January 2 & 3, 2011

So, a couple of my friends and my son and I headed out to Sipsey Wilderness this past weekend. Our plans were to head down the Thompson Creek Trail and have lunch at ShipRock and then continue on down to Bee Branch and set up camp for the night. Well, it didn’t work that way…

To begin with, we had missed where the trail crossed over a small creek and continued on straight, however, we kept passing a few camp sites and even saw another group camping up on top of a hill so we felt like we were still on the correct trail. After a little while we noticed that the trail really became spotty. It would actually disappear for a little part so we just bushwhacked being sure to follow the little creek we had been next too. Eventually we would make it back on something that resembled a trail.

After a while longer we stopped and had lunch. I ran ahead a little and found another section that looked like a trail so I came back and the group followed this “trail” a short ways until it too teetered out…

At this point we decided to heck with it and turned around. We planned to go back and stay at one of the campsites we passed on the way in. Heading back was actually harder than going in though, but we did the same…follow a trail (or possibly just a path that all the water running off had made) then bushwhack a little more. We came across a couple of the sites but kept on going looking for the “best” one.

As we were walking down a “trail” we noticed a small bluff just up off the trail. I ran and checked it out and to my surprise I found a nice little area with a sweet little fire ring under the bluffs and even a bunch of cut wood to go with it. So we took it.

There weren’t many (actually none) flat places so I did not get to pitch my tarp but instead me, my son and one of my buddies cowboy camped underneath the bluff. My other friend and his girl set their tent up on the flattest area they could find. Then we settled in. We all made dinner threw wood on the fire and had a good night.

The next morning we woke up to some cold weather (ok, we slept through some cold weather too…) And as usual, after breakfast we packed up and headed back out. But hey, it was good.

So, here are a few videos of the trip and me talking about some of my gear I (or others) used. The first two videos were taken out on the hike and the last one I did after I got home. So, thanks for reading/watching and hope that you enjoyed it. Please feel free to leave a comment or ask a question at the end of the post if you want. Now, on with the show…

3 Responses to January 2 & 3, 2011

  1. David Sullivan says:

    I have the MSR 2-pot set. The big pot is 1.5L and the smaller pot is 1.0L. The set has a lid and was supposed to include a pot-handle, but didn’t–which I wouldn’t have used anyway. I boil water in the big pot and eat in the smaller pot. I’ve made cozies for the inner pot to keep my food warm while it’s reconstituting. I will do a better job of blocking the wind next time.


  2. David Sullivan says:

    Chad – I drove up to the Sipsey Wilderness early this morning (18Feb13) for two reasons: I wanted to try out my new White Box stove in the woods and I wanted to explore in the Clifty Creek area over on the east side of the wilderness. I hiked a couple of miles up old Bunyan Hill Road (FT 224) and then bushwhacked down a draw that soon became a creek. I had a GPS and a big SW map, so I knew Clifty was down at the bottom of the little feeder creek. I bushwhack a lot over on the Thompson Creek side of the SW, but this area didn’t seem to have enough old growth hardwoods to keep out the thick undergrowth. The bushwhacking was pretty tough, but it was only a half a mile or so. When I reached the bottom where the feeder stream joined Clifty Creek I found an old campsite where I decided to have lunch.

    I had never used my WB stove before, so this was the first time to try it. The wind was blowing pretty hard, so I know the windscreen was going to have to do its work well. I measured about an ounce and a half into the stove and had a little trouble lighting it until I got a fatter stick. In the daylight a person can’t really see the flame from that little stove. I put my MSR Titan Ti pot on the stove and waited for it to boil. When it hadn’t boiled in about 5 minutes, I checked and all of the fuel had burned and the stove was out. After waiting for the stove to cool–which didn’t take long on a chilly, blustery day–I put 2 oz in, lit the stove again, and had a boil in about four minutes (the water was still warm in my pot. My soup and hot tea was wonderful! Evidently, the WB stove will require a little over 2 oz to boil my Titan Ti pot full of water. I like the size of this pot because I can boil enough for a meal, a cup of tea, and have enough to wash dishes afterwards.

    After packing up, I decided to hike out the long way, so I followed a pig/coyote trail down Cifty Creek to where it intersected Braziel Creek, followed Braziel Creek to where it intersected Borden Creek, and then a quick walk to the bridge over Borden Creek on FT 224. All together, my hike was about seven miles. A great day in the wilderness.


    • Stick says:


      I have not been to Sipsey in quite a while… but I have enjoyed it each time I went. But it sounds like you had a great trip!

      As far as the alcohol stoves, wind is one of their biggest enemies. Did you try to make a wind block with something other than just your windscreen? I usually try to find some fallen logs to crouch the stove behind, or use my body, or something to block the majority of the wind. Also, the pot, is that the .85L Titan Kettle, and what is the diameter on it? Even if that is full, I would say an oz and a half of fuel should be enough to bring it to a good boil. I have managed to get 7 cups of water to a boil on 3 oz of fuel in my WBS. The quick burn out time was likely due to the wind over-feeding oxygen to the stove, and making it burn faster than normal, which is also why you had the fast burn out time. Typically, and oz of fuel should burn for at least 10 minutes in the WBS. Plus, the wind then carried off most of the heat that the stove was producing.

      I would suggest to try some controlled burns at home to get an idea of how much fuel you need for which ever cook pot you are using. Then once you get that down, you can simulate the wind with a box fan. Turn it on low and set it a few feet away and then see how much fuel is need to do the same thing.

      And good point, the flames on these stoves are almost completely invisible, so do be careful with them, especially in the daylight! I usually light it and then feel with my hand.

      Anyway, glad to hear you had a fun trip and got to tyr your new stove!



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