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1st BIBE trip. 1st solo trip. Need suggestions

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Offline atlpaul

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1st BIBE trip. 1st solo trip. Need suggestions
« on: February 10, 2012, 04:42:25 PM »
I'm a NOLS grad with experience hiking in the Gila Wilderness. Never been to BIBE and never been on a trip alone. Don't get out very often anymore either. Once every 2 or 3 years for maybe a 5 day trip, usually in the Gila.

I'm going to Big Bend for  Mon - Fri trip a week from now, flying in and out of Austin.

Suggestions for a trip of this duration given my situation? Is Outer Mountain Loop the consensus? Any good lowland desert loops as well?

Looking for beauty and solitude of course. And making it out alive.

Thanks
Paul

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Offline steelfrog

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Re: 1st BIBE trip. 1st solo trip. Need suggestions
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2012, 05:12:38 PM »
Bring a machete

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Offline Lance

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Re: 1st BIBE trip. 1st solo trip. Need suggestions
« Reply #2 on: February 10, 2012, 05:39:30 PM »
I'm a NOLS grad with experience hiking in the Gila Wilderness. Never been to BIBE and never been on a trip alone. Don't get out very often anymore either. Once every 2 or 3 years for maybe a 5 day trip, usually in the Gila.

I'm going to Big Bend for  Mon - Fri trip a week from now, flying in and out of Austin.

Suggestions for a trip of this duration given my situation? Is Outer Mountain Loop the consensus? Any good lowland desert loops as well?

Looking for beauty and solitude of course. And making it out alive.

Thanks
Paul

I don't know if the OML is the consensus, but it's a great way to see a lot of different environments in the park from the High Chisos to the Sierra Quemada.  I've soloed it before and you'll definitely find beauty and solitude.  You don't need a machete :)

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Offline steelfrog

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Re: 1st BIBE trip. 1st solo trip. Need suggestions
« Reply #3 on: February 10, 2012, 05:49:52 PM »
BRING A MACHETE!

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Offline Cookie

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Re: 1st BIBE trip. 1st solo trip. Need suggestions
« Reply #4 on: February 10, 2012, 08:08:01 PM »
BRING A MACHETE!

Is that for the cat claw or the cat's claw?? :icon_eek:

~Cookie

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Offline badknees

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Re: 1st BIBE trip. 1st solo trip. Need suggestions
« Reply #5 on: February 10, 2012, 08:11:46 PM »
BRING A MACHETE!

The guy is asking some questions. Show a little bit of intelligence if you have the capability. If that's the best you have to offer why bother to post?
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

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Offline Geezer

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Re: 1st BIBE trip. 1st solo trip. Need suggestions
« Reply #6 on: February 10, 2012, 08:35:05 PM »
I guess Steelfrog's "machete" business has to do with the recent lion attack where being stuck with a knife was apparently what ran the cat off.

Outer Mountain Loop is one of the classics of BBNP. I've never done the whole loop but there are a zillion trip reports about it on this site. have spent quite a bit of time on the Dodson Trail, which runs from Juniper Canyon Trailhead to Wilson Ranch house. It is spectacular! I suppose you've looked at the recent spring reports on this site. There's a reliable spring where the Fresno drainage crosses Dodson Trail. Would be a chance to cut down on the water you're hauling. Of course you should verify that before you hit the trail. Hope you have fun!

Geezer


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Offline badknees

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Re: 1st BIBE trip. 1st solo trip. Need suggestions
« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2012, 09:27:36 PM »
I'm a NOLS grad with experience hiking in the Gila Wilderness. Never been to BIBE and never been on a trip alone. Don't get out very often anymore either. Once every 2 or 3 years for maybe a 5 day trip, usually in the Gila.

I'm going to Big Bend for  Mon - Fri trip a week from now, flying in and out of Austin.

Suggestions for a trip of this duration given my situation? Is Outer Mountain Loop the consensus? Any good lowland desert loops as well?

Looking for beauty and solitude of course. And making it out alive.

Thanks
Paul

Is that 5 days total including the travel time to and from Austin, or 5 days actually in Big Bend? Be aware that Austin is about 7 hrs by road to the park.
Not all those who wander are lost.
J.R.R. Tolkien

Through the Mirror
http://mirrormagic.com

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Offline sleepy

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Re: 1st BIBE trip. 1st solo trip. Need suggestions
« Reply #8 on: February 10, 2012, 09:45:22 PM »
If you do OML, stash water at Homer Wilson (easy) and/or Juniper Canyon trailhead (high clearance).  Cut down on water weight.  But you probably know that. 

For an overnight desert loop, Marufa Vega is the ticket. It's more a lollipop really. Solitude and views.  A trickier trail than OLM.

Badlands experience on the Banta Shut in.

If you use your brains, no machete necessary.
Have fun.
It's never too late to be what you might have been-Geroge Elliot

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Offline Homer67

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Re: 1st BIBE trip. 1st solo trip. Need suggestions
« Reply #9 on: February 11, 2012, 10:58:19 AM »
The OML is pretty sweet. 

We started at the Dodson/Juniper Canyon trailhead (Nov 2011) so that we would have to make only one cache below the Homer Wilson Overlook.  We wanted to avoid the Basin, so we went around the South Rim and out Boot Canyon/Juniper Canyon back to the truck. 

It was the best hike we have done so far in Big Bend!

Here is a link to my trip report, if you are interested:
http://www.bigbendchat.com/portal/forum/your-trip-reports/doing-it/
« Last Edit: February 11, 2012, 12:13:10 PM by Homer67 »
Ah Big Bend, we will soon return to reacquaint ourselves in our ritual of blood, exhaustion and dehydration. How can we resist the temptation to strip ourselves of the maladies of civilization?

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Offline sleepy

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Re: 1st BIBE trip. 1st solo trip. Need suggestions
« Reply #10 on: February 11, 2012, 11:19:28 AM »
The OML is pretty sweet. 

We started at the Dodson/Juniper Canyon trailhead (Nov 2011) so that we would have to make only one cache below the Homer Wilson Overlook.  We wanted to avoid the Basin, so we went around the South Rim and out Boot Canyon/Juniper Canyon back to the truck. 

It was the best hike we have done so far in Big Bend!
You will have to bypass a big chunk of the S. Rim now.  Seasonal closure for peregrine falcon.
http://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/bc_camping-closures.htm

If you follow Homer67's itinerary, you can take Boot Canyon (which is beautiful) and catch Juniper Canyon Junction trail to Dodson.
It's never too late to be what you might have been-Geroge Elliot

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Offline atlpaul

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Re: 1st BIBE trip. 1st solo trip. Need suggestions
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2012, 02:05:47 PM »
Thanks for the ideas everyone! After I first posted I began to think I may go into the desert instead of the mountains so that I can camp freely instead of at established sites only, and also maybe a bit safer in terms of falls and animals. But everyone's good reviews of the OML have me reconsidering. To be clear, my schedule is Monday drive from austin to big bend. Maybe time for short hike monday afternoon and set camp. Hike tues, wed, thurs, and on Friday back to the car and drive back to austin.

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Offline atlpaul

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Re: 1st BIBE trip. 1st solo trip. Need suggestions
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2012, 02:07:45 PM »
Do you guys download and print topos online? Suggestions?

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Offline Robert

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Re: 1st BIBE trip. 1st solo trip. Need suggestions
« Reply #13 on: February 12, 2012, 02:11:43 PM »
I use MyTopo.com. I've found that the waterproof, folded maps, with shading to be very handy. You can also upload your route and have it printed on the map.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: 1st BIBE trip. 1st solo trip. Need suggestions
« Reply #14 on: February 12, 2012, 03:19:47 PM »
Thanks for the ideas everyone! After I first posted I began to think I may go into the desert instead of the mountains so that I can camp freely instead of at established sites only, and also maybe a bit safer in terms of falls and animals. But everyone's good reviews of the OML have me reconsidering. To be clear, my schedule is Monday drive from austin to big bend. Maybe time for short hike monday afternoon and set camp. Hike tues, wed, thurs, and on Friday back to the car and drive back to austin.

Things have a way of changing by the time you get all the way out there.  It is wise to have two plans just in case the weather or other conditions change.  If it is your first time and you are solo then the OML is probably the best choice both for the full experience of the park and they are the most maintained trails in the park, with at least some water at Fresno and cached at Homer Wilson.  I would definitely spend one night in the Chisos (SW3 or 4) and two down low.

Otherwise Marufo Vega is probably the next best but has no water except from the Rio and is less traveled for a solo hiker. 

There are really no other established trail loops down low, most of us just make them up and maybe combine with some of the established routes but for a first timer I would not suggest such a loop until you get a feel for the lay of the land and it's extremes.

As a solo hiker they will grill the hell out of you and take pictures of you and your foot prints etc. partly to scare the stuff out of you.  Just go along with it.  Here is the solo hiker info:
http://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/bc_solo-hikers.htm
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

 


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