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25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

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25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Mark Jones on November 21st 2015, 10:53 pm

Just think you too could be in on this expedition to aquire the 25 mile patch. Not only will you be among those that have done the distrance. You will be among those that choose to do it. Not being forced as the military does. You choosing to go the distance by your own free will. We will pass by some very senic and awesome sights. Along the way passing through 6 remote campsites every 5 or so miles. Yes even seening BIG Bluff and 14 river crossings.

last year it was raining, sleeting and snowing on us as we finished up on a 20 miler. This year we are going for the patch.

December 11th, 12th and 13th. Holler if your interested.

Mark Jones
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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Mark Jones on December 1st 2015, 9:29 pm

Wow just 10 days away and we go 25 miles! YES! My bones are already shouting out.

I have 19 intersted in the backpack. 25 miler patch brings those nuts out of the woods. Really it's just the fun of it all. I put out a let's dial this in who's going and had 19 hollering back over email. Weather forecast will make it or break it.

My son is aggravated at me for even considering making changes to the 25 miler... if it was up to him..we would go no mater what. HA! I remember those days.....

The Buffalo River with 15 river crossings can be a formidable obstacle if it's over waste deep at the deepest crossing. That makes every river crossing you have to take your boots off and put on your river shoes and then dry your feet put your boots back on and go another mile and do it all again. It's so much faster if we can just step stones accross most of the river crossings. He's 22 and still growing. Yet he is way ahead of me at that age.

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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Phillip Gross on December 2nd 2015, 6:58 am

I'm hoping that we can do a 25 miler this year coming. We've been developing the boy's gear and endurance, but there's a few that I believe would have a hard time, if they could do it at all. What's the youngest you allow to come on these hikes, or do you just observe them on shorter hikes and make case by case judgement calls?
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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Mark Jones on December 2nd 2015, 1:37 pm

If Dad goes with them it's by individual case. If they are on their own 13 is a good age.  Yet I still like to be up on their skill level.  Most do the 5 to 10 milers before they go on the 25 miler.  

A good shake down ... I weigh each person before we leave my house.  We have fun with it and see who is carrying the heavy pack.  I generally will weigh in on the heaviest pack.  Yet on the 25 miler I will go from 45 lbs to 33 lbs.  Most of that is I just don't bring it.  

We can double up by sharing stuff so each of us won't have to carry it all.  

My son has his pack weight down to around 22 lbs.  He brings the same thing every time. Might add or subtract a extra down jacket here and there.

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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Mark Jones on December 10th 2015, 6:39 am

Well the rain forecast went from 40% to 100% with 2 - 3" of rain on Saturday night and sunday.

So it looks like we will do the River Crossings First then do the higher ground last that don't require river crossings.

Still going the first 2 days will be wonderful weather high almost to 70 low of 50. Sunday will still be warm considering the rain and it's december 50. It will be a wet backpack out.

Looking forward to the challenge. 25 miles is is a ways to go willingly.

I know the military guys this isn't anything. Yet I have found the military has ruined many a good backpacker due to the miles and miles they caried 100 lbs packs. Yet they miss out on so much because of those bad memories.

I have found the best ministry is when we leave our comfort zones. Deny self and rough it a bit and somewhere in all that is a blessing.

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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Phillip Gross on December 10th 2015, 7:29 am

I agree. The best memories are those that include adversity that was overcome.
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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Mark Jones on December 10th 2015, 2:40 pm

Ok. Good. Now I have you where I need you. I will stay home in my nice warm comfy dry house and you get to lead the group of 10.

Aaaahh what a relief knowing I ain't going out there in all that rain.

NOT TODAY! NOT ON MY WATCH. I can see your trying to hedge in on this gravey train of a backpack in the rain were doing. I am going for sure. Your welcome to tag along and enjoy the rain along with us. GRIN!

Some one has to psyc me up for this. Me myself and I are not all in agreement on this trip. HA!

The sad thing is I have 2 boys in our outpost that could really benefit merit wise from this trip. Yet they are staying home because of the river crossings and the weather forecast or the miles. Hello you gotta do the miles to get the merits.

Mark Jones.
p.s. were going to have a great time. I know cause I am asking you guys to pray for us to have just that.
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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Claymore on December 10th 2015, 2:56 pm

Phillip Gross wrote:I agree. The best memories are those that include adversity that was overcome.

We have a "Ranger Motto" and a "Ranger Yell".



The Yell is, "Rangers Lead The Way!".


The Motto is, "In The Midst of Adversity, Lies Opportunity!".

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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Phillip Gross on December 10th 2015, 5:56 pm

Will be praying for you guys.
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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Mark Jones on December 15th 2015, 3:55 pm

We made it. Temps was absolutely perfect. 66 for a high and 55 for a low. Then the 3" of rain hit. Backpacked 12 miles in the rain every creek, brook and cranny was flowing. It was purdy. Legs are stiff today but after 25 miles and 1600 feet of elevation change...I am one fired up praying in tongues, trail singing Holy Ghost filled, certified fruit cake that would have went with Moses out into the wilderness. GRIN!
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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Phillip Gross on December 15th 2015, 6:07 pm

Glad it all went well! Where are the pictures, or did you nix the camera to save weight? Smile
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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Mark Jones on December 16th 2015, 10:09 am

Report and pictures!
http://readyrangers.tzo.com/201525miler/201525miler.htm

I left some stuff home but brought the camera and usb battery pack and the 870 luma backpacking flashlight. I brought just enough.

I could have left fleece jacket and my softshell jacket at home as it was so warm..but you never know.
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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Phillip Gross on December 16th 2015, 10:43 am

Good write up as usual. Glad you guys had a good time. You mentioned the difference in pace and I've always been curious about the details of how you handle that. For instance, yes you always have the faster ones. Then eventually they want to take a break. After sitting there for awhile, the slowers catch up and they want a break too, but the fast group is ready to go. Do you go ahead and go, or wait for them to break too, then all start together again. Of course it spreads back out and the cycle continues. It seems to take even longer that way, but I'm always afraid that if the fast group starts again when they're ready (about the time the slow group catches up), that eventually they won't be in sight at all anymore.

I normally lead up front of the fast group and do my best to keep them reigned in, but we still end up spread put from the other group. I don't let the boys go as fast as they want because I know they'll be worn out before the end, but we still get spread out.

So what say you?
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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Mark Jones on December 16th 2015, 4:38 pm

Only rule I have is when we come to a trail intersection that everyone stops there and we all go down that trail together.

We have a few times where we will all stop together besides those times. Filtering water or lunch. I generally give the team a heads up that we will stop at the next trail intersection or river or stream crossing. You could do it on time as well.

I have enough adults that I don't worry about the younger guys to much as they are most always with at least one adult.

We move as fast as the slowest person and it has to be safe. Yet we all stop at the crossings. The slower guys often won't take breaks a the same time as the fast ones. Yet they do take breaks.

I will often reward myself when I come to the top. With a 60 second bend over taking the weight off my back by putting my weight on my walking sticks. A short break does me good.

25 miles is to much for Discovery. I would limit it to 13 years and older.

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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Canadarangers on December 16th 2015, 11:08 pm

What is the longest hike you have done?

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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Mark Jones on December 17th 2015, 9:43 am

At one time is the 25 miler 2 full days and part of one evening.

Most Rangers this is a max for them.

Our group is talking about doing a 100 miler but.... so far its' talk. It would take a week.

I am not really drawn to the through hiking aspects. I love the camping and the hiking but am always glad to get home after a few days of it.

If a person could plan a trip that covered about 7 miles a day in the winter months you could go for a week or so comfortable.

If we would have gone more nights after that 3" of rain it would have been tough. Boots were soaking wet being the main problem...everyones boots. I am looking at drysuit seals for my ankles. I had crocks I could wear around camp. Sometimes you can find a natural overhang to build a fire under and dry stuff out.

Most of our sleep stuff was in dry bags and still dry even after the 3" of rain. Those wet boots really dragged me down this trip. I am going to fix that issue.

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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Mark Jones on December 17th 2015, 9:54 am

We do about 8 backpacks a year average. Most are less than 10 miles each and most of that is day hikes with no backpack on.

Carrying backpacks with rangers. Best option is less than 1 mile in setup base camp and then day hike from there. Most rangers are not geared up and it won't be long before they hate backpacking if you take them much farther with backpacks on.

It's easy to ruin boys on backpacking if your not careful. It's like sticking your finger on a hot coal. You won't do that again for a while.

If you make the trip fun. Get them back into the woods a mile base camp over night. Next day take them day hiking for about 3 to 7 miles and return back to camp and then backpack back out the mile they will make these trips again and again and again.

Again don't burn them by taking them too far. This 25 miler is for the top of the top of folks. Not everyone is a leader and not everyone is a backpacker. GRIN!

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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Mark Jones on December 22nd 2015, 8:58 pm

YouTube video of me narriating a slide show of this 25 miler pictures.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pT5A6E31i3E
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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Phillip Gross on December 22nd 2015, 9:24 pm

Nice video. As pointed out it was fairly warm weather, but what methods do you use in cold weather river crossings? Same thing, just put on swim shoes, pull up the pant legs and go?
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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Canadarangers on December 22nd 2015, 11:53 pm

Thank for clearing up the mystery of that little rock "shack" I thought it was an outhouse.

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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

Post by Mark Jones on December 23rd 2015, 5:06 pm

NO Cotton. No exceptions. Best river shoes are crocs. Pool sandals. flip flops or pool shoes are not any good on the river banks.
Pack your sleeping bags and night clothes in light weight dry bags. I also use a lot of zip locks for other stuff.

Treking poles give you added stability sliding over those slick rocks on the bottom of the rivers and streams.

If you fall in crossing the river in cold river. Have an emergency blanket handy and a backpacking stove. Have them sit down on a log or backpack and put the stove between their feet like we do a candle lantern in FCF pull the emergency blanket around them and they will warm up in a few. Providing they are wearing nylon or polyester stuff they just shake like a dog and the water doesn't soak in to these materials.

I put my boots in a dry bag when I cross. I like dry feet.

We have been pretty fortunate. No one fell in these last 3 trips.

Summer months we just laugh and go on. Winter months whole different story.

My boss is taking his scouts down this next Monday - wed backpacking with river crossings.
I really enjoy them. They add a bit of fun to it all.

Mark Jones
Phillip Gross wrote:Nice video. As pointed out it was fairly warm weather,  but what methods do you use in cold weather river crossings? Same thing, just put on swim shoes, pull up the pant legs and go?
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Re: 25 miler from Pruit to Steel Creek BRT to the OBRT 14 River Crossings

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