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samurai_sarah

Camping and hiking thread

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samurai_sarah

Let's talk about camping, hiking and all that goes with it!

The idea for this thread started in Maxhell:

Let's gather around the campfire and share stories, compare gear, or ask questions. :)

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Black Aliss

Ultra-light backpacking tents: freestanding or non-freestanding? I realize this is a religious issue on a par with KJV, infant baptism, and gluten-free hosts, but I bring it up because I was in a situation last year with my ultra-light non-freestanding tent where my only options were a grassy bog with standing water and granite slab. It worked out because I just used the tent sans poles as an oversized bivy sack. But if anyone here has an ultra-light 1 or 2 person freestanding tent that they just love, I'd like to hear about it.

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Maggie Mae

Our Nemo tent (it's not for sale anymore, I think the updated version is the Hornet?) is / can be semi freestanding. We've never really needed it to be; we camp/backpack in the same type of terrain every summer. Our biggest issue tends to be wind. (Ok, it's my biggest issue. I can stand being warm and wet. I can stand being cold and wet. I can't stand being cold, wet, and unceasing winds.) 

That being said, i love my ExPed sleeping pad. Pricey but so light and so comfortable. I'm just worried that at somepoint it will get a hole I can't fix on the trail. 

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Black Aliss
Posted (edited)
On 7/11/2017 at 2:16 PM, Maggie Mae said:

Our Nemo tent (it's not for sale anymore, I think the updated version is the Hornet?) is / can be semi freestanding. We've never really needed it to be; we camp/backpack in the same type of terrain every summer. Our biggest issue tends to be wind. (Ok, it's my biggest issue. I can stand being warm and wet. I can stand being cold and wet. I can't stand being cold, wet, and unceasing winds.) 

That being said, i love my ExPed sleeping pad. Pricey but so light and so comfortable. I'm just worried that at somepoint it will get a hole I can't fix on the trail. 

I just looked at the Nemo Hornet and I think I'm in love. I really like that you can dispense with the fly and be able to stargaze while waiting to fall asleep.

I'm with you on the wind. It makes every weather condition worse. Breeze, yeah, when it's hot, but even when I'm not cold or wet, I hate the way it makes the tent (Sierra Designs Lightning UL) flap like it's going to blow away and take me with it.

I have a Klymit insulated sleeping pad and yes, I worry that some night the dog's toenails will go through it and the rest of my trip will be very uncomfortable. But I love that it packs down so much smaller than my old foam sleeping pads, and is comfortable even when I sleep on my side.

Because I'm older than dirt and have arthritis in my spine and just about everywhere else, I try to go ultra-light on everything, except the pack itself, which I just do not want to have fail on me. 

Edited by Black Aliss
lost the main point

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Audrey2

Really!?!! How have I missed this thread???!!!

Compared to you all, I'm just a day hiker. My friends and I will do up to 7 miles, with 2-4 being our most common distances. If you are ever in the area (Central Oregon), I strongly recommend doing as much of the Mackenzie River Trail as you can. We did Sahalie/Koosah Falls one day and hiked to the Tamolitch Blue Pool another. It was gorgeous! 

I'm just sick about all of the fires in Oregon. We had to make several day hike changes on the fly when we stayed at Diamond Lake. Central Oregon is a mess, and they've just moved Breitenbush Hot Springs up to a Level 3- Get Out evacuation. The Columbia Gorge is heartbreaking as well. 

Since I see people listing the brands of equipment they like, I highly recommend William Sullivan's 100 hikes in the __________________________ if you plan to visit Oregon. His driving directions are spot on (as far as I've found), and he has updates on his website. 

*Titles include Northwest Oregon/Southern Washington, Central Oregon, Southern Oregon, Oregon Coast, and Eastern Oregon.

Edited by Audrey2

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CTRLZero

We are within day-hiking distance of Mt. St. Helens, and I wanted to report on one of the most stunning views I've encountered.  We parked at the Johnston Ridge Observatory and hiked about 4-1/2 miles to Harry's Ridge.  The hike was a little challenging right around mile two, but that weeds out the crowds.  At the top of the ridge, in addition to St. Helens on our right shoulder, Mt. Adams and Mt. Hood are right there, with Spirit Lake below.

It was a beautiful day, interesting landscape, fall foliage, and we pretty much had the viewpoint to ourselves for a picnic lunch.  Not positive, but I think the observatory closes around November 1 for the season, so check before you go.

I like the William Sullivan series, too, but this hike is found in another great series "Day Hiking [Mount St. Helens]" co-authored by Craig Romano.

A favorite Oregon hike with a fabulous vista is Saddle Mountain.  On a clear day, you can see the mountains and coastline.

We are older, so are also looking for day hikes.  We've discovered that ten miles is pretty much our daily limit.  We are always looking for hikes/walks and have discovered that almost every community has some sort of trail system or walking route.

 

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Audrey2

@CTRLZero, I hope you've had the opportunity to do Lewis River Falls, south of Mt. St. Helens. We did that the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend and it was beautiful! It's around 6-7 miles, but I didn't find it too strenuous. 

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CTRLZero
11 hours ago, Audrey2 said:

Lewis River Falls, south of Mt. St. Helens.

Thank you for the recommendation!  Last year we hiked nearby (Ape Cave, Lava Canyon), then drove down to the Columbia River Gorge via the back roads that go past the trailhead(s) you mention.  I'll definitely add it to our list, as we want to explore more of that area. 

Another hike on our list is outside Salem - Silver Falls.  I've heard it is very popular, so we may go on an inclement, midweek day.  We hope to get east of the Cascades once the weather gets colder. 

Thanks, again, we are always looking for ideas. 

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Audrey2
2 hours ago, CTRLZero said:

Another hike on our list is outside Salem - Silver Falls.  I've heard it is very popular, so we may go on an inclement, midweek day.  We hope to get east of the Cascades once the weather gets colder. 

Thanks, again, we are always looking for ideas. 

I've done Silver Falls once and enjoyed it. Mt. Angel isn't far from it. It's a neat little town with a strong German influence. Shellberg Falls is a little south of Silver Falls and it's a nice hike that is less crowded. I haven't be to Marys Peak west of Corvallis, yet, but that looks good as well. On a clear day, you can see from the Pacific Ocean to the Cascades, from what I hear.

If you camp, too, I strongly recommend a couple of days at Detroit Lake, on 22 east of Salem.  From that campground, it's a really easy drive onto 126 South to go to Clear Lake, Sahalie and Koosah Falls, and the Tamolitch Pool. All are parts of the Mackenzie River Trail, and some of my favorite hikes. While in the area, take 126 south to 242 east into Sisters. You drive through an interesting lava field and past summer great hikes. We liked Proxy Falls and the Dee Wright Observatory. There are other hikes not far from Detroit Lake that are on my radar that we haven't done- Marion Lake and the Metolius River come to mind. Also, don't miss Opal Creek. It's about a 7 mile hike, past some old logging equipment and through the old timber town of Jawbone Flats, before passing some pools and heading back.

I'm not sure that me favorite Gorge hike will be available this year- Upper McCord Creek Falls and Elowah Falls. If you don't have a problem with a narrow trail and heights, you get a great view of the Gorge on the way to Upper McCord Creek Falls. Unfortunately, from what I've read, it sustained a lot of damage from the Eagle Creek Fire.

I don't know if you have seen Hiking Waterfalls in Washington (co-authored by Adam Sawyer but can't remember the other guy) but it's a good book as well. Adam Sawyer also did Hiking Waterfalls in Oregon.

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CTRLZero

@Audrey2 - Thanks for all the recommendations.  I will definitely include Shellburg Falls when I'm in the area for the Silver Falls hike.  I've driven through some of the other areas you've mentioned, and am taking notes for a hiking trip there.

I grew up in the Gorge area, and was visiting there (Stevenson, WA) when the forest fires erupted and hikers were being evacuated off the trail systems.  I've been reading updates on trail restoration, and there is a lot of enthusiasm for getting those trail systems back into action.  It's a sad situation, especially since the fire around Cascade Locks was caused by a stupid kid with fireworks.

Weather dependent, we may hit the Upper Lewis River trail system next week.  Thanks, again!

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samurai_sarah
On 11/07/2017 at 9:43 PM, Black Aliss said:

Ultra-light backpacking tents: freestanding or non-freestanding? I realize this is a religious issue on a par with KJV, infant baptism, and gluten-free hosts, but I bring it up because I was in a situation last year with my ultra-light non-freestanding tent where my only options were a grassy bog with standing water and granite slab. It worked out because I just used the tent sans poles as an oversized bivy sack. But if anyone here has an ultra-light 1 or 2 person freestanding tent that they just love, I'd like to hear about it.

Late to the party - sorry. Uh, I agree with you that this is a religious question. I don't like UL, but love free-standing tents. My current one is neither UL, nor free-standing: http://www.vango.co.uk/gb/tents/1130-banshee-300.html

It just does what it says on the package, no more, no less. :)

On 13/07/2017 at 6:03 AM, Black Aliss said:

I have a Klymit insulated sleeping pad and yes, I worry that some night the dog's toenails will go through it and the rest of my trip will be very uncomfortable. But I love that it packs down so much smaller than my old foam sleeping pads, and is comfortable even when I sleep on my side.

Neoair or Exped are my friends. Inflatable mattresses with an R value that make sleeping so much more comfy. Neoair comes with a lifetime guarantee. Exped is more comfortable IMHO, but they're a bit more irritating about their guarantees.

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Audrey2

@CTRLZero, Siouxon Falls and Falls Creek Falls in southern Washington are also on my radar, but I haven't done either yet.

On Mt Hood, we've enjoyed the Salmon River Hike, Little Crater Lake to Timothy Lake, Umbrella Falls, and Tamanawas Falls. 

I'll try to stop now- I love to hike!

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