Trip report: what worked and what didn't
- 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
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
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
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.
- 1 personal meds
- 1 glasses
- 1 toothbrush
- 1 floss
- 1 toilet paper
- 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
- 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
- 1 Photon LED, amber
- 1 wristwatch and compass
- 2 1 L pop bottle
- 4 power bars
- 1 Spyderco Calypso Junior
- 1 Leatherman SideClip
- 2 Band-Aids
- 1 triple antibiotic packet
- 4 ibuprofen
- 2 Benadryl
- 1 toothpick
- 1 SparkLite kit
- 1 cell phone
- 1 signal mirror
- 1 whistle
- 1 pack MP-1 tabs
- 1 SAK Trailmaster folder
- 2 x 10 ft extra paracord