Indigo Lake Overnight Backpacking Trip

Indigo Lake Overnight Backpacking Trip

How is it that nobody has heard of Indigo Lake? I’ve talked with tons of people and the vast majority have not even heard of this place. I can’t understand why, so hopefully this info broadens your geographical mind and gives you a fresh idea for a day hike or an overnight trip. Indigo Lake is about 85 miles from Eugene, OR but plan for the trip to take close to two hours. There is quite a bit of gravel driving towards the end and the road is really not the best of shape. No matter your starting location, head to Timpanogas Lake to start your hike. There is a clearly marked trailhead parking area, but the trails themselves are not clearly marked. The trail opposite of the small lake near the trailhead is for Indigo Lake, the trail that runs parallel to the small lake is to June Lake. It will be pretty apparent that you’re on the correct trail if you start seeing the letter “i” carved into some trees in the first tenth of a mile. The 2-mile hike to Indigo Lake takes you up 600 feet in elevation, mostly within the first mile. You’ll be hiking through oldgrowth forest for the most part and then along some beautiful alpine meadows. It’s really a nice hike and a great trail! Once you reach Indigo, you’re in for a treat. The water is deep vibrant blue and Sawtooth Mountain forms the South boundary of the lake. Absolutely incredible. There are five walk-in tent sites spread out around the lake, each with a fire-ring and a rustic picnic...
REVIEW: REI Mars 80 Overnight Backpack

REVIEW: REI Mars 80 Overnight Backpack

The REI Mars 80 has quite the reputation, almost a cult-like following. Before buying this pack, I researched it like crazy. And the thing that jumped out at me is this: with how many people rave about this pack, there is not much on the web in terms of personal reviews. Sure, REI has great reviews on the Mars 80 but nothing in-depth. And everything else out there seems to be just a blanket statement or purchase encouragement. I would much rather talk about how I’ve used this pack and what my personal opinion is after owning it for a couple of years. First of all, I’m a pretty big guy. 6’2″ and 220lbs. I have broad shoulders. I have a size large in this pack. The REI Mars 80 is really comfortable. I’ve hiked miles with 55lbs on my back and it’s crazy how it balances and carries the load for you! It’s a pretty big pack but there are so many adjustable options, you can customize it down for a much smaller load. That’s actually one of my favorite features of this pack. I’ve used it quite a bit hunting with a very small load. Strap it down, carry some water, snacks, camera, as well as everything I would need if I’m successful and need to pack out an animal. It’s a joy to wear and really versatile in my opinion. I also really like the multiple access points, yet very streamlined, simple features. You can unzip the entire main compartment when you’re packing up camp, or you can go through the top instead. The exterior pockets...
REVIEW: Keen Gypsum Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

REVIEW: Keen Gypsum Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot

Before I let you know what I think about these boots, I thought it best to let you know what I use them for. I generally wear these boots for three main purposes: – hiking/backpacking – working outdoors in wet conditions – outdoor photography during the wetter months of the year Many of you know that I am a professional photographer (feel free to check out my photography work at www.joshuaraineyphotography.com). My day job often includes tasks like walking through overgrown fields to photograph an adorable couple, exploring old abandoned buildings during a portrait session, etc. I use these boots during many of the photo shoots I do in less than ideal weather conditions. I also wear them while working around the house/property in the Spring and Fall. Oregon is kind of a bummer if you’re a fan of dry weather. We just don’t get very much of it around here. And lastly, I wear these boots while hiking and backpacking. That is probably the most obvious use but I definitely wanted to point out that these boots are not not just for the trails. Here’s my honest opinion on the Keen Gypsum Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot and what I like/dislike about these boots. First, they are waterproof up to the top of the tongue and I have had no trouble with them leaking. No trouble at all. I’ve tested them by standing in water that covers the top of my feet, for a long time, and my feet “magically” don’t get wet. Walking through puddles, no problem. Crossing shallow creeks on a hike, no problem. Filling your water...
REVIEW: Mountain Hardware LightWedge 3 Tent

REVIEW: Mountain Hardware LightWedge 3 Tent

At just over 6lbs and less than $200, I had to make this purchase. I bought the Mountain Hardware LightWedge 3 for an overnight trip to Indigo Lake. I must say I have not been disappointed! Here are a few things I like about this tent, based on my experience using it. Two pole construction. Obviously cuts down on weight, however, the main reason I’m a big fan of this is because it keeps things simple. It’s so easy to pack, store, and prep for a trip. Everything is super condensed and you only have a few pieces to keep track of. This tent is a wedge so it narrows at the foot box and gives you a bit more room at the entrance. The pole design is very efficient and stays sturdy while keeping the weight as minimal as possible. This tent has a great vestibule. It’s the perfect amount of room to get geared up in, or store a couple of packs, or make coffee in while laying in the tent. Don’t do that though, you might catch the thing on fire. Weather protection. My first trip with this tent was in some 50mph+ winds coming off a high alpine lake. The wind seriously howled that first night! In the tent though, it was perfectly calm. The other people in our group had a teepee style tent with a small opening at the bottom and dirt/sand was blowing into their tent the entire night. Us, nothing. This tent has been tested in a rain room with 1200″ of rain in 24 hours and it didn’t leak (not...
My Most Recent 3 Purchases From Steep & Cheap

My Most Recent 3 Purchases From Steep & Cheap

IF you haven’t yet heard of Steep & Cheap then you should. This website is a closeout/deal site for Backcountry.com, the online leader in backpacking, camping, and hiking gear. Steep & Cheap is pretty unique though in the way they do things. It only features one deal at a time and each deal is up until it runs out of time or runs out of quantity. Most deals are up for less than 30 minutes so you have to act fast if you want to get great savings. Everything featured on Steep & Cheap is at least 50% off. And, don’t let the name fool you; it’s not just mountaineering gear. They feature fly fishing, skiing, snowboarding, and everything else outdoor related all the time. If you really want this website to pay off then you need to check it often. I wanted to highlight that most recent 3 deals that I’ve purchased through Steep & Cheap. Each item below shows the price that I purchased it for as well as the regular price in parenthesis. If you click on the items it will take you to a page that gives more info and/or has them available for purchase. Here they are. KEEN Gypsum Mid Hiking Boot Men’s – $69.95 ($139.95) Redington Rise Fly Reel – $86.95 ($169.95) Stoic Fusion Dry Compression Sack 10L – $8.99 ($21.00) And, each of these items will be reviewed right here on Outdoor Gear Steals within the next month or so. We’ll give you our first hand opinion on what we think of these products. But in the meantime, register yourself for Steep...

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