After a few really long weeks of business travel, I decided to treat myself to a bit of a break. I headed North and West from Charleston on the afternoon of Friday the 21st and stopped in Atlanta to pick up my good friend Thunderbolt for a short loop hike on the AT/BMT on and around Springer Mountain. The forecast was for clear skies and crisp temps at night (mid-30's with a frost warning) so we were pumped. We arrived at Springer just as the sun was starting to set, and had about 30 minutes to set up camp. I set up my brand new TTG Switchback Dbl 1.1, and hung my OES Deluxe w/ZQ doors.
I opted to use my trusty JRB Nest on this outing, but with the temps a bit chilly I cheated and added my Yeti as an extra layer of down - probably overkill, but I don't like to be cold. My TQ this trip was my 3S HG Burrow that I had purchased that week from Lazy River Road. What a sweet piece of kit and a great purchase that was! Thanks LRR!
My first bump of the night was to realize that I thought I had left my slings & straps at home - I found out a bit later that I had stashed them in my Alpenlite in a pocket I hadn't looked in yet. I did manage to leave my alky stove fuel and gravity filter, which led me to Yogi water and heat from Thunderbolt. He gracefully did so, having done similar things himself in the past. Always make a list. And USE it!
We had an adult beverage or two, maybe three, and were visited by Fievel the peanut stealing mouse, who became the main attraction as he/she was fearless, practically taking peanuts from our hands. I went with the bugnet rolled up, and Fievel ran up my suspension and across my head. I didn't mind too much I was so tired. After driving 6 hours, I slept like a dead man. I attribute that to the Switchback's wonderful lay.
The next morning we headed down the BMT, barely missing the horde of 30-40 Scouts that had decended on Springer that morning. We heard they were camping down at Three Forks so we decided not to camp there on Saturday night.
We stopped at a really neat overlook on the BMT and had lunch.
We liked it so much, in fact, that we decided to knock off for the day and camp there.
Life is good!
This time I decided that I was going to deploy trail stick in the spreaders for the bugnet and sleep under the stars. Having only walked a couple of miles and spent time dozing in the hammock in the warm sun, I was really relaxed.
Going without the tarp allowed me to view the brilliant night skies and to see a few shooting stars. You can do that when you are snug and comfortable with nothing to do but look at the sky. Saturday night was warmer than Friday night, and I once again slept really well. The final piece of the puzzle was Sunday morning, where I was treated to a beautiful sunrise with just a hint of the night's moon still visible.
After breakfast, we packed up and decided to finish our lazy hike theme by road walking back to the Springer Mountain parking lot. This allowed me to be on the road back to Charleston and be home before dark, which made the boss happy.
My final thoughts were that my "new" retro Alpenlite 80's backpack (rigged with hammock, UQ, TQ, & pillow all in one sack) worked really well - it has a ton of organization that I am looking forward to playing around with.
The Switchback - well, all I can say is that I've been hanging since 2004 and own 7 hammocks and none have ever been so comfortable out of the box. No calf pressure, and some side sleeping, although not as much as I would like.
Hammock Gear makes great quilts as well - I am really looking forward to my Incubator (order #1001) whenever it gets hear.
All in all, a great weekend, just what this corporate drone needed!