Backpack planning page
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Backpacking Links

Dallas Sierra Club, Sierra Club links, National Sierra Club, Backpacking 101National Park Service home, National Forests home, GORP, Trailfinder, Grand Canyon1Grand Canyon2, Big Sur, Oklahoma (also see OK Sierra Club), Big Bend State Park, BBSP2Backpacker Forum, Ultralight siteZen stove links, Super Cat Stove, Swimswithtrout report on Beartooths, Beartooth thread with routes, Wind Rivers, Grand Gulch 1 and 2, maps, e.g., John Muir Trail, Slackpacker (one day hikes)

Buy stuff

Campmor, REI, maps, e.g., John Muir Trail, Zen stove links, Backcountry.com/, Craigslist, Ebay, Mountaingear, Sierra Designs

When & Where

 

Current thinking 2008: 5/08-7/08 HKG, BKK, Pakse, BKK (meet DK) and on to Hanoi, Sapa and slow travel down through Hue, Saigon and on to Phnom Penh, back to BKK, maybe Chiang Mai, HKG, home. Home for a month. And if I retire, 8/15/08-10/08, 1-2 weeks each place, working my way southward: Glacier, Wind Rivers, RMNP, and finish in desert. Hopefully DK in for the first part, then Jeff. But we'll see - I'm committed regardless. Thanksgiving Sierra Club to Big Bend and maybe BB again New Year. Of course if DK is going to be in Cali ... what if? John Muir Trail?! In Asia it will be hard to maintain my current level of fitness, much less ramp it up as needed for a major trek. Just grandiose wandering at the moment. OR, what if on east coast? Maybe walk small part of AT. LK & CK to Boston & Vermont, then CK to Glacier 

 

By now ... Leslie, cycling Asia fall, desert early spring, US more travel summer, backpacking Aug-October as long as I can.

 

2009: 2/09 Grand Canyon and then to Asia for a few months, slooowwwwin' it down. 8/2009 John Muir Trail - meet Leslie in San Francisco, pretty good shower after 30 days on the trail (Oh, I've had some good showers over the years). Easing on down northern Cali - 2 days here, 10 days there OR, slow ride north to Vancouver and take Air Asia to Macau ... "Come along Little Susie, come along."

 

Asia

Grnd Can

Rocky

Mts

Sierra

Bskin/

Paria

Big Bend

N Cali

Appa

New

Mex 

Okla &

Ark

Jan 

x

 

 

 

 

x

x

 

 

 x 

Feb 

x

 

 

 

x

(wet)

 

 

 x 

Mar 

x

x

 

 

x

 

(wet)

 

 

 x

Apr 

x

x

 

 

x

 

(wet)

 

 

 x

May 

x

x

 

 

x

 

(wet)

 

 

 x 

June 

 

 

 

x

 

 

x

 

 

 

July 

 

 

x

x

 

 

x

 

 

 

Aug 

 

 

x

x

 

 

x

 

 

 

Sep 

x

x

x

x

 

 

x

 

 

  x 

Oct 

x

x

 

 

 x

 x

x

 

 

 x

Nov 

x

x

 

 

 x

 x

x

 

 

 x

Dec 

x

 

 

 

 

 x

x

 

 

  x 

Year-round: Lost Coast, some other Cali, Oklahoma (see below)

Winter: Asia, Big Bend, Big Bend State Park (links above), Grand Canyon, Buckskin Gulch/Paria Wilderness

Spring: Big Bend, Arkansas, Oklahoma - also see winter

Summer: Colorado, Wyoming, Montana

Local (N TX): Texoma, Dinosaur

Other close TX & OK: Bastrop, Hill Country (close Dec & Jan), Ouachita National Forest, McGee Creek State Park

 

Take

Meds, related: TAC. Mupirocin, Ibu 400 #30, Rx medicine x __ days, Fiber, Sun screen, DEET, Moleskin, Sun glasses, Sleeper for bus, Band aids, Ace bandage, Tweezers, Vaseline, chewing gum, Toothbrush/paste, Floss

Water: 1 Nalgene and rest Gatorade bottles 1 liter & ½ liter, Electrolytes?, Water purify (if iodine, check # tabs)

Food, related: Stove, Fuel, Zip-locks, Pot (water), Scrubber & soap, Cup, Bowl, Spoon (bigger bowled one?), Knife, Brawny disposable or 1-2 paper towels/day

- Breakfast: Coffee, Oatmeal with fruit (mango, blueberry, apple), sugar, dry milk, pecans, take indiv butter in twist of Saran wrap

- Lunch: Tortillas (Central Mkt) OR bread with cheese OR Almond butter & dry fruit, Slice turkey & tortillas OR Powerbar

- Dinner: Dry chili, etc., chilli pepper, Tortillas with cheese, Thai soup indiv baggie w/peanuts in twist Saran, Knorr sides. Fortify with packet from cooler beef, turkey, etc. for 1st couple of days, then canned or packets chicken, tuna, salmon (plainer prep like teryaki etc.), Hot tea,

- Snack: GORP (nuts, raisins, dark choc chips), bar

Sleeping bag, foot fleece or booties or down jacket, Tent, pad & tarp

Clothes: Hat, T shirt, Underwear regular, Underwear long, Socks, Pants, Sweater, Parka, Fleece, Gloves, Rain jacket (maybe pants), Change of clothes x 1 (pants, t shirt, underwear, socks), Down jacket 

Other: Compass, Map, Rope, cord, multi-tool, toilet paper & wipes/bag, trowel, shoes for rivers?, tarp  

ID, credit, insurance, money, camera

 

Eggs & Potatoes: Recipe by Slowly Walking~At home combine: 1 Mt. House® freeze dried egg breakfast (plain, with peppers or bacon) 1 envelope of Idahoan® mashed potatoes (Herb or Loaded Baked Potato).
Mix the two packages together, split in two servings, put in two quart freezer bags. makes two breakfasts. Add one cup boiling water for the potatoes plus half of the water called for on the egg pkg (most likely it will be two cups total). Stir well and put in a cozy for 5 minutes. Stir well and eat.

Hot Bacon:
Bacon is good eating on the trail. Use the shelf stable version that is precooked, such as by Hormel®. In winter you won't have to worry, in summer eat the package the day you open it to be safe. In the morning, put the amount of slices you crave into a sandwich bag (ziploc style), and seal up. When you make your morning oatmeal or eggs after you put the freezer bag into the cozy, put the bacon baggie under to it. 5-10 minutes later...warm bacon! Thanks Perk!

Links to my pages

Home #1, Journals: 2008, 2007.22007, 2006, Personal Page, Asia Trips 2005, 2006,2007, Asia Photos, Budget Guides to Southeast AsiaHong Kong, A Cottage Garden, Refugees, Israel & the Middle East, Haiphong Red Flamboyant, East Dallas Restaurants, Home #2

Superstition Wilderness Notes from Flagstuff (nice person from Thorntree Forum)

The trail system in the western, and more easily accessible, part of the wilderness is composed of loops and interconnected short trails, making about a million route variations possible, and really most of them are pretty good. But I'll try and give you some pointers.

First, pick up a map and one of the several good guidebooks for the area. The Forest Service publishes an excellent wilderness area map - available on their website or from REI. Two good guidebooks pop to mind: Hiker's Guide to the Superstition Wilderness by Jack Carlson and Elizabeth Stewart mostly covers day-hikes in the western part of the wilderness area, but they do manage to describe in great detail most of the trails in the area, with some really interesting historical information. It provides great ideas for side-trips from your backpacking route. Hiking Arizona's Superstition and Mazatzal Country by Bruce Grubbs (Falcon Guides) is much less exhaustive in detail but does a decent job of stringing together trails into backpacking routes.

The eastern and western halves of the wilderness area are amazingly different, almost like two completely different places. The western half is lower elevation, more arid, and more rugged - its the classic surreal desert mountainscape. The eastern half is higher elavation, characterized by broad-shouldered mountains cloaked in high-desert grasslands, chapparal, and stands of pine in the highest valleys. Water is an issue everywhere, but in March there will be enough springs flowing that it shouldn't be much of a problem - if we continue to get a good soaking rain every few weeks you might even find the creeks running as well (they are now). The Forest Service website has some basic information on water sources, there's also a very helpful information board at the Peralta trailhead describing backcountry water sources. When you get your route sorted a bit I can suggest some specific water sources for you.

A good place to start for the western half of the wilderness is the Peralta Trailhead. This is a popular trailhead, but many good trails begin here and you'll soon leave the crowd behind. I like the trails beginning at Peralta much better than those from the First Water trailhead, the other popular and easily accessible trailhead on the west side of the wilderness. One good 4-day loop in the western part of the wilderness might cross Fremont Saddle, descend to Boulder Basin, cross Bull Pass and head to Charlebois Spring, then follow La Barge Creek on various trails to its head at Red Tanks Divide, descend to the Coffee Flat trail which will take you back to Peralta (or almost, there's a few more junctions on the way). Other really nice trails in this area are the Bluff Spring Trail and the Terrapin Trail - both have great views and fantastic rock formations. Peter's Trail is a scenic and little-used trail that would also be worth incorporating into a route if you can make it work. Using the Forest Service Trail Map and the guidebooks you can customize the route I suggested. An alternate trailhead that I really like is the Boulder Canyon trailhead at Canyon Lake Marina - from there you can take the scenic Boulder Canyon trail a few miles and tap into the same tail system, creating a loop to your liking.

The eastern side of the wilderness is harder to access - longer drives and rougher dirt roads. The Reavis Trailhead is the only one I'd even remotely consider taking a rental car to. The landscape isn't quite as rugged, but its higher, "bigger" and just as lovely. A good route is to take the Reavis Trail to Reavis Ranch, climb Reavis Valley and descend Rogers Canyon to Angel Basin. From there, follow the Frog Tanks trail down Rogers Canyon, and eventually back up the mountain to meet the Reavis Trail, where you'll turn left and walk back to the trailhead. Its this hike would be a moderate 4 day, leisurely 5 or 6 days with a side trip (there is one great one). This area is higher elevation (colder) and some of the trails (i.e. Frog Tanks) are indeed very wild - brushy and sometimes a bit tricky. But its beautiful, beautiful country.

Anyway, I hope all this helps. As you work through your research and when you get your route more settled drop me a line and I'll tell you what I know about water sources and campsites along the route. Happy planning!