Here's a little background. My girl is a total newb at (what most people refer to as) camping. Unfortunately, I'mg beginning to believe that the fact that I enjoy an activity that requires we be apart for days at a time is something she's become a bit resentful of.
Recently, I asked her if she'd like to come along on a sort of "test" trip, to see if it's something she could tolerate or even (gasp!) enjoy. Surprisingly, she was very receptive to the idea, despite that she's originally a California beach girl who constantly seems to be chilly.
Our plan is to do an overnighter at the Minister Creek Trail in the Allegheny Nat'l Forest in western PA. It's only a seven-mile loop, but a truly magical place. We were thinking of doing it over the long holiday weekend around Thanksgiving, which would mean lows around freezing, and very chilly mornings.
Anyone here have similar stories? What are some of the things you did to make it a special experience for your lady? I plan on taking my Osprey Argon 70 for the trip, and giving her a small daypack, so she will barely have to carry a load. I've loaded that beast with 80 lbs for four-mile training hikes all summer long, and it's a really short trail, so weight is definitely not a concern here.
Luxury items I planned on bringing were a queen-sized heavyweight blanket, a pound of bacon, 4 eggs, a 1 lb coleman steel fry-pan, pancake mix, extra bowls and utensils, an 3 lb Fiskars axe (so we can have a rager of a fire to stay warm til bed), and a ton of those disposable hand and foot warmer packs.
Our sleep system will be two 1/8" thinlights on the ground, and I'm debating on either getting 2 thicker CCF pads such as z-lites or GG Nightlights to put on top of those, or lugging the old Thermarest Trail Lites I have with me. For a bag, we will be sharing two Lafuma sleeping bags mated together. One is 750 fill down and rated to 30 degress, the other is 650 fill and rated to 40. I consider both ratings to be a bitoptimistic for most people, but seem to be accurate for my warm-blooded self. I will position them so that the 40 degree bag is under us, and the loftier 30 degree bag is on top. I'll also have a queen-sized heavyweight blanket that we will be using by the fire, which could be brought into the bag with us for additional insulation. All of this will be on top of a Heatsheetz ground sheet.
The shelter will be my Copper Spur 1 pitched in fast-fly mode, lined on the inside by the Heatsheetz.
Have any of you guys been in a similar situation? If so, how did it go? What would you have done different? I'd love to get some feedback on this, as I'm hoping for the trip to go as smoothly as possible. Thanks!