Skip to Content
Register · Login
About Theme

A Letterboxing Community

Search Edit Search

Read Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors

Sierra club?
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Oct 5, 2016 6:10am
Thread
I am considering joining the Sierra club in hopes to make some hiking friends and start backpacking. I have friends that would go, but toddlers are impeding on this idea at the moment.

I was wondering if it is worth my time/money to join?
Thoughts?

Tia!
Re: Sierra club?
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #935952 by photopam
Oct 5, 2016 6:15am
Thread
Not sure about Sierra Club in my area, but MeetUp has a lot of hiking on it. Unfortunately hardly any hikes within 30 miles of my house, other than urban hikes. Meetup is free.
Re: Sierra club?
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #935952 by photopam
Oct 5, 2016 7:03am
Thread
Is there an REI (Recreational Equipment Inc) store near you? The ones near me in Texas host a large calendar of events - hiking, kayaking, star gazing, etc. Some are free, some have a fee.
Re: Sierra club?
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #935955 by FloridaFour
Oct 5, 2016 10:52am
Thread
Not sure about Sierra Club in my area, but MeetUp has a lot of hiking on it. Unfortunately hardly any hikes within 30 miles of my house, other than urban hikes. Meetup is free.

That's where I found the sierra club. There weren't many other hiking groups there for my area, or they meet on days when I can't.
Re: Sierra club?
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #935958 by PI Joe
Oct 5, 2016 10:55am
Thread
Is there an REI (Recreational Equipment Inc) store near you? The ones near me in Texas host a large calendar of events - hiking, kayaking, star gazing, etc. Some are free, some have a fee.

There is (just opened this spring!), and I have been watching the calendar, but I was hoping to start going hiking more often, and not necessarily with a group every time. I'd just like to make some friends in the area that like to hike here and there so I don't have to go alone all the time.
:)

Where in TX are you? (I'm N TX)
Re: Sierra club?
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #935952 by photopam
Oct 10, 2016 12:02pm
Thread
My experience with the sierra club is that they can be very political.
If you're looking for people to just hike with there can be many other groups out there. Here in my area there are several groups through facebook, meetup and our town rec department has info about the groups that help to maintain local trails. You can look up trail/preserve associations in your area, too.
Re: Sierra club?
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #935975 by photopam
Oct 10, 2016 8:45pm
Thread
You could start your own meetup or ask about a meet on another day for the other groups. There are (or were) message boards.
Re: Sierra club?
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #935952 by photopam
Oct 11, 2016 12:01pm
Thread
When my sister first moved to Folsom, CA she did not know anyone to hike with and she went on a bunch of Sierra Club hikes. She had good experiences with the people there and made friends who shared her love of photography. Now they do their own hikes specifically to take photos.

Amanda from Seattle
Re: Sierra club?
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #936242 by koalacat
Oct 11, 2016 12:07pm
Thread
Also, since I am currently hiking the Camino in Spain, there are Camino groups all over the country. The one in Seattle does a " walk" / hike the second Sunday every month. You might look into the groups in ?Texas and see if they do any get together so or hikes. Some might have a more religious bent than others, but it is another resource to meet people who are into hiking.
http://www.americanpilgrims.org/local-chapters
Amanda from Seattle.
Re: Sierra club?
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #936286 by Amanda from Seattle
Oct 24, 2016 4:31am
Thread
She had good experiences with people there and made friends who shared her love of photography.

I need to meet your sister. ;)

This is what I am hoping to find. Thanks. Looks like it might be worth a try!
American Discovery Trail
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Sep 5, 2017 6:24pm
Thread
Anyone ever hiked the American Discovery Trail? Or know anyone who has? Or has at least heard of the ADT?

I walk a section of the trail in Colorado nearly everyday and have never encountered a thru-hiker...
Re: American Discovery Trail
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #950957 by Johnsosaurus
Sep 5, 2017 7:57pm
Thread
I've at least heard of it. It is one of several long-distance hiking trails that cross the country. The big four are the Appalachian Trail, the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the North Country Trail. There are also long trails in Wisconsin (Ice Age Trail?), Vermont (Long Trail) and Arizona.

So much to do and see, so little time and money!
Re: American Discovery Trail
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #950957 by Johnsosaurus
Sep 29, 2017 11:32pm
Thread
I walk a section of the trail in Colorado nearly everyday and have never encountered a thru-hiker...

There aren't very many of them. That ADT is so long, I'm not even sure that most people who complete it do it on foot or in a single year. If I remember correctly, it's also a bike route--which might make it more practical for bikers rather than hikers given its size. And people who are on foot and want to do the entire thing might have to break it into multiple years. And it's not considered "completed" and has very little press.

So... it might be awhile before you ever see a thru-hiker on that particular trail! It's been done, but I think mostly just by people trying to make a name for themselves.

-- Ryan
Re: American Discovery Trail
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #950957 by Johnsosaurus
Sep 30, 2017 5:17am
Thread
I've set foot on it a couple of times while hunting down the elusive LB in Ohio. It goes through a couple of state parks--Hueston Woods and Governer Bebb. I enjoyed the book Life on Foot by Nate Damm, an account of his thru hike. Much of the trail is on the side of a road/highway like US 50 thru Nevada, but mostly he meets a lot of interesting characters.
Camping chair
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Jul 27, 2018 5:14am
Thread
Can anyone recommend a lightweight camping chair? I’m hoping for the ease of setting up like the Walmart kind. With the less weight of the fancy hiking chairs. For reference, I’m looking at the Helinox sunset chair, but would rather have a version that pops open and close.
Re: Camping chair
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #963035 by windsurfgator
Jul 27, 2018 5:00pm
Thread
I have a couple of these from REI:
https://www.rei.com/product/877258/rei-co-op-flexlite-chair

Not pop ups, but they do set up quickly. All the legs are attached with elastic cords inside the tubes and they snap into place easily. It does take some force to get the fabric seat onto the frame.

They pack up tiny! They are comfortable (you sit very low to the ground). My main complaint is that they are very difficult to stuff back into the bag they come in. I'm about to toss the bags and make my own.

There are more options now than when I bought mine. REI usually has several set up which you can play with, so if there is a store near you it may be worth checking out.
Thru hiking
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Jun 22, 2019 7:25am
Thread
Contemplating a thru hike on the South Appalachian Loop Trail next spring (ish).
Has anybody here done it or parts of it?
Any advice for somebody who hasn't packed in some decades?
Anybody want to sell me used gear cheap?
Who maybe wants to hike it with me?
Re: Thru hiking
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #976548 by Quarry
Jun 22, 2019 7:42am
Thread
Time and age are catching up with me so I figured I wouldn’t be backpacking anymore so I just gave all my gear to Goodwill. I would have given it to you free.

Missed it by that much.
Re: Thru hiking
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #976548 by Quarry
Jun 22, 2019 7:44am
Thread
Make your own soda can stove! Thesodacanstove.com

-Amanda from Seattle
Re: Thru hiking
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #976551 by DarkZen and Evil Cow Pie
Jun 22, 2019 8:47am
Thread
I think that if I give stuff away in the future, I'll post it here, I'm sure someone could use it!!

Lynn
Re: Thru hiking
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #976548 by Quarry
Jun 22, 2019 3:45pm
Thread
Some sound advice would be to do some light backpacking, weekends or a week or something to first give it a try again. Figure out what you need before starting out on a big expedition and what your body can handle. Goodwill, Craigslist or swap meets are great places to find gear.

There are also resources like backpacker magazine and places like REI that offers classes, sometimes free, that can help you find out what you need.

I haven’t backpacked since my 20’s, car camped in my early 30’s and now full time out of an RV, so I’m never far from home anymore. I also like comfort a lot more now. I still dream of doing a thru hike one day🤔
Re: Thru hiking
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #976561 by Dawgdok
Jun 23, 2019 6:46am
Thread
Oh, how I spurned RVing when in my 20s! Oh, how good an RV sounds decades later! The ground somehow gets harder with age....
Re: Thru hiking
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #976548 by Quarry
Jun 23, 2019 8:25am
Thread
Has anybody here done it or parts of it?

I've hiked some sections just because I was hiking on the trails used the make the loop but it was all wonderful...I wasn't thru-hiking so I had the advantage to not go out on rainy days.

Any advice for somebody who hasn't packed in some decades?

Start out small with some day hikes and build up to overnighters and weekends.

Who maybe wants to hike it with me?

You'll be near my neck of the woods for a good section of your hike and while I likely can't join you due to the time committment maybe we can do some coordination and meet up for an exchange!?
Re: Thru hiking
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #976578 by Johnsosaurus
Jun 23, 2019 9:12am
Thread
Yes please let's meet up for an exchange.
(My timeline is extremely flexiable and I might spend extra time in areas I'm already familar with near Clayton and Franklin)
Thank you all for excellent advice!
Re: Thru hiking
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #976548 by Quarry
Jun 23, 2019 2:01pm
Thread
It may sound uber basic but as someone with foot issues I'd say get some GOOD quality hiking boots.....AND.....get them broken in before you go. Spend whatever you have to. You'll regret if you don't. And I think Smartwool socks are the best for hiking. Also not cheap.

Research and planning are your friends. I almost always see thru hikers when I go on my little local hikes that include stretches of the AT here in NY. Some people just look really, really tired (as well they should) and some look totally and painfully miserable. I always figure the miserable ones did the least planning and overestimated how much they could do.
Re: Thru hiking
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #976592 by MissMoon
Jun 23, 2019 10:48pm
Thread
Ryan used to hike in $20 Payless sneakers and he would go through 5 or 6 pairs on a thru-hike.....he has since seen the light and now will purchase a good pair of hiking shoes for $80-100 bucks (we always look for a good sale) and they will last for at least one thru hike....maybe he will have to get another pair depending on how much mileage he does on them at home prior to the trek or if he used them on a previous hike etc etc etc. But YES, quality footwear is essential.

-Amanda from Seattle
Re: Thru hiking
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #976607 by Amanda from Seattle
Jun 24, 2019 6:06am
Thread
Speaking of footwear and gear.....

Have you read about Granny Gatewood?

https://www.amazon.com/Grandma-Gatewoods-Walk-Inspiring-Appalachian/dp/1613734999

She was amazing but sometimes while reading you kind of shake your head and ask yourself why would an obviously intelligent women hike with so little and so seemingly unprepared. Even people back then were taking *some* kind of gear. Yikes. And she did it more than once, along with other trails.

She's a better woman than me!!
Re: Thru hiking
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #976607 by Amanda from Seattle
Jun 24, 2019 6:17am
Thread
now will purchase a good pair of hiking shoes for $80-100 bucks and they will last for at least one thru hike....

Actually, that's not entirely true. Most shoes I've used last about 500 to 700 miles, even the $80-100 shoes. Most Payless shoes were no different on that count, although there were a couple of notable exceptions where the shoe fell apart after about 10 miles. Just one pair of those defective shoes will definitely throw off the average! So there are bad shoes out there, but most of the Payless shoes I've tried lasted at least 500 miles. The ones that didn't I generally considered defective.

I've never used $100 shoes fell apart after 10 miles, but in terms of cost effectiveness, two sets of $20 Payless shoes ($40 total) will carry me further than one set of $100 Merrells, so I wouldn't diss the Payless shoes. Especially for those with a tight budget. Cost does not always equal quality.

The reason I generally use more expensive shoes nowadays are for a few reasons:

  • Oboz shoes, which generally run me about $100, regularly last me 1000 miles or more! They'll carry me further than any other name-brand shoe that I've tried. So in terms of cost per mile, it's much more competitive than other popular hiking brands like Merrells.
  • I actually have an income, so money is less of an issue for me. When I did my first thru-hike in 2003, I was unemployed and had zero income. I was, pardon the pun, on a shoe-string budget.
  • I can order Oboz online (Zappos, ShoeBuy or REI--depending on whatever is providing the best value at the time) and have them shipped to me. Saves me the effort of going into a store--which most small trail towns won't even have. It's just more convenient.
  • Because Oboz will last me for over a thousand miles, I don't have to worry about replacing them as often. One less thing to worry about on long-distance hikes.
  • And when I'm doing a thousand miles outside of the United States where shipping shoes from REI might not be very economical or practical, I want a shoe that can last the whole distance. When I hiked the Jordan Trail, I made sure to bring a new pair of Oboz so I knew I wouldn't have any trouble with them wearing out halfway through.
  • But even the mighty Oboz won't last an entire thru-hike on something as long as the Appalachian Trail. Everyone replaces their shoes on the really long distance trails. Some of you might remember that I hiked about a mile on the AT barefoot because one of my shoes fell apart. It was a $100 shoe! (Merrells) I started with new shoes, and and it fell apart at around the 500-mile mark. I replaced it with my first set of Oboz because that was the only brand the outfitter sold and that lasted over a thousand miles (much to my surprise and delight). If I kept buying $100 Merrells, I'd have had to use five sets at that pace to complete the trail. As it was, I only used three pairs, and I probably could have used just two pairs if I had started with Oboz.

But long story short, I still think cheap Payless shoes can be perfectly adequate for thru-hikes--especially for those who are on a shoe-string budget and those doing less than 500 miles. And for those on a tight budget, it's still cheaper to buy 5 or 6 pairs of Payless shoes than two pairs of Oboz--just less convenient! And it's definitely way cheaper than buying 5 or 6 pairs of Merrell shoes!

-- Ryan
Re: Thru hiking
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #976575 by Yosemite MJD
Jun 24, 2019 6:47am
Thread
Oh, how I spurned RVing when in my 20s! Oh, how good an RV sounds decades later! The ground somehow gets harder with age....

Ha ha, boy can I sympathize. I used to say I would NEVER RV camp.

Ah, youth.....
Re: Thru hiking
Board: Camping, Backpacking, and the Great Outdoors
Reply to: #976615 by Green Tortuga
Jun 24, 2019 1:22pm
Thread
Lucky you. With my foot issues I couldn’t walk from my apartment to my parking space in Payless shoes.