Thursday, June 20, 2013

Photos From the Mountain Retreat-Gear Review

The solar five gallon water bag is a fantastic asset when you're base camping. This one is being filled under a rapidly moving mountain stream. The red cap fits tightly, and the handle makes it easy to haul back to camp. I'm using this bag for the hand washing station. Lay it clear side up in full sunlight and within a couple hours you can wash your hands in dirt cutting very warm water instead of ice cold streams.
I've embedded a video at
demonstrating this.

One of many sunrise photos I took this morning before heading into Saratoga to the library. The snow has finally melted enough for some serious hiking on the Divide. While its been "fun" and hard work up at Mike's Retreat, I'm ready to move down the trail. My youtube channel will have many more videos of the week I spent there working on his cabin and checking out his survivalist bunker and buildings.

The solar bag heating up, work gloves and snow sort of sum up the experience of living at 9,500 feet off grid. We did have solar panels to charge the laptop and camera, allowing us to write and record the adventure.

I've been using the same soda can stove since 2001 when it made its maiden voyage on the Pacific Crest Trail. Because I'm cooking up at 9,500 feet, I bought a gallon of denatured alcohol at the Saratoga hardware store before heading up the mountain. It lights easily even on cold mornings and produces a blue flame. Here you see the pot boiling spaghetti for two people. Once cooked, it was drained and topped with canned spaghetti sauce.
Note to all CDT hikers. Encampment still has a post office, but if you're looking for food supplies or a hot meal, you'll have to go a mile north on highway 70 to Riverside. There, the Mangy Moose or Beartrap Bar and Grill serve up delicious food. Friday and Saturday nights there is live music.

This pot support and windscreen are doing great. Everything nests in my two pint pot. In spite of being in a base camp, I still make instant coffee using this pot every morning.

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