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Surly official camping and backpacking thread

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That sucks man..  Were you the one that had it cancelled for fires last time?  Hope your kid still gets there before aging out.  We squeezed in a 7 day trek last year just in time for my kid to quit scouts to focus on sports.  

 

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Dispersed camping in Colorado... near good fishing, not too far from a town where we can get a 1-2 day whitewater rafting trip in, and some mountain biking wouldn't hurt either.... Go. 

Would prefer to avoid state and national parks in favor of something a little more out there.  

 

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Dispersed camping in Colorado... near good fishing, not too far from a town where we can get a 1-2 day whitewater rafting trip in, and some mountain biking wouldn't hurt either.... Go. 
Would prefer to avoid state and national parks in favor of something a little more out there.  
 
Just make sure you check local fire regs for wherever you go. Lots of fire bans in place right now.

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Don't you just pretty much drive through some Forest Service roads or BLM roads until you find a spot you like? That's what I've always done, but I guess it could be tougher with roads in the mountains.

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Been working on our van set up. Will be able to fit a full size bed in the back that converts to a table and couches when we are done. I still have to cover the plywood with formica and paint the rest. Also have to cut up the mattress and make covers for the pieces, but it is coming together. The benches/bed platform are just the right height to use milk crates for storage underneath them. We have a roof rack on the way and will be getting a tent to go up top as well. The plan is to just go west and wander around for about a month.

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I assume the benches will be covered in hand tooled leather, dyed to complement the vans interior color.

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Lol, they will be covered in pieces of a memory foam mattress that will be covered with outdoor furniture fabric. The sheer number of hours it takes me to complete a small leather project pretty much rules out doing fancy leatherwork, especially since I only stitch my work by hand. But speaking of of leather, here is a pouch I completed today for a rivet gun. 

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It will probably be the fanciest tool pouch on the job site. The guy just wanted a pouch to hold his rivet gun and rivets because he couldn't find a commercial one to meet his needs, but I couldn't resist the urge to fancy it up a bit.

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It seems pretty pointless to definitively plan anything at this point, but I gave myself a 4-day weekend the first weekend in October with the intention of taking what will then be my 7-month old dog on a little backpacking trip. I know the canine companion pretty much eliminates big bend and other west Texas highlights, but any drivable recs from DFW that time of year? I've mostly been looking west, but dog-friendly areas like Davis Mountains SP seem a bit small for a 3-4 night trip. I've also looked at some longer hikes in the Lincoln NF, but any other ideas would be appreciated.
I also need a backpacking tent. North Face has a 50% off deal for healthcare workers I can take advantage of, if anyone feels one way or the other about any of their tents.

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I highly recommend Tarptent products. They have freestanding, semi, and non-freestanding options. They have a wide range of designs, as well. If you’re going to use trekking poles, you can get a design that will utilize those and save quite a bit of weight.

I have a 2019 model (they updated it) Double Rainbow. It can be freestanding by using trekking poles, but is normally not. It’s a cavern inside. Here’s a few photos at the top of Conundrum Creek near Aspen last year.

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Posted (edited)

Yeah TarpTent was on my short list too.  I ended up with a Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL1.  Tent tech is getting so good these days, you can get some really light single or double wall tents that are extremely light.  Of course, with low weight and strength comes high price.

On a separate note, I got a Gossamer Gear Mariposa 60 pack a couple of weeks ago and after one test hike, fully loaded, I'm pretty impressed.  The hip belt seems much more supportive than my Osprey Exos 58, as much as that pains me to say, because I love that pack.  The only downside was not having the suspended back mesh for some airflow.

Gossamer Gear is an Austin company too.

Edited by Biff Tannen
hyperbole

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On 6/26/2020 at 12:02 PM, hookem2010 said:

It seems pretty pointless to definitively plan anything at this point, but I gave myself a 4-day weekend the first weekend in October with the intention of taking what will then be my 7-month old dog on a little backpacking trip. I know the canine companion pretty much eliminates big bend and other west Texas highlights, but any drivable recs from DFW that time of year? I've mostly been looking west, but dog-friendly areas like Davis Mountains SP seem a bit small for a 3-4 night trip. I've also looked at some longer hikes in the Lincoln NF, but any other ideas would be appreciated.
I also need a backpacking tent. North Face has a 50% off deal for healthcare workers I can take advantage of, if anyone feels one way or the other about any of their tents.

Eagle Rock Loop in Arkansas should be easily driveable, but it may be cold that time of year and there are several river crossings.

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We just moved houses and it looks like the only loss is a bag with all our backpacking jackets. Looks like it got accidentally given to Goodwill. Probably close to $2K in gear. Oof.

The biggest loss is my Arc'teryx Beta SV and Mountain HW Ghost Whisperer jackets. The kids had some Marmot and North Face gear as well.

Hopefully one of you are enjoying it. Took me years to collect it all.

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On 6/26/2020 at 12:59 PM, Biff Tannen said:

Big Agnes Copper Spur HV UL1.

I have the copper spur hv ul2.  Love it. Good choice.

On 6/28/2020 at 12:01 AM, NotActuallyALonghorn said:

Eagle Rock Loop in Arkansas should be easily driveable, but it may be cold that time of year and there are several river crossings.

6-hours from Dallas. I was there May 2019 and it was already hot and "ticky". As forewarned, there are plenty of river crossings.

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On 6/29/2020 at 7:20 AM, Biff Tannen said:

Damn.  Maybe you can get some decent replacements at the next REI garage sale or something.

Has REI put anything out about doing garage sales again?  

They do have their used gear website.   

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9 minutes ago, dingleberryswitzer said:

Has REI put anything out about doing garage sales again?  

They do have their used gear website.   

Ah good call.  I don't think they are yet.

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1 hour ago, NotActuallyALonghorn said:

I wouldn't be surprised if the garage sales are phased out now that they are selling used gear on their website.

That would be disappointing 

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What are everyone's favorite hiking shoes?  I need a new pair and am tired of wearing heavy Keens even though they've been great.  Looking for something with good arch support, good heel cushioning and lighter weight.  Don't care about waterproof.

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I’d go with salomon. My old merrells finally fell apart and I bought some north face ones off of steep and cheap because they were really cheap. Seem ok but I don’t expect them to last very long

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36 minutes ago, Chewbacca said:

What are everyone's favorite hiking shoes?  I need a new pair and am tired of wearing heavy Keens even though they've been great.  Looking for something with good arch support, good heel cushioning and lighter weight.  Don't care about waterproof.

I love my La Sportiva Ultra Raptors, though I think they are being phased out by La Sportiva for a different model.  It all depends on how your foot is shaped of course, but La Sportiva is my favorite.  I have fairly narrow feet.

Lots of thru hikers love the Lone Peak Altras, but they have a very wide toe box, so they don't work for me.  

This guy has tested a TON of hiking shoes and I go to him a lot for advice.

https://trailtopeak.com/gear-reviews/

 

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Picked up a Smittybilt 2883 Overlander Xl rooftop tent today. We pretty much have all the pieces we need for our month long excursion west now, we just have to put them all together. If anybody is looking for a rooftop tent, PM me. The guy I got ours from was substantially cheaper than anything we could find online.

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