I like to camp. A lot. So in order to give the new widow some personal space I brought my camping gear since there is acreage here for use (and it is my property after all). I arrived in rain (also a recurring camping theme, see last camping trip in March, lol!) Rainy, windy weather makes solo site set up absolutely festive. Also having two Australian shepherds insist on assisting presents different challenges too. Darkness was pressing close on my heels in an hour as well, just to keep things interesting.
Due to the extreme temps I decided on an improvised plan, the tent-in-tent plan. My primary tent is a 4 person (of Lilliputian build I gather), and then I have a single person tent in addition. Please don’t give me too much credit on this, as both tents happened to be in the same storage container. But I wondered if the layered clothing theory would work for shelter too. This was initially driven by the amount of water that rained into my primary tent while trying to get it put up. I like cold, but not cold and wet plus slumber. I’m pretty sure slumber would not be the end of that equation. It was also inspired by the fact that apparently I have a Southern tent, as two of the side windows have no flap, just screening. Not really an issue down south, but in brisk, snowy winds I thought I’d like a little less air flow this go-round.
First layer was a tarp, then 4 person tent, then one person tent nestled inside with storage container surrounds. Lesson learned: Store all tent stakes in the same place, lest you enter total panic when you find only TWO of the four tent stakes you were expecting, turning said tent into somewhat of a kite. Sorry, no photos, was busy trying to keep my kite errr, tent from going airborne. Where were the dogs THEN to stand on the tent? Nowhere to be found, sadly. Probably hiding somewhere terrified by the flapping of the tent-kite.
I also learned that no matter how cold and windy it is outside, when you are hustling to make camp by yourself, you are soon sweating. I wasn’t actually aware one could sweat at 33 degrees. Also, change dressy boots for work boots PRIOR to setting up the tent. I think I have mud in the studs permanently now 😦 High heels are damaging to delicate tent floor fabric too. Nothing like a midstream footwear swap while holding an airborne tent for a little blood-rush excitement! Despite all the fun, I did get set up prior to sundown, get the bedding in the tent with only a little corner drag through my waterfront property, and no dogs were harmed in the non-filming of this adventure.
I was worried because I couldn’t fit my real cooler in the car on the way up. Little did I know that I was actually driving a very large fridge, as the temps aren’t even breaking the 30’s for the next few days. At almost 2 PM it is a balmy 25 degrees. Problem solved! The doors were frozen shut on it this morning, but a little elbow grease solved that momentary challenge.
When I crawled in the tent at 8:30 PM to settle in for an early rest I found the layering worked wonderfully. Of course, I also had on flannel jammies, socks, fingerless mittens and a hat. Camping warmly in the cold does not for sexy make. Toasty, yes; sexy, no. Especially when my sleeping hat has NERD in big pink letters across it 🙂 Friends and family would probably loudly proclaim CRAZY would be more fitting a blaze across my forehead. It wasn’t the cold that stalled my sleep, but the hard ground. I’m not a scrawny girl either, but I have a bruise on my hip today Will try to remedy that tonight. Also, trying to stretch out in a one person YOUTH tent (I though hey, they are short like me) takes a bit of catty-wampus maneuvering to get just right. Using a portable generator for a pillow helps too. Finally settled, I drifted off to barred owl calls, ‘yote choruses, and ice pellets on the tent roof. I was so warm that I took off my footwear in the middle of the night, thereby misplacing a sock. The sock was black and was like a delightful missing puzzle piece when I tried to find it this morning in the pre-dawn chill while dogs were snorfling the perimeter and jumping happily to learn that I lived through the night outside just as they. Probably barely an inch, maybe two, of snow. Enough for beauty and not stress.
Sunrise was beautiful.
Coffee was a true delight. A warm shower later in the morning to tame my wild and wooly nightcap hair was truly appreciated.
Tonight the adventure continues as we plummet into the teens. The laptop won’t go in the tent with me this night. We will see if I weenie out tonight, but don’t count on it 🙂 This will break my previous low temp record for camping if I make it through the night. Make some extra coffee for me, will ya?
~SE the Valiant (or Foolhardy) Your choice 😀