Base Camp

A successful journey begins with preparation. At Base Camp, we learn new skills, reflect on past adventures, and share advice with others. The contents below have been put together to prepare you for your upcoming voyage. For new backpackers and campers, understanding these new skills and becoming familiar with your rental equipment prior to arrival will help ensure a succesful trip.

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Essentials: Rental Equipment & Backcountry Etiquette

Becoming familiar with your backpacking rental equipment prior to departure will significantly improve the chances of a successful journey.  The following videos will cover the basics of your . . . more

Becoming familiar with your backpacking rental equipment prior to departure will significantly improve the chances of a successful journey.  The following videos will cover the basics of your equipment, backcountry etiquette, and helpful information regarding your trip.

Water Filter
The Katadyn Hiker Pro meets industry standards for the reduction of bacteria (99.9999% Klebsiella Terrigena) and protozoan cysts (99.9% Giardia and Cryptosporidium). Its compact and lightweight design is easy to use and essential equipment for drinking water from backcountry streams, lakes, and rivers.


Camp Stove
The Jetboil Flash boils water in under 2 minutes. Cooking the included freeze-dried and dehydrated backpacking meals simply requires the addition of boiling water into the meal pouch.  Pro tip:  Let meals hydrate 30-40% longer than what is recommended on the package.


Packing Your Backpack
A poorly packed backpack can throw off your balance and cause extreme discomfort.  Knowing how to organize your equipment inside your pack is an essential skill to help ensure a successful trip.

Fitting Your Backpack
Adjusting your backpack to fit appropriately makes all the difference in comfortably carrying your equipment.  Along your trek, you'll want to make many adjustments to optimize comfort as your load shifts and bounces around.


Erecting Your Tent
Included with your shipment is a two-pole styled dome tent. This tent design is strong, lightweight, and perfect for the trail.  All two-pole styled tents are very similar for setup.

Camping Tips
Camping in the backcountry is a lot more comfortable with a few helpful tips.

Pooping in the Woods
Inevitably, you'll need to relieve yourself on the trail.  Disposing of your waste properly in the backcountry is an essential skill. This video covers both sanitary and comfort concerns of going in the woods.  Please note, a small plastic trowel is not included with your order and will need to be packed separately.

Backpacking Safety
Lastly, more helpful tips for staying safe and ensuring a successful journey.

Thank you for taking the time to prepare yourself for your trip.   We hope you have a safe and unforgettable experience in the backcountry.  If you have any questions about using the equipment with your order, please don't hesitate to contact us! 

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Traveling to Yosemite: Where to Stop

Yosemite is slightly smaller than Rhode Island. One thousand one hundred eighty-nine square miles, to be exact. The park can be accessed fro . . . more

Yosemite is slightly smaller than Rhode Island. One thousand one hundred eighty-nine square miles, to be exact. The park can be accessed from three different directions, and it is a 3.5-4 hour drive to drive from one side to the other.
Depending on which entrance you come in from, there are hikes and attractions that we recommend stopping for if you have time. If you're on a Campcrate trip, the first and last days can be filled with these optional hikes and stops as you enter or exit the park.

Big Oak Flat Entrance: Highway 120


Arriving from San Francisco / Sacramento / Stockton / Napa

1) If you have 2.5-3 hours, take a side trip to Hetch Hetchy before the entrance and hike the 2.4 mile Wapama Falls Trail.  If you don't want to hike, it is still a beautiful drive.  Although, much of the drive was burned heavily by the Rim Fire of 2013.  From this parking lot, you can walk onto the bridge or begin the 2.4-mile hike.

After you've entered the park, there are two Giant Sequoia Groves.  The first is the Merced Grove and the other is the Tuolumne Grove.

2) The Merced Grove is the smaller of the two groves and less popular.  The hike is 3.4 miles round-trip and follows the old dirt road entrance into the park.

3) The Tuolumne Grove is a little further up the road.  You'll need to turn left at Crane Flat and drive a mile up the road.  This grove hosts more big trees and one of the old famous drive-through trees.  The 2.7 mile round-trip hike follows the old Tioga Road of the 1900s before the modern-day route was paved.

4) Drive to Tuolumne Meadows (3-4 hour total side detour)

Tuolumne Meadows is a beautiful and secluded part of Yosemite National Park full of meadows, granite domes, and snowfields.  The road will bring you up to 10,500 feet of elevation.  If you have time, you could add in the hike to Lembert Dome, assuming the snow isn't too deep.

https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7009772/lembert-dome

 

5) Cascade Creek

This one is literally right off the road, so definitely worth stopping

https://www.hikingproject.com/symbol/7011783

 

6) Bridalveil Falls hike on your way in...it's short, but really nice.

https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7004499

 

7) Tunnel View

https://www.hikingproject.com/gem/298

Fun side note:  With incredible caution, walk the small sidewalk .25 miles uphill through the tunnel.  On your right, you will find an air vent tunnel that pops out on the side of a cliff.  This will give you a beautiful view all to yourself.  Be sure to take your headlamps and use extreme caution in the tunnel.  The traffic will be heavy and loud, but all worth it.

 

8) Fern Springs

Stop here at Fern Springs.  This water bubbles up out of the ground and park geologists aren't even sure where the water comes from or how many years it's been underground.  You can use your water filter and drink from it.  It is as fresh of water as you can find anywhere.

https://www.hikingproject.com/gem/83

 

9) This one isn't on your way in necessarily, but if you show up too early and traffic is still bad, you can drive through Tunnel View and hike this instead of waiting on traffic.

https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7018588

 

Mariposa Grove Entrance: Highway 41

Arriving from Visalia / Fresno / Sequoia National Park / Monterey Bay / Los Angeles (optional)

 

If you need a canister for your camp stove, trail snacks, or accessories stop by Alpenglow Gear in Oakhurst.

1) After you enter the park, there are many hikes around the Wawona Area.  The Mariposa Grove of Giant Sequoias should not be missed.  We recommend the 3.3-mile Grand Tour of the Sequoias

2) If you'd like food, there is a dine-in restaurant at the Wawona Hotel (closed 2020) and a small grocery store, as well.

3) Further up the road, you'll have the option to take a 2-hour round-trip detour to Glacier Pt.  There is a short paved walking area that takes you to Glacier Point from the parking lot.

4) Along the Glacier Pt Road, you will pass the trailhead for both Taft Point and Sentinel Dome.  Sentinel Dome is a 2.1-mile hike and one of my favorites in the park.

5) As you continue onto highway 41 towards Yosemite Valley, there are many pullouts with incredible views of the Merced River canyon

6) Bridalveil Falls hike on your way in...it's short, but really nice.

https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7004499

 

7) Tunnel View

https://www.hikingproject.com/gem/298

Fun side note:  With incredible caution, walk the small sidewalk .25 miles uphill through the tunnel.  On your right, you will find an air vent tunnel that pops out on the side of a cliff.  This will give you a beautiful view all to yourself.  Be sure to take your headlamps and use extreme caution in the tunnel.  The traffic will be heavy and loud, but all worth it.

 

8) Fern Springs

Stop here at Fern Springs.  This water bubbles up out of the ground and park geologists aren't even sure where the water comes from or how many years it's been underground.  You can use your water filter and drink from it.  It is as fresh of water as you can find anywhere.

https://www.hikingproject.com/gem/83

 

9) This one isn't on your way in necessarily, but if you show up too early and traffic is still bad, you can drive through Tunnel View and hike this instead of waiting on traffic.

https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7018588

 

Tuolumne Meadows Entrance: Hwy 120

 

Arriving from Lake Tahoe / Las Vegas / Bishop / Mammoth Lakes

 

1) Stop at almost every turn out for amazing photos.  Especially here . . .

https://goo.gl/maps/9DMEtUH6Ru82

 

2) Continue through the park gates and go to Lembert Dome to hike to the summit . . .

https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7009772/lembert-dome

 

3) Go to the Tuolumne Wilderness Office and pick-up your permit here to avoid Yosemite Valley traffic.

https://goo.gl/maps/pYHk5S1QX1H2

Ask the visitor center if you can camp at the Tuolumne Meadows backpacker's campground instead of the Yosemite Valley one.  It would be really cool to spend the night up here instead.

 

4) If you do spend the night in Tuolumne or enter the park very early and are in great hiking shape, add in the Cathedral Lakes hike (7.4 miles total)

https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7009372/lower-cathedral-lake-trail

 

5) After that, continue on to check out Tenaya Beach/Tenaya Lake.  Photo opportunities vary greatly from different sides of the lake.

https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7009312

 

6) At the top of the hill, stop at Olmstead Pt for your first view of Half Dome.

https://www.google.com/maps/dir/?daddr=37.81080110447367,-119.48582410812378

 

Note:  If you plan to camp in Yosemite Valley, continue on through this message and your travel.  If you are camping in Tuolumne Meadows, turn around and go back.  Pick up here on morning of Day 2, assuming you got your permit at the Tuolumne Wilderness Center.

 

7) Next, stop to hike the Tuolume Grove of Giant Sequoias (2.7 Miles)

https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7018615/tuolumne-grove-of-giant-sequoias

 

8) Cascade Creek

This one is literally right off the road, so definitely worth stopping

https://www.hikingproject.com/symbol/7011783

 

9) Bridalveil Falls hike on your way in...it's short, but really nice.

https://www.hikingproject.com/trail/7004499

 

10) Tunnel View

https://www.hikingproject.com/gem/298

Fun side note:  With incredible caution, walk the small sidewalk .25 miles uphill through the tunnel.  On your right, you will find an air vent tunnel that pops out on the side of a cliff.  This will give you a beautiful view all to yourself.  Be sure to take your headlamps and use extreme caution in the tunnel.  The traffic will be heavy and loud, but all worth it.

 

11) Fern Springs

Stop here at Fern Springs.  This water bubbles up out of the ground and park geologists aren't even sure where the water comes from or how many years it's been underground.  You can use your water filter and drink from it.  It is as fresh of water as you can find anywhere.

 

https://www.hikingproject.com/gem/83

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Backpacking Checklist 2020

CampCrate provides the main backpacking necessities, but it will be up to you to bring the following items on our backpacking checklist for 2019. The items on this checklist will help ensure your t . . . more

CampCrate provides the main backpacking necessities, but it will be up to you to bring the following items on our backpacking checklist for 2019. The items on this checklist will help ensure your trip is comfortable and safe on a 3 Day / 4 Night trip.

It is important to note that a heavy backpack will lead to discomfort and increased fatigue.  Keeping your backpack light is essential to enjoying your trip.  Do not overpack or bring heavy items that are not on this list.  If you're unsure about a specific item, use the chat window in the bottom right to send us a message.  We're available from 7AM - 9PM Pacific Time.  After hours messages will be sent to our e-mail.

 

Backpacking Checklist 2019

Included with all CampCrate Backpacking Trips (per person unless otherwise specified)
  • Backpacking Tent (2-People Per Tent unless specially requested)
  • Backpacking Backpack (60L Backpack by Klymit)
  • Backpacking Sleeping Bag (Selected model based on forecast and conditions)
  • Backpacking Sleeping Pad
  • A headlamp (Petzl Tikka)
  • Backpacking Stove (JetBoil Flash - 1 per 2-people)
  • Backpacking Water Filter (To filter fresh water from snow melt and streams | 1 per 2-people)
  • Sporks and Mugs
  • Map
  • Campsite Fees in Cash
  • Cash to rent a bear canister (Yosemite)
Non-Gear Items Included
  • Detailed itinerary
  • Parking Permits or Instructions
  • Campsites (All Backpacking Trips)
  • Breakfast and Dinner on the Trail via Backpacker's Pantry and/or Peak Refuel backpacking meals. (Lunches, Snacks, and meals not on the trail are not included)
  • Wilderness Permits (Yosemite)
  • One single-serve coffee packet, sugar, and creamer for each day.

What's Not Included but What We Recommend Packing
Clothing
  • One Long Sleeve Shirt
  • Two T-Shirts
  • One Sleeping Shirt
  • One Hiking Shirt
  • One Pair of Pants
  • Three Pair Underwear
  • Three Pairs of Wool or Athletic Socks (Non-Cotton)
  • Beanie/Toboggan
  • One Sports Bra
  • Running Shoes or Hiking Boots (Whichever you prefer. The Great Debate.)
  • Lightweight Down Jacket (For colder destinations.  May use polyester long sleeve shirts instead)
  • Trips in late September and October should bring extra warm clothes.
 
Necessities to Purchase
  • 99 cent rain poncho (or large trash bag if you're thrifty)
  • 4 oz. Fuel Canister (Butane/Propane mix only
  • Extra food (we only provide breakfast and dinner for the time you're on the trail.  We do not include snacks, lunches, or other meals).
  • Money for Yosemite National Park Entrance Fee $35 (subject to change).
 
Miscellaneous Items
  • 4 Plastic Grocery Bags (used for waterproofing sleeping bag, clothes, pad, and misc. items in pack)
  • ID Card/Credit Card
  • Medications/Multivitamin (Only bring what you need)
  • Lip Balm (with SPF)
  • Sunscreen (SPF 30 or higher)
  • Travel Size Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush
  • Deodorant
  • Something to dig a cathole with (trowel or something similar)
  • 10ft of Toilet Paper rolled onto pen/pencil
  • Sun Glasses
  • Two 1.5 Liter Smart Water Bottles
  • Plastic Spoon
  • Sun Hat
  • Insect Repellant (Although necessary at times, insect repellant can be very harmful to the environment when backpacking.  Only use if necessary and apply conservative amounts to exposed areas.  Wear long sleeves and pants for primary protection.  Never spray near water sources.  The active ingredient in bug spray (Deet) will also dissolve/damage many materials, including polyester.)
 
Backpacking First Aid Kit
  • We recommend putting the following items from your medicine cabinet into a plastic sandwich bag for a makeshift first aid kit.  Ibuprofen, Benadryl, 10 Imodium Tablets, a few band aids, alcohol swabs, gauze or tampons, tweezers, and 5 feet of duct tape rolled onto a pencil.
 
Optional Items
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Smoke & Wildfire: Yosemite 2020

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Wildfires in California have become an annual occurrence due to hotter and drier conditions brought by climate change. Five out of ten of California's most massive fires were started in August 2020 and continue to burn. These fires do not pose an immediate risk to Yosemite National Park by flames, but the air quality has been significantly impacted by smoke.

Creek Fire

The majority of the smoke in the park is coming from The Creek Fire. The Creek Fire started on September 4th and is burning directly south of Yosemite. On a good day, the winds will blow from the West or Northwest, and the majority of the smoke will blow away from Yosemite. In these conditions, hiking generally continues for most travelers. However, on days where the wind blows from the South, the smoke in Yosemite is bad enough that no one should be hiking.

 

Smoke Forecasting Resources

Forecasting the smoke is not an exact science, but with a few resources, it is possible to make an educated decision to continue your trip or not.

 

The first resource is Inciweb. This government website shows specific details regarding the fire and its exact location with boundaries.

 

Next, use Windy.com. The small arrows on the map depict wind direction, and the slider on the bottom is for the date & time. If you change the date & time, you'll notice that the winds are calmer at night. As the sun rises in the morning, the winds change and typically begin blowing NW, W, or SW.

 

To understand how the wind affects the smoke, AirFire is a great visual resource.

 

The last resource is Purple Air. Purple Air provides measurements for the current air quality index. If the sensors in Yosemite Valley are reading over 150, hiking is dangerous for all groups. With a strong Southern wind, this reading has been in the 400's. With a NorthWest wind, the index will likely drop back below 150.

 

It's also possible to get a visual through the Park Webcams.


Alternate Dates
If possible, delaying your trip until October or late September increases your chances of avoiding the smoke.  Please message us and we can apply for new permit dates for you.

Alternate Itineraries

At this time, California has closed its Forest Service Lands due to fire risk and the majority of California has poor air quality due to smoke.  The closest alternate destination that is free of smoke is Lake Mead/Grand Canyon area.  We are working on a trip in that area.  If you're interested, please let us know and we will send our latest information.

 

Cancellations

For those that would like to cancel their trip, please proceed with your cancellation through Airbnb.  If your equipment has not been shipped yet, you'll receive a full refund (~7 days in advance). However, we do ask that you reimburse the permit fees that we paid. You can do so through the PayPal links below.

 

$10 - 1 Person

$15 - 2 Persons

$20 - 3 Persons

$25 - 4 Persons

$30 - 5 Persons

 

If you cancel with more than 7 days notice and Airbnb does not fully refund your fees after canceling, call their support phone number (1 (855) 424-7262) and let them know about the Creek Fire. Wildfires fall under their extenuating circumstances policy, and you will receive a full refund.

If you cancel with less than 7 days notice, there is a $150 charge for the shipment.  Any equipment that departs our facility must be cleaned upon its return.  Please proceed by canceling through Airbnb.  We will refund you the remaining amount.

 

If you have any questions regarding your reservation, please don't hesitate to reach out.

 

 

 

 

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