backpacking @ henry coe

We went backpacking for the first (real) time this weekend at Henry Coe State Park. We drove over on Friday morning and got back on Sunday afternoon (two nights). A group of us went car-camping there last year same weekend (birthday camping!) so the colors in the park looked the same, but this year seemed a lot warmer. The weather was probably around 65F in the day time and 35F at night.

Key notes about what I packed, what I used, what I didn’t:
I packed really light for this trip, to see what kind of discomfort I might experience to accomodate for next time. To be honest, I didn’t miss much, and probably just overpacked a bit. I found out (or re-inforced) that I love my Omniheat top, and I should probably get another one. I also absolutely love my Smartwool jacket (wool sleeves, polyester filled torso) for its breathability. I could work on finding more ideal pants though, my Patagonia fake maternity pants sag throughout the day (perhaps because of the large elastic waistband lol) so what starts out as comfortable ends up being sticky and friction-y by the end of the day. I did pack a fresh pair of socks per day, which was nice, but in a pinch I could proably get away with one clean pair and one dirty pair, especially now that I’ve switched to wool (Darn Tough T4037) and they definitely stink less. I brought an extra microfiber towel (about 8″ x 12″) that I didn’t take out of my pack at all, and also a large napkin which I didn’t use at all, but expected to need to blow my nose with because I had a cold this weekend, but didn’t use because I just used toilet paper when needed. The extra piece of Tyvek I brought for sitting/resting on (approx 18″ x 60″) was great, and kept the butt of my pants relatively cleaner for sure. Plus it made for a nice “porch” in front of the vestibule for standing up and stretching on without having to put on shoes. I didn’t miss the chair. I could definitely go for a short+narrow sleeping pad, but I really like the warmth of the Exped Synmat 9. Almost too warm – my pant-less legs got sweaty and sticky in my sleeping bag overnight; would probably like to bring a thin pair of leggings for sleeping next time. I brought a water resistant shell which I didn’t need at all because it didn’t rain, and also my Leatherman Micra was excess (because Kevin brought one too, plus the only thing I cut with scissors was KT tape for Nancy.) Probably would still bring it next time though. Oh one thing I really wish I had but didn’t was chapstick. My lips are insanely chapped, but not sure if it’s because of the sun, wind, or dehydration…

Food and water:
We accounted for 1600 calories per day for me, and 2100 calories per day for Stan. We were pretty much right on the money, because we packed a couple hundred extra in snacks, and had a few partial bags leftover. Empty bear can at the end of a trip feels great! I definitely carried an extra 2-2.5 liters of extra water daily, but I really figure that if I’m gonna carry extra anything, it better be water. I drank about 2L each day.

Other notes:
My pack weighed 25.8 lb at the start of day one, carrying sleeping bag, mat, tent, snacks, misc, and 5L water. It weighed about 23 lb at the end of day 3, probably just because I only had about 3 L left and barely any snacks on me. Stan’s pack went from about 28 lb to 20 lb from all the food consumption. I didn’t poop on the trail, but probably could have on the last morning if I had some time. But that campsite had people camped right next to the bathroom. Speaking of bathrooms, all the campsites had vault toilets so no shovel adventures this time.

Mileage and trip notes:
Unfortunately Coe park hiking trails aren’t in Google maps. So this’ll have to do, even though it’s messy. I tracked our start/break times and what time we got to each intersection, but it’s a bit messy because I missed some stops. In total, we went approx 18.5 miles in approx 10.5 hours + 2.5 hours of breaks, which doesn’t include overnight/camp rests. It was probably about 4000′ gain over the entire loop.

  • start at hunting hollow
  • 2.0 to coyote creek gate via gilroy hot springs road
  • 2.5=0.1+0.2+0.7+0.5+1.0 to dexter trail via grizzly gulch trail
  • 0.8=0.6+0.2 to kelly lake trail via dexter trail
  • 1.0 to kelly lake via kelly lake trail
  • 1.2=0.1+0.8+0.3 to coit lake via coit road
  • CAMP
  • 0.3 to crest trail via coit road
  • 1.1=0.8+0.2+0.1 to wagon road via crest trail
  • 3.3 to willson camp via wagon road
  • CAMP
  • 3.1=0.6+0.8+0.2+0.2+0.3+0.6+0.4 to jim donnelly trail via steer ridge road
  • 3.2=3.1+0.1 to hunting hollow entrance via jim donnelly trail

Last thoughts
It was great! I’m quite sore, especially my quads (lateral lower portion?) and calves. Nobody else is sore, but maybe because I was the only one without hiking poles, plus with barefoot shoes? I think I should do some beach-running training in preparation for Lost Coast. If I’m sore after 3 days I definitely have some work to do for longer trips. Excited for the next one!

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