From the monthly archives:

February 2008

Winter Camping

by Ted on February 17, 2008

Tips for Winter Camping

Winter Camping is great fun and a very exciting adventure. You must prepare yourself and your family for this experience. The tips below do not cover equipment. Any special equipment can be obtained at the outfitters listed on this web page. ( R.E.I. ; Mountain Gear & Sierra Trading Post)

wintercampingnearsandstonecreek1.JPGA. Drink plenty of water to fight or avoid hypothermia because water effectively replaces all the moisture that was expelled from the body due to constant heavy breathing. Just drink water even when you feel you are not thirsty. The recommendation is one gallon of water a day.

B. At signs of an approaching storm, immediately put your rain gear on. Should you get wet, change right away to warm and dry clothing, because moist clothes will quickly suck heat from your body.

C. Remember to pace yourself.

4. Do more tasks than you would normally, because movement will generate body heat.

D. Following tips 1-4 and wearing clothing layers’, especially clothing that is polyurethane foam insulated will help you prevent frostbite.

E. Always listen and take notice of your body’s reactions. When you start to shiver, immediately do somethingsnow.jpg in order to make yourself warm before uncontrollable shaking and numbness sets in. Take note that hypothermia occurs mostly in windy and wet weather with temperature ranging from “30-50 degrees F”.

F. Eat a lot of complex carbohydrates and do avoid food rich in sugar and starches.


Waterfalls in Tahoe National Forest

by Ted on February 14, 2008

Hunting for Waterfalls in Tahoe National Forest

( GPS Lat/Lon )


Tahoe National Forest is truly one of the most gorgeous places on earth. There are endless outdoor recreation opportunities in every season, ranging from snow skiing and snow boarding, to river rafting and camping. And there’s nothing like taking a hike up to a cascading waterfall in the warm months. There are quite a few waterfalls to choose from if you look hard enough.

If you’ve got the kids with you or you’re just looking for an easy day hike, check out a nice little one called Love’s Falls (Lat/Long: 39.58109N, 120.60712W). It’s located near Sierra City where you can also find the Pacific Crest Trail (a great hike in love-falls-calif.jpgitself). Turn south onto Wild Plum Road off Highway 49 and you’ll see the trailhead about a mile down.

As long as you’re in Sierra County, you’ve got to check out Webber Falls (Lat/Long: 39.48405N, 120.39080W). This one is a beautiful falls, dropping around 50 feet at the end (the big drop is preceded by two smaller falls upstream). It’s a favorite spot in the spring for hiking and viewing the powerful water, and for swimming in the summer when the Little Truckee River is a bit tamer. You’ll really experience the beauty of the Sierras when you see this one.

In Placer County you can find several great falls along the American River. One must-see is Heath Falls (Lat/Long: 39.25083N, 120.40186W), which is especially stunning in the spring. Be careful though, this hike is not recommended for small children as it falls.jpgis quite strenuous. If you’re up to it (and you have a high-clearance vehicle), it is absolutely worth the difficult hike down the gorge to see this amazing sight. You can get there by taking the Soda Springs exit off I-80 to Soda Springs Road, then right onto Pahatsi Road. Continue past the Palisade Creek trailhead (stay right at the fork) all the way to the Royal Gorge warming hut where you need to stay left. Go another half mile to the trailhead.

Another strenuous hike is worthwhile to see the simply magnificent 1300-foot-high Wildcat Canyon Falls (Lat/Long: 39.19947N, 120.45607W) in Placer County. The trail that will take you to the best viewing point is an old mining trail leading down to the Walker Mine in Wildcat Canyon. It may take a bit of searching to find where the trail starts from Foresthill Road. I would recommend getting a good hiking book with detailed directions on how to get to this one; it is well worth it as long as you bring lots of water and good hiking gear.

If you happen to reside in Sacramento and want to get away with an easy hike to a pretty waterfall, I’d suggest Devil’s Falls (39.03906N, 120.89346W). It has been called the easiest waterfall to get to in the Sacramento area. It’s only about an hour’scalif-falls.jpg drive out of the city and does not require that you step out of your car. From the roadside, you will see the bottom 40 ft. or so of Devil’s Falls. The total height of the falls is about 100 ft and you can see it if you head up the path from the road.

Again, there is no shortage of gorgeous waterfalls in the high Sierras. Best of all, there is a variety of difficult to easy hikes for every type of waterfall hunter. Take a nice Sunday drive with the family to get out of the city, or make a weekend of hardcore hiking with your buddies. Either way, the high Sierras have much to offer in the way of waterfalls.

©Ted McCaleb


A Snap Shot from

by Ted on February 1, 2008