Friday, May 2, 2014

Yosemite Weekend - Epilogoe

I can't believe it was a week ago when I was preparing for my weekend in Yosemite. I had planned to write a short 'Lessons Learned' post when I got home, but after the drive I needed a nap. Then I woke up and did the stuff that didn't get done over the weekend. Then I did other stuff and... poof. Here I am at the end of another week.

It's about two months before I head down the JMT. Even though last weekend was cold and wet, I thoroughly enjoyed our hike up to Nevada Falls. I learned where the backpacker's camp was and also where the trail-head is to the Four Mile Trail. My first day hiking is going to be quite a day. I will hike across the valley to the trail-head. Climb four thousand vertical feet to Glacier Point. Once I arrive there I can begin my hike from the trail-head that I have been permitted to use. Then I hike from Glacier Point down to Nevada Falls, meeting the JMT at a junction about a mile before the falls. Altogether its about twelve extra non-JMT miles that are tacked on to my hike.

One of my tests last weekend was to tryout the Mountain House Breakfast Skillet. This meal is a plate of scrambled eggs, peppers, onions, sausage, and hash browns blended together, freeze-dried, and dumped into a bag. The idea is that you reconstitute it with hot water and use it as a filler for a breakfast burrito. Woo Hoo! Yes, that's what I'm talking about. I brought along another one of my tests. A couple of tortillas that I had vacuum sealed over a month ago. They had preserved remarkably well. I draped them over my pot of boiling water for about a minute and presto, a steamed tortilla ready to be filled with Breakfast Skillet goodness. This meal gets my hearty recommendation and I will be adding it to my menu. I will, however, be dividing the meal into thirds as one pouch is way more than I can eat in a single meal. After I divide it, I will vacuum seal each serving, which will take a little under one half a cup of water to reconstitute.

Another test was sleeping in a 40 degree bag and a Cocoon silk mummy liner in cold weather. First off, I was completely warm and comfortable in my new ZPacks 40 degree bag. Along with the bag I purchased a matching Goose Hood for those nights that are colder than normal. It was colder than normal, the weather had predicted nights in the 20s however I don't think it was that cold, the water in the puddles didn't freeze. I would guess it was in the mid 30s and my sleeping kit worked flawlessly. I really like having the separate hood rather than a mummy sleeping bag with a hood. The draw string at the top of my sleeping bag snugs the bag around my neck and the hood allows me more freedom of movement for my head than I ever had with my mummy bag.

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