Message posted by Hank on December 03, 2007 at 14:16:10 PST:
It's a great adventure if you are prepared. Some of these tips may seem to be common sense, but over the years we have seen instances where common sense would have avoided an undesirable situation:
First and foremost take more water than you think you will ever use, for both you and the vehicle. Lots of the area is 5000ft. and higher. This is high desert with low humidity and high temps. A prescription for dehydration. I carry two gallons for everyday I will be in the area. As of this moment their is no gas available in Rachel. The nearest station is in Ash Springs about 45 miles away. Fill up there or in Alamo. Their is also no more convenience store in Rachel. Their is a grocery store behind the Chevron in Alamo. Ice,water and all the staples for a campout are available there. As it is a Mormon community their is no beer available there. If the Inns ice machine is working they have ice there also. If Iam going to be in the area for three or more days I carry two ice chests. One just for ice and the other for food and drink.
As far as supplies for the vehicle in addition to water take a couple cans of Fix A Flat as most of the roads you will travel to explore are dirt or non existent. Make sure your spare is aired up. If the sharp rocks don't get you the cactus will. I carry extra radiator hoses and an extra serpentine belt. Two years ago I blew a radiator hose at the base of Bald Mountain and saved myself about a 17 mile hike back to 375 where I may have gotten no help anyway. When I replace the old belts and hoses I just throw them in the trunk for emergency use. Their are many sand washes that you may cross and a small shovel in case you get stuck is a good thing to have. A flashlight is a must for night time travel. If you are going to explore on foot sunscreen and a hat are good things to have. Remember you are at 5000ft. and the temps may be over 100 degrees. If you are exploring a GPS is an excellent tool. I went off road to Texas Lake a couple years ago and left to come out a little to late and it turned dark. Coming out of 15 miles of desert with many places to turn off I never would have made it if I hadn't taken a waypoint on my way in. I have a basic Garmin Etrex which can be bought from Amazon.com by clicking on the link on the front page of this site. To make the trip more enjoyable you may want to have a pair of binoculars 7X35 or 8X50S. A scanner to pick up the military aircraft. The frequencies are listed on the site. Make sure you can pick up 225mhz to 400mhz.A camera will also let you be able to record your memories, and maybe send us some to post.
The winter tips are basically the same with some additions. Proper clothing is important. Lots of nights go below zero with some substantial winds,and blowing snow. Add extra antifreeze to your list.Some of the roads get really dicey in the winter. Hancock Summit is famous for black ice. Its at 6000ft. and doesn't get much sun. Its passable but just slow down and keep your eyes open. If you come to an area where you think you would need chains (like the road to Tikaboo) just don't go there. This is disaster that is waiting to happen.
I cant impress upon you how remote this area is. From Ash Springs its 45 miles to Rachel (nearest town) and from Rachel to Tonopah is 100 miles. Their are no services of any kind between these points. Highway 375 is very lightly traveled. For me my cell phone dies just past Ash Springs and doesnt light up until Coyote Summit, 35 miles away. You are basically on your own so please be prepared and use common sense.
If you have any questions please post them to the Forum or Email me firstname.lastname@example.org