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Sespe Wilderness Spring Overnighter
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Morgan Strauss
(voodmann) - MLife
Sespe Wilderness Spring Overnighter on 05/05/2011 08:40:21 MDT Print View

Greetings. I'm relatively new to posting here at BPL, but I've gleaned most of my knowledge by lurking around these threads. With the information I've gathered here, I have been fastidiously whittling away at my base pack weight for the past six months——while at the same time keeping an eye on safety and comfort.

I have an overnighter planned for this weekend for which my gear list is, uh...geared. Highs are expected to be in the low to mid 70s, and lows near 50. The route is a 30(ish) mile loop starting at the Piedra Blanca trailhead.

It's a group trip, and the tent is shared gear, though it is definitely on the list of gear to lighten down the road.

Apart from gear to nix suggestions, I'm also interested in any feedback on items I may be lacking, as my systems are far from figured out in terms of personal preference.


Kenneth Cowan
(zeros) - F

Locale: California
RE: sespe on 05/05/2011 09:59:21 MDT Print View

Good looking list, have a great time out there! I might skip the driducks and just bring a wind shell if the weather report looks clear. You could also nix the Purell in favor of just the Bronners. Also, a trowell is unnecessary-- ultimate chivalry is digging a poo hole for your partner with a stick or rock.

Also, there definitely are Bears and ticks up there. My wife and I spotted scat and tracks up behind the Piedras Blancas area about a month ago, and on the ascent up that canyon to the lodge, it was a tick gauntlet. I was picking off 2-4 ticks every 100 yards. Not a big deal but just be aware, wear long pants/sleeves, and inspect each other thoroughly!

Have fun!

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Nice on 05/11/2011 12:43:50 MDT Print View

Well done list. I like the dual listing of grams and ounces.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
Wow, nice list! on 05/11/2011 18:41:15 MDT Print View

Wow, nice list!

- The knife is carries, Right? If so, not such an issue.

- I would NIX the extra water storage (Gatorade bottle) because 2 liters is plenty.

- I would NIX the hand sanitizer and and take only soap, especially for just an overnight.

- ZERO is the correct weight for TP, RIght ON!

- NIX the trowel, the terrain is easy to dig in the north cascades (just use a stick or a rock)

- Trim the bandana down just a little with a scissor.

- Is the mirror really needed? It's very light.

- You could always nix the tarp-tent and get a tarp, saving well over a pound.

- The dri-ducks pants don't hold up well. You could trim them into a RAIN SKIRT.

David Lutz

Locale: Bay Area
"Sespe Wilderness Spring Overnighter" on 05/11/2011 18:49:08 MDT Print View

Hey Morgan - FWIW, you have Lizard Lips listed could knockoff 1/3 of an ounce right there!

todd h
(funnymoney) - MLife

Locale: SE
Re: Sespe Wilderness Spring Overnighter on 05/11/2011 20:17:20 MDT Print View

Nice list - what do you use under your head?

Morgan Strauss
(voodmann) - MLife
Feedback Thanks on 05/11/2011 23:34:42 MDT Print View

Thanks for the great feedback. I'm open to test out all suggestions on this trip (which has since been postponed).

one of the lip protections (the heavier one—must have used 2 grams of it since the last trip, ha!)
Extra water storage

Bug dope

The DriDucks' durability is definitely a concern. They're really just a back up, and for 17 dollars (I paid for it in wait time), I'm willing to risk it for an overnighter. Do have my eye out for a decent deal on a wind shirt. I have another pair DDs that make me look ilk the state puff marshmallow man; they might make great chaps/wrap/shants.

I'm looking at a variety of tarp options. This is definitely a direction in which I am heading. Hopefully by the summer I will find myself a 16+ ounce weight savings to the tune of 200 dollars. We'll see. At that point I won't be able to justify the Mariposa's volume.

As far as a pillow, I'm going to try the Platy. I toss and turn regardless, and usually end up a foot away from whatever I've wadded up into a pillow. 2 Tylenol PMs are intended to make up for any pillow shortcomings.

Thanks again.

Michael Skwarczek
(uberkatzen) - F

Locale: Sudamerica
RE: Sespe Wilderness Spring Overnighter on 05/12/2011 11:02:48 MDT Print View

Hey Morgan, may I inquire as to your exact route as a loop from Piedra Blanca? Is it really a loop or out-n-back? I'm rather familiar with the area, and there's quite a few "feral" trails that are utterly impassable after years of disuse and overgrowth, and that's not an exaggeration.

I haven't reviewed your gear list, I don't really get interested in that. But here's some wisdom:

- Animals: Yes, there's quite a few bears. But they're not like Yosemite bears, acclimated and expectant that people mean food. These are bears that want nothing to do with you and your camp smells. You are the worst thing in nature and they know it. So, hang your food off the ground but don't worry more than that. Don't bother with sprays and such. There are rattle snakes so be mindful. Mountain lions are around, I have never ever seen or heard one. But you find their scat. Just watch out if you are on the move after nightfall and the brush is tall with visibility low. Make noise. Camp will be fine, don't worry.

- Bushwhacking is nearly non-existent. The brush is prickly and unforgiving and will tear holes in UL materials, including your tender skin. So, don't try whacking your way around routes.

- Poison Oak is prevalent on the South/West sides of the major river/streams. If your route is along the Sespe toward the hot springs, you must watch out as it encroaches the trail. Bring Teknu! Rinse hands with cold water often.

- Don't worry about shelters, the weather is that mild and predictable. Just check NOAA or call the stations. I haven't done anything other than sleep out in my bag since I first started learning the area.



btw, you won't need the dri-ducks at all and they will get shredded. absolutely. I know how hard it is when we buy gear and look forward to using it. but that's not a piece of gear for these areas.

Look at Los Padres and most of our So Cal/Central Cal Wilderness as the best opportunity for UL. Because you need almost nothing and will be totally fine. Here's what my list looks like, I'm packed and out the door in an hour (food can take me longer):

Shorts or pants (I wear pants because of the Poison Oak)
Trail Runner and light socks with gaiters(or not)
Sun hat and sunglasses

UL pack
sleeping pad (foam, even a thinlight depending on your personal sleep needs)
drop cloth
32F bag
Puffy jacket (think Montbell Alpine Light in rating)
Wind Shirt
Warm hat/cap
Thermal bottoms
Change of socks
Knife (Mora full tang, light not fussy)
Bic lighter or striker
Pot and Stove and utensil and cup, etc (whatever you like)
Water for easy access
Water Tank for camp
Water Purification (I stick with a pump filter because of funk and sediment)
Whisky and Beer or decanted wine!!! (why else am I so light and minimal? to bring more beer!)
If you're staying at a hot spring or want to swim, bring a damned towel, it makes life better.

I feel like my post takes the fun out of UL Spreadsheets. But isn't the fun supposed to be on the trail?

cheers again,

Edited by uberkatzen on 05/12/2011 11:20:46 MDT.

Piper S.
(sbhikes) - F

Locale: Santa Barbara (Name: Diane)
Re: Sespe Wilderness Spring Overnighter on 05/12/2011 11:58:39 MDT Print View

You probably don't need a pack liner unless it's for protection from falling in a creek. You don't need to hang your food. You can sleep with it. The chaparral will shred your dri-ducks but they'll probably hang in there for the trip as long as you don't bushwhack. You could replace the 32 oz bottle for something smaller that's just for mixing flavored drinks and scooping water into your platypus bags. Not that it saves a lot of weight, but the trails and camps are mostly along creeks.

Do bring a map and compass if you are going up toward Pine Mountain Lodge. The trail is a bit confusing up there. If you are going down the Sespe toward the hot springs, the trail is pretty flat and easy to follow. It used to be a road and kind of still looks like one.

Mike Clelland
(mikeclelland) - MLife

Locale: The Tetons (via Idaho)
pillow issue SOLVED on 05/13/2011 07:40:38 MDT Print View

Quick update.

I think I solved the pillow issue. I wrote about it in a recent book -

(yes, this is shameless self-promotion, I know)




Here is an excerpt from the book:

Tip number 100 -The Pillow

I love a pillow under my head during sleepy time. The traditional camper will simply take a porky jacket, cram it into some big stuff sack and call it good.

If you are a true ultralight zealot, you’ll be sleeping in a very thin sleeping bag (or quilt) and comfort dictates that you'll wear all your clothes to bed. This means that there is nothing left over for your pillow.

You’ll spend roughly one third of any expedition asleep on your pad. This time is a vital component to your recovery and well being. If you need a pillow to sleep well, then don’t short yourself. There are plenty of tricked out camping pillows on the market. Very few are light enough to get called UL.

Here’s the simplest (and lightest) solution I’ve found. I’ll fill a very light stuff sack with partially inflated Ziploc baggies. I’ll blow air into them and zip them shut, and partially full is much better than beach ball tight. I use the thinner SANDWICH style rather than the dense FREEZER bags. I have an 8” x 14” stuff sack and I use 7 baggies.

Test it yourself before you go into the field, I tried different baggies over multiple nights, and the weight of my big head would end up deflating them all by morning. My R&D determined the baggies require a stout double zipper, so I use the kind of baggie with the DOUBLE ZIPPER, and it works great. Total pillow weight: 1.8 ounces. Replace the stuff sack with a wispy thin plastic grocery bag for even more weight savings.

Other UL pillow options are sight dependent. I’ve filled my backpack with pine cones and that was wonderful, but the only reason I could pull that off was because I found a huge pile of pine cones right near my sleep site. Sand in the backpack is very nice too, and tiny pebbles ain’t bad either.