Campground Review: It's 8 miles from Tuolumne Meadows to the Sunrise High Sierra Camp. You can either hike and camp in the backpackers camp, or make a reservation and have yourself and all of your gear hauled up there on the back of a horse. Regardless of how you get there, you are sure to be blown away with the stark beauty and solitude offered by the Yosemite back country. If you are planning a backpacking trip through this area, I'd plan to spend one night here. There are toilets and drinking water available. Also, I was told from another backpacker that after breakfast is served to the paying guests at the dining tent, backpackers can pay cash for any food that is leftover. Could be very appealing if you've been eating trail food for a few days. If you want to experience Yosemite without tour buses, crowds of people, traffic, & noise, get here. You won't regret it.
Gear Review: I received the Cotopaxi Luzon 18L DayPack through my Cairn subscription in the June box. This is a great day pack! I recently brought it on a 4 day backpacking trip in Yosemite National Park. What I liked most about it was how small I could pack it down. I really wanted to bring a day pack on the trip because we had planned to hike to the summit of Clouds Rest as a day hike. Because we had the Cotopaxi, we could leave our heavy packs at camp and throw our water, food, first aid, map, compass, & cameras in the day pack. When we weren't using the bag, we could pack it away without using up too much valuable space (and weight) in the large pack. The bag folds into itself and compresses to about the size of a folded T-shirt. It's very light but durable and comfortable to wear. My only critique would be that because it's so light and compressible, there is really no rigidity or padding on your back. This is just a compromise you have to make in order to have such a light pack. Overall this is a great product. I look forward to using it on more hiking adventures.