Our backpack trip to Stehekin is still fresh in my mind. We're due for another practice trip coming up here soon.  I remember watching Katie beeline her way several miles that last day-and it was her first backpack trip...ha! Meanwhile I realized that sleeping on the ground, even if there is a two-inch inflated pad underneath me, is completely uncomfortable.  I also realized, again, that I'm a nester.  Even in the backcountry!  For those of you unfamiliar with the term, nesting is this idea of creating a home, a nest. Whenever Jason and I move, the first things that I unpack are those that help make the space "homey", and then the practical things.  And so, night after night, I watched myself revel in our "nest" underneath the tarp. Granted there weren't any pictures or decorations... It's the best when you can huddle yourself and others in there out of the elements and feel completely comfortable, like we had to the first night when it rained a bit.

I LOVED our campsites, the views of the lake and surrounding mountains, the float planes flying by daily, the sunshine, Katie's laughter, my down jacket, Jason's man-pris, Jim looking for change at all the campsites at Purple Point in Stehekin, the beautiful flowers, the wildlife, talking with Alaster and Gail about their long-distance hiking adventures, having Avocado and Bananas with meals, how great Stehekin was, cuddling with Jason underneath our quilt, campfires at night...

I did not love how windy it was sometimes, watching a poor mouse that was stuck in one of the pit-toilets (yes I tried getting him out) make a nest out of my used toilet paper, how sore my shoulders were, being cold, stabbing my toe with a stick...

Oh, to be out there again...Instead of in this dark basement...

Heather Darnell
5/22/2010 09:24:26 am

Me again! About the sleeping quilt - did you say you were just using a tarp overhead? When I asked about keeping your quilt dry, I was thinking - if you have to make campafter rain when the ground is wet, or if it has rained in the night, and you pack up in the morning. I have a stuff sack, but I don't want to put anything wet into it if I can avoid it.

Also - a towel - do you use a chamois?

5/22/2010 12:20:20 pm

We do use a ground sheet that's plastic that we lay our sleeping pads upon, and that helps keep the bottom dry. And the tarp (which is actually made out of silicone-nylon, unlike that really heavy plastic stuff you see like at Walmart) really does great at not leaking, so besides condensation (which a tarp greatly helps reduce because of how much air-flow there is compared to a tent), we stay dry. In the morning time, if time allows and maybe the sun is up or it's windy, I like to lay my piece out, and it dries surprisingly quickly! I know stuffing your sleeping bag when wet can be detrimental to the overall life of it, but we do the best we can! You can look on our ITINERARY page to see a picture of the green tarp that we originally bought...After seeing another couple's tarp, and envying how much space they had inside compared to our, we bought another one that's bigger :) We just need to make it!
www.rayjardine.com is where we buy the tarp and quilt...

The towel is kind of like that, but it's not very thick, but is still pretty absorbent. Again, really great for sponge baths..


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