Sunday, March 2, 2014

Conditions and Other Updates

Trash pickup on the Lost Coast:

Recently I was joined by a group of volunteers who helped me pickup 26 pounds of trash off the coast. This mainly consisted of foam and plastics that drifted in from the sea.

Thanks for your help!

Would you like to help keep the Lost Coast clean of trash and marine debris? Bring a few heavy duty trash bags with you on your next visit and pick up trash along the way. Snap a picture of your efforts at the end of your trip and e-mail it to me so I can post the picture to this blog. Also send me any other information about your trip you would like to share. I’m sure you’ll feel great about helping to keep your public lands trash free!

Speaking of trash, I would like to remind everyone that campfire rings are not trash cans. If you would like to burn trash please pack out anything that has not burned completely when you leave. Please, pack out your trash. Leaving trash in a campfire ring is littering.

                                                          What's wrong with this picture?

This is littering. 

Winter Conditions

California’s North Coast has had quite a bit of rain the past several weeks and the creeks on the Lost Coast have risen considerably. The creeks are generally passable but there’s a good chance you will be getting your feet (or legs) wet in the process and they may be a considerable challenge to cross.

It may be tempting to cross a creek closer to the ocean where it is often wider and a bit shallower rather than farther up the creek where often it is narrower and deeper. This may not be a bad option for some of the creeks however, I advise you to watch the ocean for several minutes before you decide to cross. Look to see how big the waves are and how far they are pushing water up the creek. There will be periods of small-medium sized waves and periods of large waves. Consider the scene I witnessed this past weekend:

A group was crossing a creek that was just below knee level – seemed safe enough. Then suddenly, a larger set of waves pushed a mound of water up the creek and the folks were then in water waste deep that was threatening to push them off their feet. Luckily everything turned out alright but there were several moments of panic as people began to lose their balance in the torrent.

Use caution. Watch, Look and Listen. Be patient and take your time.

Winter backpacking tips for the King Range

Stay dry and stay warm:

Bring a few large heavy-duty trash bags with you to separate your gear and line your backpack with. I find it especially beneficial to put my wet tent into its own trash bag to keep the moisture separated from the rest of my gear. You can also use a trash bag as an inexpensive pack cover.

Bring a small bag of dry kindling from home if you think you’ll want a campfire.

Dry socks are great. Bring plenty.

I personally like a floorless shelter system for rainy conditions. I’ve found that traditional style tents - which you must set up first and then put on the rain fly - have the potential to get very wet on the inside in the process of setting it up in the rain.

Check the weather reports/forecasts when planning your trip. If you pick a date several weeks in advance, know that the forecast can - and probably will - change. From what I’ve noticed, the forecasts are not incredibly accurate until just a few days before the day/days in question.

Check local weather conditions but also plan for all types of weather. 

Also, during the winter the ocean has the potential to have a lot of energy, sending large waves and lots of water crashing on shore. This will make the “impassable at high tide” sections of the Lost Coast Trail much more hazardous to pass through. Additionally, the sections of trail that are not labeled as “impassable at high tide” can also become difficult or hazardous to travel in.

Read my previous post, Rescue on the LostCoast for more information about tides, waves and hiking on the Lost Coast.

Also, prepare for the worst and hope for the best is a good post about winter conditions.

Call or e-mail me if you have any questions.

Your Wilderness Ranger, 
Paul Sever

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