Sunday, October 20, 2013

Nights 289 - 292: the End of the Zephyr?

Hi and welcome back!

On Friday night it was really nice out, so I decided to bivouac in one of the 20 degree sleeping bags.  When I went to sleep there was dew on the grass, so the sleeping bag got a little wet on the outside, and it was cold enough overnight that the dew turned to frost before morning.  It was the first time we've had frost since probably April.

Too Much Sun
Today it was really windy, and at one point the only stake in the ground was the one at the back of the fly, where it had already ripped a little bit.  Because I had stuff in the tent and it was blowing and pivoting around that spot, it was completely ripped.

So I temporarily retired the Alps Mountaineering Zephyr 3 AL today.  I think it lasted about 230 nights (there were nights of bad weather that I slept in the Sierra Designs Polaris and warm nights that I took it down to bivouac).  Like I said before, I think it was all the UV light that thinned out the fly and made it not very waterproof and prone to ripping.

Bivvy Shelter
After I took the tent down, I took my dad's SOL bivvy, a short pole from my Alps tent, some duct tape, a few stakes, and guy lines and made a minimalist shelter.

First I duct taped the pole to the front of the bivvy and made duct tape loops on all four corners of it.  Then I staked out the back two corners and tied the guy lines to the front two corners.  When I staked the guy lines out it made it stand up.  

The bivvy is seven feet long, but since there's a peak to it, it shortened to about six feet.  The pole is in the front, so it would be good for someone less than about five and a half feet tall.  I tried it out, and it seemed like it would protect me from a drizzle but not much more.  The only thing is the sides were off the ground, so it wouldn't do anything against the wind.  I'll probably try sleeping under it on Friday, because it's supposed to rain for most of this week.
Jumping Spiders?

I had a rain jacket stowed between my tent and fly to patch leaks if I needed to, and I pulled it out when I took the tent down.  My dad and I noticed that there were a couple really thick spider webs on it with jumping spiders inside of them!   At least, we think they were jumping spiders, because I found a few of these webs (without spiders), and I've seen jumping spiders around the same time.

We left the jacket outside on the patio in case the spiders want to come out of it.  That way they're not in the house, which my mom would not like.

Thanks for reading!

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