A friend and I are planning a trip into the back country, northeast of Cuba, New Mexico, USA, in the San Pedro Wilderness. This is just north of the area where I went snowshoeing last December. Mid-June looks like a good time for this trip. Snow should be melted, with mild days and cool nights. This area is beautiful and there are a number of small rivers where we will be hiking and camping.

The trail head is just south of the eastern edge of San Gregorio Reservoir. We’ll hike in and spend three days and two nights in the area northeast of the reservoir. Although remote, there are a number of established trails in the San Pedro Wilderness, so I would not be surprised if we run across a few other hikers. But since we will be in there during the week, it is also quite possible we won’t see anyone else at all. As you might imagine, I’ve been running around getting all my gear together for this trip and actually pitched my tent in the backyard and spent the last two nights sleeping in it to check out the tent, sleeping bag, and sleeping pad. 🙂

Although I will track and log our route using a GPS and will take three sets of back-up batteries with me, I can’t think of anything more foolish than to rely on a piece of battery-operated, electronic gear to get me in and out of a wilderness area safely. That said, I’ve also ordered a topo map and will use this trip as an opportunity to practice land navigation using the topo map and my compass. Will keep an active log of departure times, turn times, compass bearings, length of stops, etc. as we move along. If we come back out the same way we came in, I will try to reverse my log entries in an attempt to get us back to the trail head without using the GPS. Will also have my PLB with me, just in case! 😉

Navigating through a wilderness area using a compass and topo map is a fascinating prospect and I’ve done a lot of reading on the subject. I now have my GPS set for NAD 83 and UTM / UPS and am looking forward to applying what I’ve learned in a real-world exercise.

San Pedro Wilderness

San Pedro Wilderness: 3 Days and 2 Nights Somewhere in the Shaded Rectangle