Thursday, June 29, 2017

New Camp Shoe

My new camp shoe, the Birkenstock EVA Arizona. Size 45 metric or 12.5 in US Sizing. Even thought I wear trail runners, I like changing shoes at he end of the day, a luxury I cannot do without. If my trail shoes get wet from a creek crossing or fishing, they will not be dry until the next day and I value complete dryness in camp, even my feet. These slip on and off easily in the middle of the night and give good protection to the bottom of my very sensitive feet from sticks and stones, I could even hike in them if  I had to. They are bulkier than I would like but lighter by a few ounces than my current Patagonia Advocates that I have had for several years now and refuse to wear out.

Saturday, June 24, 2017

Mission Pine Basin

Mission Pine backcountry in the San Rafael Wilderness.

Hell's Half Acre on the Cachuma Saddle Road

Hell's Half Acre

Walking the ridge road.

Left the Road and started on the trail to Mission Pine Spring Camp,the destination for my 1st night.

The BeFree water filter. It's so easy to use, why not filter now?

Getting dinner ready, using the Bush Buddy store this trip since fire restrictions have not been turned on yet.

The trail junction and camp in Mission Pine Basin. The point where I joined the Santa Cruz trail and decended the ridge into the Santa Cruz creed drainage.

The camp at Mission Pine Spring is very nice indeed.

Good water from the spring.

The real Mission Pine basin camp located on the northwestern corner of the meadow.

The Santa Cruz creek trail down to Coche creek was in good shape. I could not find Coche camp so I stayed at Kellogg. No one has been there in awhile judging from grassy weeds growing in the fire pit, but still a serene spot with good water flow in Coche creek.

The trail past Kellogg to Flores Flat was not passable, lots of downfall. Obvious Bear activity at this camp that included what looked like a place to sleep, leave some scat, and tear up the table.

The next night was at Mission Pine Spring again, then back to the trailhead with panoramic views of the Santa Barbara backcountry.

A great trip into an area I have not been to and water was not an issue because all the springs are in great shape.

Sunday, April 30, 2017

.....Because I Dislike Headlamps!

Or should I say " I dislike running into people wearing headlamps. I recently purchased an

E-Case eSeries 9 Case with Jack with the help of a meager REI dividend to assist me in using my iPhone for a flashlight. The case has lash points for me to attach a lanyard around my neck, from the roof of the tent or on my bike, the headlamp does not adapt well to anything other than just the head.

So you think that this is not such a good idea because it will be a big drain on the battery life? That does not seem to be true. On a recent test, I charged my iPhone to 100% then turned on the flashlight accessory. After 6 hours, the light was still on, bright and the battery was registering 80%. 
The E-Case is water tight and has a jack plug-in so I can also listen to my music.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

The Trangia Tundra Lid

Trqngia introduced this product as a canister stove setup, but I was only interested in the lid to fit my 25 Series pots. Unfortunately, USA dealers do not sell just the lid, but the Canadian dealers do so I bought from them instead. The shipping was more than the cost of lid but still cheaper than buying the entire kit from an American Trangia dealer.

Underside of lid.

The lid fits the 1.5 and 1.75 liter pots that come in the 25 series kit. It will not fit the smaller pots that come with the 27 Series kit or the Mini.

I purchased the lid to pair with a 1.75 titanium liter Trangia pot and use as a 2 man kit for an upcoming trip to visit Mount Langley in the High Sierra. Trangia no longer makes titanium pots.

I will use the Vargo  windscreen, Decagon alcohol stove, Trangia pot grip, fuel bottle and smaller primer fuel bottle that holds the perfect amount of fuel to load the burner with. When done correctly this stove really puts out the heat, then you simply blow it out and pour the unused fuel back into the bottle.

If I am not a total gram weeny, i would bring the Trangia Windscreen, but it's too big and heavy. Without fuel, this set up comes in around 12 ounces.

Sunday, June 5, 2016

San Nicholas Island with Channel Islands Restoration

In late April I spent 4 days on San Nicholas Island, one of two Channel Islands that are Military bases, the other being San Clemente Island. I was able to do this trip as a volunteer with Channel Islands Restoration (CIR) whom the Navy has contracted with to assist with the restoration of the island. Above, is an old Naval image of what the island was like- a windblown mess as a result of overgrazing before it became a base, and constant disruption from Military needs. Today, it is much improved, especially on the northeastern end where we spent most of our time combing surveyed terrain in search of the very invasive Sahara Mustard. The techique was simple- find it then carefully pull it without the seed pods erupting their contents back onto the earth. It wasn't all work, Our CIR leaders made sure we saw the entire island, visiting such places as "Rock Crusher", on the western most point on the island and a pristine canyon on the southeast side, containing many native species.

A word about the Island for what it is today- a Naval Military base with many missions, one being the  maintenance of the "Outlying" airstrip located on the eastern end. The runway is huge, capable of landing a B-52 or a C-180 cargo plane. After we landed, we had a brief orientation with the Military Police, and the message was loud and clear- do not take pictures or wander away from the group or explore on your own. Even in "Nick Town" we were told not to walk anywhere but to and from the dining area and commissary. The only people allowed to take pictures were CIR staff.

Everyone stays in Nick Town. We were in the "Motel" that was actually very nice with single occupancy rooms that were modern and clean. As with all Military bases, we saluted the flag raising at 8AM and flag lowering at sunset.

 The CIR crew at work bagging mustard.

 The Enemy!

 One of two predominate animals on the island- Island fox.

 and the California Sea Lion.

 It was windy!

Every beach was a rookery.

Every door welcomed the resident fox.