Friday, July 16, 2010

Overnight

In my never ending quest to pack more outdoor experience into my life, I borrowed a frame and backpack, threw some gear inside, and hiked two miles up Grandfather Mountain to camp.  A couple of observations:
  • Even minimally packed hiking packs get heavy.  They put torque on your knees and ankles, where one bad foot strike could cause injury.
  • I sweat.  A lot.  Even moving very slow and deliberate, I was dripping off my face and through my shirt.  The pack rides on your hips and shoulders and the heavy straps were wet.  Not a good feeling and once you're moving with that monster pack, you don't want to stop until the destination is at hand.
  • Camping is cool.  You pitch your tent and settle in.  The forest is quiet and the steady wind moves through the trees.  I sat on a rock and read an entire book.  Can't think of the last time that happened.
  • Bear warnings were posted at the site.  A bunch of stuff about hanging your food in a bag over a tree branch.  I had a banana peel and a protein bar wrapper in a baggy and wondered if that constitutes bear bait.
  • Packed up and hiked down the mountain at 8 am.  More torque on the knees making the trip down but still around 30 minutes a mile.  
  • If you need to shop for some camping gear at good prices check out overstock.com.  Good stuff.  I'm looking at backpacks, bags, and a pillow that compresses into a little bag. 

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