Days 7-9: Time for a Total Gear Shakedown
Ok… so I was so excited to try hammock camping that I bought the whole shebang… a hammock with rain fly tarp, a modified sleep pad, and a custom 30 degree over quilt from UGQ Outdoor. It was ok during the rainstorms, that’s to say if the stakes didn’t wash out of the ground leaving the tarp ends to whip around in the high winds. Or the 26-32 degree nights where my shivering probably burned off 1000 calories while lying there. After day 7 I rethought my entire sleep system.
How convenient that Neels Gap and Mountain Crossings outfitter is placed at mile 31.3…where people start to really evaluate their gear! Hence the shoes all hanging from the tree out front!
For one, I was an old school No poler… hahaha… meaning I didn’t use hiking poles. I bought a nice set of Leki and gained 2 more legs and an entire lung! Then out with the hammock system and in with a double Big Agnes tent, Therm-a-Rest sleeping pad, and a sleeping bag liner to increase my quilt heat by 15 more degrees. The summertime would be better for that hammock and tarp.
Day 9, Easter Sunday, was the absolute best day. The sleep was warm and toasty… I dreamed some weird dreams too… Left Bull Gap camping site and hiked until we stumbled on more Trail Magic. There was ham, homemade fresh green beans, baked potatoes, several salads, drinks, snacks, fruit… something for everyone! Linnea, Chad, and I then continued on to set up camp at Hogpen Gap camping site and saw Nimblewill pass on his way to Low Gap shelter another 4.6 miles away…
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