Tips for Handling Mosquitoes While Hiking the PCT.

CD’s trail journal entries become less consistent in Oregon. He documents damp air, cool nights, mosquitoes while hiking, and endless self reflection.

His journal entry from 8/7/04 addresses the mosquitoes three different times in two short paragraphs.

  • As I was alternating between swatting mosquitoes and pumping water today I wondered, “What can’t I just sit on the couch and go use the tap when I want water like most people?”
  • Soon, however, it was back to the woods and endless mosquito-hatchery ponds.
  • Today’s mosquitoes are worse than last night’s but seem to be staying outside (but close).

Tips for handling mosquitoes while hiking.

1. Setting up your Tarptent.

  • Lay down your floor cloth
  • Lay your tent on top of your things
  • Arrange your pack and other belongings on the floor cloth
  • Pull up your tent
  • Climb in quickly
  • Enjoy!
#PCT

2. Cooking dinner.

This may not be the best if bears are a consideration but you pick your poison I guess.

  • Get into your Tarptent
  • Set up your stove and prep your meal in your floor-less tent
  • Quickly move your stove just outside the vestibule, exposing only your hands. Light outside your tent
  • Wait inside the tent
  • Reach out, grab the food and eat

3. Hiking.

  • Expect to be bitten by mosquitoes as soon as exciting your tent
  • Wear your rain jacket for protection
  • Be organized and efficient
  • Start walking
  • Once you hit a good hiking speed, remove your arms from you rain jacket and tie them around your waist
  • Untie your rain jacket and slide it back over your arms and head as you approach water stops or other stops
  • Repeat as often as needed

4. Using your mosquito head net.

5. Embrace at least 20% DEET.

  • Longer hair
  • Thicker hair
  • A longer, thicker beard
#PCT. Notice the hat and the beard.

6. Embrace at least 20% DEET.

You will likely regret it if you don’t have it on hand.

#PCT

The trail through Oregon leads to Mount Hood. CD found himself sleeping close enough to the Timberline Lodge to hear the music and see the lights of two wedding receptions. Such common first-world activities brought forward the surreal reality of having walked there from Mexico.

Was it worth the mosquito bites and endless buzzing? A picture is worth a thousand words.

#PCT
mosquitoes while hiking
#PCT
#PCT

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6 Reasons to Consider a Floor-less Tarp Tent.

  1. If your floor gets dirty or damaged, you just get a new one.

2. It doesn’t weigh much. It is quick and simple.

3. It is easy to dry.

Just hang one edge and let it dry while not worrying about the sides sticking together or it getting bunched up.

4. You sleep with less mosquitoes.

When camping in mosquito dense areas, follow this procedure:

  • Lay down your floor cloth
  • Arrange your pack and other belongings on the floor cloth
  • Lay your tent on top of your things
  • Pull up your tent
  • Climb in quickly
  • Enjoy listening to other backpackers zip and unzip their tents while swatting mosquitoes and swearing

5. When the stars are nice but you think it may rain, you can have it on standby and put it up without rearranging your things.

See mosquito control tent procedure above and follow steps three through five.

6. Rodents can go both out and in. – yes, this is a benefit, please see below.

After a few episodes of rodents running in but not finding a way out, CD learned to prop up the edge with a shoe in order for them to quickly get back out. If you are wondering why this would be a benefit, hikers with traditional tents also had problems with rodents. The difference was that in the case of a traditional tent, the rodents chewed their way in but there wasn’t an easy solution to getting back out.

#PCT
#PCT
#PCT. Drying his sleeping bag while hiking

If you are interested in keeping your food safe from rodents, here is CD’s preferred item. Have fun!

Notice: we use affiliate marketing. If you purchase a product through an associated link, we get a small benefit at no additional cost to you.

10 Clues that your husband may have been a Thru – Hiker.

1. He drinks the dish water from the pot, even when car camping with a potable water source.

#PCT

2. He puts on his “camp socks” for sleeping and insists that everyone in the family do the same.

#PCT

3. He makes a solid argument that floor-less tarp tents keep rodents OUT.

#PCT

4. He wears gators pretty much anytime. He has gators in various styles and heights.

#PCT

5. He doesn’t understand why people exercise. “They should just go outside.”

Notice the switchbacks. #PCT

6. He wears layers all the time, even to go the grocery store. He adds layers and takes off layers constantly.

#PCT

7. He anticipates river crossing, even on day hikes.

8. He keeps his things in tiny bags and boxes.

#PCT Kennedy Meadows

9. He is constantly concerned with pack weight, even on grade school field trips.

#PCT

10. He doesn’t know the day of the week, time of day, or federal holidays but he can tell you how to find the nearest mountain pass.

10 Clues That Your Husband Was A Thru – Hiker.

My husband was a thru-hiker. Here are some of the habits that I assume he picked up on the trail.

Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means that we may get a small commission if you click a link and purchase something that we recommend. Clicking these links will not cost you extra money but will help us grow our website. Thank you for your support!

1. He drinks the dish water from the pot, even when car camping with a potable water source. This is not my favorite.

#PCT

2. He puts on his “camp socks” for sleeping and insists that everyone in the family do the same.

He also has sleeping socks at home as well.

3. He makes a solid argument that floor-less tarp tents are better than traditional tents for avoiding rodents.

He argues that while they may not keep rodents out, a tarp tent at least doesn’t keep rodents in. I can’t really argue with that I guess.

#PCT

4. He can wear gators pretty much anytime and has gators for any occasion.

#PCT

5. He doesn’t understand why people exercise when they should just thru hike.

“They should go outside.”

Notice the switchbacks. #PCT

6. He wears layers all the time, even to go the grocery store.

He adds layers and takes off layers constantly. The sun is shining and a layer comes off. The sun is behind a cloud and a layer goes on. Our kids do this as well and it is exhausting.

#PCT

7. He anticipates river crossing, even on day hikes.

He sometimes crosses rivers that we don’t even need to cross or at least he talks about how to cross rivers that we don’t need to cross.

8. He keeps his things in tiny bags and boxes. Seriously, he has endless tiny bags.

#PCT Kennedy Meadows

9. Pack weight is a constant concern, even on grade school field trips.

#PCT

10. He doesn’t know the day of the week, time of day, or federal holidays but he can tell you how to find the nearest mountain pass.

Thru Hiker For the Win.

To learn more about the PCT and CD’s thru hike, you can check out these links!

https://atomic-temporary-169313545.wpcomstaging.com/2020/05/13/real-life-tips-for-handling-mosquitoes-while-hiking-the-pct/ https://atomic-temporary-169313545.wpcomstaging.com/2020/05/15/10-things-to-pack-for-hiking-the-pct/ https://atomic-temporary-169313545.wpcomstaging.com/2020/05/07/pct-packing-list-throwback-travel-journal/ https://atomic-temporary-169313545.wpcomstaging.com/2020/05/06/pct-southern-california-thru-hike-throwback/ https://atomic-temporary-169313545.wpcomstaging.com/2020/05/05/pct-menu-throwback-thru-hike-edition/
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PCT Thru Hike Throwback: Welcome to the Sierras.

CD was camped with a group of hikers in a burned out area of Sequoia National Forest.

By this time, the rhythm of the trail could be felt. They woke up in the mornings, slow moving, yet excited, hungry and maybe cold and wet. The group scattered during the day as natural differences in pace dictated. Hikers were left to their own thoughts and to hike their own hikes. At night they came back together to swap stories, laughs, and for general camaraderie. Life was good.

Mile 697: Kennedy Meadows General Store.

Packs were re-organized. Heavier clothes, an ice axe, and crampons were added. There was more water, more shade, and breath taking views.

Just outside Kennedy Meadows. CD fell off of the trail after taking this picture – he tore his pack. #PCT

Mile 760.5: Upper Crab Tree Meadows

They moved on to the base of Mt Whitney. CD admitted feeling short o sleep. He wrote: “It’s 9:00 – hiker midnight“. “I can only hope that everyone in the world gets to experience this much magic and beauty every now and again.”

The view from Mt Whitney was worth the day hike for sure!

Atop Whitney. #PCT
Back toward the meadows. #PCT
The other side of Whitney (toward Whitney Portal). #PCT

The descent wasn’t too bad either!

#PCT

CD reflected on the first miles through the Sierras. Here are some of his random thoughts.

  1. The trail may be more of a river or a waterfall due to snow melt. I sometimes call it a “swimming trail”.
  2. Beautiful water sources are less enjoyable when swarmed by mosquitoes.
  3. There aren’t as many rodents above tree – line. I have never appreciated that more.
  4. Creek crossing are great when you don’t consider all of the risks.
  5. I drank water without filtering it. I felt pure and connected to the planet. When I didn’t sick, I felt so alive! (I don’t recommend this, by the way.)
More of the swimming trail.

PCT Thru Hike: Welcome to Kennedy Meadows.

By this time, the rhythm of the trail may be felt. They wake up in the mornings, slow moving, yet excited, hungry, sometimes cold and wet. The group scatters during the day as natural differences in pace dictate. Hikers are left to their own thoughts and to hike their own hikes. At night they come back together to swap stories, laughs, and for general camaraderie. Life is good at Kennedy Meadows.

Mile 697: Kennedy Meadows General Store.

Packs are often re-organized here. Heavier clothes, an ice axe, and crampons may be added. Northbound from here, the trail has more water, more shade, and more breath taking views.

Just outside Kennedy Meadows. CD fell off of the trail after taking this picture – he tore his pack. #PCT

Mile 760.5: Upper Crab Tree Meadows

At the base of Mt. Whitney, CD admits feeling short on sleep.

He wrote: “It’s 9:00 – hiker midnight“. “I can only hope that everyone in the world gets to experience this much magic and beauty every now and again.”

The view from Mt Whitney is worth the day hike for sure!

Atop Whitney. #PCT
Back toward the meadows. #PCT
The other side of Whitney (toward Whitney Portal). #PCT

The descent isn’t too bad either!

PCT Sierras

Here are some quotes from CD’s trail journal.

  1. The trail may be more of a river or a waterfall due to snow melt. I sometimes call it a “swimming trail“.
  2. Beautiful water sources are less enjoyable when swarmed by mosquitoes.
  3. There aren’t as many rodents above tree – line. I have never appreciated that more.
  4. Creek crossing are great when you don’t consider all of the risks.
  5. I drank water without filtering it. I felt pure and connected to the planet. When I didn’t sick, I felt so alive! (I don’t recommend this, by the way.)
More of the swimming trail.

Please check out these other links and posts to learn more.

https://atomic-temporary-169313545.wpcomstaging.com/2020/04/28/pacific-crest-trail-kick-off-thru-hike-throwback/ https://atomic-temporary-169313545.wpcomstaging.com/2020/05/02/hot-springs-fresh-fruit-and-friendships-pct-thru-hike-throwback/ https://atomic-temporary-169313545.wpcomstaging.com/2020/05/05/pct-menu-throwback-thru-hike-edition/ https://atomic-temporary-169313545.wpcomstaging.com/2020/05/06/pct-southern-california-thru-hike-throwback/ https://atomic-temporary-169313545.wpcomstaging.com/2020/05/07/pct-packing-list-throwback-travel-journal/

PCT – Packing List: Throwback Travel Journal

Hikers load up on supplies at Kennedy Meadows to head into the higher mountain passes. Once down the other side, unloading and re-packing again is common. CD was kind enough to record his supply list from his stop at Pooh Corner, Donner Summit, north of Lake Tahoe.

Here is the list!

Backpack: Granite Gear Ozone (please remember this was 2004). It weighed 3 lbs, as compared to the 2 lbs packs that most people carried. The weight was a trade off for having a frame and increased comfort.

Sleeping bag: EMS Mountain Light 20 degree bag, down. 2 lbs.

Bag liner: Coolmax, 9 oz. A 6-7 oz silk liner was more common among the group

Z-rest full length: Most hikers used 3/4 lengths but for the couple of extra ounces CD chose warm and comfortable feet

Evernew Titanium pot, 1.3 L: The trail standard in 2004

Stove

3 pair of socks: CD alternated between 2 different pair of bike socks while hiking and had a separate pair of camp socks. He insists on separate sleeping socks when we camp as well and it really is much better!

Wind shirt: Marmot DriClime

Rain jacket: Marmot PreCip

Convertible pants: Mountain Hardware. CD still has these. The shorts faded so much that when he puts the pieces together it looks like he is wearing shorts over different pants.

Tee shirt: Techwick

Hat: fleece

Gloves

Sunglasses

Sunscreen

AquaMira water treatment

Chapstick

Burt’s Bees Res-Q ointment

Picture of family

Permit

Safety Pins

Needle and thread: He had recently used to fix his pack after he fell off the trail while looking through his camera

Compass: CD said he never used it but felt it was important to have handy

Headlamp

Toothbrush and toothpaste

Spoon and fork: Apparently most people didn’t carry a fork but CD found it helpful for hard ice cream. Was this before the invention of the spork?

Tyvek: ground cloth, 5 oz

Tarp Tent: two person model. Floorless, ~2 lbs.

A Book: People’s History of the US, by Howard Zinn: broken into sections and mailed along in bounce boxes

Teachings of the Buddha, pocket guide

Trail Guide: broken into sections and mailed along but CD wrote that he often ended up with the wrong section. “I accidentally sent the Echo Resort to I-80 section to Pooh corner” … and so on.

Data book: The quick reference guide, broken into sections

Bug repellent. This was a new addition to the pack

Ursack Bear Bag: replaced bear canister at this point and was mainly for keeping out rodents. 9 oz.

Dromlite 6 liter water bag: overkill size wise here but was needed in the desert.

Nalgene: 16 oz. Mostly for dipping water and mixing drinks

Gauze, duct tape, hand trowel (for digging holes to use the restroom), hand sanitizer, ibuprofen.

Camp Sandals: 3 oz


Things that were left or replaced at this point on the trail:

Bear Canister (replaced with Ursack Bear Bag). Chaco sandals (they needed to be re-soled). Heavy long underwear. Ice axe. Crampons.

Hiking Pack List: PCT Northern California.

Hikers load up on supplies at Kennedy Meadows to head into the higher mountain passes. Once down the other side, unloading and re-packing again is common. CD was kind enough to record a hiking pack list from his stop at Pooh Corner, north of Lake Tahoe.

Disclosure: Please note that this post contains affiliate links. This means that we may get a small commission if you click a link and purchase something that we recommend. Clicking these links will not cost you extra money but will help us grow our website. Thank you for your support!

Here is CD’s hiking pack list!

Backpack:

Bag liner: Coolmax, 9 oz. A 6-7 oz silk liner was more common among the 2004 class.

Backpack: Granite Gear Ozone (please remember this was 2004). It weighed 3 lbs, as compared to the 2 lbs packs that most people carried. The weight was a trade off for having a frame and increased comfort.

For Camp:

Tarp Tent: two person model. Floorless, ~2 lbs.

Sleeping bag: EMS Mountain Light 20 degree bag, down. 2 lbs.

Tyvek: ground cloth, 5 oz

Z-rest full length: Most hikers used 3/4 lengths but for the couple of extra ounces CD chose warm and comfortable feet

Headlamp

Cooking and Water:

AquaMira water treatment

Spoon and fork: Apparently most people didn’t carry a fork but CD found it helpful for hard ice cream. Was this before the invention of the spork?

Evernew Titanium pot, 1.3 L: The trail standard in 2004

Stove: homemade pop can stove.

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Clothes:

3 pair of socks: CD alternated between 2 different pair of bike socks while hiking and had a separate pair of camp socks. He insists on separate sleeping socks when we camp as well and it really is much better!

Camp Sandals: 3 oz

Wind shirt: Marmot DriClime

Rain jacket: Marmot PreCip

Convertible pants: Mountain Hardware. CD still has these. The shorts faded so much that when he puts the pieces together it looks like he is wearing shorts over different pants.

Tee shirt: Techwick

Hat: fleece

Gloves

Sunglasses

Miscellaneous Hiking Pack List Items:

Sunscreen

Chapstick

Burt’s Bees<a href="http:// “> Res-Q ointment

Picture of family

Permit

Safety Pins

Needle and thread: He had recently used to fix his pack after he fell off the trail while looking through his camera

Compass: CD said he never used it but felt it was important to have handy

Toothbrush and toothpaste

A Book: People’s History of the US, by Howard Zinn: broken into sections and mailed along in bounce boxes

Teachings of the Buddha, pocket guide

Trail Guide: broken into sections and mailed along but CD wrote that he often ended up with the wrong section. “I accidentally sent the Echo Resort to I-80 section to Pooh corner” … and so on.

Data book: The quick reference guide, broken into sections

Bug repellent. This was a new addition to the pack

Ursack Bear Bag<a href="http:// “>: replaced bear canister at this point and was mainly for keeping out rodents. 9 oz.

Nalgene: 16 oz. Mostly for dipping water and mixing drinks

Dromlite 6 liter water bag<a href="http:// “>: overkill size wise here but was needed in the desert.

H

Hand trowel

Gauze, duct tape, hand sanitizer, ibuprofen.

Things that were left or replaced at this point on the trail and did not make this hiking pack list:

Bear Canister (replaced with Ursack Bear Bag). Chaco sandals (they needed to be re-soled). Heavy long underwear. Ice axe. Crampons.

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PCT – Southern California, Thru Hike Throwback

4/28 was the first day of CD’s hike. On 5/8, he decided that his hike would be continuous and at least 2,653 miles. He took a blue blaze route up San Jacinto Peak. The descent was 5000 ft over 16 miles. He grew tired of hiking in the dark and slept in the middle of the trail before returning to the valley floor.

On 5/9, he arrived at the Pink Hotel. Apparently it was a water-less off grid trailer filled with hikers of all types. CD took a nap, played cards, and appreciated the questionable atmosphere and chose to hit the trail with his group by dinner time.

Pink Motel. #PCT
Leaving the Pink Motel. #PCT

He arrived in Big Bear City a day or so later. Strangers picked him up and shared their style of trail magic, including transportation, dinner, shower, and laundry.

Shortly after, the magic seemed to really take off.

The Saufley’s, Hiker Haven, has become famous but when CD and I met, it was still hidden in the background. It was clearly a highlight for many.

The Saufley’s backyard. #PCT

Amenities included laundry and loaner clothes for while you are doing laundry, phones, informational boards, internet, shared supplies, and designated sleeping spots. Sleeping options included couches, beds, air mattresses, and open space. Everything was organized by using sign up sheets.

At the Saufley Post Office. #PCT

CD and his group borrowed one of the loaner cars and made a trek to town for margaritas and food. He then scored a couch for sleeping among the 31 hikers that slept there that night. There was campfires, storytelling, laughing, and camaraderie.

From there, lunches had 16 people, wind farms filled the desert, running down hills was the newest sport, and water sources were trickling streams.

#PCT
Water source with mosquitoes. #PCT

May 29th brought magic in the form of a family at campground that was also a water source. Cake, fruit, snacks, beer and wine were abundant and everyone was grateful.

May 30th looked different. It was a hot day and the hike was quite exposed. Several rest breaks under Joshua’s trees were generally insufficient and water was scarce. Shortly after CD and his group decided to use a minimal amount of water from a water cache, they stumbled upon a pop-up oasis of sorts. The “Robin Spring Pass Resort” was a hiker’s resort in development.

A friend of a thru-hiker was inspired to offer his own form of trail magic. He set up camp on a section of trail where it was needed. His “resort” had water, shade, sports drinks, sodas, sandwiches, a generator powered freezer full of popsicles, a DVD player with movies, a picnic table, and a library.

A big climb from there and CD had his first real view of the Sierras.

#PCT #pacificcresttrail

PCT Thru Hike – Southern California

4/28/2004 PCT Hike Kick Off

This was CD’s PCT kick off and the first day of a nearly four month hike.

5/8/2004

Today, CD chose to take a side route. Each hiker makes these choice and he decided to take a blue blaze route up San Jacinto Peak. The descent was 5000 ft over 16 miles. He grew tired of hiking in the dark before he could find a spot to camp, however. So slept in the middle of the trail before returning to the valley floor.

5/9/2004

CD arrived at the Pink Hotel. Apparently it was a water-less off grid trailer filled with hikers of all types. He took a nap, played cards, and observed the questionable atmosphere and chose to hit the trail with his group by dinner time.

Pink Motel. #PCT
Leaving the Pink Motel before night fall. #PCT

He arrived in Big Bear City a day or so later. Strangers picked him up and shared their style of trail magic, including transportation, dinner, shower, and laundry.

Shortly after, the trail magic seemed to really take off.

The Saufley’s, Hiker Heaven, has since become so famous that it could no longer continue to function in the same capacity. In 2004, it was a highlight of CD’s hike. In 2020, it is transitioning to an AirBnB model.

The Saufley’s backyard and view. #PCT

Amenities included laundry and loaner clothes for while you are doing laundry, phones, informational boards, internet, shared supplies, and designated sleeping spots. Sleeping options included couches, beds, air mattresses, and open space. Everything was organized by using sign up sheets.

At the Saufley Post Office with the sign up sheet on the right. #PCT

CD and his group borrowed one of the loaner cars and made a trek to town for margaritas and food. He then scored a couch for sleeping among the 31 hikers that slept there that night. There was campfires, storytelling, laughing, and camaraderie.

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From there, lunches had 16 people, wind farms filled the desert, running down hills was the newest sport, and water sources were trickling streams.

#PCT
Water source finally but also with mosquitoes. #PCT

5/29/2004 PCT Hike

May 29th brought magic in the form of a family at campground that was also a water source. Cake, fruit, snacks, beer and wine were abundant and everyone was grateful.

5/30/2004

May 30th looked different, however. It was a hot day and the hike was quite exposed. Several rest breaks under Joshua’s trees were generally insufficient and water was scarce. Shortly after CD and his group decided to use a minimal amount of water from a water cache, they stumbled upon a pop-up oasis of sorts. The “Robin Spring Pass Resort” was a hiker’s resort in development.

A friend of a thru-hiker was inspired to offer his own form of trail magic. He set up camp on a section of trail where it was needed. His “resort” had water, shade, sports drinks, sodas, sandwiches, a generator powered freezer full of popsicles, a DVD player with movies, a picnic table, and a library.

A big climb from there and CD had his first real view of the Sierras.

Desert and hills

Please follow our blog if you are interested in hearing more about CD’s thru hike and our other adventures!

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