Posts Tagged With: ultralight backpacking

Miller Peak IV: Heading Home

2018-09-24

We are in the Huachuca Mountains. We have spent a couple of days here and accomplished our climb to Miller Peak. We have a casual day planned, heading back down the mountain.

Here is the rest of the story, which is in three other parts:

https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2019/04/12/miller-peak-bathtub-spring/

https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2019/04/18/miller-peak-camping-and-a-surprise/

https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2019/04/23/miller-peak-ascent-to-a-parting-day-2/

DF has heard an owl in the night. She tells me that she is grateful that it came. She says that it felt big. It had a big sound, “I’m here. Anybody else here? Who, who?”

After my climb out of the tent, I stand stiffly and take in the wilderness. These trees all tell a story; it is their history they speak of. It is like a mother’s stretchmarks or an old soldier’s wounds. These are tangled, bent, burled and shaped by their lives. The rings have a tale, too. There is an old hulk with a twisted trunk near the watercourse. The twist says that it had had a ley energy shape it. When the fires came, they burnt it to be like a barber pole.

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Miller Peak: Ascent to a Parting: Day 2

2018-09-23

Morning, day number two in the Huachuca Mountains. We have a personal story to share with you….

The two Previous Parts can be found here: https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2019/04/18/miller-peak-camping-and-a-surprise/

As the Day Began:

Birds are up and moving about with their new day. I hear the sound of DF rhythmically pounding her down jacket. She is waking with her chi gung, slapping her body into action. Sun beams are all around, but the tent is in shade. Sun and shade are as different as night and day. I roll over and through the net right next to me, like bed fellows, are yellow daisies and green tall grass. I greet them good morning.

Remember, that you can click any image to enlarge and enhance it.

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Miller Peak: Bathtub Spring

2018-09-22

It’s early in the evening; the driving is slow up the dark twisted switchback road to the Ramsey Campground. The road’s dark edge is as near as the other side, the illuminated steep slope upward. Both are threatening.

We took off work earlier this afternoon, leaving Tucson to arrive for an earlier sleep. We are gaining a great deal of elevation by driving up here to stage our trip through the Huachuca Mountains to Miller Peak.

We left Tucson of course naked. Protected in the cab of the vehicle, we are still comfortably naked. The air outside is getting cooler as night deepens and thousands of feet of elevation change. A window is cracked, so that we can smell the freshness and pine scent of the air. Our sense of ourselves is adventure and freedom.

As we climb around a bend, there at the next switchback, we see a very large puma, a mountain lion. The massive side of its body is positioned to our view, its head turned toward us. It watches our headlights and listens to the roar of the red SUV. It seems to be in consideration, pondering if we are a danger, or useful and the next course of action, a monarch’s thinking. The powerful athletic physique, as big as a man stands tall, is poised, as we come up the road. It has been dark and then there is this amazing sight in the headlights.

It begins acting like it is too cool to be bothered as big cats do; show no fear. It begins to move and suddenly in one long leap, it gracefully leaps off into the darkness of the steep hillside, disappeared. I have to consider that we are going out into this wilderness naked and alone. Continue reading

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Liberation on the Trail

I wrote this article for “N” magazine. It was published in the Winter 2018-19 issue. I’ve added three more pictures.

 

Liberation on the Trail

We see these advertisements and articles of vibrant people out backpacking on trails across the world. They are athletes crossing wilderness mountains, thru-hiking for hundreds of miles. This is the face of backpacking.

For some of us, this is reminiscent of days of youth, packing 50 pound weights, or military expeditions. Some see a challenge, some an uncomfortable activity. Some will write it off for health issues.

I’m in my sixties, now. I have had back injuries from rear-enders. I’m just not up for packing 45 pounds around the Bolivian Andes anymore. Did you see an elderly Robert Redford and Nick Nolte dragging up the Appalachian Trail in “A Walk in the Woods”?

My girlfriend and I love to explore, to find places remote enough that we can be naturally nude. We can spend days imbibing nature, photographing it, smelling it, and feeling every subtle sensation of our nudity. We find that there is a special sense of spirituality and oneness. We find wonderment and vistas, solitude and the teachings of the wild.

There is a certainty that most of us can participate nude on the trail. Here is our personal story of evolution, from the couch to the wilderness. I hope that it brings to you some inspiration. There are solutions. We can do this!

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First Test for Ultra Light Gear

2014-02-22

Back before our Super Ultra-Light rigs, I scraped up a $250 budget for a rig that was approaching an Ultra-light (UL) rig. We both had to deal with uncertainty. We hadn’t been backpacking in decades. We had to try this idea out. This was how we first tested out the gear, working out the glitches and testing our bodies with the weight.

February 23rd, 2014

This warm weather we have been having just breaks all deals. We have decided to try out the new Ultra-light gear, IN FEBRUARY! Camping in February just isn’t done, but this year…80F down in the valley….

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Foothills in 4×4 Low

2018-04-14

 

We are at the hotsprings still. It is Saturday after arriving on Friday. Today we have directions to the rough road that leads back into the foothills of the mountains to the north. We are going to explore today. You might read about Friday here first:

https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2018/06/22/exploring-the-foothills/

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A Mingus Mountain Trail: Group Hiking

2018-06-17

I mentioned a while back about a non-landed group that we had had a couple of decades ago in southern Arizona, “Southern Arizona Naturist Society, SANS.” Today, we will be hiking similarly with a group. This is a different way to be free range than what DF and I usually present.

We are in the Prescott, Arizona area. Our host has created, or refurbished a trail in the nearby mountains and we’re all meeting up to hike it naked.

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Need a Nude Trail? Make One

2018-06-16

I mentioned this trail once before, when we visited Ken and Amie’s hilltop near Dewey, Arizona. Then, it was just a hilltop, a garden, a trail and plans. Now, there is a pleasant home on top and a system of stealthy trails to wander, to meditate and explore.

We came up from Tucson on Friday. The plan was to camp in one of the spots that Ken has put aside for a tent. Saturday, we would then visit Schenbley Road a four-wheel drive mess. The views are of legendary Sedona in the distance. Along the way, there are a few trails off of the road. I surmise that the 4×4 conditions of the road would diminish the number of vehicles. The trail which I planned to explore, leads off of the road into official wilderness. It would seem a good candidate for freely nude hiking. The views will be awe inspiring.

A hurricane in the Pacific off of Mexico has created long sought after rain, but it is forecast to be falling from late Friday night, until evening on Saturday. I’ve been told that the planned jeep road is notably slippery when wet and may wash out. On a good day it can be a cliff side, hair-raising drive.

Game called because of rain. What to do?

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Our Introduction to Sycamore Canyon

2018-06-15

I had planned a three day excursion into the Wilderness of Rock and Lemmon Pools. June is a hot time, a dry time in the Tucson Valley, and the cooler temperatures at 9000 ft. are something to long for. There has been two years of drought, but water would be found there in the pines.

As the date nears, I realize that a plan B contingency will need to be taken. The monsoon appears to be approaching early. Lightning popping off at the high elevation of those mountains, with that immediate cannon-like thunder is risky, if not traumatic.

The monsoon comes sooner to the southern part of the state than others. It generally creeps out of Mexico and then works its way north in increments. I checked the National Weather Service’s predictions and then my bucket list for a backup plan. Soon enough, with plans had to change, we are now on our way to Dewey in northern Arizona to visit with a pair of our naked hiking friends.

Thursday night, I undress in my truck after topping off my tank for our morning departure. That same evening, DF drops her clothing as she walks into her door ready to load up. That should be the last of the formality of clothing for the next three days, other than to pump gas and dine.

Friday morning, we will carnude up to Dewey, meet our friends at their hilltop retreat and head up through Cottonwood to Sycamore Canyon. DF and I have never been there. Our hosts will be our guides.

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Maverick Spring: Part II

2018-05-12

We are visiting Maverick Springs by way of Green Mounting Trail in the Catalina Range.

Part I is here:

https://thefreerangenaturist.org/2018/08/07/maverick-spring-part-i/

 

THE NEXT DAY:

 

It is pleasant to awaken under a canopy of trees with a sky blue background and the warmth of the sun on my face. I have been comfortably wrapped up in our camping quilt and a down jacket with its hood. Now, I am realizing the warmth and peeling off layers accordingly.

I stretch on the air-mattress, realizing that the tent is just long enough. I am also aware that my calves got a workout yesterday walking downhill with that extra weight. The new style five-finger shoes without the heel strap only created slippage. My ankles had to compensate on the rough extremely uneven surfaces. I’ll be doing stretches more this morning.

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