I will be away from civilization (Wifi and Internet) for the next few days. I will catch up with you all when/if I return from my hike.
There are always lies we tell ourselves and these lies also exist, when preparing for a backpacking back country hike in the Rocky Mountains. We leave shortly for a father/son hike with a friend and his son from Sunshine Village to Og Lake.
Lie #1 – the ideal pack weight is 28 pounds. Given that most large back packs weigh in at 6-8 pounds, that leaves you just 20 pounds to load in your shelter, your bedding, your food, your cooking appliance and dishes, your clothes including rain wear, your safety items (flashlight, whistle, first aid kit, Advil, Immodium, sunscreen, bug spray, matches, knife, toilet paper, etc.) and at least 3 litres of potable water (each liter weights 2.2 pounds. My son and I are splitting the load. My 28 pound pack now weighs 36 pounds and I do not yet have tomorrow’s lunch in it. His pack weighs 40 pounds. Yikes!
Lie # 2 – It is only an 18 km (11 mile) hike each way. Wrong. It is actually closer to 22 km with full pack and then 22 km back with diminishing pack weight for a total of 44 km (30 miles). We will be eating and drinking our pack weight down, but still have to pack all garbage out. We are also thinking of hiking a further 10 km without packs, for a total distance of 54 km (34 miles).
Lie #3 – If I can carry this pack around town for 8 km (5 miles) up and down hills, I should be able to do it in the mountains. That would be correct if you are not currently at 2400 feet ASL and your hike starts at 7,000 feet ASL and climbs up 2,500 feet. There will be a bit more effort involved at altitude. I have hiked at 7,500 and 9,000 feet, but never with a 36 pound pack.
Lie #4 – I won’t miss beer. Now, campers store do sell dehydrated beer (just add water). But, how good could that be and do I actually want to carry any more weight?
I have been out hiking with pack about 5 times now, first with 22 pounds, then 30, then 31. Today, son L and I did a short jaunt around the local storm pond to see how fully loaded packs felt and make sure all was properly adjusted. This Saturday, it is on to the big event. Praying for good weather, not too sunny, not too warm, not too rainy. This could be another lie.
We will be eating rehydrated foods such as 3 cheese lasagne, Veggie Pad Thai, Ramen, 3 berry crumble, apple cinnamon crisp (likely not crisp) and chocolate mudslide pie. It sounds wonderful, just boil water, pour into bag or pot, wait 3-5 minutes and yum. Time will tell. I will definitely be rating all we consume complete with photos, so you can see how good haute camping cuisine is.
So, without further ado, here are some pix of….
Some (only some) of our high quality food.
Me looking relaxed in various hiking poses at low altitude
Seeing if we remember how to put up the tent.
What comes out of pack must go back in. Green dry sac is clothes, blue dry sac is food (9 meals for 2, coffee and hot chocolate).
Scenes from my short hikes. Did I mention I am taking a camera and batteries that weigh a further 2 pounds?
See you all soon.