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#201644 - 09/03/18 02:16 PM Guadalupe Mo Nat Park
4evrplan Online   content
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 743
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I'm headed to Guadalupe Mountains National Park this weekend for a whirlwind trip - long hours driving and 2 nights in the park. We'll "bag" the Texas high point and probably do 1 or two other hikes as well. I think the guys I'm going with want to bushwhack out to El Capitan at the very least. We're leaving Thursday night and taking turns driving so we can hopefully be early enough to get backcountry passes on Friday.

I'm very excited, but it's going to be tough. I live at just over 400 feet sea level, and the peak is at 8750 feet, a 3000 foot elevation gain over 4 1/4 miles. Furthermore, the primitive camp site, if we get our passes, looks to be about 8140 feet. And, I haven't been hiking this summer, as usual, due to the heat and humidity.

I do walk to work every day, so that helps some. I'll be drinking lots of water this week in preparation, trying to stay well hydrated and healthy ahead of time. I'm also trying to eliminate every spare gram from my gear, leaving out every luxury (my inflatable pad doesn't count - that's a necessity to get a good nights sleep and thus to stay clear headed and safer), modifying gear, and even making 1 or 2 new pieces of gear from scratch. If I have time before the trip, I'll post about my gear list and prep to show off what I've been up to.

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#201645 - 09/03/18 02:29 PM Re: Guadalupe Mo Nat Park [Re: 4evrplan]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6561
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
You might want to read up on symptoms of altitude sickness so if they become severe you can descend. Chances are that, while you'll be fatigued and breathless, you won't get HAPE or HACE at those altitudes, but it's best to be well-informed just in case! As you mention, staying well-hydrated is important!

Some claim that ibuprofen helps.

In the meantime, here's wishing you a good trip! I'm looking forward to your trip report!


Edited by OregonMouse (09/03/18 02:29 PM)
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#201693 - 09/13/18 06:39 PM Re: Guadalupe Mo Nat Park [Re: OregonMouse]
4evrplan Online   content
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 743
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I haven't had time to write a proper TR, but here's a taste. I'm the skinny guy with the way too big sleeping bag strapped to the top of my pack lol.

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#201695 - 09/13/18 07:28 PM Re: Guadalupe Mo Nat Park [Re: 4evrplan]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1551
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Nice taste - that’s some pretty territory. Who ended up with a lizard in their pack, and who put it there?

The big question: did you like it enough that you’ll need to hide the credit card bill from a spouse while you replace your gear (starting with that sleeping bag)? smile

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#201696 - 09/13/18 09:54 PM Re: Guadalupe Mo Nat Park [Re: Glenn Roberts]
4evrplan Online   content
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 743
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
Nice taste - that’s some pretty territory. Who ended up with a lizard in their pack, and who put it there?

The big question: did you like it enough that you’ll need to hide the credit card bill from a spouse while you replace your gear (starting with that sleeping bag)? smile


laugh There were no lizards in packs this time. We were all well behaved.

The bag actually isn't as bad as it looks. It is a down bag, just not the lightest down bag. The bigger issue is that it was hard to keep it in any kind of reasonable shape and size packed into that large garbage bag. What I should have done was put the garbage bag inside the stuff sack the sleeping bag came with. This would have waterproofed it and protected the garbage bag from limbs and cactus and anything else trying to rip holes in it. But, I packed in a hurry, haphazardly, and didn't have time to think everything through.

Incidentally, in one of my pre-trip posts, I alluded to making some gear for this trip. The pack is homemade. It's about perfect for warm weather overnights like we did on this trip, but the sleeping bag didn't fit well down in the bottom. I brought a bigger pack, but last minute decided to use the smaller one with the bag strapped on top, and I hadn't brought the stuff sack.

I do hope to eventually replace the sleeping bag with something lighter and smaller, but to do it, I may have to make some kind of trade... or start plucking geese.

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#201697 - 09/13/18 10:20 PM Re: Guadalupe Mo Nat Park [Re: 4evrplan]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1551
Loc: Southwest Ohio
If the sleeping bag’s not too heavy, and you’re happy with it - why not make another pack, with a slightly larger-capacity packbag that would fit the sleeping bag inside? Since you were also testing the pack on this trip, you could also put on/take off any features you wanted, and fix anything else that you noticed. (My guess is that some pre-sleep time was spent, lying in that bag, thinking “that pack would be perfect if...”)

It’s certainly cheaper than a lighter down bag. (I recently bought a 650 fill down quilt because I couldn’t gulp enough times to pull the trigger for a 900 fill quilt. I even got the quilt on sale. My wife was so proud!)

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#201698 - 09/13/18 11:09 PM Re: Guadalupe Mo Nat Park [Re: Glenn Roberts]
4evrplan Online   content
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 743
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Right you are. Replacing the bag is way down on my list of priorities (but always in the back of my mind). Ahead of that are pack mods, and way ahead of pack mods is better sun protection. Even with the wide brimmed hat, my neck burned, and the back of my hands burned too, complete with trekking pole strap tan lines.

ETA: Enjoy your new quilt!


Edited by 4evrplan (09/13/18 11:15 PM)

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#201700 - 09/14/18 12:16 AM Re: Guadalupe Mo Nat Park [Re: 4evrplan]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6561
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I love my Western Mountaineering Ultralite bag, which has taken me comfortably down to 15*F (wearing all my insulating clothing inside), but it is now priced over $200 more than when I bought it 11 years ago! If I wanted a new one now, I'd have to start raising geese!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#201704 - 09/14/18 10:39 AM Re: Guadalupe Mo Nat Park [Re: 4evrplan]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1551
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I don’t have the same sun issues, here in Ohio - I’m usually looking for ways to avoid the pruny-looking hands and feet, instead. However, I have seen long-sleeve, very light t-shirts and sun gloves, both with SPF ratings (Outdoor Research Echo series, for example - not recommending, but listed only because I’m familiar with them and like my Echo T-shirt.)

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#201705 - 09/14/18 10:57 AM Re: Guadalupe Mo Nat Park [Re: OregonMouse]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1551
Loc: Southwest Ohio
I used to be of the opinion that “you can have my WM bag when you pry it from my cold, ...oh, wait, with WM, they don’t get cold.” However, I discovered Thermarest’s line of down sleeping bags and quilts about three years ago. They’re available with 650 fill down (and I’ve heard rumors they may bring out a 900-fill line in the next couple of years.) They’re only a couple of ounces heavier than the WM equivalents, and I’ve never gotten cold in them. (I do think WM ratings are probably 5-10 degrees conservative, while the Thermarest ratings are dead on.) They’re also $150-200 cheaper than equivalent WM products.

Last year, mostly as a demonstration for backpacking classes, I briefly switched to Thermarest synthetic quilt and 20-degree bag. They were inexpensive, and warm - but like all synthetics, very bulky. (I gave my down bags to my niece, who was using a worn-out Coleman Grey Fox bag from the early 90s.)

Now that the demonstration trips are over, I’m back with down. I found the down quilt on a close out sale for $175, which was way too good to pass up. I don’t intend to replace the sleeping bag, as I’ve decided (at age 68) that I’m no longer interested in going out when it’s below freezing - I’ve slept out in the 20s (and once or twice in below-zero conditions), and the t-shirt is still in good shape, so I’ll watch that weather from the comfort of home. I’m confident that I can stretch the 40-degree quilt down to the lower 30s by wearing long-johns, light fleece, and a hooded down jacket under the quilt (I’ve done it before.) So, I really don’t need a sleeping bag.

“Demonstration trip”? The groups we were leading were all new backpackers, with limited gear budgets. All of we leaders were using light to ultralight gear, carrying less than 20 pounds. I got some informal feedback from participants that they might not continue to backpack because they couldn’t afford to upgrade to the kind of gear we were using. To eliminate that perception, I bought some synthetic bags and jackets and starting carrying an Atmos pack - to show them that you could use less expensive, heavier gear and still carry between 20 and 25 pound loads, and still enjoy backpacking. It worked.

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#201707 - 09/14/18 03:25 PM Re: Guadalupe Mo Nat Park [Re: 4evrplan]
JustWalking Offline
member

Registered: 01/12/16
Posts: 186
Loc: PNW
Nice area, some stunning views, thanks for sharing the link.

I've had skin cancer, so I cover up quite a bit. I'm sold on my Ex Officio sun hoody. It's got permethrin baked in, so a bonus, and mesh-y sides. As soon as the sun comes out the hood goes up, I've hiked most of a day with the hood up, doesn't really add that much 'heat', stays comfortable. FWIW.

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#201708 - 09/14/18 04:35 PM Re: Guadalupe Mo Nat Park [Re: JustWalking]
4evrplan Online   content
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 743
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By JustWalking
Nice area, some stunning views, thanks for sharing the link.

I've had skin cancer, so I cover up quite a bit. I'm sold on my Ex Officio sun hoody. It's got permethrin baked in, so a bonus, and mesh-y sides. As soon as the sun comes out the hood goes up, I've hiked most of a day with the hood up, doesn't really add that much 'heat', stays comfortable. FWIW.

I like it! And, it's on sale right now on their official website. But, I'll probably just make my own neck drape and sun gloves. I've got fabric for it, so why not? I already hike in a long sleeve sun shirt, regardless of weather.

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#201711 - 09/14/18 11:21 PM Re: Guadalupe Mo Nat Park [Re: 4evrplan]
MrShelley Offline
newbie

Registered: 09/14/18
Posts: 1
Wasn't too bad of a trip if I do say so myself! Other than the obvious "hiccup" going up Guadalupe Peak!

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#201736 - 09/17/18 10:02 AM Re: Guadalupe Mo Nat Park [Re: MrShelley]
4evrplan Online   content
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 743
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Welcome to the forum, MrShelley!

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#201739 - 09/17/18 11:39 AM Re: Guadalupe Mo Nat Park [Re: 4evrplan]
BZH Online   content
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 908
Loc: Torrance, CA
Beautiful trip! Was water available or did you end up hauling it all with you? I always wonder about water in desert climates.

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#201741 - 09/17/18 02:58 PM Re: Guadalupe Mo Nat Park [Re: BZH]
4evrplan Online   content
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 743
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
There is water available only at Pine Springs (campground and visitor's center) and McKittrick Canyon visitor's center. On the trail, I saw none at all (except for the rain!). Even if you find water, they ask that you leave it for the wildlife. I think the water situation is the only thing keeping this park from being a short-trip backpacking Mecca. We "cameled up" and carried 3+ liters each. The weather wasn't too hot, or I might have wanted more. This was for a single night out and then back to Pine Springs for a refill before a second night out (which didn't end up happening, but that's another story).

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