Jul 18, 2016

Outdoor restoration

Why Why WHY am I posting a picture of my tent in snow when it's 105 degrees outside?  Because it's 105 degrees outside!!!  DUH!

There are many good things about Oklahoma, but summer isn't one of them. I had my first attempt at serious winter camping over New Year's this year.  Serious means it was 7 degrees.  SEVEN.  That's a single digit!!!

There was snow. Three feet of it.  Not a little dusting. Real snow. I've always considered myself a little bit of a weather weenie when it came to winter camping- but I've decided I'm more of a summer sucker.  I have good cold weather gear, and you can only shed so much in the heat of summer.  Makes sense to go when it's cold!

My super cool camping buddy dug out and trampled the tent spot.

Digression -there ARE criteria for good hiking/camping buddies:
  • can they carry your pack if you collapse?  Bonus points if they can carry you AND your pack! 
  • can they navigate?
  • can they hang a bear bag?
  • are they large enough to sustain you for several days if you are the sole survivor in a snow packed mountain pass?
These are important things to know. I conduct interviews and trial runs before I commit to serious camping with anyone! Except for the sole survivor part...

Back to the winter camping--- my buddy got the tent spot ready, we set up in the dark (we like the challenge) and threw in the Western Mountaineering bags, water bottles and puffy jackets. Kudos to #WesternMountaineering, #Hydroflask and #Patagonia!  We also buried a 2-gallon water container in the snow.

Wonder of wonders- I didn't freeze and neither did our water.  We had breakfast in a crisp, cool, clean, bright and totally unoccupied except for ourselves campground.  Heaven.

I am now a superfan of winter camping,  Summer heat, be gone!

Happy Trails!

Dec 11, 2015

Camping- not for the faint of heart

As Small Daughter and I prepare for a short trip to the Platte River to view the Sandhill Crane Migration, I am reminded of a recent camping trip to the Elk River and the uncomfortable situation of explaining to my child why I was not running to the campground next to us to help the woman who was screaming in her tent. Yep- you guessed it, the woman and her tentmate were feeling the call of the wild and answered it loudly and often during our stay. Nowhere in the Leave No Trace literature is this addressed.

Note to self: write a book about camping etiquette. Include chapter on respecting the feelings of others and appropriate behavior in the campground. The only exception the noise rule is when you are hiking in bear country. Noise is a must. In this case- BE RUDE OR BE FOOD.