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Halloween weekend trip Messages in this topic - RSS

ziphius
ziphius
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11/4/2014
ziphius
ziphius
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My first desert trip of the season coincided with the Halloween weekend rains. Arrived on Halloween morning and had camp set up by 1 pm. Saw the clouds rushing over the ridges to my NW. The specific location doesn't matter, though some will recognize the features.



I knew the cold front was coming and made every effort to find a camp that might be sheltered, but protection was limited. The tent was battered by 25-30 kt winds that night. I was smacked in the head by the side of the tent numerous times, but stayed dry and warm otherwise.



Found my tent poles had been bent when I broke down camp two days later. This pole was straight at the start of the trip.



The weather made for some nice views.
[




I had planned the trip on the assumption I would have access to spring water, wasn't disappointed, even with the dry year we have had.



Found a very large scat near the springs, probably a big cat.



But the best scat (this one is for you Daren) came from high up on a ridge, in a small alcove, probably occupied by an owl or other raptor. A perfect little pellet, encasing what looks like a lizard leg.



I ate very well and my 'new' alcohol stove (made from a 69 cent Fancy Feast cat food can) performed great. Homemade wind screen made from aluminum roof flashing. The cook pot handle nests in the notch and the pot sits directly on top of the stove. Directions for the stove can be found at Andrew Skurka's website: http://andrewskurka.com/2011/how-to-make-a-fancy-feast-alcohol-stove/



When I returned to my car 2 days later, someone had hung these keys on my door handle. Unfortunately, they were someone else's keys.

edited by ziphius on 11/6/2014

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dsefcik
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11/4/2014
dsefcik
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YES..love the scat photo...!! Thumbs Up

Definitely recognize the spot, great area but way more prone to the cold and rain then lower down on the floor. Tom and I were also out and I am working on some photos to post. Looks like folks are starting to get back out again now that it is cooling down. What did you do out there other than bend a tent pole?

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ziphius
ziphius
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11/4/2014
ziphius
ziphius
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I was looking for a little hardship smile and the weather delivered. Hiked a lot of ridges and canyons, found many tracks,



but no sheep sightings. I did the usual things, looked for pottery, sheep, tracks, points, wondered how much warmer it would have been down in the valley, looked for water pockets in bedrock (none found), rummaged through my food bag, trying to find dehydrated strawberries, which always managed to find their way to the bottom. Oh, got bit by a huge ant while setting up camp, left quite the throbbing welt. That was a first-time experience for me. Saw a very small and rapid snake that I couldn't identfiy. Watched ravens, wishing I could speak with them to ask about hidden sources of water. I messed around with my time-lapse app too: Clouds over the ridge
edited by ziphius on 11/4/2014

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dsefcik
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11/4/2014
dsefcik
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Nice..I like the clouds...so..a good, fun, mess around trip, no real agenda..I like it....

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anutami
anutami
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11/5/2014
anutami
anutami
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Nice report! Glad it's cooling off out there. Sorry about your tent. The wind was one of the main reasons that drove me to get my camper.
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surfponto
surfponto
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11/6/2014
surfponto
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Great TR.
Very nice picture with your tent in the foreground and the clouds in the background smile

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tommy750
tommy750
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11/7/2014
tommy750
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Looks like a great trip, Jim. Must have been pretty bad wind to bend a tent pole. We had a little but not like that. Like your lightweight stove.
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dsefcik
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11/7/2014
dsefcik
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I really liked my Trangia alcohol stove and used it for 5+ years but handed it down to my son recently and bought a
Snow Peak stove and cup setup to combat my back problems and move to lower weight items in my pack.
The snow peak stove/cup/110 gram fuel cartridge weighs 13oz total and can last me 4-5 days of boiling water for
coffee and dinner. My trangia with fuel bottle couldn't come close to that, and my new setup is way smaller.

Here is the Trangia



Your cat food can stove reminded me of another friend of mine who did the same thing on a trip to the Sierras(not Gary),
it worked but seemed to use a lot of fuel and needed a lot of wind block.

How does yours work? Do you make a new one for each trip or the same one?

The alcohol stoves are quiet, cheap, pretty much bomb proof and can use almost anything flammable,
they are great heating devices but I have to admit my new fuel canister based setup is pretty nice, only the refuse
guilt factor gets in the way...upset

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ziphius
ziphius
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11/7/2014
ziphius
ziphius
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People have used their cat food can stoves for hundreds of meals. Totally reusable and no moving parts to clog or disposable canisters. They *are* sensitive to wind, so you need a windscreen. Some ultralight hikers use aluminum foil as a windscreen. Mine is more heavy-duty and I haven't weighed it, but it coils up inside of my cook set. The stove itself weighs 1/3 of an ounce. During one dinner, at the height of the wind gusts, I used my sleeping pad as a corral for extra wind protection, but didn't need it during 'normal' wind. I didn't have boulders large enough to hide behind near my camp. Many stoves will boil 2 cups of water faster, but hey, I can pore over my maps, tinker with gear, etc. while it's going. Takes one ounce of fuel and 5-6 minutes to boil 2 cups, which is all I need to rehydrate meals and make tea. Easy planning for fuel consumption.... X meals x 1 ounce per meal + a little reserve fuel. Over longer trips (10 days +) the 'weight per day' efficiency of an alcohol stove apparently surpasses canister stoves ('cuz you gotta carry multiple canisters and pack 'em out). Another consideration is that you could run this stove on grain alcohol ....Everclear ... some have tried Bacardi 151.... if you're the type to carry hard liquor into the backcountry, ahem. smile Duel-use fuel! But if I had to melt a lot of snow for drinking or cook for larger groups, I'd be reaching for a pressurized canister type stove.

dsefcik wrote:
I really liked my Trangia alcohol stove and used it for 5+ years but handed it down to my son recently and bought a
Snow Peak stove and cup setup to combat my back problems and move to lower weight items in my pack.
The snow peak stove/cup/110 gram fuel cartridge weighs 13oz total and can last me 4-5 days of boiling water for
coffee and dinner. My trangia with fuel bottle couldn't come close to that, and my new setup is way smaller.

Here is the Trangia



Your cat food can stove reminded me of another friend of mine who did the same thing on a trip to the Sierras(not Gary),
it worked but seemed to use a lot of fuel and needed a lot of wind block.

How does yours work? Do you make a new one for each trip or the same one?

The alcohol stoves are quiet, cheap, pretty much bomb proof and can use almost anything flammable,
they are great heating devices but I have to admit my new fuel canister based setup is pretty nice, only the refuse
guilt factor gets in the way...upset


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tommy750
tommy750
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11/7/2014
tommy750
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I purchased as my first stove ever, the JetBoil. Now, I find it mocked on ultralight sites as the "JetBrick." Weighed it last night at 14.1 oz and the partly used canister at 6.4 oz. Does boil 2cups in 3 minutes and the insulated cup is kinda nice. Even caught Daren admiring it but he'd already had a few smile
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dsefcik
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11/7/2014
dsefcik
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So kinda hijacking this thread with a topic had millions of times before on other more targeted forums....I just weighed one of my old 4oz bottles of denatured alcohol full and it weighed...4oz, add a 1/3 once cat food can and an aluminum foil wind shield for 90% of the desert hikes I do and it is much lighter than my new 13oz setup. The speed is not important to me, the alcohol stove was fine, I really, really liked the quiet of it....may need to give the cat food can a second glance....

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ziphius
ziphius
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11/7/2014
ziphius
ziphius
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"JetBrick" smile Hijacked threads are the best, especially when they turn to geeky subjects. Of course, shedding ounces from shelters, sleeping bags first is the most efficient. I still lug around an almost 4 lb. tent.

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dsefcik
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11/7/2014
dsefcik
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tommy750 wrote:
I purchased as my first stove ever, the JetBoil. Now, I find it mocked on ultralight sites as the "JetBrick." Weighed it last night at 14.1 oz and the partly used canister at 6.4 oz. Does boil 2cups in 3 minutes and the insulated cup is kinda nice. Even caught Daren admiring it but he'd already had a few smile
That JetBrick is actually kinda cool, I was digging on it...ahhh..a few ounces here, a few ounces there....can't add up to much can it...???

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tommy750
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11/7/2014
tommy750
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dsefcik wrote:
"...just weighed one of my old 4oz bottles of denatured alcohol full and it weighed...4oz"..


Just, wow.
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ziphius
ziphius
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11/7/2014
ziphius
ziphius
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tommy750 wrote:
dsefcik wrote:
"...just weighed one of my old 4oz bottles of denatured alcohol full and it weighed...4oz"..


Just, wow.



So, the bottle itself weighs zero ounces! smile

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dsefcik
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11/7/2014
dsefcik
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Jim (ziphius) wrote:
tommy750 wrote:
dsefcik wrote:
"...just weighed one of my old 4oz bottles of denatured alcohol full and it weighed...4oz"..


Just, wow.



So, the bottle itself weighs zero ounces! smile

yeah..OK, that didn't really come out like I meant...all I can say is my scale must be off or REI has made their generic 4oz bottles magic somehow.....

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tommy750
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11/7/2014
tommy750
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Actually, 4 oz of alcohol volume are 3.3oz of alcohol weight. If the plastic bottle weighs .7 oz, then 4 oz = 4 oz. Daren, your empirical prowess is just, wow!
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dsefcik
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11/7/2014
dsefcik
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tommy750 wrote:
Actually, 4 oz of alcohol volume are 3.3oz of alcohol weight. If the plastic bottle weighs .7 oz, then 4 oz = 4 oz. Daren, your empirical prowess is just, wow!

Yep..that is what I meant..thanks Tom..!!

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ziphius
ziphius
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11/8/2014
ziphius
ziphius
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Reminds me of my argument for freezing some of my water bottles prior to hitting the trail...... solid water is 'lighter' than liquid water. smile

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dsefcik
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11/8/2014
dsefcik
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Jim (ziphius) wrote:
Reminds me of my argument for freezing some of my water bottles prior to hitting the trail...... solid water is 'lighter' than liquid water. smile
Hey...I also do that..!!

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rockhopper
rockhopper
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11/8/2014
rockhopper
rockhopper
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I love the desert after the rains. Great for the animal tracks! The keys on the door handle must have been a surprise! Hope it worked out ok for those folks that lost em'!
Also, On pic no.4, I am looking at Coyote Mtn with Villager and Rabbit beyond right?
On Pic. #1 please tell us where that photo is taken. Near Montezuma Grade?
edited by rockhopper on 11/8/2014
edited by rockhopper on 11/8/2014
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ziphius
ziphius
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11/9/2014
ziphius
ziphius
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Rockhopper, you're right on pic #4, view to Santa Rosa range. Pic 1 is a view of 'The Thimble'.

rockhopper wrote:
I love the desert after the rains. Great for the animal tracks! The keys on the door handle must have been a surprise! Hope it worked out ok for those folks that lost em'!
Also, On pic no.4, I am looking at Coyote Mtn with Villager and Rabbit beyond right?
On Pic. #1 please tell us where that photo is taken. Near Montezuma Grade?
edited by rockhopper on 11/8/2014
edited by rockhopper on 11/8/2014


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dsefcik
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11/9/2014
dsefcik
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Pic #4 is pretty cool...great views...

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