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oml as preparation!

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Offline championbaum

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Re: oml as preparation!
« Reply #15 on: January 08, 2009, 11:38:13 PM »
ya the water thing isn't a concern for me, i have done the oml twice before and i will start out with a MINIMUM 1.5 gallons (approx 6 liters) and if its a bit hotter i will start with 2 gallons, more than enough for me (i will have a couple gallons cached at the ranch with an extra dinner). this trip i am trying to minimize everything, i am an obsessive compulsive backpacker and hate returning with extra weight so my water consumption is something i am always looking at, and of course i take into acount the weather.

   but i also know that the basics of survival are hydration and core temp so forget about my water load because hydration is my first concern and PLEASE scrutinize my pack weight and spring trip route!!

Mule ears already cut me pretty deep when he mentioned the closed cell sleeping pad!!! i have been thinking about that all day and  trrying to figure out why i carry around 10 oz of sleeping pad i don't need. i rationalize it like this, i will carry less clothes to sleep in because i am better insulated....but i carry a 15 bag! ugh i am lying to myself!!!!!! i need to stop kidding myself. i hope you guys realize i am what i refer to as a borderline minimalist...not quite minimalist but not quite normal either.

another thing i hope you guys consider are my cache points on my spring trip, i think at an easy pace for me they are about 2 days apart apiece, maybe closer but i am going to plan for 2 days apart to force myself to carry 2 days (close to 2 gallons!) of water from each cache point.

also please remember as stated in the first post, my obsession with my pack weight is so i can comfortably carry 2 gallons of water plus 4 lbs of grub aka food.

Be aware that in March the weather can be on extremely different ends of the spectrum.  I was there during spring break last year.  It was about 90 degrees around ernst tinaja, three days later the Chisos got a light snow.  Check the weather and be prepared for anything that time of year.

ya i am familiar with the weather and will keep a very close eye on it as well. i anticipate carring a light base layer, mid top, and my dry duck as a wind/ rain shell, plus pants as an outer layer, as well as 2 pair of smartwool socks, but that is subject to change depending on the weather report. The above clothing is what i recently took into the chisos 3 weekends ago for a three night trip, and last weekend for on an overnight trip, so that may be condensed depending on the weather.

also i will prob save a pound with another sleeping bag, i use a tarp, and no bivy, so i always carry a synthetic fill bag, even in the desert, if i switched to down i could save more weight. what do you guys think....


ps thanks for all the replies, check out my route and cache points and let me know what you guys think!
Having never done the OML, but having hiked from Juniper Canyon down the Dodson to near Elephant Tusk, day hiked for a couple of days and then hiked back to Juniper on the fourth day, 5 liters would be the minimum I'd start with at that trail head.  Probably the same is true for most hikers.  This assumes the first hike the second day is to a spring for more water.  It's hard to be comfortable in the desert unless one has enough water.  It has to be top priority.  Could be just me . . .

Al



word up, i am going to carry more than i forsee consuming, and once again the weather is going to play a part. i ahve been visiting big bend for 2 an three nighters VERY often in the last year so i am confident about my water consumption, but let me make it clear that although my consumption , may be 2 liters a day, i anticipate carrying close to a galllon (4 liters) a day like i always do in big bend.

keep it coming, but check out the route and let me know what you all think!!!!!! and ps i love you guys
« Last Edit: January 08, 2009, 11:42:23 PM by championbaum »

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Offline Burn Ban

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Re: oml as preparation!
« Reply #16 on: January 09, 2009, 12:14:24 AM »
i am down with anyone who breaks out a "word up."

word to your mother, c-baum.

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Offline Al

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Re: oml as preparation!
« Reply #17 on: January 09, 2009, 12:25:37 AM »
I had to look it up:

http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=word%20up

cb, word up, you are good to go.

Al

PS You'll probably be fine with down, synthetic is bullet proof.  Might depend on the size of your tarp, ground cloth and the weather.

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Offline championbaum

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Re: oml as preparation!
« Reply #18 on: January 09, 2009, 09:32:43 AM »
yes i believe "word up" is similar to "i agree and i also see your point fine sir, and aforementioned point is bordering if not completely genius"

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Re: oml as preparation!
« Reply #19 on: January 09, 2009, 11:05:00 AM »
I always prefer the shorter, more malleable, "Word."

Quote
also please remember as stated in the first post, my obsession with my pack weight is so i can comfortably carry 2 gallons of water plus 4 lbs of grub aka food.

If you haven't, check out Backpacking Light. Those guys are obsessed with their obsession of getting their pack weights low. Some content is subscriber-only, but I think it's worth it.

In my experience, I've found I never carry too much clothing (especially layers for chilly nights), usually carry too much food, and the rest is judged on its abilities to be (1) essential or (2) multi-tasking. If it's not either, it's not going, unless ...

... it's a "yeah, I want it" luxury, like a camp chair or an adult beverage.

BTW, if you have any interest in a mind-numbing, detailed discussion of all the gear I carried on a 10-day trip in Yosemite, check out the rambling thread starting here.
Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

"We'll be back, someday soon. We will return, someday, and when we do the gritty
splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

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rauburg

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Re: oml as preparation!
« Reply #20 on: January 09, 2009, 03:54:39 PM »
Championbaum,

I live in Midland. I don't know how long you have lived in Odessa, but it is obvious to me that you are not taking this lightly. I can see that you have a strong appreciation for West Texas weather.

I am impressed at the amount of time and energy that you have spent testing, training, and familiarizing yourself with the area. I can tell that you are approaching this carefully and methodically. Personally, I like your cache plans. I guess you could leave a little extra at each cache point just in case even if you don't pick it up when you stop.

I am looking forward to an amazing trip report from you.

Randy

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Offline championbaum

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Re: oml as preparation!
« Reply #21 on: January 09, 2009, 09:49:45 PM »
Championbaum,

I live in Midland. I don't know how long you have lived in Odessa, but it is obvious to me that you are not taking this lightly. I can see that you have a strong appreciation for West Texas weather.

I am impressed at the amount of time and energy that you have spent testing, training, and familiarizing yourself with the area. I can tell that you are approaching this carefully and methodically. Personally, I like your cache plans. I guess you could leave a little extra at each cache point just in case even if you don't pick it up when you stop.

I am looking forward to an amazing trip report from you.

Randy

wow a midlander, i have lived here most of my life, although i lived in costa mesa california between the ages 14-18, i started backpacking in sequoia and have gotten more and more into it. i am pretty obsessed with gear and spend way too much money on it. when i moved back to texas for school at UTPB in odessa i started going to big bend and thought it was so cool because it was more challenging than what i was used to because of how much water you have to carry.

so i go down there and have stayed on the beaten paths honestly, i test my new gear and usually take a longer trip in sequoia or the pecos mountains a few times a year. but this year i am really motivated to do the trip i always wanted to, because i have been on the south rim so many times, and seeing the river in the distance has always made me want to make the trip, but i have been put off because of how much water i will have to carry, so i am trying to really focus on it and get it done before it gets too hot.

so you being from midland, are you a car camping type of guy or a backpacker or what? i would be more than happy to meet someone with similar interests! i honestly am not too into anything other than canoe trips or backpack trips although i did recently go on a few day hikles that were pretty rewarding i thought. 

if you're ever interested in meeting up some time we are only a few minutes apart!

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Offline championbaum

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Re: oml as preparation!
« Reply #22 on: January 09, 2009, 09:55:20 PM »
I always prefer the shorter, more malleable, "Word."

Quote
also please remember as stated in the first post, my obsession with my pack weight is so i can comfortably carry 2 gallons of water plus 4 lbs of grub aka food.

If you haven't, check out Backpacking Light. Those guys are obsessed with their obsession of getting their pack weights low. Some content is subscriber-only, but I think it's worth it.

In my experience, I've found I never carry too much clothing (especially layers for chilly nights), usually carry too much food, and the rest is judged on its abilities to be (1) essential or (2) multi-tasking. If it's not either, it's not going, unless ...

... it's a "yeah, I want it" luxury, like a camp chair or an adult beverage.

BTW, if you have any interest in a mind-numbing, detailed discussion of all the gear I carried on a 10-day trip in Yosemite, check out the rambling thread starting here.

ya i visit that site pretty frequently, i am a gear nut i guess, so i enjoy it, and yes i am all about mind numbing gear lists so thanks!

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Offline championbaum

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Re: oml as preparation!
« Reply #23 on: January 09, 2009, 10:42:53 PM »
jeff i started reading that thread about your trip, good stuff. i havent finished yet...

the steripen has always looked cool but i have never used it because i was always worried about its durability. i dont use a filter pump because the few times i have they clogged and i could not flush it out too well so i use chloride dioxide tablets or drops, or if i have enough fuel i boil it.

i like golites gear, and have a wisp myself, but honestly rarely use it anymore because my driduck top doubles as my windbreaker (driducks are great i think i payed 17 bucks). i actually bought their quilt today

http://www.backcountrygear.com/catalog/bagdetail.cfm?PRODUCTS__ProductID=GO50301

i had used a quilt in the past, but it was one i made from an old bag, and i wasn't too high on the old one but i am going to give this one a try and try to hold on to my prolite 3 pad. this quilt is going to save over a pound and a half from my 15 degree mountain hardware bag, and a about 6 ounces off my summer bag, so we will see. i won't get it before my OML trip so i will have to do a overnight trip to test it out.

I always wanted to try a hammock, but have never. i really like using a tarp, but i have a friend who is fanatical about his tarp.

i also like your idea about a voice recorder, that is pretty cool and now that i intend on documenting my future trips on here that would be a cool way to keep track of everything.


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rauburg

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Re: oml as preparation!
« Reply #24 on: January 09, 2009, 10:57:50 PM »
championbaum.

I used to take my kids to Big Bend or Guadalupe once a year. Our gear was pretty basic and we took one night trips. Those were some great times. My kids are grown and gone now and I miss those days.

I finally decided to get back into hiking and backpacking this past Spring. I started with day hikes out of Dog Canyon and am slowly moving up. Two nighters will probably the limit for me. My gear is far from ultralight but it is light enough for to do two nights out in warm weather. I am planning on finishing up the Guadalupe trails this year. I hope to be doing some trips to BIBE this year if time permits.

My daughter just graduated from UTPB this December and I got my graduate degree there a long time ago, 76 to be exact.

I would be glad to meet for coffee. Are you familiar with Ogi's in Odessa? It is a new restaurant behind Harrigans. It is a family place and my daughter's boyfriend owns it. His Dad is the chef and his mom is the baker. They are from Bulgaria and the food has a European flair, much different than anything else in the basin. The breads and deserts are great. The atmosphere is very relaxing.

Send a PM and we will figure out a time to meet.

Randy
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 11:03:53 PM by rauburg »

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Offline RichardM

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Re: oml as preparation!
« Reply #25 on: January 09, 2009, 11:02:43 PM »
My daughter just graduated from UTPB this December and I got my graduate degree there a long time ago, 76 to be exact.
Would that be graduating in 1976 or 76 years ago? :icon_eek:

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rauburg

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Re: oml as preparation!
« Reply #26 on: January 09, 2009, 11:11:41 PM »
1976. I think that was the second graduating class of that fine institution, maybe the third.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: oml as preparation!
« Reply #27 on: January 12, 2009, 08:15:41 AM »
http://i42.photobucket.com/albums/e339/championbaum/route0001.jpg

here is a link to my topo with my proposed route in yellow, i have 3 cache spots marked in red, the whole trip is around 45 miles give or take a few. i chose that path because there are several land marks i can identify, and i want to check out the springs through the chimneys.

Hey mule ears, did you adjust for declination on your compass on your trips? i never have but this is the first real extensive backcountry trip where i will be off established trails and i want to make sure i am not going to far out of the way intended. 

CB this looks like a great route and with the resupply points you should be able to easily carry a light pack. I assume one day from the Basin to Homer Wilson unless you plan to spend a night in Laguna Meadows, at any rate you could leave out of the Basin with only 5 liters or so to get you to the Homer Wilson cache.

Then I assume a day to somewhere around Mule Ears? There could be water on the Smoky creek trail in TWWG's "black rock canyon" section and Mule Ears spring for sure. 3rd day past your cache at the Mule Ears overlook and out towards Bee Mtn? 4th day to your cache at Chimneys west and beyond?. The long waterless stretch will be from there to Santa Elena, two days? It will also be the hottest part too. The only route change I would maybe make is instead of back tracking up the Chimneys trail after your cache I would just jump down into the Alamo creek wash and head down it past Willow Mtn. unless there is something you want to check out down that other wash.

I do set the declination on my compass but the beauty of that side of the park is that you can almost always see every landmark you want. But do set it and check your direction if you feel the need.

To me the only slightly tricky section is from Mule Ears overlook road to Chimneys trail going down Blue Creek and then jumping out to go north of Bee Mtn. but in general you are heading down wash the whole trip which is much easier route finding than going up wash and trying to decide which one is the main drainage.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline mule ears

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Re: oml as preparation!
« Reply #28 on: January 12, 2009, 08:24:34 AM »
i wasn't really aware that march was the driest part of the year, i was really hoping to wait for a good rain and then set out, if that is the case it isn't a problem for me to do the trip earlier or later because i am only a few hours away from the park. but there hasn't been much rain here or there recently. another reason i wanted to wait for a rain is because it gets so green, and i would really like some good photos! i also want to set out early enough that it isn't to terribly hot, but we will see.

Here are the weather averages for the March (at PJ) which is pretty good for planning trips in the higher lower desert or Sierra Quemada:
Month Average Max. Temp (F) 77.4
Average Min. Temp (F) 45.3
Monthly Precip. Average (inches) .31

Quote
Be aware that in March the weather can be on extremely different ends of the spectrum. I was there during spring break last year. It was about 90 degrees around ernst tinaja, three days later the Chisos got a light snow.  Check the weather and be prepared for anything that time of year.

I have experienced the same in March so be ready.

Mule ears already cut me pretty deep when he mentioned the closed cell sleeping pad!!! i have been thinking about that all day and trying to figure out why i carry around 10 oz of sleeping pad i don't need. i rationalize it like this, i will carry less clothes to sleep in because i am better insulated....but i carry a 15 bag! ugh i am lying to myself!!!!!! i need to stop kidding myself. i hope you guys realize i am what i refer to as a borderline minimalist...not quite minimalist but not quite normal either.


I didn't mean to give you a complex :icon_wink:
The soon to be released Thermarest Prolite short (36") might be just the answer for you, see the discussion here:
 http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/general-outdoor-stuff-camping-equipment/maybe-the-perfect-lightweight-sleeping-pad-set-up-t7234.0.html 

I agree completely with jeffblaylock that your idea of comfort is what is important, not ours. I find that a minimalist pack allows me to walk and explore more but part of that for me is also sleeping well so now I am carrying two pads and the chair as my "luxury" items.

I have never used a quilt but I think that Golite model looks like a good one for the money and it will certainly be warm enough for warm weather. I do wonder about things wanting to crawl up under it with you at night  :icon_eek:

As to water planning there was a good discussion of it here:
http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/hiking-the-mountains/realistic-water-needs-backpacking-chisos-t5594.0.html

« Last Edit: January 12, 2009, 08:49:49 AM by mule ears »
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline championbaum

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Re: oml as preparation!
« Reply #29 on: January 12, 2009, 11:09:56 AM »
yes i could take a straight shot west to santa elena from mule ears, and i may, or change the route to see tuff canyon, but i wanted to check out some of the springs in th echimneys. any of those routes would provide good cache spots still so i have time, and am checking out my topos and google earth every night. from mule ears to santa elena i am not really planning on following a wash and would like to travel an east to west route, so we will see how that goes.

I am still making some weight cuts, and will post my revised list that i will be testing, on the OML this weekend, sometime this week.

 


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