Thursday, February 28, 2013

Nights 57 and 58

Hi and welcome back!

On Tuesday night when I went to bed, in the middle of my sleeping bag there was a small damp spot that was probably from water coming through the seam in the tent floor so I tried to avoid it. I woke up in the middle of the night and the spot had grown and gotten the fleece that I was sleeping in soaked. So I took it off, put a t-shirt on, and put a waterproof jacket over what at that point was a tiny puddle. Thankfully I slept comfortably for the rest of the night.

Today my dad left to hike about 3 minutes before me and I didn't see him again until he was descending and I was going up. When we bumped into each other he told me that he got up in a record time of 9 minutes and 38 seconds. He then decided to go up the last bit with me and I ended up having a pretty good time of 13 minutes.

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Stay Tuned...

Hi and welcome back!

Last night was another wet Tuesday.  I'm on my way to soccer right now, but I'll give you the full story tomorrow.

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Night 56

Hi and welcome back!

Today when I got home from school I was looking at the comments from last night's post and I saw that  Ed Viesturs had commented! I couldn't believe my eyes because for the past year I have looked at him almost like a god. Ed Viesturs is the first and so far only American to climb all of the fourteen 8,000 meter peaks in the world without supplemental oxygen. If you would like to find out some more about Ed Viesturs click here.

The Eastern Sky Early this Morning

I checked the stats for this blog today and I saw that 5 times the normal amount of people and people from 4 new countries looked at it which was surprising.

When I went out to the tent last evening it was fairly warm (high thirties) but when I woke up it was a lot colder (low twenties).

Overnight there were at least 4 or 5 owls screeching to each other, but thankfully they only kept me up for about 5 minutes unlike the 20 minutes a few days ago.

While my dad and I were hiking today I was surprised because the ground that used to be all mud was solid ground probably from the temperature dropping so quickly.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 25, 2013

Night 55

Hi and welcome back!

Unfortunately I do not have a hike to tell you about. This morning when I woke up in the tent I felt sick so I stayed home from school and really just read all day.

Since I read a lot of outdoorsy books, I decided to make a list of some of them for you:

Within Reach by Mark Pfetzer - a teenager climbs in the Himalayas

Tracker by Gary Paulsen - a boy tracks a doe for two days

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen - a kid survives by himself for three months in northern Canada after a plane crash

Eiger Dreams by Jon Krakauer - a selection of climbing stories

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer - a story about the overcommercialization of Mount Everest

Everest by Gordon Korman - a trilogy about a bunch of teenagers trying to be the youngest person to climb Mount Everest

No Shortcuts to the Top by Ed Viesturs - a man tries to climb the 14 highest mountains in the world.

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Night 54

Hi and welcome back!

The Valley We Live in

When I went out to the tent last night everything was dry but when I woke up this morning the sleeping bag and foam pad that were beneath me were both soaked. About two hours ago I brought both of the sleeping bags inside even though only the 20 degree bag was wet.

LRC on the Hill

Today my dad and I went on very muddy hike. When we got back I saw that the inner half of my pants  were covered in mud. I assumed that my mom would yell at me for getting them muddy but I guess she didn't notice but she did yell at my dad because Maisy was covered in mud.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Night 53

Hi and welcome back!

It was a warmer night than usual last night (low thirties). I was originally not going to sleep in a sleeping bag and just sleep with two baselayers on my legs and a t-shirt with a down jacket because it was so warm, but after I thought about it a little I decided to sleep in what I normally sleep in with a sleeping bag on top of me.

Overnight it started to rain a little bit but thankfully the only things that got wet were my glove liners, unlike Tuesday night when almost everything end up getting wet and freezing.

Water Droplets Collecting on a Branch

At certain parts of the trail today there were puddles that were hard to avoid because there were so many of them, but once you passed them there were no more puddles for about 100 feet.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Nights 51 and 52

Hi and welcome back!

On Wednesday evening we got the ice off of the tent because it was warmer than in the morning when we had first noticed the ice. The main reason that my dad and I didn't take the ice off of the tent in the morning was because we were afraid that we would rip the fly.

This morning at about 1:00am my dad and I heard two owls calling to each other even though they were about half of a mile apart. One of the owls was northeast of the tent and the other was southwest. Dad noticed them and went straight back to sleep but they kept me up for about 20 minutes until they stopped.

When I was going inside from the tent today I saw that most of the sky was orange from the spectacular  sunrise.   

My dad and I decided not to hike this morning but we forgot that my mom and sister were going to be gone for most of the evening and that we would have to hike with my 3 year old brother (who's name I can't tell you). Instead of going all of the way up the hill today we just wandered around the field out back, because my brother was running ahead of us, and we didn't want him to get lost in the woods.

LRC and his brother J

We led him over to check out the pond, which was solid ice. I jumped onto it and I didn't even feel any give under my feet.  

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Night 50!

Early Morning in the Woods
Hi and welcome back!

Last night when I went out to the tent I put my jacket in a gear loft directly above my pillow. After I unzipped the gear loft I saw a stream of water running down onto my pillow and sleeping bag.

All night I tried to avoid the dripping water, but eventually my pillow and 20 degree bag got so wet that I was forced to move to the -20 degree sleeping bag. When my dad came out and woke me up to hike I saw that the sleeping bag and pillow that I wasn't using were frozen.

After that I stood up to get my pants on and I hit my head on the roof of the tent, which had about an inch of ice on the outside.

My dad and I didn't have our best time today, mainly because of the snow that we got yesterday.  It sounded almost like styrofoam under our feet, because it was so cold overnight (well below freezing).  Even though it was only about an inch, it was hard to walk because there was ice, too.

Tonight is kind of short, and I won't be able to post tomorrow (it's ski night again), but I'll have an epic post on Friday!

Thanks for reading!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Night 49

The tent after school
Hi and welcome back!

Last night felt very warm compared to Sunday night. It was in the low twenties which on just about any other night would have felt sort of  chilly.

While my dad, Maisy, and I were hiking this morning we saw a skunk. At first I thought that it was just a rock until my dad yelled that it was a skunk when he got close to it. At first it just stood there about five yards away from us until Maisy started barking at it and then it ran away. My dad and I were amazed and glad that the skunk had not sprayed us.

Today at school I looked out the window and saw that it was snowing heavily and I wondered if my tent would hold up. A couple minutes later I remembered how it held up during winter storm Nemo and I was no longer worried. As soon as I got home from school I ran out to the tent and wasn't surprised to see it keeping up it's normal shape.

Thanks for reading!

Monday, February 18, 2013

Nights 47 and 48

Hi and welcome back!

First I would like to welcome the viewers from China and Belarus!

I'm sorry that I didn't post last night but I didn't get home from my friends house until about 11:00.

Not too much happened in the tent on Saturday night, and nothing notable happened yesterday morning while hiking.

Maisy at the Spillway on Sunday
 Last night was one of the colder nights lately. The ambient temperature was in the teens, and with the wind (which I was thankfully out of) it was single digits. I fell asleep almost as soon as I closed my eyes because it was so late.  I didn't wake up until about 7:45 when my dad woke me up.

It was hard to get up and hike today because I was still tired but once I got up and put on a jacket and tied my hiking boots I felt much better. My dad and I actually ended up having a very good time up the hill of 13 minutes and 30 seconds.

Just about an hour and a half ago my dad and I pitched the the tent at a different spot of the yard because our spot before wasn't level so every morning I woke up at the bottom of the sleeping bag.

Thanks for reading!

P.S. The answer to the quiz was the first picture.  Which did you guess?

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Night 46

Hi and welcome back!

When I went out to the tent last night it was warm (high thirties) and drizzling, but over night it dropped below freezing. It was hard to get up this morning, because I was so comfortable under the Marmot sleeping bag. On the outside of the tent there was a bit of ice that must have been from the rain and below freezing temperatures.

This morning my dad and I didn't think that we had quite enough time to hike before he took my sister to gymnastics so we decided to hike later in the day. At about 11:00 Maisy wanted to hike so she and I did the same hike that we do every day with dad.

Our time up was about 13 minutes and I didn't feel like going home yet so we started to explore the ridge on top of the mountain. Before I knew it I was lost and all I had in my backpack was a few pieces of jerky, a spare jacket, a coil of rope, and a carabiner. It took 30 minutes of climbing trees to get a better view of where I thought the trail was and being pulled around by Maisy but eventually I found the trail.

On my second hike of the day with my dad I purposely went off of the trail (dad and Maisy stayed on the trail) to try to find the fastest way to get home because it was quarter after 5 and it was time to eat dinner. I found a stream that I assumed would be the quickest route down so I walked in it because it was only about two inches deep and there were no thorns in it unlike the land next to it.

There was a rock under the water that I wish I would have seen because I slipped on it and fell into the water. My whole left side was soaked so when I got onto land I took off my baselayer shirt and fleece  and put on a synthetic jacket, which thankfully warmed me up quickly.

I have a quiz for you today!  We took these pictures of the trees at the pond.  One of them is actually a picture of the reflection turned upside down.  Can you tell which is which?  Leave your guess in the comments and I'll give you the answer tomorrow.

Thanks for reading!


Friday, February 15, 2013

Nights 44 and 45

Hi and welcome back!

I'm sorry that I didn't post yesterday but we went skiing right after school again and got home pretty late.

On Wednesday night it was very warm (mid thirties) and I had a hard time sleeping. The main reasons that I couldn't sleep were the snow flurries and the warmer weather than we've had lately.   Even though it was barely snowing it was still loud against the walls of the tent. I also had a had time sleeping because there was a fairly loud owl in a tree near my tent.

The Eastern Sky Friday Morning

Last night was again a chillier night. I was surprised by how quickly it can go from really warm weather to colder weather again. I have a feeling that tonight is going to again be warmer.

Thanks for reading!  

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Night 43

6:15 a.m.

Hi, I'm glad you're still reading!

It was pretty chilly last night, but nothing like the cold we had a few weeks ago.

I took these two pictures about 15 minutes apart while we were hiking today.  The first was on the way up the hill.  The second was on the way down.
6:30 a.m.

When I was looking at them I was amazed how much
brighter it got in just a few minutes!

I had soccer until 8:00 tonight, and I need to get to bed, but I promise
to write more tomorrow.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Night 42

Hi and welcome back!

Overnight it was very warm for a winter night (around 35 degrees). I slept on top of a 20 degree bag and under the -20 degree bag and just like that I woke up in the middle of the night drenched in sweat. I guess I should have payed attention to the weather before I headed out to the tent.

Jerky in the Woods
Last night my dad said that he was going to sleep in the tent with me. I was looking forward to him coming out but I woke up at about 2:00 alone. So this morning I asked him why he didn't come out last night and he claimed to have fallen asleep inside.  I didn't buy it.

This morning while hiking I noticed that about 75% of the snow had melted because of the very warm and wet weather we have been having lately.

Thanks for reading!  

Monday, February 11, 2013

Night 41

Hi again and thanks for helping me pass 2,000 page views!

This morning I woke up at about 3:30 because there was there was a lot of freezing rain hitting the tent. It kept me up for a good 15 minutes.

I expected my dad to come outside this morning to tell me to get ready to hike, but he never came out. I assumed it was about 6:00, so I climbed out of the tent, and a sheet of ice slid off of the fly onto my head!  Once I stood up I saw that the whole tent was covered by a thin sheet of ice.

When I got inside I found out that my dad didn't come outside because we had a two hour delay for school, so he thought that he could sleep in.

Other than some light rain and fog, not much happened while we hiked today.  Once we got back I put my backpack on a low chair, and when I wasn't paying attention Maisy got in it and ate close to half of our beef jerky!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Night 40

Hi, and welcome back!

Last night I went out to the tent around 9:30.  That's kind of early for me on a weekend, but I was tired from Friday night, when I went to bed later than usual.  Last night I started out in my parents' bed watching a movie, and I had to go out before I accidentally fell asleep inside.

I fell asleep almost instantly because I was already tired, so not much happened last night.  The temperatures were in the high teens/low 20s, so dad and I were just as comfortable and warm as the previous night--maybe even warmer.

This morning we got up around 7:15 and were hiking by 7:35.  Although there was just as much snow as the day before, I didn't feel the need to wear crampons, because most of the snow was packed down and stable.

Sunrise on Sunday
Due to the wind, the snow on the hill had little ridges in it, almost as if it had been sculpted.  And the wind blowing the snow around had filled in our footprints, even though we didn't get any new snow.

When my dad and I time ourselves, we start in our backyard and stop when we reach the tree that we say roughly marks the top of the hill.  We usually hit the tree with our walking sticks to mark the top.  We're not sure how far it is, but we're pretty sure it's about a mile.

Topping Out

My dad and I have agreed that whenever we make the top in under 16 minutes, we will reward ourselves with a piece of beef jerky (right now we're working through the bag that the Smiths gave us). This morning we reached the top in just under 15 minutes, so I gave dad two little pieces and had two big ones myself.  I even gave a piece to Maisy!

Speaking of Maisy, we took some video of her this morning.  She's like this every hike--tail up, nose down, running around sniffing.

I hope you have a great week and keep reading!


Saturday, February 9, 2013

Night 39

Good morning!  First, I would like to welcome the new viewers from India.

Last night my dad and I hiked later than usual (at about 9:00). It was not too windy while we were hiking, but there was a lot of heavy and wet snow falling. It was about 25-30 degrees so it was not too cold.

After Nemo

The wind started to pick up speed last night about 10:30. It was hard to get out to the tent fall asleep because of the wind. Considering it was so windy I was surprised that it was the most comfortable night yet. I had a fleece lined sleeping bag beneath me and as usual the Marmot sleeping bag on top of me. The Polaris didn't even sag, even though the wind sounded like a drum against the tent.

When I woke up this morning I figured that we had gotten about 5 inches of snow, which is a lot for where I live.  A little bit had blown in under the door, and our boots were frozen to the ground in the vestibule.

The field behind our house while hiking
My mom got a text last night that one of my soccer teammates slept out in the storm, too!  CB, leave a comment and let me know if you stayed warm all night!

Friday, February 8, 2013

Nights 37 and 38 - The Tent Comes Down...

Hello!  Sorry that I didn't post last night to tell you about Wednesday (night 37).  My mom, my dad, my sister, and I went skiing right after school and I needed to go straight to the tent when I got home.

This afternoon, sadly, I took down my tent...but I did it to put up a different one!

Ready for the Storm
I set up my dad's Sierra Designs Polaris tent, which is a 4-season tent.  The Alps Mountaineering tent had a wide top and fewer poles, which makes it lighter, but also less sturdy.  The Polaris is heavier, but unlike the Alps, it has more ripstop nylon vs. mesh.  It's shape is also made to shed snow.  That makes it less prone to collapse.

I am glad we have it, because tonight into tomorrow we are supposed to get high winds and 6 inches of snow. I was afraid the other tent wouldn't hold up under the weight.

Before I forget, I would like to welcome the Indonesian viewers and say thank you to the Smiths for my most recent care package!

I just bought and tried out my Black Diamond Contact Strap crampons in the snow that we got last weekend.  Crampons are metal spikes that you attach to your boots.  Normally you attach them to mountaineering boots (which are almost like ski boots), because they are less flexible and better for walking on ice and packed snow.

I bought these particular crampons because of their great reviews. Someone that reviewed them said that they were able to wear them with foam Crocs, which told me that I could wear them with my flexible hiking boots.

Me Strapping on my Crampons

My only complaint with them is the strap that attaches them to my boots is long, but that can be fixed easily. When I tried these crampons out I found out that they were perfect for slippery hikes in the snow because they are flexible enough to be comfortable yet firm enough so they don't pop off.

This morning when we woke up, dad and I noticed that there was frost on the outside of the Marmot sleeping bag that we were under, and we wondered how the heck it got there. Then dad realized that it was from the moisture (sweat) under the sleeping bag.  The bag moved it to the outside to keep us dry, where it froze. I was blown away by how well the big bag moved moisture!

Right now we're about to embark on a snowy hike.  I'll get to wear my crampons again!  Later, I will take the sleeping bags out to the Polaris and see how it holds up (I think it should hold up pretty well).

Thanks for reading!

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Night 36

Hi and welcome back!

Not much happened in the tent last night. But this morning while hiking my dad and I had a record time.  We got started late because he slept in, but once I got him going we got to the top in 12:56 (23:59 round trip).

Sorry there isn't much to write about today, but I promise I will make up for it on tomorrow's post when I will tell you about my new crampons!

Thanks for understanding!

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Night 35

Hi and welcome back!

Last night my dad was supposed to come out to the tent, but he didn't! I woke up at about 2:00 a.m. and I was wondering where the heck dad was. His response to why he didn't come out to the tent surprised me, because he didn't even attempt to make up any excuse!

Out in the tent last night it was about 20 degrees. Even though it wasn't too cold out, I was shivering in my sleep. That was probably because I had unzipped sleeping bags above and below me, so there was a large draft.

When I hiked today I tried out the new Black Diamond trekking poles that I recently purchased at our local R.E.I. garage sale. Considering how light and thin the trekking poles are, I was surprised by how tough they were.  I've wanted trekking poles for awhile (dad and I usually use hiking sticks that we made), but these were a great deal, so I talked dad into buying them.  They're great!

On our hike today my dad and I recorded some woodpeckers and took pictures of some of their holes.  It was amazing how many holes we saw after we started looking for them. Unfortunately, the file that we recorded wouldn't upload.

If you like my blog you will probably like this blog by Ron Rabenold. He had a nice post about my blog the other day, and I noticed that that a lot of people who view his blog also visited mine.  Thanks, Ron!

Thanks for reading everybody!

Monday, February 4, 2013

Night 34

Hi and welcome back!

Not much happened out in the tent last night, but here are some things about the tent that you might like to hear about. 

Some people have asked about the things I keep in the tent.  I have: sleeping bags (obviously), my hiking boots, my headlamp, books, and some granola bars. I don't keep a watch or clock with me during the week, and there are no video games or heaters whatsoever!!!

Right now I am reading Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling during the school week, and during the weekends I've been reading Eiger Dreams by Jon Krakauer.

Feel free to leave me a comment and tell me what books you like!

Thanks for reading!

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Night 33

Hi and welcome back!

Right after our last post yesterday, C-Man and I both fell asleep. We both slept very well.

This morning we were woken up by a scratching sound against the tent, so we scrambled out of our bags and saw that it was my dog Maisy, who had apparently run away. We quickly let her in, because she was shivering, and then we put her in a sleeping bag.  She dried off quickly and then started to run around the tent, and she drove us crazy so we took her into the house.

Catching the sunrise

Before sunrise, C-Man, my dad, and I hiked up on the hill. We hiked in the snow that had just fallen, which caused us to keep slipping and falling.

During our hike we went to the pond, and almost all of the ice had melted. From the pond we saw an amazing sunrise. One of the things that made the sunrise so amazing was the light reflecting off of the snow.

Thanks for reading!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Food in the Tent!

L.R.C.: I know you shouldn't have food in a tent, but I think all the bears are hibernating, and we're hungry.

C-Man: We just had some chocolate brownie Clif bars and they were awesome.

Night 32 - Live from the tent with C-Man!

Hi and welcome back!

C-Man and L.R.C. Heading up the Hill
L.R.C.: Last night (Friday) was yet another cold night.  Although it was not quite cold enough for it, I tried out the -20 degree bag, and it worked perfectly.  I decided not to hike this morning, so we (C-Man, dad, Maisy, and I) just hiked about an hour ago.  C-Man and I are in the tent right now--it's about 15 degrees with low winds and some snow flurries.

C-Man: It is nice and warm in the tent.  Last summer was the last time I slept in a tent, and it was a LOT warmer than it is tonight--probably by about 50 degrees.  There's a little bit of snow in the tent. I think it blew in while we were opening and closing the doors.

We're going to post this now and try to send a picture for our next post.

Thanks for reading!

Friday, February 1, 2013

Night 31


Hi and welcome back!  This is the start of month number two for the kid in the tent.

Today I received a Marmot -20 Col MemBrain sleeping bag from one of my relatives (it is only on loan--I hate to think what a bag like this costs). I am planning on sleeping in it tonight so I can see just how warm it really is.

This evening this blog passed over 1,000 page views. I would like to thank everyone who reads this blog  for helping me accomplish that!

Last night it dropped to about 20 degrees. There was wind, but it wasn't nearly as high as Wednesday night. Thankfully, last night I stayed dry, unlike Wednesday when there was a little leak in the roof of the tent. Everything got soaked except for my clothes.  Of course, I was lying on a wet sleeping bag, so my clothes and I ended up getting wet anyway.

Don't forget about C-Man, our guest blogger tomorrow. We will be posting live updates from the tent!

Thanks for reading!