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  1. #1
    BLA's Avatar
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    Pacific coast trip in November

    Flying into Seattle on November 5th, and driving back to the Deep South via SoCal, and across through the West.
    I have a chunk of time off which needs taking before the end of 2012. I know November is a pretty rainy time of year up in Washington especially, but the time is now!

    What are your hanging recommendations? We'll drive down the entire PCH, and back up into Nevada. I have no game plan other than stopping where we feel like it. We will hit up several state parks, including Olympic, Yosemite, Death Valley and the Canyon.

    I would love to hear from some experienced residents/visitors, with regards to hanging options and climate advice. I want to ensure I take the right gear and am prepared for good sleeping out there.

    A resist down UQC is calling my name.

    Thanks, Y'all.

  2. #2
    Teegs's Avatar
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    November is pretty wet. Not overly cold (comparatively to other places in the world I guess..) But you will get cold if you don't have proper rain gear, insulation & synthetic or wool clothing.

    Hanging here can be tricky sometimes. A lot of the places I've been, (Leavenworth, North Cascades HWY, Snoqualmie Pass, Olympic Peninsula, Mt. Baker HWY... etc) have very large trees and a lot of undergrowth. I would say 15' straps are a MUST. You also might have to hunt for a spot without undergrowth so you can hang without rubbing on plants.

    Too bad you're not coming up sooner, there's a group hang at the end of September on the coast. And Leavenworth's Oktober fest is in... well... October. Let me tell you, Leavenworth in October/November is B.E.A.U.T.I.F.U.L.

    Cedar bark makes good tinder, even if its slightly damp. You can also dry it with body heat if necessary. Old mans beard is also fairly decent tinder, though it does suck up moisture and will NOT support a flame unless pre-dried over an existing fire or with body warmth. Dry grass on the west side of the mountains will be difficult to find, though on the east you ought to be able to find some with relative ease. If trying to use fall leaves for tinder, don't crumble them up. They just break into really small pieces and didn't take a spark. A match might have gotten them to light, but I only use a ferro-rod.

    You'll want to watch out for stinging nettles, but they're mostly a nuisance. In November they will likely be dying and are a little more difficult to pick out. They grow in damp areas. There's also devils club, which won't kill you but could lodge spines in you that are difficult to remove and are very prone to infection. Again, they'll probably be on their way out too, but the stocks will remain and will have spines too.

    Fall months give people some reprieve from the insects. Mosquitos may still be prevalent depending on how cold the season is.

    Watch for high winds. November can be stormy widow makers are bountiful if not watched. You may have to shelter in something more secure than a tent or hammock if you're caught unawares in the middle of a fall storm.

    If you have a firearm, I'd suggest leaving it out of sight. A lot of the people here no absolutely nothing about firearms and just abide by the sentiment "guns r bad". While that's not necessarily true, people here are afraid of them, and can react in a negative way if confronted by a person carrying a sidearm. I, personally have no qualms with firearms, so long as the owner practices safe gun procedure.

    Um... Hope this helps! If you have more specific questions let me know. There's actually quite a few other people here that likely have knowledge of the area as well.

    Edit: Did I mention it's wet? Make darn sure you have adequate footwear and wool/synthetic socks!!!!
    Last edited by Teegs; 08-30-2012 at 10:57.

  3. #3
    BLA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Teegs View Post
    November is pretty wet. Not overly cold (comparatively to other places in the world I guess..) But you will get cold if you don't have proper rain gear & synthetic clothing.

    Hanging here can be tricky sometimes. A lot of the places I've been, (Leavenworth, North Cascades HWY, Snoqualmie Pass, Olympic Peninsula, Mt. Baker HWY... etc) have very large trees and a lot of undergrowth. I would say 15' straps are a MUST. You also might have to hunt for a spot without undergrowth so you can hang without rubbing on plants.
    Great advice regarding the straps, thanks. I'm going to have a whoopie stash too for some extra footage. Any campsites to recommend, over others? We're very flexible and will go with the flow.

  4. #4
    Teegs's Avatar
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    Campsites depend largely on where you're going to be, and how far you're willing to hike. If you're straight car camping... well I don't like paying to camp so there are a few sites by Mt. Baker, Snoqualmie, and out in Leavenworth I could direct you to. I absolutely HATE camping in state parks, so don't expect much advice from me there.

    I'm probably going to be out in Leavenworth nearly every weekend in Oct., and I'll probably be out SOMEWHERE nearly every weekend in Nov. Especially around the 16th because I usually try to organize some kind of birthday trip.


    Anyways, if you're out on the peninsula I can recommend Rialto beach. It's beautiful out there, and the weather isn't too bad in Oct/Nov if memory serves. It costs a few bucks to camp there and they REQUIRE a bear can. FYI. The camping for Rialto is about 1/4-1/2mile hike along the beach. When the tide is out, it's easy. When it's in, its doable, but tricky. There is a bathroom (read: primitive outhouse, but it is enclosed) near the Hole in the Wall, approx 3/4-1 mile out from the lot. No showers or running water. And you'll have to walk back to the creek 1/4 mile out for fresh water. It's a very nice camping trip if you're willing to walk a bit. I usually try to head out at least once a year.

  5. #5
    BLA's Avatar
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    +10 for Teegs!

    Rialto beach looks stunning, and I think Leavenworth will definitely be on the list after your recommendation. I really appreciate your insight! A quick look on Leavenworth dot org has given me a host of nice looking sites. it looks like a great community too.

    I think we're good on the sock front; I've slowly been building up a stash of gear. Yard sales and thrift stores are a backpacker's friend. I think we will be mostly car camping, but I will persuade my husband to venture out on a 2, maybe 3 nighter if I can. He's liking the idea of sites as opposed to wilderness, and that's cool with me if I can get him out.

    I'm a noob hanger, but he's virgin to the outdoors, period. As an adult, anyway. After a big shift in life perspective, he's now game, and I couldn't be more thrilled. I don't want to dump him into it too quickly! I'm English. I can handle constantly being soggy.
    Oh, and nettle stings are always relieved by dockleaf! :-)

    We don't mind a good walk to a site at all. Easy to mod hiking will be fine by us!

    Thanks for the detail, it's appreciated!
    Beth

  6. #6
    body942's Avatar
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    I know I'm further south, but November down here can be beautiful. Anywhere from Big Sur through northern Santa Barbara county is great that time of year. (All off of Hwy 1 <PCH>) I'm getting anxious just thinking about it! Let me know if anywhere in that span works for your time frame and I can narrow down some locales.
    -Bill

    "...the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog."
    -LTC D. Grossman

  7. #7
    BLA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by body942 View Post
    I know I'm further south, but November down here can be beautiful. Anywhere from Big Sur through northern Santa Barbara county is great that time of year. (All off of Hwy 1 <PCH>) I'm getting anxious just thinking about it! Let me know if anywhere in that span works for your time frame and I can narrow down some locales.
    We'll be driving Big Sur to Santa Barbara in late nov!

  8. #8
    body942's Avatar
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    Barlow Flat camp in Nov 2010:



    Forgive the tents! I really am remembering the smell of the forest there, nothing like it!

    Here is a LINK to a trip report I put together for December last year. There is other hanging along this same trail.
    Last edited by body942; 08-30-2012 at 16:30. Reason: More super great info!
    -Bill

    "...the wolf shows up. Then the entire flock tries desperately to hide behind one lonely sheepdog."
    -LTC D. Grossman

  9. #9
    Teegs's Avatar
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    If you're looking for a good starter backpacking trip I HIGHLY recommend Ross Lake, up on HWY 20. Actually I just got back from a 4 day stint there and it was amazing.

    It's really got the best of all worlds. You can hit the resort and boat into camps, for more of a "car camping" experience. Or you can hike in on the East Bank Trail, which gives you a backpacking experience, where you can hit up a number of sites along the bank. The hike is "mild" by most people's opinion, though the first 7 miles or so can be tiresome for the unprepared/overpacked/outofshape. And finally you can even enter the wilderness zone where camping is up to you. If you're lucky, and have a keen eye you can identify campsites along the way, but they appear to be hidden and can be easily missed! Bugs are pretty bad now, but I suspect later they'll get better.

    The boating option costs a pretty penny unless you can find other people to share the boat with. Also, the sites are first come, first serve, AND you have to hit the Marblemount ranger station along the way to set up an itinerary. Correlating that with the resort for boating out can be tricky~ PLAN AHEAD~ Get there early!!!!

    The pass for the lake is free, and I think bear can rental is too, or if not, its cheap.

  10. #10
    Kapang!'s Avatar
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    Don't forget Redwoods Nat Park. Not to be missed.

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