Winter Hike to Toleak Point

  This last Autumn I received a Facebook Event invite to join a group outing on the South Olympic Coast.   I of course accepted; since the coast is my favorite winter place to hide out from modern life.

  The plan was to walk 6 miles south on the coast (near La Push) during low tide.  Set up a base camp and day hike out different directions for some old fashioned exploration.  In order to catch the tide; the rest of the group would have to leave their residence early as 2am.  Then meet me in Port Angeles at 5am in route to La Push, Wa.   In order to meet them,  I cycled 5 miles into town from the farm.  Nothing wakes you up; like just above freezing temps on a bike.

  A cold front was forecasted moving through the Olympic Peninsula.  This would be a perfect opportunity to test my new tent in rain and wind conditions.

backpacking Olympic Coast
Group headed south on the Olympic Coast at first light.

Olympic starfish
Starfish reflections

Toleak Point
Approaching camp 

First Impressions of my New Tent

   Often having wind changing directions during the night and sideways falling rain.  I recently decided to invest into a new shelter.  Stepping out of the a standard tarp for the winter Pacific Northwest months that are wet and windy seasons.  Rather than adding a bivy sack to my kit; upgraded to a design with more walls.

Locus Gear Khufu Sil
My Locus Gear Khufu Sil pitch - featuring a primitive camp selection on the Pacific Northwest Trail. 

Trip Conditions

  • High temps of 39f & Lows of 33f 
  • Winds 15mph w/ 25mph wind gusts
  • Rain showers overnight and scattered though the day


  The first night I pitched the windward side a half inch and leeward 2 inches from the ground.  I experienced no misting or spray; even with heavy rains moving through the area that night.  

  Got up through the evening as nature called; climbing back into the shelter.  Did a scan with my hand to feel for condensation and moisture through the material.  Felt no issues; as rain pounded outside surface of of the Khufu.  There was also no issues of structure flapping with the wind; benefits of a tight pitch. 

  The second night I put the windward side fully to the ground to allow no breeze under; since a cold light draft was felt the first nights sleep.  Still experiencing no sleeping bag or inter surface condensation. 

  The wind shifted around into 3 directions through the day.  So I would say the shelter upgrade was a complete success in these conditions. 

  • Simple pitch
  • Design
  • Quality of construction & material

  • Tight on length (I'm 5'11") 
  • Velcro used on the door zipper flap

  The more skills you learned pitching the shelter; the better quality.  Have already critiqued myself to improve room inside the Khufu.  Like over tightening the extra stake out points; will drop the walls and decreasing your head room inside. 

  I look forward to pitching for most my 2013 adventures and mastering them in various conditions.  Look for a full review in the next few months. 

Toleak point
Calm before the storm - sunset night 1.

Ultralight backpacking Olympic coast
Ultralight tarp camp

Old growth tree
'Capturing Dinosaurs' the next day. 

Mosquito Creek
Walking on one of the most remote sandy coast sections of Washington State. 

Huge driftwood
Searching the beach for  a Japanese Dock.

Goodman Creek
Re-fording Goodman Creek crossing.

beach fire in wind
Campfire night 2 as a windy cold front moved through.

  It was a lovely trip; with a mix of all different types of weather.  Glad that it broke for use to have enjoyable sunsets.  Look forward to visiting the coast again in a few weeks. 

  Thanks for inviting me Jeff & Ariana.  It was nice to meet you and your friends.  Fun meeting new people.  Tim & Greg also was in this party; I have hiked with both of them previously.  Look forward to seeing their lovely photos; which are always superb. 

cock-a-doodle doughnuts
Enjoying custom made and locally made Cock-a-doodle Doughnuts post trip. 

Special Thanks:
  • Jeff and Ariana for inviting
  • Tim for driving
  • Cock-a-Doodle Doughnuts in Port Angeles

Updated in December 2015 by Barefoot Jake