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Pamela and I drove up to Lake Texoma Saturday morning to do an overnight backpack on the Cross Timbers trail. This was Pamela's first backpacking trip and our first trip out with our "complete" hammock kits.
We started our hike at the Cedar Bayou Marina around noon. There were quite a few cars parked along the road when we arrived, meaning that there were quite a few hikers already back in the area. No problem when you are in hammocks! You don't need a flat spot!
We hiked at a pretty good rate covering a little over 2.5 miles in less than an hour. We got out to the 5 Mile Camp area and began assessing our campsite options. A couple of guys had already staked out the area I had in mind, so we dropped packs, ate lunch, and then I took off bush-whacking. I came across a spot (complete with fire ring) that I never knew was there. It is across the cove and up the hill a bit from 5 Mile Camp. A perfect stealth campsite! (We ended up having two BoyScout groups hike by without ever knowing we were there.)
There was quite a bit of wind so we set up the tarps in a semi-baker style to block the wind on one side, but allow some room under the tarp on the other side. We fiddled with our hammocks, playing with the level and hang angles until we found comfortable setups. I like my BB nung with the foot end about 8" higher than the head end. Pamela likes her BB hung closer to level. Since this was our first time out with most of this gear, we took quite a long time setting up and playing with the new gear.
Once we had our setups set up, we walked down to the lake to gather some water to filter using the DIY gravity set up I made (Wal-Mart dry bag, FRAM paper fuel filter as pre-filter, Sawyer 0.1 micron in-line filter, and Platy 6L water tank). After seeing just how well this works, I wonder why anyone would pump again.
We gathered a LOAD of firewood and started our little campfire just as the daylight was fading. I cooked us up some Jambalaya with sausage and shrimp, and we made some corn bread cakes on the little one-egg-wonder skillet I bought after reading angrysparrow's cornbread discussion thread - worked really well!
The moon was FULL and the weather was unseasonably warm - probably never got below 55 degrees. We enjoyed the starry night until around 9pm and then put up the gear for the evening. Pamela watched a couple of movies on my iPod and I read the Kindle until I fell asleep. We both woke a few times during the night to really strong wind gusts, but the tarps had no problems handling the wind. I've camped since I was a 11 year old Boy Scout, and I've never really slept well when camping. This was my first night out in a hammock, and I think I'll be sleeping better!
We got up a little before 7am, re-kindled the fire, and made some blueberry cakes in the one-egg-wonder to go with our coffee. We hated to leave, but had to get back home. We broke camp and started hiking out at 8:45am. The hike out took 45 minutes.
I wanted to make sure that Pamela's first backpack was an easy trip, that she had great gear, and that she really had fun. I think I succeeded. She asked when the next trip would be!