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Everything posted by imajeep

  1. I am climbing Mt. Whitney August 1. Training includes Mt. San Antonio (Mt. Baldy, 10,000'), Mt. San Jacinto (10,800'), and San Gorgonio Mountain (11,500'), all in Southern California. Hiking an average of 40 mi/wk to get in shape, with about 5,000' elevation per week, excluding the big training hikes. I'll probably do the Grand Canyon back country once or twice this year. Did I mention that I really like living in California?
  2. Big Agnes makes great, lightweight backpacking tents. I use a two-person tent that I have carried through the Grand Canyon and Yosemite in all four seasons. Easy and fast to set up, and great in rain and snow.
  3. I'll add one more follow up. I exchanged the Osprey bag for an REI house-brand bag that was just the right size for my Kelty 5600. I got a couple of 60' REI pack straps to strap around the bag to secure it to the pack. It all works like a chanp, and I'm ready to go!
  4. I get very tired of crushed Ritz crackers with my summer sausage and cheddar cheese the third day out on a hike. I get even more tired of crushed Oreos for dessert. So, I've been looking around for some solution. Cardboard mailing tubes offer a possibility, but it's hard to find one the right size. This morning, when Ms. Imajeep mentioned having been at The Container Store,a light clicked. If anybody would have what I am looking for, it would be them! Sure enough, they had the perfect item. It's a Desidry StayFresh Food Container, manufactured by The RPI Group of Solon, Ohio. It's a round plastic tube, meant for bulk-storing crackers and cookies. The tube comes in two halves that slide together. They are just large enough to hold a full sleeve of Ritz crackers or Oreo cookies. As you eat creakers and cookies, the tubes collapse down to a smaller size, just large enough to hold what's left. Weight isn't bad; a couple of ounces. There is also a square-tube version sized for saltine crackers. I picked up a couple for a couple of upcoming Grand Canyon hikes--one for Ritz crackers, the other for Oreos.
  5. Aha! I found it! I'm preparing for my trip out to the Grand Canyon (actually two trips--one to do a rim-to-rim, then another to go down Thunder Canyon to Tapeats Creek two weeks later). Anyway, REI carries pack covers made specifically for airline travel. They cost about $30. I got an Osprey Airporter--it says it will hold packs up to 8200 cu. in. I believe it--my Kelty Red Cloud has 5600 Cu. in., and it didn't come close to filling up the pack cover. Zip-up, reasonably sturdy, and it stows in its own pouch to the size of a hardback book. Weight is 13. oz. REI makes a slightly smaller one for about the same price.
  6. Uh, something exactly like that! You know, I was just at REI an hour ago, looking for a pillow sack. How the heck did I miss that? Thanks for spotting it--it looks like I'm off to REI again! Heckuva shame, isn't it? I mean, with the sale going on and everything...
  7. Does anyone make a ditty bag soft enough to use as a pillow? I'm looking for a bag I can stuff my fleece into. At night, I want to use it as a pillow. All of the ditty bags that I've got, and most of the ones that I have seen, are mesh, and that's not the most comfortable stuff in the world to lay your head on at night. Any suggestions? Thanks!
  8. Thanks. I suspect TSA may get rather grumpy when they get the pack, since they reserve the right to rifle through one's things whenever it strikes their fancy. The only luggage locks they don't cut are the ones that can be opened with their skeleton keys. Based on past experience, I wouldn't be surprised to see my pack gutted like a fish from stem to stern, with a sarcastic note from the TSA apologizing for any damage the pack may have suffered while they were cutting away the mummy-wrap. Apologies to any TSA people on this board, but I have had very negative experiences with TSA over the years.
  9. I'm going to be flying out to Arizona for a Grand Canyon rim-to-rim in June, and I'm going to use my backpack as my primary piece of luggage. It's too big to carry on, so I will have to check it. So, here's my question: What do I put around the backpack to protect it during the flight? I'm thinking about a duffel large enough to hold it, but I have seen backpacks in heavy plastic bags. Do the airlines provide these bags? Any general suggestions on how to protect my backpack for check-through? Thanks
  10. Love my Lekis--I've never had a problem with the locking mechanism. They do wear out at some point, but REI sells replacement mechanisms; probably available online, as well.
  11. I did that a few years ago the last week of Sept. Inner canyon temps were 95+ each day we were there. A little warm, but otherwise a great hike. Hike was amazing--100° at Bright Angel, but humidity so low, it wasn't particularly noticeable. I am doing it again June 3. This time, I am going for a steak dinner at Phantom Ranch!
  12. Oops--forgot that I answered this one last year! Well, here are this year's goals: Goal #1: Grand Canyon rim-to-rim. I go in Jun 3 with my brother. His first, my second. Goal #2: Half Dome. This one depends on getting relocated to California, which depends on our house in Chicago getting sold. The Yosemite Association does an overnite hike that gets you on the rock pretty early in the morning, hours before the crowds (and afternoon thunderstorms) arive.
  13. Ms. Imajeep and I get stopped occasionally by law enforcement personnel. Friendly, open, truthful. We don't carry cards of any sort. Explain geocaching to them. Most already know, a few already into it. We've never had a problem, but then, we almost never cache after dark.
  14. Bushwack in, trail walk out. It's the geocacher's way of life.
  15. I am planning a four-day rim-to-rim hike in the Grand Canyon for next spring. I am thinking about carrying some summer sausage for lunches. I haven't carried it on a hike before, but it seems pretty popular on the trail. How well does it keep on the trail? Will it last three days in a backpack? Thanks.
  16. That's tempting--I'm thinking about driving up to Oshkosh for the show--It would be worth a $40 EAA membership (which also gets a $12 discount on show admission) to get the deal. I'm still hesitant on the Spot, though. I love its notification features, but it still seems to fall short of a 406 mHz PLB for emergencies.
  17. My favorites are plain-sight hides. Some of the ones I like the best: -- A 'this fence erected by' sign that flipped down to reveal the 'logbook'. The sign was from a fence company in Kingman, AZ. The fence was in Chicago. After looking for the cache for an hour, I stopped by the fence to think things over. I noticed the sign and wondered what an Arizona fence company was doing putting up fences in Chicago. It was a classic "Wait a minute!" moment. -- A fake electrical plate high up on a children's play structure. It was out of reach of the kiddies, but within easy reach of an adult. You'd never notice it, unless you were looking very carefully. -- A log on the backside of a 5" x 7" magnetic sheet on the back of a pay phone. Looked exactly like a patch job. What they all had in common was that, if you looked carefully, the cache piece was ever-so-slightly out of place.
  18. The Colo may simply be more accurate in its reporting. I've read in a number of places that the theoretical limit to the accuracy of any consumer GPS is about six meters, even with WAAS. My wife's Vista HCx regularly reports 10 ft accuracy, while my 60 CSx shows 18 ft, and we both end up being about the same distance from the cache.
  19. Why in the world would anyone want to place a cache like that? I honestly don't get it.
  20. I had a very difficult time with my first half-dozen caches--I hadn't developed "geo-sense". I think my experience was pretty typical. I'd suggest hooking up with a local geocaching group to do your first few, then take out the grandkids. In fact, for your first few that you plan to do with the grandkids, find them first, before you take the grandkids out, then let them 'find' the caches. Hope that helps!
  21. FWIW, Ms. Imajeep got a Vista HCx in early May with firmware version 2.6 pre-installed. We haven't experienced any of the problems described in this thread. Accuracy is consistently about twenty feet, measured against USGS benchmarks. We do sometimes get a slightly greater inaccuracy against Topo US 2008, or US Nat Parks West, but we are satisfied the inaccuracy is with the maps, not the unit. Accuracy is about the same as my 60 CSx.
  22. I love my 60CSx, and my wife loves her Vista HCx. We get slightly different readings in the field (different chipsets). Sometimes she is more accurate, other times I am. I do have to recalibrate the compass on my unit more than she does.
  23. No specific Jeep trail maps that I am aware of, although Garmin Topo 2008 has some fire roads and the like. or you can route. I tend to find jeep trails in books and on websites. I scan the map (if paper) or copy the web image of the map and import that into Google Earth as a image overlay. It generally takes a bit of stretching to match the overlay to the underlying terrain. But once I've done that, it's fairly easy to draw paths in Google Earth for the trails I am interested in. I save the trails in a KML file, then convert that to a GPX file using GPS Babel. The GPX file can be downloaded to my 60CSx using Garmin MapSource or Easy GPS. The KML paths show up in the GPS file as tracks by default, but GPS Babel has a conversion filter that will convert them to GPX routes.
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