Friday, October 20, 2006

Old school camping

I ventured up in the attic this evening to bring down my backpacking gear. Turned into a fun evening, remembering past trips. Sadly, most of this stuff hasn't been out of the storage crates in 10 years.

I resisted moving the crates to the attic until just a couple of years ago, because storing my gear up there seemed almost equivalent to putting it in a yard sale. I was resigned to the fact that once it was all stowed nicely overhead, it would be a while before it came out again. At least when it was on our closet floor, and then later in the garage, near the washing machine, I looked at the crates often. But up in the attic, the gear was out of the way and out of mind.

I found lots of goodies. My compass, my grandpa's cookset, a group cookset that Pops gave me, a couple of different stoves and about a half dozen flashlights. All left over from different adventures.

In another crate I found the last of my bike-camping gear. Stuff that hasn't been used since I was 22 years old. Packs and bike tubes and repair kits from a time when I decided to move to my summer job by mountain bike. A time when I was about 50 pounds lighter and able to ride 50 miles a day, sleep on the ground and STILL ride the next day.

Tonight I am trying to burn off the remaining decade old gas from my camping stove. I was surprised that it lit without any effort, even though I know the gas bottle was last filled in the spring of 1995. I want to make sure that it is filled with new fuel for this next trip.

Kind of like the way seeing all of this stuff energizes me and makes me want to run for the hills with 40 pounds on my back.


Rick said...

The first year I went camping, my packe weighed in at just over 75 pounds. There was no running for the hills that year.

I learned a lesson from it and most of the unnessary stuff no longer makes the journey.

Mike said...

I am shooting for 25 pounds on this trip. Combines with the extra 25 pounds I am carrying, it will match the last time I backpacked.

Dave Harvey said...

I gotta agree. The first time a carried a rucksack to go camping, I was 12 and I could hardly stand in it. But I did learn to hike. Keeping it light is an art form I have never mastered.