Sunday, July 06, 2008

The Pilot Backpacking Trip

With a week long backpacking adventure coming up, I thought it would be best if Braden and I took a test trip to see if we could even survive overnight. The only time we could sneak in was on July 4th. That morning, we ran in the Freedom Run 10k, so we started the trip off a bit tired anyway. We left home around 3:00 pm and arrived at the Crystal Lake trail head at 5:00 pm.

Since we saw a lot of snow around, we figured we'd best just hike into Wall Lake, a one mile trip. The first thing I learned was that my pack is HEAVY! I couldn't have left anything out, so I guess I better suck it up and get used to it. We made the one mile journey in just under 30 minutes.

It was impossible to find a flat, dry spot. Our options were flat and wet, or slanted and dry. We opted for the slant. Another lesson I learned is that my sleeping bag, on my pad, is like a slippery slide. I spent most of the night pushing myself back up to the top of the tent to begin the journey back down to the bottom.

I also learned I do not fit in my mummy bag. It's plenty long, but I can't move in the bag with it done up. Luckily, I brought in a long sleeve t-shirt, my running stocking cap and my running gloves, so that's how I slept - looking like I was ready for a long winter run.

The dehydrated dinners were actually quite good. The bacon and eggs for breakfast were beyond gross. My camp stove worked awesome. The waterproof matches burned too hot once they lit, but they were almost impossible to light. I didn't try out the water purifier. Something about drinking lake water still weirds me out.

The mosquitoes were horrible. The repellent I bought didn't do the trick. We didn't fish much, but that's ok. I did realize I had forgotten several things, so I added that to my list.

I called my Dad today. His only advice was to take some pepper spray. I guess I should not question his judgement!

It would be nice to bring in some sandals, if they don't take up too much space. Hand sanitizer would also have been handy.

We woke up around 5:00 am on Saturday morning, and we were on the trail by 7:00 am. All in all, it was a blast. Something about hiking and carrying everything you need on your back is magical. It was also nice to spend the time with Braden.

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