The Nightmare That Was the Gear Test Hike and Camp

So as I have written previously, I had planned to go for a 10 mile hike and camp to test out my gear for an upcoming larger trip. I had never slept in a hammock before so I thought it best to try it out to see if I liked it. The trip turned into a circus, let’s  begin:

The first thing that went wrong with the trip was that I forgot my denatured alcohol for my alcohol stove. I did not notice this fact until I was well on my way down the trail. So I thought to myself I could still make a fire and boil some water to eat my mountain house meal so I continued on. Another immediate problem was the late start I got to the whole trip. I did not get on the trail till about six o clock and I had to hike five miles from my car to the campsite. This meant that I was would be night hiking and setting up my hammock/campsite in the dark. When I got to the campsite, the first thing I did was to try to make a fire in the fire pit. I tried this for an hour and a half and was not successful because everything was soaking wet from the rain the night before (please note this I was also trying to use wet fire to start it). So being very tired and hungry with no fire, I decided to set up the hammock and try to get some sleep so i could hike back to the car in the morning. Setting up the hammock in the dark proved to be a monumental task. You would think it would be easy to just tie it up between two trees but getting a 30 degree angle however I am not fully convinced I did it right.  When I finally crawled into the hammock, I tried to configure my body so that I could sleep asymmetrically to the bend so it would be more comfortable. The problem with that is the bug net did not expand enough for me to be able to do that, so I was pretty uncomfortable.

When I did finally manage to drift off to sleep, the wind would blow and acorns would fall off the trees and startle me lol. This was mainly because I was not used to the noises in the back country as I had only camped previously in campgrounds. Another issue was the pack of coyotes howling every now and then not more than 100 yards from me. The next morning I got up around 5 am and broke camp to head back to the car. The problem here was that I had hiked down in the night and was trying to hike out before the sun was up therefore I got turned around and somehow managed to hike 3.5 miles on another trail away from my car before I recognized it. To make matters worse, my headlamp was dying and so I had to switch to a flashlight I brought. Well you guessed it, it died too. Luckily I remembered that I had brought extra batteries for the head lamp so I was able to get that going again. I hiked the 3.5 miles back to my original trail and instead of going the way back to my car, I somehow ended up hiking the other five miles of the original 10 mile loop I was on. So I hadn’t eaten for about twelve hours and I had 30 lbs on my back and hiked approximately 17 miles.  The overwhelming sense of relief when I got back to my car was a sensation I will not soon forget. So that was my trip. Good times, Good times…….

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