- Standing at the rim of Bryce looking out across the valley, with tunnels, walls, and hoodoos below. Note the trail from Bryce Point to the Peekaboo Trail goes through the snowy tunnel (bottom right) in the snowiest section of the photo… It made for an epic hike (see Trip Report in the next post).
What is Bryce Canyon?
A Rancher’s Perspective: “It’s a helluva place to lose a cow!” was the reply of the park’s namesake Ebenezer Bryce, a rancher who lived in the area for just 5 years (1875 – 1880) before moving on to greener pastures. “Not wrong,” I smiled, suddenly imagining the challenge of tracking down a lost cow, or anything else for that matter, trapped in the maze of rock spires and walls of Bryce Canyon.
“Is your pack full of rocks?” joked one of the other thru- hikers. At the time I could honestly say, “No, of course not.” However, less than 48 hours later, I was standing on the side of the CDT filling my pack with rocks.
When I come across a bunch of raw water in the backcountry, what do I do? Sometimes I swim in it, sometimes I desperately try to avoid it in the hopes of staying dry, and sometimes I drink it. When I drink it, do I keep it raw? Very rarely. During my Appalachian Trail (AT) and Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) thru-hikes, the most popular approaches when it came to drinking raw water were to:
Black flies, ticks, mosquitoes, and other biting insects can turn the most peaceful outdoor paradise into a stressful tormenting nightmare. In this post I’ll discuss the bug repellent strategies and gear that have worked for me as well as those that are recommended by the CDC, and that are registered with the EPA (after being shown to be both safe and effective for human use in repelling ticks and mosquitoes).
The extreme air temperatures on the summit of Mt. Washington in New Hampshire can range from the 40°s (F) to the -40°s (F) during the winter months.
Before I delve into the details of my winter backpacking gearlist, I want to start by defining ‘winter backpacking’. Although most people define winter backpacking as backpacking between the first day of winter and the first day of spring (eg, December 21 to March 20), the definition of winter backpacking that I use to guide my gear decisions is more accurately reflected by the lowest temperatures (as well as snow/ice conditions) that I am expecting to encounter on my backpacking trip. The rough definitions of backpacking seasons that I use are: