prepping 2019 summer backpacking

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SSSdave
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prepping 2019 summer backpacking

Post by SSSdave » Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:08 am

Now that our summer 2019 backpacking season is now upon us with the summer solstice in a couple days, and given the huge snowpack dwindling back daily, what are you doing to prepare yourself for backpacking? Of course a few of you have already gotten out so would have prepped weeks ago.

The last few weeks have mentioned my first backpack this summer was likely to be into the SF San Joaquin River. Like everyone else have been monitoring weather and conditions websites. Was tentatively expecting to leave on that backpack after this weekend.
Updated my Excel gear checklist and on a printout scribbled out a to do and to buy list on the back. So earlier this week pulled all my summer gear out of a closet, moved all my snow skiing and winter stuff into the closet, worked on checking and fixing various items. Pulled the cable out of the Whisperlite and wiggled it thoroughly, filled a fuel bottle, pushed wire through the jet opening, then verified it worked without sputtering. Washed a bunch of clothes, then sorted out stuff to wear on the first trip. I have a ridiculous amount of rechargeable battery stuff in this era so last 3 days have been recharging it all. For instance have 21 batteries for my Sony A6000. Made trips to supermarkets for food especially snacks. Cleaned my A6000 camera sensor filter, lenses, and cleaning cloths. Reformatted several 16gb and 8gb SDcards. Dumped out gear, dust, and pine needles from several bags and packs. Gee need to get one of those way way too expensive fishing licenses!

I have an old pack loaded with about 55 pounds of weight that I began walking up and down stairs with as I have a 2-story residence unit as well as some knee pushups. During winter was regularly skiing lots of moguls and then in March and April were 3 week long Southern California desert wildflower trips with lots of hiking. And urban hike a lot. Today expect to drive up to hilly downtown San Francisco for more of that.

Last night in the wee hours woke up and suddenly decided I would not be starting that backpack next week and instead will patiently wait till the Florence Lake Store ferry service begins that saves about 4 miles of hiking around the reservoir. Since Kaiser Pass opened last week and the up river Muir Trail Ranch shows accommodations starting the July 4 holiday weekend, they have to start up their ferry in the next couple weeks.

Main issue for me is with the medical issues that have been rising up during the last year for this now senior, I am leery given the huge weight I carry about too strongly overtaxing my body, that could then affect my whole summer. The SF SJR trip would require hiking up 16.5 miles that I'd expected to do to the 12.5 mile point in a couple days but that is more stressful than I would prefer to start out with and will not add another 2 days to make that easier as that means even more food and 2 useless days photography wise. Thus patience just waiting for the ferry to start. Had wanted to visit near the peak snowmelt for most impressive whitewater to take 1080p videos like I did on Cherry Creek during June 2017. (none publicly posted yet though have Youtube account) River levels are now decreasing from the melt peak after the hot spell last week, but that is really not too important as it will still be rather high. Expect to camp near the Piute Creek confluence and then Aspen Valley. Highlight will be the big whitewater from Evolution Creek drop out of Evolution Valley, that I'll climb up steep canyon walls for a prime late afternoon perspective of.

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looks easy from here
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Re: prepping 2019 summer backpacking

Post by looks easy from here » Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:34 pm

I bought lighter versions of a few things (notably tent and pad). Also tweaking Excel packing lists. Working on menus. Most important, though, is I've taken up mountain biking as a low knee stress way to improve cardiovascular conditioning.

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Re: prepping 2019 summer backpacking

Post by neil d » Thu Jun 20, 2019 3:57 pm

As documented in other threads, I've been assembling lighter gear and overhauling/simplifying my food planning. I had the opportunity for an early-season, 4-day shakedown on the Lost Coast in April, so I'm feeling exceptionally good about my sub-15lb base weight and simple, healthy and cheap meals made on my home dehydrator. Bye bye Mountain House sodium bombs!

BTW, paying attention to pack weight has been an absolute game-changer. I'm really looking forward to feeling better after hiking all day.

I've been day-hiking (snow shoeing) a ton in the Sierra this year so far, with my first 'real' trip planned for late July.

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Re: prepping 2019 summer backpacking

Post by Dave_Ayers » Sat Jun 22, 2019 4:04 pm

Stair training is good, but is of course better if you can get more floors. Had my best climbing season after serious stair training in a 14 story building many years ago. But I still needed some slanted footwork (vs. flat foot placement) to avoid shin splints. I suggest doing about 1/3rd of the reps at two stairs per step. Maybe even a small number of 3-stair steps.

These days I try to do regular off-season weight work with the usual suspects: step-ups; step-downs; 1 leg deadlifts; leg extension; leg curl; 1 leg calf raises; etc.; balance and coordination work; and stretches. (No deep squats or deep lunges due to scouring of cartilage under the kneecap, etc.) I supplement with local hikes when not too muddy. As the season approaches, I add more hikes (at least 3x per week) and lengthen them doing less gym work. This year I was behind, so I did a 5-day day-hiking trip to catch up.

Assuming you still live in my neck of the woods, there are fine training spots like Mission Pk, Pleasanton Ridge, and Coyote Hills within ~20 mins drive. Nothing beats schlepping a pack on training hikes with progressively higher weight and longer distance over time to make me feel prepared.

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Re: prepping 2019 summer backpacking

Post by SSSdave » Sat Jun 22, 2019 8:56 pm

Ferry starts tomorrow! One mystery unknown I worry about could be from a minor nuisance to massive whining clouds is the mosquito situation. What has all that snow melt on the upper canyon walls dribbling down towards the U-shaped bottom wrought? Are damselflies and dragonflies already about devouring them? Or are nightly heavy sumping cold air flows from the vast snowfields at high crest areas killing the squeets on colder nights? I figure Blaney Meadows will be a no mans land while I quickly move through and past. Otherwise I'll be ready for the battle.

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Re: prepping 2019 summer backpacking

Post by jeremiahkim » Thu Jul 04, 2019 10:01 am

SSSdave wrote:
Thu Jun 20, 2019 9:08 am
21 batteries for my Sony A6000.
:eek: :eek: :eek:

Much of the same—updating inventory lists/weights, menu planning/dehydrating, map studying, and checking conditions. We've taken two local car camp trips to dust off some of our gear as well as test out some new additions. Have a long list of "chores" which has included sewing a new footprint, water bottle holders, pouches. Fly-tying is a mostly fall/winter activity for me so I've mostly replaced my lost flies although it's time to respool my spinner reel and check my fly line and take the memory out of the leader.

Should be a great summer!

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Re: prepping 2019 summer backpacking

Post by kpeter » Thu Jul 04, 2019 4:15 pm

I used to do stairs, steps, stairmaster etc. to prepare, but after my knee was injured I am saving its dwindling cartilage for the trail. Now it is the elliptical machine for cardio, since it is easy on the knees, and various weight machines to get the legs and core in shape. The aim is to get the leg muscles and cardio in shape with a minimal use of the knees. Then on the trail the knees can absorb their usual beating, but at least I haven't added to it.

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Re: prepping 2019 summer backpacking

Post by wildhiker » Thu Jul 04, 2019 11:45 pm

I don't do extra conditioning since my wife and I dayhike every Sat & Sun 5 to 10 miles on local trails. I've checked my gear and fixed a couple of problems that I should have fixed last fall! I get all my food at the supermarket, so I don't put it together until a couple of days before a trip. I've started to think about places to go and rough time frames. I can't nail down the exact dates for backpack trips until my children nail down the dates of their visits this summer. I'm starting to think about places I'd like to visit, but I don't make any decisions until a few days before the trip date because I want to consider the latest conditions - specifically snow and mosquitoes! My wife and I did do a warm-up backpack last weekend to Kibbie Lake with no problems.
-Phil

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Re: prepping 2019 summer backpacking

Post by balzaccom » Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:45 am

Funny you should mention this. We're just back from a three day shake down hike in the Sierra, and found:

We forgot tea for my wife and walnuts for our morning oatmeal. We forgot our folding bucket and our cutting board.

We brought two tent drop cloths and a total of five bandanas for the two of us.

Not bad for a shake down. And yes, we had a great time.
Balzaccom

check out our website: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

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Re: prepping 2019 summer backpacking

Post by SSSdave » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:21 am

Completed my 6 day warm-up backpack noted above. So a postmortem as a typical example.

Mileage carrying the big pack was 4 miles then 4, 1.5, 1.5, 2, then 7 miles. Thus except for the last hike out day, low mileage as well as just modest vertical so as to not over stress my body. However added to that was much day hiking with my 15+ pounds of camera gear. Right foot plantar fascitis I dealt with last fall resurfaced after the first 2 days as my carrying weight was 56#. (10# less than our 9-day trip last summer) Unfortunately I unwisely did not bring along a custom foot bed I made so ended up stepping on that foot carefully. Also did not aggravate an old right knee loose cartilage issue. After the 7 mile hike out, body felt much better than after the first couple day ends that shows body was adapting to carrying the heavy load.

Gear wise, my food selection on the trip was more limited than usual due to putting it together quickly with low effort. Quite enjoyed the Mountain House meals each day and now need to mail order some more. I was missing a Bunji cord that holds my daypack to the main pack. Another too worn pair of Levi 505's now needs to be tossed with another back-up pair to be bought. Now confident my beat up and worn heavy duty Asolo boots ought to last through this summer before replacing. Need to replace the cheap Home Depot HDX knee pads yet again. Big old carbon tripod needs screws reglued so they don't keep loosening during use. Look at his Sierra fence swift image I shot at full zoom.



Slept surprisingly comfortably each night on the Thermarest Z-lite foam pad, so am glad I finally stopped using inflatables last summer. Like the one's that always ends up slowly leaking and bothers me laying on my back as due to even pressures. Continue to be very satisfied with the tough lightweight Tyvek groundsheet I began using last summer.

During the ski season bought a tiny Canon ELPH190 compact digital camera with 12x zoom and set that up on a 15 inch corded lanyard to my unzipped right nylon shell pocket. That eliminated a need to bother trying to use my inconvenient A6000 for minor and information type shots. I had similar dual camera setups years ago carrying a 4x5. While carrying the big backpack, the coat and pocket loosely are above my pack waist belt so is easily accessed. Takes images as well as my smartphone I didn't bring with the bonus it is lighter and has a 12x zoom.


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