Backcountry Forum
Backpacking & Hiking Gear

Backcountry Forum
Our long-time Sponsor - the leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear
 
 
 

Amazon.com
Backpacking Forums
---- Our Gear Store ----
The Lightweight Gear Store
 
 WINTER CAMPING 

Shelters
Bivy Bags
Sleeping Bags
Sleeping Pads
Snow Sports
Winter Kitchen

 SNOWSPORTS 

Snowshoes
Avalanche Gear
Skins
Hats, Gloves, & Gaiters
Accessories

 ULTRA-LIGHT 

Ultralight Backpacks
Ultralight Bivy Sacks
Ultralight Shelters
Ultralight Tarps
Ultralight Tents
Ultralight Raingear
Ultralight Stoves & Cookware
Ultralight Down Sleeping Bags
Ultralight Synthetic Sleep Bags
Ultralight Apparel


the Titanium Page
WM Extremelite Sleeping Bags

 CAMPING & HIKING 

Backpacks
Tents
Sleeping Bags
Hydration
Kitchen
Accessories

 CLIMBING 

Ropes & Cordage
Protection & Hardware
Carabiners & Quickdraws
Climbing Packs & Bags
Big Wall
Rescue & Industrial

 MEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 WOMEN'S APPAREL 

Jackets
Shirts
Baselayer
Headwear
Gloves
Accessories

 FOOTWEAR 

Men's Footwear
Women's Footwear

 CLEARANCE 

Backpacks
Mens Apparel
Womens Apparel
Climbing
Footwear
Accessories

 BRANDS 

Black Diamond
Granite Gear
La Sportiva
Osprey
Smartwool

 WAYS TO SHOP 

Sale
Clearance
Top Brands
All Brands

 Backpacking Equipment 

Shelters
BackPacks
Sleeping Bags
Water Treatment
Kitchen
Hydration
Climbing


 Backcountry Gear Clearance

Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >
Topic Options
Rate This Topic
#157881 - 11/27/11 03:28 PM New Member
NavemadaMan Offline
member

Registered: 11/27/11
Posts: 21
Loc: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Hi Everyone

I am new to this forum and backpacking as well. I've actually never even gone backpacking before but I will soon have soon enough. I am 17 years old (male) and as a graduation gift from high school, I asked my parents to be able to go backpacking by myself for at least a month in a state of my choice. I was allowed by my parents to go and my father will be financing the trip.

I have the rest of my senior year to get everything for the trip in order (while I continue on with collegiate matters as well). I have been doing a ton of research for the trip but there's no substitute for learning directly from communicating with others. So needless to say I've much to ask and learn.

I decided to go to Oregon for my backpacking trip. It looks beautiful there (I only have pictures to go off of) and its topography fits the general description of what I was looking to see, mountains and the ocean.

Anyway, thatís it for my introduction and Iíll be starting different threads for specific questions or topics that I have. But if you have any input on anything, Iíd love to hear.

Forgot to mention, I live in South Florida, Ft Lauderdale, anyone else live near my neck of the woods?


Edited by NavemadaMan (11/27/11 03:33 PM)

Top
#157882 - 11/27/11 04:02 PM Re: New Member [Re: NavemadaMan]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3188
Loc: Portland, OR
Welcome. I am a lifetime Oregon resident and I commend you on your perceptive choice of my native state for your visit. Those pictures do not lie. We have some very beautiful places here. A month is, of course, not nearly long enough to see everything worth seeing.

I'm glad you are doing a ton of research. Pre-planning never hurts a backpack trip. It will reduce the chances of mishaps, wasted time and effort.

When I graduated high school in 1972 (at age 17) I did a 25 day wilderness hike with two friends, but I was familiar with Oregon, had hiked and camped here since age 6, and had a couple of years of backpacking experience under my belt by then.

Before launching into advice, I have a variety of questions about your upcoming trip.

How do you plan to get from one place to another? Will you have a vehicle at your disposal? This will make a huge difference in how you put together an itinerary. It is a big state.

You say you have never backpacked, but have you done much camping or hiking? Your experience level will affect much of the advice you get. Jumping from little or no hiking or camping experience to solo wilderness hiking in a wholly unfamiliar territory is a rather far leap. (I'm sure that is why you chose it: because it's a Very Big Adventure.)

Do feel free to ask many questions here. All of us here love to backpack and most of us have been doing it for many decades. We'll want to see you succeed, but we will want to steer you down an appropriate path to gain that success, if we can. The more we know about you, the easier that will be.

Edit: As a moderator, I am moving this to the Backcountry Beginners forum, as being the most appropriate spot.


Edited by aimless (11/27/11 04:04 PM)

Top
#157883 - 11/27/11 04:34 PM Re: New Member [Re: NavemadaMan]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6769
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Welcome to Oregon! And to the forum!

Since you have no experience, I have a couple of suggestions for starting out. First you might want to start by reading the articles on the home page of this site (left hand column). There are lots of articles on beginning backpacking and on gear selection. The gear lists were developed for summer hiking in the Cascade Range, which is exactly what you'll be doing.

Second, you should get your gear early enough so you have plenty of chance to practice with it in home. Practice camping in your back yard first. Out in the mountains late on a stormy evening is not the time/place to be setting up your tent for the first time or learning to use your stove. The same is true for keeping warm and dry in stormy weather--those skills are best learned where you can retreat indoors when things go wrong (which they often will--that's how we learn). I realize that practicing these skills--at least the keeping warm part--may be a bit difficult in Florida! However, the key to keeping warm is keeping dry, so work on the latter. Once you've had some backyard practice, a few weekend trips to the Appalachians will give you more practice and skills.

As for trip planning, in most years it is at least July before the trails in the Cascade Range melt out enough for extended backpacking. Last summer, it was mid-August before many of the higher trails were melted out, and some places didn't melt out until September. That was pretty unusual, but it can happen. You might want to pick August as your month. In a normal year, August will be pretty much snow-free and will also be less buggy.
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#157884 - 11/27/11 04:43 PM Re: New Member [Re: aimless]
NavemadaMan Offline
member

Registered: 11/27/11
Posts: 21
Loc: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
So I guess Iím not the only weirdo out there! Haha I told all of my friends what I wanted for my graduation gift and they all thought it was so weird (although they said it was something they could expect from me). They said theyíd ask for a car or electronics like laptops, or cell phones.

Anyway, to answer your first question, I plan on walking as my primary mode of transportation. And Iíd like to stay for at least a month, so I might be staying longer. And I might be asking you more about Oregon for the research that Iím compiling about it. I donít want to be unprepared and I feel like information is the best thing that Iíll have in my arsenal against mishaps.

To answer your second question, I have camped a few times before, only in Florida though. I loved it so much, except for the spiders and ticks, which is going to be a totally new thread on the forum. And as far as hikingÖ. Does hiking have to include mountains? Haha Just this summer I spent a week in Colorado with my father, younger brother, and girlfriend. Everyday Iíd wake up and hike up the mountains with my brother and girlfriend and explore for the entire day, only to return back to the hotel when it was getting late. I mean, I took a backpack on those hikes and carried water and snacks for myself and company, but I donít think thatís really backpacking. Besides that, I live in South Florida so I can say Iíve gone on many extended walks through natural areas, but there are no mountains, or hills, or any sort of ground elevations here so I canít really hike here. I think Iím about six feet above sea level.

Top
#157887 - 11/27/11 04:57 PM Re: New Member [Re: OregonMouse]
NavemadaMan Offline
member

Registered: 11/27/11
Posts: 21
Loc: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Yeahh keeping warm in FloridaÖ thatís a really difficult task hahaha. Most people that come down here in the summer donít know how to keep cool, and then heat stroke runs rampant. But I agree, I definitely need to practice many skills before going. And thanks for help on guiding me on the forum.

And as for trip planning, I wonít be able to go very late in the summer because Iíll probably be off to college in the fall. So thereís that for planning. So Iíll have to go pretty much right after school ends, which is in June. Although, I can go a little later in July.

Top
#157888 - 11/27/11 05:31 PM Re: New Member [Re: NavemadaMan]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3188
Loc: Portland, OR
I plan on walking as my primary mode of transportation. And Iíd like to stay for at least a month, so I might be staying longer.

The reason I asked about access to a vehicle while you are here is that, if you are dependent on public transportation and catching rides to get you to the trailheads, then your ability to move around within Oregon will be limited once you arrive here. For example, you mentioned an interest in both the ocean and the mountains. Public carriers, like Greyhound, are usually limited to getting you from one town to another, and few trails start right in or near towns with bus service.

On the other hand, if you have a vehicle, you'll be able to transport yourself to any part of the state, be able to access both trailheads and campgrounds with ease, could get supplies with no trouble, and could see a much wider variety of places. For example, you could spend a week at the coast, two weeks in the Cascades and another week in the extremely beautiful Wallowa Mountains in NE Oregon.

There is a Pacific Coast Trail, which is more of a route than a continuous trail. You must hike the beach portions with attention to high and low tides; it routes you inland in many places to cross rivers via highway bridges, because they are very big rivers and cannot safely be crossed in any other way. It shifts often between trails and road-walking. This route has the advantage of frequently accessing small towns where you can get supplies, but camping is limited and motels are frequently a better bet. The coastline in Oregon is, however, spectacular almost everywhere you can go.

The Cascade mountains are about 100 miles inland from the coast and there are no trails I am aware of to get you from one to the other.

A typical possibility for a month-long hike in the Cascades, without a vehicle, would be to take a bus from Portland down to Ashland, Oregon. There you could fairly easily hook up with the Pacific Crest Trail and walk the length of the state (about 430 trail miles!) back up to the Columbia River at Cascade Locks.

However, this would be an exceptionally challenging backpack for someone with your tiny amount of experience and I wouldn't recommend it without extensive preparations that you most likely do not have time for. Among other things, you might well run into plenty of snow in the mountains next July, covering the trails and making both hiking and navigation quite difficult. Not a novice-friendly hike!

Edit: I strongly agree with OregonMouse that August would be your best month to hike here, as the choicest parts of the state can be covered with snow until late July. Or later.


Edited by aimless (11/27/11 05:42 PM)

Top
#157892 - 11/27/11 08:18 PM Re: New Member [Re: aimless]
NavemadaMan Offline
member

Registered: 11/27/11
Posts: 21
Loc: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
There's no way I could have a vehicle because I am too young for any rentals and I can't bring any with me since I am taking a plane to Oregon. Plus I don't want to use vehicles very much if I can help it. I just want to walk places. Although, I just might do what you said to do and take a bus or other public transportation to get me closer to a place of interest.

Here's a question, how long does the bus ride take? That seems like quite a ways, from Portland to Ashland.

And to make up for my lack of experience, I will just practice whatever I can in my area. Unfortunately, I do not have access to mountains or much undeveloped land. South Florida's flatness makes it easily accessible for developers. Beaches are constantly being destroyed by condominium development.

Top
#157895 - 11/27/11 10:06 PM Re: New Member [Re: NavemadaMan]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3188
Loc: Portland, OR
There's no way I could have a vehicle because I am too young for any rentals...

Oh well. That complicates your logistics, but that's about all. And realistically, it puts certain parts of the state
out of your reach.

To put it in the simplest possible terms, there are only so many days you can be on the trail before you need to reload with food and fuel. There's only so much room in your pack, and only so much weight you can carry before the burden of it takes all the fun out of the hike. Too much weight causes stress injuries, too.

So, for each place you decide to go, you'll just have to figure out where you can buy supplies at intervals, whether it is on your way in, or an interruption in the middle of a long hike. Wilderness being what it is, it is generally not very near to roads, towns and supplies.

This is far from an insurmountable problem, but it is a real one and you'll need to have a strategy worked out for it - whether that consists of finding a trail-rich area not too far from a town and exploring it in a series of moderate-length hikes with resupply runs in between them, or taking a long hike, with predetermined spots where you can leave the trail and get to a town, then come back to the trail again. Or something else.

That second strategy (a long hike with some jaunts off the trail) works very well for places like the Appalachian Trail, but is a bit trickier in Oregon, where the population is thinner, the wilderness is wilder and is more remote from towns.

In deciding on your strategy, it will be important to understand how much you can carry and how far. It will be easy to miscalculate, because you haven't done it much, yet. So, even if you have no hills to test yourself on, try to borrow a pack and start carrying loads, so you get the feel of what it is like and get some kind of gauge on yourself. The difference between 20, 30 and 40 pounds is not a straight smooth line. At some point added pound of weight starts to affect you more drastically than earlier ones did. Where that point falls for any one is not predictable.

how long does the bus ride take? That seems like quite a ways, from Portland to Ashland

It's about 300 miles by freeway. But I do not advise your trying to solo hike the Oregon section of the PCT. You'd need to go into intensive training and planning and you are still in school and couldn't devote enough time to be prepared for that in the time you have. You might manage a shorter section - possibly. You haven't taken enough baby steps, yet, tbh.

Top
#157901 - 11/27/11 11:33 PM Re: New Member [Re: aimless]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Ok, I hate to rain on your parade, and at the risk of offending the Oregonians here, I have some reservations about this grand plan.

If this is really going to be your first real backpacking trip, going alone isn't the greatest idea. However, I've traveled alone and depending on where you are, it can be a lot of fun because you tend to meet people along the way you might not otherwise meet (and that includes, in your case, girls). On the other hand, you could disappear and no one would have a clue what happened to you-been there, done that-not the disappearing part, but the hiking alone where absolutely no one knew where I was part.

But, aside from that, let's assume you do some shorter trips in FL, learn to use your gear and are ready to go. If I was you, I would head to Yosemite and here's why:

1. You don't need a car-you can fly into San Francisco and take a bus to the park;

2. The scenery can't be beat and it is wildly varied;

3. The park offers every type of accommodation and has its own internal bus system;

4. You can hike into the backcountry on dozens of different trails and even hike part of the John Muir Trail if you like; there are guidebooks that you can use for trip planning-Rough Guides makes a really nice one;

5. The park has plenty of infrastructure, including gear and rental shops for bear canisters (a must in the high country), supermarkets, fast food places;

6. If you are alone, I would take along a SPOT (it's a gadget that you use to notify friends if you get hurt or lost) or a PLB (a different gadget that notifies SAR to come look for you); Yosemite has a very sophisticated SAR team that looks for people all the time.

_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

Top
#157903 - 11/27/11 11:46 PM Re: New Member [Re: TomD]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6769
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I agree that without wheels, you will be severely limited as to where you can go. You'll either have to hitchhike (dangerous) or go with hiking clubs which carpool (most of their trips are dayhiking). One big complaint in Oregon is that even in the Portland area, hardly any trailheads are accessible via public transport. As Tom mentions, Yosemite would be far more accessible for you. The scenery there is awesome and, once you're away from the popular areas, it won't be overcrowded. You will need permits for overnight camping and you'll need to store your food in a bear canister. The Yosemite NP website (nps.gov) will give you lots of ideas.

While we have lots of awesome scenery in Oregon, there is more of it in Yosemite, IMHO. I don't feel slighted in the least!

You may have more altitude issues in the Sierra. Try to pick a first trip where you gain elevation gradually, and plan to take short days. After the first week, you shouldn't have any problems.

Again, June is really far too early down there, too. Try starting mid-July at the very earliest. Not only will June feature snow-covered trails (requiring knowledge of snow travel, such as using an ice axe for self arrest, and navigation skills), but it will also feature high water and hazardous stream fords.

I know it's not the West, but the southern end of the Appalachian Trail would certainly be better for early summer, would be closer to home (maybe your parents could do a drop-off/pick-up on a couple of weekends?) and would have more opportunity than Oregon for you without wheels.


Edited by OregonMouse (11/28/11 12:00 AM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#157904 - 11/27/11 11:46 PM Re: New Member [Re: TomD]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3188
Loc: Portland, OR
We Oregonians expect to get our parades rained on. It comes with the territory.

As a matter of fact, your suggestion sounds exceptionally reasonable to me, and I don't see how anyone could feel slighted if they were jilted in favor of Yosemite. That is a world class piece of landscape down there. An independent 17 year old could go crazy for a month, backpack or hike 10 miles every day, and not see all there is to see. It also neatly takes care of the transportation and resupply problems I cited.
goodjob

Top
#157905 - 11/27/11 11:56 PM Re: New Member [Re: NavemadaMan]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3917
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Just out of curiosity, once you get out there with your backpack, what do you want to do?

Do you want to hike a lot of miles?

Do you want to hit several parks and spend a few days at each?

Do you want to get into the forest and find a cool spot and spend a week or more there and not hike a lot?

All of those can be a lot of fun.

But... You know, 28 days is a long time to be mostly all alone, especially for someone your age. And you are going to be a long way from home, with no wheels.

I have to tell you, I like your style. Cars and gadgets will be worn out and forgotten in just a handful of years, and the memories of your trip will last a lifetime, but 28 days in the Oregon Forests may be overreaching a bit.

Consider how you'd hold up during a solid week of rain. Or even worse, snow.

I like aimless's angle of "finding a trail-rich area not too far from a town and exploring it in a series of moderate-length hikes with resupply runs in between them"

Exit plans are really important. If you get weather of epic proportions it's really nice to be able hike out in a few hours and dry out, warm up, and hunker down in a motel. That's good planning.

And I'll also urge you to practice using your gear. You can do that in your back yard. Definitely practice setting up your tent in the wind and rain and spend a few nights in it while it's raining too. It rains in Oregon, you can be sure of that. And it sucks to learn all the ways a tent can leak that are your fault when you can't make a fast dash back into the house wink

_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



Top
#157906 - 11/28/11 12:00 AM Re: New Member [Re: aimless]
NavemadaMan Offline
member

Registered: 11/27/11
Posts: 21
Loc: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
I've already been taking about 10 mile walks, with a backpack loaded up with 20 pounds using 2 10 pound dumbbells, for a few days now. I include a walk through a park near my home that has some decent-sized hills. It hasn't been tough and after another week of that I'm going to load a 45 lb free weight into the backpack and walk at least ten miles with it for many weeks until I'm used to carrying the weight on my back.

I'm also want to get a large multiday backpack to store all of my gear. From what I've read about them, they distribute the weight evenly through your body so very heavy loads don't feel nearly as heavy. I of course have never used one before so I cannot vouch for the validity of those statements. But if they are accurate, then hauling a large amount of weight long distances is feasible.

I realize that carrying less weight would be more comfortable, but I do not want to have to worry about having to resupply too often and I am willing to carry a heavy load of supplies

Top
#157907 - 11/28/11 12:21 AM Re: New Member [Re: TomD]
NavemadaMan Offline
member

Registered: 11/27/11
Posts: 21
Loc: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
I guess I'll have to research Yosemite as well and make decision. You do make a good point.

But just to clarify, I do not want to go on this trip solely to view nature. It is also for the experience of being self-reliant (emotionally and physiologically), dealing with change, and isolating yourself from familiarity. I want to go on this trip because I feel like its going to teach me things that I can't learn any other way. And I want to be challenged. I don't mind knowing that I will be pulled from my comfort zone for pretty much the entire time I'm there, in fact I welcome that notion.

Top
#157908 - 11/28/11 12:32 AM Re: New Member [Re: billstephenson]
NavemadaMan Offline
member

Registered: 11/27/11
Posts: 21
Loc: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
I definitely agree there is much that I must practice before I go anywhere.

I also agree that there is much planning to do on my behalf and still a ton that I need to research.

As far as being alone for a month, its a part of why I want to do this. And if I can't do it and I lose my sanity, I can always name a beach volleyball "Wilson" and just talk to him.

Top
#157909 - 11/28/11 12:45 AM Re: New Member [Re: aimless]
NavemadaMan Offline
member

Registered: 11/27/11
Posts: 21
Loc: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Wow... I just looked up how much snow there is in Oregon during June and I must say going in June is out of the question. Although July doesn't look too bad so that's still a possibility. Man, you guys weren't kidding when you talked about the large amount of snow in June. Forgive me for being skeptical, I am a lifetime resident of South Florida. In June, temperatures can average in the 90 degrees and sometimes can even get into the triple digits.

So anyway, June out of the question but July is still there.

Top
#157910 - 11/28/11 01:05 AM Re: New Member [Re: NavemadaMan]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6769
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Quote:
But just to clarify, I do not want to go on this trip solely to view nature. It is also for the experience of being self-reliant (emotionally and physiologically), dealing with change, and isolating yourself from familiarity.


Other things being equal, it's more fun to do this in the midst of great scenery!

Just be careful--self-reliance requires skills that you need to master first. Otherwise you could end up like the "Into the Wild" guy--i.e., dead. You will certainly be challenged, no matter where you go, but you need to acquire coping skills, too.

On the pack, you want to acquire most or all of your other gear before buying it. Be sure to read the home page articles (previously linked to) on selecting a pack. Either take the rest of your gear with you to a good gear shop to select a pack, or, if you must order through the internet, once you receive the pack, load it up with the rest of your gear and the equivalent of 10-12 days' food and hike around the house or the neighborhood for a few hours. That way you can return the pack if it doesn't work for you. Pack fit is almost as individual as shoe fit--you want it to fit you and your gear!

IMHO, it's a good idea to keep your gear relatively light so you can carry 10-14 days' supply of food without the pack's being unduly heavy.


Edited by OregonMouse (11/28/11 01:12 AM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#157917 - 11/28/11 10:47 AM Re: New Member [Re: OregonMouse]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
Now that Mouse has broached the subject, I'd gladly put a plug in for staying in the East. I think our backcountry might be less intimidating for a beginner, quite honestly. And, if your parents are willing, it could simplify your logistics issues and give them a bit more peace of mind.

If you want a month on the trail, then you could do the first leg of the Appalachian Trail (and finish section-hiking the whole trail by the time you finish college.) Alternatively, if you don't mind breaking your trip into disconnected sections, you could sample a great number of different areas: The Smokies, the White Montains, Shenandoah (all three contain AT segments); you could also visit some of the "pocket" wilds, such as Mammoth Cave, the Hundred Mile Trail (joins the AT in New England), and Isle Royale NP (in the middle of Lake Superior.)

For a first trip, these will be plenty intimidating without being overwhelming. You'll gain great experience, and then be ready to take a big bite out of Big Mountains in the West next year.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade, but I think Mouse has given you a realistic and achievable alternative for a first trip.

Top
#157924 - 11/28/11 11:57 AM Re: New Member [Re: NavemadaMan]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
When I started to read this thread, I thought "He needs to go to a National Park." What else would a retired NP ranger suggest? I am glad to see that others are ahead of me on that. The advantages have already been listed and they are real. I think that I would also look carefully at Yosemite. It offers a good base camp situation and resupply, along with a great variety of trails, many of which are unfrequented and remote.

I would also suggest you consider Isle Royale. It is an unknown gem (or gym, as the case may be). Extremely remote, it is usually the least visited of the stateside national parks. It is definitely fabulous country. I was there for a project two decades ago, and getting back there for a recreational trip is on my bucket list. You might even considering asking about volunteer opportunities for part of your visit (I have no idea about the present volunteer opportunities). In general, volunteering can be (but not always) a very interesting and unique experience. You can get places you would never reach otherwise, for instance. Just a thought.....

Consider Great Smokies or Shenandoah as well, but if you want to get away, Isle Royale is head and shoulders above everything else, while still providing you a base for resupply.

Top
#157939 - 11/28/11 02:33 PM Re: New Member [Re: oldranger]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6769
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I know that Isle Royale is accessed via ferry, but is there public transport to the mainland ferry terminal? Please note that the OP has no car! Unfortunately, very, very few national parks in the US can be reached by public transport. Yosemite is one of the few.


Edited by OregonMouse (11/28/11 02:35 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

Top
#157943 - 11/28/11 03:07 PM Re: New Member [Re: OregonMouse]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I don't know if there's transport to the various ferry docks, but if his parents wanted to travel a bit, they could fly to his previous destination, rent a car, pick him up, and drive up to Houghton or Copper Harbor (as my son put it, "drive to the end of the world, turn left, go another 50 miles, and get on a boat.") It's pretty country, and could make a great vacation for them, too.

Absent that, transportation could be an issue. (Of course, if he could get to Dayton, Ohio, mid-summer, I could always tell my wife, "But, honey, he has no way to get there, so I guess there's no choice but to take him and then go over to the Isle with him. It's rough duty, but someone has to help these kids...")

Top
#157948 - 11/28/11 04:50 PM Re: New Member [Re: OregonMouse]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Per the website, there are daily flights (United) to the Houghton airport (eight miles S of town). They don't mention shuttle services, but I am pretty sure they exist. In some way Yosemite is probably ideal, but I think Isle Royale is a prime example of a really neat place that is definitely uncrowded, unlike some parts of Yosemite. And, of course, while you are in that neck of the woods, you can drop by Pipestone National Monument, another hidden gem. No public transportation there, but it is accessible by bicycle - that is how I got there.

Actually there are scads more trails at Yosemite that at Isle Royale, and some of the more isolated Yosemite trails are probably just about as unfrequented.

Top
#157951 - 11/28/11 05:00 PM Re: New Member [Re: Glenn]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Such nobility will not go unrewarded....

Top
#157959 - 11/28/11 05:40 PM Re: New Member [Re: oldranger]
aimless Online   content
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 3188
Loc: Portland, OR
there are scads more trails at Yosemite that at Isle Royale

Yes, Yosemite is a hiker's paradise and this young gentleman would have the chance to hike straight out of Tuoloume meadows for as many miles as he cares to go, as deeply into the (truly fabulous) Sierras as he wishes, for as many days as he can carry food to cover - two weeks worth if he's willing. All this, and public transport from the airport to the trail and a chance to resupply without leaving the park, then go off in a different direction for another two weeks!

But I find it is mighty hard to deflect a person who has fixed an idea in their head for a while and started to build a dream around it. We may believe this would be a fantastic choice for him, based on what he's said he wants, but if he is going to accept our ideas on this, he'll have to trust that we know a lot about this matter that he doesn't yet have the knowledge to conclude on his own. That's one heck of a lot of trust for someone who is specifically trying to demonstrate his independence. frown

Top
#157961 - 11/28/11 06:47 PM Re: New Member [Re: aimless]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
I recommended Yosemite because it is relatively easy to get to by public transport, has good infrastructure and as already noted, you can base out of either the Valley floor (which has the ambience of an outdoor Disneyland with better scenery) or Tuolumne and head into the true wilderness.

Keep in mind that the romantic ideal doesn't always turn out to be all that romantic, so having a bailout plan is always a good idea. Sometimes, it is just good fortune or the kindness of strangers that helps.

Here are two of my favorite sayings-
"Adventure is just bad planning." ó Roald Amundsen (1872ó1928).

"Having an adventure shows that someone is incompetent, that something has gone wrong. An adventure is interesting enough ó in retrospect. Especially to the person who didn't have it." ó Vilhjalmur Stefansson, My Life with the Esquimo.





Edited by TomD (11/28/11 08:44 PM)
_________________________
Don't get me started, you know how I get.

Top
Page 1 of 4 1 2 3 4 >

Shout Box

Highest Quality Lightweight Down Sleeping Bags
 
Western Mountaineering Sleeping Bags
 
Lite Gear Talk - Featured Topics
Tent Question
by Bill Kennedy
10/07/21 03:30 AM
Tarp camping
by balzaccom
10/06/21 09:56 AM
Princeton Tec Vizz Headlamp?
by rionada
02/24/13 02:35 AM
Backcountry Discussion - Featured Topics
Working a trail crew
by balzaccom
10/10/21 08:32 PM
Waterproof boots
by Tom7654
09/28/21 09:56 AM
Grandma Gatewood Revisited
by Bill Kennedy
09/26/21 01:51 AM
Make Your Own Gear - Featured Topics
I Made Bamboo Trekking Poles
by 4evrplan
01/17/18 12:36 PM
Featured Photos
Spiderco Chaparral Pocketknife
David & Goliath
Also Testing
Trip Report with Photos
Seven Devils, Idaho
Oat Hill Mine Trail 2012
Dark Canyon - Utah
Who's Online
0 registered (), 67 Guests and 0 Spiders online.
Key: Admin, Global Mod, Mod
Newest Members
mjhgfd, Emmie, Sand Hollow, rdo, tizzacd70
13072 Registered Users
Forum Links
Disclaimer
Policies
Site Links
Backpacking.net
Lightweight Gear Store
Backpacking Book Store
Lightweight Zone
Hiking Essentials

Our long-time Sponsor, BackcountryGear.com - The leading source for ultralite/lightweight outdoor gear:

Backcountry Forum
 

Affiliate Disclaimer: This forum is an affiliate of BackcountryGear.com, Amazon.com, R.E.I. and others. The product links herein are linked to their sites. If you follow these links to make a purchase, we may get a small commission. This is our only source of support for these forums. Thanks.!
 
 

Since 1996 - the Original Backcountry Forum
Copyright © The Lightweight Backpacker & BackcountryForum