18107Gila Wilderness trip report
- Sep 28, 2007Just got back from a week in the Gila Wilderness (SW NM). Hiked in
(with packgoats) about 8 miles to friends' elk hunting camp. Very
remote, trails faint and rough. Beautiful weather, days 70's, nites
40's, a little rain, hunting unsuccessful. Saw some big bull elk,
just couldn't get close enough. Saw only 2 other hunters. Spent 7
nites in my Hennessy Expedition Asym.
Goats. They are only a year and half old so they can't carry much
yet. But they did carry about 30lb (10lb of stuff for them, and 20lb
of my stuff) between the 3 of them. Next year they will be able to
carry about 40 lb each. That way I can bring in a few more basic
essentials (beer, steaks, lawn chairs, etc). They slept under an
8x10 tarp, ate weeds, flowers, pine needles, drank from the stream.
No problems. I think coyotes got close one nite and I found them
sleeping under my hammock the next morning. Otherwise they were in
heaven and had a wonderful time.
Hammock. Pretty comfy. I'm 6-3, 200 lb and this hammock is just
barely big enough. I would like to have a bit more foot room. But
all in all, quite comfortable. Sure beats sleeping on the ground.
Alcohol stove. Homemade from a couple of cat food cans. Used Walmart
91% isopropyl as fuel. Works good.
MSR Miniworks water filter. Water was clear and clean looking, but
you never can tell. I like this filter because I can clean it when
it gets clogged. There are certainly lighter filters, but this one
is rugged and easy to maintain.
What didn't work:
Hammock rainfly is minimal. I hear their new ones are bigger. I
wound up using a 10x10 nylon tarp from Campmore. That worked fine.
Now there's plenty of dry room under the hammock for my pack, boots,
etc. (even goats).
Hammock "undercover" is minimal. It's a very thin layer of foam
that's cleverly suspended beneath the hammock. Maybe better than
nothing, but not much. I used my big old Thermarest Camprest
mattress inside the hammock, under my sleeping bag. Not cold from
below any more. It would be nice to find a way to secure this thing
inside the hammock so it doesn't slide around tho. I tied a string
around the inlet valve and ran that thru the end of the hammock.
Thrashing around on it one nite I pulled the inlet valve out of it.
Not good. I think I fixed it tho.
Sleeping bag. I used a Slumberjack bag containing something
called "polar guard" that's rated for 20 degrees. HA! I don't know
if other sleeping bag mfgrs ratings are so overstated, but that one
sure is. I used my rain jacket as a blanket to cover my feet, and
wore pants, two shirts, two pairs of socks. Then I was pretty warm.
In freezing weather I would have been cold.
Here are a few pics:
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