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!

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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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PCT Thru Hike Throw Back: Hot springs, Fresh Fruit, and Friendships

CD’s trail journals are interesting. They read like bullet points in places. Many days have similar themes. These include food, water, dust, heat, sleeping, walking, and people.

Meadow track to Warner Springs. #PCT

From what I can gather, Warner Springs offered an introduction to the thru hiking community. He left town with a group of 15 or so hikers and they stayed together through a hot springs North of Lost Valley Road, I think.

Looks like Truffula Trees. #PCT
Hot Springs North of Warner Springs. #PCT
#PCT

They rinsed clothes and soaked their aching joints. Local characters were gathered there as well. There was a local stripper and a guy that carried his pipe, which he preferred to light with a magnifying glass, on a string around his neck.

CD and the pipe guy went to town for provisions and returned with fresh fruit for everyone. Watermelon was a big hit. Apparently, watermelon is not a common trail provision.

Phlox in the burn. #PCT

I have had only one experience on the PCT in southern California. CD and I were driving from Palm Dessert to San Diego. As we approached the PCT, I could feel CD’s excitement. I could tell that he really wanted to be a trail angel for someone.

We rolled over a hill in our Honda Civic hatchback and saw two hikers waiting for a ride to town. CD pulled over before he could even tell me his plan. Next thing you know, the two hikers, their packs, and CD were falling out of view as I stood on the edge of the road. It was me, tumbleweed, and the hundreds of rattlesnakes that obviously lived there.

I felt and looked out of place in clean clothes, sandals, and with my purse over my shoulder. Another set of hikers showed up from the South. They stopped to chat. They had met on the trail in 2004, did not complete their hikes that year, but went on to get married. They were on the trail again, hoping to complete it this time. I was new to the secret code of “trail names” but we were able to figure out that they had been on the trail with CD in 2004. They had crossed paths in approximately the same section of the trail that we were on then. I thought of this today as I read their names in CD’s trail journal.

A short time later, they got picked up by a passing car. I reached back to the old fashioned communication means of my youth and asked the hikers to send CD my way if they happened to see him hanging around town. I stood there, without a cell signal, waiting for CD.

More than an hour later he came back for me. It was fine. I was fine but I like to remind how about how he deserted me on the edge of the road during a hot day in the desert and didn’t pick me up until dusk.

This came out beautifully by accident. I love the frame of the moon. #PCT

Pacific Crest Trail Kick Off: Thru Hike Throwback

I met CD in 2006. He thru hiked the PCT in 2004. His first day on the trail was April 28. I remember it because it also happens to be my birthday. At this point, I advocate celebrating the anniversary of his first day on the PCT along with my birthday.

He kept a trail journal and has offered it to me. This is just the beginning.

#pct #pacificcresttrail

I know very little about his time on the PCT. He has told me that the first few weeks were a time of transition and learning. He went from hiking with a friend to hiking alone. He re-organized his pack and overhauled his food plan.

He told me that prior to being on the trail, he imagined walking and walking just to see what was over the next hill. He underestimated the people and relationships that make up the trail.

Walking over 2500 miles by yourself in order to better appreciate human relationships seems counter-intuitive. It is also an interesting topic in light of the past 6 weeks of physical distancing in the face of pandemic.

CD tells me that he experienced his first trail magic just a few days into his hike.

#pct #pacificcresttrail

He states: I was hiking through the hundred-plus degree desert sun and contemplating how much water I didn’t have. I had been reluctant to hike too far off trail for water and was pretty sure I could make it to the next source.  I laid down on the side of a dirt road, put my feet up on an embankment, and tried to make my own shade.

Despite the heat, a family was settling in for a picnic up the road. Within a short time, the father came up and asked me where I was hiking.  He was quite excited to learn that I was, indeed, on my way to becoming a PCT through-hiker He gave me water, fruit, and Gatorade. It was just the sign that I needed to let me know that I was on the right path.

With this, CD had his first glimpse of how much larger the thru hike was than just the trail alone.

He went on to Warner Springs, feeling lonely but not as thirsty as he may have otherwise been. Fellow hikers offered him a room to share. Being early in the trail, there were more questions than answers. He wondered: How fast should I hike? How long should I rest? How much should I interact with people? What was my larger goal? Was there supposed to be a larger goal?

It sounds like all of these questions were a collective work in progress during the next four months.

So, happy PCT kick-off anniversary CD. Lets walk around the block and see if we find some trail magic. I bet we will.

#pct #pacificcresttrail
#pct #pacificcresttrail