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Camping The Camping forum is for discussion that relates directly to wilderness camping (commonly referred to as car camping).


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  #1  
Old 06-28-2009, 03:22 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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ContainsImages Four Days in the Olympic National Forest

well, just got back(well, we got back tuesday. i've been busy!) from our summer trip to the coast. It felt great to finally get out, since I've been limited to staying home, thanks to a pregnant wife, but we were determined to go, and chose june instead of our normal August trip, as she's due in mid-july. so this year, we went from june 19th, to the 23rd.

Kalaloch, Washington, located on the coast(about a half hour south of Forks, as a point of reference) on highway 101, really is one of the most special and beautiful places i've ever been to. it's no suprise we make it a point to go every year.



the mouth of Kalaloch creek, as seen from next to the lodge. this spot changes dramatically every year, sometimes it's just a narrow rivulet, other times it's the near-lake we had this year. this year was also a great year for logs:


some years it seems like there's hardly any. this was not one of those years. they make fair firewood(it's the couple hours of labor for a pile of wood for a night or two, or eight bucks per bundle at the lodge for two hour's worth of wood), which, haha, kephart says not to do, unless you're on the coast. he never mentioned the smoke saltwater driftwood gives off, though.

for the first time in years, we arrived and set up during daylight hours. normally we come later in the day, and dark is either setting in, or has set in. the much later days were a nice thing this year.
credit to me, i managed to put up our tent single-handed this year. it's an eight man with gobs of room and a massive awning. the wife, being eight months pregnant, couldn't easily bend over to handle the poles and stakes. this was my first year using coleman's y-stakes, longer versions of the venerable MSR groundhog. i found a terrain type that would actually BEND a y-stake. that's a first for me.



why yes, we ARE blue-tarp campers(those that live in the northwest will get the PEMCO reference).



tarps do take a while to set up, however.

the first night passed without too much trouble, aside from my wife having a hard time getting to sleep(a pregnancy symptom, mainly), and my getting booted out of the tent for a large chunk of the night.

but i was comfortable enough. a mylar blanket and a camping chair were just as comfortable as a bed.

our trip consisted of a lot of day-trips to other beaches, notably beach 4 and ruby beach(really reccomend both!).

beach 4's primary feature is it's tidepools(of which we don't have pictures this year, as our photographer was a bit... indisposed), but we DO have some pictures of the large rock formation next to the pools(the pools require climbing to get to).




beach 4 is also a little breezy. take a sweater.

ruby beach: it's a bit of a hike to get to.
from the trailhead.

but it's absolutely worth it. the whole beach is filled with near-perfect skipping stones, but at the breaking waves is the best spot. the waves knock the stones together and the whole beach rattles.


trying to teach the kids to skip rocks. just plain throwing turned out to be more fun.

it was actually fairly hot that day. a quick soak in the cold creek water and a keffiyeh makes a dandy air-conditioner.


by the way, did i mention my wife's pregnant with our third?
eight months along, actually.


another of the wonderful skipping stones found at ruby beach.

the wave action makes for more than great skippin' rocks.


there are also some really breathtaking rock formations at this end of the world.

other notable features of kalaloch beach and the surrounding areas:

the big cedar tree:

it really is a big arsed tree. this doesn't even begin to really tell its scale, but you get the idea. this was the entire group that went, by the way( i think. with so many it's hard to keep track. and yes, one way or another, i am related to everyone in the picture, in three steps or less.

kalaloch creek(as a fishing spot):


it really is very pretty. go early, take breakfast and a set of waders. the fish are smart. some beautiful trout in the creek though.

kalaloch beach:




it really is most amazing. the erosion is noticable on a yearly basis. we've been waiting for that tree to come down for five or six years, and it gets closer and closer. my money's on it never actually falls, it just comes to a rest on the rock at the bottom of the cavity. and yes, you CAN walk under it. most of the root system is exposed.



lessons affirmed:

section-specific packing is a brilliant idea when you're short on space. i broke down our load into shelter, kitchen, comfort, and personal gear, which went into the car so that shelter came out first, kitchen last. i got this method down to an ART this year.

setup in the daytime is such a treat. i wish it happened more.

cooking breakfast over a campfire is something i wish i did more this year:


cast iron rocks, by the way.

kids and camping are always a great pairing, if you keep the kids interested. my son was a real trooper this trip:


he put in several miles each day, with a pack on his back the whole time.

my daughter handled the trip in admirable fashion as well, though she tired out first.



the camillus US issue pocket knife(no longer made and hard to find on ebay) really is the cat's meow as a general use knife. mine opened cans, bottles, bacon, cut line for tarps, spread peanut butter, and even helped take some of the knots out of the handle of my new walking stick.

lessons learned:

an eight pound splitting maul really is too much axe. there's no real control there. six pounds is so much better. this is the last year we don't bring our own woodcutting equipment.

samuel adams summer ale is my new favorite beer. sam adams light is smooth enough to go down wicked fast when it's cold. some people do not look on drinking a beer while using a urinal as efficient.

the humdinger in hoquiam now takes visa.

lessons remembered:

cedar logs are a joy to split.
tarps take constant attention until they settle down to the right tension.
i have WAY too much fun teaching my nephews and nieces things that their moms might not want them to learn.

equipment reviews:

coleman elite instastart lantern: my inlaws(who we shared our site with) got one of these for this year, as old one turned up missing. i gotta say... not thrilled with it. the brightness seems to have two settings, ark of the covenant and off. the lighting button would be a great thing, if it would light the damn thing before you built up enough propane for a small fuel-air explosion inside the globe. entertaining, but annoying.

coleman fold-n-go stove: we bought one of these for last year, and i was really liking it, but this year was when i got to really stack it up side by side with the two burner coleman propane stove. the foldngo burns hotter, longer, and it's easier to run. while it takes a few minutes to warm up so you can get a lot of control over the heat, it's a great and easy to start stove. none of the icing problems that the traditional coleman stove has, even at full blast.



this year was the field test of my version of moose goo, dubbed affectionately by my wife as 'moose poo'. it's the basic recipe, with four tablespoons of cocoa powder and a tablespoon or two of vanilla added. it really is too tasty for its own good. coconut flour makes a dandy substitute for masa, by the way.


this trip was a great way to get out in the woods, which i won't be able to do until this september, what with baby and all that.

if you're ever on the coast of washington and have the time, hit kalaloch. you won't regret it.
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  #2  
Old 07-12-2009, 03:31 AM
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tonto tonto is offline
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Picture Perfect

Great report! Looks like a great time had by all. Photo #8 of Ruby Beach is post card perfect--might make me consider moving to the west coast before the double story beach houses makes the Outer Banks inaccessible. Congrads on #3 dad, your snooze in the camp chair with the mylar might be the only rest you get for the next few years!!

Last edited by tonto : 07-12-2009 at 03:36 AM.
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  #3  
Old 07-12-2009, 11:11 AM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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hah! tonto, you have no idea how prophetic that is, as my wife seems to have gone into labor today.
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  #4  
Old 07-14-2009, 03:06 PM
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Benwaller Benwaller is offline
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Backpack: Camelbak RimRunner, Osprey Volt 60, Kelty Redwing 50
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Great report! You have a fine sense of humor young man, an essential piece of equipment for the trail ahead.

Rock on!

And congrats to both of you on your new camper.

Ben
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  #5  
Old 07-14-2009, 03:46 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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heh. thanks, ben.

on the new camper: alexander edward. born via emergency c-section(fetal distress) sunday night. 21.5 inches, 10 pounds 5 ounces.

not quite a little camper, but we're happy he's here.
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  #6  
Old 07-15-2009, 08:58 PM
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tonto tonto is offline
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Boy Ya Got To Carry That Weight

GREAT NEWS DSWUURSOO ! Just back from a 41 hr carpentry binge, had to check out what happened. I guess that kid should be able to heft about a 3lb, 2 oz. pack. Congradulations!
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  #7  
Old 07-15-2009, 09:33 PM
© 2006-2016 Practical Backpacking™ / All Rights Reserved
dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tonto
GREAT NEWS DSWUURSOO ! Just back from a 41 hr carpentry binge, had to check out what happened. I guess that kid should be able to heft about a 3lb, 2 oz. pack. Congradulations!

hah, thanks.

my wife laughed when i told her the estimated pack weight. i think though, for the moment, he'll be an ultralighter.
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  #8  
Old 07-16-2009, 08:50 AM
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cknighton cknighton is offline
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I think, for the moment, he'll be adding to your base weight

Congrats to all of you!!
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  #9  
Old 07-16-2009, 09:54 AM
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Haclil Haclil is offline
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What a great whomping-big camping trip! Makes me yearn for the old days of Adirondacks camping and New England, too.

Terrific photos, I hope you don't mind me downloading one or two to meditate on.
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  #10  
Old 07-16-2009, 07:38 PM
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dsuursoo dsuursoo is offline
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Backpack: Mountainsmith Maverick 65
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oh, it was a huge trip... something like 45 people, all told. not something we do every year, but every few years, it's worth it.
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