Bus: Seatac to Lake Quinault

Ride the bus from Seatac to Lake Quinault, Olympic National Forest.  This is done by utilizing four different buses from the city to the rain forest.  It takes a rider roughly takes 6 hours to get from the airport to the Lake Quinault Lodge.

Public transportation is the perfect solution to save money. This also gives the option to backpack inside the Park interior; with a 15 mile road walk. A visitor who does not wanting to rent a expensive car; may also benefit.  Extra planning is needed for a successful adventure.

bus quinault
Bus from Seatac to Lake Quinault

Review: Bobcat Kovea Stove

The Flat Cat Gear Bobcat Kovea backpacking stove is a system for the used to boil water or cook real food in the woods.  This stove has a handful of parts, but is simple to set up in the backcountry.  I found it to be very efficient during my four season testing in the very wet Pacific Northwest.

This system can be used with esbit, alcohol or canister as a fuel source.  I purchased it for the convince use with a fuel canister.  Bad winter weather or traveling with a partner, its nice just to flip a switch.   I was surprised how efficient it was in the long term.

My stove system was used on a ten day walk across Olympic National Park this last summer. We had two hot meals a day and still had plenty of fuel left at the end of the trip.

Bobcat Kovea Stove Review
Kovea Spider Canister Stove - striker - Bobcat floor and windscreen - Evernew 1.3 liter titanium pot

Mount Anderson

Mount Anderson is a 3 day backpacking trip for most.  This mountain is the tenth highest peak in the Olympic Mountains.  It has four glaciers; the Eel, Anderson, Hanging and Linsley.  Most of which are receded to the point of almost extinction.

The Linsley and Anderson glaciers feed the Quinault river, which drains into the Pacific Ocean.  The Eel and Hanging glacier melt into the Dosewallips drainage - finally ending its journey in the Hood Canal.

The mountain is commonly accessible from one of two trailheads, which are the Dosewallips and Graves Creek.  Both are over a 15 mile hike into the Park interior.  For this hike I will be walk from the Quinault side (Graves Creek Trailhead).

A 14 mile walk through gorgeous old-growth rain forest with camping gear to our basecamp; seen on the Olympic Camp Map.  From that campsite, we day hiked up the mountain and back as a day adventure. Then on day three, we returned to the original trailhead.

Winter campsite - after a 20 degree night

anderson pass trail
Anderson Pass Trail

anderson pass trail
Melted Anderson Glacier (very low snow year)

Thanks for reading - Barefoot Jake

Review: Sea to Summit Mosquito Pyramid Net

The Sea to Summit Nano Mosquito net is a pyramid shaped bug shelter for camping.  The Single size was tested; meaning it only has enough room for one hiker.  It is very minimal having four walls and no floor, so its perfect for the ultralight backpacker or anyone looking to shave weight off of their back.

All you need is a trekking pole or branch to elevate.  Then use four rocks, sticks or tent stakes to construct the length and width of the shelter.

I decided to add it to my kit, to help keep the mosquitos away from my face at night. The netting will not keep very small bugs out.  It fits perfectly under all my ultralight tarps and pyramid shelters.  The only variable is extending or contracting the height by anchor cord.

I have used this protection in peak bug season in the Olympic Mountains.  There were times I was very grateful to have this piece of kit.

Sea to Summit Mosquito Net Review
Sea to Summit Mosquito Net - Pitching instructions on stuff sack (my hand size is Large)

2015 Winter Snowpack

This has been a below average snow year on the Olympic Peninsula.  Pineapple Express storms, one after another have dropped a record amount of warm rain on the Olympic Mountains; well as most of the pacific northwest and west coast.

The warm weather trend have made people scream 'global warming', but if you look back through the weather data over the last few decades, its not that uncommon for Washington State to receive low snow fall amounts in the mountains.

In need of some exercise and mental mountain therapy, I packed my backpack and jumped on a bus to spend the night on the mountain.  Camping just above tree line would give me a good vantage point of the southern slope aspect of the Park interior.

Mount Meany
Mount Meany

Olympic National Park Hiking Map

Trail maps are needed for trip planning for hiking the Olympic National Park.  Time spent doing pre-trip researching, can make or break the success of the adventure.   It is best to learn and study how to properly read a topographical map.

The National Park service gives out free hand out tourist type maps.  These are not for any kind of navigation and you should not bring these on the trail.  They are attended for planning only.  Do not make this mistake.

Instead use a detailed topographical map of the area.  This details terrain features, water supply and  milage.  Example:  Off trial travel I use 7.5 minute USGS quadrangle detail map.

Olympic National Park Hiking Map
Olympic National Park Wilderness Campsite Map

Review: 2015 Gossamer Gear Kumo

The Gossamer Gear Kumo Superlight is an extremely versatile pack offering the hiker the option to use it for several types of backcountry adventures. The Kumo volume is such that it can be used for minimalist backpacking, mountaineering, day hiking and even thru-hiking for the veteran long trail hiker. Unofficially certified by me as possibly the most functional multipurpose backpack you can buy.

2015 Gossamer Gear Kumo
Winter backpacking the Olympic subalpine - credit Jesse O.