Another successful camping trip completed. I’ve been camping since I was a child but I’ve been camping on my own (with pals) in Pittsburgh since about 2012. I’ll post about the previous trips as far back as possible (mostly for me but enjoy the evolution of my camping trips as well).
Our camping party went down to a final party of 5. The forecast of rain/showers and T-storms scared away the other people. This ended up working really well for us, we had the perfect amount of food, good spacing for our sleeping arrangements plus we burned all the fire wood. We arrived to good weather conditions and were able to set up our tents/ hammocks and a tarp city around the fire. Dinner = delicious sweet potato hash prep’d beforehand and put into foil packets, cooked over the camping stove and kale salad. Then we ate s’mores and banana boats for dessert! Only rained a little bit after we went to bed – around 11p.
Saturday was pretty fun. Breakfast = veggie and cheese omelets (sausage for the meat eaters). It started raining around 8 am then sheets of rain came down b/w 10:30a-12p, it lightened up enough to go exploring around the campsites then at 2p we went on a hike. Throughout the hike (3.5 miles and 2.5 hours long) it only sprinkled a little and we saw some sweet nature including multiple birds, a deer, multicolored fungi, flowers and ferns. Got a little parkour action in as well. Got back to camp (hiked/walked 4 miles total including camp to trail head and back) and we still had great weather to chop wood, start a fire and cook treats and dinner. Pre-dinner = apple crisp treats! Dinner = super tasty quesadillas – lots of veggies and cheese. Right around dinner time/ after eating it started pouring sheets again, it rained this hard on and off throughout the night. Our fire was super amazing. The rain kept trying to put it out but it stayed strong, re-lighting itself each time the rain let up. The downside was that it was also really smoky. But still had many successful s’more desserts!
Sunday was nice as well. Broke down our tents and hammocks real quick like in the morning before the rain – ended up not really raining that much during tear down. Enjoyed a delicious breakfast burrito – used up the rest of the eggs, veggies and sweet potato hash = so good! Kept our tarp city in case of crazy rain, which ended up being smart since it did rain sheets a couple times. Hung out for a little bit then cleaned up, torn down the tarps and packed up the car in good timing. Right as we were leaving it started raining again.
Things learned – Gear to bring, get, update for next trip(s):
- make sure hammock is completely covered (including the rope) – though my hammock stayed under the tarp and I/ my sleeping bag managed to stay dry (I had a sleeping pad underneath me) the rope dripped in water from the harsh rain causing my hammock to get soaked by the second night
- scout out better trees – the one side of my set up was not the most ideal for anchoring my tarp
- practice more rope knots
- make more rope tying options – cut up different lengths and tie diff knots
- practice different tarp tent/ shelter ideas
- get more tarps – varying in size
- bring the new equipment I got online (didn’t arrive till after trip) – pocket knife, leatherman multitool, steel eating utensil
- get a collapsible bowl/ plate
- bring tongs – for getting things out of the fire
- in general watch more camping, hammock, shelter set ups, rope tying/knot videos
I also think I’ll use my tent next time – alternate using the hammock/tent with ea trip. Overall I’m pretty pleased with the gear I did bring, always looking to improve my gear and be a more efficient camper. Looking to be a minimalistic as possible for all the camping situations. I’m thinking I’ll prob get a backpacking bag to pack all my gear in vs. having to use multiple packs.