Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fly-Hike-Fly Notes


The apples, cucumbers, and Subway sandwich were a hit. I'm still packing too much food and too large portions. This is specially true with the oat-granola mix and milk-chocolate mix for breakfast.
The chicken (bag), mashed potatoes (plain flakes), Nido (whole milk powder), and vegetable (Just-Plain-Vegetables freeze dried mix) with pepper was a great dinner. Instead of just adding everything to hot water I might try to add the vegetables earlier so they rehydrate better.


The six liter water worked out great. It's just the right amount to hike to the Happy Valley camp, overnight, climb Rincon and hike to Manning. Although I actually only use up all of the four liters.
Water for filtering at Happy Valley isn't great. There were a couple of stagnant puddles that didn't look very inviting. Manning on the other hand has clear running water. The best place to get it is on the rock by the fence where the water comes out of the holding pond.

The gravity water filter worked great and fast. I used an old nylon sock as a prefilter when filling the bag to keep large derbies out. It worked great with running water as it had enough force to penetrate through the sock. But it might be different for still standing water.
Having a good water source like at Manning is nice. I ended up filtering six liters.


I took just the right amount of clothing. The only thing I didn't wear was the layer of long underwear and rain gear. But both are good to have along just in case.

I had no issues taking only one set of nylon long sleeved/legged hiking shirt and pants for the entire trip. After the hike I washed them out along with underwear and socks.
Besides the sock everything dries quite quickly. For drying don't wring your garmet. This causes stress and might damage the garment. I instead squeeze the water out of it. Hang it on the shower curtain rod for a little bit to let the water drip. Squeeze the garment from top downward, pressing the water out as it hangs. Lay the garment on a bath towel and roll both up. Gently wring the roll, causing the towel to absorb the water while protecting the garment from the wringing stress. The nylon garments should be dry in a couple of hours.

The seams on the REI Sahara pant came undone at the seams. Not yet to the point that it revealed anything but still having a brand new pair fail that quickly is disappointing. Otherwise the pants, just like the matching REI Sahara shirt, fits well and are comfortable and function well. The Tucson REI store offered to exchange them but my size wasn't in stock. I could have traded them for a different pair but the other nylon pants all have zip-off legs which I don't like.


As weird as it is, my cheap Swiss Gear external frame backpack from Sam's Club performed well. The extendible top allowed me to put everything inside the pack, protected from pokey plants along the trails. Though if I wanted I could use the straps on the pack to attach the tent, mat, or ice pick. It carries pretty well and I hardly noticed the difference when it was full or just lightly packed. I did notice some pilling on my nylon shirt due to the pack.


I just like trail runners. These Salomon have a few hikes behind them and are nearing their live expectancy. The next pair of shoes I'll get in a larger size as these are a bit tight. I forgot to tighten them well on the last day for the decent. This caused my toes to touch the front and get sore. For climbs and flats I like to wear them a little loose because they are tight.


I had a couple printouts of the National Park Service map. Multiple maps because printouts easily get destroyed. These are all you really need. All trails are pretty well maintained. Most even have red metal plates nailed to trees. Only at very few places one has to pay a little attention to where the trail is. I had my handheld GPS with me as well. Mostly to tell me the distance I hiked and for the novelty to look at the route I hiked afterwards. I did have GPS tracks of Miller Creek, Rincon Peak, and the Heartbreak trail but none of the Turkey trail. The free Topo map for the GPS was nice with the tracks.

Hiking Route

A one and a half day hike up to Happy Valley, camp there, hike Rincon Mountain and back via Miller Creek trail is a great route. During my miserable part on the second day I really wondered why I didn't do that. However, now that the misery is behind me I'm happy to have gone to Manning. That camp would be great for a base while going on the many trails around there.

Final Thoughts

No matter how lonely it is, you will get caught with your pants down.

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