Friday, March 4, 2022

How To Plan A Backpacking Trip - Sam Houston National Forrest

 Interested in planning an epic backpacking trip, but unsure about how to start?

This online session demonstrates... How To Plan A Backpacking Trip to Sam Houston National Forest. Troy and Victoria host this workshop for all skill levels from beginner to advanced backpackers and for weekend warriors to thru-hike enthusiasts. The session is divided into two parts. During Part 1 (72 minutes), we discuss: Where to go Going solo vs in a group Camping options Route planning considerations Destination planning considerations Packing Backpacking ethos International planning considerations

During Part 2 (30 minutes), we conduct a live demonstration which covers: Utilizing a planning checklist Using websites, apps, google docs, and other resources Creating a backpacking trip plan
You walk away with: A backpacking planning checklist Some online and mobile tools to plan a trip A trip plan that you can actually hike Here's a link to the trip planning checklist: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fDnCXrHk5fWKEY6JleQtdt4H-Q8-ccgI80mhtl_qo9E/edit?usp=sharing Here's a link to the trip that we planned to Sam Houston National Forest:

Here is the online chat:
00:41:34 Victoria Flores: Hey everyone! Here is a link to the backpacking planning checklist we will be going over today. https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fDnCXrHk5fWKEY6JleQtdt4H-Q8-ccgI80mhtl_qo9E/edit?usp=sharing 00:48:15 Shannon Bailey: Would love to hear more about Mexico/Latin America! 00:51:57 Victoria Flores: Feel free to join our new Austin Backpackers Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/austinbackpackers ๐Ÿ˜„ 00:58:31 Elizabeth Gray: is there any information on resources for military veterans also? 01:01:49 Elizabeth Gray: Texas State Parks pass for veterans 01:18:50 Victoria Flores: Yes! We will send out a recording after. Thanks for joining ๐Ÿ™‚ 01:20:25 Lila: Favorite water filter systems? 01:23:41 Guru Prasadh: All this talk of water is making me thirsty :-) Let me go camel up! BRB 01:24:20 Victoria Flores: Sawyer Mini Water Filter: https://www.rei.com/product/890900/sawyer-mini-water-filter 01:24:44 Lila: thanks 01:25:08 Victoria Flores: BeFree Katadyn Filter: https://www.rei.com/product/116364/katadyn-befree-10-l-water-filter-bottle-338-fl-oz 01:31:10 Shannon Bailey: Big Bend updates road conditions all of the time! 01:39:50 Mimi Uong: Where can I get this document? 01:40:56 Victoria Flores: Mimi, you can find it here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1cu8zwzGcMq4NML7WxUrK6ggCJ3oOdkWf37vMgUYJILM/edit?usp=sharing 01:54:12 Erika Haren: what purifier do you recommend 01:55:32 Celeste Hubert: How do you hike into areas that have no water (like Guadalupe Peak) - do you truly have to carry 9 L of water in addition to your 40lb pack? 01:55:36 Troy: Grayl https://amzn.to/3pCRQQJ 01:56:31 Shannon Bailey: Thank you! I look forward to seeing the video of this next part (trip planning!) (which I have to miss!) 01:56:35 Troy: Sawyer level 3 Sawyer level 3 01:56:47 Troy: Checklist - https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fDnCXrHk5fWKEY6JleQtdt4H-Q8-ccgI80mhtl_qo9E/edit?usp=sharing 01:57:16 Shannon Bailey: I will! Thank you! 01:59:56 EllenC: Thank you Troy for such an informative presentation! 02:01:40 Troy: https://www.campendium.com/sam-houston-national-forest 02:03:36 Guru Prasadh: Thanks for the very informative presentation Troy. Really enjoyed it. Gotta drop off now! Ciao! 02:08:05 Mimi Uong: I have to go now. But can someone email me the link to the recording: my.uong@gmail.com ? (I give up social media for Lent so I deleted my FB for now ๐Ÿ™ ) 02:12:57 Troy: Mimi, we’ll post the recording in the event description and I’ll email it to you. Thanks for attending. 02:14:17 Jenny: I have to hop off but thank you for organizing. 02:14:29 Victoria Flores: Thank you for joining Jenny! 02:15:10 alane: What is a good pack size for 1 to 3 day hikes? 02:24:19 Troy: For 1 day hikes i use a 30 liter pack. For anything 3 days to 3 months I use a 44 liter pack. But it really depends on the size of your tent, sleeping bag and sleeping pad, etc. 02:30:28 alane: I have to drop. Thanks very much 02:30:54 Victoria Flores: Thanks for joining Alane! 02:33:12 Elizabeth Gray: thank you for this, I will have to go 02:34:28 Gassan: Are there maps or resources on what places allow backcountry camping and campfires? Big Thicket is the only place I know of in Texas.


Thursday, February 17, 2022

How To Plan A Backpacking Trip Workshop to Lost Maples State Natural Area

Interested in planning an epic backpacking trip, but unsure about how to start?

This online session demonstrates... How To Plan A Backpacking Trip. Troy Wong and Victoria Flores host this workshop for all skill levels from beginner to advanced backpackers and for weekend warriors to thru-hike enthusiasts. The session is divided into two parts. During Part 1 (72 minutes), we discuss: Where to go Going solo vs in a group Camping options Route planning considerations Destination planning considerations Packing Backpacking ethos International planning considerations

During Part 2 (30 minutes), we conduct a live demonstration which covers: Utilizing a planning checklist Using websites, apps, google docs, and other resources Creating a backpacking trip plan

You walk away with: A backpacking planning checklist Some online and mobile tools to plan a trip A trip plan that you can actually hike Here's a link to the trip planning checklist: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fDnCXrHk5fWKEY6JleQtdt4H-Q8-ccgI80mhtl_qo9E/edit?usp=sharing Here's a link to the trip that we planned to Lost Maples State Natural Area: https://www.alltrails.com/explore/map/map-january-20-2022-2-49-am-a2232b5?u=i


Here are the chat comments from the live session.

00:24:23 Troy: We will start at 7:03
00:27:09 Victoria Flores: Link to Checklist: https://drive.google.com/file/d/1CEymPReLPKCYWYJJy8a0oqqqrk-SRpl1/view
00:47:47 Maya: car camping
00:51:10 Maya: Wonderland Trail
00:53:33 Mart (Broome): Every National Park has their own procedures for permits or reservations. It is not uniform
00:55:02 frederick_falk: If you go on a weekday instead of the weekend (Friday nights and Saturday nights), you will have a much better chance of getting reservations. Some parks like Lost Maples is completely full on weekends and almost empty during the week. I like going from Sunday through Tuesday.
00:57:54 Mart (Broome): Places like National Parks will frequently require that your permit be displayed on a pack or a tent for backcountry rangers to review.
00:59:59 Octavio G: Spreadsheets... yes, love them!
01:01:40 Mart (Broome): What's the elevation? Are you acclimated to that altitude?
01:02:20 Mart (Broome): Or off-trail hiking rather than designated trails.
01:06:07 Maya: I like to call them before arriving, usually very helpful.
01:07:37 frederick_falk: You also need to account for the amount of fuel you are taking if you plan on boiling water.
01:08:37 Mart (Broome): Have a backup plan in case an expected water source is dry upon arrival.
01:09:04 frederick_falk: Our backpacking trip next week at Colorado Bend SP, we will be cache water along the trail.
01:10:37 frederick_falk: You can also repackage food to make it weigh less.
01:12:26 frederick_falk: I take a Ritz Peanut Butter Cracker pack, a bag of Fritos Corn Chips, and a small packet of honey for emergency food.
01:14:59 Mart (Broome): Peregrin Falcon closings in the Chisos at BIBE.
01:15:56 Mart (Broome): Usually a LOT of money. Some shuttles will move your vehicle. That can be nice.
01:16:13 Maya: Yellowstone we hitchhiked, it's common
01:16:22 Maya: sorry, Yosemite
01:17:24 Elizabeth S: Hitchhiking is common along the towns of all the long-distance trails.  I've done it without issues in CA, OR, WA, GA, TN, NC, and CO.
01:17:37 frederick_falk: Make sure you get the top map of the park and not just the trail map.
01:17:51 frederick_falk: topo map
01:19:05 Mart (Broome): Can look at sunrise/sunset times, also.
01:19:29 frederick_falk: Also if there will be a full moon or a new moon.
01:19:37 fox: Microclimates can vary wildly as well. Higher elevations will be cooler, so check where the actual weather station is
01:20:08 frederick_falk: I hammock camp and I still take a tarp.
01:20:28 Elizabeth S: I was going to say the same thing about microclimates.  The weather in the nearest town may differ by 20 degrees.  Adjust by about 4 degrees per 1000 feet of elevation.
01:22:37 Mart (Broome): Soap, medications, ANYTHING WITH A SCENT.
01:22:48 frederick_falk: Be sure if you are soaking gear in Permethrin, the liquid is DEADLY to cats if they drink it. If you have cats, be extremely careful when applying and discarding this liquid.
01:22:57 Mitchell Taylor: Black Fly Season in the northeast. Lyme disease (ticks)
01:24:16 Mart (Broome): You can treat your shelter and footprints with permethrin also.
01:24:36 Mart (Broome): Sorry, but the natural stuff is shitty.
01:26:34 frederick_falk: Just watch out for chipmunks. They will chew through your tent or backpack after food, of food scents.
01:27:09 Mitchell Taylor: lighterpack.com, but I really like packstack.io for making my backpacking list and weights.
01:27:50 Mart (Broome): Try to not cook or eat in your sleep clothes.
01:28:10 frederick_falk: I try not to eat with my sleepwear on to limit getting food scents on it and then me.
01:29:45 Mart (Broome): Chlorine dioxide tablets are the LIGHTEST water treatment and will PURIFY the water given sufficient contact time.
01:30:39 fox: Hike your own hike!
01:31:35 David: There's a dif between a filter and a purifier. Tablets don't purify (remove heavy metals or chemicals)….
01:31:35 frederick_falk: Also know trail ettiequte, like the right of way for horses, bikes, runners, people going uphill and so forth.
01:32:52 frederick_falk: Airlines will not allow you to take fuel canisters on the flight. You will need to get your fuel canisters when you arrive.
01:33:18 Mart (Broome): trekking poles should be checked
01:33:33 Laura Decker: There are tons of multi-tools at the Airport Store near Bolm Road, Confiscated
01:36:01 Mart (Broome): Bacteria and cysts. Giardia (p?)
01:36:50 frederick_falk: Great presentation.
01:36:55 Laura Decker: No problem at all, very good information :)
01:37:05 Donna: Inspiring!
01:37:05 Shay Zimmer: Wonderful data!
01:37:22 Lisa: Thank you Troy ๐Ÿ‘  very helpful information.
01:38:44 frederick_falk: Our Meetup page main photo is a photo I took from Lost Maples State Recreational Area.
01:38:56 Troy: Cool, glad that y’all like it. This next part is probably the most valuable.
01:39:11 frederick_falk: There are also NO fires allowed in the backcountry sites at this site at any time.
01:39:35 Laura Decker: Almost time for those mountain laurels to bloom like you talked about?
01:40:00 frederick_falk: You cannot reserve a specific backcountry site.
01:40:07 fox: So Lost Maples pools the backcountry sites,
01:40:21 fox: You just get a generic and camp wherever
01:40:26 frederick_falk: Yes, that is correct. They pool all of the backcountry sites.
01:41:14 fox: If I remember correctly camp area A (nearest Monkey Rock) is VERY popular, avoid it if you can
01:41:50 frederick_falk: Sites H, E and B are great sites.
01:41:54 Maya: I make my routes on GaiaGPS.com.
01:42:08 Elizabeth S: Don't you need a Pro subscription to create your own map?
01:42:37 fox: I think I stayed at H and it was completely empty and had some great spots
01:42:49 fox: Nope, it was E
01:43:17 Maya: No, I don't create a map on Gaia, just draw a route.
01:43:24 fox: Campsite D is right next to the trail and on a slope
01:45:15 frederick_falk: I go clockwise around starting on the western trail as it is a lot easier going up from campsite C to the top of the mesa as it is very steep. It is a lot harder coming down from B to C. Also note that campsite C is closed for restoration.
01:46:57 Elizabeth S: I am glad I'm not the only person who has this problem moving the black dot on AllTrails!  Not intuitive.
01:48:00 frederick_falk: I also recommend you go on the Maple Trail which is on the East Trail.
01:50:18 frederick_falk: #5 is a Spring.
01:51:05 frederick_falk: It is better to get the water from the Spring and not the lake.
01:51:32 fox: Monkey Rock is surprisingly delightful and worth the small detour
01:53:02 Donna: Do you download the map to follow as you go?
01:53:03 frederick_falk: The grotto and Mystic Canyon are also great.
01:53:23 Elizabeth S: The (total) "elevation gain" in the Route summaries at left is really good info too.  I plan my days more based on total gain than on mileage.
01:54:14 mc: How much elevation gain per day?
01:54:46 Mart (Broome): Michael that will depend on your group and the elevation of the hike.
01:55:03 Maya: Does that save as a gpx file . . ?
01:56:27 Donna: How do you use the map if you don’t have service?
01:57:25 mc: I was referring to Elizabeth
01:57:48 mc: Elizabeth's comment that elevation can affect how much you hike per day
01:57:48 Donna: Thanks
01:57:55 fox: Service in park is bad
01:57:59 Maya: On Gaia I can download both maps & routes in advance and use them without service.
01:58:30 Maya: without subscription
01:58:37 Mart (Broome): That is also true on Gaia.
01:58:57 Mart (Broome): With Gaia, you must download the map at home before your trip.
01:59:09 Maya: Yes
02:00:06 Elizabeth S: Re: elevation gain, figure out your personal comfort level by experimenting.  Just go on a day hike with elevation using GPS tracking on in AllTrails or another app.  See how many feet of gain you did and how it felt, and use that to calibrate your backpacking itineraries.
02:04:23 Mitchell Taylor: Check if your phone can use esim. This allows you to add a second carrier while using your original carrier. Then you can get a Walmart sim for a month, for example, and have two carriers at the same time. Useful in some areas if you are doing a long hike.
02:04:26 mench: I use Tracklia, which is decent for offline map use. I'll try Gaia and see which is better.
02:04:31 Laura Decker: Cool, I've been trying to learn this on the app
02:04:44 frederick_falk: I love Gaia.
02:05:20 Maya: layers
02:06:39 Mart (Broome): The satellite view on Gaia or o Google Maps gives you very good views of the terrain.

Thursday, January 20, 2022

How To Plan A Backpacking Trip

My friend asked me to share some tips on How To Plan A Backpacking Trip. So I created a checklist and we held a zoom session during which I shared how I plan a trip using various websites, google docs, apps, AllTrails.com and other resources.

During the first hour, we go through the checklist and I explain some basic principles of trip planning. During the second hour, I turn the session over to my friend and she plans her first backpacking trip to Lost Maples State Nature Area. This session was conducted live and unrehearsed. The session was long, but I think that my friend is now ready and stoked to get out on the trail.
You can download my trip planning checklist at this link: Backpacking Trip Planning Checklist
You can view a 3 day / 2 night backpacking trip itinerary and route for Lost Maples State Nature Area that I created using my method at: Lost Maples Backpacking Trip

Watch Part 1 which presents a trip planning checklist.

 

Watch Part 2 which presents a live demonstration using the checklist, websites, apps, maps and other resources. 


Or Watch the entire session.


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