Thursday, May 8, 2014

Practice camping

I did a bunch of research the last few months and purchased my first backpacking tent (2-person), sleeping bag and sleeping pad.  These seemed to be the key essentials as I already have a backpack. I had some gift cards and coupon codes to burn through, so I feel like I got good value for my money. 

As each one came in the mail, I got a little more excited.  I put the tent up at home in my living room with barely enough space - just to see how easy it would be to put up.  :)

Friday was my real test.  Team GU lent me their backyard to spend a practice night pitching the tent, sleeping in the tent and taking it all down in the morning.  I am pleased to say it went pretty well!  Clearly not the same as my bed, slightly stiff in the morning, but I slept really well (I generally don't have issues sleeping through the night).  I love waking up to the sun rather than the alarm clock - even if that means it is early for a Saturday morning (around 5ish).  This also resulted in a three hour nap in the afternoon!

Here are some pics:

New tent from LL Bean - I decided on the 2-man so I'd have a little extra room and if anyone does want to join me we can sequeeze in.

Zipperless sleeping bag from Sierra Designs - super excited about this one! I like to curl up and roll over and this bag made that so easy.  I hope it holds up as well in colder weather.  I was toasty all night and even a bit warm when I woke up to the 52 degrees this morning. There's even a vent in the bottom to pop your feet out. 

Things I learned include location, location, location :).  The yard has a slight slant but slight is enough I realized. My head was initially lower and it felt like too much blood to my head. I swapped positions but I could still feel a tendency to roll too much one way. Not enough to mess with my sleep but I'll try better for flat next time. The rain fly over the tent was wet with condensation in the morning. I had to be careful getting out and not get drops of water on everything. Same when taking down the tent. Forgot my earplugs. The birds in the morning probably had me awake before the sun was really up. I didn't use the guy lines. I need to figure out how to do that. I also need to stake out the tent better to keep it taught. One side got a little droopy. And a pillow would be nice to have although my extra clothes packed in a bag served the purpose. 

Practice camping a success! I learned some things and had a great time on my makeshift slumber party. 

*sidenote - I got my motorcycle saftey class certificate in the mail.  Hoping I can get my M class license soon and maybe a new bike for my birthday this month!

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