Sunday, September 5, 2010

Backpacking To the Haunted Gem Mine

I'm packing up for the overnighter at the abandoned gem mine. Its said to be haunted and only the locals even know about it. Nobody goes there anymore, or at least they leave no trace. Last time we were there on a day hike, bear scratches were visible on some trees. I'm taking my bear spray.

The above external frame pack has been stripped, except for the excellent sholder straps and hip belt. I sewed an over sized silnylon pack for it, with large pockets. This pack can hold a garcia bear cannister for a hike in griz country, as well as 5 quarts of water , sleeping pads and gear. It weighs less than two pounds.
A person can strip the silnylon pack and use it in the packless system. You can read more about that at
Its a very inexpensive, ultralight way to gear up with many options.

My gear list is a little strange because I plan several experiments as well.
I have a plastic bottle to boil water in over a campfire. This was seen on the Man, Woman, Wild show on the Discovery Channel. I like the show, whatever its silliness at times.
Anyways, I also constructed some cordage from recycled plastic bags. It appears to have at least a 20 pound test strength.
For supper, a side dish of quesadillas using the slow burner with sauteed veggies will be offered along with whatever we each cook.
In the morning, I will be making blueberry pancakes, and caramelized peaches for my partner using the slow burner. There will be cowboy coffee made in a tin can on the fire.

Lets see, we also plan an exploration of the inner cave and gem mine, and bringing home an ember in the fire bundle.

This is my favorite way to learn survival skills, in an educational, non threatening environment. When needed, everything and more can be put to use. The brain seems to ferment these experiences so that even while we sleep, new ideas can form.

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