Trip questions.

11:35 p.m. on February 25, 2010 (EST)
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Well I apologize for the placement of this post and also for my atrocious grammar.

I recently lost my local job here in town and found another job/jobs out west. In three weeks I will be leaving for Salt Lake City area Utah. Then around May 19th I will head out to Colorado, for a month long job with a nonprofit organization called SCC "Southwest Conservation Corps." I will be living in Salida CO. From what I am to understand it is a back country job repairing trails, and campsites "I'm sure there will be other jobs but that’s all i know of at the moment". Now like I said I will be leaving for another job in Utah before hand with some immediate family, to build up what I would call a "nest egg." i apologize for the back story but the questions/statements will come.

Now I thought this through and I have decided, while I’m out west I might as well do some packing on my own. My plan is to do some small training hikes "maybe get to some rock climbing lessons" in Utah while I’m working with my family. Then after the job in Colorado I plan to stick around and maybe hit some of the national forests nearby: Gunnison, San Isabel, Grand Mesa, Etc. After that I actually plan on heading over to Durango CO, to meet up with a friend for a couple days. At this time I am thinking as far as how cash flow goes I may or may not head back to Salt Lake City, to do some more work for my family for a couple weeks. Either way if I do or do not go back to work, this is where the real trip starts. As far as where to go after this point my plan is to head for Grand Teton/Yellowstone NPs. Probably stay in Jackson for awhile. "My time in each place really depends on who I meet or what I find." after I have had my fun there my plan is to head north to Glacier NP. As far as the area I will pack in I have no idea. I have done little research on Glacier and I have never been there before so I understand that I have a lot of reading to do. At this point it all matters on time/money. I would love to stay the winter because I love the snow, but I also have some friends in Seattle with an extra room. So in all honesty I am thinking of maybe heading out to Olympic NP. Again though it’s all rather tentative. Well I have a couple questions considering this site is a plethora of knowledge and advice. I was curious if there are a couple “gems” near any area that I may go through as far as low typical summer population and a good trip all around? Another pertaining to Glacier I am actually wondering what hikes would be good to start out with, thinking like 2-3 day hikes. And build myself up to the more difficult and longer trips.

Now as far as my experience goes. Ever since I was 13 I would travel up to northern Minnesota to canoe/trail/camp in the boundary waters with a friend’s family till I was about 19. I know it’s not the same but its experience none the less. From portages to me and my friends inexperienced paddling “or what they were calling the J stroke.” It was a complete workout. And I understand the hard work it takes to pack. Also I recently had taken a trip out to Seattle, WA. Where I had done a couple day trips nothing extravagant, but I did hike around the cascades for about a week, doing day stops at a friend’s house to recoup. So my experience really doesn’t entail anything with high altitude. The thing is though ever since I found out about getting the job I have been doing some training and reading. From what I have read as far as back packing you want to pay special attention to your hamstrings. Although out here in western Wisconsin “La Crosse area” we don’t have any real elevation. We do have the bluffs which the highest is about 1200, laughable I know. So after acquiring a new pack I have been slowly building up the weight in my pack and hiking up the bluffs. I started at about 20 lbs and did that for about a week. Right now I’m at about 25 lbs and feeling comfortable to go to 30-32 lbs. I try and do 6 miles total up and down. Although sometimes the work all seems so futile coming from Wisconsin, where we take a little too much pride in our drinking abilities. “As I sip a delicious stout while writing this.” So I was wondering if there was any exercises that any of you know about that would help with my endurance?

Any experiences, stories, trip knowledge will help a ton!!

Thanks so much in advance !

10:16 p.m. on March 17, 2010 (EDT)
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3,909 forum posts

Wow, you've mentioned a lot of different and interesting places here, Alexander. If it were me, I'd think about what you'd like to do the most and focus on trying a few different things, but not jump around so often that you never get to experience a place. Take the time to explore the places you do visit.

If you have friends with outdoor experience in the spots you visit, hit them up for information and to take you out on hikes and backpacks.

I've been to Utah a bit and it's quite beautiful and offers a range of options, near and far from SLC.

9:28 a.m. on March 18, 2010 (EDT)
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440 forum posts

The best exercise for carrying a pack is...(drum roll, please)...carrying a pack. So you're right on target there. This can be supplemented with all types of cardiorespiratory training, and with core and lower extremity strength training as well. Of these last two, the core--basically trunk muscles--is, I believe, the more important. Bottom line--it looks to me as if you're on a good track, generally.

You've got enough potential activity listed for a whole gaggle of hikers. I agree with Alicia about picking some few things you'd really like to see/do and focusing on them. Too much too fast is kinda like driving through the region at 80 mph on the interstate highway--yeah, you were there, but then again, not really.

4:57 p.m. on March 20, 2010 (EDT)
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Thanks! I really have never gotten this much free time to myself so its a bit of a "my eyes are bigger then my stomach" situation. I don't really think I will get down to everything, and your absolutely correct probably best I don't do it all within the time limit I currently have. Either way I'm hoping to get out for most of the summer. Unfortunately I don't have any friends around the west, but hey making new friends is always a fun journey!

Again thanks for the feed back!

9:34 p.m. on March 20, 2010 (EDT)
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Well, if you ever get out Flagstaff Arizona way, look me up I would hike with you

I have been hiking for 33 years since I first left the military in 1976 and have been all over the USA except Hawaii, cause I couldn't hitchike, bicycle or backpack there.

If you are young or not you have your whole life ahead of you to do all kinds of adventures. Take time and enjoy it.

11:42 a.m. on March 21, 2010 (EDT)
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3,909 forum posts

Alexander, I'm sure you'll have a great time. Since you'll be in certain locations for a little while, I'd take a go-with-the-flow attitude. Do your research and get some guidebooks, but just get out and try the trails you're interested in.

Ask around and see if there are any local groups or outdoor stores that offer hikes or other trips, maybe you'll meet some local hikers that way. I think it will come together for you once you're on the ground.

Just don't do be afraid to start slow, so you don't bite off more than you can chew.

9:10 p.m. on April 27, 2010 (EDT)
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560 forum posts

In whatever spare time you can muster, start a jog/walk program and do it 6 days a week unless you are out getting the ticker thumping on a trail. The most important asset you can bring to Colorado or Utah is your aerobic fitness. Won't do anything about the altitudes you might be at, but being fit will get you there.

Lots of really good stuff where you are going. Let me get my hiking logs out and will be back here.

Start jogging..

July 17, 2018
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