I have newfound respect for your pack carrying people

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I have newfound respect for your pack carrying people

Postby zippetydude » Sun Sep 24, 2006 8:42 pm

Aargh! I did the first 5 miles of C2C on Saturday, but for the first time, I was carrying a pack. For any of you that have not met me in person, I normally have a couple of liters of water in a hip pack, and that's it. Well, I decided to stash extra Gatorade along the trail at various points, so I bought two cases of Gatorade, and packed my backpack with 30 two-quart bottles. Total was just over 60 lbs. "I can make it, it'll be a little slower, that's all." Or so I thought. I was wrong.

[i][b]It is a thousand times harder with a big heavy pack on.[/b][/i] It's tricky handling the steep stair like sections that start out, my legs and my glutes were burning the whole time, my balance was bad and I kept staggering into thorn bushes (my shoulders look like a mountain lion attacked me) and it was such slow going that I was really hard pressed to cover 1 mile per hour. To sum up: I got my butt kicked.

I just don't know how you backpackers do it. But my hat's off to you, you are tough people, and you're way ahead of me.

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Backpacking on c2c

Postby Cy Kaicener » Mon Sep 25, 2006 2:29 am

I respect your endeavor of backpacking part way up Skyline. I would never do it. Search and Rescue http://rmru.org had to rescue some backpackers below the tram last year, and someone else this year as well. Stashing Gatorade up there is a good idea.
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Postby guest » Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:05 pm

For those who have a need to stash things along the trail,(thought that's what Camelbaks are for, I can carry 150 oz & still do a sub 4), please make sure it's completely out of sight, as I've come above stashes before, Gatorade in plastic bags under bushes & the like.
This is not something that enhances the wilderness experience for sure.

Postby zippetydude » Mon Sep 25, 2006 9:47 pm

I hear what you're saying. Actually, I keep mine well off the trail so they don't get consumed or picked up as litter, then pack them back out once they're empty. I have noticed that Skyline stays remarkably litter-free despite there being no official trail maintenance crews.

Here's a weird one for you though - I saw a cigarette butt at about 4000 feet elevation on Saturday. I find it remarkable that 1) anyone who would go that far would actually litter, and 2) anyone who smokes could actually go that far.

A question: You said you do a sub 4 carrying a 150 oz Camelbak. If you're doing sub 4, you must be running for part of the way. Doesn't the sloshing around irritate you?

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Re: I have newfound respect for your pack carrying people

Postby Snowhiker » Tue Sep 26, 2006 4:25 am

zippetydude wrote: packed my backpack with 30 two-quart bottles. Total was just over 60 lbs.

Thirty, 2-quart bottles = 60 quarts = 15 gallons * 8.34 lbs/gal = 125+ lbs.

That's a serious pack. LOL.

I guess you mean 2-pints bottles?

How many cache locations did you place? Bottles per cache? How did you keep track of locations?

A cool idea might be to take ACCURATE GPS coordinates for the cache locations. Then you can give a list of coords, to hikers you trust not to "abuse" the caches, and they will have backup in case they need emergency drinks. Maybe cache some emergency supplies in an old, repainted, surplus ammo can. Etc.
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Postby zippetydude » Tue Sep 26, 2006 9:34 am

Duh. Clever math on my part. Thanks for the correction and you're right, it was 30 quart bottles, not 30 2 quart bottles.

I have told others about how to find my caches up in the San G wilderness, and I've had people share water and gatorade with me. The desert caches are pretty well off the trail, so they would be hard to find. A cache might last me a year or more.

I thought about an emergency box somewhere around Slick Rock, containing maybe a space blanket, mirror, a couple of gels, and a few drinks. I have heard that the rangers have concerns because they wouldn't want people counting on that as a backup, since it could be empty at any given time, but I kind of have the opposite impression - almost all the people who have called for help were out of water and getting too hot. Stretch a space blanket between branches, sit down and drink and relax for a couple of hours, and start moving again when it begins to cool down - most would rather do that than call a ranger and look like a fool, so it seems like it might actually cut down on rescues. Who knows?

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