Disastrous first camp (Western Japan)
Movies (Trip Report is below)
The Morning After
5:30PM - I have found what looks like a good place to camp. No-one can see me from the road and it looks like no-one has been here for a long time.
I'm a bit worried about the timing, though. I won't be able to get back until just on dark because I haven't finished my work yet (but I dragged a heavy trailer all the way here and I AM GOING TO CAMP!!)
7:30PM - I have finally made it back to the campsite after my lesson. My friend Nao is with me (and that is a really big help - I needed his help to set the hammock up and hold the torch for me) The windup torch was a stupid idea, btw. It means I have no hands free when I need to use the torch.
9:30PM - I'm in a hammock with the tarp on back to front... (I hope it doesn't rain!)
Why is the tarp on back to front?
Well... I set the hammock up once the day it arrived (in the middle of a bamboo forest at 5PM with no mosquito repellent) The tarp didn't look right, but I was in a hurry.
10PM - The hammock is set up, Nao's gone home and it's starting to rain! I will take my computer and go to bed.
12AM - A really big thunderstorm has started! I am still dry inside my hammock, but I'm very cold (so I put on my rain suit and sleep in it) It never gets this cold at this time of year, so I didn't bring a sleeping bag...
6AM - I wake up and make tea with my Kelly Kettle and make some breakfast too (pork chops grilled over a fire and then boiled in home made chicken stock - it was a good breakfast :-) ) It's raining very hard and the river is flooded!
9:40 - Nao came to get me and we went to an onsen (it was very close to my campsite) It was great to have a long, hot soak!!
12PM - I pack up my (very wet) camping equipment and Nao puts my bike and my trailer in the back of his 'K-Truck' and takes me part of the way home.
2:40PM - I finally get home. That trailer was too heavy! I had to get off and push up every hill :S
3PM - I start hanging everything out to dry all over my apartment...
Got to love those crazy first tries! Sounds like an interesting breakfast. Glad you stayed dry, thats always half the battle in a t-storm.
Was not that bad for a first camp, you did not get wet :)
Is there a lot of camping opportunities in Japan ?
how far where you from Civilization ?
Sorry you had a poor first campout. It certainly could have been better, but I wouldn't call it disasterous.
For people that don't really enjoy the outdoors, rain is a horrible experience. For those that do enjoy the outdoors and are prepared, rain is just an inconvenience. You would have had a much better experience with a larger tarp. If that is going to be a normal occurrence, I would definitely put that at the top of my list.
That gives you room to sit in the hammock while cooking, nap with the rain hitting the tarp, etc. As long as I stay dry, the rain is very relaxing.
It would also be beneficial to get really familiar with the setup and that will only come with practice.
Good luck on the next one.
BTW, I thought the campsite choice was beautiful.
'Disastrous' was mostly a catchy tag line :)
I enjoyed the adventure and did no permanent harm to myself or my gear (and I also learned from it) so it wasn't really a disaster...
I was actually very close to civilization (Japan is studded with mountains too steep to build on and in the outlying areas of small cities like mine, Maizuru, You don't need to go far to find a few private trees.
I was overeager to make that first hang. I knew I was probably letting myself in for trouble, but we've had rain for two weeks solid now and no letup in sight and I am about to get real busy work-wise, so I grabbed what I saw as the only chance in a while...
I grew up in the tropics and always loved thunderstorms, so that wasn't a problem. I could also see how I could have set the camp up a lot better (platforms to keep gear off the ground underneath the bike and its rain cover, a battery backup in the wind up torch, etc, etc)
I got my overeager first try out of the road and will wait for a better chance next time.
I got some great help from here too (the O-Ring and carabiner tensioning system meant I didn't have to try and lash, adjust, unlash/relash, adjust 10 times to get that part right)
My biggest regret is that I didn't have a better kayak to take on that flooded creek the next morning (THAT would have been worth a 10km walk back!)
Great Sakura1998-san!!! ..... now just keep practicing ..... learn from success and failures and endeavor to persevere!!!!
It will just get better!!!!!
Or something like that...
I once heard an interesting story about machine translation... (not sure if it's true, but it could be)
This guy wanted to translate 'The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak' into several Eastern European languages. He translated from English, then translated again into a second, third and however many more languages and, finally (just out of curiosity) back to English...
He got, 'The vodka is fine, but the meat's gone off' :laugh:
When your first hang goes badly you've got no place to go but up. (Especially if you hit the ground with your hammock, like I've done :D )
I went to a family reunion this past weekend. Everyone slept inside the lakeside cottage but me. While a few were complaining about uncomfortable mattresses, I took my hammock and slept like a log.
Keep going. It only gets better and better.
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