Thursday, February 7, 2008

Trial Run

Well it is official. I actually spent the night out in the woods for the whole night! Well most of it anyway.

On my birthday (the day of the never ending rainstorm), I decided to do a run through with my gear, since I didn't work the next day. So, I was able to set up my tarp in the woods behind my house in the afternoon, while it was pouring down buckets! I did take me longer than I was hoping, but I managed to get it erected. Well then I spent the rest of the day with Amee, while it continued to rain and rain some more.

By the time I decided to call it a night, it was around 11:30. Had to check out Mike Prangly's weather forecast to find out how much rain to expect during the night and to see how cold it would get. I attempted to sleep out in my tarp one previous night, but in my 40 degree sleeping bag. Well, to make a long story short...I didnt make it more than 3 hours before i was a frozen popcicle...that was even with every piece of clothing on that I was planning on taking with me!

The weather forecast looked favorable, so I broke out my 15 degree sleeping bag and pad and ground sheet and headed out to the woods in the rain. A surprise was waiting for me when I arrived. Due to the heavy rains and saturated ground, a large puddle had formed on the back right side of my tarp. This wasnt there earlier! This was not good.

So, I read in a book that the best thing to do is try to dig a trench around your tarp with a stick to help channel the water away from the sleeping area. Well on paper this seemed pretty easy while sitting in my house, but at 11:45 pm in the middle of the night in a pouring rain...lets just say it didnt go as planned. I was really trying to use only the stuff I would have on my trek, since my garage would be a few hundred miles away.

So, I started with a stick I found on the ground, and tried to dig a trench around my tarp. Well, while trying to hold my mini flashlight in my mouth, all i was doing was throwing mud all over the bottom of my gym pants and shoes. I was like AAAGGGGGHHH! These are what I had planned to sleep in...I can't have mud all over them and get into my sleeping bag!

So, then being the manly mountain man...i gave up the idea of using only stuff on the trail! I went and grabbed my shovel and started digging a large trench around my tarp. Even with the shovel, it was extremely difficult to channel that water away...and I was still getting more and more mud on my pants and shoes! And to top it all flashlight went dead! So, I had to get out my large Maglite flashlight in order to see!

Finally, I channeled the water away from my sleeping area, and washed as much of the mud off my pants and shoes as possible. I headed back to get my sleeping area set up, and I ended up finally crawling into my bag well after 12:30 in the morning!

After much tossing and turning throughout the night, i managed to sleep till 7 AM. So, all in all, the night went very well. My tarp DIDNT LEAK and my sleeping bag remained dry! YEAH!!!

I am so ready for this trip! Bring it on! ;O)


MadMup said...

The more I hear about this kind of thing, the more thankful I am for my apartment :)

Glad the trial run went well, though!

Daizie Girl said...

You are a brave, brave man! Glad you stayed dry!

Dana said...

And here as I was reading I was thinking "and why is wanting to do do this for months straight?" I too am thankful for my apartment and bed.

I admire your dedication. It would of been easy for you to just go into the house, but you stuck it out! Way to go! You certainly are dedicated to your cause!!!

M. Kate said...

Glad you're prepared. You're gonna do awesome, I know it!

Trials are good for wisdom gathering...I think that's what we learned here. :)

Smoothie King said...


Mel Eik said...

I am really looking forward to hearing about your adventures!

MadMup said...

Got your Twitter and Flickr accounts set up yet? We'll be wanting regular updates...