Friday, February 14, 2020

Winter Book Reading

Shelter Quiver

Following the lead of Paul Magnanti, I am doing a post on my quiver of camping shelters.

First up is our family tent, an Alps Mountaineering 5 person nylon cabin.  We don't camp as a family anymore, but this giant-sized tent might come in handy as base camp shelter.  It is a typical house tent but packs pretty small.

Next up is my one person tent, an Alps Mountaineering Mystique 1.  I call it the "coffin" due to its shape and small size, but I really like it.  For my size, I have plenty of room in it.  It is also quite weatherproof having used it rain and sleet without issue.  I don't take it backpacking anymore but use it on troop car camps often.

My "go to" shelter is my handcrafted Ray Jardine one person tarp.  I have taken this on most of my backpacking trips and absolutely love it.  It is very lightweight at barely over a pound.  I can also adjust the pitch to match the conditions.  The only drawback is entry and exit must be done at the ends which can be tight if the tarp is pitched low.  I have put this tarp through some pretty nasty storms in the Sierras so have no qualms using it on any 3 season trip.  I would like to try it in snow one day.

For Philmont 2017, I got a Tarptent MoTrail.  This is a very light weight (~2 lbs.) two person shelter.  It handled the rain and wind and Philmont very well and I use it often, especially on couples backpacks and scout backpacks.  I got the pole set with it since I don't use trekking poles.

For winter camping with the Specialist groups, I have been sharing a North Face 4-season tent.  But I have experimented with using a Go-Lite Shangri-La as well.  This tarp shelter has nicely sloped sides to shed snow.  It is very lightweight as well.  I sometimes use this on backpack treks to mix things up.

Lastly, I want to give a shout out to the "green monster", a vintage canvas tent from my childhood.  This Sears behemoth was my family tent when I was growing up.  It is massive in both weight and volume. I got it patched and the zippers replaced and we used it as my family tent for a while.  It is quite easy to set up once you had practice.  The drawbacks were that it didn't handle wind very well and it took up a lot of space.

I would like to mention the REI Quarter Dome 2 I purchased in 2014.  I bought it for hiking the Kalalau Trail with my brother.  This is a great, lightweight backpacking tent.  2 adults are very cozy but for one it is very spacious.  I took this to Philmont in 2015 and loved it.  Unfortunately it was stolen from my car a few years ago.

Voice of Reason

Can we vote for this guy.

Monday, February 10, 2020

Everyone sacrifice (except for us)

It seems that some Oxford students protested that the university should divest itself of its current fossil fuel investments.  The school treasurer responded that he couldn't do that but offered to turn off the gas heat in the dorms.  The students were predictably put off by the notion of making a sacrifice themselves.  They were undoubtedly sulking with their electrically powered smart phones under electric lights in their cozy fossil fuel heated rooms.
If you have a WSJ subscription, the article is pretty funny.

Joshua Tree Jumbo Rocks

For this year's troop outing to Joshua Tree National Park, I secured some sites at Jumbo Rocks campground.  We headed up Friday night, set up tents and had a nice campfire in the cold.
The next day, we did a nice 5 miles hike to some old mining sites.  The weather was perfect as explored the Mojave desert.  Sunday was a quick breakfast and then headed home just avoiding a storm that was rolling in from the west.

Joshua Tree in Joshua Tree

Pinto Wye Arrastra

Rock formation

My tent

Boulders and scouts