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Help me plan the night before the dayhike...
#56352 09/25/19 06:10 PM
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I will be dayhiking the main trail for the first time on Friday Oct. 5. I reserved a Whitney Portal campground for the day before. I only reserved a site because I'm always afraid of not finding something on a walk-in basis.

My question: Does it really make sense to camp in my campsite, wake up at 2-3am, tear down camp, re-park my car in the hiker's campground, before starting my hike? Is there a better way?

Alternative #1: I was thinking about sleeping in the car in the hikers' campground. But some have mentioned that it's really hard to sleep in the car due to noise (doors constantly shutting, bear lockers, cars starting, people talking, etc.). But it would REALLY cut down the time it takes to start hiking.

Alternatively #2: I can check the backpackers campground (the secret hidden one) and sleep there if there's space (which I'm learning is highly probable), rather than sleeping in my own reserved campground. I wouldn't have to repark my car in the morning. I can just shove my tent inside the car, and hike. Are there any downsides to this option?

BTW: On Sept. 15, I dayhiked Mt. Langley (Old Army Pass, 10h 37mins total time). I camped in the Cottonwood Lakes Walk-in campground. People respected the 10pm quiet time, but boy, that is still pretty late as I tried to turn in at 9pm. It took me 45 mins to start hiking from the time my alarm woke me up. This is what made me consider sleeping in the car.

Last edited by Trail Lotus; 09/25/19 06:19 PM.
Re: Help me plan the night before the dayhike...
Trail Lotus #56353 09/25/19 07:45 PM
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If you have a car that can be set up so you can stretch out and lie down, that is the quickest means of getting going -- it would still take 30 minutes, probably, if you need to dress and eat, etc. Use the overflow parking lot, farthest from the road, and it should be really quiet.

Nobody has ever reported the walk-in sites being full. No way it could be full in October. The hidden walk-in area is quite a ways from the trail head.

Good luck!!

Re: Help me plan the night before the dayhike...
Trail Lotus #56354 09/25/19 07:46 PM
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Reparking your car is no big deal, takes 5 minutes to drive to Portal from Whitney Portal Campground. So breaking camp in the "secret" (Ravine) campground wouldn't save you that much time from camping at the Whitney Portal Campground a 5 minute drive away. Why not sleep in your car at the Whitney Portal Campground? Have everything ready, wake up, drive to Portal, and away you go.

Last edited by RenoFrank; 09/25/19 07:47 PM.
Re: Help me plan the night before the dayhike...
Trail Lotus #56355 09/26/19 04:03 AM
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Get earplugs. That helps me sleep in my Jeep and in campgrounds, so I avoid strange sounds waking me up.

Re: Help me plan the night before the dayhike...
RenoFrank #56357 09/26/19 08:28 AM
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Wow, I really like this idea! Thanks.

Re: Help me plan the night before the dayhike...
Trail Lotus #56358 09/26/19 01:52 PM
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See you on the trail!

I will be doing an overnight hike on October 5th!

Last edited by Janelle S; 09/26/19 04:24 PM.

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