Author: Abby

10 First Aid Kit Items

10 First Aid Kit Items

I recently evaluated my backpacking first aid kit and realized I’m missing several important items. Usually my husband, Nat, and I pack adhesive bandages, bug spray, tweezers, and pain pills. Not bad – however, there’s certainly room for improvement. New backpacking season = new goals. You can purchase pre-made first aid kits in a variety of sizes with different levels of equipment. A quick online search will bring up a lot of options. Most likely your local pharmacy and sporting goods store carry first aid kits, too. If you decide to assemble your own first aid kit, I recommend storing most of your items in a sealed water-proof bag. This protects against leaks and makes everything easily accessible. Though, I suggest keeping certain items you use more often in outside pockets of your pack, such as bug spray. It would be annoying to take off and open your pack every time you want to apply bug spray. Quick note: I did not intend this list to be all inclusive. I encourage you to do further …

Threemile Lake, Oregon

Threemile Lake, Oregon

Threemile Lake is located along the southern Oregon coast within the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area. There are three trails that lead to the lake – Threemile Lake North and South Trails as well as Tahkenitch Dunes Trail. You can view a map of the area and trail system here. https://www.google.com/maps/embed?pb=!1m14!1m8!1m3!1d11519.560312778654!2d-124.1494506!3d43.7958939!3m2!1i1024!2i768!4f13.1!3m3!1m2!1s0x0%3A0x9a3937d8966cd66e!2sTahkenitch+Dunes+-+Threemile+Lake+North+Trailhead!5e0!3m2!1sen!2sus!4v1523279646595 Tahkenitch Dunes-Threemile Lake North Trailhead provides access to both the north trail and Tahkenitch Dunes Trail – it splits after about a 1/2 mile. You can actually combine both trails to create a 6.5-mile loop. The trailhead is found within Tahkenitch Day Use, which is located about 35 miles north of Coos Bay, Oregon – 14 miles south of Florence – just off of highway 101. The parking lot is large and well maintained with potable water and restrooms available. Just make sure to bring your recreation pass! Quick note: March 15 to September 15 is Snowy Plover nesting season, so there are restrictions on beach access. You can learn more about protecting Snowy Plovers here. Threemile Lake, Oregon My husband, Nat, and I decided to hike the north trail for our first backpacking …

Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area

Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area, Oregon

Golden and Silver Falls State Natural Area nestles in lush forests about 24 miles northeast of Coos Bay, Oregon. This secluded state park has three trail systems that provide scenic views of Golden Falls and Silver Falls. (Not to be confused with Silver Falls State Park.) One trail leads to Silver Falls, another leads to Golden Falls, and the third winds to the top of Golden Falls. The trails weave through dense forests and beautiful canyons. The roads leading up to this state park are windy and can get a bit confusing in certain areas. Just be sure to study a map beforehand or bring one with you. Note: Glenn Creek Road narrows and turns into gravel for the last 3 miles. The parking area offers plenty of space for parking as well as vault toilets and several picnic tables. All of the trails are one way and easily accessible right from the parking lot. Also, there is no day-use fee to park and explore the waterfalls. You can read more about Golden and Silver Falls State …

Backpacking Hygiene Products

Backpacking Hygiene Products

Whenever I think of backpacking I imagine a rugged, dirty, and carefree experience. I don’t mind the buildup of mud under my nails, some grime in my hair, and the tan that ends up being a layer of dirt. However, these backpacking hygiene products will aid in a more comfortable experience. All while enjoying the dirty griminess that comes with backpacking. ;] I do my best to keep my pack as light as possible, but I also don’t want to regret leaving something behind while on the trail. These backpacking hygiene products come from personal experience – and from regret. ;] From me to you, so you can be as prepared as possible for your next – or first – backpacking trip!   Backpacking Hygiene Products The Essentials Hand sanitizer Hand sanitizer ensures a healthy, germ-free backpacking experience – especially when nature calls. I also like to use it before prepping and eating food. Hand sanitizer is inexpensive and available in small bottles for easy packing. I keep mine in a bag with my toilet …

John Dellenback Dunes Trail, Oregon

John Dellenback Dunes Trail, Oregon

Nat and I decided to conquer John Dellenback Dunes Trail, located about 16 miles north of Coos Bay. The trail is in the southern region of the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area and cuts across all the way to the ocean. You can read more about the trail here and find a map here. The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area is located on the Oregon coast from Coos River in North Bend all the way to Siuslaw River in Florence. The Oregon Dunes constitutes about 31,500 acres of the Siuslaw National Forest. Quick note: March 15 to September 15 is Snowy Plover nesting season, so there are restrictions on beach access. You can learn more about protecting Snowy Plovers here. John Dellenback Dunes Trail We packed our backpacks on November 12, 2017 and prepared for rain, but hoped we would miss it if we hiked early enough. The trailhead is right off of Highway 101. There’s a paved parking lot with quick and easy access to the trailhead. You start off by crossing a long wooden bridge before winding through a lightly forested area. After a while the …

South Slough Reserve, Oregon

South Slough Reserve, Oregon

The South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve (South Slough Reserve) is a large inlet off the southern Oregon coast. The slough is located south of Charleston and features a great trail system. There are several trailheads to start your trek – you can read up on the slough and study the different trails here. The South Slough Reserve On November 11, 2017 Nat and I started our hike at the parking lot located southeast of the South Slough Interpretive Center. The trail is well maintained and winds through a lush, green forest. We noticed a lot of small tunnels through the undergrowth alongside the trail. Possibly deer or other small animals – we just hoped that whatever it was didn’t come bursting through while we hiked past! Eventually we reached a split in the trail – left for Middle Creek Trail and right for Hidden Creek Trail. We opted right (you can see all the different trail split options in the map linked above). This part of the trail is a bit more narrow with open views of the undergrowth and nearby creek. Since …

Oregon Coast Trail

Oregon Coast Trail – Norton Gulch to Shore Acres

The Oregon Coast Trail is a 382-mile trek that follows the Oregon coastline between the Columbia River and the California border. The trail hugs the coast for most of the way but occasionally opts for nearby roads to avoid uncrossable rivers and other obstacles. There’s a dead-end section southwest of Coos Bay that takes you through Sunset Bay State Park, Norton Gulch, Shore Acres State Park, and Cape Arago State Park. On Saturday, November 4, Nat and I set out for Sunset Bay. We decided to start there and then work our way down to Shore Acres. We didn’t plan to go all the way to Cape Arago – next time! Sunset Bay State Park After we arrived and shouldered our backpacks, we discovered that the trail was closed at Sunset Bay. The signage didn’t specify what was wrong, but we suspected a landslide. So we jumped back in the car, headed south, and then parked alongside the road to continue the trail there. Quick note: If you do start at Sunset Bay, you will eventually meet up with Cape Arago Highway and hike alongside the road for only a couple hundred feet before winding …

Waldo Lake, Oregon

Waldo Lake, Oregon

Waldo Lake, Oregon was not our first choice for a honeymoon destination. Nat and I originally had our sights set for Sky Lakes, Oregon, but nearby wildfires caused us to change our plans. Waldo Lake was one of the few places without imminent danger, though we still encountered smoke. August 26 came and went. We exchanged vows and made our promises in front of family and friends. Many relatives and friends spent countless hours prepping flowers and decorations. We could not have done it without them! I won’t lie – it was an exhausting day – but truly wonderful as well. That night Nat and I slept at home and then took off the next morning for our honeymoon. Our plan was to backpack around Waldo Lake for 3 nights, tour the Oregon caves, and enjoy several cabins. Very outdoorsy – perfect! Waldo Lake | Day 1 | Sunday Total: ~ 5.9 miles We arrived at North Waldo Campground around 10:45am on Sunday, August 27 (it was a 2.5 hour drive south from Mt. Angel). …

Marion Lake, Oregon

Marion Lake, Oregon

Marion Lake is a classic hiking and fishing destination in my household. My brothers and I grew up hiking this trail at least once a year and my parents still frequent the lake to this day. It was my first real intro to hiking and my first backpacking trip in 2011. Nat, Oliver, and I decided to visit Marion Lake once again for our most recent backpacking trip on June 24-26. Our friend Max, his fiancé Teal, and her younger brother Mark joined us. Marion Lake Marion Lake has become increasingly popular over the years, so I recommend arriving early. This way, you’ll snag a parking spot and a camping spot if necessary. Before you hit the trail, don’t forget your forest pass or day pass. You will also need to fill out a free wilderness pass, so the rangers know how many are in your group, how long you’ll be staying, etc. The hike into Marion Lake is about 3.1 miles and is easy-moderate. There are a few up-hill switchbacks going into the lake …