First Outing
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Billie-Jo Maxcey
(bmaxcey) - F
First Outing on 07/04/2011 13:56:18 MDT Print View

Just got home from my first outing in NE AL and NW GA. I went alone. Ok so probably not smart since I've only ever camped in a campground...lol Next time, my dogs goes even if a human isnt with me!! Of course, the finding bigfoot episode on TV as I walk in the door geared to North GA sure isnt helping me going alone again either..lol Anyways, I had a great time, hiked some awesome trails and slept like crap :( Went in a tent. My back and hip was killing me this morning. I pushed through it as I took the road up to Mentone, AL and Desoto Falls and State Park. Hiked in some ok trails in Desoto SP, some are poorly marked. Oh did I mention the amount of rocks in the entire area. Lost my footing on one and twisted my ankled, banged my hip and scraped and cut my leg as well. Other than that, trip went well.. Soo here's my thing...I need suggestions for sleeping arrangements. Any ideas?

kevin smith
(divr6347) - M
sleep setup on 07/04/2011 16:04:35 MDT Print View

just out of curiosity

what is your current setup ?? did you get cold at night?? were you uncomfortable on your current setup??

was there any certain thing you didn t like about what you are currently using ??

let us know im sure there will be someone on here who can assist you with sleeping comfy in the backcountry


kevin

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: First Outing on 07/04/2011 16:45:49 MDT Print View

Awesome! Keep going- if you cut your leg and twisted your ankle, but you're laughing and wanting to tweak your sleep system... Welcome to the club!

hip hurts- probably not enough padding in your pad. (pad too thin) I sleep on my side and use 2"+ thickness.

falling- do you use poles? they work good.

Ryan C
(radio_guy) - MLife

Locale: Alaska
Solo trekking on 07/04/2011 23:17:07 MDT Print View

Congrats on getting out. Going solo is not as dangerous as some would imagine, especially on popular trails. Just hike smart. I got a small lightweight 406MHz Personal Locator Beacon for when I am solo in remote places that are not well traveled (and no cell coverage). Gives me and family some peace of mind.

I used to sleep rather lousy outside but have gotten over it. The only things that wake me up now are critters messing with my shelter or strange sounds in the woods. An inflatable pad works wonders for side sleepers like me, something like a NeoAir or POE Peak Elite AC.

Billie-Jo Maxcey
(bmaxcey) - F
Sleeping set up on 07/05/2011 19:23:26 MDT Print View

what is your current setup ?? did you get cold at night?? were you uncomfortable on your current setup?? was there any certain thing you didn t like about what you are currently using ??

Small 2 person dome. Was not out in the "backcountry" it was a walk in tent area, which was more backcountry then their backcountry area..lol I had a mummy bag(bought local) and was hot. No padding as the bag was pretty thick. My feet hit the wall of the tent many times during the night. I do love my pillow top mattress at home so sleeping on the ground is a challenge! Need recommendation on something light weight but still lots of cushion. Hated the bag, already got rid of it..wasnt big enough. Looking at Solera, hoping it will work out better for me. I like the idea of a tent...I'm a girl so it makes me feel secure and kinda inside. But open to all suggestions..Have attached a photo of tent from the weekend. Oh I will be going with my 3 kids at a later date so have to keep that in mind as well when looking at setups.


Cloudland Canyon

Billie-Jo Maxcey
(bmaxcey) - F
Awesome! on 07/05/2011 19:33:09 MDT Print View

Keep going- if you cut your leg and twisted your ankle, but you're laughing and wanting to tweak your sleep system... Welcome to the club!

Yep, ready to go now...would say I have been bitten...hehehe The only problem is I am sore :( I run 3 miles and bike 7 miles 6 days a week. The trails seemed flat and easy, only got winded twice the entire weekend. Ok thats good news right? But because I do so much daily, I didnt feel it until later. Took today off at the gym to rest my aching calves. Tomorrow at 4:30 am I will be back! The kids are super excited and begging to go there this weekend if for nothing but a dayhike. Ok I'm in the picture mood so attaching photo of part of the injuries from the fall. I worked as EMT/Firefighter for 10 years and work for Red Cross now, so had the injuries covered easily....


fall at Desoto

Billie-Jo Maxcey
(bmaxcey) - F
Going solo on 07/05/2011 19:45:22 MDT Print View

Congrats on getting out. Going solo is not as dangerous as some would imagine, especially on popular trails. Just hike smart.

Thanks :) Solo was not bad at first park...was lots of people there. However, on second day and at a new park, saw a couple with 3 teenage kids a little less than half way through and that was it until I got back to a road! I loved it but I'm pretty sure a big creature (black bear I'm sure...have had several sitings there) enjoyed following back out..lol I had a small digital camera and used it not only for the fun of having awesome pics but to give me a photo of where I had been if I got lost! I kept my phone off but would turn it on every 1/2 mile to mile and either use it or try to use it. Read some where that even if you try to use it you can still be traced if need be.

I used to sleep rather lousy outside but have gotten over it. The only things that wake me up now are critters messing with my shelter or strange sounds in the woods.

OH MY GOSH! I have been car and trailer camping hundeds of times and never really had problems sleepig. Of course I do that with lots of folks in our group. Anyway, took my small mp3 player and headphones just in case....it shut off around 2 am when the battery died. After that...every little bump and noise woke me up. Honestly, was terrified at one point when some critter started screaming! Will never go alone again. Will go with someone and probably take my dog even then. I know its an up and down issue with some but seriously considering a hand gun with permit of course just for my own piece of mind when going alone. Maybe its the estrogen in me that concerns me with critters...ok know more its the people that worry me. A young female alone in the woods, yep can see thats a taget easily :(

Scott Truong
(elf773)

Locale: Vancouver, BC
RE: First Outing on 07/05/2011 19:56:07 MDT Print View

Inflatable mattresses are the way to go. As someone has said, look at the POE AC Elite (cheapest, lightest, jury out on long term quality), Neoair (most expensive, lightest), Big Agnes Insulated AirCore (cheaper, heavier, but popular).

I like the Montbell inflatable pillow (if you need one, I don't like stuff sack filled with clothes or my pack as a pillow). I found it the most comfortable.

For 4 people, not that you want to buy a new tent, but you might want to take a look at the offerings by Tarptent.

And think of less bulk as much as less weight (hence inflatable). The less stuff you have, the better because you aren't digging around for things, less to keep track of.

Use platypus water bottles for hauling around water. Fill partially, squeeze air out, fold in half if need be. I usually also bring a gatorade bottle for convenience.

Trash compactor bags for keeping things dry, instead of individual stuff sacks and dry sacks.

Did you sleep with your bag as a quilt over you, stick leg out to keep cool? Bags are expensive and a pain to try to find the perfect one, so take your time.

Ignore if you already know all this. Happy trails.

What about bear spray, storm whistle and knife, instead of pistol, unless you're a killer shot?

Edited by elf773 on 07/05/2011 20:04:32 MDT.

Billie-Jo Maxcey
(bmaxcey) - F
Re: First Outing on 07/05/2011 20:03:06 MDT Print View

Trash compactor bags for keeping things dry, instead of individual stuff sacks and dry sacks.

Dont have trash compactor so would have never thought about that. I used gallon zip bags for the few extra clothes I took(change of underwear, pair of socks, and shorts and tank to sleep in). Washed convertable pants and shirt, hung to dry at night. The zip bags worked great and didnt take up much space.


Thanks for all the great tips and pointers :)

Edited by bmaxcey on 07/06/2011 05:43:03 MDT.

kevin smith
(divr6347) - M
sleep setup on 07/06/2011 07:55:06 MDT Print View

No padding as the bag was pretty thick

right here i can see two potential issues first off would be sore hips/back/shoulders as a bag no matter how thick would not suffice as padding against the ground even a closed cell foam pad (like the blue ones from wal mart exc ) would be better than just the bag if budget allows i would try a 2.5 inch thick blow up pad (i really like my big agnes air core mummy pad but there are other options out there ) sometimes you can find them on gear swap for a good price after you sleep on one you will probably sleep great in the backcountry :)


next issue would be that in fall and winter when you have cooler temps at night

the ground will draw all the heat out of your bag if you are just sleeping on the floor of your tent with no padding under you and you will for sure have a miserable
night in the backcountry my suggestion would would be to add a gossamer gear thinlight pad on top of the 2.5 inch blow uppad to keep the ground from drawing
heat out of your bag these are fairly inexpensive and very light to carry and they work great i have used this setup down to 24 deg and been warm all night

as to touching the ends of your tent at a glance it looks as if your tent might be a
5ft x 7ft floor size or close to those deminsions this means that you tent has an 84 inch long floor most long bags are 86 inces long so they will for sure tough the ends of the tent but if you have a regular length bag and your feet keep touching the end of your tent you need to figure out if it is because you are sliding on your pad or in this case if you were sliding in your bag on the floor of your tent and if so then maybe you didn t have the tent floor completely flat on the ground it looks like it is pretty good in the photo so im guessing this was not the reason for it
if the reason is because the length of the tent is just a tad too short then you might consider getting a tent with a 90 inch floor length so you will have plenty of room inside there are several on the market so you would have some options if you decided to go that route i am 6-1 and love my 90 inch floor mountainsmith morrison
it is a little heavier but not unbearibly so

hopefully you will get your sleep system figured out before your next outing
you will be far more comfortable after you do

good luck in whichever pad system you choose im sure you will find what works for you

kevin

kevin smith
(divr6347) - M
sleep system on 07/06/2011 08:04:55 MDT Print View

morrison


here is a pic of my sleep system the bag is a western mountaineering alder 25 deg
down bag but whichever bag you choose will work fine on top of a system like this

kevin

Billie-Jo Maxcey
(bmaxcey) - F
sleep system insight on 07/06/2011 16:50:09 MDT Print View

Kevin:

Thanks so much for all the great advice. I remember being told by a friend when I first showed an interest at backpacking, "you'll never make it, your an air matress girl." Guess he wasnt far off! I'm going to check into the pads you mentioned, hopefully I'll find one tht works well for me. As for the tent, not sure on measurements or why...do see the possibility that I was sliding. This was not purchased for backcountry. I have owned it for quite some time and the kids use it when go car camping. I have seen several online that I am checking into. I'm only 5'5 so shouldnt be to hard to find the right one.

Billie-Jo

PS Thanks for posting the photo, I'm very visual so that helped tremendously :)

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
trash compactor bags on 07/06/2011 17:19:10 MDT Print View

Get unscented to keep critters away

kevin smith
(divr6347) - M
sleep system on 07/07/2011 08:09:30 MDT Print View

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=50279

no problem billy-jo hopefully the pic will give you an idea of what your system will look like when you get it all figured out

the above pad is a great pad the rem (rest easy mama) pad is like having a queen bed with you in the backcountry and if you are short enough then the regular pad will work very well for you plus thesepads have a lifetime warranty so if you develop a leak ba will replace your pad free of charge

just one option there are others out there but these are a very good start

cheers
kevin

Al Nichols
(everready) - F

Locale: Sh!^^% Ohio
Backyard camping on 07/07/2011 11:40:44 MDT Print View

Camping out in your own backyard can be a good exercise to find out what will and will not work for you. I'd advise you and your kids to go for a 2-3 mile hike (using the gear you would take along on a "real" backpacking trip) and then camp out in the backyard. That will help you tweak your gear and make your first family backpacking trip more enjoyable.


You can get some inexpensive sleeping pads for your children at Wal-Mart.

Al

Edited by everready on 07/07/2011 11:41:56 MDT.

kevin smith
(divr6347) - M
sleeping pad on 07/08/2011 07:39:53 MDT Print View

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=49993


here is a ba pad on gear swap just in case you are interrested


kevin

carl becker
(carlbecker) - F

Locale: Northern Virginia
Re: sleep system insight on 07/08/2011 10:14:26 MDT Print View

I use either a short NeoAir or KookaBay SAM pad and find them very comfortable. Good sleeping really helps.