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Backpacking Pinchot Trail

posted Oct 17, 2013, 12:46 PM by Richard Leyden   [ updated Oct 9, 2014, 10:30 AM ]
March 22nd, - 24th, 2013

Bear Lake Road
State Route 2016, Moscow, PA 18444

This trip has been a long time coming, for several years we have talked about doing this, but it was all talk.

I started to do some research as I have never done this before. A lot of folks suggested the Pinchot Trail and since it was roughly 2 hours from Philly, we decided to give it a shot.
Looking over the map we decided to play it safe, so we decided on the small inner north loop.

The Red dashes and Orange dashes are the trails we followed.

All geared up and ready to go.

Look at this motley crew, None of us are geared up correctly.

Signing in at the trailhead. We got on the trail a little later than I had wanted.

Rocks, Rocks, everywhere, rocks.

Looking for a place to camp was impossible, I wanted to stop several times and catch my breath and Bruce P. couldn't stop because of his knees, Adam and Bruce R. seemed fine.I was panicking because it was getting late and was worried we would not find any place to setup camp.

Some of the trail was pretty decent to walk on, but the one part of the trail that goes along a service road was tougher than the trail due to the curve of the road and it being iced up.

Here we are taking a break next to the road.
I was at the point where if there was no place to camp... I was camping next to the road!

Bruce R. and Adam scouted a head a few hundred yards and found an awesome place to camp.The trail cut through the center of a huge field.

We tried to find a section tucked in away from the wind and as luck would have it, we found a decent spot with a fire ring.
We collected wood and started a fire before we set up camp.

As the fire grew, we started to set up camp.

This was my first year with the Marmot Limelight 3 person, Adam and I were bunking together.
Bruce P. and Bruce R. had individual tents.

We started dinner and chilled by the fire, or should I say warmed by the fire.

Here is our Kitchen and lounge area.

Well, the night was cold and although it was cold we remained comfortable, I guess all the cold weather prepping paid off. I would have slept by the fire under the stars if it wasnt so damn windy out.

I slept in a 20°F down bag on top of a alpine 2" self inflating mat and a roll of reflectix with some clothes on including my hat and socks.  The temp dropped into the mid teens and the wind was really kicking up, shaking the tent like crazy. Chill factor was around -5°F. Albeit, the only thing that got really cold was my nose, It felt like it was running, so I kept wiping it and it was numb. I also fought the urge to breathe into my bag throughout the night. I did eat a candy bar before bed to warm up a bit.

WOW! What a beautiful view

I was first up as I was first to bed, so I got the fire started.
OK Don't laugh but the mug in the picture to the right was a pewter mug, I did not know it was pewter, although it did feel a bit heavy, anyhow I melted a hole clean through it. This guy weighed over a pound.

I'm having an omelet,Bruce P. is having pork roll and I'm not sure what Adam and Bruce R. had.

This trip has definitely been a learning experience for me. As you can see here, I am really wasting fuel using a canteen cup and also not having a lid and better protection from the wind. I was really eating up the fuel quickly. And what makes matters worse, is we had a fire, so there was no need to even use the stove

Bruce R. was using a JetBoil and he had no problem with his meals. Adam messed around with an Esbit tablet with no success and then switched to the canister stove above.

I really like the Coleman Exponet but it's a bit heavy and under these conditions I should have used it more efficiently.

We decided to stay. So we called this BASE CAMP lol, so we fashioned a crude sled to gather wood and prepare for the night before we did our day hike in search of water.

After gathering the wood we started our hike.
The hike without the gear was much nicer. Another thing I need to do is leave home the EOS 7D with the 70-300mm lens and bring a small camera.
Maybe the T1 rebel with a 50mm prime.

Rocks, Rocks, Rocks.

and more rocks, did I mention there were a lot of Rocks?
Go Adam!

The rocky trail led to a nice flat trail that we really enjoyed.

We found a water supply and thanks to Bruce R. being prepared with his Katadyn Vario filter, we all had fresh clean water.

Ok here's where we start cheating.

While we were hiking back the decision was made to split up, Bruce R. and Adam headed back to the car as it was loaded with firewood, Bruce P. and myself headed back to Base Camp.

Bruce's knees were killing him at this point and my hips were sore but we were happy to find a piece of asphalt to walk on, it felt like walking on clouds.

This hill is worse than it looks, as it cuts to the left it gets steeper.

Back at camp I lay down and take a break.

Bruce R. and Adam get back with the car and firewood, we park the car at the access road and unloaded the wood, we decided to leave the car there and drive out in the morning.
When the other guys got back and rested a bit we started our fire and made lunch.

We definitely have enough wood for the night.

Bruce R. chilling with his jet boil and some mountain house for lunch.

Me and Bruce P. had Hot sausage, cheese and tomato sauce.That was my favorite meal of the trip.

After chilling a few hours sitting around slinging some BS, we start dinner and chow down by the fire.

I had buffalo chicken and rice.

Looks like we made it through another night.

Well it's time to pack up and hike out TO THE CAR!

I would definitely call the trip a success because we survived!