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  1. #1
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    Shake Down Hike - 16 miles report

    Hey Peeps,

    Just got in from the 16 mile, 2.5 day hike... had a blast and tested every piece of gear including my rain gear. Everything worked out pretty much as planned and I believe I have dialed in all my gear and I am happy with the way things are placed in my pack


    Have to run to go bowling with the family (ie my butt is sitting down and watching from the sidelines today! My dogs are barking).

    Have a ton of video and pics and will begin posting tonight.... here's a teaser until then:




    UPDATED TO THIS THREAD:

    ALL VIDEOS:

    PART 1

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP6ivZVJlao

    PART 2

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hnexfa4Ra-Q

    PART 3

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GcSByUK_gps

    PART 4

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cS7Vj8yi-BI

    Watching it on the high def version 720 really makes a difference in the quality
    Hammock On!

    Raul aka Trail Monkey
    Last edited by Raul Perez; 04-27-2010 at 14:22. Reason: UPDATED FOR ALL VIDEOS IN SUCCESSIVE ORDER!

  2. #2
    Senior Member G.L.P.'s Avatar
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    can't wait to see the video Raul....
    It puts the Underquilt on it's hammock ... It does this whenever it gets cold

  3. #3
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    Day 1 - Picked up my friend Anthony at his house at 6am... was thinking about what kind of trail name to give him.... As soon as I pulled up and realized he wasn't even close to being ready I knew what it was.. CAPTAIN PROCRASTINATION!!!! So we ended up getting on the road at 630am

    Hit the trail at about 830am ready for an 8.1 mile trek to William Brien Shelter. We got up the trail head hill and the Captain began his wayward ways of stalling the action to take his coat off and to catch his breath! HA

    He admitted that he was toying with the idea of calling it quits at that point as he didnt know what he was getting himself into.

    Made it to the top of Bear Mountain and he was in awe of the view. That gave him motivation to keep on trucking.

    A little bit into West Mountain I was talking to him about hiking trying to sound like I know what I'm talking about and bam tripped over some blow down. Felt like an idiot but I played it off well HA

    West Mountain was devilish as always but the views there are even better than Bear Mountain.

    Headed down the south side of the mountain which is incredibly steep (more so than the north side). At the bottom was a dinky bridge where we filled up our water for the West Brien Shelter trek. The Captain decided to catch a few bull frogs. He almost took a spill in the creek a few times.

    Trying to do just chemical I skillfully scooped up the water into my bladder and platypus canteen. Then the Captain stepped in up stream and a cloud dust killed my second attempt to catch any more water. The aquamira drops were easy to use.... though the taste is a bit more "strange" than using the filter. You can get used to it but I do miss the filter taste. For the sake of saving weight I will use the chemical way from now on.

    Crossed over the palisades parkway and couldn't find the trail to Black Mountain.... after about 10 minutes I ran across it hidden in some brush.

    The trail in to Black Mountain is quite nice... Then becomes some of the nastiest rockiest terrain to get to the top. We made it up and you walk the ridgeline with the most spectacular view on your left side. The trail is really close to the drop point and I did feel as if I was going to fall off the mountain. We came across a black snake in the brush next to us but we couldnt get quality video or pictures of it.

    After you get down from Black Mountain you THINK you are close to William Brien Shelter. Please think again.... Thought that place didnt exist at one point. You go over 3-4 large rocky hills for about another mile or so and then the shelter is at the bottom of a huge jagged rocky hill. I believe the trail is meant to maim and kill as many hikers as possible.

    Made the 8.1 mile trail in about 6.5 hours with 3 breaks in between. We were cruising at a good speed. Based on my new work out I was expecting to hit the hills and mountains and feel little exhaustion. That I didnt experience as I was still huffing and puffing all over the place. What I did notice was my recovery time was really fast and I have NO soreness of my quads, hams, or calves. My feet however are a different story. I've been battling athletes foot for about a week and today it has gotten the best of me.

    William Brien Shelter was in shambles when we got there. People before us left cans, papers, and plastic debris everywhere. Other than that it has 4 bunks with one mattress. I hiked out the paper debris.

    The shelter and camp grounds filled up fast with hikers comming in as late as 9pm. One group was very loud and kept me up till about 3am. I mean REALLY Loud.

    My SpinnUL Deluxe Tarp was not as taut as I would have liked it and it got extremely windy. The noise level from the tarp was deafening.... at 12am I tried to re-stake the bad boy to calm the screaming. It helped a little but not much.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    Day 2 - Woke up around 7am and began cooking. Noticed another hammock hanger in the shelter (she strung up her hammock on the rafters really neat idea). But never got a chance to talk to her as we packed out and went to search for water.

    The people camped next to me were very interested in my hammock set up and cook set. Showed them the grand tour and talked the differences in weight and how I got down to what I am now for the trip (25.4 lbs). He instantly noticed my ULA Circuit and I let him grab hold of hit because he said he wanted to really look at is cause he was thinking of converting to a lighter pack and looking at this online.

    Most everyone there had packs that weighed close to 40 lbs or more. Most with external frames.

    Heading to West Mountain Shelter and when we hit the South Side of the mountain we were beggin for death.

    Made it to the shelter at 3pm and the whole shelter site was totally packed out with 22 boy scout troops. And a ton of other hikers were right behind us looking to stay the night. We rushed to claim a spot and I set up my hammock in porch mode.

    The rest of the day we sat at the shelter talking with the boy scout leaders who were interested in our set up and amazed that we were able to pack so light (compared to them). The view from the shelter was so amazing and the weather was unbelievable.

    headed to bed at 930pm and woke up at 12am to a raging storm. I managed to get the SpinnUL tarp taut enough to decrease the volume to very acceptable level. the sound of the rain hitting the tarp was not bad at all. The coverage was very decent but some splash did cover my pack which was directly under my hammock in the middle which means splash did hit my yeti as well. I will finish my DIY project before my next trip (access to the sewing machine is difficult at the moment) and have a weather shield.

  5. #5
    Senior Member babelfish5's Avatar
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    Sounds like an awesome time. Please post pics and videos.
    "Once you start down the Dark Path, forever will it dominate your destiny." - Yoda


    Hungry Hammock Hanger Website

  6. #6
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    Day 3 - packed up and got a chance to use the packa. The arm pit zips are wonderful but make sure they are positioned underneath you.... water was seaping in the zippered area when they were closed because they were positioned on the side of my arms.

    Made it down to the north side of Bear Mountain and the Captain took a spill on some slippery rock and then 100 feet later slammed his big toe on a rock! He was hobbling the last mile.

    I did notice when we got to the car that when I took my packa off my pack was wet all over the outside... was that due to the condensation from the heat I was generating? Anyone have issues with that?

    My shoes (Salomon Quest) performed beautifully especially in the rain. They gripped the wet rocks very well and kept my feet dry unlike my Merrell Outland Mids did.

    The ULA Potty Trowel is a champ at digging holes.... not going into any more details on that

    Black Mamba 3 season and the 3 season yeti were absolute champions the whole trip! got down to 40 degrees and super windy.... stayed so warm I couldnt believe it. Quality stuff.

    ULA Circuit was perfect for the trip and rode well. I'm still a little iffy on the side hip pockets on how they dig in my hips when I'm scrambling over a large rock but by Day 2 I was used to it and not bothered by them as much.

    Aquamira drops... they get the job done. Neither here nor there on them.

    I believe the Captain is hooked and will join me on further trips.

    Video is forth comming. Got a new program to edit the .MOV files my new camera produces. Not extremely happy with the program as it is not user friendly but it uploads the video directly to my youtube page. Upload Process is long and annoying. May take a few days to get all the videos up and online. I'll post them here as they become available.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kP6ivZVJlao

    video part 1.... may be by the day due to the time it takes to process these

  8. #8
    Senior Member Bleemus's Avatar
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    Fantastic Raul. Looks like you have gotten your pack weight down during the last year and are hiking stronger. Your friend looks like he is liking his new hobby as well.

    Cheers!
    Bleemus

    Yes, I sleep in a hammock. Please pass the Grey Poupon.

  9. #9
    all secure in sector 7 Shug's Avatar
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    Nice Raul .... I mean Paul ..... I mean R-r-r-aul. Nice to let new folk like the C'apn see it ain't all that easy........
    Looking forward to eyeballing the gear all strung up ....and to see what is new or left behind.
    Cool.
    Shug
    Whooooo Buddy)))) All Good in the Backwood Hood.

    Shug's YouTube Videos

  10. #10
    Senior Member Raul Perez's Avatar
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    Thanks Bleemus and Shug.... Should have at least 2 more parts up and running by tonight. Started one this morning but ran out of time before I had to go to work. I'm guessing probably going to be 3 parts all together. Got shots of the hammock all set up, the SpinnUL flying in the wind, Porch Mode, and Rain smashing the Tarp and Packa.

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