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Overnight backpacking in the Sawtooths of Idaho
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Paul Gibson
(pgibson) - F

Locale: SW Idaho
Overnight backpacking in the Sawtooths of Idaho on 08/27/2010 08:59:19 MDT Print View

I took my wife and oldest son on a short overnight trip last weekend. We drove up to the Sawtooths late in the evening and set up camp by the headlights of the car. I lay awake for a while staring up at the tree tops and the stars. I watched loads of satellites and a few shooting stars until I finally drifted off. In the valley of the Sawtooths the cool night air settled in and by morning we all had frost on our bug nets. Temps dropped to the very low 30's for a few hours. We decided to drive the few miles from our camp into Stanley for breakfast. Back at the trail head we packed up our gear, My wife and son both had Golite Ions and I loaded the bulk of our gear into the Dixon Roller Pack. With the DRP I was able to carry all of the heavy gear and food along with most of the food. That feed them up to just a leg pad each and their sleeping bags, throw on wind and warm jackets and they each had 5-8 pounds for their loads.

We hiked the 5 miles into a secret lake in a couple hours with only a few breaks. After setting up camp, getting the hammocks each hung, quilts lofting and some fire wood gathered we set out to do some fishing. I set up the spinning reel with a bobble float and a black woolly bugger. I cast the fly out and handed the rod to my Rock Hopper, my sons newly dubbed trail name, in less than 10 seconds of reeling he had set the hook in a nice cutthroat. After dropping it back in the lake and casting back out I handed the rig over to Princess, in seconds she was reeling in a large rainbow. We continued to fish the lake for hours right up till dark, we pulled in near 20 fish, most to small to keep but fun to hook as many as we did.

After dinner we sat around the campfire for several hours enjoying the quiet evening. When we did settle into our hammocks Rock Hopper was out in seconds and as soon as I was set could hear him snoring. I laughed and Princess asked what for, before I could answer it was about his snoring so loud she had joined in. Again I lay awake for a while listening to the night and staring up at the stars and near full moon. The night was much warmer, probably close to 40. Being up close to 2000 feet higher in elevation we did not get the cool air that settled into the valley like the night before.

We got up as the sun crested the hill, ate a quick oatmeal breakfast and grabbed the fishing pole to see if we could land a few more fish before packing up. We were able to get a few fish but it was not as fast as it had been the evening before. We decided we should get back on the trail so we headed back to camp to get our gear packed up. The five miles out when quick with only 2 short breaks for water and a good snack for lunch.

In a couple hours we were back down to some of the towns on the way home and stopped for dinner at Snow Bunny Dive In for some burgers and milk shakes.

I got to play with some new gear on this trip, an hour before we left for the trip Brown Santa dropped off a new camera, the Pentax W90. I really like this camera, I shot about 5 pictures before we left the house to see that it worked. But it did great on the trail. It is a waterproof camera, tested that shooting a couple shots of one of the fish we reeled in near the bank. It did very well in macro and had great color rendering. I did a small bit of video and the sound was very crisp and clear. Power up and ready to shoot was very good, it has quite a few options for a small camera. This was also the first trip that I have been really successful with using a float bubble and fly set up on a spinning reel to catch fish. I have tried it a couple times with little to no luck. This trip it worked very well. I think that mostly comes down to a couple factors, mainly that this particular lake is off the main beaten path in the Sawtooths and does not get visited as much as many others. It was packed with fish, and we watched a number of them swimming and feeding within feet of the bank.

Here is a short video with some of the pictures from the trip,

Tom Clark
(TomClark) - MLife

Locale: East Coast
Re: Overnight backpacking in the Sawtooths of Idaho on 09/05/2010 08:11:20 MDT Print View

Looked like a nice family trip. How did the Dixon Roller Pack work? It seemed like balance (left to right) could be an issue with it getting knocked around on the rocks.

Paul Gibson
(pgibson) - F

Locale: SW Idaho
Re: Re: Overnight backpacking in the Sawtooths of Idaho on 09/06/2010 10:51:12 MDT Print View

Hey Tom, The roller pack did very well. This was about the 3rd trip this summer I did with it. I did have it loaded very high on the way in with me trying to take most of the bulky gear to free up my wife and son. And I did need to stop at one point and adjust how it was balanced but really over the rocks in the trail it did not slow down my pace at all. I am sold on the concept (yah I know that is a bit cliche as I sell them) But on any trip that I can I will probably be using the Roller pack. Especially family trips where I will have 1/2 of 2 other peoples gear. It is very counter to the normal way of thinking of lightweight backpacking, but once to have the numbers for what you are actually carrying it works out pretty good. My wife and son's packs were about 5-6 pounds mine in total with the frame was about 25, but when on the load that I felt was only about 15. Not UL but for all of my gear, all of the food, most of the carried water, 3 hammocks, 2 tarps, my quilts, most of the clothes and all the other basics plush fishing kit I don't think it was to bad.