Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Circuit or section hiking/backpacking can be very rewarding. You usually do not have any time restraint and aren't forced to cover large amountd of milage. It is exiting to be able to take some of the side trails. I recently hiked a few circuit hikes just off the Skyline and Blue Ridge Drives in Virginia. I observed an abandoned copper mine, a male turkey courting his mate, a bird house in a tree in the middle of nowhere, white tail deer and a monuement to Audie Murphy.

Copper mine

Bird house just off the trail on top of Brush Mountain.

White Tailed Deer

Audie Murphy monuement (Actor and most decorated soldier in WWII)

Male turkey doing his mating dance

Isaiah 40:31 But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they walk, and not faint.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sleeping styles

I have hiked and backpacked all my life but since I early retired in 2000 that is about all I have wanted to do. Besides remodeling a few houses. But I have tried my darnedest to sleep in a tent with no success. I must have about 6 super ultralight tents and about as many tarps. It is no go for any of them, I end up tossing and turning all night and they don't make a pad light enough or thick enough for me to be comfortable. About 2 years ago I decided to try a hammock. It sounded perfect to me. The benefits out weigh any faults they might have. I first tried the Bear Mountain hammock by Jacks-R-Better. It is a bridge hammock and uses spreader bars to keep the head and foot area wide like a bed. The hammock worked out really well, many times I would over step the days hike and have to camp along the trail and I could set it up just about anywhere. The slope or the roughness of the ground was never a factor. I have found out that it tends to sway more than the other hammocks. But I am always looking for the ultra lightest hammock I can find. I talked with lots of people who convinced me into trying a Speer hammock. It seems to be lighter and a little more stable. It is really easy to put up and the mosquito netting works fine. I bought the inner liner and peapod under quilt for the winter backpacking. I have camped in sub 20 degree weather and have been real toasty. When it is not too cold I use a truck windshield protector, one of those folding thing you put inside to reflect the heat out and it worked great. I have slept in it with a tarp cover in a heavy down pour all night and never got wet. Next I began looking for something better in the winter and bought the Clark's Jungle hammock and it was super in the winter. It has storage pockets inside and outside to store gear out of the weather. I bought the North American and it is a little heavier but Clark makes an ultra light I would like to try. All of these hammocks are side entry and that is why I would like to try the Hennessy because it is a bottom entry hammock, hikers swear by it but I am skeptical. We shall see, I have a 125 mile hike planned from Erwin to Damascus and that will be a real test for it. I usually hike solo because I can't find many people who are not retired or don't want to take their vacation to hike. The picture is a Clark Jungle hammock.

Genesis 31:40 - Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.