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10/23/2016 6:54 pm  #1


Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Way back in the early 80’s I made my first solo backpack hike to Provoking Lake on the Highland Backpacking Trail. That trip ended in disaster as I ended up not being able to get my Coleman stove (!!) lit. I had cold oatmeal for dinner that night and again for breakfast the next morning. I packed out with my tail between my legs immediately thereafter. I’ve lived with the humiliating memory ever since. My interest in camping waned and I didn’t make another backcountry trip for more than 30 years.
 
Several years ago, I started watching Survivorman and Man vs. Wild. I found my interest coming back in a big way. I started buying books on backcountry camping skills and watched a ton of YouTube videos. I built up my knowledge and slowly started buying gear. After a successful canoe trip in 2013 with my daughter, my friend and his son, I was on my way back to the backcountry camping fraternity. Last fall, I summoned up my courage and convinced my wife I could be safe during a solo backpacking trip to Algonquin Park. That trip was cut short as you shall read below.
 
Driving home from last year’s effort, I was reminded I had still not cleansed the ghosts from the first trip way back when. I would need to do it again, and stick it out for all three days. This is the log of my attempt this year.
 
Friday October 14
This trip I decided to head up to the Park after work, rather than getting up super early on Saturday morning and making the drive. Experience is the best teacher and now I know I won’t be repeating that strategy anytime soon. I left the office just after 5:00 p.m. Traffic was brutal and it took me an hour to get from the office in Mississauga to the 407 and 27. As could be expected, the 400 was extremely busy at that time of day and construction on Highway 11 further extended travel time.
 
I didn’t want to set up camp after dark after a long day, so I opted to stay at what the website claimed was a Bed & Breakfast. I was a bit surprised to find my lodgings to be a strip hotel just north of Huntsville, the Tulip Inn. I settled in for the night, just in time to use the TV and watch my beloved Tiger-Cats lose to the Ottawa Redblacks in the dying seconds of the game. Time for lights out.
 
Saturday October 15
My alarm went off at 6:30. I showered, gathered my gear and headed into town for a breakfast pickup at Timmies, then sped off to Highway 60. I got to the West gate just before 8, not certain if it was going to be open at the top of the hour. I checked and sure enough, it wouldn’t open for another hour. I got back in the car and made my way to the Mew Lake campground, right next door to the Highland Backpacking Trail trailhead. I was a bit early, so I took the time to make sure my gear was all together. I got the pack set up and put on my hiking boots. At 9:00, I went into the office where a Park Ranger was talking to a camper about someone who had been harassing a moose in the campground. I got my permit and headed to the trailhead.
 http://i66.tinypic.com/2nvh6c8.jpg

It was about 9:30 when with backpack on, I headed down the trail. I had just gone up the first small hill when I realized I wasn’t wearing my glasses. I had left them on the roof of the car while I was getting my gear out of the back. Back to the car, and the trek began in earnest.
 
It was a cool but sunny morning. I estimate the temperature was about 10 degrees C. There was some leaf cover on parts of the trails, but nothing that impeded my ability to see roots and rocks. I started the trek wearing a light down vest, but put that away after about a kilometer. I was wearing a thin MEC T1 base layer top with a slightly thicker Merrill poly base layer over that, Columbia Titanium pants and was perfectly comfortable the whole way.
 http://i68.tinypic.com/99dun5.jpg

A thought struck me while I was making my way along the trail. I’ve heard canoeists make disparaging remarks about backpacking (things like “oh boy, an all day portage” and “all you get to see when backpacking is trees”. As someone who has both canoed and backpacked, I’ve found when canoeing you get to see the forest from the water. Portages are associated with hard work (in large part because you are carrying more gear than you would if backpacking), so you endure the trip rather than savour it. When backpacking, (particularly when going solo) you don’t just see the forest; you become part of it. This leads to a completely different experience. You see the smallest plants, you notice where the sun finds its way through the trees and produces different lighting effects. Once acclimated to the trail, sounds and smells stand out more.
 http://i66.tinypic.com/wrgzyt.jpg

Past the first steep hill up to the Mew Lake lookout I went, then down and toward the Track and Tower trail crossing. A couple of groups of young people passed me on their way to Harness Lake. I offered them friendly encouragement and marveled at their energy. At the Madawaska River bridge, I took the obligatory photo opp break and resumed my trip.
 
I knew from a previous hike that there were 4 challenging hills between me and the campsite I wanted to stay at. The first is the one prior to the Mew Lake Lookout, and there is another not too far after the Madawaska Bridge. This second rise climbs skyward at a rather severe angle and curves in the middle. Loose rocks are scattered liberally along the way. This is the hill I like the least. I was happy to note this one seemed less of a challenge than when I scaled it last year.
 
I made it to the fork in the trail that sends hikers to either Provoking East or Provoking West, and a short while later found myself at the first campsite on Provoking East when coming along the trail from the West. This campsite is a gem. It’s situated on a point which is mostly devoid of trees and offers a commanding view of Provoking Lake. I had hoped this site would be free by the time I arrived as I wanted to use it. The site was in fact free, but I considered my options. While the weather was cool but pleasant with scattered clouds, I knew the forecast was for rain and winds of 20 to 30 kilometers per hour for the next two days. I reckoned that if the rain and wind set in, this beautiful site would offer no protection from the elements. I decided to move down the trail to the next site.
 
I’ve read a number of books written by Appalachian Trail hikers and had become aware of a term they use called “trail magic”. Trail Magic is the name for gifts left by people for hikers. On my way to the third campsite on Provoking East I found some real Trail Magic that was to make all the difference to my stay on the Lake. There, by the fire pit of the second campsite was a blue folding chair someone had packed in and did not want to pack out. It was dry, clean and in perfect working order. I scooped it up and continued on my way.
 
I finally reached the third site, the same one I had stayed at last year during my solo hike. It was 12:15. This campsite is like many I have stayed on canoe trips. No clear window to the lake, but trees were scattered around the perimeter acting as a windbreak. Even with the surrounding trees, the site itself is quite wide open and has a spacious feel to it. There was enough of a canopy overhead to shield my tent and I from at least a portion of the promised rain. I immediately got to work setting up the Elixir 3 tent, hung the bear bag, got some lunch, then had a nap.
http://i65.tinypic.com/152p9vt.jpg


After waking from my nap, I collected firewood and used my trusty Bahco folding saw to process the wood.
 http://i64.tinypic.com/30t0193.jpg

By the time I was finished with the firewood, the skies had become completely overcast and it was getting dark. I fired up the JetBoil and made a nice dinner of Alpineair Vegetable Curry and Rice, following that up with a mug of After Eight Hot Chocolate. I then cleaned up, got my newspaper and prepared to start a fire.
 
It was almost dark by now so I pulled out my Black Diamond Cosmo headlamp. To my dismay, the headlamp did not turn on. I had checked the batteries before departing. The headlamp has a lock feature to prevent it from being turned on in the pack which I thought I had activated while packing at home. I had a spare set of batteries, so I quickly swapped out the batteries and tried again. Nothing. Due to a conscious effort on my part to keep pack weight down, I did not bring a flashlight. I had been to MEC earlier in the week and picked up a UCO Micro Candle Lantern which I did bring. I went back to the tent, found the candle lantern and sat just inside the door of the tent. I lit the candle lantern. Believe me when I tell you the light one of these devices puts out is not really sufficient for fine work, at least with my 50+ year-old eyes. I tried to read the orientation guide inside the battery holder to determine if the batteries were really in properly, but I just couldn’t see the markings. At this point I decided there would be no fire on this night since it was truly dark out now. It was just a little after 7 p.m.
 
I had seen a forecast for the Park the previous day, which called for an overnight low of 6 degrees Celcius. Calling upon a previous cool weather experience in May of this year where I had gone car camping at Mew Lake with my brother and his son, I had packed my MEC Aquila Wide down sleeping bag and a Thermarest XTherm Max sleeping pad. I also brought along a T1 top and a T3 top, T3 pants and warm socks. In addition, I had a warm balaclava I could use if necessary. As it turned out, that was overkill. While the night did cool down considerably in comparison to the daytime temperature, I was warm enough to not need the balaclava and slept with the bag partially unzipped. The rain commenced as I settled in and the drizzle continued all night.
 
Sunday October 16
I have a neck problem. It’s not chronic, but it does cause pain and can morph into near-migraine-sized headaches. It’s often brought on by having my head in certain positions while sleeping. My first solo backpacking trip (to this same campsite) in September of last year was cut short on the second day when I deemed the pain too much. On that occasion, just after lunch on a beautiful day I packed up my camp and headed home. As the day progressed my pain receded. Driving south on Highway 11, I was treated to a beautiful sunset. I knew it would have been glorious back at the campsite.
 
Moving forward to the present, I knew I would have to overcome this challenge if I was to complete my 3 day goal. I added a Nemo Fillo Pillow to my gear, which has memory foam similar to my pillow at home. I had used it on two separate trips this year and it was definitely more comfortable than the MEC Base Camp pillow I had been using.
 
Despite being warm, I did not sleep well overnight. I was constantly awakened with neck discomfort. The pain was starting. When morning finally came, I was in enough distress to immediately gobble 2 Advils. With breakfast, I had 2 more. The rain was light but steady with no sign of blue sky. I was moving slowly due to the pain which had become a mini migraine, but I felt a determination to stick it out as long as I could. I reasoned that if I kept busy, I could distract myself enough to at least cope with the discomfort.
 
I had formulated a plan banking upon the precipitation. I would erect a tarp to sit under, utilizing the Trail Magic chair and my All Weather Emergency Blanket. The Emergency Blanket is sold by MEC and costs a paltry $17. This is truly one of the most versatile pieces of kit in my camping gear inventory.  It’s fairly rugged, measures just over 2 meters long by 1.5 meters wide. One side is tough and waterproof, while the other side has a reflective surface that can be useful for keeping a person warm. I found a spot several meters from my tent that was relatively clear but close to several trees that I could tie paracord to on the four corners. I am no expert at setting up tarps, and it took me about an hour to get it right, but I got the blanket/tarp set up exactly as I wanted it. I set up the blue folding chair under the tarp. I sat down and enjoyed a period of relaxation as my head continued to pound away. I was treated a to nice view of the lake as it swelled under the influence of the wind, as raindrops clattered on the tarp above my head. I was in Algonquin Park. I’ve had it worse.
 http://i67.tinypic.com/jh39tj.jpg

During this rest period, I pulled out my headlamp and looked again at it in daylight. This time I could see that the batteries were not placed in the correct orientation. I flipped one of the cells, put the headlamp back together, and there was light. I’m still not sure exactly how I managed to put them in incorrectly back at home.
 
A while later, with my headache still raging, I fired up the JetBoil once again and made myself lunch. I literally forced myself to eat it all as I was somewhat nauseous as a result of my sore head. Once done, I took stock of the situation. It was still raining, and the skies showed no sign of a break in the weather. I could pack it all up now and leave, or try to stick it out. I decided on the latter course and prepared to hike the trail heading east along the north shore of Provoking Lake.
 
With rain as my constant companion, but well equipped from a clothing perspective I set off eastbound. My goal was to check out the two campsites on the far eastern end of Provoking. I had never seen them before, presuming they would not be very good as they are located where the lake narrows considerably. I had figured the view from those locations would be something akin to a swamp overlook so I never set them as a target site for my two trips to this lake. Along the way, the only wildlife I encountered was a chicken-sized bird which scurried away further into the dimly-lit bush as I approached. I imagine it was a grouse, but could not make a positive I.D.
 
Coming eventually to the first of the 2 sites, I actually found it to be as nice a site as the one I was camped on, with the same attributes as far as shielding from adverse elements. The view was not bad either. Though the lake is narrower here, it’s still pretty. There was plenty of water for swimming (in warmer temperatures) and there wasn’t a swamp in site. However, when I got to the final site, I found myself forced to say “Wow” out loud. This is a very pretty site, very open with a nice, unfettered view to the water. With the rain continuing to pour down, I could see that there was no suitable natural place to put up a tarp. I took a couple of photos and headed back to camp.
 http://i64.tinypic.com/s6u4gh.jpg

I got back to my site just before 3 p.m. The rain had stopped and I could see patches of blue sky. The pain in my head had abated considerably. I took off my raincoat and headed west down the trail, camera in hand to try and take some photos with the benefit of sunshine.
 http://i67.tinypic.com/muilc2.jpg

Upon arriving at the site on the point, I was not disappointed. The sky had cleared right up. I walked around and took many photos. Finally, it was time to head back to camp.
 http://i66.tinypic.com/2hyf7f5.jpg

By the time I reached camp, it was dinnertime. I was not hungry at all, so I passed on a freeze-dried meal I had packed and only ate a Cliff bar. I looked at my firewood from the night before. The large pieces were dry, but the tinder and kindling were soaked. I was still not feeling well enough to gather and prepare more, so I resigned myself to no fire that night. I wandered around and a took a few photos in the twilight.
 http://i66.tinypic.com/zmz153.jpg

 http://i68.tinypic.com/20kdfrc.jpg

Just as dark was settling in, and being reluctant to enter the tent for what might be another 12 hours of discomfort and not enough sleep, I stood looking in the direction of the trail. I stood there for a few moments, soaking in the moment. Just as I was about to turn and enter the tent in the last of the failing light, I heard a sound in front of me. It sounded exactly like a bicycle whizzing past, the same sound as rubber tires moving along the road. It came from ahead of me from my left and moved toward the right. I could not discern if it was on the ground or in the air. Just about when it seemed it would have been directly in front of me, the sound stopped. I could see nothing. I heard nothing further. Flying squirrel? Any ideas?
 
That night as I lay in my tent, I noticed something I had not noticed last year when I came out to this spot. I could actually hear occasional traffic on Highway 60. A Harley Davidson motorcycle and the odd transport truck. That was a tiny bit disappointing. The night passed somewhat restlessly. I got some sleep and the temperature was definitely warmer than it had been the previous night.
 
Monday October 17
I awoke to an overcast sky but no rain. Teardown day had arrived. I got up and decided upon only a Cliff Bar for breakfast. It was enough. From 7:30 to 9:30 I worked, tearing everything down and packing everything up. The tent fly was soaking wet, but I had brought a garbage bag to wrap it up in. I laid the emergency blanket out on the ground.  It made a nice clean and dry staging area for items before they went to their respective areas in the pack. I hit the trail. The wind and rain had resulted in many sections of trail being covered with wet leaves. The leaves covered slippery rocks and roots, so I took my sweet time moving along the path. At one point I actually took a wrong turn and ended up on the Starling Lake lookout. It’s quite a climb but I’d say the view is worth it. The sky was still overcast when I reached the peak, so I did not get to see the view at its best.
 
At long last, around 12:15 I made it out to the trailhead and my car. On my way out of the Park via Highway 60, I spotted a car with Maryland plates pulled over with its flashers on. The car’s occupants were out of the car and looking into the swamp to the south of the highway. Three moose were there, an adult male and female and a young one. I snapped a quick photo and resumed my journey home. I had accomplished my goal of doing what I had not been able to do in my earlier attempts. A feeling of satisfaction came over me. Thank you, Algonquin Park.
http://i64.tinypic.com/wv7gxu.jpg

 

Last edited by Blobsquatch (11/02/2016 6:37 am)

 

10/23/2016 8:06 pm  #2


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Great trip report. Like we were there with you.http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png

 

10/23/2016 8:38 pm  #3


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Thanks so much for sharing the details of your trip - this was a great read! Glad to hear that you had no trouble getting your campsite of choice and that the trip was an overall success. 

Cheers,

Rich

 

10/24/2016 12:20 pm  #4


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Blobsquatch wrote:

A thought struck me while I was making my way along the trail. I’ve heard canoeists make disparaging remarks about backpacking (things like “oh boy, an all day portage” and “all you get to see when backpacking is trees”. As someone who has both canoed and backpacked, I’ve found when canoeing you get to see the forest from the water. Portages are associated with hard work (in large part because you are carrying more gear than you would if backpacking), so you endure the trip rather than savour it. When backpacking, (particularly when going solo) you don’t just see the forest; you become part of it. This leads to a completely different experience. You see the smallest plants, you notice where the sun finds its way through the trees and produces different lighting effects. Once acclimated to the trail, sounds and smells stand out more.
 

Very well said. As an avid canoeist and backpacker myself, I know that sentiment well.

I've done the Highland trail a few times and have stayed at the site you did as well as the one on the point. There is a tree at the point site I have always liked - it looks like it's pointing the way for you. I wonder if you noticed if it's still there?

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a3dd11b3127ccef2e94c31c83900000050O00CatWzRwxZNQe3nw4/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00502184650520130330160347537.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D720/ry%3D480/



Now that you've got your feet wet, the next challenge will be the full loop. It's a challenge but some nice spots.


Dave
 

10/24/2016 2:09 pm  #5


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Thanks for the report! I appreciate your honesty about some of the challenges that come with backcountry camping. It's easy to read glowing trip report after glowing trip report and think, "Am I the only one who struggled through parts of this?"

I think the challenge is part of the draw for many. I hope this trip renewed your confidence to keep trekking!

 

10/24/2016 2:30 pm  #6


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Great report! Thanks for sharing!!

 

10/25/2016 6:18 am  #7


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Methye – Thank you!
 
hiker72 – Thank you, Rich!
 
Algonquintripper – Thank you, Dave. It seems you and I share a bit of an interest in trees. I pay attention to the shapes of trees and often take photos of interesting ones. I did not notice the tree in your photo, but saw these other two just off the point that seemed to be pointing me in the direction of my campsite. So I followed them!
 http://i66.tinypic.com/2nvgeja.jpg

Believe me, I have thought about doing the full loop. Maybe next year.
 
CanoeClaire – Thank you! My wife thinks I like to go off to the forest to have fun. I’ve tried to explain to her that it’s more of a personal challenge than fun. OK, I do have a little fun http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png
While this trip has quenched my thirst for backcountry for now, I’ll sure I’ll be back at it again next year.
 
MartinG – Thank you, Martin!

Sincerely, Tracy

Last edited by Blobsquatch (10/25/2016 6:19 am)

     Thread Starter
 

10/25/2016 9:17 am  #8


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

You guys are making me extremely jealous! I keep pondering the fact that I want to try backpacking again. When I first started interior camping about 6 or 7 years ago I started with backpacking because at that point I had never even been in a canoe in my life. First trip ever was a overnight solo to Head Lake with a 65L pack from Canadian Tire that weighed over 70Lbs. It was an amazing experience that I will never forget. Just before going to bed I heard some crunching in the bush along the trail behind my campsite, when I finally seen something back there all I could make out was something big and black, I thought for sure it was a bear and I was pretty frightened as I didn't have spray or anything.. turned out it was a cow moose that came right up in behind my camp and stuck around for almost an hour feeding behind camp.
Just yesterday I tried to load up that same pack with all my updated gear (I've done over 30 nights on canoe trips so far this year), and I couldn't even get all my essentials in the pack. I have no clue how I did it years ago but the best I could do was fit it all in my frame less canoe pack and the total weight was 54LBs which in that pack wouldn't be fun after a few hours on the trail. Unfortunately I gave up on the idea. After reading your story now I REALLY want to do it! I might have to play around with my gear again today. ;-)

 

10/25/2016 10:25 am  #9


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Ha, token, I'm sure you can do it with a little prioritization. When you have to carry it the whole time, it's amazing what you no longer deem as important or what gear can do double duty. 65L is a pretty big big bag.

 

10/25/2016 1:44 pm  #10


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

My issue is both my tent and sleeping bag(s). My tent is just a cheap $40 Canadian Tire special (6LBs) and my only decent sleeping bag is rated -5 so I would probably have to double up and bring my summer bag as well (-5 bag is a mummy and summer is full size so I could put the mummy inside the summer bag). I'm kind of a wuss when it comes to cold lol, I'd much MUCH rather be too warm vs. too cold. 

 

10/26/2016 10:34 am  #11


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

token wrote:

My issue is both my tent and sleeping bag(s). My tent is just a cheap $40 Canadian Tire special (6LBs) and my only decent sleeping bag is rated -5 so I would probably have to double up and bring my summer bag as well (-5 bag is a mummy and summer is full size so I could put the mummy inside the summer bag). I'm kind of a wuss when it comes to cold lol, I'd much MUCH rather be too warm vs. too cold. 

My warmest bag is only rated to "0" and it seems to keep me warm well into the late fall. I've woken more than once to snow on the ground. I find warm, sleep dedicated clothing and an appropriate sleeping pad more important than the bag.

On the tent front, I hear you, Token. Good, lightweight tents are expensive. I started out using my Eureka Timberline II (7 lbs) but now just use my MEC Scout tarp (1 lb, 2 oz.). On occasion, if with a partner or if I am expecting some bad weather, I'll bring the poles and fly from my MEC Wanderer II but even without the tent body, the weight is significant at 6 oz. either side of 5 lbs depending on whether you include the footprint.

But, where there's a will, there's a way!

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a3dd11b3127ccef2e821dc290600000170O00CatWzRwxZNQe3nw4/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00502184650520130330160339912.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/



https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a2cc35b3127ccef1891789056600000030O00CatWzRwxZNQe3nw4/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00502184650520121214141607457.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/


Dave
 

10/26/2016 12:22 pm  #12


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Blobsquatch, here are some pics of the loop from one of my trips.



https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a3dd11b3127ccef2e8c6b1698000000100O00CatWzRwxZNQe3nw4/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00502184650520130330160350662.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

On the way to Head Lake​

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a3dd11b3127ccef2e92058495600000050O00CatWzRwxZNQe3nw4/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00502184650520130330160352333.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/


https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a3dd11b3127ccef2e84252e81100000070O00CatWzRwxZNQe3nw4/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00502184650520130330160401353.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

Why woodpeckers have migraines.

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a3dd11b3127ccef2e8d54629e600000050O00CatWzRwxZNQe3nw4/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00502184650520130330160407894.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

View from the lookout half way to Head Lake 

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a3dd11b3127ccef2e8ce2b691e00000050O00CatWzRwxZNQe3nw4/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00502184650520130330160403419.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/


https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a3dd11b3127ccef2e8debd698000000050O00CatWzRwxZNQe3nw4/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00502184650520130330160412552.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/


https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a3dd11b3127ccef2e91c77c85700000050O00CatWzRwxZNQe3nw4/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00502184650520130330160420609.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

Harness Lake

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a3dd11b3127ccef2e81064693e00000060O00CatWzRwxZNQe3nw4/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00502184650520130330160437701.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

Heading back to Provoking via Mosquito Creek

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a3dd11b3127ccef2e88ec769d200000070O00CatWzRwxZNQe3nw4/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00502184650520130330160425022.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a3dd11b3127ccef2e8b9a6293000000090O00CatWzRwxZNQe3nw4/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00502184650520130330160438407.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/

View from the Mosquito Creek emergency camp site.

https://im1.shutterfly.com/media/47a3dd11b3127ccef2e93f90883900000110O00CatWzRwxZNQe3nw4/cC/f%3D0/ls%3D00502184650520130330160310960.JPG/ps%3D50/r%3D0/rx%3D550/ry%3D400/



 


Dave
 

10/26/2016 6:45 pm  #13


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Nice photos. Thank you for posting them, Dave. I'm sure you realize now that I've seen them I am going to have to do the whole loop to see those places for myself!

Tracy

     Thread Starter
 

10/26/2016 7:01 pm  #14


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

token wrote:

You guys are making me extremely jealous! After reading your story now I REALLY want to do it! I might have to play around with my gear again today. ;-)

Hi Token! Don't give it up, my friend. Keep the flame burning. You look younger and stronger than I am and if I can do it, you certainly can. Start investing one piece at a time for lighter weight gear if you can. If you can get your tent down to even 6 pounds, your sleeping bag down to 3 pounds and get a lighter weight pack, that takes a lot of weight off your total. My pack for this trip was approx. 40 pounds. If rain was not in the forecast I probably could have got it down to 35 pounds.

Suggestion: watch the YouTube backpacking videos over the winter to keep the juices flowing. There are a lot of great videos showing how to reduce your pack weight.

By the way, I'll bet you I am more of a cold weather wuss than you. I used to be the first kid on the block to leave the road hockey game on winter nights due to being improperly dressed. Now that I know what to wear I can be perfectly comfortable in even frigid temperatures.

Hope to see a backpacking trip log from you next year!

Tracy

     Thread Starter
 

10/27/2016 7:08 am  #15


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Blobsquatch wrote:

token wrote:

You guys are making me extremely jealous! After reading your story now I REALLY want to do it! I might have to play around with my gear again today. ;-)

Hi Token! Don't give it up, my friend. Keep the flame burning. You look younger and stronger than I am and if I can do it, you certainly can. Start investing one piece at a time for lighter weight gear if you can. If you can get your tent down to even 6 pounds, your sleeping bag down to 3 pounds and get a lighter weight pack, that takes a lot of weight off your total. My pack for this trip was approx. 40 pounds. If rain was not in the forecast I probably could have got it down to 35 pounds.

Suggestion: watch the YouTube backpacking videos over the winter to keep the juices flowing. There are a lot of great videos showing how to reduce your pack weight.

By the way, I'll bet you I am more of a cold weather wuss than you. I used to be the first kid on the block to leave the road hockey game on winter nights due to being improperly dressed. Now that I know what to wear I can be perfectly comfortable in even frigid temperatures.

Hope to see a backpacking trip log from you next year!

Tracy

Thanks for the encouragement. Trust me its going to be a long winter for me, basically I dedicated the entire 'soft water' season to canoe tripping so I don't know what I'm going to do with myself all winter (other than annoy my girlfriend) lol. I'm going on a 3 day canoe trip tomorrow, so when I get my gear together today I'll post the weight of both of my packs (yes I am bringing TWO packs LOL).
-Andrew

 

10/27/2016 9:28 am  #16


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Blobsquatch wrote:

Nice photos. Thank you for posting them, Dave. I'm sure you realize now that I've seen them I am going to have to do the whole loop to see those places for myself!

Tracy

Then my work here is done.http://cdn.boardhost.com/emoticons/happy.png


 


Dave
 

10/27/2016 9:36 am  #17


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

token wrote:

I'm going on a 3 day canoe trip tomorrow, so when I get my gear together today I'll post the weight of both of my packs (yes I am bringing TWO packs LOL).
-Andrew

I must admit I am envious of how often you can get out, Token. Enjoy and be careful - Be sure to take a ditch kit. That water will be cold.


Dave
 

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