I have spent the last week going over my gear for an up-coming adventure this weekend. It entails 33 miles on the Ozark Trail, some place I have never been but want to go. The terrain looks tough with almost as much elevation gain as my River to River trail section but with half the mileage. Big hills to conquer. I have most everything dialed in, but had to add my gloves an hat due to lows of 35! I hope the Insultex underquilt holds up and keeps me warm, this has been a problem in the past. However, I have the Enlightened Equipment Rev-X 20 degree quilt. That should work much better than my sleeping bag with the broken zipper. Since this is a Hammock Forums trip, I must have the hammock. Although there is a tiny box that came in the mail the other day. May it holds a rainbow or two. But that is for another day.
Today I sprayed my gear with Permethrin, an insecticide that will keep the masses of ticks at bay. It worked very well last year and I hope to be tick free again this year. I have a couple new items that I will try out. I was expecting warmer weather so I will be bringing my new Ex-Offico Air Strip Lite long sleeve shirt. I am hoping this shirt will handle the heat and let me use less sunscreen during the summer. With highs in the 60s I am not sure it will get the warm weather workout it needs. Lows of 35 with possible rain should be interesting. It will be a good gear workout for sure.
Monday, April 29, 2013
Sunday, April 14, 2013
The first true hike of Spring took place at a new location, Pere Marquette State Park. It was across a few rivers and through a place I have never been. Adventure was in there air, a good sign for this year. I have already made preparations for the next big adventure, until then check out a nice easy trail hiking adventure.
Wednesday, April 3, 2013
Spring is certainly in the air despite winters attempt to keep temperatures low at night. I managed to get out on a training hike a few days ago with a much lighter pack thanks to a few new purchases. One has to love the REI 20% discount coupons. I picked up a Therm-a-Rest Xtherm sleeping mat in anticipation of ground dwelling during the next year on the trail. Along with the Enlightened Equipment quilt, the bulk and weight of my ULA Circuit is going down. I am hoping to be under 15 pounds this year but I still have some work to do. Of course video overviews on these new items will be coming eventually.
On the trail, the signs of spring were everywhere. One was the amount of cars in the parking lot. On those frigid days in December I would be the lone resident on the trail. Today there were over a dozen. I ran into a few gents training up for a section of the Appalachian Trail. Gear was discussed for a few minutes as expected. I suspect I will start see more of the fair-weather trail runner and dog walkers. Best keep an eye on the trail for some dog bombs like I saw a Beagle leaving today. Be sure to pick up after your dogs folks.
I did run into these two. I had just come up the first large hill that reminded me I sit entirely too much as well as too much pizza. I finally noticed them when I was about 15 feet from them. They never got spooked. Deer I guess are just used to folks on the trail.
Saturday, March 30, 2013
I headed back to Cuivre River State Park for a little hiking and an overnight. The weather was right, and felt like spring was coming. Cuivre River is a nice place to go and has good trails, unfortunately the markings and maps don't match up which can lead to some frustrating times.
Wednesday, March 27, 2013
The ALPs Mountaineering Zephyr 2 is a lightweight backpacking tent. By comparison, it is on the lighter side and quite durable. Sporting an all mesh inner tent, the ventilation is good even when buttoned up for weather. It is a perfect entry level or scouting tent.
Thursday, February 28, 2013
The Marmot DriClime Windshirt is designed to be a lightweight option to blocking wind and fending off the chill. And for the most part it achieves this goal. The DriClime material is soft and warm while the nylon outer shell blocks the wind. It is very well constructed and does that job well. My problems came with using this item while hiking 8 miles. I had issues with venting and excessive heat build up. It is certainly worth a look but be wary of layering issues.
Wednesday, January 30, 2013
An important skill to have when venturing out into the wild is that ability to use a map and compass to navigate to safety. It is a skill I have been working on. One way was to mark out some locations in a local conservation area and navigate between them. It was a cold day but was very nice when it started to snow. We have had no snow really this winter so it was nice to get a little.