Author Topic: Christmas Weekend Trip  (Read 2874 times)

Offline inconel710

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Christmas Weekend Trip
« on: December 27, 2013, 10:27:37 PM »
I haven't had any dirt time since November, so I grabbed my son and headed for the mountains today.  Didn't stay overnight as my wife isn't feeling real good right now (long time dental issues flaring up, ugh), but we packed and prepped a campsite as if it was an overnight.

Here's the boy, loaded out with his new bow and a few other things.


Here's the pack mule!  Most of that pack space is two black MSS bags (yeah, I'm cheap).






The forecast called for winds out of the west transitioning to the north overnight, so I chose this site.  Pic is looking north.  I'm hoping that mountain will provide some shelter.


Since it's the two of us, I set up a modified plow-point.  Both of our sleeping pads barely fit under here with a little room left to shelter the packs.


With overnight lows projected in the 20's, I thought a super-shelter front would come in handy.  The painters tarp took up hardly any room.


The final setup.


Randy raging against the sticks. :)


Making some water.  Probably the ugliest tripod ever, but it worked.


I had it all set for a long fire in front of the shelter.  The rocks were there to keep the logs from rolling down hill.


And here's a little video of us getting the fire going.  The wood was all fallen aspen and pine.  I tried making feather sticks from some dead pine branches, but they just crumbled.  They had a little bit of resin smell, but no true fatwood.  If it sounds like we're breathing a little heavy, it's due to the altitude - our campsite was somewhere between 8500 and 9000 feet.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qBtC5s-TVqE

All in all, it was good to get out in the woods.  Even though it was just a few hours, I tried some new things (super shelter, tarp shelter, bank line) and taught my son a few things.  We hiked out in the dark and when he started feeling scared (wolves, bears, Sasquatch, being cold, you name it) we talked about it and how he could use the things in his pack if he was out there by himself.  Good times.

endurance

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Re: Christmas Weekend Trip
« Reply #1 on: December 28, 2013, 01:33:50 PM »
Gotta love this late December weather we have right now!  Looks like a nice time.  I've done almost the entire Colorado Trail from Denver to Mt. Princeton, except for the Lost Creek Wilderness section. It's on my to-do list for early next summer, as soon as the snow comes off it.

And yes, hiking after dark is not for the faint of heart.  Every noise in the woods around you sends your heart rate up about 30bpm.

I hope your wife gets to feeling better soon.  Dental pain sucks. 

nelson96

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Re: Christmas Weekend Trip
« Reply #2 on: December 28, 2013, 02:13:49 PM »
I commend you inconel.  Your son will remember that trip forever.  Good job on the fire too, but I'll add that a better (bigger) fero rod and striker is much easier to use and doesn't take up much more room or weight in your pack.  I'm not sure if you were also cooking with the fire, but if you were using an alcohol burner, a few drops of alcohol can help get that fire started too.  I've read that endurance likes to use everclear (good choice) for his stove.

On the tent.  I like to use a tarp up against a large log or root wadd.  That gives added cover and space.  If you use one that has a lot of limbs or roots hanging out, they provide good tie points for the tarp.  I'm constantly scanning for things like this while I'm hiking so that I can walk back to them (back-track or use an old waypoint saved in my GPS).

Offline inconel710

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Re: Christmas Weekend Trip
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2013, 06:07:26 PM »
Thanks guys.  I was using a Light My Fire Scout Ferro rod and striker.  It's small and fits well in my pocket kit which is why I was using it.  I have other ferro rods - a couple of Coughlans el-cheapos and a rod blank that came in a knife trade.  The striker is where I'll start with the upgrade.  The Coughlans rods have horrid strikers.  I've heard good things about Super Scrapers and they're definitely cheap enough to give a try.

Nelson - I think what you're recommending is looking for a log to go against the back of the tarp.  Is that correct?

Endurance - It was real nice as long as the sun was up.  About the time it hit the peaks, the temperature dropped below freezing quick!  I think we would have been just fine with a fire going.

nelson96

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Re: Christmas Weekend Trip
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2013, 10:58:55 PM »
Nelson - I think what you're recommending is looking for a log to go against the back of the tarp.  Is that correct?

Yes, anything really, but wind blown logs and root wadds are what is easy for me to find on my hikes.

Offline inconel710

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Re: Christmas Weekend Trip
« Reply #5 on: December 30, 2013, 10:20:54 AM »
Thanks, Nelson.