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  1. #1
    agent00111's Avatar
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    Treeless in San Diego

    A slightly overdue trip report from last weekend. I made it out to Cuyamaca area in East San Diego last Sunday over the labor day weekend. I haven't been in the area since I was a kid, so I wasn't sure about the live tree population since the area has had it's share of wildfires.

    I decided to stay at the Paso Picacho camp site for the afternoon, then hike up to Cuyamaca Peak on Monday. Unfortunately, the camp site doesn't allow hammocking to trees. Ground conditions not looking promising with fire ant hills abounding. Thankfully, I had two Kelty aluminum tarp poles in my Jeep and that was just the trick.


    I took a short tow saver strap and put the pole ends into one end, and larks-headed my tree savers to that, then wrapped an end around a sunken boundary pole with a dutch clip. I connected my tarp first to the top of the two poles on one end, and then the other end to the Jeep rack, just to put some tension on the poles to keep them from flopping over. Then I set up my hammock underneath that before taking my tarp out of the snake skins.





    I was pleasantly surprised that it all worked out. Just a small bit of deflection on the aluminum poles, and even that was correctible by adjusting the angles a bit.

    I really don't know what the weight limit would be with this set up. It was very stable for me at 175 lbs, but I don't know how it would be with more load. My biggest worry was if tow strap would rip open where I put the pole tips in.

    The best part about the set up was that the two poles and the straps fit underneath my 2nd row seat in my Jeep: the poles are shock corded and separate into thirds, and the tow saver strap folds up nicely.




    One of my best nights of camp-sleep ever. I think I was out at just after 8a, and got up at 6a the next morning to break down and get on the trail.

    Warbonnet superfly tarp is simply great. I set up right behind a tree, so most of the camp site just saw my jeep:





    Ended up hiking up to Cuyamaca Peak the next morning, then down a separate trail to make a 12mi loop.

    Here's the view from the top:


    Found this pretty decent place to hammock for the next time I'm up here:





    Things that just work really well this trip:

    mesh tarp sleeves from Mountaingoat Gear (these are so arr-some!)
    All things Dutchgear: dutch clips, tarp flyz and stingerz, whoopie hooks
    All things Warbonnet: Multicam 1.7 DL WBBB, camo superfly, TQ/UQ
    MSR Mini Groundhog stakes: Love these stakes. I take the reflective pull loops off of the stakes and tie them to my tarp guy lines so I don't trip over them at night.
    Zelph venom super stove (and I also use Smokeeater908 mini-heet)
    Reflectix. I keep a roll in my jeep, and always find a new use for the stuff.
    Zing-it line. I keep extra in my jeep and in my wilderness pack.
    Diaztools Rana Knife: just a great blade and easy on the weight.
    Kelty Tarp Poles: Heavy duty, adjustable height, and fold into thirds. I just wish they were a more subdued color than anodized orange. Kinda stick out.


    Other notes:
    I need to demag my Rana knife: I spent a few minutes scratching my head at some odd bearings from my compass, only to find out that the necker knife was throwing off my reading...dooh!

  2. #2
    Trail Runner's Avatar
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    Good report & good pics! Thanks for sharing.

    Quote Originally Posted by agent00111 View Post
    Other notes:
    I need to demag my Rana knife: I spent a few minutes scratching my head at some odd bearings from my compass, only to find out that the necker knife was throwing off my reading...dooh!
    You're not the first to suffer this fate. I'm so used to wearing a neck knife I forgot I was wearing it when I had my compass problems. I didn't realize until later when I needed to use the knife that it was the cause. The only time in my life that I was absolutely certain my compass was wrong.

  3. #3
    chapmage's Avatar
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    Beautiful pictures, thanks for sharing

  4. #4

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    Paso Picacho, is that the one that's right across the road from the Stonewall Peak trail? I use to go there all the time when I lived in San Diego. How's it look now that it's been about 9 years since the Cedar Fire? When we moved away there was nothing but burnt pine trees and scarred oak trees.

    I use to love that area. It's right at the transition of chaparral to oaks to pines. Depending on where you hike you could experience all three in one day.

  5. #5
    agent00111's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GregB View Post
    Paso Picacho, is that the one that's right across the road from the Stonewall Peak trail? I use to go there all the time when I lived in San Diego. How's it look now that it's been about 9 years since the Cedar Fire? When we moved away there was nothing but burnt pine trees and scarred oak trees.

    I use to love that area. It's right at the transition of chaparral to oaks to pines. Depending on where you hike you could experience all three in one day.
    Yup, Stonewall is due east of the Paso Picacho picnic area, and NE of the campsites.

    Here are some pics of the area. I took Lookout Rd to Cuyamaca Peak, then on the way down, Burnt Pine to Fern Fire Road. Some good growth coming back to the area. Chapparel off of Burnt Pine is pretty solid, some areas I was walking through high chapparel walls.

    Makes me wonder which came first, the Cedar fire or the trail names and fire roads?

    Lookout Rd to Burnt Pine:



    From Fern Fire Road:

  6. #6

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    Yeah, that's how I remember it after the fire. That fire was one of the reasons we moved to northern California. Every place we went hiking and camping was nothing more than a stand of burnt trees.

    Have you tried the Airplane Monument trail? That has some great views as well.

  7. #7
    g2outdoors's Avatar
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    Great TR. Thanks for posting.

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