Recently I was asked by the CEO of Kit Fox Outfitters to start taking over the blogs posts and writing from my own perspective, experiences and knowledge of the outdoor world. Writing on anything from conducting gear reviews, trails to hike and campground recommendations. The blogs will be collaboration between the writer and the reader to both grow and take our outdoor skill sets to the next level. So my first thought was okay, that seems simple enough. I know I am not a blogger, but I do talk a lot and have been described as opinionated so how hard could this be… Well oh my, I was wrong! This is not simple, it has taken me over a month to get out of my own head and find a topic. I read and researched so many articles that have been written on gear, hiking, camping, how to write a good blog, creating content, making your point, explaining it and wrapping it all up with a call to action, etc. that I created my own stress and pressure to write on something that was meant to be educational and fun. I had worked myself up to believing that I had create some earth shattering, inspirational, life changing blog to make my mark. Well that is not the case here and will not be in the future. Instead what you the reader will get from me is my perspective based on what I already know or have learned from trial and error. If I am wrong I expect you to call me out, I want to create that dialog and engage in conversation in a positive manner. If this is not your thing then don’t read it. I am here to write on my experiences as a first timer trying new things and adventuring. So here we are and let the journey begin.
The first topic will be an experience I recently had involving shelter from the sun. Shelter is not only important in a survival situation to protect from the elements but can be just as important on a weekend camping trip. Let me set the stage for you, the beginning of this month we took a trip to one of my favorite areas in California, Lone Pine. It is located in the Owens Valley, near the Alabama Hills below the Mt. Whitney portal. Colin (Mr. Kit Fox) was going to be attempting to summit Mt. Whitney with a friend while the dog and I stayed back at the Tuttle Creek Campground to be base camp which meant hanging out relaxing and doing some Kit Fox work at the campsite. We arrived later in the day so the first night was just me setting up the tent, getting the dog comfy and making dinner. It was a relaxing night and to my surprise I wasn’t terrified camping for the first time by myself…honestly, I think the dog played a major role.
Day 1 I got up early around 6:30 AM and the sun was already making its way, there were two smaller trees so I decided to set up my Yukon Outfitters Vista Series Printed Hammock. After setting up the hammock I feed the dog her breakfast of kibble then I made mine, blueberry oatmeal with a cup of hot coffee. The wind was blowing so the temperature didn’t seem so bad I decided to take a little nap under the shade of the trees in my hammock. Unfortunately the nap turned into a few hours and waking up to the sun blazing over me, the shade was no longer there. I didn’t think much of it, got up, drank water and replenished the dogs water as well then started making lunch and continued with the day.
Day 2 I got up about the same time and felt like I was on fire…yep you guessed it from the previous day I was burnt. Not only didn’t I secure or create a good shade structure on day 1, I forgot to bring and put on sunblock. So the first order of business this day was to create some shade while the sun was not blazing down on the campsite. I compiled all the materials at hand, (1) hammock (1) blanket and my spool tool that had a few feet of 550 cord on it. I took the hammock from the tree, removed the straps and created on long panel. I then took the small Matador blanket and unfolded that which created an additional smaller panel. Knowing I only had a little bit of cordage I started using the inner strands of the nylon to create additional longer lines by tying them together. I used the corner loop holes on both the hammock panel and other smaller blanket and tied down my line. I secured to the tree, and camp pole that was already there then used rocks to weight down and secure the other angles of the cord. I had successfully made a make shift shade structure over the picnic table. It worked and by the time I was done the dog and I had some relief from the sun. Now I know I could have climbed in the tent but it was already 92 with a breeze so that made for an uncomfortable oven, it was much cooler sitting under my shade structure with full breeze. The lessons learned on this trip where many. 1. Always have sunscreen that was a rookie move on my part. 2. Always bring a larger tarp, that would have saved time in setting up my make shift panels and covers a much larger surface area. 3. Always have additional cordage. Next trip I will be better prepared from the lesson that I am still feeling the pain of learning on this one. Hope you all enjoyed the first blog and until next time “Get the Fox Out There.”