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#189179 - 02/18/15 05:41 PM My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 629
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA


I finally got out and did my first backpacking trip on the weekend of Jan 23-25, 2015. My hiking buddy, Stephen, and I both had to work that day, so we made it to the trail pretty late. We had planned to hike in Arkansas, but after setbacks and cancelled trips, we decided to take the one weekend we both had free for a while and hike closer to home, on the 20 mile 4C Trail through the heart of Davy Crockett National Forest in east Texas.

We parked Stephen's car at the north trailhead just at sunset, and by the time we drove my car to the south trailhead, it was dark. Our camp for the night was in Ratcliff Lake Recreational Area, where the only other "campers" we saw were trailers and RVs. He set up his tent, and I pitched my tarp, too low as I would come to find out in the morning. By the time we finished our dinners, it was after 9:00, so we turned in for the night.

I slept only slightly cool that night, in spite of the outside temperature dipping below 30F. I hadn't bought a decent sleeping bag yet, so I was sleeping inside of two cheap bags, one inside the other. I was using an emergency blanket as a ground sheet, a Therm-a-rest Neoair pad, and reflective car window shade on top of that for a little extra insulation. I hadn't tested this setup yet, but since we were car camping the first night, and I knew it was going to be the coldest of the two nights out, we had the luxury of bailing to the car if we had to. Luckily, that wasn't necessary, and I only woke a couple times during the night.

I woke shortly before dawn, and Stephen wasn't up yet. I decided to take a walk around the park, both to wake up a bit and to find the restroom. I had been a little disappointed we had to cancel our original plan to hike in the foothills of the Ouachita (wash-i-taw) mountains. I had been looking forward to the scenery, but on the way back from the restroom, The sunrise over the lake was just as breathtakingly beautiful.

"Ugh, might as well camp in a garbage dump!"

When I got back to camp, Stephen was gone. I figured he must have had the same idea as me about finding the restroom, so I started packing up. That's when I found I had pitched the foot of my tarp too low, and it was touching my outer sleeping bag. The condensation running down the tarp had left a patch of ice on my bedding. Well, I just pulled all the bedding out a bit so it wasn't touching the tarp anymore and hoped it would dry by the time I got everything else packed.


Stephen's tent and my tarp, a Kelty Grand Mesa 2 and a 2mil square of polyethylene, respectively.

When Stephen got back, we ate breakfast before we finished packing.


Stephen at breakfast. Somehow eating straight out of grocery bags is not very appetizing.

The ice on my bedding hadn't even melted yet, so Stephen let me drape the bag over his tent. This didn't seem to do much at first, but eventually, the sun came up enough that I was able to turn the bag and put the ice in a sun ray. Waiting for the bag to dry out really set us back time-wise. In the end, we decided to pack up and go anyway, in hopes that we'd get to the second camp in time to let the bag dry some more. It was almost 10:00 before we set out on the trail. We weren't sure how far camp was, but we knew it was over ten miles, so we had to make good time, or we'd have to turn around.


Trying to melt and dry ice on a sleeping bag.

We set an alarm on my phone for when we'd have to make a decision whether to press on or turn around, and we set off for the day. The trail was typical of east Texas at first, easy with a fair mix of pine and young hard woods. As the we went on, it started to become soggier and soggier. It had rained a lot the previous two days, and while the rangers tell you to carry in all of your water, that wasn't a concern that day. There were puddles and streams everywhere. One thing this trail has going for it is there's a ton of wooden foot bridges to carry you over the low spots, but that wasn't going to keep our feet dry. I had brought plastic bags to put over my feet, but in the end, I decided not to mess with them and just deal with wet feet. After a mile or so, we crossed the highway we'd drove the night before, marking the boundary of the park and into the national forest proper.


Long straight section of trail.


Me on one of many bridges.


Sikes Creek. It's artistic because it's tilted.

We started to notice the areas we walked through were surprisingly diverse, with distinct areas having different atmospheres. Areas with more pine, areas with more hard woods, high, low, flat, dry, wet, sparse and dense underbrush... you get the idea. The trail crosses private property in a couple places, and at one point, we almost got turned around because it abruptly meets an unmarked road. It looks like the trail should cross the road and continue on the other side, but there was clearly a no trespassing sign in that direction. It turns out we were supposed to turn left and follow the road. The road, of course, wasn't on the map, I guess because it was a private road. We'd actually walked a hundred feet or so down the road before we decided to backtrack and make sure we were going the right way. When we got back to the spot where the trail turned, we saw a giant white arrow pointing the way down the road, which we had somehow both overlooked the first time.


Crossing someone's private hunting grounds.

When our point of no return alarm went off, we both felt like we were making great time, and the weather was warm and fantastic, so it was an easy decision to keep going. It was well past that when we got to Whitely Creek, where we had decided to eat a late lunch and fill our water bottles (filtered of course), only to discover that the bridge had washed out. We were going to have to wade it, and it was going to be cold.


Yep, it's gotta happen.

We ate and made sure everything was carefully packed up in plastic, double layered in the case of our sleeping bags. Then we rolled up our pants legs and took turns wading in. And, yes, it was painfully cold. I went first and used a big stick to steady myself in the water. We didn't know how deep it was or how fast the water was. Luckily, even though it looked swift on the surface, it wasn't very forceful. Unfortunately, it was deep enough to get our pants wet, even though we'd rolled them up as high as we could. I managed to make it over to the stranded section of bridge and then threw my stick over to Stephen for him to use, but I miscalculated and ended up splashing cold water all over him instead. Lucky for me, he's a forgiving guy.


Almost there, Stephen.

Finally, we were across. We continued on to find a very long raised boardwalk, one small section of which had been knocked out by a falling tree, but that was easy enough to climb over. There had actually been a lot of fallen trees, several of which damaged bridges. The area had suffered a drought a few years earlier, and the trees didn't fare so well. When we got to the end of the boardwalk, we crossed another forest road, one of many. Stephen said he had seen a middle aged couple on the other side of the creek when we were still eating and working up to wading it, but they had disappeared as quickly as they appeared, before I ever saw them. I guess they must have come in on the road and hiked as far as the creek, giving up when they saw the washed out bridge.

Before long we actually saw a small waterfall, one of the few I've seen in east Texas.


Proof that there is rock in east Texas. You just have to dig deep enough.

I liked that area because it was hilly and had several streams, but Stephen did not, because many of the trees had burned down. We continued our soggy trudging, at times walking up the center of a flowing stream that was supposed to be a trail, but there was no shortage of pretty scenery.


Just one peaceful spot.

To my relief, we started going slowly uphill, out of the wettest spots. It wasn't too long before I started seeing familiar landscape I had seen on a short day outing with my kids. We were almost to Pond Camp, where we were spending the night.


Pond Camp.


Second camp.

When we first got to the campsite, there was a car parked there, but no one around. We would have set up close to where the car was, but decided to give the owner some space, in case they came back that night. I decided to sleep in my hammock, and while I was setting up, the owner of the car was dropped off and drove away. By the time I was done, it was nearly dark. I was debating whether or not to start a campfire. The wood was wet, and I didn't want to smell like smoke, but on the other hand, it would be nice to dry out my socks and the bottom of my pants. I tried, but in the end, it was too soaked to light easily, and I didn't want to put that much work into it in the dark. I ate close to Stephen's tent, and then the two of us struggled to hang our food in the dark. I realized then I should have hung the line when I first got there, so I could see what I was doing. Then, all I'd have to do when I was done eating is clip the food bag on and hoist it up. Lesson learned. We ended up going to bed really early that night.

In the morning, things seemed to go much quicker than the previous day, both the packing and the hiking. It was probably no more than a mile down the trail that we saw some other backpackers just starting to pack up their stuff as well. I hadn't expected to see so many other people while we were out, especially not any other backpackers in January.


Tall pines.


The very sandy banks of Camp Creek.

About mid morning, we crossed forest road 511, and we knew we were getting really close to the end of the trail. We had been hiking about as fast as we sanely could with our heavy packs, because my wife was leaving for a trip that day, and she needed me back by 2:30. But, when we crossed 511, we realized we could take things at a more leisurely pace.


A very straight section of 511.

While we were taking a breather at the road crossing, we saw a truck drive by. A few minutes later, that same truck passed us going the other way. Once again, I was amazed at the number of people out that weekend. I had driven all over those forest roads with my kids on a fine Saturday once before, without seeing another soul. Maybe east Texans were getting cabin fever?

Soon after that, we met up with the Neches river and walked the tiny and very muddy dirt road that follows it for a mile or so, before the trail split off and we started winding our way up the bluff where the trail ended. All too soon and not soon enough, we were there.


Stephen taking in the view before we leave.


Me taking in the view before we leave.

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#189180 - 02/18/15 06:49 PM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: 4evrplan]
Rick_D Offline
member

Registered: 01/06/02
Posts: 2801
Loc: NorCal
Success! Perfect weather, good scenery and company, a couple harmless mishaps overcome...ideal freshman backpacking trip.

January must be about right; can't imagine what that area must be like in July.

Congratulations.
_________________________
--Rick

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#189182 - 02/18/15 07:31 PM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: Rick_D]
AdventureMyk Offline
member

Registered: 06/16/14
Posts: 127
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Sounds like you guys had a blast and that was a great write-up, especially with the matching pics. Glad you guys had (mostly) fun and have something to tell. Now it's on to some gear you might like better for the hiking you plan to do, more pics, more trip reports, etc. wink

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#189183 - 02/18/15 07:53 PM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: 4evrplan]
BZH Offline
member

Registered: 01/26/11
Posts: 829
Loc: Torrance, CA
great write-up. Thanks!

I guess you will have to change your name from 4everplan to plan4twoyearsandonemonth

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#189186 - 02/18/15 08:07 PM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: 4evrplan]
OregonMouse Offline
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Enjoyed your report; sounds as though you had fun! And, as always, some lessons learned. After 73 years of backpacking, I still learn something new almost every trip!
_________________________
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey

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#189202 - 02/19/15 07:18 AM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: 4evrplan]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1726
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
Great report. I'm glad things went well. Nothing like this to whet your appetite for more!
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#189206 - 02/19/15 11:04 AM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: 4evrplan]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 629
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Aw, you guys are great! Thanks for reading.

And, I didn't mention it in the TR, but my skin-out weight, including water and food, ended up at 33lbs 5oz, give or take half a pound.

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#189207 - 02/19/15 11:09 AM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: Rick_D]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 629
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By Rick_D
January must be about right; can't imagine what that area must be like in July.


Yes, we were really fortunate with the weather cooperating. July typically is pretty hot, but can surprise you with cooler days sometimes. August is the worst. This isn't the hottest part of the country by a long shot, but it's the humidity that gets you. That and by August, the nights don't cool down much, so there's just no relief.

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#189208 - 02/19/15 11:12 AM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: AdventureMyk]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 629
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By AdventureMyk
Sounds like you guys had a blast and that was a great write-up, especially with the matching pics. Glad you guys had (mostly) fun and have something to tell. Now it's on to some gear you might like better for the hiking you plan to do, more pics, more trip reports, etc. wink


Thanks! And, regarding the gear, I'm sure my wife would say "don't encourage him!" [rubs hands together in anticipation]

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#189230 - 02/19/15 03:23 PM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: 4evrplan]
AdventureMyk Offline
member

Registered: 06/16/14
Posts: 127
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Sending the most deviously evil levels of encouragement on a Megamind scale! Muahahahahhaha smile

(Hey, as he said so well: "Presentation!")

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#189249 - 02/20/15 12:01 AM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: 4evrplan]
Glenn Roberts Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/23/08
Posts: 1343
Loc: Southwest Ohio
Great report - I did the same thing with missing the mark on the tree on my first solo trip, many years ago. Lost the trail where it crossed a field, walked up and down the woods line trying to find, finally panicked and forced myself to stop and calm down, and when I stood up, the mark I was hunting was on the tree I'd been leaning against. I think those signs have invisibility powers and do that just to humble us.

You said your sleeping bag slowed you down getting out of camp. Next time it happens, if it's just a bit of dampness in one spot, go ahead and pack it, and hit the trail When you stop for lunch, lay the bag on a rock or log that's exposed to sunlight, and it will dry pretyt quickly (the sunllight's stronger and warmer by then.)

All in all, sounds like you planned well, and the trip sounds like you had a lot of fun.

It sounds like there will be a second trip?

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#189253 - 02/20/15 01:15 AM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: Glenn Roberts]
AdventureMyk Offline
member

Registered: 06/16/14
Posts: 127
Loc: Knoxville, TN
One thing I noticed was that the ice was still stuck to the sleeping bag when you had it laying on the tent. Is there some reason you didn't knock it off? Especially if it was an older bag where there was minimal risk of damage to the fabric?

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#189254 - 02/20/15 09:54 AM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: AdventureMyk]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 629
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Call it an idiot moment, I guess, but I didn't even try that.

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#189255 - 02/20/15 10:06 AM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: Glenn Roberts]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 629
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By Glenn Roberts
It sounds like there will be a second trip?


I hope there will be many. So far however, there's nothing on the calendar. I have to balance my backpacking time with family time. Usually, if I have my older son with me, I also have my younger son. It's challenging to hike with them; it would be much more challenging to take them backpacking, especially my younger son. Because of his autism, he's still in diapers, and going any further than a few hundred feet (maybe a mile on a good day) I have to carry him. There's just no way I can carry both him and all the gear for three people, including diapers, for an overnight trip even if the ten year old helps out.

One thing we do enjoy together is car camping. I was thinking of taking them over spring break, and giving my wife a well deserved rest, but I've decided to visit the grandparents instead (and my wife will still get some R & R). Even so, I'm sure we'll get some day hikes in and maybe even a night or two in the tent.

ETA: And, thanks for the tip about drying gear over lunch. Great idea!


Edited by 4evrplan (02/20/15 10:26 AM)

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#189257 - 02/20/15 11:10 AM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: 4evrplan]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Nice trip report, and nice photos too. Thanks for sharing!

Really glad to hear you finally got out for a few nights. That looks like a pretty sweet area to camp out to me.

You're tarp looked great. I used one I made just like it a few times while I was testing out different shelter designs and a hammock I'd got. It was right after that I sold my backpacking tents because I knew I'd never use them again. One was too small and the other too heavy and that cheap plastic tarp set up just like you had it was better than both.


_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#189260 - 02/20/15 12:54 PM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: billstephenson]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 629
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
I've been really happy with that plastic tarp for all of my tests, and I think it cost me all of about $4 for the plastic and a hair more for the cord (dropline). There are a couple nuances with it that you've got to watch for. You have to be really careful not to snag and puncture it on anything. There's a few small holes along a couple edges of it where it was blowing around in the wind and snagged on the top of my chain-link fence when I had it set up in the backyard. Also, it stretches somewhat, but if you put too much tension on it, you'll break it. I've torn all four corners off, because I was trying to use up as little of it as I could when I attached my tie-outs, but there just wasn't enough meat to hold with the amount of stress I put on it. I just gathered up the remaining material (thicker this time, since the thin corner was gone) and re-tied it. Next time, I think I'll cut it slightly larger to account for the material lost when gathering up corners. Also, I think I'll try a six point shape instead of a four point shape, kinda like a tadpole tarp. I haven't had it out in a storm yet, but I worry the coverage might not be sufficient for wind blown rain.


One other thing that doesn't really have to do with performance, is it would be nice if it was clear instead of hazy. When I was laying in my hammock the second night out, I was thinking how nice it would be to see out, especially the stars. The moon wasn't up yet, and the stars were incredible. I may replace the tarp with window film at some point ("polycryo"), because it's completely see through and is supposedly a little tougher too. Of course, if it was clear, it might not hold heat as well.

That reminds me. Re-reading through my report, there were several things I remembered that could have gone into it.

1) Using my water filter was really tedious. I may have to figure out a poor man's gravity feed system I could hang up in camp and during lunch.
2) The stars were incredible out away from town!
3) I slept balled up in my hammock the second night, in order to stay warm, but I woke up with a very stiff left knee.
4) The coyotes were out. Their calls are such a haunting sound. If I didn't know Stephen was 30 feet away, I might have been pretty creeped out.

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#189271 - 02/20/15 09:27 PM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: 4evrplan]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Among the things you can try out with your next tarp is using 1" fiber reinforced strapping tape on all the edges and the ridge line. That will do a lot to keep if from stretching.

On the corners of mine I reinforced it with some 2" Gorilla Tape or clear fiber reinforced 3M Duct tape, and I put a grommet in the corners and the center of each side (also reinforced with tape) so I could tie them off or stake them down. I got an inexpensive grommet kit in the sewing section of Wal-Mart, and they have them at craft stores like Micheals too.

It is a bummer the visqueen is not clearer. And it gets hazier quick too as you use them. But even after a bit of use they're still great on moonlit nights, and I like that a lot.

You might try making a tarp out of a few SOL Emergency Blankets. They're made out of a tougher material that's not quite as stretchy and I think it's lighter than 2 mil visqueen. Plus, the reflective side offers some heat retention when turned towards you, and if you put it on the outside it reflects the heat from the sun in the hot months and keeps you cooler in it's shade.

I used a piece of bubble foil insulation under my sleeping bag when I slept in my hammock. It will slide around though. I never tried making a way to attach it so it wouldn't, but I don't think that'd be hard. It made a huge difference. As soon as I slid off of it I got cold.

You might want to try that as a floor for your tarp. Now I use a piece that's 40"x80" for the floor of my tent. I fold it in half both ways then roll it up. It rolls up into a 20"x5" roll and weighs about 17 ounces. (0.771 oz./ft²). A big tarp made out of SOL blankets taped together will weight less than a pound too, so that's a pretty sweet setup and both of those items are dual purpose. The floor can be folded and used as a sitting pad, or a ground cloth to lay yourself or your gear out on, and the tarp is already a big emergency blanket and giant signal mirror, so that's a pretty cool set up as far as I'm concerned.

We have lots of coyotes here too. I like them. There have been times when a pack has come up and started yipping and howling just a few dozen yards from my tent. They've never bothered me here or anywhere else so I don't worry about them getting into my stuff at all. I knew a guy in CA who told me a coyote saved his life by leading him back to his car after he got lost riding his dirt bike out in the desert. He said he thought it was going to eat him at first, but it kept walking towards him, sitting down, then getting up and walking away while stopping and looking back at him every few seconds. He finally started following him and about a half hour later he could see his car.

My wife, and a few of my neighbors swear they've seen a wolf around our places, but I haven't. I did see a TV show about "Coywolves" recently though, and they might have seen one of those. I wouldn't be at all surprised to learn they're here. They're in central and western Texas for sure and there've been a few wolves that have made it down here from Minnesota and one other northern state I think.
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#189272 - 02/20/15 09:37 PM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: 4evrplan]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Here's a link to a few pictures of the tarp I made to use with my hammock. They show the tape and grommets.
_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#189273 - 02/20/15 11:14 PM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: billstephenson]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 629
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Your tarp turned out really nice looking. I like that very much. Are the ends straight if you lay the whole thing flat, or angled away from the connection point?

I actually did put a reinforcing stripe of clear duck tape on each corner, but not on the edges, in the direction of the tension. I also had cut the strips to half width to save weight. Obviously, that wasn't enough reinforcement. I think I used a sub-par brand of tape as well, not 3M. If I make a polycryo one, I'll definitely reinforce the edges, but I don't think I'm going to mess with grommets. There's too many reports that they eventually pull out. That happens even on store bought tarps.

The tent I made a year or so ago was made of those SOL Emergency Blankets, but I haven't slept in it even one night. Shame too, because it's light, and roomy. and packs small, plus I've probably sunk well over $40 into materials. I'd had big plans to make that my main shelter, but my wife can't stand the sight of the bright orange plastic. I had to stop setting it up for testing, so I never got everything tweaked just right. I still have it. I'm still trying to make up my mind what to do with it - cut it up for parts (metalized plastic, no-see-um, zipper) or try to find someone who wants it as-is. More later, I've got to go now.

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#189278 - 02/21/15 10:43 AM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: 4evrplan]
ETSU Pride Offline
member

Registered: 10/25/10
Posts: 931
Loc: Knoxville, TN
Cool!
_________________________
It is one of the blessings of wilderness life that it shows us how few things we need in order to be perfectly happy.-- Horace Kephart

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#189283 - 02/21/15 02:57 PM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: billstephenson]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 629
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By billstephenson
I used a piece of bubble foil insulation under my sleeping bag when I slept in my hammock. It will slide around though. I never tried making a way to attach it so it wouldn't, but I don't think that'd be hard. It made a huge difference. As soon as I slid off of it I got cold.

You might want to try that as a floor for your tarp. Now I use a piece that's 40"x80" for the floor of my tent. I fold it in half both ways then roll it up. It rolls up into a 20"x5" roll and weighs about 17 ounces. (0.771 oz./ft²). A big tarp made out of SOL blankets taped together will weight less than a pound too, so that's a pretty sweet setup and both of those items are dual purpose. The floor can be folded and used as a sitting pad, or a ground cloth to lay yourself or your gear out on, and the tarp is already a big emergency blanket and giant signal mirror, so that's a pretty cool set up as far as I'm concerned.


Remember I said I was using an emergency blanket as a ground sheet the first night? Well, I actually had that slung under my hammock the second night. I have it bound with loops of elastic on both ends, and I just feed the hammock suspension through them. This serves two purposes. First, it blocks wind blowing under me, and second, it holds my sleeping pad, similar to the way a double layer hammock works. I had traded my air mattress for the CCF pad Stephen was carrying the second night (they're both mine). I also had my car window shade (pretty much the same thing as bubble foil) on top of the CCF pad. I really think that would have been warm enough, but I didn't have the emergency blanket bound up tight enough, and there was a lot of air gaps.

And, yes, the window shade was super handy for sitting on and holding gear I wanted to keep clean.

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#189285 - 02/21/15 04:44 PM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: 4evrplan]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
I went back and found the photos of your tent. You did a awesome job on that!

I dunno how you can resist using it. I'm not a huge fan of the "Pup Tent" design, but that one is pretty sweet.

Wives are a different story. Mine insist on spiffing me up whenever she's seen in public with me. Lucky for me I don't have to go out much.
_________________________
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#189335 - 02/23/15 03:38 PM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: 4evrplan]
Mama Offline
member

Registered: 09/21/14
Posts: 16
Loc: Wisconsin
Thanks for sharing your fantastic first overnighter trip report. It's great to work the bugs out and get your system down before taking out kids and spouse. Then when you work on winning them over to backpacking, things go well on their first trips and they will feel more comfortable and confident about future trips.

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#189336 - 02/23/15 04:09 PM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: Mama]
4evrplan Offline
member

Registered: 01/16/13
Posts: 629
Loc: Nacogdoches, TX, USA
Originally Posted By Mama
Thanks for sharing your fantastic first overnighter trip report. It's great to work the bugs out and get your system down before taking out kids and spouse. Then when you work on winning them over to backpacking, things go well on their first trips and they will feel more comfortable and confident about future trips.


Thanks for reading! I hope we get there with family backpacking trips. That would be a blast!

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#189827 - 03/23/15 11:48 PM Re: My First Backpacking Trip: The 4C Trail [Re: 4evrplan]
topshot Offline
member

Registered: 04/28/09
Posts: 241
Loc: Midwest
Originally Posted By 4evrplan
I hope there will be many. So far however, there's nothing on the calendar. I have to balance my backpacking time with family time. Usually, if I have my older son with me, I also have my younger son. It's challenging to hike with them; it would be much more challenging to take them backpacking, especially my younger son. Because of his autism, he's still in diapers, and going any further than a few hundred feet (maybe a mile on a good day) I have to carry him. There's just no way I can carry both him and all the gear for three people, including diapers, for an overnight trip even if the ten year old helps out.


Glad you finally made it out!

Not sure how big your younger son is, but I think this blog could offer encouragement on how to make it out in the wild with a "wheelchair". He's taken his daughter (and the younger one also) on many adventures all over the US. They don't camp overnight much because she has seizures, but they could.

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