Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Camping gear round-up

This coming weekend, I plan to hike Seven Fingered Jack with some coworkers. This got me thinking a lot about the gear I take with me. Most of my hiking has been in the BWCA, so this will be a much different terrain and experience.

Because of our move to Seattle (and thus my sifting through my gear), this upcoming trip, and because I've been creating my zombie survival pack, I want my hiking and camping gear to be lightweight, compact, multi-purpose, and all-inclusive to the greatest extent reasonably possible. The purpose of this post is to briefly discuss the camping gear I have for several people who have asked me for info.

Necessities

Even when hiking with others, here's some gear that you need (can't be shared with others in your party).

Basics

While not necessary when travelling with others, these are handy. There's shelter (which may or may not be shared with someone in your party):
  • Two person tent
  • ENO DoubleNest and a SingleNest hammock (AmazonREI) with homemade suspension system (aka tree-huggers)
  • Hydration pack (see below) and/or water bottle
And there's miscellaneous stuff that's always handy:
  • Gerber multi-tool
  • Paracord (Amazon, REI)
  • Biners (I've simply picked up a handful of $0.40 quick links from Fleet Farm just like these on Amazon, but a bit cheaper)
  • Butane lighter, matches
  • Bandana or a smallish towel
  • Headlamp
  • Toiletries
    • Toilet paper
    • Toothbrush, toothpaste
    • Soap (Amazon, REI)

For food and water

I've found that one stove in a group of up to four is fine. Having a second probably couldn't hurt.
Having some cotton-free clothing is particularly useful, as you tent to get sweaty carrying so much gear, and when cotton gets wet, it keeps you cold. If you don't have good moisture wicking, quick-drying clothes, then having a spare change of clothes so you can be dry and toasty warm at night is a good second. I've used my rope for an impromptu clothesline, hanging my damp clothes overnight.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

First day of preschool

Yesterday was Jacob and Reed's first day of preschool at Our Lady of Fatima, just a block and a half down the road from us. This is particularly special, I think, for Reed since he's not been to preschool before, though it was definitely easier for him than Jacob's first day back at Clearview -- he has the dual benefit of having gone through detachment by way of daycare as well as of having seen and heard of his brother going.

The Shirey boys enjoying a pre-preschool picnic.

Reed gets ready for the commute.

Starting the long haul to school.


The boys had a great day with Teacher Gina and their new classmates. They also have a newfound tree love of climbing thanks to trees large enough to climb (contrast with the 18" tall pine trees we had in Clearwater).