Otter Creek Wilderness Backpacking
Spent a couple days backpacking in Otter Creek Wilderness area. Thanks to traffic and work schedules, we weren’t able to hit the trailhead until 9pm… Which meant a 3.5 mile hike w/ 1,300ft in elevation gain on unmarked trails in the dark and mist. Fun! That said, the weather was absolutely beautiful. The stream crossing were a little tough due to recent rains, and the water still frigid but overall couldn’t ask for better conditions for a Spring trip in the West Virginia high country. Finally retired my kelty super tioga external frame pack, which after 20 years and 200+ nights on the trail is still in great shape but suffering from dated design and technology. New Osprey Xenith 88 (92L for Large version) is way more space than necessary for weekend trips in the summer/spring, even with everything packed inside, but should allow for longer 5-10 day trips and perhaps longer :). The Osprey carries and balances heavy loads better than any pack I’ve ever tried, so even tho I had the tent, cook gear and food, the only thing holding me back was a winter of eating. Also tried out my Exped UL9 LW pad which was the best sleep i’ve ever gotten in the woods. I might even use it as my mattress at home the thing is so comfortable.