Author Topic: Perfecting technique and routine.  (Read 271 times)

gunwharfman

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Perfecting technique and routine.
« on: 13:24:12, 11/10/20 »
I slept out in my garden last night. I have an Alpkit 3.5 rectangular tarp and an Alpkit Hunker bivvy and I know that if I get into winter camping I need to be able to get everything sorted, erected and ready for use in the dark. I don't plan to sort myself out in the dark but knowing me I'm sure it will happen to me sometime.

My Hunker works fine, my quilt works fine and I can get in and out of both easily, but the weakness of my set up is my tarp, I just can't find that 'special' configuration which 'works' in the way that I want it too. I think to achieve that I would have to buy the bigger Alpkit model, but I know that I won't, I'll just live with the limitations of what I've got. If I do buy another tarp its going to be something thats a different design, just to cover my head and torso, hopefully free standing and curved to avoid a walking pole getting in my way. I'm looking for it!

One of my items did work well. I now have a 3 x 4 down blanket made from an old sleeping bag made by my wifes friend. I pre-rolled it up and when I got into my quilt and hunker I just stuffed the roll alongside me inside the Hunker. At 3.00am I woke up feeling cold so just unrolled the down blanket over my quilt, I quickly became warm again and within a few minutes I was in dreamland again. I'm pleased about this because I don't want to lay out more money on a warmer quilt.

I also tried out two other items. I wore one of my Brynge 'string vests' and I believe it complimented my quilt very well, it helped with the sliderbility of getting in and out easily and I didn't feel the need to put any other top on. Also, a few months ago I bought a pair of 'tights,' they are just very light tubes of an elasticated warm material, which secure at the ankles and at the top of my thighs, (like in the film Fame) they seemed to work well and I think it now means that I don't have to bother carrying any type of sleeping leggings any more.

But its also more than all of this, its also having my rucksack arranged so that when I stop everything I need is to hand. Fumbling around in the dark, even with head torch on and then finding the item that I want is right in the bottom of my bag can be so irritating. I didn't get that right last night, I'll practise all of this again on another night.

If I can't get it right I can always go back to using a tent.

fernman

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Re: Perfecting technique and routine.
« Reply #1 on: 15:01:31, 11/10/20 »
But its also more than all of this, its also having my rucksack arranged so that when I stop everything I need is to hand. Fumbling around in the dark, even with head torch on and then finding the item that I want is right in the bottom of my bag can be so irritating. I didn't get that right last night, I'll practise all of this again on another night.

I've done it some many times I can do it with my eyes shut - which is just what it is like in the middle of the night with no moon! Everything gets put in the same place every time, so I know just where to reach out and find a particular thing, while I know what they all are by feel alone. When I'm setting up I'm repeating in my head, That goes there, and that goes there.

But how much do you want in the night? My handkerchief nearby is all I want, and possibly water to sip, while it's comforting to know where my little keyring torch is. I've given up looking to see what the time is on my backlit watch because I can't read  it without my glasses and they'll be misted up as well as being safely away from getting damaged. The occasions when I've needed to add extra garments in the night have been rare, it's usually the other way round, removing baselayers and socks.

gunwharfman

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Re: Perfecting technique and routine.
« Reply #2 on: 09:52:12, 12/10/20 »
You have identified another matter which is important to me, what should be immediately to hand in the night. For my part, I always have my phone and cards on me in a small pouch around my neck so tapping the screen makes it so easy to check the time. I need my boots to hand so they are in my tent with me behind my head. My head torch is just between my boots and my head, another item I don't want to be fumbling and looking for in the dark. I always stuff my morning socks in my boots, nothing worse I find when I'm almost awake in the morning and then can't find them. My lightweight shoes are just alongside me, on my normal sleeping side, in case I have to get out of my tent the night. Water is just outside my inner tent and my Uriwell is to hand on the other side of me but outside of the inner area. Marmot were clever enough to provide me with a 12" zip opening so I can use both external sides of the tent for stuff that doesn't need to be inside. And last but not least I always like to have my two inner zips in a certain place so that when I need to unzip in the dark. I know exactly where they are. I work on the principle that I can grab everything I may need or want before I even think about moving my body.

I've always wanted a well organised rucksack but have never really achieved it but I will keep trying.

A hankerchief? As Jimmy Durante (a USA Comedian) once said "A wipe of the cuff is enough!"

richardh1905

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Re: Perfecting technique and routine.
« Reply #3 on: 11:21:18, 12/10/20 »
Practice makes perfect, as they say. I've often camped on my back garden for the practice as well as for the fun of it.


Regarding organising my rucksack - all of my bedding and camping related stuff goes in a 40 litre dry bag at the bottom of my rucksack, alongside the tent. Food in a separate plastic bag, water bottles and spare clothes / waterproofs on top. Small items in the top pocket. Works for me.
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain

forgotmyoldpassword

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Re: Perfecting technique and routine.
« Reply #4 on: 11:46:17, 12/10/20 »
Regarding well organised rucksack - always believed the best way of doing it was the ultra simple 'keep your rarely used items at the bottom'.  Bag and sleep clothing at the bottom in a dry bag, tent stuck down one side of the inner, inflatable sleeping pad above the sleeping bag (not at the bottom so it doesn't get holed), then cook set above that and a series of small dry bags above that - spare clothing, electronics, hygiene stuff and food.   Always use the same colour bag for the same thing so it's easy to reach for.   It certainly isn't rocket science but I do remember it being quite stressful when I first started camping and everything was everywhere, particularly when things were getting wet.  Now it's far easier to just find a spot on the middle of a fellside and get on with it, at the end of the day it's meant to be a hobby and finding a certain simplicity in setting up camp with a view and some little luxuries instead of worrying about where everything will likely mean a better night of sleep anyway.


Or you could just do the April & Beefy route of bringing enough wine to send you into a drink-addled reverie right before you fall asleep.  O0 [size=78%] [/size]

richardh1905

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Re: Perfecting technique and routine.
« Reply #5 on: 13:20:32, 12/10/20 »
...Or you could just do the April & Beefy route of bringing enough wine to send you into a drink-addled reverie right before you fall asleep.  O0 

Fall unconscious, don't you mean?  :D


Much to my surprise, taking alcohol on a wild camp has lost its appeal to me; perhaps  I would feel differently if I were in company.
WildAboutWalking - Join me on my walks through the wilder parts of Britain