What do I do? Well, if I am in camp a bit early, I spend some time looking around the area and perhaps taking a few photos and then I get started on dinner. After dinner, I will listen to music on my wee Ipod (I'm partial to Mozart, Schubert, Vaughn Williams, Beethoven, The Chieftains, Enya and Hank Williams) and then into the sack where I read awhile until I go to sleep. Nothing too exciting. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
After a long day? Not many of those. Whatever the length, stomp around camp some, explore, fish and read. Stomp around camp some more. I don't leave any trash behind, but I walk around lots. I don't sleep very good, even at home, so early to bed isn't something I look forward to. Nights snow camping are long.
Loc: Portland, OR
I've never found it a problem. Time has a way of killing itself withouot my active participation. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" /> Plus, I am so easily amused that I can spend a whole week just talking to the birds and trees. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
re: long nights snow camping. Yeh - the further north you get the worse it is. Anyway if you have a friend, take a lantern and a deck of cards and some dice. I love to cross country ski by headlight or better by moonlight without the head light. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
I think melting water is maybe the number one winter camping activity as far as time goes. Afer that you can always go through your gear and write noes about what to leave at home and what you should have brought instead. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />
Brings up a point. I have written myself trail notes to avoid a problem the next trip, and read the notes and [thinking from a city point of view] decided the notes were wrong and took the same stupid thing again. Your "City Logic" and "Country hand - meet - face" are pretty different. That is what always makes me suspiscious of hyper UL gear lists - like are they totally virtual? Can I get points for having a 4 pounds virtual pack even if I don't own any gear? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Lori, LOL!!! Been there, done that!
Seriously, I take sections of a cut-up pocket Bible, generally the Psalms plus whatever section I am reading at the time. If you're not into the BIble (although I recommend it), then something else that is a slow read (Tolstoy or Shakespeare comes to mind). If you read another language, a book in that language would be good. On my last trip to Europe, it took me a whole three months to read Dumas' Three Musketeers in French.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
Loc: So. California - Murrieta
If I get into camp before 5:00 I like to have a cup of coffee. I usually set up my tent, find a place to clean myself up and then have dinner. This generally gets me into early evening. I'll read or poke around the vicinity until it gets dark, do some star gazing and hit the sack. I'm also not a very good sleeper, but 9-10 hours laying down and I'm ready to go again.
I have a paperback or two on my stack I haven't got to. I'm in the process of asking around for a backpacking buddy so I might forgo the book and take some dice or cards, or perhaps a bottle of conversation stimulant. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki
In a group, one person will read aloud for an hour or so in the evening. If I'm alone, I read to myself. As Oregon Mouse has suggested, the Bible and Shakespeare make satisfying reading. Other favorites are classics in paperback form. They seem to develop new life in the wilderness. It is interesting how silly the trivial pop literature appears in a majestic setting.
I just got back from a week of solo backcountry skiing, and I tried a new mode of entertainment - MP3 books. I took a little MP3 player loaded with Tolkien, and it was great. Much lighter than the books would have been, and I could listen while I was eating or doing chores. My 2GB player would hold over 60 hours of books if I filled it up - you just have to bring enough batteries.
I'm looking forward to when products like Kindle (Amazon's eBook reader) become lightweight and weather resistant. I always bring a book (6-7 oz) and the Kindle is currently 10oz.. so it's almost there.. and this way I could take 100's of books (and mp3s and magazines and..)
I will also help when they're no longer $400 <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />
I bought an MP3 player on woot for $50 and it's 6 gig. It holds pics, tons of MP3's and video clips. I only use it for a couple of hours in the evening in my hammock before I doze off. I used it for 4 days off and on. When I returned and unloaded my pack the battery indicator said it had 3/4 charge left. I used it for several hours thru the week before I charged it. Don't know all the specs but it's a Sansa 270. I also have a small digital camera that will shoot short video clips. I might spend some time reviewing them in the evening also deleting the unwanted ones.
Yeah I often bring an mp3 player too, and the batteries seem to last forever. I'm not a huge fan of audio books though, I really like to read, so the ebook reader should add a new flavour. I'm predicting Apple will have an ebook/ipod type combo in the next year or so.. hopefully the market will get competitive.
They definitely give ipods the run for the money. My youngest daughter has the sansa 260 (4Gb). She loves watching her movies on it. The 3-hour Sound Of Music is only 300MB on this machine. That musical sounds awsome in the outdoors <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />.
After a LONG day - sleep. After a moderate day- explore. The few times I have taken a book, I do not even read it all. I find simply being out in the wilderness plenty entertaining. When I go with my women friends - we talk, talk, talk! My S.O. does not understand what women can talk about for so many hours. He brings a book!
I have a Samsung i730 phone that I take. It is a bit heavy but it holds my bible and mp3's. Plus it gives me a way to write trip reports and has some games on it if I get pounded with rain. It also makes a decent light for those night-time excursions. I think ti is worth the weight.
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Jim, I can't make up my mind what kind of skis I want/need. May never get them at this rate. Skiing by moonlight sounds great, we used to go on full moon snowmobile rides, my friend and I or a bunch of guys.
Down time... I'll chat with whoever I'm hiking with, write in my little waterproof journal, make sketches, maybe explore & take pictures. For me, it's a time to be away from cell phones, blaring music, traffic, everything. It's the down time that feels the best because I earned it.
Of things I haven't tried but would like to: - talk my brother into camping so we can write native songs with nature right there as an inspiration - carve and paint native artwork, using found woods & pigments - have a bible study with my fiance - stargaze with a little spotting scope - make a bow from deadwood and target practice with it - have a big pinochle game
I've toyed with the idea of making a hiking trip out of collecting food items, such as berries, seaweed, sea asparagus, fern fronds, hudson bay tea. We used to do it a lot back on the res when I grew up and it's something I'd like to show to my non-res friends & family. Collecting food and preserving it for winter is an old, pre-electricity habbit my tribe hasn't quite grown out of yet. They probably will forget someday, maybe after a generation or two more of grocery stores and fast food.
Loc: bc/yukon border area
i would suggest getting a ski similar to one you use for alpine skiing maybe a little torsionaly softer using bindings with heel retention is nice a set of skinns and away you go. but using skiis you will be comfortable on is imp they don't have to be special they just need to get you down in a fun style .
Loc: bc/yukon border area
it seems a little odd to me packing these electronics it is why i head out to get away try practising making fire by rubbing sticks, building snares (for practice only) finding edible forest food calling for animals if in season fishing night sky orientation writing poetry midnight walks to viewpoints and stargazing.
I go to relax and get away from work. Most of the things you mentioned sound an awful lot like work to me. I do not use the phone itself, only the PDA for reading and writing. In a week I might listen to an hour of MP3's, and then only if I get locked down by weather. If I could find one that weighed less than 3 lb's, sound decent, and didn't cost an arm and a leg, I would take a guitar for intertainment.