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10/27/2016 1:13 pm  #18


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Blobsquatch, that was a terrific report.  There are lots of things you leave behind you when camping, the things you "get away from", but the physical ailments come with you as an unwelcome guest that you don't even pack. For me it is digestive issues and sometimes wicked headaches that are probably migraines, both of which can make camping a magical experience.

I greatly admire your resolve and ability to fight through it and complete your personal objective.  Well done!  When the headache is raging, it pre-empts every thought you have, it colors every decision or prevents decisions, and becomes your sole, exhausting, relentless, focus.  It is extremely difficult to follow through with anything when that visitor makes an appearance.    

I tried a solo hiking trip about 10-12 years ago in the park - the boogey man got me so a 4-day trip became a 2-day trip.  It left me feeling very unresolved.  This year I decided on a solo canoe trip - that suited me better, it went well, and at least partially knocked out that unfinished business sensation.  I'm so glad you were able to achieve your goal - and you really had to fight to fight for it!  You earned every bit of the good feeling of "mission accomplished".

When you described the pillow and sleeping position thing, I thought for sure you were going to say you spent the second night in the Trail Magic chair!  I wonder if a supportive structure, maybe even a hammock might help you attain a more reliable sleeping position.  Of course, head-bobbing in a chair all night long isn't ideal for the neck.... 

Anyway, congratulations!!!!

 

10/28/2016 8:22 am  #19


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

token wrote:

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

Just weighed my packs for my canoe trip today.. main pack is 47.6LBs and the dry bag pack is exactly 25LBs for a total of 72.6LBs. Haha this includes my full camera kit with multiple lenses, batteries etc, full size tripod, WAY too many fishing lures, TWO sleeping bags etc..
Next week it looks like we are going to get some super warm weather (highs and lows) so maybe a backpacking trip will be in store after all. Yesterday I bought a compression sack for my -5 sleeping bag and its crazy how much less room it takes up now!

 

11/02/2016 6:35 am  #20


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

dontgroandaddy wrote:

I tried a solo hiking trip about 10-12 years ago in the park - the boogey man got me so a 4-day trip became a 2-day trip.  It left me feeling very unresolved.  This year I decided on a solo canoe trip - that suited me better, it went well, and at least partially knocked out that unfinished business sensation. 

When you described the pillow and sleeping position thing, I thought for sure you were going to say you spent the second night in the Trail Magic chair!  I wonder if a supportive structure, maybe even a hammock might help you attain a more reliable sleeping position.  Of course, head-bobbing in a chair all night long isn't ideal for the neck.... 

Anyway, congratulations!!!!

Hi Dontgroandaddy,
Thank you for the compliment and your thoughtful and informative post, I really appreciate it.

I am curious about the boogeyman thing. How did you overcome that? Personally I was way more skittish in my 20's compared to my attitude now that I am in my 50's.

You are correct in regard to sleeping in the chair, that would make for a horrible night for me. The blessing that the chair provided was the chance to sit in comfort for a while during the worst of my headache.

I am curious about hammocks, but once I calculated the cost of a hammock + underquilt for cool weather, plus the combined weight of both I realized there wasn't much of a savings over the tent. Yet I have heard many say that the most comfortable sleep they've ever had was in a hammock. I may yet pull the trigger on one.

Sincerely,
Tracy

     Thread Starter
 

11/08/2016 2:23 pm  #21


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Blobsquatch -
This is a long answer, and I apologize for that.  I am not 100% sure that I have overcome the boogeyman with my successful trip this year, but he didn't bother me this time.  

Starting with the semi-failed hiking trip for reference, that was my first solo hiking campout.  1) At some point I became very aware of the physical limitations of my vision.  Everything unseen felt heavy and dark and foreboding.  The view was not varied “look – more woods!”, so there was no relief from that sensation.  2)  I was in my late 30's, and like you, the older I get the less I worry about anything.  3) I had planned to explore once I got camp set up, or read a book, but by then I was kind of done physically.  Didn’t feel much like exploring to see “more woods”.  I hadn’t hiked a crazy distance, still, day one is a long day.  4)  No chair, the seating at the firepit was not good, so reading a book was either going to be on a log somewhere or in the tent, and the tent was a one man that I couldn’t sit upright in.  Plus, I was too pre-occupied with the vision thing for reading. Basically, I sort of stood around for quite a while, picking at little camp chores, etc.  5) My campsite was a good 100 meters from the water, the water access wasn’t exactly picturesque and didn’t have much of a spot to sit down, but I was probably a bit antsy by then anyway.  I debated heading out the next morning, but put off that decision.  Slept ok, and the next morning, broke camp, packed up, looked both directions down the trail, realized if I stuck it out the loop would require a 4 day for sure, was concerned about boredom and enabling the boogeyman, so I turned right.  6) Solitude.  It was so bloody quiet I couldn’t believe it.

Taking a canoe trip was a huge game changer for me.  1) The view is more varied, and includes wide open areas where you don’t even think about what is behind you. The pack wasn’t on me 100% of the time, so it was physically varied as well.  Vision limitation never really came into play.  It was not by design, but I encountered people on every carry except one.  (I didn't see a soul on the hiking trip.)  2) Age 51 versus age 35.  What do I care?  3) I had more activities planned.  Day two was going to be a side trip to a creek and fishing.  I had a book with me.  I had a camera with me, and used that camera a number of times to make short videos to share with cub scouts.  I had some do-nothing-time, but it was the refreshing kind where I had an hour or two to enjoy it, not the ugh there is nothing else to do how many hours before dinner kind of do-nothing-time.  A fantastic amount of rain gave me plenty to do on day two...  4) I had a chair!  And I used it a LOT.  I’d never had one, but what a difference that made to comfort.  Instead of taking pot luck with whatever was around the fire pit, such as a soaking wet log or a rock with ill-placed bumps, I had a guaranteed comfy dry seat.  5) I was on an island with awesome water access.  This was by design.  There were two sites, I had seen this one in photos, it looked nice and it was.  The boogeyman can still visit an island, but I kind of knew he wouldn’t make the trip.  My selection was less about an island campsite than getting a nice campsite, but it crossed my mind.  6) at times, it was so bloody quiet I couldn’t believe it.  And it “sounded” awesome to me this time.  

I had two bits of equipment on the canoe trip that weren’t on the hiking trip.  A “Spot” GPS thingy, so I pinged home now and then.  That was much more for my wife than me, but maybe I got some comfort there.  Additionally, I had bear spray with me.  This was a last minute add that I debated greatly.  I was never in an area that one would consider a bear-rich environment, I don’t know that I took any particular comfort from it, and I don’t wear a belt so it was kind of a pain to remember to keep it reasonably close, but maybe I did get comfort from it. 

 

12/13/2016 3:15 pm  #22


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Blobsquatch, yes hammocking can be expensive. But a quality hammock can be had for $40 US. I use one from Dutchware. For the under insulation I use one from Arrowhead Equipment - about $100 US. When you add in the other necessities (bug screen and suspension) I am still under $200. And the comfort is amazing.

I also switched from a propane stove to alcohol initially for the simplicity. It has its limits but I enjoy the size and quietness of operation too.  I was in same boat as you - on canoe trip a misused propane stove vented all of the propane. 

Kudos on pushing through. I was thinking about Provoking this coming weekend but may resign myself to a base camp in Mew Lake. But your tail has me rethinking that.

Last edited by tenderfoot (12/13/2016 3:17 pm)

 

12/15/2016 7:59 am  #23


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Dontgroandaddy - Thank you very much for all the information you shared. I haven't really looked at canoe tripping the way you have just described it, but that perspective makes a lot of sense to me.
My wife is very paranoid about my solo trekking, so maybe I will invest in a SPOT despite the horrible reviews I have read for her peace of mind. As far as the bear spray goes, I made a decision to carry a storm safety whistle instead. Hopefully you and I will never have to use either one.
Tenderfoot - Thank you for the information. I am sure at some point I will try a hammock. I'll take a look at both of the vendors you have mentioned. I admire your spirit in even considering backpacking at this time of year. That's a challenge I am not sure I am up to. I have not definitively ruled it out yet either. To me it seems like something best attempted with a companion so you can share the load of the winter-worthy gear.
 

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12/15/2016 8:49 am  #24


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Blob - I also carry a storm whistle with me.  My son and I tried them out in the back yard and man alive, our ears didn't ring, they hurt - for like ten minutes.  The second thing is the SPOT.  You can rent them.  I found a place in Florida, but there are probably others.  They'll ship it to you a few days in advance, you do a little set up and are good to go.  For my three day trips, the cost was $35-40 USD.  Not cheap I guess, but I only have need for it a couple times a year.  There are four messages:  "OK", "alert the world", which is you are in life-threatening dire straits and need help now.  That activates search and rescue.  The other two are more custom.  I made one of them something like "I've experienced illness, equipment failure, injury or weather problems and will be delayed.", and the other one was similar, but was a "please call for help" version, and I gave my wife the park phone number, etc. with that one.  The SPOT comes in a case that is bigger (and heavier) than necessary, so I put it in a small Tupperware thing that fit it really well. 

 

3/13/2017 9:01 pm  #25


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Great Report!

 

3/20/2017 6:08 am  #26


Re: Highland Backpacking Trail - 2 nights on Provoking Lake

Thank you Sterrr, I really appreciate your comment.

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