Just got back from a five-day camping trip that was an orgy of glorious dappled-colored days in Joshua Tree National Park. Balmy days in the 80’s (F) added to a most excellent trip. As I did last week, in the Anza Borrego Super Bloom post, I’ll skip the writing and let the desert speak for itself…
Well, it’s that time of the year again when many backpacking bloggers create a list of their favorite new gear from the prior year. How on earth (or why) can these folks have a slew of new backpacking gear year after year? Methinks they are focused on gear, not getting out often and walking. But I digress…
Then some of these bloggers publish web stats for their blog during the prior year. Really? How boring.
A few backpacking bloggers may only post some of their favorite pictures taken during the prior year or do a simple recap of some trip reports – I like what some of the “few” do. The rest, meh.
What is interesting is that campers and full time RVers who blog generally don’t do this. They simply keep writing about their adventures.
My backpacking gear hasn’t changed much in the past 4 or 5 years, so nothing to write about here. Same goes for our camping gear. Somewhere on this website are lists of the gear and equipment we use. You should be able to easily find those if you are interested.
Given this pessimistic outlook on gear, there is one piece of equipment that has been critical for every single backpacking or camping trip I have done since 2003.
One good thing about camping is that each camper gets to define what camping is, because there is no commonly accepted definition. Backpacking is different. Most people will agree, to some extent, what backpacking is. Not so with camping.
This Christmas vacation, as we have done every year since 2002, we hitched up our camper and left home. It was a new destination for us and 800 miles one-way from home. Our campground was nestled among the costal Redwoods a few miles north of the itty bitty seaside city of Trinidad, CA.
But it really wasn’t a camping trip; we would be visiting my daughter and her family.
We just happened to be staying in a campground, in our camper, in a forest.
Or were we camping?
Yep, eight days in the Nevada desert. No shopping for me!
I read that Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, is the busiest shopping day of the year. Not only is it the start of the Christmas shopping season, but large numbers of Americans have a 4-day weekend – especially if you are a government employee.
What’s Up With That?
After finishing my backpacking trip and leaving the Trinity Alps, I headed west to the northern California coastline around Arcata and Trinidad. Two goals were foremost: (1) check out some campgrounds for an extended camping trip with Joyce later this year and (2) do some backpacking in the coastal Redwood forests. I spent the night camped next to the ocean and was treated to continuous rain and wind — an encore to the previous four nights. After checking a couple campgrounds for future reference, the decision was made that being outdoors in the rain 24/7 wasn’t much fun anymore. This was not a reason to cancel a trip, but it was motivation to consider options. One enticing option was the central coast area of California south of Carmel all the way to San Simeon, which was enjoying wonderfully warm weather. So I headed south on Hwy 101, dealt with bumper-to-bumper traffic through San Francisco and jumped on Hwy 1 in San Jose savoring a bit of driving along the Big Sur Coast and then a backpack in the Los Padres National Forest, not expecting this…