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Trip report

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  • Thomas Peltier
    This was my first cold night in a hammock and I was quite happy with it. The trip was a lot of fun and I enjoyed playing with different configurations to try
    Message 1 of 6 , Sep 15, 2003
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      Trip report

      This was my first cold night in a hammock and I was quite happy with it.  The trip was a lot of fun and I enjoyed playing with different configurations to try and get the best set up for warmth.  Anyway heres the story.

      Mineral King,

      The trip started off by trying to explain to my dog, Lucky Dog, why he could not join us on the trip.  He just doesn’t get why the park service won’t let him go.  He was so excited when I got the backpacking gear out it just killed me to tell him he had to stay home.  Anyway that being done I headed to the store for a few last minute supplies and over to my partner for the weekend’s house.  I was driving his car as I had it at the shop for a check up and oil change before we left.  Now Mark (my partner for the weekend) is an old boy scout backpacker and the last time he was out was almost three years ago with my girlfriend and I.  I’ve been after him ever since to go and we finally had an opportunity.  By the time we were on the road it was about 8:00, we had about 3.5 hours to go.  We stopped in Visalia for some diner at the local brew pub.  (Great beer and decent food).  We then drove up to Mineral King were we were supposed to wait till morning to get a permit from the Forest Service.  Well the campgrounds are all full and no camping at the picnic areas or the trailhead.  Well we found a big turn out with an outhouse and mark parked on a hill.  When he opened the drivers door the lower door hinge busted and he bend his quarter panel with the door.  We got the door shut but that was it, from then on out it was in and out the passenger door.  Now mind you this is 11:00 or so at night.  Now we can’t camp here so we grab our packs and start hiking up the side of the hill by headlamp.  After about 500 yards or so and a good but up the hill we found a large tree with a bit of a flat spot behind it.  At least here Mark won’t role down the hill.  (We had a few beers with dinner and he has had three Budweiser’s and a porter since then.)  After finding his spot I tramped 20 yards up the hill and found two trees to sling my hammock.  { It’s pretty cool to set the hammock up on a 50 degree slope and just climb in and go to sleep}.  The next morning Mark had a bit of a hang over but the sun was on his face the minute it passed the mountain tops.  We were up and moving but I lost my sunglasses someplace in the dark and could not find them.  (I hate hiking without sunglasses).  Ah well at the ranger station and got our permit and decided we were off for Franklin Lake (5.5 miles) and Franklin Pass (8.1 miles). 

              Now mineral king at the base of some big mountains and it’s up up and more up from the trailhead.  We made the 5.5 miles by about one o’clock or so in the afternoon and found a camp to call home.  Down the to lake for a swim.  What an amazing High Sierra lake this is.  Someplace between 9 and 10 thousand feet I believe.  The pass is just over 11K feet.  Why is it on short weekend hikes I eat as much food as I do on a four day journey?  Could it be sitting around in camp?  Well like good hobbits we had two dinners that night and they were just marvelous in the dining room of Pines and peaks. 

              That night the low was in the high 30’s.  This was my first cold night in a hammock.  I was a bit worried about things as I left my sleeping pad at the car.  Instead I took binder clips and connected my neat sheet to the hammock.  I did this diagonally, tying the sheet corner to corner under the hammock and then wrapping the free corners up over the edge of the hammock and underneath me.  I had some problems popping the clips off but once I was in the hammock and the sheet was clipped up it stayed very well.  I tried a few different configurations with my sleeping blanket but in the end getting in it was the warmest.  I stayed warm all night except when the slack at my feet became to much and I kept sliding to the foot end.  This left my feet without proper insulation.  Once I got them warm again things were good.  The night was clear and I did not need a tarp; which is good since I had made a folly installing grommets and they were ripping out on me.  Anyway, all in all the neat sheet under blanket did great and I was warm all night long.

              The next morning we woke up fairly early but enjoyed a leisurely morning, eating breakfast and reading a bit of my book.  We watched on group head out for the pass very early and another on a bit later in the morning about 8:00 maybe.  Now Mark had some killer blisters on his feet so I thought we were hiking out and heading home that afternoon.  Low and behold as we were picking up and talking about moving camp down to the lake Mark looks at me and says, “Let’s go to the summit!”    Oh, boy, twist my arm.  Off we go.

              Now our camp was a good bit below the trail, between the lake and the trail.  Next to our camp was a game trail headed that way so we decided to follow the game trail up toward the hiker trail.  The game trail was narrow but obvious.  It soon dove into some thickets but we could see it clearly to the other side so in we went.  We popped out is a grassy meadow and the trail dipped down and across another small meadow.  We followed this trail across the meadow into some more brush and up to a small plateau.  The trail was above us still on the side of the hill above this little plateau.  We also realized at this point that we needed water.  There was still one more small “lake” above us and a steam coming down.  We crossed the plateau and climbed up to a point below a large shoulder were the water spilled out clean and clear and filtered our water.  From here is was go down and up to the trail or boulder around the corner of the big shoulder and from there it looked like an easy walk to the trail.  With the group that was about an hour and a half ahead of us working up the trail we had a good idea we wanted to avoid all those switchbacks. 

              The bouldering was class IV and on top we walked over to the “small lake” and relaxed for a bit.  From here we scrambled up an outcropping of boulders that dropped up off on the last of about 8 switchbacks.  We covered the switchback; passed the group we had been watching at the corner (they were eating a meal here) and headed to the summit.  What a view it was.  We had a second breakfast at the summit and relaxed for a while.  What a glorious morning.

              We headed back down the trail and passed the group of folks who were looking at us kind of funny.  I did not realize it until we were hiking down and looking across to were we made our assent.  Looked like a really hard climb from up on the trail.  They probably thought we were weird to hike all the way to the top just to turn around and go back down as well. 

              We had lunch in a small meadow below the lake.   We shared this meadow with about 5 deer.  This is definitely a National Park as the deer have no fear of humans.  We had to regularly get up and herd the deer away from our meal.  They would graze and walk and circle closer.  We would chase them off and they would start circling and grazing and moving closer.  One in particular was very brave.  It was a nice lunch. 

              We made it back to the car late in the afternoon feeling quite satisfied with the day.  It was a good trip and I cultivated a new backpacking partner.  Mark is so fired up I think we a going to try a 6 day trip next month.  Kind of a last ditch before winter trip.  May have to do some work on the cold weather hammock set up for that trip.  For now though I had a great weekend.  

       

    • PennyBright
      I just got back from my weekend trip -- it went pretty well, though very physically challenging - beyond what I had conditioned for. The hammock and tarp came
      Message 2 of 6 , May 30, 2005
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        I just got back from my weekend trip -- it went pretty well, though very
        physically challenging - beyond what I had conditioned for.
        The hammock and tarp came through three thunderstorms and one steady nights
        rain perfectly. I stayed dry, I stayed warm, my gear stayed dry, everything
        worked exactly as it should. Weirdly, I was so comfortable that I kept
        disoriented in my sleep and waking up dimly thinking I was at home in bed
        and getting upset that I hadn't actually left for my trip yet.... and I
        would get so upset I woke up all the way and realized I was out on the trip,
        and then be able to go back to sleep.
        I only took a few pictures of the hammock set up on the first night - the
        second night I was too exhausted - I almost forgot how to set the tarp up, I
        was so tired. so, no pictures... but it was pretty much the same as the
        first night.
        I am totally in love with the ossel hitch. I was able to adjust the hammock
        in the middle of the night when it had stretch a little too much just by
        loosening and then sliding some more length into the free end on the hitch.
        And that's that.
        Pictures can be seen
        here<http://www.msnusers.com/MyHikingPhotographs/zaleskimay05.msnw>,and
        there's a longer trip report with all the gory details on my blog.
        Anna
        --
        http://long_trails.blogspot.com/


        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • jonas4321
        Pennybright- It appears that you used the Ossel hitch with webbing - were you tying it to a metal ring or a rope loop on the ends of your hammock? Was it easy
        Message 3 of 6 , May 31, 2005
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          Pennybright-

          It appears that you used the Ossel hitch with webbing - were you
          tying it to a metal ring or a rope loop on the ends of your hammock?

          Was it easy to untie after being under load all night?

          Nice pics, thanks!

          Jonas

          --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, PennyBright <GreenSoul@g...>
          wrote:
          > I just got back from my weekend trip -- it went pretty well, though
          very
          > physically challenging - beyond what I had conditioned for.

          > I am totally in love with the ossel hitch. I was able to adjust the
          hammock
          > in the middle of the night when it had stretch a little too much
          just by
          > loosening and then sliding some more length into the free end on the
          hitch.
        • PennyBright
          Jonas, The ends of my hammock have a rope loop. I don t think it s really clear in the photos, but the support cords in the hammock come up into the loop,
          Message 4 of 6 , May 31, 2005
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            Jonas,
            The ends of my hammock have a rope loop. I don't think it's really clear in
            the photos, but the support cords in the hammock come up into the loop,
            which is knotted around with a continuous ring hitch. It makes a nice solid
            ring, which is slightly flexible. That flexibility is part of what makes it
            so easy to adjust the ossel hitch on it -- the hitch holds tightly, but I
            can warp the ring a little bit to loosen it up and undo or adjust it.
            This<http://www.msnusers.com/MyHikingPhotographs/gearpics.msnw?action=ShowPhoto&PhotoID=156>is
            a pretty good photo of the ossel hitch on the ring -- you can see the
            ridge of the ring hitching nicely. The construction on this hammock is
            pretty neat, really --- the support cords and ring on each end are actually
            one long piece of cording that's been woven through the hammock fabric, then
            drawn up and knotted with the ring hitch to hold them in position and form a
            hanging loop. Pretty nifty.
            Anna

            --
            http://long_trails.blogspot.com/


            [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
          • DaveG
            Penny, is that an Equinox 8X10 tarp? I just bought one but have not tried it with my hammock yet. Looks like you have some great coverage! ... -- DaveG The
            Message 5 of 6 , Jun 1, 2005
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              Penny, is that an Equinox 8X10 tarp? I just bought one but have not
              tried it with my hammock yet. Looks like you have some great coverage!

              On 5/30/05, PennyBright <GreenSoul@...> wrote:
              > I just got back from my weekend trip -- it went pretty well, though very
              > physically challenging - beyond what I had conditioned for.
              > The hammock and tarp came through three thunderstorms and one steady nights
              > rain perfectly. I stayed dry, I stayed warm, my gear stayed dry, everything
              > worked exactly as it should. Weirdly, I was so comfortable that I kept
              > disoriented in my sleep and waking up dimly thinking I was at home in bed
              > and getting upset that I hadn't actually left for my trip yet.... and I
              > would get so upset I woke up all the way and realized I was out on the trip,
              > and then be able to go back to sleep.
              > I only took a few pictures of the hammock set up on the first night - the
              > second night I was too exhausted - I almost forgot how to set the tarp up, I
              > was so tired. so, no pictures... but it was pretty much the same as the
              > first night.
              > I am totally in love with the ossel hitch. I was able to adjust the hammock
              > in the middle of the night when it had stretch a little too much just by
              > loosening and then sliding some more length into the free end on the hitch.
              > And that's that.
              > Pictures can be seen
              > here<http://www.msnusers.com/MyHikingPhotographs/zaleskimay05.msnw>,and
              > there's a longer trip report with all the gory details on my blog.
              > Anna
              > --
              > http://long_trails.blogspot.com/
              >
              >
              > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              >
              >
              > ________________________________
              > Yahoo! Groups Links
              >
              > To visit your group on the web, go to:
              > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hammockcamping/
              >
              > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
              > hammockcamping-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
              >
              > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.


              --
              DaveG
              "The sinning is the best part of repentance"
            • PennyBright
              Dave, Yup - Equinox silnylon 8x10 -- got it from REI. Anna ... -- http://long_trails.blogspot.com/ [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
              Message 6 of 6 , Jun 1, 2005
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                Dave,
                Yup - Equinox silnylon 8x10 -- got it from REI.
                Anna

                On 6/1/05, DaveG <footslogger@...> wrote:
                >
                > Penny, is that an Equinox 8X10 tarp? I just bought one but have not
                > tried it with my hammock yet. Looks like you have some great coverage!
                >
                > On 5/30/05, PennyBright <GreenSoul@...> wrote:
                > > I just got back from my weekend trip -- it went pretty well, though very
                >
                > > physically challenging - beyond what I had conditioned for.
                > > The hammock and tarp came through three thunderstorms and one steady
                > nights
                > > rain perfectly. I stayed dry, I stayed warm, my gear stayed dry,
                > everything
                > > worked exactly as it should. Weirdly, I was so comfortable that I kept
                > > disoriented in my sleep and waking up dimly thinking I was at home in
                > bed
                > > and getting upset that I hadn't actually left for my trip yet.... and I
                > > would get so upset I woke up all the way and realized I was out on the
                > trip,
                > > and then be able to go back to sleep.
                > > I only took a few pictures of the hammock set up on the first night -
                > the
                > > second night I was too exhausted - I almost forgot how to set the tarp
                > up, I
                > > was so tired. so, no pictures... but it was pretty much the same as the
                > > first night.
                > > I am totally in love with the ossel hitch. I was able to adjust the
                > hammock
                > > in the middle of the night when it had stretch a little too much just by
                >
                > > loosening and then sliding some more length into the free end on the
                > hitch.
                > > And that's that.
                > > Pictures can be seen
                > > here<http://www.msnusers.com/MyHikingPhotographs/zaleskimay05.msnw>,and
                > > there's a longer trip report with all the gory details on my blog.
                > > Anna
                > > --
                > > http://long_trails.blogspot.com/
                > >
                > >
                > > [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                > >
                > >
                > > ________________________________
                > > Yahoo! Groups Links
                > >
                > > To visit your group on the web, go to:
                > > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hammockcamping/
                > >
                > > To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > > hammockcamping-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com
                > >
                > > Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of Service.
                >
                >
                > --
                > DaveG
                > "The sinning is the best part of repentance"
                >
                > ------------------------------
                > *Yahoo! Groups Links*
                >
                > - To visit your group on the web, go to:
                > http://groups.yahoo.com/group/hammockcamping/
                > - To unsubscribe from this group, send an email to:
                > hammockcamping-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com<hammockcamping-unsubscribe@yahoogroups.com?subject=Unsubscribe>
                > - Your use of Yahoo! Groups is subject to the Yahoo! Terms of
                > Service <http://docs.yahoo.com/info/terms/>.
                >
                >


                --
                http://long_trails.blogspot.com/


                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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