This is a trip I took my little brother Joseph on in March of 09. At the time he was 10 years old. Joseph is a real trooper when it comes to backpacking. Since I don't have his mom's permission I won't post pictures of his face.
I was about to leave for Colorado and Joseph really wanted to go hiking. Since it was forecast to be warm I wanted to try going SUL with him and try out my new 11 oz BackpackingLight Quilt.
I packed all my gear into my Golite Ion while Joseph used a 16 oz Camp Trails daypack. Thats a little heavy for SUL but I took all the misc. stuff like Aqumira.
We started hiking south from the Blue Ridge Parkway on the AT. The plan was to hike down to Fullers Rocks and camp for the night than hike out a couple miles from their in time for me to grab my car and head off to Colorado.
On top of Bluff Mountain we met a guy who was SOBO through hiking in day hikes. His wife was following in a mobile home and he would meet her at road crossings. He was an ex Navy Sea Bee and told us about traveling to Russia as part of a Nuclear Disarmament verification team. He'd taken the oppurtunity to go brown bear hunting with a couple of Russians using an old rifle from WWWII.
Joseph spotted some cool rocks and wanted to climb them. I wasn't interested but it was a trip for him so we dropped our packs and headed up. It was a good thing I'd listened because the view was very nice.
After taking a lot of pictures we kept going. Joseph missed having a stirnum strap on his pack so I took a strap off his trekking poles and imrpovised one with a small carabiner as a quick release.
We spent some time at Fuller's Rocks than went to set up camp. I didn't have a poncho tarp for Joseph so instead we shared a 10 oz. plastic tarp. I'd reinforced the tie outs with Gorilla Tape and it held up to the wind very well although I still wouldn't use it in really bad weather.
We ate dinner looking at the sunset and went to bed as it got dark. It was a bit cold that night, about 38 degrees. Without a good insulation layer my quilt wasn't really enough (since than I have used it with a down jacket at similar tempuratures with no problem). Part of the problem too was that it was a long night.
We made a fire the next morning to warm up with.
After warming up we went to watch the sun rise. It was the best one I'd seen in a long time.
After enjoying the sunrise we ate a quick breakfast and headed down the mountain.
Overall it was a great trip. Joseph was a great sport and we got to try out some new SUL gear. Josehp wasn't entirely happy with the fit of his pack and I wanted more versital SUL gear so lately I've been working on some MYOG so that we can go SUL easier. I've been working on a more durable tarp, rain wraps, and a better bivy for Joseph. Hopefully we can go just as light next time with slightly more flexibility if the weather is bad.