EDIT: This is a multiple choice poll, so you can vote for as many as you feel you should.
I was going to post this in 6 days, but I just can't wait.
Well, here it is September again; January is only 3 months away. So I guess it’s time to start discussing (& planning) for the winter hangout.
The Event: An annual winter get together for members of Hammock Forums & guests. This will be our 4th year! The “Hangout” is open to all, & limited only to those willing to be outside at a beautiful location in the winter. The average night temperatures at the previous hangouts is around 20, & it has gotten to around 5 or 6 a few times. We have had Freezing rain at least once. Our site selection is such that if need be you can evacuate easily to your car. New or Old, you WILL learn something, as there are many here who have been hanging for years.
SO, do you have winter gear that needs testing in a safe environment,, with experienced help at hand? Would you like to meet others with the same illness you have? Have you heard about a piece of gear or technique on HF but just cant figure it out? Then come to our hangout, we all were new once,
First thing that we need to discuss is: Where?
My “concerns”: last time we had over 40 hangers, this seems a large group for the area around Wise, and if the trend continues, we will have around 60 - 80 next year. I have few alternative site suggestions. Maybe Lost Mt shelter just up from Damascus. But I seem to remember there being limited parking at the access roads. Both are gravel, one is 1.1 N & the other 1.2 S. But: the shelter is larger, the privy is stellar, and there are a lot of hanging sites at & near the shelter and the area is better sheltered from the win, at least I think so. Better / more hanging sites are at Old Orchard shelter (the next shelter north of Wise), but it is WAY FAR from any road.
Is there a better location nearby?
Should we make it invite &/or reservation only? I hate that idea, but it is an option.
Should we go to someplace without a shelter but more trees? If so, where? I still would prefer a place with a privy, especially for that large a group at a time when the ground is frozen or nearly so. Water & parking would be handy also.
A few of us discussed last year, that maybe we could get the park to open up the campground for us. Would that be better? Who can see about that? What would we have to pay? Would privies be available? Water?
Item #2: When do we have it? For me Jan 8, 9 & 10 is best, so I voted for that. My second vote would be Jan 29, 30 & 31. I did not put the 2nd 3rd & 4th on the poll, as that weekend is right on the heels of Ed’s New Years hangout on Springer.
Item #3: Wouldn’t it be nice to do something for the Wise Shelter area? We should likely contact the maintenance club &/or the rangers for ideas of things needing done & permission to do them, so if someone (Local) could do this, it would be greatly appreciated! I am bringing a bag of mulch to use to “Flush” the privy, don’t think that needs permission. There is a large trashcan for the mulch at the privy. Some who can not read use it for trash, so if you also bring mulch, & beat me there, be sure to clean it out first.
Some other ideas that may / may not need to be done. At least one shovel will be needed for some of my ideas: Water bars along a wet area south of the shelter. Bridge repair in those wet areas. A new broom for the shelter. Cleaning & carting away all the rubbish “Burned” in the fire pit (probably should do this before we build a fire). Rebuilding the fire ring: if we each carry one rock from the creek/river this should be easy enough.
Item #4: FOOD!! Start thinking about what you want to bring for the Saturday cookout, you only have a short time to plan & prepare. Remember that if your food should not be frozen, bring it in an insulated container, Friday nights the past 3 years have gotten well below freezing. Also: you need to bring food (& fuel) for any other meals you want.
Item #5:Extra gear. This year I am only bringing one spare set up (Suspension, hammock, underquilt, top quilt, tarp, stakes.), IF I can get it back from the person using it that is. Each year we have used at least 2 extra FULL set ups for visitors, so if you can, & have extra, bring it along.
The dates in question:
Jan 8, 9, 10
Jan 15, 16, 17
Jan 22, 23, 24
Jan 29, 30, 31