So its Friday afternoon; ring, ring "hello." "Hey you want to do a winter overnighter?" "Sure, Will I need to bring my white gas stove to melt snow, or can I get away with just bringing my usual ESBIT stove?" "Oh, no, we'll be fine, we'll hang near a creak, there's creeks that run all up and down the area." "K, sounds great see you Sunday."
And so the saga begins.
My buddy and I get to Burnt Valley (Colville Wa area) around noon on Sunday, and head down the trail
We hike a couple hours and find a nice spot next to a half frozen creek, but decide we could hike a little bit more, and get closer to the top of the ridge for some better views.
We set up or hammocks.
****Notice the slope angle of the ground....Look at the height of the tree strap on the foot of my hammock to my pack VS the strap height of my Head I was on a pretty good slope. I could have turned it in a different direction and strapped out on a different tree...but I wanted to see if I could do it this way, just cuz.
My buddy all tucked in.
I take a few sunset shots, and then help gather wood for a fire that evening.
We settle in and start to make dinner. "Hey man" says I, "we didn't set up up next to a water source, and I know I don't have enough ESBIT to melt the amount of water I will need. "Ya, my mistake, I should have told ya to bring the whipser light it just in case, or I should have brought mine. We'll have to use the fire to melt the snow.
Now aside from the water tasting like smoke this is usually not a problem for either of us in the winter time, because we will have the whisper light and the grease pot to melt the snow in. But all I brought along was my newly made 16oz DIY Smokeeater908 Pot
and my homemade ESBIT stove that fits it perfectly to cook with (Instead of my trusted BPL 550 pot and Ti wing stove.)
So I had to melt snow using the 908 and the fire...it took 4 hours to melt enough snow to fill my 3 liter platty, and my 1 litter bottle. My friend had brought his SIG 1 liter bottle so he was able to melt in larger volumes, but it still took about the same time...he melted the same amount of water.
It was no biggy really, I mean what else are you going to do when it gets dark at 4pm, but poke sticks in the fire and talk till its time to go to bed. But boy oh boy did the Smokeeater908 pot get smoked, the walls thinned out and warped, the fiberglass caught on fire a few times, etc, etc. But what do you expect, I'm using a dinky aluminum can to melt snow, and boil water, in a fire. And it takes a lot of snow to even make 16 oz of liquid.
(this picture was taken the next morning, but I am using to illustrate...I was keeping my coffee warm )
Around 1030 ish we decide to call it a night and head to bed. It only got down to about 20 that night and I was nice and warm in my HMG 20F Incubator and my JRB 0F Old Rag Mountain.
In the morning I had breakfast in bed. We be bopped around a bit and then broke camp and hiked out
All in all, it was a great primer for some of our larger/longer hikes coming up this winter. And was a great reminder that if its winter, bring the extra equipment that will ensure your safe, warm, and happy.
Sad to say I did have to retire the 908 pot and make a new one. Good thing I can just pop out the ring and re-use it...but that was Smokeeater's idea in the first place. Ideally I could re-use the wick as well..but it would look pretty weird on my new pot...I polished this one, along with doing a few other things different...but that is fore a different post at a different time.