Non-buggy backpack <5 hr drive from Portland

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dgweston
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Non-buggy backpack <5 hr drive from Portland

Post by dgweston » August 19th, 2019, 9:12 pm

I'm looking for a 2-night backpacking spot that is not super buggy, and is no more than a 4.5-hour drive (one-way) from Portland. I went to Eagle Cap this time of the year in 2011, and it was perfect, but it's just too far for the time I have.

Any tips? We're in pretty good shape and can handle a good incline. Mainly, I'm not sure where to look.

Thank you!

~d

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retired jerry
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Re: Non-buggy backpack <5 hr drive from Portland

Post by retired jerry » August 20th, 2019, 5:25 am

Mt Hood, Goat Rocks, Mt Adams - the field guide has a bunch of details

I think maybe I'm doing Goat Rocks - Goat Lake loop, Old Snowy, Cispus Pass

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drm
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Re: Non-buggy backpack <5 hr drive from Portland

Post by drm » August 20th, 2019, 6:41 am

Hard to make specific recommendations when everything is open and there are dozens of options. The most bug-free places are the lowest altitudes. So if no bugs is more important than alpine views, stay in the Gorge (i.e. Herman Ck/PCT loop) or maybe the Lewis River. Otherwise you just have to take your chances. You also will have less bugs if the weather is not so good: windy and/or cool weather means few bugs. More bugs with a heat wave.

dgweston
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Re: Non-buggy backpack <5 hr drive from Portland

Post by dgweston » August 20th, 2019, 8:21 am

Thank you both! I haven’t fine-tuned my anti-bug strategy. Obviously camping next to a bog for two days this time of the year is out. The trip reports I saw recently for Mt Adams weren’t encouraging, but it’s probably very location specific. Thanks again!

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teachpdx
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Re: Non-buggy backpack <5 hr drive from Portland

Post by teachpdx » August 20th, 2019, 8:55 am

dgweston wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 8:21 am
but it’s probably very location specific.
There really is no telling, to be honest. I was up around Mt. Jefferson last month and there were no mosquitoes at one lake, but at another lake (less than a mile away at the same elevation) we were absolutely bombarded.

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drm
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Re: Non-buggy backpack <5 hr drive from Portland

Post by drm » August 20th, 2019, 2:12 pm

And I'm very fond of my Thermacell. It's essentially a butane-powered mosquito coil. Sometimes I haven't been bugged for a while so I think I can turn it off, then they come back. It says it works on all kinds of bugs, but I think it works better on mosquitoes than on flies.

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teachpdx
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Re: Non-buggy backpack <5 hr drive from Portland

Post by teachpdx » August 20th, 2019, 4:00 pm

drm wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 2:12 pm
And I'm very fond of my Thermacell.
Sorry to hijack with a gear discussion, but I've been very intrigued by the Thermacell. I'm a bit put off by the cost of the consumables, though. Is it really worth it? Will one of them keep the immediate campsite area clear, or is it just enough to protect one person?

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walrus
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Re: Non-buggy backpack <5 hr drive from Portland

Post by walrus » August 20th, 2019, 7:11 pm

Jefferson Wilderness was pretty much bug free below 6,000 feet last week. Goat Rocks usually are by this time of year as well. Backseat driving, I'd head for the Goat Rocks and do a night at Cispus Basin and a night in Jordan Basin.

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drm
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Re: Non-buggy backpack <5 hr drive from Portland

Post by drm » August 21st, 2019, 6:36 am

teachpdx wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 4:00 pm
drm wrote:
August 20th, 2019, 2:12 pm
And I'm very fond of my Thermacell.
Is it really worth it? Will one of them keep the immediate campsite area clear, or is it just enough to protect one person?
The device cost $25 I think and a box of replacements ($20 - 48 hours) lasted me for two years, and I go backpacking almost every weekend. But I don't sit around camp for 6 hours or anything. I rarely use it more than an hour or two per day. If you sit around buggy camps all day long, they would go fast.

They claim it clears a circle 15 feet across. It depends on the breeze and just how bad the mosquitoes are. I would say that 15 foot circle is the max. One device can certainly do two or three people seated next to each other in moderate-level mosquitoes. A decent sized camp probably needs a few devices set around the perimeter. You could also just try buying old-fashioned mosquito coils if you don't mind the smoke.

Note that it takes 5-10 minutes after turned on for it to heat up and become effective, that's for the butane cartridge version that I use.

dgweston
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Re: Non-buggy backpack <5 hr drive from Portland

Post by dgweston » August 21st, 2019, 2:51 pm

More great advice- thanks!

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