Backpacking

The posts here concern my primary recreational activity, backpacking. I spend as much time as I can in the Olympic Mountains, and while I do not always write-up a trip report, those I do are included here. I have also been hiking the Pacific Crest Trail over the past 8 years, hoping to finish this summer. Most of that trail is also described here. And finally, this page includes some information about the gear that I use.

  • Gear - Post dealing with gear that is used for backpacking
    • 2014 Gear List for Southern California - April 5, 2014 - Well, the 2014 PCT hiking season is at hand, starting at Campo and continuing for the first 300 or so miles of the trail.  Desert…
    • 2013 Gear Reviews - August 31, 2013 - I am not an expert gear reviewer, but I have put in a lot of miles on the trail this year and have developed some…
    • 2013 Gear List - May 18, 2013 - The 2013 hiking season, for me at least, is now officially underway.  The highlight of this year will be about 600 miles along the Pacific…
    • The Stoveless Menu - April 10, 2013 - I am preparing for another foray onto the PCT this year, and have been working on meal preparation.  Last year I left the stove at…
    • Hanging Out in the Woods - October 5, 2012 - It's 2:30 in the morning.  Will this night ever end.  I feel like the princess sleeping on a pea.  The difference being that she had…
    • Sawyer Squeeze Filter: a Review - September 14, 2012 - Over the years I have mostly used either iodine or Aquamira to treat water in the back country, mostly because they were lightweight and fairly…
    • Going Stoveless - July 11, 2012 - One of the constants in my Backpacking experience, up until recently, has been the use of a stove, whether it be a white gas or…
    • Producing a Post Trip Map - June 27, 2012 - I like maps. I like looking at them during trip preparation.  I like looking at them on an unfamiliar trail to get myself oriented.  And…
    • Taking SPOT for a Walk - June 20, 2012 - About 4 years ago my son gave my wife one of the original SPOT's for Christmas.  The intent was that I would carry it to…
    • A Sample Gear List - April 6, 2012 - The first six articles in this series have looked at the wide range of backpacking gear that is available and discussed the pros and cons…
    • What To Carry Your Stuff In - March 30, 2012 - Determine what is important to you in a pack. Do you want light and simple, heavy load carrying capability, the ability to get to everything…
    • All the Other Stuff We Like To Pack - March 23, 2012 - So you've got a shelter, can stay warm at night, well fed, and dressed; so what's left? Well you don't have to read too many…
    • Dressing Appropriately - March 17, 2012 - The first time I took off to spend a few nights in the backcountry I figured that it would be good enough just to wear…
    • Fueling the Furnace - March 11, 2012 - One of the joys of being out on a long trip is that you can eat just about anything you want. But this can also…
    • Staying Warm At Night In the Woods - March 6, 2012 - In part 1 of this series I spent some time talking about backcountry shelters which enable you to stay dry and bug free at night.…
    • Portable Backcountry Shelters - February 27, 2012 - If you plan on spending much time out in the backcountry you will eventually want to spend the night. This transformation from a day hiker…
    • Extreme Backpacking Makeover - February 16, 2012 - Now instead of trudge a few miles and then recover each day, I am able to walk pretty much from sunup to near sunset, day…
  • Olympic National Park - Wondering the trails, mountains and lakes of the Olympic National Park.
    • Fall on the Dosewallips – 2017 - November 6, 2017 - Just a few pictures of a beautiful fall excursion up the Dosewallips road to the NPS campground. It was pretty amazing, and the pictures do…
    • A Five Pass Jaunt - July 21, 2017 - I love being retired; I can go hiking just about anytime I want, especially during the week when the crowds are mostly working. I am…
    • A Quick Trip Up the Elwha - July 10, 2017 - It had been two whole weeks since I had been out into the Olympics so I decided it was time to pay a visit to…
    • Dosewallips in Full Bloom - June 26, 2017 - I took advantage of last week's good weather and made a trip up the main fork of the Dosewallips. The trailhead for the Dosewallips has…
    • Pulking up the Dosewallips - February 10, 2017 - I have occasionally thought about spending some time in the Olympics during the winter months, but two things have always stopped me. I get cold…
    • Across the Olympics via Quinault and Dosewallips - June 16, 2016 - As a part of my preparation to tackle a 500 mile stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail through the High Sierra in California, I decided…
    • A Journey Up the Elwha 2016 - May 23, 2016 - This past week I took a few days and hiked up the Elwha. Even with the extra 7 mile road walk each way, this was…
    • Shakedown On the Dosewallips - May 7, 2016 - I have been slowly working on getting ready for the Sierra portion of the PCT this summer. Got my heart fixed in February, started to…
    • Playing in the Snow: First Divide - April 22, 2016 - [caption id="attachment_2926" align="alignleft" width="300"] The Trillium were thick in the lower Skokomish and Duckabush valleys[/caption] What to do when the sun is out and the…
    • Gladys Divide to Black and White Lakes - July 14, 2015 - I took off into the Olympics again last week, hoping to do some cross country travel. I have done very little of this in the…
    • Appleton Pass - June 29, 2015 - One of the joys of being retired is being able to spend more time in the Olympics.  I took advantage of that last week and…
    • Retreat at Cedar Lake - June 12, 2015 - Earlier this week I took off for 3 days and went to one of my favorite places in the Olympics, Cedar Lake.  I started from…
    • A Lollipop Off the Dosewallips - September 18, 2014 - For years I have been gazing at a map of the Olympics and seeing a loop in the southeastern part of the park.  This loop…
    • Enjoying Cedar Lake - September 16, 2013 - The weather forecast was amazing.  A three day string in the middle of September of hot and sunny with no significant calendar obligations.  How could…
    • Up the Elwha to Hayden Pass - June 17, 2013 - While the weather looked like it might be a bit iffy, the calendar ahead looked cluttered, so this seemed like the best chance for a…
    • Skokomish to Duckabush Via First Divide - June 3, 2013 - The weekend forecast looked good finally.  Time to pack up and go play in the snow.  Plans were made to leave the truck at Staircase…
    • 2013 Shakedown Trip to the Dosewallips - May 12, 2013 - With the forecast calling for another couple of nice days, I decided it was time to head out into the Olympics for a night, just…
    • Grand Valley and Lillian Lake - September 24, 2012 - With the weather looking promising for the weekend, I took off for the Grand Valley in the Olympics with a buddy.  We got reservations for…
    • Crossing the Olympics: Dose to Enchanted Valley - July 7, 2012 - With the weather forecast looking promising, and the need to keep out in the woods for a while, it seemed like it was finally time…
    • The 2012 Annual Trip up the Skokomish - June 22, 2012 - The North Fork Skokomish trail is one of my favorites in the Olympics.  It was actually the site of my very first solo backpacking adventure…
    • Up the Dose - June 3, 2012 - It's already the first of June and it had been nearly 9 months since I spent a night in the woods.  But that failing was…
    • Trillium Galore, and Some Snow - May 6, 2012 - Sue and I headed out this morning to hike up the North Fork Skokomish River in the Olympics.  It was a bit cool and lightly overcast…
    • 2011 Olympics Traverse - July 28, 2011 - Trail report for a 4 day, 60 mile trip across the Olympics from the North Fork of the Quinault to the Dosewallips road washout.
  • Pacific Crest Trail - Documenting my multi-year journey along the Pacific Crest Trail..
    • The PCT: Chinook Pass to Trout Lake; the Final Chapter - August 29, 2017 - This final chapter on my PCT adventure started at Chinook Pass and went south 95 miles to FS 23 near Trout Lake. The plan was…
    • Onion Valley to Kennedy Meadow - August 15, 2016 - August 7 Back to the trail this morning about 7:30 and headed to Kearsarge Pass. I expected it to be a real chore, but it…
    • Vermilion Valley Resort to Onion Valley - August 14, 2016 - July 31 The shuttle was late getting to VVR yesterday, so I missed the ferry, by a hair. So I ended up spending the night…
    • Glen Aulin to Vermilion Valley Resort - July 29, 2016 - July 24 Up early this morning and on the trail by 6. The first mile or so was ascending out on Glen Aulin (beautiful valley…
    • Sonora Pass to Glen Aulin - July 29, 2016 - July 19 We left Walker this morning at 6 and were on the trail at 7. We spent the first couple of hours ascending to…
    • Echo Lake to Sonora Pass - July 18, 2016 - July 13th Slept in again this morning since I did not have to be at Carson Pass to get Randy until noon. But by 8am…
    • Sierra City to Echo Lake - July 18, 2016 - I am trying something new with my trip blogs this year. Instead of periodically trying to remember what I did each day, I am typing…
    • Washington PCT from Trout Lake to Cascade Locks - August 7, 2015 - In addition to doing a larger chunk of the PCT in Oregon or California each year, I have been doing a smaller section of my…
    • Struggling into Kennedy Meadows - May 25, 2015 - After a nero day in Lake Isabella, it was time to hit the trail for the last two days up to Kennedy Meadows.  Sue dropped…
    • Tehachapi to Walker Pass - May 24, 2015 -  After spending a day and a half in Mojave it was time to get back onto the trail.  Sue dropped me off early at Tehachapi…
    • Aqueducts and Windmills - May 15, 2015 - After completing the section around Agua Dulce, I took a day off and started fresh at the Green Valley Fire Station. There is a trail…
    • Mill Creek FS to Green Valley FS - May 11, 2015 - The transition from the San Gabriel Mountains is long and I arbitrarily picked the Mill Creek Fire Station as that point, mostly because I had…
    • The San Gabriel Mountains – Cajon Pass to Mill Creek Summit - May 9, 2015 - The San Gabriel Mountains are a rugged chain of peaks and ridges that run west from about I-15 to I-5, east of Los Angles. About…
    • Silverwood Lake to Cajon Pass - May 8, 2015 - After taking a day off at Cajon Pass, my wife's brother joined me in day hiking from Silverwood Lake to Cajon Pass.   One of…
    • Big Bear City to Silverwood Lake - May 2, 2015 - I came off the trail last year at Big Bear City with a severe shin splint.  So now that I had the hole filled in…
    • Paradise Valley Cafe to I-10 - April 27, 2015 - After a long drive from western Washington, and a quick lunch at the Paradise Valley Cafe (highly recommended), Sue dropped me off at the trailhead…
    • Southern California, Here I Come - April 17, 2015 - Hi. My name is Eeyore. I am a PCT MYTH. For most of my life I had a dream of hiking the PCT someday, although…
    • The PCT: Rainy Pass to Stevens Pass - August 9, 2014 - I have been wanting to do the stretch of the PCT from Rainy Pass to Stevens Pass for several years, but something has always gotten…
    • Thoughts on Southern California Hiking - April 30, 2014 - My planned 3 week odyssey along the PCT in southern California came to a premature end due to a severe shin splint that still has…
    • Idyllwild to Big Bear City - April 24, 2014 - Day 9 - Zero Day There is a section of the trail between the Paradise Valley Cafe and Idyllwild that is closed because of a…
    • Campo to Idyllwild: A Journey in Pictures - April 18, 2014 - Standing at the monument for the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail Sticking my hand through the fence into Mexico. 1 mile from Mexico,…
    • Warner Springs to Idyllwild - April 17, 2014 - Day 6 Afternoon – Warner Springs to Mile 124 – 15 miles After leaving Warner Springs, the trail crosses another mile or so of grassland…
    • Laguna to Warner Springs - April 17, 2014 - Day 4 – Pioneer Mail to milepost 83 – 31 miles in 13 hours Today started off with a 25 mile slack pack from the…
    • The Journey Begins: Campo to Laguna - April 12, 2014 - Day 1: Campo to Lake Moreno, 19.5 miles Every big trip seems to start with butterflies; at least in the days and hours leading up…
    • A 2014 PCT Overview - March 29, 2014 - 2014 marks the 6th year in my effort to hike the Pacific Crest Trail.  In 2009 a friend and I set out to hike a…
    • PCT 2013: Snoqualmie Pass to Chinook Pass - August 26, 2013 - This trip was actually supposed to be Rainy Pass to Stevens Pass.  But on the way home from California I found out the Rainy Pass…
    • PCT 2013: Belden to Sierra City - August 18, 2013 - Rabbit had one more day to hike, so we decided to slack pack up from Belden and across to Bucks Summit, where the wives would…
    • PCT 2013: Old Station to Belden - August 17, 2013 - I had originally planned to head south from Old Station the day after finishing with the Hat Creek Rim, but a sore back led to…
    • PCT 2013: The Hat Creek Rim - July 31, 2013 - For as long as I have been preparing for the PCT this year, I have been hearing about the Hat Creek Rim; and seldom has…
    • PCT 2013: from Castle Crags to Burney Falls - July 31, 2013 - After spending a day and a half in Mt Shasta City, the time came to set out on the trail again.  Mrs Eeyore dropped me…
    • PCT 2013: from Etna Summit to Castle Crags - July 23, 2013 - After taking half a day off to rest, resupply and write, the trail beckoned, and it was back to Etna Summit to begin the second…
    • A Gnat Encounter - July 22, 2013 - I hiked through the Castle Crags area in northern California last night and this morning.  The Crags are pretty awesome and the surrounding Trinity Alps…
    • The Marble Mountains; Seiad Valley to Etna - July 17, 2013 - This years PCT adventure started with a long drive to Medford Oregon, followed the next day by a early morning drive to the little town…
    • PCT – 9 Days To Go - July 5, 2013 - The 2013 edition of traveling the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is just about ready to launch.  Nine days from now we head out in the…
    • PCT Plans – 2013 Overview - February 16, 2013 - While it is still winter as of this writing, the time is drawing near to get back out on the trail; the Pacific Crest Trail…
    • Eagle Creek and Tunnel Falls - October 12, 2012 - There are a number of alternate trails on the PCT in Oregon and I took three of these because of the promised scenery.  As a…
    • 2012 Pacific Crest Trail: Stevens Pass to Snoqualmie Pass - August 30, 2012 - A couple days after getting home from finishing up Oregon, I packed the stuff up again, picked up a friend, and our wives dropped us…
    • 2012 Pacific Crest Trail: Crater Lake to Seiad Valley - August 24, 2012 - This is part two of my recent PCT trip through the southern 2/3's or Oregon.  This post follows the 8 days in the middle third…
    • Crater Lake - August 23, 2012 - About 7700 years ago a 12,000 foot volcano, that we now know as Mt Mazama, blew its guts out and then collapsed in on itself, creating a…
    • 2012 Pacific Crest Trail: McKenzie Pass to Crater Lake - August 22, 2012 - After thinking about, and preparing for, this trip for the past several months, it was finally time to launch out on the 2012 edition of…
    • Traveling the PCT - August 1, 2012 - This map will not be functional until SPOT starts sending data, likely by 8:00 AM PDT on 8/2/2012.  The data in this map will start…
    • Two Weeks and Counting - July 19, 2012 - Two weeks from this morning we pack the car and head for Oregon, looking to spend the bulk of August hiking the Pacific Crest Trail…
    • Countdown to the PCT – 8 Weeks - June 7, 2012 - Eight more weeks!  8 weeks from today I should be launching out on the 2012 edition of my PCT adventure.  It has been out there…
    • The Pacific Crest Trail - January 27, 2012 - The Pacific Crest Trail, or PCT, is one of the crown jewels of the long distance hiking world; one of the longest and most challenging…
    • The Great PCT Hike of 2011 - September 8, 2011 - A trip report for my journey along the PCT in northern Oregon, about 160 miles in 8 days. This was easily my longest backpacking trip,…
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