Located about 40 minutes from my house is a hidden treasure. 18 Mile Creek Park in Hamburg, NY is spectacular! The trail is about 5 miles to the end and back. Easy, peasy. The hiker walks above the creek on the main trail along the rim of a ravine. This affords the hiker with magnificent views of the creek and ravine. There are two side trails that will take you down to the creek if you want to fish or wade in the water on a hot day. I can’t wait to go back during the summer.
Okay, friends. Coming up this Friday I will be backpacking in the Allegheny National Forest. Shelly aka livingonthedirt.com and I will be hiking about 6 miles Friday, spend the night in the woods and hike 6 miles back out on Saturday. We can’t miss Easter Sunday dinner!
I’ve not had the chance to use ANY of my long hike gear yet. I set up my tent ONCE in my LIVING ROOM! My backpack still has the tags on it!! So, I spent Sunday doing some preparing. I gathered my guts and my tent and headed to my backyard with my dogs for moral support.
I scanned the ground for “land mines” aka dog doo. I found a spot next to our fire pit. Don’t worry, I would never set up my tent this close to a fire pit in real life. The first thing I looked for in the bag was the directions! I love the saying – When in doubt, RTFM. “Read the F’n Manual” Truer words have never been spoken!
I learned that you should read the directions once all the way through before you start. Good advice. So, now that I had a clue how this should end I started with step one and two. Lay out the tent and put the poles in an “X” on top.
That was easy.
Step two I had to put the poles in the grommets. Grommet? Isn’t that a British cartoon? Oh, no that is Wallace and Gromit. Gromit is the dog. These would be metal rings. Found them. Then I staked it at four corners. The ground was soft so the stakes went nice and easy! If I was sleeping here, I’d be worried they would pop out, but I’m not, so I didn’t care.
I attached the “dog-bone connector” – that’s what it said it was called in the directions, honest – at the center top and then the hook things (technical term) on the poles.
Hey, this looks like a tent! What’s this? I have to put a fly on?
Maggie was curious. Or she just wanted to drink my tea. So, how does it look? Wait, what’s this in the directions? Side ventilation? Guyouts???
I had to connect paracord to the sides and stake them out. Then the directions said something about guyouts? Huh? Oh, so if you don’t want your tent to blow away while you’re in it, you should attach “guy out lines”. Um. I may need help with that. I have no idea how to tie a knot.
Okay. Moving on. Let’s get in!!!
Not you, Maggie!!
Please remove your shoes before entering my home away from home!
I could actually kneel without ducking my head inside. Lots of headroom for me!
Roomy for a solo tent. Roomy for a 5’2″ woman.
I don’t look comfortable. And the grass was making all kinds of noise. It sounded like it was raining. I think I need to buy a small footprint tarp? Is that what it’s called? Something to go under my tent and above the grass. I’ll see about that before Friday. And I think I need a pillow. I know I NEED a pillow.
Well, I tried it out and now lets see if I can get it all to go back in the same small bag!
I DID IT!!!
My knees were a little muddy from crawling around on the floor, but the next task was packing my backpack.
Most of my gear. I don’t have a lot. Just the necessities.
Do I get points that my sleeping bag color matches my pack color and my NAIL color!!??? LOL!
I have no idea how to use this, but the directions seem pretty clear. Even if I have enough water, I may want to use this just to see how it works.
I researched google and was schooled by Shelly how to pack my pack. Sleeping bag on the bottom, heavy stuff centered. It felt pretty good. Now I have to unpack it all because I want to put a trash compactor bag in there to keep things dry if my pack gets wet.
I’m going to add a couple more things to this bag, like more clothes. It’s supposed to be pretty cold at night. My food will be added and of course, a bladder filled with 2 liters of water. That should bring me up to about 18 pounds in my pack. Doable.
Thanks for reading. And please, if you have any advice, I’ll take it!!!