'Possum and I arrived at Camp Tejas Friday evening. The plan was to camp at Tejas then do some trail maintenance with the local club (Austin Ridge Riders) on Saturday then hike on to Sawyer; eventually leaving by the remote trailhead Sunday.
Temps projected to be in the low 20's in Austin, which usually translates about 5° colder where we are; so mid to high teens. We arrived, set up camp, then headed out for some wood. We found a tree just the right size that was dead and still standing; we pushed it over and brought it to camp for firewood.
3/4 Z-Lite in a Segmented Pad Extender with 5 inch blue foam wings
Light weight Wool longjohns
Midweight wool/poly blend longjohns
Fluffy wool socks
Fleece pull over
Poly watch cap
Full length open cell pad with brushed Nylon cover
Lightweight cotton longjohns
Heavy weight neck gator worn on head
Fleece full zip jacket
Neither of us had weather barriers other than rain gear, if needed.
Hammocks and tarps:
HH Exped, top load
DIY 11' x 10' tarp
ENO Single Nest
HH Asym fly (from Exped)
Friday night we slept warm except for cold feet syndrome. My mistake was not taking off my walking socks before putting on my sleeping socks, they felt dry, but I am guessing they were not, my feet were blocks of ice, worst I ever had. 'Possum had cold feet because he only brought one pair of socks, which he slept in. It was very uncomfortable, but not life threatening. Everything else was nice and warm. The low was, according to the thermometer, 17° F.
Saturday, Lee showed up to tell us that the trail maintenance day had been canceled, too cold I guess. So we hung around Tejas talking with Lee, showing off our hammocks and Molly Mac Packs and just generally taking in the nice day.
We headed East out if Tejas around Noon, taking our time, stopping for the views and to check stuff out. I forgot my hiking poles so I was a little slow on the descents as well (knees ya know).
We arrived at Sawyer around 3:00 and the wind was whipping up pretty good. We made good site selections for our hammocks and set up our tarps low to the ground to break it off of us. We found another perfect tree, this time it was drift wood, and dragged it to camp. Started the fire about nightfall, which is also when the wind stopped.
We burnt a whole tree that night while listening to the UT Vs. Nebraska game (Big 12 Championship) on ;Possums Neil Armstrong radio. What a game! After the game we retired, more mindful of our feet. I wrapped mine in my rain jacket (with DRY socks this time) and ;Possum wrapped his rain jacket on the outside of his bag.
Sunday morning dawned wet, the lowest temp recorded was 30°F, obviously sometime earlier as it was now raining. We made coffee in the hammocks while talking to each other waiting for the rain to break. After a couple of hours I had to get up, so 'Possum got up as well and we broke camp in a slight drizzle; it had completely stopped by the time we hit the trail. The hike out was foggy and cool, but not cold. It was nice. No cold feet Saturday night and we stayed dry.
Other than the cold feet Friday night we stayed dry and comfortable, just a lesson we had to relearn.
The model 12 Pregrines performed flawlessly and are a joy to hike with. I think 'Possum bought one of each MOLLE compatible bag he could find, he looked like a wilderness EMT! The UCR suspensions all held fine in the rain and cold.
1) keep the feet dry for sleeping
2) We need to get winter tarps, this would have made picking a spot much easier on Saturday and more enjoyable hanging out under the tarp.
3) I am switching back to ladder locks on my MMP, cord is just too fussy when it's cold (fingers don't work).
4) Need to build a gravity filter, we drink far too much coffee to treat that much water (plus it takes longer when it's cold).
5) Life is a journey, not a destination!
I have pictures, but I left the camera at home, I will get them up tonight.