I have been on a mission to gather stuff to facilitate camping with the man. To that end I bought some things I deemed rather necessary, and with it being my birthday yesterday, I didn’t open any of the parcels that arrived, just so I had something to open on the day.
Technically I started with hiking boots, but since they weren’t wrapped up or delivered they weren’t birthday fodder. The day I got the boots, I also got thermal underwear, or base layer if you wanted to get fancy. The thermals were originally 35$ each, but these ones were reduced to 10, and with an extra 25% off for store members, both cost me 15$ – a price I am not going to complain about.
First of the birthday deliveries was a sleeping bag. It is a Mammut brand, rated to -16C. From all accounts this is a pricey brand. I managed to snag the last one on sale. So far it seems worth what I scored it for. It is light and fluffy and when I climbed in, nice and warm. It came with a compression sack and the man seemed right pleased about that.
The second bit of birthday stuff was two hydration bladders. I wasn’t paying THAT much for them, so I shopped around and got two for less than the price of one. The package was half open when it got home so I finished opening it. It was a bit tricky to get to work, but after a while I managed. The water tastes funky though. I will have to Google to see how to sort that. Still. Funky tasting water will hydrate you just as well as pure artesian spring water, and if I don’t have to carry it in my hand, so much the better. Google says (mostly) to deal with it, and that the taste is from the plasticisers in the bladder itself. Storing them in the freezer is also recommended. Half of me wonders if you could half fill it with water then freeze before a day trip, but I think that might make stuffing it into the pockets of the backpack harder. Thankfully I am not an ice water type of person.
Next up was the backpack. I’d settled on the Jack Wolfskin one, and bought that. I found that to be just ok. The zips all look like they are buggered, since they are two way and open in strange spots. When I tried to adjust the pack, one of the buckles broke! The type of buckle is a ladderlock. I can send it back for an exchange within seven days, paying the postage too, or I can make do. Since I have old bags at home I can harvest buckles from, I decided that for the cost of a new single buckle (.25c), sending it back (paying roughly 20 for postage) was a huge waste of money. While thinking about the problem of how to get the replacement buckle on, I wondered if baby shackles would work instead. Turns out they do, but the ones I have are a fraction too small. They still work though. Enough so that I am wondering how many I can attach to the various anchor points as spares.
The man suggests getting a sleeping bag liner to keep the inside of the bag clean, and cut down on how often one might need to wash it. I’d seen these, and discounted them as foolishness, but with his explanation, one might be a good idea. I’m willing to use the microfibre sheet I have instead, since it will be light. But a spare single doona cover would also work. I’m quite happy to modify one to a sleeping bag shape so as to get rid of the excess fabric, and cut down on weight.
To go with the new torch he also recommends a 3.6v AA battery, rather than the traditional 1.2v ones. Of course, these need specialised chargers.
The next plan to work on for camping is how to pack enough food for three days into a shoe box. I had a squiz in the supermarket today, and you can already get soup, beans and other things in sachets,plus wet noodles. I want to avoid cans if I can. Coffee and breakfast will be trickier. I’m sure it can be done though. Already in the top of the backpack is three sachets of ready meals. While dry food is probably better weight wise you would have to cart extra water to make things – and for two minute noodles, you toss the water out. This strikes me as a rather inefficient use of water.
Anyway, it is a work in progress, and now things at home are calling.