Things I learned from camping and hiking at Inks Lakes last weekend

So I tried a few new things at Inks Lake.

  1. Pack Liner – tried force-flex kitchen bag, but it tore easily. I need to buy some trash compactor bags.
  2. Ground Cover – worked well, but it didn’t downpour so that’s only a guess. It makes a crinkly noise when setting it up since the material is stiffer than the previous ground cover. That is, it could wake others. I do like the ability to hook it into the corners. There is a front (with Hexamid label) and back that you’ve got to get right.
  3. Alcohol Stove – worked OK, but I gotta figure out how to light it better. The first night by myself I used the BIC Mini-lighter to light a stalk of grass which I could reach down into the alcohol reservoir. On the second night it was windy and the grass kept blowing out. It is hard to hold the lighter upside down and reach down into the alcohol reservoir. I also didn’t fill it with enough alcohol – it needs more than 1 oz. so it shutdown before the water boiled. Wind shield worked OK and got real hot so much so that it became discolored with the heat. Top and bottom aluminum were a bit awkward, because they needed flattening. Need to work with it more. I’m worried that carrying so much alcohol is a burden. Jetboil is definutely easier.
  4. Solar Charger – worked great. Needed direct sunlight, but charged the phone without problem.
  5. Food – better this time, but still need to keep working at it. I have ordered a dehydrator to see if I can create some meals which has a familiar flavor profile. For example, spaghetti, teriyaki chicken, fruit, etc.
  6. I need a pillow! I unload my down vest from my stuff sack to make it softer, put the vest on top but it still isn’t high enough and isn’t soft to the touch. I’m a side sleeper now and I need help with this.