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backpacking angeles national forest cover

Last weekend, we packed our backpacks full of Cliff bars and dehydrated food and embarked on a night hike into the Angeles National Forest. We arrived in the parking lot at 9:00 PM and while taking out our gear, noticed the high wind gusts. We they felt about 20-30 MPH but nothing we couldn’t handle. As we starting walking, there was an alarming amount of millipedes that were out- I’m pretty sure it was mating season because we saw hundreds… good thing they don’t fly because I would have freaked out a little.

As we hiked about 1 mile in, we arrived at the first river crossing (there were 2 total to where we were headed). There used to be large rocks you use to navigate your way across the river. Due to the recent storm we had in Southern California (I know this DOES NOT compare to anything the East Coast has experienced but for us Californian’s it was a lot), the path was washed away. My strong man proceed to give me a piggy back ride across the first river- (what a gentleman 🙂 ). We reached the point where you hug the San Gabriel Mountain walls pretty tight and couldn’t help but notice the rock slides that had happened. Huge pieces of the mountain lay in our way- it was pretty amazing!

After another mile and a half, we arrived at our home for the night. The winds started picking up and with the sandy location we were at, it felt like we were in the middle of a sand storm. We need to set up camp and it was extremely difficult with these winds. Now it felt like they were about 40-50 MPH. We set up our tent with all the stakes deep in the ground and along comes a big gust of wind- out rips our tent and away it flies! Luckily it didn’t go far but it did rip our rainfly so we weren’t able to secure it fully back in the ground. When you’re dealing with gusts of wind and you can’t get out of the wind, look for rocks to secure your tent down. Put them over the stakes in the ground to hold your tent down. We had to throw our packs in the tent just to keep it from blowing away. After a few beers, we headed into our sand filled tent and went to bed.

We headed out the next morning about one and half more miles out next to the river for some gold panning. The winds were calm, the weather was perfect, and our tents didn’t break. The next morning we wake up to rocks falling off the mountain- rock slide? Not a rock slide- you hear about hikers and campers spotting bighorn sheep but you’ve never seen them. I didn’t spot one until a few months ago when a fellow camper told us how to spot them- when you hear falling rocks look up! They reside on the tops of the mountain and blend very well but you will see them! We felt blessed to wake up and see a bighorn sheep eating his breakfast so we made our coffee and joined him- the perfect ending to our little getaway! We hiked our way back to the parking lot- a total of almost 4 miles. It was hot but we had one thing on our mind- In N Out- our traditional post-camping eatery.

It was a great trip- high winds and all! Does anyone have any tips for fighting high winds while camping?