Fisherman’s Group Backpacking Mini-Venture

Two weeks ago I decided that I wanted to go camping June 13-15. I just did. So I asked my group of guys who wanted to join me and thankfully three of them did! Our research requirements were: less than three hours drive and by some form of water. Sean proposed four sites to me last Saturday and after narrowing them down, we picked Fisherman’s Group Campground. It was a 2-3 mile hike down into a valley where we would camp by a creek with a fire ring, pit toilets, and bear-proof trash containers. Sounded like the perfect time to try out our new backpacking gear and get away from the crowds, without actually working too hard 🙂

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Friday we headed out about 2pm and drove through terrible LA-region traffic, but got to our dirt road (3N16) about 4pm. We were supposed to drive up it to the “You are here” yellow dot to pick up our trail. But back to the west, where there’s a fork in the red road just beneath Crab Flats Campground, there was a river flowing across the road so we had to park on the side, leaving our reservation confirmation in the dash and hiking the extra mile or so around to the trail head. Once there, we followed the blue dashed line down to Fisherman’s Group Campground. It took us maybe an hour and a half from the car, and we knew it would be mostly downhill which was nice. Upon getting to camp we all split up to set up our tents and throw our gear inside. Then it was dinnertime! We’d decided to just all do our own thing since it was a short trip, but that we’d center around dehydrated meals. I went with a chicken and potatoes meal that was alright. Nothing special as far as backpacking food goes. After a few games by headlamp light, we turned in for the night.

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Saturday we had no real plans, but I wanted to explore a ranger road that came in from the far side of camp. So after a delicious breakfast of scrambled eggs with ham and peppers, I rounded up our troops and we hiked up the trail. It was probably a mile straight up, and full of massive pinecones! You’ll have to check my Facebook page in a few minutes for many more pictures from the trip, including a pinecone the size of my face. Seriously. From the top we could see the surrounding region, over to Lake Arrowhead and down into the San Bernadino valley. We then shuffled back down and hit the creek. After a bit of rock scrambling that reminded me of my childhood, we settled onto rocks and soaked up some sun with our feet in the water to keep cool. Upon returning to camp for lunch, we discovered two groups had moved in while we’d been gone. One site had two couples and their two seven-year-old (ish?) daughters and the other was a father-son pair. After introducing ourselves, Noah and Brayden informed us that we’d done the creek wrong and had missed the best spot for relaxing and swimming. Bummer. We invited them to show us and up the creek we went again.

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It really was pretty up there and if it’d been earlier in the day, we would’ve hung out and swam a bit more in that pool. Next time! Instead it was time for dehydrated salmon and pesto pasta for me. Yum! After dinner, I accepted Brayden’s invitation to learn how to throw knives and am quite pleased to say that while I was terrible, I did manage to get both knives stuck in the tree… one on the first try! Then the guys had to come over and up-stage me with their Eagle Scout skills… but it was still really fun. Games were on deck for that evening’s activities, and we all had a lot of fun playing… I think? We played UNO, Swish!, Gin Rummi, Go Fish, and War before finally turning in for the night. Even after our afternoon reading and nap session, we all were tired and catching up on sleep deficits from the “real world”.

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Sunday morning we got up a little more actively, packed up our gear and headed up to the car. The hike back was warmer, since it was late-morning, and harder as it was nearly all uphill. My physical training from the marathon and my mental training from our backpacking trip two years ago in Colorado kicked in and I was fine! We had been pumping water all weekend from Matt’s filter, which worked great and I was chugging all of it as I walked. I had also brought a bunch of snacks this weekend per my nutritionist’s suggestion. I’m trying to increase my fiber and magnesium this month, so I had Fiber One bars, dried apricots, and dried figs. I’m not in love with the figs but the apricots are pretty delicious! Especially with banana chips 😉

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As far as my new gear went, I LOVE my backpack. It has tons of space, lots of pockets, and fits nicely on my frame. My sleeping bag was too hot for this trip, but squishes down super small and kept me warm for sure. My sleeping pad was alright, it tapers at the bottom to make it smaller and lighter, but I felt like I was going to roll off of it most of the night. I guess it got the job done by giving me a little padding, but I’m not sure it’s perfect. I’ll try to post more accurately what I actually have once I get a free minute to unpack the 30 pounds of gear out of my pack. For now, I’ll leave you with one last shot of me! Happy Monday, y’all 🙂

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1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Raymond Oliver
    Jun 16, 2014 @ 12:44:18

    Sounds like you had a great time. Goopd for you.

    Like

    Reply

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