Forum Index » Chaff » How many folk backpack all year round.


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Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Year Round in CA on 09/27/2012 17:56:14 MDT Print View

Same with Nick, CA rocks!, so diverse.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
Two Seasons in PA on 09/28/2012 05:43:17 MDT Print View

I only take backpacking trips in PA in the Spring or Fall. Basically I'm looking for temperatures in the range 20 degrees - 70 degrees. Much above or below that and I'm not going to go.

I avoid the summers because of the humidity and bugs. I may try going out in the winter sometime but haven't yet.

Maybe I need to move to CA...

Raquel Rascal
(flutingaround)

Locale: Rocky Mtn. West
yes on 09/28/2012 07:48:31 MDT Print View

I would say yes I will, I want to do more this season in Colorado. I just learned winter camping last year..and I snowshoe. I was doing winter hut trips before.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: How many folk backpack all year round. on 10/01/2012 15:49:08 MDT Print View

Yup, all year round, BUT, I live in a part of the world where we can choose our winter destinations so we end up at a hut with some kind of heating. Aside from having a warm-ish place to sleep, it makes hanging out on long winter nights much more enjoyable. Hitting the sack at 5pm and not getting up until 7-8am really sucks IMHO, unless you can start and keep a good fire going.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: How many folk backpack all year round. on 10/01/2012 17:09:50 MDT Print View

"Hitting the sack at 5pm and not getting up until 7-8am really sucks IMHO"

Okay, maybe the sun rises at 8AM and sets at 4PM but you get an hour of dawn and dusk at each end, and maybe build a fire and stay up for another couple hours - so that's 12 hours. And then read a book with flashlight for a couple hours or look at stars...

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: How many folk backpack all year round. on 10/01/2012 17:22:31 MDT Print View

"Okay, maybe the sun rises at 8AM and sets at 4PM but you get an hour of dawn and dusk at each end, and maybe build a fire and stay up for another couple hours - so that's 12 hours. And then read a book with flashlight for a couple hours or look at stars..."

Depends on what you are doing during those hours of dusk and dawn. They are often the coldest, and the only way to keep warm is zipped up in your bag. Often it is too cold to even have your arms out to read a book, at least that has been my experience.

And a fire is great, if you can start one. A lot of our trips end above bushline, or in wet snow. Not the easiest places to get a good fire going. However, if you are going to be below bushline and not a lot of snow around (and everything isn't soaking wet), then that is a nice option.

However, there is also another really good reason, at least for me, to only stay in huts in the winter. No winter tent, no winter sleeping mat (so much lighter pack), and no worries about boots, fuel and water bottle freezing. Plus I find it almost impossible to get comfortable enough to read while sitting or lying in a tent. I don't mind some degree of discomfort, but with winter camping I draw the line. By drawing this line I can hike 12 months of the year without making excuses to NOT go, but, as I said, not everyone has a choice of winter friendly huts to aim for.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: How many folk backpack all year round. on 10/01/2012 17:25:55 MDT Print View

As most of my past trips have been in Ireland and the Uk and France, I have never lit a fire in the mountains, but on a trip last week in Colorado the spot we camped at the first night had a fire circle of we got one going.

Barry Cuthbert
(nzbazza) - MLife

Locale: New Zealand
Re: Re: How many folk backpack all year round. on 10/01/2012 17:54:02 MDT Print View

Yes all year round. Where I live in New Zealand allows me to choose snow free trips by staying low or tramping higher to the bushline and above for a walk in the snow. The New Zealand tramping hut network allows an incredible amount of flexibility for trip planning and pretty comfortable accommodation during foul weather, not to mention lighter packs!. For some reason even the most popular huts during summer are nearly always empty during the colder months ;)

Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Re: Re: Re: How many folk backpack all year round. on 10/01/2012 18:24:18 MDT Print View

Year round as CA (like the others have said) has great locations...coastal or Sierra. Though I tend to snowshoe more in the winter and snow camp

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Re: How many folk backpack all year round. on 10/01/2012 18:27:08 MDT Print View

Sounds like I might bump into Barry one of these winters...as a rule, we tend to avoid huts outside of the coldest winter huts, as I am generally not fond of sharing my 'sleeping space' with other. But like Barry says, more often than not we are likely to find no one else in these huts, especially if they require walking through snow to get to. There are some local, lowland, huts that are popular year around, but we never stay in those.

Manfred Kopisch
(Orienteering) - F
Year round in California on 10/01/2012 20:23:41 MDT Print View

We enjoy backpacking with our kids every month of the year here in California. For the last two years we managed to backpack with them almost every other weekend and take them on the JMT in the summer.
During the winter we enjoy Henry Coe or going to the hot springs in Big Sur. During the summer we love to backpack in the Sierra. Spring and fall we frequent local parks and camp there - Castle Rock, Pescadero, Sunol, Angel Island, Mt. Tam, Mt. Diablo, etc - last weekend we hiked a 19 mile loop at Point Reyes, visited Alamere Falls and spent a great night at Wildcat camp.

Manfred

USA Duane Hall
(hikerduane) - F

Locale: Extreme northern Sierra Nevada
Year 'round on 10/01/2012 21:36:10 MDT Print View

Right from my house. I live a 5 minute walk from FS roads, so I can go anytime. I've been collecting stoves the last three years almost, so I have to get out to use them. I've done a few Kalifornia coast trips with some of the group I've been with for 8 years now. We've also done a few car camping trips with good turn outs, having lots of fun. We all prefer nice weather, but we've been out in snow, blowing snow, rain and sub-zero temps. It is getting harder to keep the group together, life gets in the way/happens. This will be two years in a row that I have gotten out at least one time for a bp trip. I don't get out as much as Snownymph did in her hayday.
Duane

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: How many folk backpack all year round. on 10/02/2012 10:05:41 MDT Print View

This folk do.

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
How many folk backpack all year round. on 10/02/2012 13:24:20 MDT Print View

I'm out at least once a month year round. Typically on the North Shore of Minnesota.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Thnaks All on 10/03/2012 13:31:09 MDT Print View

Hi folks,

Thanks all for replying.

I am looking forward to winter myself.

Cheers,

Stephen

Amy Lauterbach
(drongobird) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
year round backpacking on 10/03/2012 14:15:20 MDT Print View

Yep, we go year round. We have a pretty narrow definition of favorable conditions: NO BUGS and temps between ~25 and 80 F

Our regular US destinations:
Central Coastal California (Point Reyes to Big Sur) - October through May (too hot in summer)
Southern Sierra Nevada (Mono Recesses to Cottonwood Pass) - mid-August through early-October
Southern Utah - April/May and Sept/Oct

And overseas destinations:
UK - April-June (before UK schools go on holiday; before midges in Scotland)
France/Spain low elevations - April-May
Pyrenees - July-August
Australia (New South Wales) - Sept-Oct
Turkey - April-May

Elizabeth Tracy
(mariposa) - M

Locale: Outside
other interests on 10/06/2012 13:30:20 MDT Print View

I could backpack year-round, but I find that I don't much. Cold-weather wimp; don't like the very long nights. And there are so many other fun things to fit into the year - road biking, trail running, open water swimming just to list some of the outdoor ones.

So I switch interests by season. August is top backpacking month because it has the ideal combo of: Snow melted; days still long; nights still warm; mosquitoes gone.

Winter is for trail-running in the rain. And indoor projects. And good novels. And repairing stuff in anticipation of summer backpacking season ;)

- Elizabeth