This past few weeks the weather here in NY has been horrible. It has been very hot (at least way too hot for my liking), and the humidity has been equally high. It has put a serious damper on my backpacking trips. It’s just hard to get motivated for a ten mile trip into the woods when you are sweating uncontrollably three minutes after you have gotten out of the car.
Despite that however, I decided to go out this past weekend. I had some new gear I wanted to try out. It wasn’t going to be a serious trip, but I just wanted to go a few miles into the woods to see how everything worked.
For starters, I have a new sleeping pad, the Therm-a-Rest NeoAir XTherm. It is a replacement for the NeoAir All Season that I have been using for the past year. We’ll see how well it holds up during long term use, but I was very impressed by how small it pack when compared to the All Season.
I also have a set of trekking poles, the Black Diamond Alpine Carbon Cork (2012 model). Hopefully they will help with my knees. I also want to use them as the center pole for my GoLite Shangri-La 3 tent, so I can save on weight there.
I also wanted to take out my O/U 12 gauge so I can put a few shells through it to loosen the mechanism.
Anyway, I set out in the morning. It didn’t feel too warm when I started out, but the humidity was very high, which made things miserable.
I didn’t go far. I just bushwhacked for two or three miles in, so I wouldn’t bother anyone with the noise I was about to make. I dropped off my gear and had a snack.
Then I just had some fun shooting different loads with my CZ Upland Sterling. The action has been a bit stiff, so I wanted to shoot a few more boxes through it to loosen it up some more.
As warm as it was, I wasn’t in the mood to keep a fire burning all evening long. I set up the tent using the trekking poles, which worked very well in that role. I’ll have a post with more details about the set up later. After that I just took apart my shotgun and occupied myself with cleaning it.
I spent the rest of the time taking pictures for a few post I have been meaning to make. It is a time consuming activity.
In the morning I just packed up and made my way out.
That’s it. A short trip so I can make sure all of the new components of my gear work the way they are supposed to. Everything worked well. I was very happy with the fact that the trekking poles could be used as a center pole for the tent. This mean that the addition of the poles to my gear adds almost no weight. The XTherm pad also worked well; again, I have to see how it does long term. I hurried back home as the heat was seriously bothering me. I think we spend a lot of time worrying about cold weather backpacking, but the heat can be just as challenging, and I must admit, I much prefer winter camping.