It had been about a decade since I last found myself backpacking through the woods. With each step I felt more at ease and life seemed a bit simpler. At times there were challenges and hurdles to over come with fatigue being at the top of the list. The good news is that with a bit more training I can overcome that.
The weather was a mild temperament and behaved herself for the most part. Once camp had been established, the rain started, so it was a perfect opportunity to climb into my warm bag, read a bit of Thoreau and then take a nap. After a few unsuccessful attempts at locating dry fire wood eventually the younger brother located a secret cache and we had our fire going. As the sun fell behind the mountains the stories and laughter filled the air before we all turned in for the night.
As I climbed into my tent for the night I found that everything was wet. I learned a few things from this trip:
1. If using a tarp as a footprint to your tent, it must be smaller than the foot print of your tent. If it extends beyond then the rain can pool up on the tarp under the tent.
2. An inexpensive plastic poncho or trash bag can pull double duty on keeping your pack dry on the trail and also work as a trash bag to pack out garbage.
3. Storing your clothes in a dry bag in your pack is always a good idea, don’t cut weight in your pack by discounting the importance of the dry bag. Ditch the whiskey instead if necessary.
4. Using cotton balls dipped in vaseline is an awesome fire starter. It should be a must have. I kept my in an old medicine bottle to keep it dry.
This 14.2 mile weekend trip was an important time with my brother in law and his brother, was visiting from out of state. It was also a chance to test myself under a loaded pack on a trail. I know that with a bit more training and conditioning I will be able to be a successful in the backcountry. As I inch closer and closer to becoming a hunter and I put myself through a series of instructional steps to test the waters and see if I have what it takes, I now know that I will be able to pack out an animal from the woods. This was a successful trip and realization.