We love fun backpacking video’s, and this is one of them. (Especially when there is dancing involved) Claire Stam puts together a great expression of backpacking in this section of the Pacific Crest Trail.
From near Siskiyou Summit (elev. 4,310?) in southern Oregon to the Washington border, this section is both the shortest and the easiest to hike or ride. Oregon’s Cascade Range is a subdued volcanic landscape, with a gentle crest that is fairly constant in elevation. The highest point in Oregon is an unnamed saddle (elev. 7,560?) north of Mount Thielsen. Other volcanoes, including Mount McLoughlin, Mount Mazama (Crater Lake), Diamond Peak, the Three Sisters, Mount Washington, Three Fingered Jack, Mount Jefferson and Mount Hood, punctuate the skyline. The only major elevation change in Oregon is the 3,160 foot drop into the Columbia River Gorge crossing Interstate 84 and the Columbia River on the Bridge of the Gods (elev. 180?).
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There is nothing better than backpacking with a great partner. Especially, when you partner is your Dog. They always follow and never complain. Here is a great video that explains a typical backpacking system for their dog Barlely.
Video by Andy Timinsky
These are the typical items we take for Barkley on every backpacking trip. Keep in mind it is not recommended that your dog carry no more than 25% of their body weight in their dog pack.
List of the gear below: The gear below is good for 3 season – this will not work for the winter time.
-Ruffwear Approach pack
-Ruffwear Quencher bowl
-Ruffwear Climate Changer sweater
-Windshield sun reflector from dollar store- this is used to insulate him from the ground when he’s laying around camp and also sleeping in the tent.
-Dog food- Typically carry more than when we feed him at home since we are burning more calories.
-Plastic bowl for food or water – we reused a plastic container
-Nite Ize led light for collar
One other note: Dogs typically drink from the Creeks and Rivers. It’s always a good idea to have your local Vetrinarian give your dog preventative shot for Leptospirosis
Planning meals for a backpacking trip can be tricky, but it’s important to get it right, as it will have a huge impact on how much you enjoy your trip. In this episode of Backpacking TV, Eric Hanson walks through how he plans food for a 5-day backpacking trip.
As someone who is preparing to hike Zion National Park this summer, was happy to find this backpacking video. This part of Zion is the Trans Zion Trail. A route made popular by the outfitters in Springdale, the “Trans-Zion Trek” is a multi-day backpacking hike that connects several of Zion’s trails into one long route from one corner of the park to the other.
This strenuous and beautiful hike can take on average between three to five days and involves a lot of elevation gains and drops. Along the way, you will see some of Zion’s most awe-inspiring scenery as well as many beautiful spots that most dayhikers never experience. Total mileage: roughly 47 miles. Before attempting this hike, you must work out the logistics of getting backcountry permits, planning your campsite spots for each night, car shuttles/car spots, and water sources (caching water and/or using available springs and streams).
Video Production by: Judd Frazier[geo_mashup_map]
After years of backpacking, plus more than a year of dedicated life on the road, I have compiled a list of some of the items I consider essential. Of course these items may vary from person to person depending on what type of travel, accommodations, etc the traveler is engaging in. Nevertheless, having traveled under a wide range of places under a variety of circumstances, I have found that these are the items that I keep in my pack no matter what.
1. Backpack — I recommend traveling with a rather small pack and personally use the Deuter ACT Trail 28L SL
2. Daypack — Choose something that folds up nice and small. I like this simple LL Bean daypack with a main compartment, small front compartment, and two side pockets.
3. Packing Cubes — There are a variety of sizes, which will help you keep the items in your pack organized. I use a medium sized one for my main clothing and a small one for my underclothing.
4. Reusable Stuff-Sack Bags — These are “Chico” brand.
5. Quick Dry Towel
6. Combination Lock
8. Eye Mask
9. Ear Plugs
10. Rubberband Clothesline — You can purchase this at REI or make your own as I have by following a simple Youtube tutorial.
11. Knife with Sheath and Spork — I use the Light My Fire spork, which can be found at REI. These knives can be found at Target/Walmart.
12. Small notebook and no smudge pen
13. Toiletry Kit — I use the Sea to Summit Hanging Toiletry Bag and love it. I have the smallest one, which has plenty of room for me.
14. E-Reader — I use a Sony eReader Pocket
15. Smart Phone –Ideally one that has a camera and stores music, such as an Iphone.
16. Lightweight Laptop — Something small and light, such as a Macbook Air. I have a Lenovo Ideapad.
The Kalalau Trail is an 11 mile trail that leads from Ke’e Beach to Kalalau Beach on the island of Kauai in Hawaii.
The Na Pali Coast is a very special place. The pali, or cliffs, provide a rugged grandeur of deep, narrow valleys ending abruptly at the sea. Waterfalls and swift flowing streams continue to cut these narrow valleys while the sea carves cliffs at their mouths. Extensive stone walled terraces can still be found on the valley bottoms where Hawaiians once lived and cultivated taro.
The Kalalau Trail provides the only land access to this part of the rugged coast. The trail traverses 5 valleys before ending at Kalalau Beach where it is blocked by sheer, fluted pali. The 11-mile trail is graded but almost never level as it crosses above towering sea cliffs and through lush valleys. The trail drops to sea level at the beaches of Hanakapi’ai and Kalalau.
Originally built in the late 1800s, portions of the trail were rebuilt in the 1930s. A similar foot trail linked earlier Hawaiian settlements along the coastline.
For most backpackers in good condition hiking the 11 miles will take a full day. Get an early start to avoid overexertion in the midday heat.
Video shot by Scott Rasak[geo maps]
Each year thousands of would be hikers/backpackers explore the beauty of the backcountry. We go to great lengths to filter our water, carry first aid kits, and take great pics. However, one can’t say enough about the Lyme Disease caring Deer Tick.
This video by National Geographic is an excellent example of how pesky these guys can be. Our point being. Check and double check your entire body after a hike in the woods, especially where dear roam, (which is just about everywhere).
From the CDC website.
Lyme disease is caused by the bacterium Borrelia burgdorferi and is transmitted to humans through the bite of infected blacklegged ticks. Typical symptoms include fever, headache, fatigue, and a characteristic skin rash called erythema migrans. If left untreated, infection can spread to joints, the heart, and the nervous system. Lyme disease is diagnosed based on symptoms, physical findings (e.g., rash), and the possibility of exposure to infected ticks; laboratory testing is helpful if used correctly and performed with validated methods. Most cases of Lyme disease can be treated successfully with a few weeks of antibiotics. Steps to prevent Lyme disease include using insect repellent, removing ticks promptly, applying pesticides, and reducing tick habitat. The ticks that transmit Lyme disease can occasionally transmit other tickborne diseases as well.
The United States Congress designated the Cohutta Wilderness (map) in 1975 and it now has a total of 36,977 acres. Georgia contains approximately 35,268 acres. Tennessee contains approximately 1,709 acres. It is managed by the Forest Service. The Cohutta Wilderness is bordered by the Big Frog Wilderness to the northeast.
The Panther Creek Loop Trail can be found off of Hwy 411 at the intersection of Rt 2 in Georgia. Be prepared for some off road driving to get to this trailhead. The trail (Hickory Creek Trail) starts off as Moderate and in about 6-7 miles you’ll get to camp next to Conasauga River. Day 2, you’ll cross the Conasauga River on to the Conasauga River Trail twice and start your climb up Panther Creek Trail to East Cowpen Trail. The climb up on the East Cowpen trail is a pretty steep climb.
Bryan Delay once again does a great description of this backpacking trip.
Video Shot by YouTube User: Bryan Delay
Since starting this website, I’ve gotten to backpack all over the Country. So many more places I want to go, but just can’t find the time. But each year I compile a video on some of my favorite places I went that year. Of course being going back and editing my video’s reminds me of what a great time I have being out in the Wilderness.
Hear is a video of the 2010 year.
See you on the Trail
Bryan Delay makes another great video of a 30 mile backpacking loop in Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area.
The Big South Fork National River and Recreational Area was established by Congress in 1974 to protect a unique scenic and cultural area. The Big South Fork more than 521,000 acres in Tennessee and North Carolina. The Big South Fork National River and Recreation Area encompasses 90 miles of scenic gorges, dense forests, and free-flowing river. The main gorge was formed by the Big South Fork of the Cumberland River.
This video was shot by YouTube User: Bryan Delay[geo_mashup_map]
Think of Iowa and chances are good that you would never think of thick dense forest. But consider this: You’re perched atop a 400-foot-high ledge called Big Paint Overlook in Iowa’s Yellow River State Forest. Eagles circle overhead as you gaze at Big Paint Creek below and a broad landscape of surrounding bluffs.
Not quite the flat-as-a-tabletop land most people expect, is it?
Yellow River Forest contains more than 25 miles of trails that wind through its thick woods, around limestone outcroppings, and up steep slopes. One sparsely marked trail on the north face of Heffern’s Hill feels more like Colorado foothills than Iowa plains as it leads through a densely wooded and rocky run-off that spills into a deep ravine.
Yellow River’s trails are generally well marked and cared for, which is one reason the forest’s four backcountry campsites fill up quickly. But you can pitch a tent almost anywhere, and-better yet-there’s no entrance fee or camping charge, so you get it all free. But be ready for some hill climbing. In Iowa, no less.
This Fall, I went with 3 friends to Yellow River and had a great time. We hiked about 11 miles out and back. The only downside was water. Not much to choose from, and couldn’t get to camp next to the Yellow River.
Where: 200 miles southeast of Minneapolis/St. Paul and 245 miles west of Chicago. The trailhead is 12 miles southeast of Waukon on State Forest Road off IA 76.
Maps: A trail map is available free at forest headquarters (see below).
Trail Info: Yellow River State Forest, (319) 586-2254.[geo_mashup_map]
Mount Rogers National Recreation Area is a United States National Recreation Area located in southwestern Virginia near the border with Tennessee and North Carolina. The centerpiece of the recreation area is Mount Rogers, the highest point in the state of Virginia with a summit elevation of 5,729 feet (1746 m). Most of the recreation area is under the jurisdiction of the George Washington and Jefferson National Forests, except for a 5,000 acres (20 km2) section near Mount Rogers that is managed by Grayson Highlands State Park. The recreation area was established by an act of the United States Congress on May 31, 1966.
The Appalachian Trail runs right through the Grayson Highlands State Park. This is one of the most scenic parts of the whole AT. Wild Ponies graze through the park, and the odds are good you will encounter one. I did a 22 mile loop hike in and around the Park which included the Appalachian Trail[geo_mashup_map]
The Charles C. Deam Wilderness was designated by Congress in December 1982. It was named for the first State Forester in Indiana, who was a pioneer in the forest conservation and an author of books on the trees and flora of Indiana.
The area is a fine example of Karst topography, with its flat-topped ridges, geode-laden streambeds, and occasional caves. Squirrels, deer, and other game are plentiful, attracting many hunters every fall. Hikers, backpackers, and horseback riders are also drawn to the wilderness and its 39 miles of trails.
In contrast to relatively virgin wilderness areas elsewhere in the country, the entire area now known as the “Deam” was once inhabited by white settlers. Most of the trails follow old roadbeds, and a bit of exploration off the main trails will bring visitors past other shadows of the past, including house foundations, domestic plants, old fences, and the occasional cemetery (five cemeteries exist within the wilderness boundary). The narrow, rocky ridges made for marginally productive farmland, but the inhabitants were able to scrape by until the Great Depression. As the economy forced them out, the U.S. Forest Service acquired their property and, with the help of the Civilian Conservation Corps, began rehabilitating the area and managing it for recreation. “Improvements” included constructing ponds, replanting trees, and building the Hickory Ridge Fire Tower that still stands, open to the public, at the Hickory Ridge Trailhead. After it was designated as wilderness under Ronald Reagan, the only improvements came in the form of trail maintenance and nature’s own management plan.
I did a 13 mile loop including a 5 mile loop on the Sycamore Trail. The trailhead starts at the Firetower on Firetower Road. I looped back, then drove to the other trailhead and did an out and back.[geo_mashup_map]
Point Reyes National Seashore offers year-round backcountry camping along Drakes Bay and amongst the hills and valleys of the Phillip Burton Wilderness, and boat-in camping on the west shore of Tomales Bay. Because of its location near the Metropolitan San Francisco Bay Area, the campsites at Point Reyes are in great demand. Reservations are strongly suggested.
All campsites are accessible only by hiking, biking or horseback for the backcountry sites, and only by kayak or boat for the Tomales Bay.
The National Seashore has about 150 miles of hiking trails to explore. Trail maps for the north district trails and south district trails are available at the Bear Valley Visitor Center.
This video was shot by Vimeo User: SurvivorJEB
The second largest canyon to emerge from Arizona’s Red Rock Country is a lesser known but just as scenic cousin of famous Oak Creek Canyon. But you won’t find any roads, developed campgrounds or crowds in Sycamore Canyon, just 55,937 acres of wilderness marked by colorful cliffs, soaring pinnacles and one of the world’s rarest habitats, a desert riparian area. The wilderness encompasses all of Sycamore Canyon from its forested rim near Williams to its desert canyon mouth in the Verde Valley. This area is home to black bear and mountain lion as well as a number of less celebrated but just as notable creatures. At night, in the flicker of your dying fire, you may catch a glimpse of a notorious camp robber, the bandit-masked ringtail cat making off with a bit of tomorrow’s lunch. Recently these wide-eyed relatives of the raccoon were designated Arizona’s State animal in a poll of the state’s school children. More likely you’ll notice canyon wrens and hermit thrushes along the trail during the day. They’ll catch your ear as well as your eye. If you hike to Taylor Cabin you’ll see the picturesque lair of another of the canyon’s historic residents, the American cowboy. The Parsons Spring Trail meanders up a fertile desert riparian area, a habitat as rare as it is productive. The Sycamore Rim Trail skirts the canyon’s upper reaches through an area of secluded pools and tall forests.
This area is sufficiently unique to have been the first in Arizona to be designated a Primitive Area. It later became a Wilderness Area in the 1984 Arizona Wilderness Act. A number of trails provide access to its beautiful and fragile landscape. This guide mentions only the most prominent. Those who wish to explore further will find much to reward their efforts.
You can see another video of Sycamore Wilderness Hike on TheBackpackerTV
When Spring arrives, I can’t think of a better town to trek through than Damascus, Virginia. Why Spring? One reason is Trail Days. Trail Days (documentary) is an even that brings thousands of Appalachian Trail Hikers together. While I was there last May, I took opportunity to go on a short backpacking trip.
I wanted to start in town, follow the white blaze out of town and hike North. Hiking through town is the best part of an AT thru-hike. The friendly people of Damascus will make you feel right at home. Not only are you appreciated, but hikers help with an important issue to Damascus, the economy. With a population of less than a thousand people, a steady flow of backpackers help shops, restaurants, Bed & Breakfasts, and Damascus loves it.
Even if you are not Thru-Hiking, it would be worth your while and stop in. Park your car, and head off on the AT.
My plan was to hike 10 miles, including through town, and then up on the AT. Oh, well I did stop for breakfast at MoJo’s. Once I started on the AT, it was pretty much uphill. Plenty of water in the Spring, so don’t weigh down your pack coming out of Damascus. I stayed at Saunders Shelter which is a pretty nice shelter with plenty of places to pitch a tent. Water is below the shelter down hill. There is a trail that will take you right to the water.
The AT follows the Virginia Creeper Trail. In fact, you can see the trail parallel as you climb on the AT.
When you live in the Midwest, sometimes your access to a National Park is limited without driving 10 hours. However, one of the gems that barely get’s regongition in the National Park System, is the diverse ecological system in Southern Illinois. One of the gems I missed, was the Cache River Wetlands area with 1000 year old Cypress trees. I never knew Southern Illinois had a Wetlands area, not alone a Kayak trail that you could trek. The Cache River was a spectacular trip and offered many diverse and flora. The cypress were absolutely cool, and kind a spooky at the same time. I went early in the morning (sunrise) and felt like I was on a Si-Fi set. Very cool to see the water totally topped with alge.
So, with some planning and a quick escape, I drove 5 hours South to Cypress, IL and put my Kayak in the Cache River. Along with my Kayak trip, I brought my backpack to do a section of the River to River trail the runs across the entire southern part of the State (186 miles) through the Shawnee National Forest.
It was hot, muggy, but a great weekend. Hope you enjoy the video.
REI puts together a video to teach the 10 essentials to backpacking. What’s in your pack? Learn about the ten essentials you should always bring on your hikes and outdoor adventures in order to make sure your trip is just as safe as it is fun!
For more information, go to REI.com