked great. However I wasn't quite used to adjusting it so detailed. Most of the time the back support frame was resting on my butt, which eventually near drove me crazy! On the way back though I perfected my adjustments and thouroughly enjoyed the trip back. Thankfully before I went crazy we rounded a corner and found a perfect little valley in the canyon. I remembered the LNT rule of camping 200 ft away from a designated trail and hiked a ways in. We set up our tent (kelty grand mesa 2) near a patch of trees and some very green grass. While setting up i noticed something in the patch of trees. It was a full cooler of ice and a container with peanut butter in it!!! Sorry people, I know its trash, but I'm not about to carry out a 15 pound cooler and a big blue container! It looked as if these had been there for awhile anyways, eversince the fire somewhere around 2004. Anyways, we made a fire and just had a jolly good time. Took some naps and overall enjoyed our time together. Until we noticed a trail about 50 ft away from us up the hill, oops, so much for the 200 ft thing :-/ We chatted around the fire after downing some ramen noodles and chicken teryaki and rice. Good food, good company, good location = good times ;) Thats what matters!
Quite frankly I was a little worried about the bear thing. The first try of hanging the food bag was comical. Second try, better luck. All night I kept imagining something scary about a bear, it never happened, phewww. Morning came quick and we packed up with ease. Hot chocolate was the breakfast of choice and it sure tasted good. Wait, doesn't it always when your out there? ;)
On the way back I listened to my ipod, that put a little fire under my belt. Since I figured out the perfect adjustment for my pack I just kept going without stopping. My dad actually had to tell me to stop and take a break! I soon saw why it was a good idea, the muscles on the side of my legs were shot. We finished the trail strong reminising on what we had just done. My first and deffinately not the last!
There were a couple of lessons I learned though...
Lesson 1: Get in shape!!!
Lesson 2: Pack adjustment is crucial
Lesson 3: Dont bring so much food! We had enough for a week!!!
Lesson 4: Butane lighters are hard to light when cold out. When you have numb fingers too...
Lesson 5: Food tastes very good after a long day
Lesson 6: Praise yourself for buying quality equipment ;) nothing went bad on us.
Lesson 7: Bring a dog, even though dad may be fuzzy he isn't as snuggly on a cold night as Jake my dog lol;)
Some equipment I used (all of which I recommend):
Pack - Jansport Klamath 85
Tent - Kelty Grand Mesa 2
Stove - MSR Whisperlite
Water filter - MSR Sweetwater
Sleeping pad - Therma-Rest Z-lite
Sleeping Bag - North Face Cats Meow 20 degree
Oh yea, my pack only weighed 25 Ibs, excluding food ;)