Boo the Bear Can!

The Doc is learning first hand that packing 5 days of food for 2 people into the Bear Vault 500 is no easy task! As soon as I saw the pic I had to post it right away LOL!




48 Hours to go!

Wow is about all I can say! The bags are packed and ready to go, all that is left now is to watch the clock slowly tick by.

We will be flying out to San Jose at O’Dark Thirty Thursday morning and will have most of the day to kill from there. We are staying at the “halfway” point to Yosemite in Merced and from what I can tell it is a pretty small town. We spent some time yesterday looking around for some things we could do during our travel day and I think we may have come up with a pretty good idea if everything goes smoothly.

First we will be stopping at the REI near the airport to pick up some of the things we cant bring on the plane (fuel, matches, etc.). From there we may stop at J. Lohr, a winery in San Jose that offers free tastings. After hitting the winery we will make the 2 hour trek to Merced. If we are still feeling adventurous and have some time to kill we may go check out the Hilmar Cheese factory, they offer free tours and tastings!

Yesterday we posted a video about what to pack for a 5 day trip, today there is a video attached that discusses what we decided to bring for food on our trip. The majority of the food was homemade and then dehydrated, on the trail you just add hot water and in a few minutes you have a delicious meal! The biggest challenges with food for a 5 day trip in Yosemite is the bear canister. It is not really practical to have 1 per person as they are heavy, bulky, and expensive. However it is not really practical to pack 5 days of food for 2 people in 1 either. We did manage to get it all in there, but we still have a couple things that will need to somehow smash their way in there once we get to CA.

I hope you enjoy the video and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel!

3 Days and Packing!

I cant believe the time has come to pack! Time is getting so short before the trip it worked out for me to get my stuff packed this weekend. At this point I could leave today an be ready to roll, but I have to stick it out for a few more days.

When we first started thinking about actually doing this backpacking stuff (as opposed to just talking about it). We did what I would guess most curious future backpackers do….try to figure out how you can live out of a backpack for an extended period of time. What gear, how much gear, what size pack, etc.

There is a ton of information out there, but oddly it can be very tailored to specific “styles” of backpacking. Things like Ultralight, mountaineer expeditions, etc. Finding specific examples of just the “every day” type of backpacking is a little harder to come by. Thus, The Backpacking Journal was born. A place for beginners to find the information they really need to get them started.

Here is a video that goes over exactly what I will be packing for this 5 day trip. The details of the trip that should matter (to compare for future plans) are as follows:

Yosemite California
Average Elevation 4000-8000 feet
Approximate Mileage 40
June 1st-5th
6 total people broken into 3 two man teams

As for the gear, most of it is not “the best”, we chose gear on several different points. Primarily being the usefulness of the item, then cost and weight came into factor. Generally speaking the gear we purchased was in our opinion, the best bang for the buck.


There will be a video tomorrow with information about packing 5 days of of food for 2 people.

6 Days

The anticipation is building! The weather is looking like it will be prefect, all the necessary documents and permits have been printed. The packing check list has been looked over and checked twice.

Checked off one of the items of my list already. Our pup Melman is staying at “grandpas” house during the trip and he needs a way to get outside while my dad is at work. All the dog doors in the store for a dog his size are several hundred dollars and we only need it for 5 days. With $20 at Home Depot and a couple power tools out of my garage we now have a nice little door for him! It may not be the prettiest, or the most energy efficient but I think it will work just fine.



1 Week To Go!


7 days and counting, WOW! The 6Pack has been fairly quiet this month as our focus changed from future planning and training to trip preparations, but we are still going strong. This month has been filled with last minute gear changes, food dehydrating, and a constant check on the weather patterns as we close in on the trip.

***Side Note***
On behalf of The Backpacking Journal I would like to congratulate Jessica Simms DVM “Doc”. She graduated from Vet School this month and the name Doc is no longer just a nick name, but a well deserved title for 21 years of school. I am sure the WoofPack will sleep soundly knowing that we have a professional in the mix on future trips.

It is crazy to think that all this planning is falling into place and in 7 short days we will be flying out to begin a journey of a life time. 20 years of dreaming, hundreds of hours of planning and countless miles of training will culminate into 5 short days of absolute freedom. No stress of alarm clocks, rush hour traffic, emails, text messages. The 6 of us will have an opportunity to truly escape from our hectic lives and get a dose of the world and life in which we are more suited for.

This last weekend we had a group “meeting”. Partially just an excuse to sit back and have a cold beer, but more importantly to finalize our plans for the trip. We had a walk through of the route from start to finish. Discussed bail out points along the way if our plans were to eager and fatigue gets the best of us. However, probably the most important part, we also worked out our emergency plan. Although it feels like we are pros with as much preparations that have been done for this trip, when it really comes down to it we are nothing but greenhorn rookies. Having a solid “oh-shit plan” Will not only give us a piece of mind now, but it will also allow for everyone to act a little more calm and rational should an emergency present itself along the way.

FallGal and I will be spending This weekend finishing up the food for the trip and then packing our bags. My plan is to have everything ready to go out the door by Sunday night. 4am on Thursday is gonna come quick!


Can’t concentrate

So I’m sitting at work right now completely unable to focus.. We are less then 10 days away from the Yosemite trip and I’m starting to get nervous. We have only done one overnight trip. The most miles we’ve done with packs on is 16 split between two days… Im not worried about not finishing but it’s still intimidating knowing we will be hiking 40 miles in 5 days.

Chuck and I bought new boots a couple weeks ago and I’m pretty impressed with mine so far. They are actually really comfortable and wearing them everywhere to try and break them in has made me realize I like them more then my tennis shoes! I got the Patagonia Gore-TEX Drifter AC low top boot. I have weird feet, wide with a high instep and medium arch. These work great. However, the Gore-TEX ones fit a bit tighter then the non waterproof ones… So if you do what I did and try the regular ones at a store and buy the waterproof ones online keep that in mind. Chuck got a pair or Merrill’s… Not sure which ones though.. But he seems to like them. And that’s coming from the guy who tried on 15 different boots once and didn’t even remotely like one of them.

I’ve used my gps watch only once. And it was just for a quick walk around the block. It seems pretty cool though. You hit the start button and it begins to record you time, distance, speed and trail and when you get to your turn around point there is an option for a go back button and the compass guides you the exact route you took back and it’s extremely accurate on the turns you’ve made. I will be hiking this weekend and will finally use it on trail.. Except we probably wont be on a trail, so it’s an even better test. I will see if the thing can get me home!

I’m debating bringing my SLR camera. It’s heavy though and that’s the only thing holding me back. Takes beautiful pictures though.. Much better then our phones or the Go Pro…. What are your thoughts?

Anyways…back to Yosemite..I’m starting to ramble. I’m nervous but excited. I love Yosemite, been there about 6 times. I’ve hiked the falls and half dome (not the cables). But last time I was there I was 16 so I’m excited to go back now with a different perspective.

I remember when I was younger we had a favorite part ( I can’t remember exactly where in Yosemite it is) but the waterfall was in the shape of a slide and went at about a 40 degree angle and the rock was smooth and at the end was a big pool of water. We used to use it like a water slide. For YEARS I was sooo afraid to ride it but I think I maned up at about 14 and oh my it was fun!!! If we see it on this trip that’s he first thing I’m doing!

Well… I should probably go back to work now..
Have a good day everyone!

Very nervous…

The countdown clock or ticker thingy on the front page of the blog says 23 days till Yosemite. With each counting day, the excitement builds, as well as my nervousness. I will admit it, even if nobody else will, that I am scared of not being able to make it the whole 5 days. All we have done so far are overnight trips. I will say that after the third trip I was less “beat up” than the two previous trips. Guess that is encouraging. I know a lot of preparation has been going on but to me, I am not nearly as ready as I feel I should be. My bad. Mentally I can push through it, but physically I am not quite sure. Mind doesn’t always win over matter.

I have a few last minute issues I need to address unfortunately. I wrote a review about some amazing boots I purchased and adore but have come to learn, through many miles, that they do not work the best for me. Not sure if it is par for the course, but they have torn up my feet. I’ve put about 50+ miles in them, so I’m fairly certain that I will need to find me some new footwear. I have been researching different options and will be getting me some new shoes shortly. I will be living in them until Yosemite just to break them in. Wish me luck and hopefully this will alleviate some of my nerves.

The next issue would be the sleeping pad conundrum. The rest of the group all broke down and purchased inflatables; I still have my Therma-rest. I have had no real issues as far as being more sore the next day and I do sleep quite well. My only concern is being able to not hurt as bad from sleeping on the ground by the 5th day. Haven’t had enough experience to justify the different purchase, but I might just kick myself in the end. I hope not…will be doing a lot more thinking about this.

Well…I think that about does it for my gear concerns. Everything else seems to be working quite nicely. Now…to physically psych myself up. I guess I could be blowing up how hard it might be in my mind, but I would rather error on the side of caution than be overly optimistic. One thing I can’t wait for is Half Dome!!! Bring on the edge 🙂