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(M) Lightweight Backpacking News: Digest No. 2

Backpacking Light has scoured the web and will now bring you salient backpacking news stories, gear releases, and trip reports. by Eric Vann | 2014-10-22

Welcome to Lightweight Backpacking News - a bimonthly (every two weeks) series digest that will bring you updates from around the web about new gear, backpacking and adventure stories, wild trip reports, and much more!

If you'd like to submit a link to a timely (fresh) story for us to consider including in our next installment, please send it along to submissions@backpackinglight.com with the subject line "BPL NEWS DIGEST".

ARTICLE OUTLINE

  • Introduction
  • Top Stories
  • Gear
  • Interesting Stuff
  • Food and Coffee
  • Blogs & Friends

# WORDS: 850
# PHOTOS: 6



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View All: Media Reviews > Trends

(M) Lightweight Mealtime Routines for Group Cooking

Simplifying the process of planning, preparing, and cooking for groups in the wild. by Ryan Jordan | 2014-10-22

Planning meals and cooking equipment needs for group expeditions can be intimidating. I like to make the process as simple as possible for everyone involved, whether you are on the planning team, the shopping and packaging team, the cooking team, the cleanup team, or the eating team!x

This article describes the basic framework for a simple, lightweight group cooking system developed, refined, and tested over the past ten years as a trek leader for Backpacking Light's Wilderness Trekking School and Montana Council BSA's Montana High Adventure Base.

ARTICLE OUTLINE

  • Introduction
  • Food Preparation
    • The Basic Recipe
    • Single Serve vs. Group Portion
  • Cooking Equipment
    • Pots
    • Stoves
  • Eating Equipment
  • Mealtime Process
  • Cleanup Supplies & Process
  • Conclusion

# WORDS: 1990
# PHOTOS: 5



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View All: Techniques & Best Practices > Techniques

Flash Reviews No. 2: Deuce of Spades, Helinox Ground Chair, and Vargo vs. MSR Pot Lifters

Introductory reviews of noteworthy lightweight gear new to the author. by Ryan Jordan | 2014-10-14

Welcome to Flash Reviews, a new column at Backpacking Light.

Flash Reviews will feature short, introductory reviews of selected products that may be new on the market, have not yet received "official" press at backpackinglight.com, or may be just outside the scope of our core product review program to warrant a full review.

This column will allow us to feature more gear than ever before in a unique context - actual user experience from a wide variety of authors. The source of the gear may come from different places - the gear may have been submitted for review by a manufacturer (either solicited or unsolicited) or purchased by the author. In any case, you'll get our honest and sometimes frank opinions about how this gear works for us.

Flash Reviews, in all cases, will represent gear that is new to the author writing the column issue. Our hope is that the author could provide their fresh perspective on gear that is new to them, and review it in the context of their kit, how that new gear might find a place in their kit, and what the new gear might replace for them.

We hope this column provides value and interest to the reader, so please leave your feedback in the forum below as we allow you to help us evolve this column.

If you are interested in writing a Flash Reviews column, please submit your proposal via our Story Submission Form.

ARTICLE OUTLINE

  • What are "Flash Reviews?"
  • Issue No. 2
    • Deuce of Spades
    • Helinox Ground Chair
    • Vargo Titanium Pot Lifter vs. MSR LiteLifter

# WORDS: 1220
# PHOTOS: 3



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(M) Beyond Our Boundaries: Episode 17

Follow the story of a family of five as they backpack over 2000 miles from Georgia to Maine. by Damien and Renee Tougas | 2014-10-14

The Tougas Family is embarking on an exciting journey; their ambitious plan is to backpack the Appalachian as a family. This episode introduces their plan, gear, and the individual skills brought to the production by each of the family members. The beauty about this project is that the family is learning how to do this sort of trip from scratch and the end product will be something that others families can use for similar endeavors.



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View All: Profiles > People

Lightweight Backpacking News: Digest No. 1

Backpacking Light has scoured the web and will now bring you salient backpacking news stories, gear releases, and trip reports. by Eric Vann | 2014-10-07

Welcome to Lightweight Backpacking News - a series digest that will bring you updates from around the web about new gear, backpacking and adventure stories, wild trip reports, and much more!

ARTICLE OUTLINE

  • Introduction
  • News
  • The intersection of technology and the outdoors.
  • Food and Cooking - my favorite.
  • The Wild North
  • Remembering our roots
  • Gear

# WORDS: 960
# PHOTOS: 8



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View All: Features > Articles

(M) Packrafting the Smith River Canyon

Eight packrafters spend four days floating sixty miles in one of Montana's most remote and inaccessible river canyons. by Ryan Jordan | 2014-10-07

The Smith River drains the little-known Castle Mountains in Central Montana and flows north for more than 100 miles to its terminus at the Missouri River near Ulm.

Fifty-nine miles of the Smith flows through the limestone canyon split by the Little Belt and Big Belt Mountains and is managed by the State of Montana Department of Fish, Wildlife, and Parks as a permit-only float section. The river is primitive, with no other public access, between the put-in at Camp Baker and takeout at Eden Bridge. As such, because there is vehicle access at the beginning and end of this multi-day section, we consider it a "sidecountry" rather than a "backcountry" (foot-accessed) river. However, this designation is not to be looked over - the Smith River has all the right ingredients for a multi-day adventure in a wild place.

The primitive character of this float is reinforced by a mix of towering limestone cliffs, forested hill country, and open prairie. Diverse scenery combined with active and healthy populations of big game, raptors, and migratory waterfowl offer constant stimulation for the nature-lover!

This article features photos and gear notes from an 8-person group of packrafters who floated the river during the fall of 2014.

ARTICLE OUTLINE

  • About the Smith River
  • Packrafting the Smith River
  • About Our Trip
  • The Journals
  • Photo Essay
  • Gear List

# WORDS: 1580
# PHOTOS: 14



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(M) Beyond Our Boundaries: Episode 16

Follow the story of a family of five as they backpack over 2000 miles from Georgia to Maine. by Damien and Renee Tougas | 2014-10-01

The Tougas Family is embarking on an exciting journey; their ambitious plan is to backpack the Appalachian as a family. This episode introduces their plan, gear, and the individual skills brought to the production by each of the family members. The beauty about this project is that the family is learning how to do this sort of trip from scratch and the end product will be something that others families can use for similar endeavors.



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(M) Gear Guide: Ultralight Inflatable Pillows

Neck problems? Back problems? An ultralight inflatable pillow may be an ideal solution, but don't dive in head first. Read this first to see which ultralight pillows are the best. by Ryan Jordan | 2014-10-01

This gear guide presents an introduction to the market of "ultralight inflatable pillows" for backpacking.

The criteria for a pillow's inclusion into this gear guide is purely arbitrary: the weight of the pillow must be less than 4 ounces. This reveals a manufacturer's intention to make a pillow that is light enough where its weight is a design feature, and not an afterthought.

Not included in this gear guide is a comprehensive assortment of the so-called disposable hospital-style inflatable pillows, like the FlexAir Pillow manufactured by Graham Medical. However, the latter has been included in the specifications table as a frame of reference.

ARTICLE OUTLINE

  • Introduction
  • Design Features
    • Mechanism of Support
    • Shape
    • Size
    • Elevation Contouring / Cradling
    • Weight
    • Fill
    • Fabrics
  • The Pillows
    • Durability
  • Gear Guide: Specification Table
  • Pillow Ratings
    • Exped Air Pillow UL - Highly Recommended
    • Sea to Summit Aeros Premium - Highly Recommended
    • Sea to Summit Aeros Ultralight - Recommended
    • Exped Air Pillow - Recommended
    • Cascade Designs NeoAir Pillow - Recommended
    • Big Agnes Insulated Air Core Pillow - Above Average
    • REI Flash Air Pillow - Average
    • Big Agnes Clearview - Average
    • Big Agnes Q-Core SL - Average
    • Big Agnes Camp Pillow - Average
    • Quechua Inflatable Pillow - Average
    • Cocoon Hyperlite - Below Average
  • Author's Choice

# WORDS: 1900
# PHOTOS: 1



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View All: State of the Market Reports > Gear

(M) RapidPure Filters Review

Some filters leave a bad taste while others do an insufficient job of treating the water. The RapidPure filter changes the game and pushes the boundaries of water treatment. by Roger Caffin | 2014-09-23

Everything comes in cycles, and means for water treatment are no exception. We have had chemicals and pumped filters and UV, each of which had problems. Sawyer introduced a filter system which, while it needed pressure, did not need pumping. Most of their systems handled bacteria and protozoa, but not viruses. RapidPure have introduced a new filter system which they claim requires only one tenth of the pressure while handling viruses, bacteria, protozoa and anything larger, to an efficiency often seriously exceeding the EPA requirements. 

ARTICLE OUTLINE

  • Introduction and Background
  • RapidPure
    • Flow Rate and Pressure
    • Filter Elements
      • Filter A
      • Filters B & C
      • Filters G & F
      • Filter D
      • Filter E
      • Filters H & I
      • Filter J
      • White and Grey filters
    • Filter 'Systems': Bottle and Bag
    • Performance Testing
      • The Test Water
      • Measurements
      • Sawyer
      • RapidPure
    • Summary

    # WORDS: 4530
    # PHOTOS: 13



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    View All: Reviews > Gear

(M) Pockets for Hyperlite Mountain Gear Packs

Make your own lightweight and effective side pockets for HMG porter. by Darin Banner | 2014-09-23

ARTICLE OUTLINE

I vacillate between the benefits of carrying a hydration system in my pack and carrying water bottles outside of my pack. Last year, I bought a Hyperlite Mountain Gear's (HMG) Porter 4400 backpack for my large-volume pack. At the time I ordered it, I had the option to add a hydration sleeve and port, but decided against it. I must confess that since then, I have cut a port into my pack.

# WORDS: 600
# PHOTOS: 16



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View All: Make Your Own Gear > Techniques

(M) Beyond Our Boundaries: Episode 15

Follow the story of a family of five as they backpack over 2000 miles from Georgia to Maine. by Damien and Renee Tougas | 2014-09-16

The Tougas Family is embarking on an exciting journey; their ambitious plan is to backpack the Appalachian as a family. This episode introduces their plan, gear, and the individual skills brought to the production by each of the family members. The beauty about this project is that the family is learning how to do this sort of trip from scratch and the end product will be something that others families can use for similar endeavors.



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View All: Profiles > People

Review of Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatments for Athletes by John Vonhof

A very well-written book that is recommended for anyone interested in learning the best ways to take care of their feet. by Darin Banner | 2014-09-16

In 1997, John Vonhof published the first edition of Fixing Your Feet: Prevention and Treatment for Athletes. There are several foot books out there, but John's is unique because it's written for endurance athletes who travel by foot. John has been trail running and participating in ultra marathons since 1982. In 1987, he and Will Uher speed packed the 211-mile John Muir Trail in 8.5 days. In 1992, he made a career change to the medical field and has volunteered his feet-fixing services at numerous endurance competitions throughout North and South America.

ARTICLE OUTLINE

  • Introdction
  • Book Review

# WORDS: 1350
# PHOTOS: 3



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(M) The Evolution of a Winter Stove - Part 4 - Lessons Learnt

About 110 people bought the custom stove and served as beta testers. Their feedback highlighted some of the benefits and bugs of the stove. by Roger Caffin | 2014-09-10

Dissatisfied with what was commercially available at the time, the author has been working on the design of a lightweight winter canister stove since 2006. (OK, OK, a bit obsessive, but so what?) Several novel features were required of the design, in the interests of versatility, functionality and safety. The features were explained in Part 1; finer technical details about how the features might be implemented were given in Part 2, and the final design was presented in Part 3. A batch of about 110 stoves was made and these were sold to eager beta testers. This article covers the feedback received and the bugs found and resolved.

Were there in fact any real 'bugs' in the stove? Well, no-one was burnt to death, there were no explosions, and as far as I know all the stoves worked. Some got more use than others. But there were little hiccups.

What is clear (to me at least) is that despite spending more than 7 years developing this stove - by a long and very tortuous path mind you, there were still some small improvements which could be made in the design. Nothing major, but improvements nonetheless. Since the stoves were made in small batches of 10 or 20 at a time, the improvements could be put into production as fast as possible - like when the next batch was made. Yes, that does mean the stoves in the final batch are a bit different from those in the first batch. The only feature which might be noticed by the user is the design of the legs and the nut on the burner: we will address those further on.

ARTICLE OUTLINE

  • Introduction
  • Helpful Feedback
    • Canister supports, spanners and pot lifters
    • Operation near -30 C
    • Operation with an inverted Caldera Cone
    • Other field tests
  • Not Really Faults
    • The stove skitters around or is unstable
    • Machining Swarf in the jet
    • Dirt in the jet or needle valve
    • The flame is small and blows out when the valve is opened & The flame is rather yellow
    • The tissue filter blocks the flow
    • I have stripped the screws out of the Main Ring
    • How do I connect to a canister with a spigot?
    • How do I undo the big nut on the burner?
    • The pot is a bit unstable
    • Variability in the height of the canister spigot
  • Faults
    • There's a flame at the stove connection (woo!)
    • The filler cord in the hose has jammed and broken
    • Not enough fuel comes out with any canister
    • The stove legs are wobbly
    • The O-rings get really hard at -30 C
  • Conclusion

# WORDS: 5020
# PHOTOS: 22



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(M) The Best Backpack in the Whole Wide World

MYOG: A pack that weighs less than a pound, carries 30 pounds while transferring load to the hips, and is ideal for multi-day ultralight expeditions. by Darin Banner | 2014-09-10

b>Question: What weighs less than a pound, supports up to 30 pounds of weight, has a volume of 2,000 cubic inches (32 liters), and has a waist belt? Answer: The best backpack in the whole wide world!

In my never-ending quest to lighten my pack while increasing my comfort, I had come to an impasse with a foundational piece of gear-my backpack. I wanted a pack that could be used for warmer-weather, week-long backpacking trips that weighed less than a pound. There were a few commercially-available packs out there that met those requirements, but most lacked a critical component-a suspension system that kept the pack's weight off my shoulders and transferred it to my waist belt.

The lightest pack I owned was a GoLite Jam 2. I liked it because it had a winged waist belt, side pockets, plenty of room (up to 3,000 cubic inches), and weighed just over a pound (22 oz.). Although it was a frameless back, I was able to transfer its weight to the ample waist belt by putting my closed-cell-foam sleeping pad inside the pack to act as a frame. My most-used sleeping pad since the '80s had been a ¾ length RidgeRest, which works great for giving support to frameless packs.

Then, a few years ago, it happened to me. I watched my revered scoutmaster go through it and even my dad, but I never thought it would happen to me. I remember clearly the morning I woke up and realized I was "that guy". I sat up in my shelter after a restless night's sleep and said, "This sleeping pad sucks!" I had come to the point in my life where a comfy air mattress outweighed the benefits of a super-light sleeping pad. From that point forward, my sleeping pad could no longer serve as a makeshift pack frame.

Some backpackers don't worry about carrying a pack's weight on their hips. They carry packs up to 30 pounds on their shoulders with no waist belt at all. Maybe if my pack was light enough, I could be one of those guys. Then it wouldn't matter that I didn't use a closed-cell-foam sleeping pad. I bought myself the now-extinct GoLite Ion backpack that weighed only 9 oz.

I used it for the first time on an overnight backpacking trip to Pine Flat along the Illinois River in the Kalmiopsis Wilderness of Southern Oregon. It was 5.5 miles and my pack weighed about 12 pounds including water. With limited success, I tried to put some of the pack's weight on my hips by fastening around my waist its 1-inch webbing waist belt. Although the hike was pleasant because my pack was light, I received a painful affirmation in my lower back that I was not made to carry a pack's weight on my shoulders.

Had I finally hit my lightweight limit? Had my desire for comfort relegated me to the world of two-pound internal-frame packs? It seemed that way. Then, one day, while shopping for a new pack for my wife, a solution presented itself in the form of a technological innovation touting itself as Granite Gear's competitive advantage. Granite Gear had partnered with Klymit (who are best known for their

high-pressure-air sleeping mats) to make the Airbeam pack frame.

This brilliant little piece of gear weights 3 oz. (including the pump bulb) and effectively supports loads of up to 30 pounds. Of course, I couldn't just relay on the testimony of the post-pubescent pimply-faced sales person, I had to test it for myself.

I loaded up a Granite Gear Crown V.C. 60 Ki (the pack I eventually bought for my wife) with about 30 pounds. I left in the plastic framesheet that comes standard with the pack, and put it on. Looking in the mirror, I could see the pack frame collapse under the load transferring much of the pack's weight onto my shoulders. Then I took off the pack, slipped out the plastic framesheet, and put in an inflated Airbeam frame. When I looked in the mirror again, I saw that the Airbeam kept the pack ridged, keeping the weight off my shoulders. Yureka!

I bought the Airbeam frame for $50 and started imaging up the best backpack in the whole wide world. It had to be capacious enough to carry my equipment and food for up to five nights. It had to have a waist belt that allowed me to comfortably carry the pack's weight on my hips. And it had to weigh less than a pound!

ARTICLE OUTLINE

  • Introduction
  • The Quest for the Best Pack

# WORDS: 1720
# PHOTOS: 14



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(M) Expedition Blogging, Part 1: A Satellite Phone-Based System

A series of articles evaluating platforms for social media, photo blogging, and two-way email communications. by Ryan Jordan | 2014-09-03

This articles launches a new series at BPL that will address satellite communications technologies and systems suitable for the solo traveler who desires or needs reliable two-way data communications beyond simple text messaging (e.g., email), or the ability to publish long form text (and perhaps, photos), to a blog or other platform.

The idea for this series grew out of my own experience putting together a satellite-based data communications system for managing ongoing business while in a remote (not necessarily wilderness) location, and for publishing blog posts and photographs from expeditions that were being monitored in real-time by my family, friends, colleagues, and the occasional journalist.

Part 1 describes the use of a refined, and reliable system (including some of its iterations with respect to data communications and power supply) with a traditional satellite phone as its central communications unit (combined with external data router and data entry / read devices). Part 2, to be published later this fall, will address so-called "BYOD" (bring your own device) systems that include a satellite-connected data router combined with a smartphone, the latter of which handles all voice and data exchange with the router.

”Our snacks and water ran out on Monday as we reached the summit of Salt Mountain and cliffs that provided an impasse. We descended into the headwaters of the aptly named Cliff Creek, where we found water in a tiny snowmelt brook, and cooked dinner. We had a few hours of daylight remaining so after a lengthy debate of “Should we camp here?” we saddled up and starting trekking back up the hill. A few hours later we found ourselves in a tiny meadow just big enough for our shelters, and with feet starting to blister and legs getting tired, we’d call it home for the night. Another tiny snowmelt creek flowed adjacent to camp, which had expansive views of the massive Sphinx Mountain to our south. During the waning light of dusk, Andrew was pointing uphill and saying “bear…bear…bear…” It took a second to register but I grabbed my bear spray as I caught a glimpse of a large black mass happily jogging into camp. We came together to watch a large healthy black bear stand up, size us up, and then proceed to run off in a panic. Nobody went pee alone that night.”

ARTICLE OUTLINE

  • Introduction
  • System Application
  • Basic System Components
    • Satellite Phone
    • Data Router & Router Power
  • Computer & Software
  • External Power
  • System Comparisons: Bob Marshall Wilderness vs. High Uintas Wilderness
  • Philosophy
  • Part 2

# WORDS: 4420
# PHOTOS: 8



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(M) Beyond Our Boundaries: Episode 14

Follow the story of a family of five as they backpack over 2000 miles from Georgia to Maine. by Damien and Renee Tougas | 2014-09-02

The Tougas Family is embarking on an exciting journey; their ambitious plan is to backpack the Appalachian as a family. This episode introduces their plan, gear, and the individual skills brought to the production by each of the family members. The beauty about this project is that the family is learning how to do this sort of trip from scratch and the end product will be something that others families can use for similar endeavors.



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View All: Profiles > People

(M) Paramo Bora Fleece & Windproof Smock Combo

The Bora Smock is certainly not at the pinnacle of ultralight gear, nevertheless it is a versatile piece of clothing that maintains breathability while offering warmth and excellent waterproofing. by Matthew Pullan | 2014-08-26

At first, I wasn't sure if I should review the new Paramo Bora Smock combo; I was worried that it was not light enough to be of interest to BPL readers. Rewind six months and there I was at ISPO 2014 helping myself to Nikwax TX direct from a box by one of the exits. Suddenly, the rep (a nice Polish girl) came up and asked me what I thought I was doing. I said I thought it was a case of help yourself, seeing as they were left by the door unattended. I quickly flashed my press card and her expression softened: 'come with me' she said, and took me round to the Paramo stand. I said hello to everyone and got talking; I have been the happy owner of some Paramo Aspira salopettes and Viento zip offs for over 10 years, so I definitely dig the Paramo thing. We talked about the market demand for light gear, and they said that they were lightening their gear where they could. They brought out their latest offering in that respect, the new Bora Smock combo that weighed 694 g (24,5 oz, size small). It was definitely a step in the right direction as far as weight goes, and separating the two parts of the Nikwax Analogy system was a stroke of genius as far as I was concerned, but I still wasn't sure about putting it in the article. In the end I left it out, and in the event, that turned out to be a fortuitous decision.

Back in the Steiermark with the 'Hike n Fly' season fast approaching, I was fretting over what waterproof to use as part of my kit. I had been thinking of one of the really lightweight jackets under 150 grams, but, having used a GoLite wind shirt for paragliding a few times, I knew from experience that they were likely to be clammy in the height of summer. Normally, I use my trusty Patagonia Zephyr jacket for flying because it's so breathable, although the water repellent treatment is not what it used to be due to the very high UV exposure at altitude. I needed a full waterproof, but I didn't want to wear one whilst flying as the temperature can change so much. That meant carrying one in the harness on top of my windproof, which I didn't want to do either. Suddenly I remembered the Bora Smock, and the proverbial light bulb came on. And, why not review it for BPL? There were a few possible objections: Paramo gear is not exactly ultralight; neither is it imported into the United States. However, whilst Paramo is not imported into the States, the Paramo website states that they are working on configuring the store for sales to the USA. They have also set up a European store where customers on the continent can pay in Euros. If you can't wait that long, there are some online retailers in England who will ship stateside (and knock off the VAT), and Paramo themselves are willing to take orders from the states by email or over the phone it seems. Whilst the Bora Smock combo may not be ultralight, it is quite light as far as Paramo gear goes, although not as light as the Vista Rain Jacket. One should also remember that items like the Bora Smock combo displace more than just a waterproof in the rucksack. In this case, it has to be weighed up against a

    hooded
fleece, a wind shirt and a full waterproof; so the numbers often even out better than you might think. Then of course there is the longevity. There are some other good reasons why you should be interested in the new Bora Smock combo: for one thing, being a two piece and not having a membrane, it is now customisable in a way no other waterproof jacket can be. As long as you don't sew through both layers (not much danger of that I think), you are pretty much free to do what you like; more on that later. In this article, I wanted to review both fleece and windproof together as a single entity, but in a way that encompasses their individual use should the conditions require it. That flexibility is, to my mind at least, an integral part of the whole.

ARTICLE OUTLINE

  • Introduction
  • Paramo Gear
  • Paramo Bora Smock Combo
  • Purchasing Info

# WORDS: 3920
# PHOTOS: 10



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(M) Trekking the High Uintas Wilderness: Circumnavigation of the Rock Creek Shelf

Featuring the author's live journals as well as a detailed assessment of trekking gear used on the trip. by Ryan Jordan | 2014-08-26

Last week I returned from a trek in the High Uintas Wilderness of northern Utah with three friends, and my son Chase. Our objective was to complete a circumnavigation of the Rock Creek Divide primarily via a "high route" that avoided trails where it made sense, allowed us to camp and and trek by more remote locations, and enjoy a diversity of scenery by crossing high divides between a number of drainages.

Our final route was about 55 miles in length, and we crossed divides at Cleveland Pass, the west ridge of Explorer Peak, Red Knob Pass, Dead Horse Pass, and Rocky Sea Pass. Our pace was not intense (8 trekking days with 1 layover day = 9 total trip days), giving us plenty of time to lounge around in the mornings, and fish lakes where we were camped and lakes that we passed by while trekking.

Our route included about 16 miles of off-trail travel, most of it on easy tundra benches and ledges above 11,000 feet. Toes of major buttresses came with a bit of metasedimentary quartzite-talus-hopping in order to stay high and avoid bushwhacking through the deadfall and sparse talus below the treeline. The exception was our traverse across the west ridge of Explorer Peak, which involved a rather nerve-wracking late-evening Class 4 descent of steep loose shale scree through quartzite-and-shale cliff band ledges.

We established seven camps along the route:

  • Cleveland Lake (northwest shore)
  • Lake Fork Basin (at the base of Explorer Peak's west ridge)
  • Dead Horse Lake (northwest shore) - 2 nights
  • Reconnaissance Lake (southwest shore)
  • Margie Lake (southeast shore)
  • Dean Lake (east shore)
  • Rainbow Lake (south shore)

Our exploration of the fisheries in this region resulted in great rewards! Healthy and fat brook trout at Helen, Margie, and Dean Lakes; large cutthroat at Continent and Ejod Lakes; and Tiger Trout at Dead Horse Lake were some of the highlights. I'll leave the rest to your own exploration.

In addition to this introduction, I've included my complete journal from this trip. My journals were published live, and daily to my blog (see Uintas 2014 at ryanjordan.com) with low-resolution photographs sent via a satellite phone, a data router, and iPod Touch (see the end of this article for a description of that system). Here, I've included more photos to help tell the story.

At the end, I'll present some gear notes from the trip, in the style of Backpacking Light's old "Notes from the Field" reports from yesteryear, highlighting the main gear systems I used on this trek as well as some of the processes.

Having made several trips in the Uintas through the years, including two complete traverses of the entire range via two different "Uinta High Routes" (approx. 100 miles ea.) and circumnavigations of virtually every major drainage, the Rock Creek trek described in this article remains one of my all-time favorites, and perhaps - may be the one trek I'd recommend if you could only make one trip to the Uintas in your lifetime.

I hope you enjoy reading about, and learning from, our experience in the Uintas!

ARTICLE OUTLINE

  • Introduction
  • Acknowledgments
  • The Journals
    • Day 1: 13.Aug.2014 - Cleveland Lake
    • Day 2: 14.Aug.2014 - Explorer Peak
    • Day 3: 15.Aug.2014 - Dead Horse
    • Day 4: 16.Aug.2014 - A Sabbath Day
    • Day 5: 17.Aug.2014 - Walking the Shelf
    • Day 6: 18.Aug.2014 - Alone on the Rock Creek Shelf
    • Day 7: 19.Aug.2014 - A Cold Front in the High Uintas
    • Day 8: 20.Aug.2014 - Four Lakes Basin
    • Day 9: 21.Aug.2014 - Rainbow Lake
  • Gear Notes
    • Shelter & Sleep System
    • Cooking & Water
    • Other Clothes
    • Packing
    • Trekking Poles
    • Fishing & Photography
    • Communications Technology
  • Conclusion

# WORDS: 11680
# PHOTOS: 37



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(M) Beyond Our Boundaries: Episode 13

Follow the story of a family of five as they backpack over 2000 miles from Georgia to Maine. by Damien and Renee Tougas | 2014-08-19

The Tougas Family is embarking on an exciting journey; their ambitious plan is to backpack the Appalachian as a family. This episode introduces their plan, gear, and the individual skills brought to the production by each of the family members. The beauty about this project is that the family is learning how to do this sort of trip from scratch and the end product will be something that others families can use for similar endeavors.



Read this article at BackpackingLight.com
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