Monday, June 8, 2015

So Much For My Solo

This past weekend I was supposed to go on my solo hike. Unfortunately, this past week I was home sick with a fever and icky bleeding throat sores courtesy of Hand-Foot-and-Mouth Disease. Yeah, I know, that’s something 5-year-olds get.

Anyway, by the time the weekend arrived I was still running afternoon fevers and decided it would be best to reschedule. I’ve already picked out a new weekend in August and now I have even more time to prep for the trip.

Despite being sick during the week, I was feeling well enough to go for a couple of day hikes towards the end of the weekend. On Sunday, I went up to the summit of Ben Lomand from North Fork with a friend and today I went up to Malan’s Peak on my own.

The hike up Ben Lomand was fantastic for a lot of reasons. One of those reasons is that I got to see some moose!

Okay, so it's hard to see it in this photo, but there is totally a moose between those two big trees. It had been a little closer, but I was too freaked out to take a photo then. There was another moose later in the day, too. 

Another reason the Ben Lomand hike was awesome was that I was able to scout out another leg of the backpacking route I want to take -- AND it was way easier than I thought it would be. We made it to the summit in 3 hours. 


On the way back down we got to see a wicked cool snake

Going up Malan's Peak today was super mellow. There were a lot of wildflowers blooming, and I noticed a natural spring that I had never seen before.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Prepping for the Solo Trip

In about a week and a half, I'm going to head out on a solo backpacking trip. Since this is my first solo trip, I'll only be gone for 3 days and 2 nights. Still, there is a lot to prepare for mentally and physically. Below is my checklist of things I need to prepare for the trip. As I complete my checklist, I'll write up posts and add links below so you can pick and choose what you might want to read about. 

Route Planning
The first thing I need to do is plan my route and share that route information with reliable friends who can be my emergency contacts if something happens. The route plan will need to be detailed enough that these friends will be able to find me if I don't come back on time -- but it will also need to have a reasonable time frame for them to know when to worry (or not worry). Check back for a link here on how to get high quality topographic maps for free.

My very old, very heavy Gregory Pack
Gear List
I already have most of the gear I need for this trip, although I am definitely looking forward to getting some newer stuff at some point. Some things on this list are pretty obvious, like a backpack, while other items might be things that folks could easily forget, like sunscreen. When I have my list ready, I'll link it here for folks who might like to check it out for their own trips. I'll also add some gear reviews after my trip.

First Aid Supplies
This really fits under the gear list, but since I make a customized first aid kit for any adventure I go on, I thought it might be nice to go into some detail.

Candy is the only food I need! 
I won't need a lot of clothes for such a short trip, but I'll post the list of clothes here along with an explanation of why I'm bringing what I'm bringing.

I'm going to test out a couple new recipes and dehydrated meals on this trip. Once I'm all packed up I'll post my food list here along with the recipes and reviews of the dehydrated meals.

The route I have in mind is a ridge route that is usually very dry in the summer, which means I might need to have water drops prepared. However, since we've been having a late/strange spring, there may still be enough snow on the trail for me to collect water along the way. I'll have to watch the weather closer to my trip and plan for my water then.

Don't worry, I've been working on this long before now. Still, I thought it could be helpful to write about how you can prepare physically for a backpacking trip. I'll write up a basic fitness plan and post it here in a bit.

Women who backpack alone seem to have to deal with more safety concerns (real or imagined) than their male counterparts. I will certainly be taking certain safety precautions during my trip, but honestly, I think I face more real danger from other humans when I run in my neighborhood than when I'm up in the mountains. Regardless, I'll post a bit about safety and what precautions I am taking here.
No, really. 

Monday, May 18, 2015

Anniversary Weekend

This weekend, Derek and I celebrated our sixth year of being married. Here are some photos from our hike on Lone Peak.

Mountain Lion Tracks

Yes. This is May in Utah... 

Lone Peak in the Distance


Thunderstorms rolling in