Monday, May 17, 2010

Equipment test succeeds

We spent our first night camping in our new tent, sleeping in our new sleeping bags, on a new sleeping pad (Jan's) and cooking on our new stove, using our new pots and, yes, eating with our new bowls and utensils. (Info on camping on Gatineau Park)

This is the MEC Twin Peaks all set up - the forecast was for some rain, so we went all out, with putting up the fly and a tarp in the vestibule to keep potential mud at bay. It's a very cosy tent for the two of us, especially since we expect to keep backpacks with us on the inside most often. This tent is easy to set up, stayed completely dry in the rain, and in the morning there was no condensation on the inside at all.

The MSR DragonFly also worked like a charm. This is the exciting, large flame it creates upon first lighting it. The only small problem I have is that the safety lid on the fuel bottle is so safe I can't seem open it. Jan on the other hand has little trouble getting it to open, so I am definitely sticking with her ;)

Of course, no camp is complete without a decent camp fire. So, we lit one using these nifty fire starters, basically looked like cubes of pressed wood, that are highly flammable. Despite the rain - more like a summer rain with short periods of somewhat greater intensity but mostly steady through the late afternoon and into the evening - we hung around  the campfire hot tea in hand. (Soft shells worked well to keep us dry and warm, as usual).

We had a lovely 13k roundtrip hike from Lac Phillipe to Lac Lusk on Sunday in brilliant sun shine equipped with packpacks and keeping on working out the details of how my shiny new pack, the Deva 70 from Gregory, performs best. I am very pleased with it.

As a result of this first excursion I've decided to replace my over 20-year-old inflatable therm-a-rest, with a foam only Therm-a-Rest Z-Lite. Jan's new pad was definitely more comfortable than mine; it just doesn't hold the air like it used to. Other than that, we are all good to go: to the Adirondack's this long weekend for 4 days of  camping and hiking up some of the 46ers, if they are clear enough of snow. I read that the snow line was at 3,000 feet for last weekend, so we'll see how much higher it'll move.

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