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Trip report: what worked and what didn't

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  • David Chinell
    I revamped my gear list and reviewed my standard load to try to lighten up a little. My pack is usually around 20 lbs without food and water. I tried out the
    Message 1 of 1 , Mar 28, 2005
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      I revamped my gear list and reviewed my standard load to try
      to lighten up a little. My pack is usually around 20 lbs
      without food and water. I tried out the new arrangement on
      an overnight in Myakka State Park. The load was 12 lbs
      without food and water.

      The day before, the park rangers were kind enough to call me
      and advise that there was knee-deep standing water in some
      places on the trail. So I wore sandals. I packed a pair of
      woolen socks to sleep in, but planned to use the sandals for
      everything else. They worked GREAT.

      Here are my notes.

      ==========
      Site: Myakka River - Bee Island
      Temp: 65
      Wind: 10 - 15 SW
      Gear: Power bars, Aqua Mira, sandals, mosquito head net
      Note: Using my new "minimum" load.

      Perfect "raw hammock" weather. The head net didn't work
      well. The sandals did.
      No cooking. Took iced tea for caffeine. Took power bars for
      food. Cliff bars are good!
      ==========

      To expand on these notes...

      I went in an all-cotton outfit. Cotton T-shirt. Cotton
      elastic-wasted workout pants. Cotton undies. Go ahead. Call
      me crazy. I just don't care. It was ever so comfy. I took a
      long-sleeved nylon shirt to sleep in -- for bug protection,
      and I had sprayed the pants with permethrin. In camp, I hung
      the T-shirt on my ridgeline overnight and it was nice and
      fresh in the morning.

      I took NO cooking gear or pots. (In the future I want to add
      a large cup or small pot for emergency use -- boiling water
      etc. Which brings up another question. I know which cups fit
      on the bottom of standard Nalgene bottles, but what cups fit
      on the bottom of 1 liter soda pop bottles?) Skipping the
      cooking gear worked out fine. The power bars and iced tea
      were just dandy. I'm sure I'd rethink that on more than an
      overnight, but otherwise it was a nice change.

      My "temperature list" said I wouldn't need any pads or
      underquilt for the hammock, but I took a couple of 20 inch
      by 36 inch 1/4-inch closed cell foam pads just in case. I
      never used them, but they play the role of an internal frame
      in my backpack, so I didn't mind having them as a backup.

      I ditched my full-sized mosquito net in favor of a headnet,
      and discovered that I really don't like headnets. Part of
      the problem was the heat. The headnet was just too stuffy
      feeling. Also, I had no way to protect my hands, and the
      mosquitoes found ways through my shirt where it pressed
      tight against my shoulders. So I had to swat and wait for
      the temperature to go down enough to make the poncho-liner
      quilt tolerable.

      In the end, I sprayed my torso and hands with bug juice,
      rigged a low ridgeline on the hammock lines, and draped my
      huge bandanna over that at the head end. The mosquitoes
      never bothered to fly down to the open end of the bandanna,
      but kept landing on the sides. So I finally got some sleep.
      Full net next time, or the HH or the Mosquito Hammock, with
      their built-in netting.

      I've used Aqua Mira before. Since I knew there would be
      water at the camp site, I carried 1 liter of water, 1 liter
      of iced tea, and Aqua Mira. I had to purify an additional
      liter the next day. I noticed that adding the Aqua Mira made
      the water pale yellow, where it had been clear(ish) before.
      After a few hours, there was a layer of some sediment at the
      bottom. I think another poster described this phenomenon as
      well. No apparent ill effects. Maybe a high iron or sulphur
      content causes heavy precipitation that assumes a jell-like
      appearance at the bottom of the container. When slooshed, it
      dispersed easily.

      I dispensed with a digging implement, planning to fashion a
      digging stick if and when the need arose. I thought the need
      was arising, but while I worked away making a stick, the
      need subsided. I dug a hole for practice anyway. I think the
      theory was proven sound. With fewer modern conveniences, one
      spends more time making do. But that sort of work is well
      fitted to my purposes when abush.

      Here's the list.

      ==========
      MINIMUM LOAD
      Medical
      - 1 personal meds
      - 1 glasses
      - 1 toothbrush
      - 1 floss
      - 1 toilet paper
      Shelter
      - 1 hammock (Tropical)
      - 1 7 x 7 ft delta tarp
      - 1 poncho
      - 1 poncho liner
      - 2 1/4 gray foam pads
      - 2 tree straps
      - 4 tarp ropes
      - 1 mosquito headnet
      - 1 bug juice
      Clothing
      - 1 fleece helmet
      - 1 boonie hat
      - 1 nylon shirt
      - 1 cotton T-shirt
      - 1 cotton pants
      - 1 underwear
      - 1 wool socks (night)
      - 1 bandanna
      - 1 pair Teva sandals
      Fire
      - none
      Signals
      - 1 Photon LED, amber
      - 1 wristwatch and compass
      Water
      - 2 1 L pop bottle
      Food
      - 4 power bars
      Tools
      - 1 Spyderco Calypso Junior
      - 1 Leatherman SideClip
      Survival kit
      Medical
      - 2 Band-Aids
      - 1 triple antibiotic packet
      - 4 ibuprofen
      - 2 Benadryl
      - 1 toothpick
      Shelter
      - none
      Fire
      - 1 SparkLite kit
      Signals
      - 1 cell phone
      - 1 signal mirror
      - 1 whistle
      Water
      - 1 pack MP-1 tabs
      Food
      - none
      Tools
      - 1 SAK Trailmaster folder
      - 2 x 10 ft extra paracord
      ==========

      Bear
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