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Camping, backpacking and hiking

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Camping, backpacking and hikingI decided I’m going to expand the range of topics in the blog beyond offroading. I really enjoy wheeling, the whole offroading culture and people I meet on jeep runs who share the same passion. Sometimes however I feel like driving my Jeep some place away from the crowd, far from the city where there’s no cell signal, get out of my vehicle, and enjoy nature more directly.
I’m talking camping, fishing, kayaking, hiking or backpacking. We are really fortunate to have so many beautiful places in Arizona, with forests, lakes and rivers that are worth visiting and truly enjoying. Enjoying responsibly.
Most places are easily accessible by car, but having an offroad-capable vehicle gives us a chance to discover some hidden gems.

We’re lucky because our vehicles can take us to places where others can’t go. We can venture deep into the back country, follow the trail for as long as we want and then set up camp. We can just relax and enjoy the spot, go on a backpacking trip or a day hike.

I’ve always enjoyed camping, backpacking and hiking. The outdoors in general. I recently decided to update my gear, trying to find a balance between good quality ultralight equipment and the price. I have been acquiring new gear over a period of several months and intend to keep doing it into the future. All this gear needs to be tested in the wild, so any chance I get, I head for the back country or at least the desert away from the city.
I am going to post short articles describing the locations I visit and my experience with the gear I selected.

GEAR
I am going to share my thoughts and opinions on all kinds of camping, backpacking and hiking gear I decided to purchase for myself. Some of the categories of gear will include: shelter, sleep systems, backpacks, cooking systems, water storage, water filtration and more.

CAMPGROUNDS
I will be sharing descriptions of the campgrounds I had a chance to visit. I will include directions to the site, description of the campsite and amenities, and include some photos of the site.

HIKING AND BACKPACKING
I will be describing trails I hiked, including directions to the trail head, description of the trail and photos. You really do not have to go far from the Valley of the Sun to find a great hiking trail.

 

July 21, 2017 |

Diamond Rock Campground

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Location: West of Alpine, Arizona.

Elevation: 7,885 feet

Season: May through October

Access: Dirt road

Fee: $14.00 per camp unit per night

Reservations: No reservations. Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Usage: Medium

Days Limit: 14 days

Amenities: 12 single unit sites, tent camping, trailer camping, trailers and motorhomes up to 10 foot, no hookups, picnic tables (at each campsite), rock fire rings, water (large water tank near camp host), vault toilets, pets must be restrained or on a leash, concessionaire operated

Information: Alpine Ranger District, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, (928) 339-5000 or www.fs.usda.gov/asnf

 

Weather for Alpine, AZ
Today 09/20/2017 09/21/2017 09/22/2017 09/23/2017
It is forcast to be Clear at 7:00 PM MST on September 19, 2017
Clear
82°/47°
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 7:00 PM MST on September 20, 2017
Partly Cloudy
84°/50°
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 7:00 PM MST on September 21, 2017
Partly Cloudy
84°/53°
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 7:00 PM MST on September 22, 2017
Partly Cloudy
78°/47°
It is forcast to be Clear at 7:00 PM MST on September 23, 2017
Clear
75°/42°

 

Directions: From Alpine, drive two miles north on US Highway 191 to Forest Road 249 (Three Forks Rd). Turn west and follow this paved forest road 5 miles to Forest Road 276 (graded dirt road). Turn south and follow Forest Road 276 for six miles to the East Fork developed camping area.
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September 3, 2017 |

Hannagan Meadow Campground

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Location: South of Alpine, Arizona.

Elevation: 9,120 feet

Season: May through September

Access: Paved road

Fee: None

Reservations: No reservations. Sites are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Usage: Medium

Days Limit: 14 days

Amenities: 8 single unit sites, trailers and motorhomes up to 16 foot, no hookups, picnic tables (at each campsite), vault toilets, water (potable water hydrants) – might not be available at all times, pets must be restrained or on a leash, campground host available May thru September, lodge and restaurant at nearby Hannagan Meadow

Information: Alpine Ranger District, Apache-Sitgreaves National Forests, (928) 339-5000 or www.fs.usda.gov/asnf

 

Weather for Alpine, AZ
Today 09/20/2017 09/21/2017 09/22/2017 09/23/2017
It is forcast to be Clear at 7:00 PM MST on September 19, 2017
Clear
82°/47°
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 7:00 PM MST on September 20, 2017
Partly Cloudy
84°/50°
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 7:00 PM MST on September 21, 2017
Partly Cloudy
84°/53°
It is forcast to be Partly Cloudy at 7:00 PM MST on September 22, 2017
Partly Cloudy
78°/47°
It is forcast to be Clear at 7:00 PM MST on September 23, 2017
Clear
75°/42°

 

Directions: From Alpine, travel south on U.S. Route 191 for about 22 miles to Hannagan Meadow. The campground is 0.25 miles south of Hannagan Meadow Lodge on the west side of U.S. 191.
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September 3, 2017 |

Portable Water Storage Containers

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Water Storage ContainersIt might sound like a cliche, but water is life. Whether it’s for an emergency kit or a camping trip, having a supply of clean water is most important in any survival situation. As a general rule of thumb, you’ll need about one gallon of water per day, per person (and per pet!) in the event of an emergency. It is a good idea to always store at least one week worth of clean water in case of a disaster. Water sources can become disrupted or contaminated for prolonged periods and you’ll need water for both consumption, cooking, and hygiene purposes. Proper water storage is fairly simple if you have good water storage containers and know how to store them appropriately.
First of all, you need a water storage container that meets a number of safety requirements and viability tests. A container cannot be too heavy when full, needs to be durable, portable, puncture resistant, leak proof and meet food safety requirements. You also may or may not need it to be stackable, or to have a pouring spout or a spigot.
It is not recommended to use metal containers for long term water storage. The safest containers to hold water in are polyethylene-based plastics, or plastics #1, #2, and #4. These types are food-grade, BPA free, excellent for long-term storage and do not leach harmful chemicals into the water leaving a “plastic” taste.

The size of the water container you select depends on your needs. For short term storage you can use small containers (2-10L or in other words less than 3 gallons) and made out of soft collapsible plastic. If you plan to store more water for a longer period of time, you should pick a larger container made out of the most durable hard plastic material.

When you are deciding on water storage for camping or offroading trips, you need to select a container that is large enough to carry plenty of water (there might not be a clean water source the entire trip in some cases) and is durable enough to withstand the abuse in the backcountry.
Carrying a good water filtration system is also a good idea when you’re out in the wild.

Here are some of the options you have when selecting water containers:

 

Collapsible water containers:

    2L Platy Bottle by Platypus
    6L Water Tank by Platypus
    2.6 Gallon Water Cube by GSI Outdoors
    5 Gallon Fold-A-Carrier by Reliance Products
    5 Gallon Collapsible Water Container by Coghlan’s

Hard plastic water containers:

    5 Gallon 5 Gal. Water Bottle by ORE International
    3.5 Gallon Stackable Water Container by WaterBrick
    7 Gallon Aqua-Tainer by Reliance Products
    5 Gallon Jug with Water Carrier by Coleman
    6 Gallon Desert Patrol by Reliance Products
    5 Gallon Rhino-Pak by Reliance Products
    5 Gallon Water Can by Scepter
    5 Gallon SKILCRAFT Water Can by LC Industries
    5 Gallon Military Water Can by Scepter

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August 26, 2017 |

Wind Cave Trail

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Location: Usery Mountain Regional Park

Park Hours: Sun-Thu: 6am – 8pm / Fri-Sat: 6am – 10pm / 365 days a year

Difficulty Rating: Moderate

Route Type: Out & Back

Length: 3.0 miles round trip

Usage: High

Trailhead Elevation: 2,000 ft.

Elevation Gain: 812 ft.

Park Fee: $6.00 per vehicle

Trailhead Amenities: parking, restrooms, vending machines, trail map and information

 

Weather for Mesa, AZ
Today 09/21/2017 09/22/2017 09/23/2017 09/24/2017
It is forcast to be Clear at 7:00 PM MST on September 20, 2017
Clear
98°/71°
It is forcast to be Clear at 7:00 PM MST on September 21, 2017
Clear
97°/68°
It is forcast to be Clear at 7:00 PM MST on September 22, 2017
Clear
88°/63°
It is forcast to be Clear at 7:00 PM MST on September 23, 2017
Clear
87°/62°
It is forcast to be Clear at 7:00 PM MST on September 24, 2017
Clear
88°/62°

 

Directions: From central Phoenix, I-10 east to US 60 east. Exit Ellsworth Road, follow Ellsworth Road/Usery Pass Road north to the Usery Mountain Regional Park entrance.
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July 22, 2017 |
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