Unbeknownst to us, we decided to backpack up to Mt Jefferson in the middle of Oregon’s unbelievably short deer season. I learned quite a bit on this trip and was forced to confront many assumptions and stereotypes I’d had about hunters and gun owners.
Our original plan was just to hike in a bit and camp at Pamelia lake, then get up and hike further up the mountain and camp another night. It’s only a couple miles in, if that, so we decided to get a couple of 12 packs to bring in. We pounded a couple of trailhead beers to start. My pack wasn’t really capable of handling a 12 pack, so I literally carried it in my hands as we hiked in to the lake. My partner was able to get his 12 pack into his pack. We didn’t mind the weight because it was such a short hike.
Then we came upon a forest ranger. Of all the times Id been backpacking, Id never once run across a ranger. This one was no joke, checking our permits and everything and being a prick. He was fully convinced he met a couple of dipshits. He said we had better bring every single beer can back out of the wilderness (duh, LNT). He’d finally found a couple of douchepackers, ready to party, litter and fuck shit up. We were only there for two of those reasons.
We aren’t mouth breathers that leave our garbage in the wilderness. But we had to convince him we weren’t that type cause he was misjudging us based on the large amounts of beer I was willing to carry in by hand.
Eventually, we were “in”. We convinced him. He eased up, and let us in on the location of a great spot off trail. The only problem was that it was another 7 miles past our destination and about another 2000 ft up in elevation gain.
We decided it was worth it. I found a way to stuff 12 beers into my pack. This was the heaviest pack I had ever carried and boy did it fucking suck. On the way my buddy shat his brains out for some reason right off trail. Exhausted, we made it up to the PCT where things leveled out a bit. We spotted a bear about 100 yards away, and honestly I didn’t even care I was so tired.
We finally found the spot, to quite the surpise of some hunters that’d horse packed up there to hunt deer. They were like, “WHAT THE FUCK HOW DID YOU FIND THIS SPOT???” while we were like, “WE ARE SO FUCKING TIRED, WHY THE FUCK ARE YOU HERE WITH HORSES AND GUNS???”
Continued in Backpackers vs Hunters Part 2.