Monday, October 1, 2012

What was I thinking? Hiking a shadeless trail under 100 degree weather!

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Panorama on top of Henninger Flats
Not really sure what I was thinking when I decided to join a couple friends on a hike for a one-nighter.  I didn't think about my decision until I hit the trail and 500 yards in, I start feeling the heat!

This past weekend, I signed up to join a couple friends on a hike to Henninger Flats but due to other plans, I opted to catch up with them later in the afternoon.  They started their hike at around 8AM.

I got to the trailhead around 3:45PM and began walking.  Ten minutes into it and that's when it hits me...the sun was blazing and the temps were around 100 degrees and I feel like passing out!  

Start of the trail
A look ahead of the trail
Note to self...remember to buy a Golite umbrella and bring more water! Luckily this hike was only 2 somewhat miles to the top but the heat just drains you even after walking for just a few hundred yards.  I was trying to increase my pace but due to the heat, I had to slow down so I don't give myself a head rush.

A little over an hour or so later, I finally reach the top and I am greeted with trees offering me that was hard (for me at least)

Henninger Flats Campground
At camp looking down at the entrance of the campground

Further look down at where I climbed to reach the camp
A short walk to the upper camp sites, I find my two buddies who had already hiked to Idlehour and back and are now just relaxing.  After relaxing for a bit, we enjoyed a leisurely dinner cook on our alcohol and esbit stoves.

My DIY caldera style cone w/ my DIY Fosters Ridgeline Pot
My friends Trail Designs Caldera w/ esbit Gram Cracker Stove
My other friends DIY caldera cone w/ tea light alcohol stove
The real reason why I wanted to do this trip was because of the people who were on this hike.  The guys on this hike are Ultralight backpackers and joining them on a trip has always been beneficial for me since I am still in the process of lightening up my gear.  

For this trip, my total pack weight was right at 10 lbs. (including food & water) - great right?  The two guys on this trip had a 5 lb total pack load each!  That's Super Ultralight!

Seeing this first-hand was worth the walk under the's like meeting your favorite singer or actor/actress and getting the chance to spend time with them.  I just couldn't pass up the chance to not see the gear they brought and pick their brains and really learn from them.

After having our dinner, we all just gathered by the benches over looking the city and discussed various things...I'm sure we answered and figured out the "Meaning of Life" a few times and also solved many of the worlds problems.

Photo credit: Don A.
I have to say, compared to my other nights backpacking, this was the first time I slept for 5 hours straight without getting up in the middle of the night.  I had a good night's sleep, perhaps, due to how tired I was.  

MLD bug bivy, polycro groundsheet, zlite pad, down bag
Golite poncho tarp, down quilt, torso length prolite pad, tyvek groundsheet
My tarp setup...
After having our hot drinks and breakfast, we all made quick work of the trail and said our "goodbye's"...till the next time. 

Sunrise at 6:30AM...what a view.