I am the assistant leader on Introduction to Backpacking and am looking forward to meeting you all.

Although both Francy and I live in the East now, we have both lived at Lake Tahoe. I was a fry cook, lifeguard and rented kayaks 45 years ago while in college. I go back several time a year to maintain our family cabin there.

The purpose of this message is to give you a link to our web site where we will be posting copies of all our correspondence and to emphasize a couple of items Francy has already talked about.

Our web site is https://donsnotes.com/ctl/introtobackpacking/

Our two major problems last year were the wrong sleeping bag and blisters.

Sleeping bags:
As Francy said in "The four major pieces of equipment",

"If you have an old cotton "car-camping" bag with flannel lining with pictures of hunting dogs, don't even think about bringing it!"
Your friends may tell you you can borrow their bag which will work. Their definition of backpacking may be walking 1/4 mile from a parking lot to a campsite. DO NOT BELIEVE YOUR FRIENDS.
By the time you put these bags in your backpack there will not be room for anything else and they can not be fastened firmly on the outside. They also tend to be heavy. You can rent sleeping bags.
See: Equipment Rental and Stores (https://donsnotes.com/ctl/outdoor_equipment.html).
You can get a bag liner, if you are worried about cooties from the previous user.
  See weather on our main page. (https://donsnotes.com/ctl/introtobackpacking/index.html#weather)

Francy mentioned breaking in boots and sock liners in her Conditioning attachment (https://donsnotes.com/ctl/introtobackpacking/conditioning.html) in message 1 and in message 2 and I just want to emphasize it.
Francy has worked with the U.S. Olympic Team and is an expert at treating blisters. I'm sure she would be glad to demonstrate in camp, but lets try to avoid doing it on the trail.
  Hiking on uneven trails with lots of rocks in the Sierra Nevada puts a different load on the feet than hiking down the bike path in your neighborhood. You will get more side to side and front to back pressure. So try to find an an uneven trail with more up and down to test your boots after they are broken in.
See my web page on blisters at https://donsnotes.com/health/blisters.html

The main complaint we get, primality on day-trip outings, is the lodging.
The trip brochure (www.sierraclub.org/outings/national/brochure/11116a.aspx) says,

"Though not a luxury lodge, Clair Tappaan (CTL) is cared for by a small, friendly staff and has a spacious living room, an enormous fireplace, a cozy library, and a large communal dining room. Wholesome family-style breakfasts and dinners are prepared each day at the lodge by professional cooks."

"Sleeping accommodations are bunk beds with mattresses and pillows. Guests must bring their own sleeping bags or bedding, towels, and toiletries. Rooms vary from very small two-person cubicles, to family rooms that can accommodate 5 to 12 people, to the larger men's and women's dorms. There are two men's and two women's bathrooms, as well as a hot tub. "

See https://donsnotes.com/ctl/index.html#rooms
CTL is not The Ahwahnee, a rustic lodge in Yosemite with rooms which start at $475/night.
  There are two other outings the weekend we are there, so there may not be much choice in rooms, but you can call the Lodge (800) 679-6775, if you have a preference for rooms.
There are family rooms with bunkbeds for 5 which are smaller than the dorms, but larger than the 2 person cubices, if you wanted to get together with others and ask for one of these.

The 2010-2011 winter season was the 5th highest in total snowfall for 140 years since they have been keeping records. On May 1st they still had 12 feet of snow at the lodge.
It had melted down to 8 feet at the NRCS measurement station in Soda Springs as of last week (June 1st).
We will be scouting the area before our trip to find an area where we don't have to camp in the snow.

There is information on transportation under reference (https://donsnotes.com/ctl/introtobackpacking/index.html#ref) on our main page.

Last updated June, 5, 2011