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A Suburban Family in the Sierra Nevada Wilderness

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A Suburban Family in the Sierra Nevada Wilderness

Postby tim » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:03 am

Interesting read in the WSJ this weekend about a pack trip out of Rock Creek, though it did sound like the author was getting wound up the whole time ("If a horse trips and falls, you die" and "Do you want my gun?"..."What's it for?"..."Horse shootin'. Bear shootin'. People shootin', if necessary"):

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142 ... 46042.html

I wonder if it will boost the number of people taking a pack trip this summer?



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Re: A Suburban Family in the Sierra Nevada Wilderness

Postby gary c. » Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:52 am

Rich Wall Steet yuppies will probably eat it up. If she can get past her fears, so can they.
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Re: A Suburban Family in the Sierra Nevada Wilderness

Postby markskor » Wed Apr 11, 2012 12:07 pm

Found this a pleasant read - probably pretty typical of many a Sierra first-timer - nice area - sounds like good fun. A bit dismayed about the "brushing the teeth in a creek" comment but otherwise, most here will readily admit to enjoying a thick Ribeye or perhaps a New York steak in the wilderness, and a bottle of fine wine (I would take reds though.) would go down mighty well with supper (as well a wee nip of Single Malt afterwards), as long as we didn't have to carry it all in on our backs. Money well spent if you ask me...and Sierra legal too. I wonder what it all costs.

Relating this back to a current thread - "Horses in the Sierra, etc", IMHO, there is nothing wrong with this type of horse-assisted outing as long as the drover-train respects the same Sierra rules as we all have to obey.
RE: stock - Carry it in, carry it out, stay on the trails, keep the size down, and bivy the horses away from water. Would be nice if they carried in their own horse food too but doubtful.

BTW, Never having done this type of camping large , as I grow older, will probably try it at least once myself...someday.
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Re: A Suburban Family in the Sierra Nevada Wilderness

Postby balzaccom » Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:00 pm

Cute story. And if she and her friends in NJ vote to protect more of our wilderness, I am ALL for it!
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Re: A Suburban Family in the Sierra Nevada Wilderness

Postby Hobbes » Mon Apr 16, 2012 12:30 pm

tim wrote:I wonder if it will boost the number of people taking a pack trip this summer?


I've been trying to convince my wife about taking a pack trip for a couple of years. She likes the amenities of car camping, as in, returning to drinks & dinner after a day of hiking in/out of some nice alpine lakes.

I keep telling her backpacking is basically the same thing, except you spend the night instead of (immediately) returning. She's tentatively cool with the concept, but no way is she gonna hoof her own gear, even if I carried a majority of it for her. Hence, the pitch for a pack train.

A cold drink, hot meal, dry tent & warm bag, courtesy of willing mules, is how many people have been going into the Sierra long before some decided to carry everything on their own backs.
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Re: A Suburban Family in the Sierra Nevada Wilderness

Postby sparky » Mon Apr 16, 2012 7:41 pm

It is so etched into our society that we need these luxeries.....but we don't. The world is truely what you make it. I look at backpacking as true freedom...I love my sleeping pad. I sleep so well in the outdoors. Backpacking food and gear isn't uncomfortable on its own....WE decide if it is comfortable or not. Gear just is. Just like all the comforts of home....its an illusion we create.

Yeah my lady doesn't agree with my ideology either #-o
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Re: A Suburban Family in the Sierra Nevada Wilderness

Postby Jimr » Tue Apr 17, 2012 9:04 am

In my family, I'm the willing mule! The first time I took the whole family BP'ng, my pack was about 80lbs to keep the wife and kids packs lighter. The second trip with only the two kids, I found myself walking with a 75lb pack of my own, plus a pack in each hand. This lasted about a quarter mile before I decided we were taking a hot lunch break on the trail. This is what the kids needed to hump their own pack the rest of the way. They were 10 and 12 at the time, so I wanted them to have a good experience even if it meant near death for me. Now that they're both teens, they can hump their own gear next year. Now that my wife is an aerobics and body sculpting instructor, she can hump her own gear as well. I've now become an unwilling mule.

Yep, comfort IS a state of mind. We decide how much attention we give the stuff on our back,the creature comforts left behind and how we allow it to shape our experience. Personally, it takes me about 8 to 10 days to start missing some of the creature comforts, like hot showers and real food, but that has only pushed me toward putting a lot more effort in enhancing my food cache and taking extra fuel for warm sponge baths.
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Re: A Suburban Family in the Sierra Nevada Wilderness

Postby tim » Wed Apr 18, 2012 1:52 pm

Jimr wrote:They were 10 and 12 at the time, so I wanted them to have a good experience even if it meant near death for me. Now that they're both teens, they can hump their own gear next year.

Not sure my twins would have been willing to go at all if I had left it that long (I remember from my childhood becoming less willing to go on hikes when I was a teenager, and only coming back to it when I was in college).

They have always had to carry their own pack with clothes and sleeping bag/pad (roughly 15lbs when their Camelbaks are full), while I've taken the tent and food and carried about 50lbs+. This summer (age 11) they will finally have to carry some of the food as well, because we are doing a 7 day hike (Onion Valley to Cottonwood Pass, with side trip to Whitney).

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Summer 2009, age 8
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Re: A Suburban Family in the Sierra Nevada Wilderness

Postby Jimr » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:20 pm

Yeah, Mine carried their own packs with clothes, sleeping bag and water bottle. That's it. Maybe 15 lbs.
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Re: A Suburban Family in the Sierra Nevada Wilderness

Postby markskor » Wed Apr 18, 2012 2:37 pm

Remember when my son was then just a skinny 9 -
He demanded a backpack of his own - like dad's.
His load: sleeping bag, jacket, and the marshmallows.
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Re: A Suburban Family in the Sierra Nevada Wilderness

Postby Jimr » Wed Apr 18, 2012 4:26 pm

Oh yeah, they carried their gameboys too :D
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