Week 24

***IMPORTANT UPDATE*** Over the next three weeks, I am going to do a little stint as a "camp counselor in training". Therefore, I will not be able to post on the dates of 6/17, 6/24, and 7/1. Thanks for your understanding!

Weather: Temps 75-85 degrees, Winds 5-10 mph, no precipitation
Gear: ENO SingleNest Hammock, Snugpak Travelpak Extreme sleeping bag
Comments: Again, another beautiful summer night. The temps put me to sleep almost immediately, and I woke up without feeling the slightest bit cold, as I have in other weeks. Also, I treated the hammock with a good dose of permtherin. I love this stuff now! I could hear tons of those pesky little mosquitoes flying around last night, but awoke in the morning to only one bite.
The only problem I had was with my sleeping bag. Being from Minnesota, I've geared most of my gear-buying (no pun intended) towards winter things. However, I finally got it into my head last night that we live in a temperate climate, where even though a 30 degree sleeping bag will work in the winter, it is not for 80 degree weather. I think for the summer months I will have to find a sleeping bag liner to use on the hot nights.

-Backpacking trip Tuesday- Thursday-
As I mentioned last week, me and my dad did a little backpacking trip earlier this week down at the Richard J Dorer memorial Hardwood Forest. The bugs came in swarms of hundreds and the undergrowth made it difficult to see, but we still enjoyed it. The first night we attached to some trees just off the trail and spent the night. We heard some coyotes, perhaps two different (and large) packs down in the valley below us.
The second night, we ended up finding our campsite much before intended (It was maybe 10:00 in the morning!) It was this beautiful old quarry that still had some rock, on one side was our camp site; the other was a heavily wooded cliff leading down to the Mighty Mississippi. Because it was so early, we continued on and did some more hiking around the area to take up time.

Overall, we had a great time. The hammocks worked well, it would have been a hard trip to make with tents. Here are some pictures-
Little baby deer- we were maybe 2 feet from it

Sun setting over quarry
2nd night camp

2nd night camp

Over the other side of the quarry

The trail- It was like this, but occasionally the grass got to about waist height

1st night camp, my set up left, my dads right


Week 23

Weather: Temps 58-65 degrees, winds 0-5 mph, no precipitation.

Gear: ENO Singlenest hammock, DIY Suspension, Snugpak Travelpack Extreme sleeping bag.

Comments:  Its summer now, and the weather is just getting nicer. Last night was the perfect night to be sleeping outside- the temps were cool and the wind was non-existent. The only problem with summer is that the bugs are now out full-force. There were TONS of mosquitoes flying around last night, and it was really hard to sleep with them buzzing in my ear, let alone biting me no matter how wrapped up I got in my sleeping bag. Along with the bugs, the little critters like squirrels and chipmunks are also out now.

Because there was no chance of rain, I skipped the tarp. In the morning, however, I wished I hadn't. The squirrels were running around on the tree branches knocking little berries off that got caught in the hammock. I woke up and found 20 or 30 of these little things all over the place.

Also, the sun no longer wakes up at 7:30 in the morning like it did in the winter. It was bright as day at about 5:15 this morning, and it was hard to sleep. I think I'm going to try tying a bandanna around my eyes and see how that works for keeping it darker.

Tuesday I will be doing a little three day backpacking trip to celebrate my middle school graduation. I guess we can say it is the final test of my gear. I will take pictures and maybe a video to share with you on next weeks post.