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Help a rookie plan a backpacking trip

Backpacking and camping basics and other general trip planning discussion for the uninitiated. Use this forum to learn where to look for the information you need, and to ask questions, related to the beginner basics of backpacking and camping, including technique and best practices.
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Postby Snow Nymph » Fri Dec 09, 2005 8:23 pm

I've done a few shuttle trips that were pretty cool. These were all done in 5 days. The first two are part of the Sierra High Route.

- Mosquito Flat - Mono Pass - 2nd Recess - Gabbot Pass, Lake Italy, Italy Pass - Pine Creek Roadend
- North Lake - Puppet Pass – French Canyon – Royce Lakes or French Lake (which ever side you want to go) - Pine Creek Roadend
- Twin Lakes - Barney Lake - Mule Pass - Burro Pass - McCabe Lakes - unnamed pass to 20 Lakes Basin - Saddlebag Lake

We only saw people on the first and last day. For photos go to my website and look under "Index"

Off to Mammoth! :D
Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes. You are free . . . . Jim Morrison

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Postby quentinc » Fri Dec 09, 2005 10:44 pm

Those first two trips Snow Nymph describes are very cool (haven't done the 3rd one).

And someone before mentioned the North Lake to South Lake loop, which is sublime. You can cut down on the mileage (and improve the scenery) by heading over LeConte Col, out of North Lake, rather than going down the rocky rocky creek below Humphries Basin).

But if you're looking for a relaxed pace, all of these trips would be too much for 5 days.
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Postby JM21760 » Sat Dec 10, 2005 3:44 pm

I found when I was much younger, that Desolation Wilderness a good starting point for new backpackers. Every thing is a little smaller and closer together than the southern Sierra. There are lots of loop trips you can do, just check out the topo. There are plenty of lakes, some with good fishing. Also, lots of people. A late season trip is nice, say October.
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Postby SSSdave » Sat Dec 10, 2005 4:19 pm

I would not recommend some of the trips mentioned because they are a bit too much to bite off on a very first backpack. They are fine destinations but for someone that has no backpacking experience I would instead start with a simple 2 or 3 day trip just to flesh out your gear. You are bound to have problems unless you are going with and mentored by an experienced person. There are a number of backpacking guides for the Sierra that usually provide excellent choices for novice backpackers as well as good inforamtion. There are a lot of places outside Yosemite that you will not see bears and I would highly recommend you start in that way because having such potentially dangerous wild creatures about at night can be quite frightening. I would also recommend choosing a hike of just a few miles and not long hikes as some of the routes mentioned. That way if say one's boots or stove etc has problems, one can easily hike out without much concern. And you probably ought to be flexible enough about your plans so as not to go out if thunderstorms are forecast. Even with such limitations there are some wonderful destinations anyone would enjoy. For example Winnemucca and Round Top Lakes south of the trailhead at Carson Pass has wonderful widlflowers in July, has trout, is an easy hike, and a permit is easily obtained along highway 88 on the way.

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