I've been wanting to take my daughter (two years old) on her first overnight backpacking trip, but I've been a little put off by the idea of carrying gear for two while carrying my daughter, who weighs 30lbs/13.5kg. Enter Backpacking Light. With the advantage of lightweight gear over "traditional" gear, I thought I could pull it off.
My "Big Three" list:
-WM Summerlite bag (unzipped, it makes a dandy quilt for two), 19oz/540g
-3/4 Length Thermarest NeoAir pad, 13oz/370g
-SMD Gatewood Cape, 11oz/310g (used with a trekking pole)
-7 ti stakes, 2oz/56g
-3'x7' Tyvek sheet, 4oz/125g
-Golite Pinnacle, 32oz/905g
Total for "Big Three:" 5 lbs, 3oz/2.3kg
Getting the weight of my Big Three down to about 5 pounds total was HUGE. My old backpack alone (empty) was 5 pounds.
So, with that, my trip report:
We started out by taking the Pacific Crest Trail (and a little short cut) from Angeles Crest Highway. The PCT parallels Angeles Crest Highway here.
We went up after work, and it was an hour's drive, so it got dark quickly. First order of business was site selection, but a not too distant second was getting dinner ready.
Very quickly thereafter, a very sleepy little hiker retired for the night.
Note the use of an ultralight, floorless shelter. Careful gear selection let me keep the weight down to about 30 lbs for two people including food, fuel, and water.
Sleepy or not, my daughter doesn't sleep late, so we were up pretty early in the morning.
Time to get breakfast started. I'm currently field testing a new Primus OmnilLite Ti which is the newest offering from Primus. On the OmniLite is a "silent" cap (like a muffler for your car but for a stove) from QuietStove.com which I'm also field testing.
In no time at all we've got a nice sausage and cheese omelette.
And after breakfast, we see we've got a happy camper. :)
For those who haven't been, Little Jimmy Trail Camp is a nice spot to camp.
One of the great things about Little Jimmy Trail Camp is the presence of nearby Little Jimmy Spring which is a highly reliable source of clear, cold water.
Well, enough time spent in camp! Let's hit the trail.
Looking to the west over our intended destination, Mt. Islip, the weather is looking good.
But a quick look to the east, changes my opinion. Looks like we might get a little wet today.
Still, the storm is a ways off, so we "stop to smell the roses."
Nearing the summit, we can see that the San Gabriel Mountains Trailbuilders have been hard at work. Fresh trail maintenance.
Thank you, Trailbuilders!
At last, we near the summit ridge for the final push, and the weather continues to hold.
From our position high on the south flank of Mt. Islip, we get a good look at Mt. Hawkins and Hawkins Ridge.
Moving higher, we approach the very summit and encounter the remains of this old cabin. This was the fire lookout's quarters back when a fire lookout was stationed atop Mt. Islip.
Finally, we reach the summit itself. Note the foundation of the old fire lookout tower.
One look at the view and it's clear why the Forest Service chose this spot for a lookout.
Whoa! That storm is hot on our heels. Better get on down the mountain.
For our route down, we chose this, the forested north ridge of Mt. Islip.
There's no formal trail, but there are bits and pieces of a peak-bagger's trail.
From our vantage point, we look WSW at Twin Peaks and its great SSE ridge.
Note in particular Triplet Rocks. This is perhaps the single most difficult summit to attain in all of the San Gabriel Mountains.
Descending further, we enter the more flat areas proximate to Little Jimmy.
From here, we retraced our steps back to our car and made our journey home.
My thanks to BPL for making this trip possible!
Adventures in Stoving