In just over an hour I'll be setting off on a 100 mile drive towards Norris, MT, to start an 8-mile hike in Bear Trap Canyon by the Madison river. It's part of the Lee Metcalf Wilderness, a recreation area created by an act of Congress in 1983. After hiking down the canyon (there's only one way in for hikers), I'll hang my hammock overnight, then hike the 8 miles back again the next morning. It'll be my first night out under the stars in my new hammock - a good test for what's to come in six weeks time when Birdie (my daughter) and I go to Oregon to hike 100 miles of the Pacific Crest Trail near Crater Lake.
|Some of the gear I'm taking with me.|
I've got some home-made food, plus some Mountain House freeze-dried food; an MSR Micro Rocket stove with isobutane fuel; anodized aluminum cookware; a Sawyer Mini water filter, Aquamira chlorine dioxide water purification drops (as a backup); a First Aid kit with extra blister treatment supplies; Luci solar powered LED light; a couple of chemiluminescent light sticks; a trowel and toilet paper; 100 ft of 550 lb-rated Type-III paracord; a couple of 50 ft lengths of thinner cord for hanging tarps and fly sheets; sunglasses; bug repellent bracelet (no DEET); 130 dB ear-piercing Storm whistle; bear spray; spare laces for my hiking shoes; Gorilla tape; my camera and spare batteries; solar charging panel with cables; Leatherman multi-tool; Anker battery pack for charging devices; my Moto X Android phone; my new Delorme inReach GPS locator/communicator; a notepad and pen for writing; reading glasses; daily medication; my wallet with (not much) money and ID; (maybe a thermometer, and maybe a Bluetooth battery-powered speaker for listening to tunes this evening).
Holy cow! That's a lot of sh**..tuff. There's also a backpack, with hammock, bug net and fly sheet; a thermal sleeping pad; a down top quilt; a hydration bladder with 2 liters of fresh water, and a drinking bottle for more water. I'm sure I've forgotten to list something (a spoon and fork, a towel of some sort).
It'll be a good test of my preparedness for the great outdoors. It'll be a great hike, communing with nature. It'll be a great time to get away from the phones ringing at work, and clear my mind of any of that stuff. It'll be great to have time to think about my future, reflect on the successes of the past ten months (losing 92 pounds is a success, I'd say!), and to contemplate what I want in the coming months and years.
To see my progress, later today and tomorrow, you can go to https://share.delorme.com/share/janesdaddy
and enter the password (the name of the neaby town with Hot Spings - I mentioned it in the first sentence). Initially, there'll be blue dots (and a blue line connecting them) every 10 minutes once I start walking. After I get home and transfer the recorded data, you'll see the dots every minute (closer together).
There'll be lots of photos after I get back, of course, and a full description of the journey itself. Have a great weekend, everyone! I will!