So, I had this whole post in mind …

… about my hiking trip this weekend. I was going to photograph all my new gear and tell you all about it.

However, I packed my gear in my pack last night and hell if I’m going to pull it back out now!

So, I’ll show it to you when I get back.

It’s time again for the annual Mount Mitchell winter hike, which I wrote about here and here. We are going tonight, which happens to be the same night that preparing for snow. If there’s snow here, I wonder what it’s like there … brr … The current forecast is calling for snow and a low of 4 degrees while we’re there.

Before you worry about me, though, I’ll tell you there’s a large group of us going this year – 12 people! And many of the people have a lot of knowledge of hiking/backpacking/survival. In fact, in all of our group it’s quite possible I’m the least knowlegable. And I’m paying attention. I have my own little survival pack – including matches, knives, first aid supplies, and hand warmers (okay, I joke about the hand warmers for survival. but you never know!) I even got this great new jacket at REI that has this: “Recco reflector embedded in the right sleeve can help searchers find you in snow …”

I have a new cookset, a new knife, new gloves and mittons, a new bivy sack (okay, so I’ve had it for a while, but never had the courage to use it!), and a new hammock. It’s possible the winds will make it way too cold to use the hammock, but I hope not (I hate sleeping on the ground.) I have new thermals and a new balaclava (yes, I’ll look like a bank robber, but I was worried about getting frostbitten around my nose ring – did you know piercings can cause problems? The metal is colder, leading to frostbite).

I really hope there are other hikers besides us crazy ones this weekend, but if not, at least there’s a good, solid group of healthy people who know what they are doing. At least that’s what they tell me!

My pack is currently 31 pounds. I still need to add lunch food and snacks (stopping at the store later), and that’s not counting the things I’ll be carrying with me (layers of clothes, trekking poles, etc.) It seems a little heavier than last year (I didn’t weigh it last year) but I did get some more gear so I guess that’s what happens when you finally stop bumming from everyone else! The only thing I don’t have is a stove, but I have a can of fuel that will hook to other stoves of people in our group.

I’m ready to go burn some calories and see some sights!



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