Hello all! Well last night 1/1/12 was going to be a nice overnighter at a local state park before returning to school tomorrow. A last chance to clear my head before diving head long back into the books for another 10 weeks...

The day started with the typical gathering of gear and typical pre-trip planning. The hike was to be nothing great, as the main goal was to get out eat well and play hammock for a while. The weather reports said that the high for the day was to be 40* and the temps were going to fall all day with 30-50 MPH winds all day. As we arrived at our rendevous location it was starting to drizzle. We only hiked about .6 of a mile before finding a spot to strike camp.

The traveling group was myself and my good friend Zach.

Zach chooses to be a ground dweller, but after seeing how well the hammock worked for me he is now pinching his pennies to join the hanging club too.

As a show of "retro" package in honor of medicine man and the gang in RRG this same weekend, I decided to pack the ol'orange pack that I purchased to take to RRG, but plans got changed for me.

Here is my hammock overlooking the campsite (which for some reason I didn't end up with any pictures of ))

The old blue tarp worked pretty good, I'm slowly getting the hammock dialed in, a few more trips and I think I'll have it.

Night fall came and the wind really picked up, but we sat by the fire and ate, steak, potatoes, tomatoes with onions and peppers, and black beans & corn.

It was amazing, if I do say so my self.

About 8:00 that night Zach got a twinge in his back. By 9:15 he was miserable, and decided to leave. He packed uo most of his gear and I packed it out to his truck for him.

As his tail lights faded into the night, it sank in that this would be my first solo trip, and a really cold one to boot. I checked to camps location coridinates one more time and was sure that I texted them to my wife and another buddy "just in case". Then I hiked back to camp in the dark. The moon was bright and I could hike along the old paved road without my head light even on, but I did need it once I hit the turn to the camp sight through the brush.

I sat around the camp fire and read and nibbled on some sweets for about an hour then turned in. The wind had died off a little bit by this time, but the "beak" that I fashioined onto the old blue tarp seemed to be pretty effective at shrugging the wind.

At about 2:30 I woke a little chilly, and learned a valuable lesson, one needs to cinch down the hood on the mummy bag in order to stay warm. Once I did this it was very comfortable in my bag. My insualtion consisted of: fleece pants, a wool sweater, warm socks and a knit hat, walmart waffle pad, reflectex pad under the WM pad, and a ledge outdoors 20* mummy bag. Everything worked very well. The temps at 2:30 were about 29*.

I awoke at about 8:00 and broke camp. When I woke there was a light dusting of snow on everthing. I was so proud of myself when I saw that snow! The temp was 26* according to the local weather folks. My thermometer reads in 5* increments and it was hard to tell "my"exact temp.
Breaking camp took a little while getting everything rounded up as I had to pack all my gear and the misc. few items that Zach left behind.

The hike out was uneventful, but it was noticeably colder this morning and the snow was coming down pretty fast and furious!

When I arrived at the car ready to sit and bask in the blast from the heater.............click.........click............ ..clickity..clickity..............DEAD BATTERY!

Well, doesn't this just give one time to pause and reflect on the stuff of life? I have survived the coldest night I have personally ever spent outside.. ALONE... and now I'm being beaten by a car battery. NO PROBLEM, the car is a standard, I'll just kick start it, well I guess if there were three of me that type of thing would be easier. Since there is only one of me and my car appeard to be parked in a giant concave hole!

So now it has come to this.... the call of shame........
"hello hunny, how was your night?"
"what's wrong?"
"nothing why do you ask?"
"something sounds wrong, are you in jail?"
"ummm, no?.... my car is dead and I need a jump."

Well that's my story and I'm sticking to it, thanks for taggin along!


ps.. the car got a new battery, so looks like the new tarp just took a "back seat"