Backpacking posts, page 5 of 9.

Backpacking Gear Updates - 2016

Over the last few backpacking posts I've mentioned that my pack has been getting lighter. I'm still pretty new to traditional backpacking, with only twelve adventures over the last year, and it's taking some time for me to understand my gear and comfort level. My first trip out on the Cabin Loop had…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 18, 2016
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Spending the Night on Flatiron

Hot sun over Flatiron

The thermometer on the car read 112 when I stepped out into the parking lot in Apache Junction. Hot air rushed over me, feeling more like an oven than not, and I took an unsteady breath in. I was about to tackle a hike that I probably should not in temperatures that I probably should avoid and I was…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 13, 2016
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Group Backpacking on the Cabin Loop

Backpackers along Bill McClintock Draw

Now that Katie is freshly inducted into the cool backpacker's club it only made sense to try out something that I've been playing around with a long time now: a large group outing. Chris and I had gone on adventures, and then Katie and I - why not all three of us? Plus Kirsty, their cousin? Four…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted July 5, 2016
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Superstition Backpack with Katie

Canyon Lake overflow reaching up La Barge

Deep blue water snaked up from Canyon Lake into lower La Barge, pushed back against its natural flow by an unnatural dam on the Salt River. Katie and I looked down at the cool waters, at the people swimming and splashing and kayaking, and wondered why we were doing it wrong. Instead of being near…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted June 11, 2016
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Dripping Springs Loop: Whiskey Springs

Morning moon hanging out with the cactus

Temperatures dropped unnaturally low that night in the little valley near the Hoolie Bacon and Red Tanks Trail junction. Chris was in a sleeping bag rated to forty and I was in one rated to fifty and we both froze. When his alarm started going off it was a real struggle to get up and moving, to…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted May 19, 2016
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Dripping Springs Loop: Red Tanks Divide

Massive cactus near Reed's Water

Cool morning temps and comfortable campsites led to a late start from Reed's Water. The sun was up, hiding behind the eastern ridges, before Chris and I even got out of our sleeping bags and began to move around. Plus we wanted to filter water and get back to full water capacity while we had the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted May 14, 2016
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Dripping Springs Loop: Race to Reed's Water

New signs at Peralta Trailhead

Several months had passed since Chris and I had a good adventure together. Outside of a quick afternoon outing with the boys over in the McDowells we have each been doing our own thing this year. He went out on an overnight in Bryce Canyon and on a few ski weekends while I've been venturing into the…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted May 9, 2016
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Mazatzal Peak Loop: Retreat down Barnhardt

Dim silhouette of Sandy Saddle in the morning

Sleep did not come easy on the banks of Horse Camp Seep, though it was mostly my fault. The campsite was perfect and the night sky was clear and beautiful, filled to the brim with stars with only a dim glow of city far to the southwest. I was just not prepared for the cold temperatures. My…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted May 4, 2016
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Mazatzal Peak Loop: Beyond Chilson Camp

A broken water trough at Chilson Camp

A steady background hum of bees, flies, and wasps surrounded me as I sat on a half-rotten table at Chilson Camp and plotted my next move. Davenport Trail, my planned route, wasn't going to happen. If I had come up Barnhardt Trail this morning and had a few more hours, maybe. But I didn't have those…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted April 29, 2016
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Mazatzal Peak Loop: Behind Mazatzal Peak

Towering cliffs of crumbly rock up on Mazatzal Peak

Time slipped away as I relaxed near the junction of Y-Bar and Mazatzal Divide Trails. There were a few things to take care of - change to dry socks, eat some breakfast snacks, filter that dirty water I had collected from a spring - so it wasn't a complete break, just a pause from hiking. A well…

  • Category Hiking
  • Posted April 26, 2016
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