11/25/2012

Week 48

Weather- Temps in the lower 30's to upper 20's, wind 10 mph; gusts up to 20, very little snow (5 minutes worth of light flurries)

Gear- ENO singlenest hammock, Kelty sleeping bag, DIY underquilt

Comments- well, I think we can finally call it winter here in Minnesota. The temps have plummeted from the 40-50's down to the 20's for the most of this week. We also got about half and inch of snow on Thursday, and its stuck around. It was a little warmer last night, with temps hovering right about 30 degrees, comfortable sleeping weather if you have the right gear. I'm really hoping that we'll get a big snowfall in the next four weeks so I can test my year-old gear in it and see how it holds.

I love camping in the winter. Theres no bugs, the temps are cold, but I think its better than uncomfortable heat. In the winter, you can bundle up and control your temperature, but in the summer, you can only get to a certain point until you lose your climate control and its just downright hot. Also, you can see a lot more in the winter. I remember on some of the trips I was on in the summer, the undergrowth was so bad, we couldn't see much off the trail (and in some places, even the trail had undergrowth up to my neck). In the winter, the trees loose their leaves, and the undergrowth recedes. It opens to a beautiful land scape, and you can see for a long way in any direction, without much view obstruction.

Its also easier to avoid running into animals you might not want to run into. Over the summer, I spent nights above what might have been a game trail, as well as a night near a rocky cliff. Upon hiking out of the cliff site in the morning, we found what appeared to be mountain lion tracks, leading to and from the cliff. We concluded a mountain lion may have called that cliff home, and we may have been two very lucky campers? In the winter, its easier to spot tracks in the snow. That way you can determine whether your hanging over a game trail, or in a lions den.

11/18/2012

Week 47

Weather: Temps 30-35, wind 0-20 mph, no precipitation

Gear: Eno hammock, DIY underquilt, Kelty sleeping bag

Comments: I was hoping to watch the meteor shower going on now, but the sky was clouded over. The winds were strong late on Saturday, but died down to almost nothing by this morning.

It was one of those nights were its just cold enough to get that nice, refreshing deep sleep, but warm enough that your to comfy and cozy to do anything. Heck, the branch of the tree I hung from last night was cracking and swaying in the wind, but even having my life on the line was not enough to get out of bed. Anyway, I woke up fine with fresh air in my lungs and energized for the day.



On a totally off note, Im looking for a new edc knife. Im liking the small multitools such as the Gerber dime or Leatherman Squirt. My previous experience with other (cheap) multitools, however, has not been good. Can any of you persuade me to toss the money in for a multitool or perhaps a different edc blade?


11/12/2012

Week 46

Weather: Temps in the 20s, wind 15-20 mph, gusts to 30 mph, light snow flurries

Gear: Kelty sleeping bag, homemade underquilt, eno hammock

Comments: Sorry for the late post. I quickly packed for my camping trop this weekend, so I forgot straps and a rain tarp. It stormed (in November?) both nights, so I was lucky we had an actualshelter I could sleep in for the weekend. This means that I spent last night out instead of Saturday.

Last night was cold and blustery, with winds gusting to 30 mph and temps in the thirties. I didnt use a tarp, and got snowed on. It was cool though, sleeping with quite literally a blanket of snow, and watching the majestic frozen particles fall from the dark sky. Lucky for me, it stayed cold enough that it didnt melt and soak me inside the sleeping bag. I woke up with a light snow covering on the ground- the first snow this year to have stuck around.

I hope to get in another camping trip before my 52 weeks are up, but Im not sure that will be happening.

11/04/2012

Week 45

Weather: temps in the lower 30s, no wind, small amount of precipitation

Gear: Eno hammock, kelty 0 degree sleeping bag

Comments: What a beautiful night to sleep last night! I was a little scared I was going to get rained on, because their was a few drops of it for about an hour when I first got out, but luckily it stopped so there was no need to set up a tarp. The extra hour of sleep felt nice, and allowed me to wait a bit before falling asleep to look up at the crystal clear sky to see the stars and a large moon. It was actually very cool to see the stars for once, because unless I'm in the woods, its hard to see them with the bright city lights.

I slept good- I find the lower thirties to be perfect sleeping weather, I always wake up refreshed with fresh air in my lungs, and it seems to keep me energized through the day when that happens. I ended up being a little to warm in the sleeping bag so I unzipped it and left it partially open to allow the cool air in.

I'm camping next weekend so my post will be Late Sunday evening probably. The weather looks like it will be mild temps and perhaps our first snowfall of the season- so you can expect a good post  next week.