Trip report Wind River Mountains, Wyoming
Well, I finally got some of the pictures from my trip Sept 6-11, 2008. We flew into Salt Lake and spent the night. After a leisurely day in SLC, we finally got to Lander, Wyoming by late afternoon. Only to find out that the road to the trail head we were planning on ( Bears Ears Trail) crossed the Indian Reservation, and there would be a $50 fee EACH to drive a short distance across it. :cursing: after much weeping and gnashing of teeth, a pizza and a beer or two, we decided to go back to the other side of the range to a trailhead we were familiar with. So after an additional 2 hours or so of driving, we made a cow boy car camp near the trailhead, setting up camp in the dark. We were two brand new hammockers and two semi-pros. It was a beautiful night, so we did not put our tarps out, I kept mine in it's skins. A bazillion stars, and mid 20sF.
We had one unhappy camper the next AM. He was in a 20* PeaPod without a top blanket, over a Claytor Mosquito ( 2 of us had Claytor No Nets and another had a top loader, not sure of brand). It turns out he is a bit claustrophobic. He would be plenty warm with the pod mostly closed, but he couldn't stand it falling down around his head/face, as it did with the narrow Claytor, something I consider a warmth boosting benefit, like a mummy bag. But if he opened the top enough to be comfortable with no claustrophobia, the draft around head/neck let out too much of his warm air. He needed something to at least seal around the neck. I think he worked something out after that night, but I don't know if he will stick with hammocks or not. I also had a 20*PeaPod and also no top blanket. I just used my down vest and BMW PG jacket to drape over me. Sometimes I would put one or both on backwards, and it always gave me more than enough extra loft to seal around the neck, and often I had the head area pretty wide open. I was always plenty warm, sometimes too warm. Another guy had a summer weight PeaPod, plus a 20* down bag used as a top quilt, and a pad down below inside the PeaPod, outside the hammock. He was plenty warm, and usually had the pod top/face area wide open. Next was my step son using my Warbonnet 1/2 length UQ plus WM leg pad, and a Cat's Meow sleeping bag as a quilt, and my neck gaitor for his face. Always toasty warm.
I was ( and the others also) glad to see the Sun:
So we had breakfast and hit the trail
We hiked up the mountain trail through magnificent forest, but with little scenery. Then as we got a little closer to tree line, we came to our first camp for the night, V Lake:
It could not have been more peaceful or beautiful. We quickly had camp set up, though I ended up moving mine 3 times. There were a lot of dead trees in this area, probably because of Pine Beetle damage. These trees have all been weakened due to prolonged drought. We had this lake, as well as Clear lake, entirely to our selves. We saw a couple of hikers walk by on the trail, but they were the only ones we saw. If they were there (stealth) we did not see them. As we sat around our bonfires ( notice the little demon/Ghost that jumped out of our fire, on the left side. Do you see him?), we heard the coyotes and/or wolves howling, and the Elk wre bugling throughout the night. It was a truly wild feeling.
My friend Tom's Granite Gear 10x8 tarp, 55* PeaPod and 20*F down bag as quilt. He also had a thermarest down in the PeaPod, outside the hammock.
My step son Randy's JRB tarp, Claytor No Net, Cat's Meow bag as quilt, and Warbonnet short UQ:
Chuck's 20* PeaPod, Speer Winter Tarp and Claytor Mosquito hammock. Since this hammock was shorter, the PeaPod would completely enclose both ends of the hammock, not unlike a foot box on a top quilt. The SWT was great at blocking the wind, but every one was also real pleased overall with the JRB tarps.
Randy and I used some stock Claytor webbing with extra knots. We had plenty of rain but stayed bone dry, and there was no sag/stretch noticed. I had it on one end, but my cinch buckle on the other, which was much more convenient and could handle bigger trees and long stretches better, at the cost of a few oz. Chuck cut his Claytor webbing, and I tied a bowline on each end of the channel, through which he put some carabiners, and tied the left over Claytor webbing to that. Rain was well blocked in all cases.
Me changing shoes in my Claytor No Net/PeaPod/JRB tarp: