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Basic Backpacking Trip to Sand Ridge State Park

This will be a basic backpacking trip for those new to the group.  We will meet at the State Park Headquarters at 10:00 am.  For those interested, I will also lead a group out on Friday night with a night time hike out to camp.  

It is dear and turkey season for archery so we will keep to the backcountry and avoid the active hunting areas.  Hunting at Sand Ridge is not allowed near the backcountry camp sites as they are often used by hunters themselves.  Don't worry, we have done this before and we will be ok, hunters tend to be very safe minded in Illinois as there is no alcohol allowed in the park and it's heavily patrolled.  As a precaution, we will have bright orange hats for all.  

If your new to the group and want to go but do not have gear, now worries, we will help you out with plenty of gear we can loan you.  I will have a new member meeting to discuss gear needs in the very near future.  





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  • Ron G.

    Was great to meet and spend time with all of you!

    November 6, 2013

    • Tammie

      Nice to meet you too Ron. Your dad is nice and your son is a handsome, well behaved young man. Hope to see you all soon. Take care.

      November 6, 2013

  • mark r.

    For Iowa and northern Illinois backpacking doesn't get much better. I will go again. Good beginner trip

    November 4, 2013

  • Jim

    If you are coming out on Saturday, the group is down at Pine Camp

    November 2, 2013

  • Marie

    Really hoping someone will take pictures so I can live vicariously (since I can't go)

    November 2, 2013

  • Kevin M

    Hi Jim & Co. I hope you are all having a good time this evening! Say HI to everybody for me, wish I could be there too. My daughter and I did 36 miles on the Hennipen Canal Trail a few months ago and I have been suffering with: Plantar fasciitis (PF) is a painful inflammatory process of the plantar fascia, the connective tissue or ligament on the sole (bottom surface) of the foot. Also, please tell the guy that does not show up on film, aka THE Chamilion, I can not wait to see his hammock setup some day.

    November 1, 2013

  • Jim

    Remember to meet at EP walmart at 5:30 and we will leave by 6 tonight.

    November 1, 2013

    • Ron G.

      What vehicle shall I look for? I will be in a red mustang

      November 1, 2013

  • Tammie

    Hello fellow hikers, the person that I was carpooling with had to cancel, so I wanted to know if anyone was coming from either Bloomington at 4:30 pm or San Jose at 5:30pm. You can ride with me or I can follow you. I am sure that I can find my way (eventually) but since it will be dark and I don't know the camp grounds, I would rather come with someone if possible. My number is (309)[masked] if you need to call me. Thanks, Tammie

    1 · October 31, 2013

    • Marie

      Tammy I will give you a good map tomorrow with the tent. Its pretty easy to get to the rangers station to meet the group.

      October 31, 2013

    • Tammie

      Thank you Ron and Marie! Along with Jim and Becky, you have all been a great help to me since this is my first time camping without driving everything I need in my car. I'm excited. See you all tomorrow :)

      October 31, 2013

  • Mike

    I'll be out exploring and hiking..no set time for me if I make it your way, I will drop by and say Hi! :)

    October 31, 2013

  • mark r.

    Hey the man with no face is still coming I will be there Friday evening well b4 7:30 my phone # is[masked] sounds like great weather

    1 · October 31, 2013

  • Tammie

    San Jose is about 20 minutes from where we need to be on Friday night if that helps any. Signed, Freaked out about getting lost and stranded but I'm still coming!

    October 31, 2013

  • Ron G.

    Torn on which tent to bring this weekend. A little cool for the 3 season tent, but not really cool enough for a winter tent

    October 30, 2013

    • Becky

      3 season and a good bag

      October 31, 2013

    • Ron G.

      I think your right, thanks!

      1 · October 31, 2013

  • Dan G.

    Just to make sure I have it right, those coming in for the Friday night hike will be meeting at the Sand Ridge State Park headquarters (proximity of E Co Rd 2300 N and N Co Rd 2600 E (Cactus Dr.) intersection) @ 7:30 PM. The (one night) campsite fee is $6.00. Right? If available, destination backcountry campsite (for Friday night) would also be nice to know. Thanks.

    October 31, 2013

    • Becky

      Yes it's $8 per site per day. I'll be there rain or shine

      1 · October 31, 2013

  • Barb

    I'm coming to the hike sat, but unable to camp Fri. Bummed abt camping, but look forward to the hike & meeting you all.

    October 29, 2013

    • Marie

      Hi Ron, the drinking water I normally use is at the camp that is just down the hill from the Rangers station. I don't know what campsite the group will be at but any of them would be somewhat of a hike from there (or drive). I am bringing 2 of my 32 Oz Nalgene bottles and if I need more I can refill.

      October 30, 2013

    • Barb

      Had to change my rsvp to no. :( something came up my folks need help with & my sibs all had plans too. Look forward to next time!

      October 31, 2013

  • Marie

    So sorry. Too many obligations.

    October 31, 2013

  • Becky

    http://www.outdoorpros.com/How-To-Guides/Backpackers-Checklist/178

    At the bottom of this link page, a suggest way to pack your backpack will be handy.

    October 30, 2013

  • Jana

    I'm afraid we will have to back out as well. Our gear deficits were making me nervous with the cold weather - but our van just broke down and we won't have a reliable vehicle to make the trip. I'm sorry to miss out, but hope we can do it another time in the future.

    1 · October 29, 2013

  • Chris

    Sorry, have a conflict. Will have to catch the next hike.

    October 29, 2013

  • Tammie

    Hello, I wanted to know if someone that is coming on Friday night has a head light that they can loan me. If so, please let me know. Thanks!

    October 28, 2013

    • Ron G.

      I can bring an extra one for you

      October 29, 2013

    • Tammie

      Thanks Ron, I will bring the batteries for it. What kind do they take?

      October 29, 2013

  • Elizabeth L. J.

    I'm afraid I'll have to cancel my plans to come. Had surgery last Friday (after waiting several weeks to schedule it), and I was already behind on work! I'll try to make it to the Clinton Lake hike.

    October 29, 2013

  • Brian U.

    I'm new to this group and would love to attend this weekend. Do I see that their is camping Friday night? If I'm new can I still join for that part if I have equipment?

    October 27, 2013

    • Jim

      Brian, no problem. Just contact me I'd you need to discuss gear. [masked]

      October 29, 2013

  • mark r.

    What time would we need to be there to make the Friday night trip?

    October 29, 2013

    • Jim

      About 7:30

      October 29, 2013

  • pio

    My GPS couldn't find the place for the new member meeting - got way lost (past Metamora, Washburn, way way off). Do we have a list of what to bring? I plan to drive on Saturday, if i don't have the right gear (i have some things - cold weather sleeping bag, cooking utensils, etc), i'll just join for the hike. I will be driving from Peoria - if someone wants to car pool let me know.

    October 29, 2013

    • Jim

      Just take a look at the files loaded on he website. Try should help. Give me a call if you would like to know more.

      October 29, 2013

  • Mike

    Hey gang Becky will update later tonight if Jim hasn't already emailed you back. :D

    October 29, 2013

  • Beth H.

    Ok this is off the subject somewhat but if you need any gear (and who doesn't!) check out this website I found recently. They have daily special deals on 1 item at a time with a huge discount until they run out, then another. Plus good prices on lots of other stuff. I just bought an Optimus outdoor cookset (I think the same Jim has) for $15:
    http://www.steepandcheap.com/gear-cache/winter-survival-gear/OPS000A-ONECOL

    October 29, 2013

  • Beth H.

    I will most likely meet up with the group on Saturday morning. I haven't bought a stove yet, so will need to share.

    October 28, 2013

    • Ron G.

      I have several that I will be bringing

      October 28, 2013

  • Dan G.

    I would love to join the group hiking in Friday evening/night, but as I will be coming from Springfield and as I am unlikely to leave before 5:30 PM, I will probably not be able to catch up with you before you head on out to the campsite(s). I would appreciate some info on which backcountry campsite you're headed for so I can track you down at the campsite. I have no issues with being able to do so in the dark and anticipate being able to catch up by 8 PM (at the latest). Another bit if info that would be nice to have - how will backcountry campsite reservations be handled. I suspect there will be no one around at the park headquarters after normal working hours. If someone is covering this fee up front and will be passing the hat around later in the evening, I can make sure to have some cash on hand. Thanks.

    October 28, 2013

  • mark r.

    If any of the quadcitians would like to carpool I'm in. Could use campsite details to know what not to bring.

    October 23, 2013

  • Jim

    Elizabeth, the hike will be 3 to 4 miles out to our camp.

    October 22, 2013

    • Elizabeth L. J.

      Same camp both nights? I'm having minor surgery this Friday, and even if I'm recovered, I won't be able to carry a heavy pack. Might be able to come for the day, though.

      1 · October 22, 2013

  • Jim

    Jana, yes we have a couple spare packs

    1 · October 22, 2013

  • Jana

    Anyone have a backpack we could borrow for my almost 18 yo son?

    October 20, 2013

    • Marie

      I am so glad you are coming! I have a largish day pack that he could borrow.

      October 21, 2013

    • Jana

      That would be great! :)

      October 22, 2013

  • Jana

    I think we'll show up on Saturday. I'd love to come on Friday, but setting up hammocks in the dark is no fun at all, and we've got a third new one we've never set up before.

    October 22, 2013

  • Elizabeth L. J.

    How far will the hike be? Just wondering whether to come on Friday night or Saturday morning.

    October 20, 2013

  • Elizabeth L. J.

    I tend to be a fair-weather hiker, so if it gets really cold, I may not go. Or perhaps you have some hints for keeping warm. My bag is only rated to 32 degrees, but I'm planning to get or make a liner for it.

    October 7, 2013

    • Becky

      I have clothes warm clothes in all sizes. It's a thing I can't pass up a good bargain. Plus, we all have extra cold gear to share so don't let a little degree keep you home.

      October 20, 2013

    • Elizabeth L. J.

      Oh, I have plenty of cold weather gear - I'm a snowboarder, after all!

      October 20, 2013

  • Tammie

    When and where are we meeting to camp out on Friday Night?

    October 8, 2013

    • Tammie

      Yep coming from Bloomington but need to drop my daughter off in San Jose with her dad first. If you want to meet me at my job at 4:30pm, we can ride together if you are comfortable with that.

      October 18, 2013

    • Jim

      Marie, we will meet you and Tammie at the park. No problems with that.

      October 19, 2013

  • pio

    i would love to go Friday night. But i don't have any gear - I will be at the new member meeting next week.

    October 17, 2013

    • Jim

      We should be able to get you all the gear you need.

      October 18, 2013

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