so me and derek (my roommate) decided to go camping down on his parents land for our 2nd camp of febuary. we had been down there before, link to gallery, for a weeknight hang to get january out of the way. i will be referencing that gallery since i have no pics. my new years resolution was to go camping at least once a month, that way i don't feel so bad about all these purchases i've made for my camping gear.
so my new gear i was testing out. i got the sawyer squeeze, 12cm imusa pot, a smaller cup, a lightweight chair, and freezer bag cooking. i also used shug's video to make some cozy's for the pot and cup.
so we get down there around 4:30 so we had about 1.5 hours of daylight to get everything set up. if you look at the gallery i posted, derek and jade (oh yeah, jade came too) hung where the big blue tarp was. the big blue tarp is no more, now its a smaller 10'x'15' black plastic sheet. derek's gear is ghetto but he is using what he has on hand. jade slept in my old eno dn and derek brought a king size bed sheet to use as a hammock. after we got down there the king size sheet was actually a shorter double or twin size sheet. but we made it work. a short tightly hung hammock is still better than sleeping on the ground. so they hung close and shared the tarp. i hung a bit away, not many options.
now my setup was up the hill, no pics of the location in the gallery. i had to hang over the trail because there is some nasty, thorny undergrowth everywhere else. on my hammock i use clinch buckles and 15' of webbing on each end. after going around a tree with a 3' diameter trunk on 1 end and a 1' tree on the other end, i barely had enough webbing to make it through the buckles. i had 5" to spare on one side and about 10" on the other side. i'm so glad i went on and got 15' straps. then i set up my tarp, underquilt, then went to collect firewood.
freezer bag cooking... on my last campout i ate some mountain house chilly mac and beef or something like that. it was more food than i could eat and cost $6, but i was surprised that it taste quite good! but i knew i could do better and be less wasteful.
after we got a good fire going i whipped out my fancee feest stove and started boiling some water for dinner. my dinner was in a freezer bag of dried mashed taters with some precooked bacon, can't find the link to the recipe i used. i poured some water in and gave the bag some shakes and let it sit in my pot cozy for a bit. what i came back to was surprisingly good. now i've had powdered mashed taters in the past and they tasted gritty and powdery, but these were pretty good. after dinner we all sipped on some whiskey.
i went to get some more firewood. i was dragging a nice sized log back to camp while walking backwards. i slammed my back into that downed tree that goes over the sand bar. i fell to the ground and whimpered for a few minutes. it hurt really really bad so once i could get up i went for some more whiskey. after a while we went to bed.
i woke up in the middle of the night and my butt was on the ground. nothing sudden, but i severe case of cbs and too much sag in my hammock. got up and adjusted my straps (nothing had failed, both straps still had the same amount of slack on the ends) and went back to bed. when i woke up in the morning i was very close to the ground again. i'm not really sure what was going on here. i had a slippery half hitch after in the webbing after the clinch buckles and they didn't slip. there was still the same amount of extra webbing, i'm not sure what stretched so much to leave me on the ground like that. another thing i noticed when i woke up is that i had my sleeping bag was inside out. that would explain why the hood wasn't working right and i was colder than normal. i really like the hood on my sleeping bag, some people have issues with them, but it really helps keep my head warm... at least when its right side out.
that morning we build the fire back up and got started on breakfast. that's when i realized that someone had stepped on my stove... it was probably my fault. i used a lighter to straighten the metal up and it worked just fine. derek made a HUGE pot of oatmeal and realized he forgot to bring a spoon. off to the woods he went to find a good stick to carve some spoons. i had my other freezer bag meal. red beans and rice and i added a small can of chicken. another meal i was happy with. i added too much water (no measuring cup) so it was kinda soupy but all the extra water really helped warm me up.
after that we hiked around the property line to see what all was theirs. found some other cool spots to hang. then went back to camp and slowly packed up while wishing we had some coffee and hiked out.
now a couple things i didn't mention. the sawyer squeeze, i used it as my primary source of water even tho i hiked in a couple liters of water as a backup. we probably used about 8-10 liters of water from it. trying to fill those bags up in a shallow stream can be difficult and the smaller bags are almost worthless in that situation. the stream we were filling from looked pretty clean so i was surprised to see all the brown gunk that came out when i back washed it after we got home. the other thing i didn't mention was the chair, it didn't work too well on the sand bar. it sits kinda low normally but after it sinks into the sand your basically sitting on the sand but with good back support. on harder ground it works great, i love the 2 leg design because i'm taller and normally lean back in any chair i sit in.
well thats enough for now. i need a camera, my phone doesn't cut it when i forget to charge it. a few pics would have really shortened all this. battered and bruised and really glad i had the day off today.