12/25/2012

Week 52

I got the request to do a quick post on this past Saturday, officially my 52nd night sleeping out. Watch for a big finale post next week- probably Sunday. I'm hoping to get a new camera before the trip, so we'll see how it goes.

Anyway, Saturday was one of the coldest nights out. It was a bitter 5 degrees, with a windchill of about -7. I learned the importance of tightening up the little baffle in the sleeping bag by my the neck, it made a HUGE difference in the way the heat was kept in. I got some new gear for Christmas that I've been testing out and the tarp finally came on Wednesday. Look for pics and some small reviews in next weeks final post.

Merry Christmas Everyone!

12/21/2012

UPDATE- Final Week

So my final Saturday is tomorrow! I can't believe how fast this has gone by so fast. As I said last week, me and my dad were planning to go out for the night to a state forest. However, with Christmas celebrations early on Sunday, we aren't going to make it. Im still going to sleep out tomorrow night, but our trip will be set back a week. I think, just because its more interesting, I will do my final post on the 29th, the Sunday after the trip. Is there any input on this? Would you guys rather see a post this Sunday with me sleeping in the yard again, or next Sunday after the trip?

12/16/2012

Week 51

Weather- Temps in the lower 30's, Winds 10-25 mph, freezing rain through the day and into night, turning into light flurries by morning

Gear: DIY hammock, DIY underquilt, Tarp, Kelty sleeping bag

Comments: After getting 10.5 inches of snow last week, we were hit with an inch or two worth of freezing rain that fell throughout the day and into the night yesterday. We got a small, immeasurable amount of snow in the early morning, and the winds picked up through the night towards 25 mph gusts.

Now that we have snow on the ground, I don't have to pound bent metal stakes into the ground. Instead, I just take a stock about a foot long, lay it in the snow, and cover it, creating an anchor point in the snow. This saves weight as you can leave the stakes at home, and you don't have to pound them into the ground (cuz thats no fun). It seemed to do the trick, and held up to some hefty wind gusts through the night.

I also hung at a little sharper of an angle last night, though its still guesswork because I've been to lazy to get a ridge line on my new diy hammock. Maybe I'll get to that later this week. I also ordered a new tarp from ENO- I got their profly. I'll use it for the summer because its a really nice green olive color, and will go perfectly with my camouflaged hammock material to create a stealth hang set up. Some (many) people seem to complain about ENO. Personally, I love their stuff. Sure its not the most light weight or advanced hammock system out there, but its simple and to the point. The tarps are heavy, but the perfect size. They are very easy to set up, using line locks, so you don't have to get all technical with the knots. It keeps my gear simple and easy to use, and because the hammock, tarp, and bug net are sold separately, you can use them interchangeably and with other product brands (I'll use my diy hammock with their tarp and bugnet).

Next week (my final week!) me and my dad are hoping to get out to a state forest, weather and schedule permitting. I have no clue when my post will come, as I'll be busy with Christmas and such. Look between Sunday morning and Tuesday night, and I should have a post up.

12/09/2012

Week 50

Weather: Temps 25-30 degrees, winds 10-20 mph, 8 inches of snow

Gear: Kelty Noahs 12' tarp, Kelty sleeping bag, DIY hammock, Diy underquilt

Comments: Be careful what you wish for. I had been hoping for a big snowfall before my 52 weeks are up, and it came last night. As much as I love the snow, this could not have come at a worst time. I spent most of yesterday with a raging headache and 100 degree temp, and spending sleeping out was fairly miserable.

To make matters worse, The tarp stretched a lot under the weight of the snow. I had to punch the inside in an attempt to shake it off, but it was too heavy, and eventually the tarp was right in my face. The wind also blew some snow inside the tarp.

I also finished a DIY hammock. Its a little bit shorter than the ENO singlenest, but about a foot wider. It is made out of 1.1 oz. woodland camo ripstop, and is quite comfortable- more so that the parachute fabric the ENO is made out of. Ill add some pictures if I get time.






12/02/2012

Week 49

Weather: temps 25-35 degrees, winds 10-15 mph, heavy misting fog after midnight.

Gear: Kelty Noah's 12' tarp, ENO singlenest, diy underquilt, Kelty sleeping bag

Comments: Had to kick out the tarp last night because there was a warning issued for heavy/ freezing fog. Im glad I took the time to set up the tarp- when I woke up this morning, the fog was heavy and my headlamp only penetrated three or four feet in front of me. It looked like it was snowing and someone had hit the pause button- there were big, frozen pieces of fog just hanging there in the air. It was quite a cool sight actually.

I changed the angle of my hang a little too last night, just to experiment a little. I had been hanging at roughly the same angle for the past couple of weeks, and I made it sag a little more last night. The result? An even more comfortable hang! With the combination of the perfect sag angle and the temperature under the tarp (set up in a winter configuration, it was easily 5 to 10 degrees warmer than outside) lead to one of my best nights this year of sleeping outside.

I have plans- they aren't concrete yet- to go get some fabric for a DIY hammock. I will HOPEFULLY have one for next weekend, but no guarantees. Its my first big DIY project (aside from my underquilt, which is really just an old sleeping bag that took all of two hours to transform into an underquilt.) so hopefully all goes well.

I'd also like to send a shoutout to ENO. Someone in their company had run across my blog, and their CEO sent me an email with a good discount on any item of my choice- probably a ProFly tarp for summer, once they get the color I want back in stock.