Well, I have done my first solo overnight in Pike Ntl. Forest. About 3 miles in and 1000 ft elevation gain and it rains, then small hail. I keep hiking and have several epiphanies-
My waterproof shell isn't waterproof anymore, or even water resistant. My 20+ year old Jansport pack is the same. After sheltering under a couple of trees and cooking and eating a hot ramen, I go back down about 1/2 a mile to a place I'd noticed on the way up. Pitch the tent, eat, hang the bear bag, ( PCT method... ) and get ready for the "the rack". Once again, I have packed too much. I have food enough for 2 people for 5 days or more...
I was going to stay a possible 3, but the weight and overall wetness of my cloths and pack contents has helped me decide on one night.
I then notice that I have pitched my tent in a clearing about 3 feet from nice ripe wild rasberries. I am too tired to care, but I do not eat any of them in deference to the bears.
Here's the high point- I have stumbled into a stand of wild hops! Wild, Rocky Mountain hops. Pictures show them.
The next morning, I have to tape my leatherman to one of my trekking poles and cut my food bag free. Apparently, paracord and cheap carabiners don't match up too well, and my bag was stuck in the tree...
Powdered scrambled eggs, cheese sandwich and coffee. Old 8r worked fine. Packed it up and came back down, marveling at just how steep the trail looked going down.
I have now done my first solo overnight. I'll keep the sleeping bag and the tent. The other gear needs replacing and I need to learn the zen of "ultralight"!!!
Do I need a certain number of posts to add Pics? I just tried and it tells me I can only add a file 0 bytes in size.
edit- Oh! I shoved the hydration bladder in the main compartment and it worked great!