I'm busy prepping for my solo, fastpacking trip coming up very shortly. I've spent the last few months researching ultralight gear and spending my tax refund on new toys and thought it would be a good idea to test everything before leaving home to make sure it all works. So on Saturday afternoon, my buddy Mike and myself ran out to a campsite at Lake Minnewanka which is close to home. Mike's been collecting some fastpacking gear over the last year and was keen to give it a go, so we snagged the last tent site and set ourselves up; Mike in his hammock and me in my shiny, new Contrail tent courtesy of Henry Shires from Tarptent. Weighing in at only 24 ozs, it's a gem! Once we set up our home for the night, we headed up Alymer Lookout which has stunning views over the valley. This was a good way to work up an appetite for dinner and the perfect opportunity to try out our homemade stoves (using an old cat food tin!) We had boiling water in no time and were soon munching down on our dehydrated meals feeling quite proud of ourselves. After hunkering down for the night, we were soon greeted by huge winds followed by thunder, lightening and torrential rain that lasted the whole night. Perfect conditions to test all the gear and I'm happy to say that everything went well. I had a little bit of water pooling in my tent which was my own fault as I hadn't staked it out very well due to the gnarly tent site we were on, but otherwise everything worked really well. Our GoLite Jam2 packs were awesome to run with and even stayed dry during the downpour which was a bonus. I think we both learned a lot from the test run and it's given me a chance to tweak my packing list. Plus it was huge fun!
Mike setting up his hammock.
The morning after the storm .... time for a nice, hot cuppa!
The food storage area where you hang your packs/food from a pulley system. Very Blair Witch!