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Sierra Club Wilderness trips and expeditions
   Chapter: Michigan (Mackinac)
   Group: Central Upper Peninsula (CUPG)
   Leader: Michael Neiger, Marquette, Michigan (Web site; e-mail; bio)



Review trip journal and photo album from this completed trip

December 3-6, 2004
Winter camping & elk tracking

This early-winter backpacking trip will involve a cross-country trek through the non-motorized Green Timbers Wilderness Tract as well as an exploration of the wilderness along the western limits of the High Country Pathway. This area is home to the majestic Elk and we'll be keeping an eye out for this elusive animal as well as its tracks.Milton French

Milton French
enjoys an
lunch break
in a protected draw
at the foot of
Rattlesnake Hill
on a 2002 trip.
(Photo by Gail Staisil)

   High Country Pathway area & surrounding bush
   Otsego and Cheboygan Counties
   Northern Lower Michigan, northeast of Gaylord

Experience level:
   Intermediate-level, minus 10 degree wintercamping
   with backpack


Off-trail/on-trail rating:
   80 percent off-trail map & compass recon

Participant requirements:
   -- Notice: please review the homepage on this Web site
      for general wilderness tripping requirements
   -- 18 years old or older
   -- non-smoker and non-drinker
   -- very physically fit (good aerobic endurance)
   -- adventurous spirit
   -- proficient swimmer
   -- prior wilderness tripping experience
   -- fully equipped with lightweight backpacking gear
      including rucksack, bivouac gear, survival gear,
      foul-weather gear, rations, stove, etc.

Bivouac advisory:
   This is not a basecamp trip.
   We will move each day
   and bivouac in a different location each night,
   often deep in the bush and far from roads,
   dry & level campsites, potable water, toilets, and fire rings.

Trip info:
   -- 8 a.m. Friday to late afternoon Monday
   -- Club fee: $10
   -- Sign up by November 18 appreciated
   -- Contact trip leader for sign up, or application form if new
   -- Review journals and photos from similar wilderness trips

Specialized equipment required:
   -- In-pocket survival kit (knife, matches, firestarters,
      compass, whistle); Sierra Club survival kits can be
      borrowed free of charge
   -- River-fording footwear

Rations required:
   -- Breakfasts--4
   -- Snacks--4
   -- Lunches--4
   -- Dinners--3
   -- Backup rations--1 full day
   -- Rations and stoves info

Additional destination info:
   -- Pigeon River State Forest Headquarters, 1-989-983-4101
   -- Read "Field Guide to the High Country Pathway," 1997, by the Pigeon River Country Association, P.O. Box 122, Gaylord, Michigan 49735.
   -- Read "High Country Pathway," 1990 map, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Information Services Center, P.O. Box 30028, Lansing, Michigan 48909.
   -- Read "Hiking Michigan," by Mike Modrzynski (Falcon Press, 1996).
   -- Read "Backpacking in Michigan," second edition, by Pat Allen and Gerald L. DeRuiter (University of Michigan Press, 1989).
   -- Read "Hiking with the Herd," by James Campbell, in Backpacker Magazine, Oct '00, page 97.
   -- Search destination in http://www.google.com search engine

Travel info:
   -- Driving maps
   -- Road conditions and weather reports
   -- Tourism info
   -- Road trip gear

Wilderness skills and resources info:
   -- Backpacking skills
   -- Land nav skills
   -- River fording skills
   -- Water purification skills
   -- Lightning safety
   -- Low-impact skills
   -- Backpacking links, books, & vendors
   -- Ultralight backpacking links, books, & vendors

   -- Dressing warm skills
   -- Sleeping warm skills
   -- Winter-camping skills
   -- Ice-crossing skills
   -- Snowshoe links, books, & vendors
   -- Winter-camping links, books, & vendors

Emergency contacts:
   -- Otsego County Sheriff: Gaylord, 1-517-732-6484
   -- Montmorency County Sheriff: Atlanta, 1-517-785-4238
   -- Michigan State Police: Gaylord, 1-517-732-5141
   -- Michigan State Police: Alpena, 1-517-354-4101
   -- Hospital: Gaylord, 1-517-731-2100
   -- Hospital: Alpena, 1-517-356-7252
   -- Sierra Club Outings Department 24-hour help line: 1-888-outings

Land Nav Team Info:

   Topographic maps:
      1:24,000 Green Timbers, Michigan
      1:24,000 Hardwood Lake, Michigan
      1:24,000 Afton, Michigan
       --Topo map ordering information
       --Topo map waterproofing & GPS prep

   County maps:
      Otsego County
      Cheybogan County
       --County map ordering information

   2004 Magnetic declination specs:
      Magnetic declination for Lat 45° 15'N, Lon 84° 30'W:
         06° 40' west
      UTM easting grid line to meridian line deviation:
         01° 49' east
      UTM easting grid line magnetic declination:
         08° 29' west

   GPS configuration specs:
      Grid coordinate system
         1000-meter Universal Transverse Mercator Grid (UTM)
      UTM grid horizontal map datum:
         1927 North American Datum (NAD 27 CONUS)
      UTM grid zone:
         Zone 16
      UTM grid hemisphere:
         Northern hemisphere
      Unit of measures:

   Misc nav setup:
      Roamer UTM plotter scale(s):
      Ranger pacing beads:
         Metric--9 100-meter beads; 4 1-kilometer beads
      Magnetic declination setting on compass:
         0° of offset

   More land nav team info




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In God's wilderness lies the hope of the world,
the great, fresh, unblighted, unredeemed wilderness.

 — John Muir 1838-1914, Alaska Wilderness, 1890

Content Copyright © 1984-- 2005-09-09
by Michael A. Neiger

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