Posts Tagged ‘trail’

Produced by Cameron McKirdy

Chill out on the North Fork of the McKenzie River with #SurvivalBros and Papilio Oregonius butterflies.  This is the official insect of Oregon State.  Filmed near Cougar Hot Spring, in the Willamette National Forest.  SUBSCRIBE NOW ON YOUTUBE FOR MORE!  

What a spectacular day this was by the water.  The sun scorched my naked body.  It burned getting into the 106 degree water later that evening at Terwilliger Hot Springs.  I did dive headfirst into the crystal clear river.  Exhilarating.  However, do you have any idea how hard it is to hold your junk with one hand?  Just saying, it wasn’t staying put.  Thankfully through the power of editing, the family jewels remained in safe keeping.  

I ventured to this sacred spot two weeks earlier, and saw the same collection of butterflies!  I counted 40.  I’m amazed they were still there when I returned.  My friends are posted up hard in heaven.  They danced around me as I paid my respects.  This area produces insanely large moths too, like this one I spotted heading into a shower last summer.

Giant Moth in OR

Thanks for watching our fun video productions.  This blog has been going strong for four years now.  Can you believe it?  Your support is so appreciated.  You rock!

Oregon Swallowtail Butterflies

By Chris Miller

 

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Backpacking Gear for the Florida Trail

Usually I try to keep my pack weight down, though I don’t really consider myself an ultra light hiker. I can live comfortably out of a pack weighing no more than 20 pounds for months at a time. And that is including food and water. My base weight, the weight of my gear not including food and water, usually hovers around the ten pound mark, though I have a tendency to carry multiple paperbacks at a time which can push that weight up a bit.

So what’s in my pack?  Let’s start with what I consider the essentials, sleeping gear and clothing.
I sleep in a cheap Walmart $30 40 degree sleeping bag made by Ozark Trails. It is one of the smallest sleeping bags around which means it packs up into a very tight space. This is one of those occasions when you don’t need to spend a ton of money on a top of the line sleeping bag.  Is it warm enough? Probably not for a lot of winter activities, and even in Florida it can get cold in January. But the sleeping bag is always slipped inside my REI Minimalist Bivy. This adds a few degrees as well as allowing me to easily stealth camp. I also usually sleep in my Under Armour base layer.  My base layer is one of my most trusted pieces of survival equipment. I probably wouldn’t have survived the week of 20 degree nights stealth camping in Austin Texas that I went through a few years ago if it wasn’t for them and my winter hat and gloves. Also something which is always in my pack.
Other than that, a change of socks and underwear, my Petzl headlamp, a 5×7 tarp, a Thermarest Prolite sleeping pad, a Nike Storm Fit rain jacket, an REI Revelcloud packable jacket, a Sawyer mini water filter and a pair of what I call sleeping socks, socks which only get worn at night when I’m in my sleeping bag rounds out most of the rest of my gear.

Sure there are a few other things, random assorted things clipped inside my pack or stuffed in Ziploc bags near the top where they are easy to get to. The toilet paper and first aid kit, the mini Bic lighter and fire starter cubes. I also have a clip with several safety pins, a GSI plastic spoon, some rubber bands, a small set of nail clippers and a P-51 can opener.  You’ll notice that I didn’t mention a knife of any kind.  Airlines are pretty picky about letting you bring knives on board and I have found that when you are stealth camping in urban environments it is very likely that you will at some point be stopped by the police. Usually when I’m hiking I’ll carry a small Swiss Army knife. I’ve never needed anything more serious no matter the situation but have recently added a Buck Paklite Caper to my gear. Mostly for batoning wood for fires.  But for the Florida Trail I wasn’t able to pack a knife and in the rush before leaving I had failed to mail them ahead to myself. So I was without a knife in the swamps and back country of Florida.

Backpack Gear List

REI Lookout 40 backpack 53 oz
With 3 Liter Camelback water bladder and insulated drinking hose
Ozark Trail 40 degree synthetic mummy bag 32 oz
REI Minamalist Bivy 15 oz
Thermarest Prolite Small Sleeping pad 11 oz
Blue patched Silnylon 5×7 tarp with ropes 11 oz
Nike Storm Fit Rain Jacket 16 oz
Winter hat and gloves 3 oz
Underarmour bottoms lg 6 oz
Underarmour top xl 8 oz
REI Revelcloud Jacket md 12.5 oz
2 Extra Pair socks 6 oz
Petzl Headlamp w/batteries 3 oz
4 tent stakes w/stuff sack 2 oz
Sawyer Mini Water filter 2 oz
32oz Gatorade bottle 1 oz
Toiletries, First Aid Kit 8 oz
Notebook, Guidebook, Pens 32 oz
Swing Trek Umbrella 7 oz
Tent – Freestanding cheap Ebay tent 31 oz

259.5 oz or 16.2 Pounds

Much heavier than I’m normally used to and this is mostly because it is a new, heavier pack with the ability to not only carry more food but which also has a larger water carrying capacity. Florida is notorious for having bad tasting water which no amount of filtering or flavoring would cover and I wanted to be able to camel up when I found clear water.  Also, the cheap tent was a last minute add on. I wasn’t sure how I felt about sleeping in a bivy on the levees in Florida knowing that alligators were so close. As it was one of the hikers ahead of me woke up to the sound of one snoring next to their tent.  So how did the gear hold up?  Most of the gear are old standards that I’ve lived with for years so I knew what to expect. But there were a few newer items that hadn’t been extensively tested before.

Sawyer Mini Water Filter

The first was the Sawyer Mini water filter. Coming in at 2 oz I had used this on only one other two month long backpacking trip along the Oregon coast and it had held up well under the minimal water filtering I had done.  It comes with a squeeze bag for forcing water through the filter as well as a back flush syringe for cleaning out the filter when it becomes clogged. It has a 0.1-micron filter which means I never really have to worry about Giardia, e. coli or salmonella. And the best feature, at least for me, is the threaded end which can be screwed onto most soda and water bottles. This lets you fill your bottle from any source, screw on the filter and squirt the water directly into your mouth.

The biggest drawback, at least on hiking in the Florida swamps, was that the water often had enough silt suspended in it that I had to back flush the filter on an almost daily basis. I’ve heard this complaint from other hikers as well and they say for the slight difference in weight they carry the full Sawyer water filter which doesn’t seem to clog as easily.  This year the swamp was little on the dry side and at least one long stretch had very little in the way of drinkable water. Another hiker had gotten so low that he decided to drink his own urine. He turned around, filled up his Smartwater bottle, screwed on his Sawyer filter and shot a good healthy stream into his mouth.  “Hmm, still salty,” was his only response.  That’s because the Sawyer filters were not meant to filter the salt out of water. Just an FYI if you are thinking about drinking your own urine anytime soon.

Cheap Ebay Tent

I liked this tent mostly because it was freestanding and cost about $20 shipped directly from China.
The problem was that those also seemed to be the only good things about it.  The tent was listed by a few different Chinese Ebayer’s under titles like “Camping Tent Single Layer Waterproof Outdoor Portable UV-resistant Army green” or “Portable Camp Camping Tent Single Layer Waterproof Outdoor UV-resistant 1 Person.”  It was a one person tent that weighed just under two pounds and it could easily be stuffed in a side pouch or rolled up and strapped to the bottom of my pack. I wanted to make a few modifications to it to make it more camouflaged and perhaps add a rain flap over the zipper on the door but there wasn’t time before the trip.  It help up fine in decent weather and even light rain. That’s when I noticed that the floor wasn’t waterproof. This wasn’t a big deal until some of the heavier thunderstorms rolled in. Even though they lasted less than half an hour the wind would force the rain through the walls of the tent and I would end up sleeping in puddles for a while. Thankfully I had my bivy.  The storms also brought out another drawback of this tent. That the poles were weak. In the mornings I would notice that section after section of the poles were splitting and had to be repaired with Gorilla Tape.  But I was glad to have even this cheap tent to keep the hoardes of mosquitos at bay. Even then, sometimes just after sunset, the cloud of them would be so thick outside the tent that I thought they might be able to collectively break the flimsy tent and suck me dry.  Walmart used to sell a Junior Dome freestanding tent for about the same price that was only slightly heavier. It was meant for kids but I used that thing for years before passing it on to someone else. An act I sometimes regret as Walmart has discontinued their production.  Let’s just say that the cheap Chinese tent didn’t make it back from Florida.

No Cook

This hike I decided to go No Cook, meaning that I wouldn’t be packing my pot and stove and that I’d be eating everything cold.  For me this works out really well though I can understand how some people would prefer hot meals.  It meant that I’d never have to resupply fuel and I would have more room in my pack for food.  So what did I eat?  Bagels, cream cheese and sliced salami were most of my big meals. Protein shakes and Multi-Grain breakfast bars were usually my breakfasts and Snickers, Chia seeds and Little Debbie Cosmic Brownies were my snacks throughout the day.

Drinks, besides the protein drinks, were powdered Gatorade for the electrolytes and Crystal Light packets to flavor the water.  The big comfort food for me was the protein shakes. They have become a standard backpacking food for me. I carry about a pound of vanilla whey protein along with roughly the same amount of either non fat dry milk or Nido which is powdered whole milk. I prefer the Nido not only for the extra calories but because it doesn’t foam up as much when shaking the shake.  I make the shakes in my 32 oz Gatorade bottle, great because of its wide mouth. Usually I’ll drink some of the water off the top to make room for the powders. Personally I don’t measure what goes into the bottle. I’ll simply add a roughly equal amount of spoonfuls of powder, mixing it in gently at first to make room for more powder. When I think its ready I’ll just put the cap on and shake violently for a while.  The whey protein is great for repairing the damage to my muscles caused by hiking and generally this is just a tasty shake that I never seem to get sick of, which is pretty important in any foods you carry.  The only drawback was going through airport security. I was pulled aside for a security check and they emptied the contents of my food bag. When the TSA agent pushed everything aside he picked up the ziplock bags of what looked like kilos of cocaine. Luckily he laughed.  That doesn’t mean he didn’t swab down everything I owned looking for traces of drugs though.

All in all the gear held up well.  The tent though was left in a dumpster somewhere in Florida.  I’ll stick with the Sawyer Mini and I may start going No Cook on more of my travels.  The pack was a bit heavy for my tastes. Leaving the southern terminus of the Florida Trail I was carrying four liters of water, roughly 8 ½ pounds, more than I’ve ever carried before, and way too much food. I’ll probably go back to the 30 liter pack I usually use for the next adventure, which will probably be hitchhiking across the US.  And next time I go hiking in Florida I’ll probably pack some bug spray.

Hiking the Appalachian Trail on Amazon

@CleanshaveChris on Twitter

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Chris Miller Backpacker

By Cameron McKirdy

McKenzie River Trailhead Sign

An hour East of Eugene, the McKenzie River Recreational Trail waits to be conquered.  A 26 mile path skirts the cold, rippling waterway.  It’s one of America’s premier destinations for bikers, and hikers.  Outdoor enthusiasts can also be spotted during the summer on the water in rafts of all shapes and sizes.  Survival Bros floated it.  However, here’s what’s its like to attack the upper part of the wilderness trail on my bicycle.

The 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon is locked.  Bike is ready.  God bless my vintage Univega Alpina Pro mountain bike.  It’s a hardtail with tire liners for extra protection, so I shouldn’t have trouble pummeling porous lava rocks.   This will be my first ride with it off of pavement, or graveled logging roads.  Exciting.  Water, check.  Mechanix gloves, yes.  3M safety shades, on.  Let’s crush this.

And I’m off.  Going downhill mostly, to Clearwater Lake from the top of the trail.  I will have to fill my stainless steel water bottle at the campground.  Problem is, it’s hard to know what’s undrinkable, and what’s potable with all the well pumps around.  I may have to take a chance, because I’m not buying water.  I’m looking forward to adding 2 packets of Airborne Plus Energy into my drink for flavor, vitamins, and minerals.

The plan is to tackle the challenging section of course around the lake first, then take an easy trail back uphill to my vehicle.  OK, get centered.  Where are you?  In the moment.  Faster!!!

Root!  Pop the front wheel over, and peddle.  Good.  Lean into this corner.  Branch…We’re bushwacking today.  Alright, NOW break.  Shift weight back, coming off the seat.  Who put this tree down here?  Ever heard of a chainsaw?  Pick up your bike.  Thankfully, it’s lightweight, full chromoly frame.  I’m so happy I invested in tuning this vintage ride up.  The guys at Canyonview Cyclery took care of me.  This is the video I produced at their shop after the Univega was restored to glory.

 There’s the edge of the water at Clear Lake.  I’ve never seen water so pristine.  I bet I could drink straight from the lake.  Ducks do it.  I almost hit one fowl in my way.  Move mallard.  Already, I’ve narrowly avoided about 10 chipmunks, and a large rabbit too.  I’ve seen squirrels try to take on bikes before.  They ended up in the spokes without a head.  That would ruin my day.  I need a bell on this bike of mine to signal wildlife.  

Now comes the hard part.  Negotiating lava rock fields on two wheels.  But I’ve been here before.  Only I came from the opposite direction last time.  I’m going to have to push it up this long hill.  It feels great to get off my butt, and work other muscle groups.  I like my new bicycle handle bar ends.  Now I have more hand positions, and can really pull myself up steep inclines.  

I’m flying.  Let’s not forget our 5 D’s of mountain biking: dodge, duck, dip, dive and dodge!  Corner!  Hard left.  Leaning into it, and looking where I want to go.  Holy guacamole.  I almost sailed into the lake.  The canoers would have liked to see that.  I’d rather not be fishing.  This is what I came to do.

Bump.  My nuts.  Watch the nuts.  You’re going to need those.  Oh God, I have to split between a root, and a rock going fast.  No room for error.  Arrghhh.  Made it.  But that took all of my upper body strength.  I haven’t screamed that loud since…oh, let’s keep it PG.  I’m dumping sweat.  This is my hell workout.  Put it all on the line.  Gasp.  Exhale.  Breath.  Sigh.  Focused.  A few more miles of rocky road, and then a less technical section to savor.  The McKenzie River Recreational Trail is damn tough.  No wonder it’s one of the World’s most celebrated biking areas.  I can do this.  Finish strong.  I’m the man.  BEAST MODE!

mckenzie river map

Map courtesty of the USDA – Link to info on the McKenzie River National Recreational Trail

Watch an exciting video I produced with my GoPro Black Head Camera mounted during another ride here.

I had a horrible mountain bike accident on the McKenzie a few years ago.  I’m still healing from the traumatic crash, but here’s tips on healing bruises and scratches from that with gruesome injury photos for you to marvel at.

bruise legI’m lucky I didn’t break my leg! 

By Cameron McKirdy

Survival Bros followers know I’ve been on the road all summer in my 1986 Volkswagen Vanagon GL.  It’s ran strong for months straight.  I will do a big summer review blog soon, but here’s a van update shot recently on my travels around the Pacific Northwest.  Scope out the rest area known as Dismal Nitch.  This Washington State Park is a historic location, because The Lewis and Clark Expedition ran into trouble here, and were pinned against the rocks for six grueling days.  Harsh winds, and brutal rain pounded The Corps. of Discovery along the mighty Columbia River over 200 years ago.  

My overnight stay was much more pleasurable.  I was sheltered in my VW bus, protected from the elements.  I took advantage of the facilities by dumping my trash, washing my hands and teeth, and cooking on a covered picnic table in grass.  Dismal Nitch in WA also features a trail, informative maps, plus plaques about Lewis and Clark.  As mentioned in my HD video, you can stay parked for up to 8 hours, but overnight camping, and tenting are not allowed.  So keep a low profile, and pick up after yourself.  This is an excellent destination for car campers, and travelers on a budget, or just wanting to get away from the static of the city.  

I’ve spent the night in my vehicle here maybe six times this summer, and each trip has been a positive experience, and memorable.  So it’s Survival Bros tested, and approved.  Visit, because it’s probably the only rest area you’ll ever want to take a picture at.  Snap a selfie, and post it on Facebook, because I also got great cell phone reception out there.  The view of Astoria, and the bountiful river is astonishing, and extremely relaxing.  The only cons are lots of lighting in the parking lot, possibly affecting sleepers negatively.  The road noise is also noticeable, but luckily the highway is not heavily used.  Thanks for supporting my blog!  Feel free to comment, like, and share on social networks.  Peace and love from the road less traveled.

Lewis and Clark Bronze

Lewis and Clark Bronze Sculpture at Dismal Nitch Park in Washington State

Visit the official website for more info, and history by clicking here!

By Cameron McKirdy

I’m always challenging myself.  That’s why I decided hiking Saddle Mountain in Oregon on consecutive days would be a hardcore mission.  I camped out a night, took photos, cooked, and rested in the VW Vanagon often.  Besides achieving my goal, and reaching the summit back to back, I also met some cool people.  There’s so many beautiful girls from Portland that make this day hike, it’s ridiculous.  I gave them all a hard time about being tourists.  I’m from Seaside, a local, and don’t look so out of place.  

Take a look at the picture galleries I created for each day.  The wildflowers were exploding, and made the hike much more pleasant.  Plus, they gave me a chance to stop, breath, stretch, and take in their sweetness.  I also spent time creating a video of Humbug Mountain.  It offers a marvelous view point, and is only .2 miles off the main Saddle Mountain trail.  So are you up for the Survival Bros challenge?  Can you hike to the summit twice in two days, or maybe twice in one day?  Somebody will take me up on this.  Let us know.  Good luck!  Tons more soon, only on Survival Bros.

Day One Gallery

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 Day Two Hiking

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Survival Bros Founder Cameron McKirdy goes inside an old American WW2 bunker near the hiker cabins on Tillamook Head.  Using a LED headlamp, watch Cam enter the empty fortress.  This building housed a radar installation during World War II.  The bunkers and cabins are between Ecola State Park, and Seaside, Oregon.  There are trails each way.  Before your visit, read up on Lewis and Clark’s trip to this beautiful location.  Please like, comment, and SUBSCRIBE!  Thanks.

More on http://www.cameronmckirdy.com

WW2 Bunker in Oregon

Inside the World War II bunker near Ecola State Park on Tillamook head in Oregon

Ultralight Backpack

An Ultralight backpacker’s 30 liter bag setup

Cameron McKirdy Hiking

Cameron McKirdy snaps a selfie on a cliff above the Pacific Ocean

Tillamook Head Sign Seaside

The Tillamook Head Trailhead in Seaside, Oregon

In this classic video production Survival Bros backpacks from Indian Beach to Seaside, Oregon.  Cameron McKirdy stops at the cabins to show you his gear, and take a nap before hiking back in the dark.  Read our previous blog about the trip HERE.

By Cameron McKirdy

On outside:

– S Biners

– Blinking Red Light

– Tool Tether

– Grocery Ties

– Compass Keychain Tool

Front pouch:

– LG G2 with Ballistic Shell Gel Case

– Ear plugs

– Wall charger for smart phone

– Superfood pills – Maca, turmeric, bee pollen, B 12

– Duct Tape on card

– Coast Products PX20 Dual Color flashlight with pouch

– Camera Case (Case Logic)

– Kershaw Blur – Tanto Tiger Stripe folding knife

– Leatherman Skeletool

– Moist Wipes for hygiene

– Toothpaste and travel brush

– Chapstick

– Ballpoint Pen

– Listerine Breath Strips

– Sharpie Oil Pain Pen

– Tide Pen for stains

– Large Professional Sharpie Pen

– Coast Products DX356 knife

– Large Bic Lighter

Main Pouch:

– LED LENSER H14 Headlamp

– Dri-Fit Nike Hat – Go Ducks!

– OPTIONAL: Change of clothes, solar panel

– Notebook for ideas, contacts, calculator

– GSI Outdoors Stainless Steel 1 Liter bottle

– Mechanix Wear M Covert Gloves (Large)

Coast Products F611 Survival Knife with glassbreaker

– Camelbak 3 Liter hydration pack

Right Side Pouch:

 – Food Kit, Airborne Plus Energy Mix, raw food bars, honey, protein bars, condoms, vitamins, Chapstick sample, sugar, oatmeal, dish-washing soap, tea, salmon packets, instant soup, microwavable popcorn, and more Antibacterial Moist Wipes

Left Side Pouch: 

– Aluminum Free deodorant, poncho, emergency blanket, Gerber Bear Grylls Survival Kit, spare cell phone and charger, camera charger and camera, shampoo, soap

Notes:  Everyday Carry Backpack items change all the time.  Make something like this for yourself for everyday emergency preparedness.  My pack also has a rain cover, but I have considered buying a medium sized dry bag.  I also carry 3m protective sunglasses, paracord bracelet, keychain with tools, one Hoo-Rag bandana, my wallet, and a mace pen, but the self-defense weapon fell out in my van before filming.  Oh well, I survived.  Please like, comment, and subscribe to the blog and our Survival Bros channel on YouTube.  We are on Facebook too!  Thanks for watching.  Peace and love.

EDC Backpack ItemsPhoto of the full EDC Backpack Gear Setup for Survival Bros.

 

By Cameron McKirdy I sling a day pack on my back nearly every day.  I’ve mentioned the types of things I have in it before, like gear, food, and a warm change of clothes.  So when I discovered the Ribz Front Pack, I was stoked.  This innovative, steroid injected version of a fanny pack solves many of the challenges I face when backpacking.  Here I am with it on the Hummocks Trailhead near Mount St. Helens in Washington State. Ribz Front Pack One issue I have with a regular backpack is I’m constantly taking it off to grab water, my cell phone, or something else that isn’t handy.  With Ribz Wear, it’s all right in front of me, so I can continue trail blazing.  I also mention in the video how backpacks catch on trees when I have to duck under them.  It usually happens a few times each hike, and I practically have to crawl under the obstacle.  With my gear in front, navigating through heavy brush is considerably easier.  The best part of this system is the pack is easy to adjust.  My Dad’s chest and waist are smaller than mine, so after he used it, a quick tug on the straps in back and in front made it comfortable again for me.  Plus, Ribz have long, padded shoulder straps, so it feels like a natural extension of your body.   Mount St. Helens Adventures Map Check out the map of different Mount St. Helens Adventures.  Back to the Ribz Front Pack review, I must mention the Large version I tested can hold absurd amounts, with an 11 liter capacity.  Even with it packed full, I was able to swing my arms freely.  My dad wore it, and noted that you could still use hiking poles with it on.  Ribz makes smaller Front Packs with 8 liters of room too.  Internally, there are separate pouches to keep smaller items organized.  These elastic lined compartments will hold all your tools close to your ribs, and prevent them from rattling around.  We both ran with it, and the pack remained snug, not bouncing around, or swaying side to side.Mount St. Helens View In conclusion, the Ribz Front Pack is an excellent tool itself.  The quality is unbelievable, and far superior to what I expected.  It’s lightweight, at only 11 ounces, so it beats a backpack there too.  However, I think it would be best suited for use with a rear pack, so the weight of your supplies can be evenly distributed forward and back, thus giving you better posture than wearing one or the other.  But if you’re into ultralight backpacking, Ribz might be a dream come true.  You can’t machine wash Ribz, but it cleans up nicely with a wet rag.  I love the Cordura brand water resistant, ripstop material it’s fabricated with.  I will be sporting my Ribz for a long time.  I like it so much I want the smaller 8 liter pack too for shorter trips, and cross country running.  I just don’t know which color to get next.  Check out http://www.ribzwear.com to grab yours.

Cam makes instant coffee with an emergency water packet at Loowit Lookout near Mt. St. Helens in Washington State.  Subscribe to Survival Bros on Youtube for more!  Thanks for watching!  Feel free to comment.

Mt. St. Helens SelfieCam snaps a selfie with his dad on the trail

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.

Produced by Cameron McKirdy

My dad and I just got back to the Oregon Coast, after a 4 day trip playing on the McKenzie River and the trail. First we geared up, and hit the rapids with the Oregon Whitewater Association. A group of 70 extreme outdoor enthusiasts floated 14 miles down the river. The water was brutally cold, at only 47 degrees. I fell off our cataraft for the first time after we smashed into a log along the bank. I didn’t have time to be fearful. I was just trying to catch my breath from the shock of the water, and keep my legs up as I floated down. Of course, I had a class 3 life jacket on. I swam to the back of the boat, but didn’t like being where I couldn’t see the rocks ahead of me. Plus, I didn’t want to get trapped under the massive military grade raft. So I separated from the craft, and tried to swim to shore, but the water was moving too fast, and nobody there could help me. I swam to the side of the raft, and was barely able to climb back on. I had to quickly jump off the river bottom to boost myself up. I was fatigued, and just wanted to sit down and assess my injuries. I hit my knee on a rock, and bloodied by shin up. I was only in the river for a few minutes, but it wouldn’t have been long before my body started shutting down, and hypothermia set in. It was intense.

I had my iPhone 4S in my pocket with a LifeProof case on when I went overboard. It worked. No water got in thankfully. In my other pocket I was carrying the new Coast DX335 rescue knife. It stayed clipped on, but luckily I didn’t have to use it. You’d be surprised how many people die on the river getting tangled in ropes. Below is a funny clip I took with the LifeProof case on my cell. It took great video, and you can hear my dad yelling at me to put it away. He thought it was going to get splashed, or fall in as we hit the drop in the rapids. Also below is an HD video review of the Coast Products knife. I will update this blog as I get media online. I used my GoPro Hero 3 Black camera to record my treacherous mountain bike ride down the McKenzie River Trail. That will be up soon. Thanks for visiting Survival Bros. Follow us on Twitter, Youtube, and join the community on Facebook. Peace.

 

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