GPS HIKES & MAPS: Trip Search Products Using GPS

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Team TarpMan

Oh, it's an exciting time at the Backpacker map office. With New Mexico teams in place, we have begun the process of filing through those last few applications and assigning volunteers to suitable sections. You won't hear word until the dust has settled, so you can stop jumping every time the phone rings until, say, the end of the month.

One other team has been formed, however, and is already trip planning for a section of the Wind River Range in Wyoming. The mosquitoes are going to be nasty, but the views should more than make up for any welts. Lush green, glacially-carved valleys nestle among jagged peaks as the Continental Divide juts up from the Great Divide Basin to the south. The team will cover right at 50 miles, refreshed from a stay at the charmingly rustic Big Sandy Lodge. Here's the team:

Leon Nelson: Team co-leader; Backpacker map contributor; more than 50 years backpacking in Northern CA; hasn't used a tent since 1984.
Mike Nelson:Team co-leader; avid geocacher; mountain biker; completed several epic father-son trips with Leon; uses Esbit stove exclusively.
Nancy Huber: Triathlete, ultra-marathoner; has climbed Mt. Kilmanjaro, Mt. Shasta, Mt. Whitney; team dentist, along with Leon and Mike.
Thom Gabrukiewicz: Outdoor writer/editor; guidebook author; team executive chef.
Roger Cannell: CPA, marine pilot & still flies own aircraft "all over" the States; extensive use of GPS; former Philmont Scout Ranch staffer.
Bill Zellman: Experienced backpack crony (and boyhood friend) of Roger.

The photo is of Leon and a beloved tarp, by the way. My question to Leon: what made you kick the tent in '84?


Anonymous said...

From Leon Nelson, aka TarpMan: The question, "Why did you switch to a tarp for shelter?" is often asked of me.

Several factors contributed to my decision:

COOKING WHILE IT'S RAINING: Each year, I try to backpack at least 40 days. That means I must begin my season as early-as-possible and extend it as late-as-possible. It's inevitable, then, that I will often have rainy weather to contend with! Cooking and flat-out enjoying the meal-time experience is a cinch beneath a tarp! How many tent-dwellers can say that?

SLEEPING WHILE IT'S RAINING: When Gore-Tex began being used as one of the components of bivy sacks, that remarkable water-proof feature made it possible to sleep beneath a tarp with no weather problems to worry about. Besides that, bivy sacks add 10 to 15 degrees to the comfort level of the sleeping bag. And zipping closed the netting at the head-end of the sack makes a bug and mosquito-free "good-night's rest" possible!

Because many of our camps on the CDT will be above tree-line - and trees make using a tarp much more easy and convenient - I anticipate having to use a tent for our trip through the Winds.

Scott G. said...

Thanks, Leon. It is hard to beat cooking under a tarp in the rain.

So you're considering a tent for the Winds? Is Mike going to follow suit and leave the Esbit stove at home?