A typical day on the trail

posted Mar 30, 2011, 7:18 PM by Paul Wagner   [ updated Mar 30, 2011, 7:44 PM ]
A recent discussion on the High Sierra Topix page got us thinking...
On a typical day on the trail, P is usually the first one up...about 6:30 or so....just like at home. He gets dressed and goes out of the tent to get the breakfast out and start it cooking. No fire, because we almost never light a fire in the back country, but there is water to boil.  M gets up a bit later, so that by the time she leaves the tent, the breakfast is ready. Oatmeal, hot cocoa, some dried fruit and a bit of coffee for M is how we start the day--often with some walnuts chopped up in the oatmeal.
If she gets an early start, M packs up the sleeping bags, etc. before coming out of the tent.   If not we do that together right after breakfast.  While M puts on her lotions and creams, P packs up the tent, and we both work together pretty efficiently to get packed up for the day's hike.  We do like to get out of camp and on the trail in the morning...allowing us the afternoon to recover and enjoy the next campsite, so we are always on the trail by 8:30 or so, sometimes as much as an hour earlier. One of us always makes sure that our water bottles are full for the day on the trail.

Once on the trail, we'll stop every hour or so for water and/or a snack, and stop for lunch around noon---usually only 30 minutes or so. After lunch we'll just keep hiking until we get to the destination, although some days we've been known to dawdle at a nice lunch stop and fish, rest, and relax before continuing on.

Once we get to camp, usually in mid-afternoont, we set up the tent right away, then take time to fish, bathe, etc.  Maybe we take a nap in the afternoon, or go for short sight-seeing hikes in the area--and we always pump enough water for dinner at that point. Dinner is usually about 6 pm...and then we go for a short day-hike to the top of the nearest hill or peak to see the view. That's a great tradition with us, and many of our favorite photos have been taken at the end of the day like that.  That's a shot near Cinko Lake in the Hoover Wilderness below... We're always back in camp well before dark...and usually with no fire, we just watch the shadows grow deeper, and when it is dark, we get in the tent and into our bags.
M may read for a few minutes by the light of one of our micro-lights, while P often prefers just to lie still and listen to the wilderness.  We're asleep well before ten p.m....and the next thing you know, it's time to get up and do it again again. 

Just thinking about it makes us wish we were hiking right now!