Category Archives: Hiking

How to Orient Your Map Quickly With a Compass

For most people, myself included, the primary function of a compass is a simple “field check,” which is orienting the map to North using your compass and then visually associating the terrain to the map. Basically you know where you are, but you need to check details for such things as deciding if is best to hike to the left of a large rock outcropping or right when you are off trail or the trail has become too faint to follow.

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Mt. San Jacinto Cheat Sheet

View of Mt. San Jacinto from our house

Confession Time

I’ve been cheating. Actually I’ve been cheating for a long time. You see, for decades I’ve been taking the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway up to the mountains; mostly in the summer and winter. I do it so often; I have an annual pass, which currently costs $160 per year.

San Jacinto Mountains

This mountain range is about 30 miles long and is in close proximity to the San Bernardino Mountains and Santa Rosa Mountains (a.k.a. you can walk to either range from the San Jacinto’s). Much of the area is designated State and Federal Wilderness Areas.

Mt. San Jacinto escarpment

The crown jewel of this range is Mt. San Jacinto, which rises more than 10,000 feet from the desert floor making it one of (if not the most) steepest escarpments in the continental United States.

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Furoshiki Shoes

This isn’t a review…

My kids gave these to me as a gift. My son, Joe, is a runner so he picked them out knowing I have a preference for minimal shoes. I think they’ve been around for a couple of years, but I don’t spend my time reading about shoes.

Furoshiki is a type of wrapping cloth used in Japan for centuries to carry stuff, sort of like a poor man’s duffle bag.

 

But obviously more elegant

By katorisi – Own work, CC BY 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=3201706

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Update on Off-Trail Hiking in Anza Borrego State Park

Back in June I wrote a post, Please Help Save Off-Trail Hiking in Anza Borrego.

In October I posted an update, “We the People…” made a difference at Anza Borregowhere I stated,

The State indicated that the management of Anza Borrego State Park will continue to administer the Anza-Borrego Desert State Park Cultural Preserve Management Plan of 2012, which is a huge victory.

The biggest challenge for “We the People” is the State is not transparent and it is often difficult to find out about the stuff they pull such as the proposed ban of off-trail hiking in Anza Borrego.

I am always dubious of statements made by politicians and government hacks, and have been looking for news to confirm my last post. What these politicians and hacks say they will do often does not happen. Today I received good news via an email from the California Department of Parks and Recreation:

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Is “stink” from sweating while backpacking bad?

A common complaint and an ever-ending search for many backpackers is the elusive clothing that will minimize body odor.

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For many species body odor is an evolutionary survival mechanism, and many scientists believe this is also true for humans. Unlike my dog, who pants to stay cool in warm weather, humans sweat to keep cool by evaporation. Sweating produces more body odor than sitting at rest in a temperature of, let’s say, 78F.

Should you join the search for clothing that minimizes body odor? Should you constantly purchase the latest and greatest piece of clothing that miraculously won’t stink after a week in the backcountry, or would your time spent for the Great Search be better spent on more productive ventures, not to mention the money saved by using what you already own?

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Lake Mead National Recreation Area

 

Lake Mead Shoreline View

This weekend I got back from two weeks of camping at Lake Mead. Over the past 15 years I have spent over 500 days backpacking, camping, and bike touring the area. So instead of boring you with a trip report, it would be better to discuss all of this National Recreation Area.

Lake Mead Sunset Clouds

You might be surprised to learn that I have never been in or on Lake Mead. The lake isn’t the attraction for me, other than a source of drinking water when backpacking in the backcountry, when it is accessible from where I am walking… which isn’t frequently.

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Please Help Save Off-Trail Hiking in Anza Borrego

Today I read post over at backpackinglight.com that linked to this article at Modern Hiker, PROPOSED RESTRICTIONS TO HIKING IN ANZA-BORREGO

Please read the article and act quickly if you think the California Department of Parks and Recreation (CDPR) is overstepping its bounds, as comments will not be accepted after June 6, 2016. I have included my email to CDPR plus additional information to help you make an informed decision.

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Today is National Walking Day

nation walk day

AMERICA HAS BECOME INSANE

I disdain most holidays. Christmas and Thanksgiving I like. I like Independence Day too. Most other holidays such as Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are just made up by 5th Avenue so we spend our money on a bunch of junk. We used to celebrate George Washington’s and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays for the right reasons, but now we have Presidents’ Day, so government workers get a 3-day weekend while the rest of us work to pay for their paid Federal Holiday.

Now we have National Walking Day.

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Weather Got You Down?

This weekend after a nice hike in 70 degree weather, I came home and turned on the TV to watch the news. Much of the Northeast was digging out of a blizzard, northern California and the Pacific Northwest was dealing with rain and flooding, and other parts of the country were also suffering from crappy weather.

If you live in one of these places and the weather negatively impacted you or you are just feeling down because of weather crapola, here is a small antidote.

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