Storm front

A storm front just went through and I got some pretty cool photos from it.

In album 2014-09-05

crazy heavy rain and stuff blowing all around!

Even a still photo, you can feel the storm

I know what they mean by ‘sheets’ of rain now.

The wind was quite strong.

I tested my new sleeping bag last night

It didn't get as cold as I was expecting, so I ended up being overly warm for most of the night. I tried the new down bag inside a synthetic bag inside a bivy sack arrangement all on a thermorest pad. About 10 lbs for the sleeping set. I'd dug a snow-cave topped with a SOL space blanket for about 2/3rds my length.

I was sweating for most of the night until the temps bottomed out at 11 degrees. I was chilled then, but a toss and a turn and I warmed back up and fell back asleep.  I think I would have been better served with just the 20 degree down bag.

Maybe I will try again next weekend.

In album 2014-02-02

Getting out in the morning. A bit challenging trying to keep the snow out of my bags. The grey blanket was just used as a ground sheet for that purpose.

Unfortunatly, it didn’t snow for real. Google did this to me. Taunting me.

Clothes where a lightweight packable down jacket over a poly longsleeve shirt. Insulated pants over longjohns & 2 sets of dry wool socks. I tried to keep the clothing minimal as the two bags and myself basically filled the Bivy bag, so I didn’t want to over-pack it and loose all my loft.

Getting in to the sleeping bag at night. Wiggle wiggle, scoot scoot, repeat.

Looking down from the deck at my snow-cave. I used a SOL space blanket as a top-sheet. About 5 minutes with a shovel to make this (Much of the snow was tossed off my deck and porch). I was planning on using a snowshow to make it, but I was there with a shovel, and it just worked.

Side view of my snow cave. About 2-3 feet tall, with maybe 6-8 inches of snow left in the ‘floor’. The top was done up with a space blanket to keep the wind from whistling over my tent.

Sleeping in my snowcave. Quite toasty and comfortable.

Just waking up. It’s a bit awkward trying to loosen up the hood. I’d pulled the stopper out when I just climbed in. Took a LONG time to get it back right in the dark.

Looking into the snow cave. It was a bit snug at the shoulders. I wiggled around a bit when i was settling in to try to smash the walls wider so there was more room for my sleeping bags to loft.

Space blanket tarp tent.

I wanted to try to make a lighter tent then the 45lb monster that I own. It really sucks to hike it a mile into the woods.

3D image of my big tent. Look at it cross-eyed to see it in all it's cute little girl looking out glory
3D image of my big tent. Look at it cross-eyed to see it in all it’s cute little girl looking out glory.

So I made a tarp tent. Out of space blankets. So I now have a space-tent?

I used two cheap 52.5 x 82.5  aluminized polyester blankets I finally found in stock locally. I taped them together with some clear 3M UV resistant duct tape I split lengthwise. (3M #2120)

Taping 2 space blankets together to make a tarp tent
Taping 2 space blankets together to make a tarp tent

I twisted lengths of the tape together to form the tie down loops.

Twisted tape tie-downs
Twisted tape tie-downs

The stress points got a bit of tape reinforcement.

The corners of the space blanket get tape tie-downs
The corners of the space blanket get tape tie-downs

I had to flour the tape loops so they didn’t stick to the sheets so much.

A dish of flour to de-stick the rolled tape.
A dish of flour to de-stick the rolled tape.

The final product is very light and rolls up very small.

Rolled up mylar tarp tent
Rolled up mylar tarp tent

I think I need to try it out soon. I also will let my 2-year-old play with it to stress test it.

 

The inspiration for this tent came from http://www.csm.ornl.gov/~geist/Philmont/2-man-shelter.pdf .

Walking stick shelter.

A 3d photo (look at it crossed eyed for the 3d effect) of the bits I used to make my silent space blanket carrier.
A 3d photo (look at it crossed eyed for the 3d effect) of the bits I used to make my silent space blanket carrier.

I have spent some time camping this summer. A few trips have been ultra lite trips. I use those space blankets as my blanket for the night.

They suck.

But they are light and cheap. And they are very noisy. Very noisy. Noisy to sleep under and noisy to pack back up and noisy to carry once you’ve opened them.

I think I found a solution to the noisy carry problem. Roll it around a stick and wrap it up tight.

Rolled the space blanket (This one has tape die downs on it) around the stick.
Rolled the space blanket (This one has tape die downs on it) around the stick.

I grabbed my walking stick for testing my idea.

I wrapped cordage around the blanket tightly.
I wrapped cordage around the blanket tightly.

I used some paracord that is about the same color as my stick .

Unopened space blanket compared to the wrapped blanket.
Unopened space blanket compared to the wrapped blanket.

There is a whole  Mylar space blanket with tie down loops I added to it wrapped around this stick. I like the idea even though it adds a lot of weight to the stick.