In the world of outdoor adventures it’s easy to get caught up in the gear. It’s much easier to sit in your living room ordering equipment that will help you do rad things than it is to actually go out and do those things. I was aggressively reminded of this fact this weekend when we went out and did something stupid with the minimum of fancy technical gear.
When I told Luke that our destination was going to be snowy I’m not sure he really believed me, and when we got to the overcast base of Scotchman’s Peak I wasn’t so sure either. It seemed to be full on spring at the trailhead. A few miles of shirtless hiking in though, and seasons drastically changed. We hit patches of snow and then popped out on the summit ridge to a full on winter wonderland.
Since this was the first snow camping experience for either of us we decided to play it safe and come prepared. Here is a brief not comprehensive gear list:
-Two Backpacks: one purchased at Good Will, one borrowed from a father who probably purchased it in the mid ’80’s
-One Tent: $30 special from Walmart, but ours came for free with the mobile home we lived in last year
-Two Sleeping bags: One borrowed, one given to me about ten years ago, it has my initials on it which is cool but it’s not really warm at all
-Three Sweatpants: Luke only brought sweatpants and a swimming suit. I’m still not sure why he did this
-One Avocado, it froze
-One loaf of french bread and a bag of those Baybell cheeses
-One bag of gummy worms
-One shovel that broke
-One hatchet to make us feel more manly
Yeah, you could say we were prepared for our first snow camping trip.
At the peak Luke dug out a nice pit (and broke the shovel) for the tent while I gathered firewood. Our fire actually ended up being way radder than we expected, I’m gonna credit that to the sketchy fire-starting goop I bought at Walmart.
The morning broke cold and early and with no real sunrise to be seen through thick cloud cover we headed back to the bottom. Going back down mountains is the worst when you don’t have skis. Through a creative combination of Veggie Belaying and Grass Glissading (also know as sliding on your butt over grass, rocks and small trees) we finally made it back down and headed back to the land of central heating and normal food.
This trip was a great reminder not to overthink, overshop and overpack. It really doesn't take much gear to go out there and do something fun, just bring a warmer sleeping bag.