Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

Saddle Mt Summit Photo

Ready or not, my chubby puggle Mocha was going hiking with me.  I took the pug/beagle combo to the top.  She made the summit by herself, but it was a struggle.  It was a sweltering 80 plus degrees out.  My poor dog hasn’t been training hard lately.  Her exercise routine consists of going from the couch to food and back.  But Mocha and I have hiked, so I knew the 5-year-old mutt still had it.  I remember the first time I let her off the leash on a trail.  She was running back and forth, up and down it.  The puggle was so excited to be out of the apartment.  I couldn’t contain her.  Once she even fell off a cliff as the bank eroded and I had to quickly swing her up by the leash and collar to save her.  Mocha is much fatter now, but we are working on it.

Mocha The Puggle

When we got to Saddle Mountain State Natural Area her nose was working overtime.  There were lots of people hitting the trail, and camping.  I brought water, and gave the puggle breaks.  I made her sit, and she would lay in the shade when she could.  The hike is 5 miles round trip,  but the elevation change is brutal. It’s 1603 feet to be exact, with the top at 3283 feet. Mainly I was concerned about her paws bleeding.  There is lots of metal fencing on the ground to contain the loose rocks, and I didn’t know if that would bother her.  On the way up I kept Moc on the leash, 1 because there’s cliffs, and 2 because lots of people were coming down the trail with dogs.  I wanted to protect her.  However, on the way down I decided it would be better to let her follow me off leash.  She didn’t want to walk on the trail because the gravel was hurting her.  So she waddled along side the main path, and didn’t hurt anything.  Plus, it was getting late, and we were basically the last down.

Mocha Survival Puggle

On the way we checked out a geocache hidden on a side trail.  I’ve found it before, but I wanted to see all the new stuff inside, and sign the log book again.  Not many people locate it each year.  I traded in a emergency paracord bracelet for a CD with clues to another cache.  I’m getting into geocaching because it’s something fun to do while hiking, or when you’re just out and about.  There’s more than 2 million geocaches planted around the world.  This hobby also forces me to analyze and use maps too.  I filmed Mocha and I checking out what was inside the ammo box this time.

After a few solid hours of hiking, Mocha, my cameraman, and I reached the peak.  We all sat down and took in the majestic views of the North Coast.  You can see the whole coastline, from Seaside well into Washington State.  Poor Mocha was beat.  She was gasping for air, and I was a little worried about her.  We had just enough water left to quench her thirst, but more would have been nice.  Usually there is a spring about halfway up that I feel is safe to drink from.  My dog did lap up the puddle there, but I wasn’t getting on all fours.  In the end, Mocha killed it.  I was so proud of her.  I kept her motivated with words of encouragement, smacking her butt, and tossing turkey jerky in her mouth.  On the way back I told Moc we were going back to the car and home for ice cubes (her fav).  My legs were jello, and Mocha was walking funny, but we accomplished the mission.  Next time we will be even stronger, and smarter about it.  

Cam and MochaMocha knew we were going to the top.  If you want to rock a paracord bracelet for emergency preparedness made by Survival Bros, send $8 to cameronmckirdy@hotmail.com via PayPal.  Thanks and best wishes from us both.

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P1000580By Cameron Consumption McKirdy

My dad and I have been planning this one for awhile. We hiked half of the Ramona Loop and lots more on Mount Hood in Oregon. It was brutal. The hike was almost 18 grueling miles. We crossed the Sandy River several times, and were on the epic Pacific Crest Trail.

First I will list the gear in my day pack. I rocked a black Kelty day bag with a new U.S.M.C approved 3 liter Camelbak hydration system. I recently got that at a Navy Exchange. Here was my checklist: compass with whistle, emergency poncho, Mylar blanket, Bear Grylls Gerber Ultimate Survival kit, Moleskin plus padding, Coleman biodegradable eipes, caffeine pills, lighter, various fruit and nut bars, GoPro Hero 3 Black on my head, Panasonic TS4 digital camera, Vibrams, Coast LED flashlight with with white and red light, extra socks, Chapstick with SPF, cash, mace pen, Coast Rapid Response 3.0 knife, 12 hour glow stick, Tillamook County turkey jerky, natural bug spray, and hand warmers. My backpack was on the heavy side with all the extra stuff. It weighed maybe 25 pounds.

To begin we hiked from our spot at Lost Creek campground. It was an easy climb along the Sandy river. We crossed it on a temporary wood bridge to get to Ramona Falls. I’d never been there. It was spectacular, and massive. I filmed the waterfall, and snapped pics.

Along the way I spotted several types of mushrooms popping up. Unfortunately, king boletes are a few months away from harvest. I did find out at the Ranger Station that they only give out 20 mushroom collecting permits per day, and commercial hunting is not permitted. Amanita Muscarias are in season. But of course those are hallucinogenic and poisonous. I found a few russulas too. In addition, I identified and tried huckleberries. They aren’t my fav, but were better than nothing when I ran out of aqua.

We met lots of people on the trail. Most were on day hikes like us. The route from Timberline Lodge to Ramona Falls was popular. I wish we did that, because our hike sucked. We were mobbing hardcore for 10 hours straight. We only had a few brief breaks, just long enough to catch our breath, check the map, and grab a snack.

Cameron McKirdy hiking on the trail

I wore new waterproof Columbia boots. They held up, and had lots of cushioning. My tall Nike Dri-Fit training socks helped too. They were dry at the end of the day, and shielded my legs as we bushwhacked the unpopular, overgrown trail. We almost didn’t make it back before nightfall! It was getting dark quickly in the forest. So we had to book it all day. I was dumping buckets of sweat. I went through my entire 3L hydration pack, plus 1.5 coconut waters.

The pain of hiking that much basically nonstop was draining. My feet hurt, knees ached, and balls were sore. Women complain about childbirth, but try hiking with a big pair. I stretched along the way, but my hamstrings were tight. If you plan on doing a trek like this, bring pain killers just in case. I will be sore tomorrow, but didn’t cramp up or anything. I managed.

It will be a day or so before I get back to civilization, and can upload pictures and HD video. I got great shots of the canyon, mountain, and river. The highlight of the day was when pops and I used sticks and hiking poles to cross the rapid Sandy river. It had a path of loose rocks and wet logs. We made it across fine, but my dad realized he left his boots across the river. I got a good laugh in and filmed him tip toeing to safety. So he had to cross 3 times then. He changed into sandals, and me the Vibrams, so we didn’t get our boots wet. More soon. Thanks for visiting the Survival Bros blog.
Sandy River and Mt Hood

Cam McKirdy at Mt Hood

Sandy River Canyon near Mt. Hood

Mount Hood Waterfall in Oregon

Dad crossing the Sandy River for the 4th time.  He won’t leave his boots behind in the future.

By Cameron McKirdy
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If I need an extra boost of energy, and power before an extreme outdoor adventure, I may take these healthy supplements. Bee pollen, royal jelly, and propolis are a superfood. I’ve heard of yogis living off only bee pollen, spring water, and sunlight. I can’t get enough of them all. Maca root is a serious herb, improving stamina and endurance. You gotta try it. Finally, vitamin B12 is also known to increase energy. It’s great for your nervous system too. Do your homework on these dietary supplements. I got them from my local health food store. They help me go beast mode on long hikes, and bike rides. Maybe these can help you too.

By Cameron McKirdy

I’m so sore. I hiked from Seaside to the Hiker’s Cabins on Tillamook Head. It’s just under four miles, but it took nearly two hours. Then the next morning I hiked back, and walked a few more for good measure.

My 55L backpack weighed at least 40 pounds. And I almost wore 5lb ankle weights too. My Dad tagged along. He had hiking poles, which I tried. They took some of the strain off my legs, and gave me a good arm workout. The trail was nasty. So muddy. Dad said it was the worst time of the year to climb there, which made it the best for me. I wanted a challenge.

We had to climb over a few downed trees, but besides mud, the trail was well kept. It was never ending though. My Dad kept asking if we were there yet, like me on our road trips growing up. He said, “if I was on a treadmill, we would be there already.” Yeah. Working out in a gym is nothing like real life.

There were a couple lookouts over the Pacific Ocean, but it was foggy, and rainy. The canopy from the trees sheltered us some, but I was still soaked. I didn’t take any pictures going there, I knew it was going to be sunny the following day. Once we got to the log cabins, I was on my own. I changed clothes, and got my bed ready.

I used a new sleeping system. I just bought a gortex camo bivy, so that was my outer layer. I also brought my Coleman mummy style sleeping bag rated down to 25 degrees. Then I had a mummy shaped inflatable insulated sleeping pad. It was 2.5 inches thick! Comfortable, but next time I want to use one that’s lower profile, so my face has more clearance. It was a tight fit. I’m a big dude, so sleeping in a bivy bag was a little claustrophobic at first.

I passed out super early. 6PM. I was tired, and just trying to stay warm in my bag. I woke up once, just to say hi to the mice in the bunk above me. They checked out my stuff, left their mark, and bounced. I was stoked in the morning when I popped my head out and saw daylight. I couldn’t wait to hike back to Seaside. The sun was shining, and I could see the end of the ocean.

On the trek back I snapped the pictures you see below. It’s a magical place, eager to be explored. I buried an emergency cache up there, full of food, water purification tablets, matches and more. Maybe someday I will have to flee the city, and retrieve it. On hikes like this you are forced to make decisions. Take the long route around the mud pit, or charge it. I went right through the mess usually. Foolishly I tried to take a shortcut down a slick, rocky hill once. I slipped, and tried to plant my heels in the bank, but couldn’t stop. I slid on my butt, until I snatched a root. No blood. I didn’t take a picture of the slide either, I kept charging.

Four miles later, I made it from the cabins to The Cove in Seaside, OR. I walked through the city, and got some strange looks with my backpack on. That and my backside was covered in mud. I made it home, showered, and passed out. I loved every second of the adventure. It was brutal, but I enjoy training hard. Hike Tillamook Head if you can, it’s part of the majestic Oregon Coast Trail. Now where’s the ice?
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It’s my pleasure to bring to you, my hike on Saddle Mountain in the snow, at night, solo.  I love doing extreme stuff in the outdoors.  It’s a rush, and you’ll get one watching this HD movie.  This is the longest video I’ve produced to date, but it’s packed with action, and epic views.  I will update this post with the details of my journey, and my full review of the LED Lenser products I tested.  Thanks for visiting Survival Bros! 

The short version of my hike!

cam hikingProduced By Cameron McKirdy – Survival Bros Founder

 

The guys find an ammo can full of trinkets, a logbook, and keys to a riddle! They were hiking Saddle Mountain in Oregon, when they took an obscure trail, and uncovered a hidden geocache. Random. Happy hunting. You never know when you will find treasure.  And of course we won’t tell you where to find this stash.  You got to get into geocaching.  There is an app for that.

Produced by Cameron McKirdy

By Cameron McKirdy

Hey friends! In this blog I will detail my preparations for another exciting adventure. My Dad and I are going to hike part of The Pacific Coast Trail. Weather permitting, we plan to leave town in a few days. For three nights our accommodations will be a two man tent.

To physically prepare for this, I’ve had to mix up my training routine. I usually do low, or no impact exercises like swimming, yoga, walking, and biking. Now I have to prepare my body for impact. So lately I’ve hiked, with and without my backpack, and jogged trails too.

I’m incorporating in mixed martial arts training to confuse my muscles. I shadow box for speed, and smash the heavy boxing bag to build strength. Boxing builds my core, and is good cardio! In addition, I’m planning for hot weather, so I’ve been going to the sauna a few times a week. This will hopefully make me more comfortable when I’m outside, exposed to the Sun and the dry heat.

Lately I’ve been wearing my Vibram FiveFingers more. I plan to wear them half the time on our hike. They feel great! I’ve also broken in a new pair of Nike ACG (All Conditions Gear) boots. I bought them at the Nike Outlet store for only $29 on clearance. They’re rugged and cushy. I also have knee high Nike DriFit socks that are thick, and dry amazingly quick.

My backpack is still coming together. I’m really trying to simplify, and keep my pack light. I will probably end up taking the following main items, plus stuff already mentioned: DriFit moisture wicking shirts (long and short, light and dark), DriFit compression underwear, First Aid, wool socks, water, water filters, water disinfectant, bandana, sunglasses, hygiene kit, mosquito head net, Off, iPhone and charger, Energizer LED headlamp, Chapstick, sunscreen, hat or beanie, flashlight, lighters, matches, candles, tinder kit, compass, emergency blanket, Coleman +25 mummy sleeping bag, inflatable mattress, stove, cook wear, utensils, fuel, poncho, tent, Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival kit, and tons of food!

I’m mostly bringing camping food that doesn’t need to be cooked, or require hot water. I will eat fruit, seed, and nut bars, protein bars, granola bars, raisins, canned chicken salad and crackers, dark chocolate, etc. I also have Mountain House freeze dried food for warm meals like lasagna!!! That will be epic after hiking all day. I want to have lots of calories to snack on. I also have a packaged meal of raw veggie powder to mix with water, and protein powder with vitamins and minerals. I’m taking a mixed stash of instant coffees, including Starbucks and Folders. I wouldn’t recommend Folders coffee crystals, but I got seven single serving packets for $1. They’re for emergency only.

Filling my bag is the easy part. Carrying it about 13 miles a day will be challenging. Right now I’m concerned about staying hydrated, training hard, and putting the finishing touches my bag. My Dad and I have studied maps, and have a good idea of where we’re going. He’s contacted local hikers for advice, and been to the ranger station too.

Bring on the lakes, and new terrain. I will say what up to Three Fingered Jack for ya. Of course I plan to shoot pictures, and HD video to post here. Maybe one day I can backpack the entire trail, from Canada to Mexico. There’s even a parallel route for bicycles on roads that’s 2,500 miles, or 4,000 km!!! Pacific Coast Trail or bust! %^D.

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Spyridon LS

Kicking back and watching boats come in on the Mckenzie River

I bought those silly five-fingered shoes. Yup. I paid $120 for the new model. And I go out in public wearing my Vibram FiveFingers too. It’s OK, because I love the trash talk. The following is my take on these trail running shoes. The good, the bad, and the ugly.

I was stoked when I got these kicks. The salesman told me the Spyridon LS is designed specifically for trail running. Perfect! I climb mountains. So I put them to the test. First I went a short distance, just two miles on Tillamook Head from Seaside. They felt great. Snug like a natural extension of my feet. However, one downside to the Vibrams is that your toes can get wet quickly. Once I stopped running my toes were cold and going numb. I got out of them right away and put them through the wash. They were caked in clay and mud.

The second hike I took wearing Vibrams was around Cape Falcon, and Short Sands, in Oswald West State Park along the Oregon Coast. I jogged parts of my 7.35 mile hike, and made a few stops to checkout the surfers and ocean views. I finished in 3:05 hours. My feet started to ache around the six-mile mark, but I just wasn’t use to the shoes yet. That will take a long time, maybe years. You’ve got to hike this state park. There’s nothing like it. Bring your camera.

Oswald West State Park in Oregon

I’ve had my Vibrams for a few months now, and they’ve performed great. But here’s the ugly. I snagged my pinky toe on something and one small part of the sole ripped away from the upper. An easy fix soon with shoe glue, but annoying now. Also, the rubber is pretty thin, so walking on gravel sucks, and going far on pavement isn’t fun. Plus, they are low top and don’t have much support on the sides. My advice to Vibram owners is to go slower than normal. Another annoying thing about these shoes is even though they are the right size, my little toe has a tendency to pop out of its home. Then I have to readjust by hand. It’s best to pull them really tight to avoid toe slippage.

In addition, like it or not, these shoes will attract attention. Be prepared to answer a million questions about them. Strangers approach me all the time to ask questions. And be ready to be made fun of. Lots of people think that Vibrams are ugly. I think they are beautifully designed, so there! But you won’t see me wearing this around town much. They were absolutely created for the outdoors.

Barefoot like trail running shoes

My new Spyridon LS Vibrams!

Having said all that, I strongly recommend you look into the barefoot running, and walking movement. It’s taking off, and for good reason. Shoes may be the worst invention ever! If you wear Vibrams or some other minimalist shoe you will strengthen your ankles and legs, in my opinion. They will take some time to get use to. You may want to buy a transition shoe first that has more of a sole. Try on all the different brands and styles, and figure out what’s right for you. Survival Bros says ditch the kicks and feel with your feet. Peace.

– Cam

SB Prez

On the 4th of July, two buddies and I ditched tourist infested Seaside, and dipped the Cadillac to Saddle Mt. We had all our essential gear including: headlamps, flashlights, first aid, extra water, etc., plus double chocolate brownies for the climb. It’s only 2.5 miles from the parking lot to the top. However, it is a difficult trail. It’s steap, and rocky. It’s worth the trip though to see all the vibrant wildflowers, and the Pacific Ocean coastline. I snapped pictures; as seen in previous posts. All in all, Survival Bros had a blast, and got to test the gear. It’s an awesome experience. You gotta hike this mountain. Check back here daily for more adventures and survival information. Peace and love.

– Cam

Link to Saddle Mountain State Park: http://www.oregonstateparks.org/park_197.php

Friends on Saddle Mountain for the 4th of July Fireworks

Chilling out close to the summit