10/28/2012

Week 44

Weather: Temps 28-30 degrees, wind 5 mph, no precipitation
Gear: Eno hammock, DIY underquilt, kelty 0* sleeping bag

Comments: I had to kick out the cold weather gear last night- the temps were in the upper 20's and the wind was a little cold when it blew by. Its definitely getting closer to winter- dark at six, and cold. The underquilt really helped keep me warm, even though I usually go without it.

I slept really well, knocked out for a solid 5 hours.  I think there's something about cold weather that makes me sleep better.  The moon was full and really bright, but it didn't hinder my sleep and actually made the leaf-less trees look quite beautiful against the dark night sky. I woke up energized and ready to take on the day.

I also got a new piece of gear earlier this week. Its the Princeton Tec fuel headlamp. Cabela's site was down last Tuesday, so they offered ten dollars towards any purchase. Id been wanting a headlamp for a while now, and the Fuel was on sale for 15 bucks. With the discount, It came to 6bucks with tax- and free shipping. It really helps when setting up in the dark- no more putting flashlights in my mouth in order to use both hands to do what I need to.

10/21/2012

Week 43

Weather:temps 45- 50 degrees, winds 10 mph, no precipitation

Gear: Eno hammock. snugpack sleeping bag

Comments: A beautiful fall night last night. The leaves are off the trees and littered on the ground now, making for a nice, clear shot of the night sky. The temps were a refreshing and comfortable 45 degrees, but this was supposed to be the last weekend of nice weather before we start getting cold temps.

It was really easy to fall asleep last night, because the wind was blowing around 10 mph, constantly shuffling around the leaves, which made a surprisingly soothing sound (or maybe I'm just weird). I also picked up a new piece of gear yesterday that I tested on a short hike earlier this morning with my family. It is a Coleman revel hydration pack. I got it at Target for 30 bucks (I had a bunch of gift cards to spend), and it is surprisingly made of fairly decent quality, beyond what I've come to expect from Coleman over the years. It has three pockets, the main reservoir (2 liter) pocket, a large pocket for stashing gear, and a smaller, padded pocket for electronics like phones or cameras. It also has some elastic webing on the back to lash on a jacket or something

10/14/2012

week 42

Weather: Winds calm, 5-15 mph, temps 28-55 (highs and lows for the entire weekend), no precipitation, but frost and dew.

Gear: Eno hammock, Kelty tarp, Snugpak sleeping bag

 Comments: What a beautiful weekend for a camping trip! Rain was in the forecast for Saturday, but missed us to the south. The first night was the best off the two. Temps were in the 40's, and there was a light, refreshing wind. The problem was I had a ten foot hammock hanging between trees about eight feet apart. I was VERY uncomfortable, but still managed to get some rest.
I moved my set up in the morning, and realized just how important it was to make sure the trees you hang on are sturdy. I was debating between a birch tree and an oak tree for a second anchor, but finally chose the oak. I used the birch tree as a guy-out point for my tarp. as soon as i tightened the tarp, the tree snapped in two- it had been rotting from the inside out.
The second night, I got a taste of true Minnesota weather. As soon as the sun was down, the temps had plummeted to below freezing, 28 degrees by about 9:30. At about 1 A.M in the morning, the temps crept back up into the 40's. This meant that the frost that had formed UNDER all the tarps and rainflys turned into dew. It was like I was getting rained on, and my tarp was the cloud. It was cold, wet, and miserable by morning. Luckily, I remembered to pack gloves- putting away a wet tarp when its 40 degrees out is not fun.

10/07/2012

Week 41

Weather: Temps 28- 35 degrees, winds calm 5- 10 moh, no precipitation

Gear: Eno hammock, snugpak sleeping bag

 Comments: First, I wanna appologize for last weeks no-post. I just got so busy that I completley forgot about it. Thanks to those of you who are still reading everyweek.
I realized last night I only have eleven weeks of this left! The year gas gone by alot faster than I had imagined.
Last night was beautiful. When I went to bed there was that crisp, cool fall feeling. Mist of the leaves had fallen off of the trees, so I had a clear view of huge white clouds as they drifted across the night sky. It was the perfect sleeping weather, and that us why I love fall so much. Ill be camping at Birch bend next weekend, so you can look for a good lengthy podt next Sunday night.
I also got myself a new piece if gear this past week- a Buff. I love this thing! For those of you who dont know what it is, its basically a tube of fabric that can be worn around the head or neck in tons of configurations. I used it as a beenie at my cross cointry meet yesterday morning, and as a head band to keep my ears warm last night. I suggest you check them out at http://www.buffusa.com/sports/
There are also videos of how to wear them on youtube.