We hope today’s post finds you all well.
Have you ever thought about going on a trip?
Have you planned the details out of a trip before? Sure, most everyone has planned a trip somewhere. Somewhere for an overnight trip. Maybe it was to a slumber party, or to a festival camping right on the grounds or in your car. We have all gone somewhere where we needed to plan out a few details, such as; what clothes do you take, sleeping bag, blankets, or hammock, sunblock or bug spray, and the list goes on and on.
For us going on a backpacking trip; we look at the big three first. What are the “Big 3”? The Big 3 are; backpack, tent, and sleeping bag. Each of these we look to see if they will suit the trip we have planned. We actually have a few different bags; a day bag, a sling bag, a couple satchels, and a couple backpacks. Which bag suits our needs depends on what we are doing and where we are going. For day adventures that just require small storage capacity we take a long one of the satchels. For Summertime overnighters we just take a couple heavy blankets and a couple sheets. For Summer we look at a single layer of light clothing and of course for Winter we take clothing that is a little heavier. Usually a base layer of long underwear, preferably synthetics, and the a secondary layer of fleece, and over the shirt we use a warm short sleeved t-shirt, as our outer layer we consider denim coats, overalls, or coveralls, if the wind is whisking about we definitely look a shell of waterproofed nylon.
Speaking of waterproofing. The best thing I have come across in the last twelve years that does the job very well is found at Walmart in the camping section of Sporting Goods. It is Atsko Silicone Water-Guard. I have applied this to my Army poncho, our denim coats, overalls, and coveralls along with a couple of Sweets’ skirts, our boots, a pair of oversized jeans, all of our bags, to name just a few of the things it is good for. If you are considering using it on my experiences it usually sits on the top shelf and has an orange cap. When we were living outdoors, it was used on our tent. Our tent is a cheap Ozark Trail 3 Person tent. I used 2 cans of the spray. I set the tent up completely, at first without the fly. I then sprayed all the seams, and then along the walls working my way up. Every Ozark Trail tent I have had is somewhat water resistant but not even close to being fully sealed. So I hit everything and even on the light layer I put of it will run in areas and it other areas the fabric soaks it up. After the tent is completely dry, I place the fly on and repeat the process for the fly. The nice thing about Atsko is it doesn’t go in the wash machine to soak the fabric and then the dryer to seal it in the fabric, it can hang out to dry outdoors any time of year. Yes, I have hung clothes out to dry here in Michigan in January. Outdoor fresh is awesome.
As I said earlier packing the right thing for the right time of year is very important; whether light clothes for the Summer or warmer clothes and more layers in the Winter, the right clothes are important. Looking at whether the clothing is water-proofed or not is a big help. If the shirt you are taking with you to a trip to the forest is water-proofed that will also mean that it is most likely wind resistant. And sometimes it feels good for the wind to go through my clothes.
Something to consider is when you think about getting a gift for a family member or a friend is first will they be able to use what I am getting them, will it need some fine tuning such as water-proofing, or is it going to be completely useless to them. When I first hit the streets I was given a large duffel bag something a hockey player would use. It had a shoulder strap and two handles. I was grateful for it as it kept everything I had in one place, however it was just too big. And I was forever looking at the things I kept in it to see where I could cut weight. It didn’t have a frame or support system to keep its shape, sure it had that thin piece of plastic in the bottom that looked like a cheap cutting board, (which we will be discussing in a future post of repurposing supplies found around the home). It was not the thing that brought me the needed structure of carrying what I needed with me each day. On our last backpacking adventure we realized that we were carrying way too much stuff with us and we basically ended up donating things just to cut our weight down. When we were able to move out here we came here with very little and now we have a lot of stuff, most of which I could do without. I’m not sure that Sweets feels the same way though.
As November is fast approaching so is the time when people start considering do things for other people, an example would be the Christmas Toiletry Kits post. When it comes to donating supplies to shelters for the homeless to use please consider the time of year that you are donating it. A couple of years ago a friend did this awesome thing and he got his church, local sporting goods stores, other non-profits and a slew of volunteers and they handed out 500 hundred sleeping bags to the homeless on the streets of Flint. It was an awesome day all around. His biggest concern as well as mine and many others was that because they were cheaper, they were out of season, and they weren’t selling – he was given more than 100 Summer sleeping bags for those living on the streets in Winter. Hey I get it, some cover is better than no cover.
Please be considerate when donating supplies based on the time of year and whether the item is appropriate.
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Yours faithfully, Sweets & Elroy