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Getaway with the Guys: Lost Coast, Calif.

Maps, campfires, daylong hikes, and starry nights might sound like that hokey Boy Scout trip you took as a preteen, but tack on tsunami-like surf, 25 remote miles of trails along rugged bear-country coastline, and a flask of whiskey to pass around, and you’ve got a wilderness trek that’s anything but adolescent. Clear your calendar for four days, kiss your girlfriend good-bye, grab the guys and all the gear and escape civilization (and all the rules that go with it). Head four hours north of San Francisco to the Lost Coast, in the King Range National Conservation Area — a real find for hard-core hikers with hankerings for empty trails and abalone. Stay overnight in the little town of Shelter Cove for a fresh start in the morning, or drive straight to Black Sands Beach. You’ll have arranged to leave your car there and meet Roxanne (707/986-9909), who for $40 a person will wind you along back roads for two hours, giving you a tides chart, a detailed map, and a friendly warning to “be safe out there” before dropping you at the Mattole Trailhead. Then, you’re on your own, walking 25 miles for three days back to your car, over rocky beaches and along crumbly cliffs. En route, driftwood campsites keep you warm, swift creeks keep you hydrated, and orca and elk sightings keep you entertained, so bring the binocs. At night, gather wood, cook up a feast, kick back with a deck of cards, talk over old times, and fall asleep to the sound of waves against the sand.