I went on my solo two-day camping trip last weekend. It was so great.
That pink tube on top is the pepper spray. I'm glad I had it. I also brought a flashlight, which I never used.
It was a 4.6-mile hike to my campsite. The distance was just right, with the weight of my pack.
I decided to eat primarily soup, so it can all be cooked in my single pot. I experimented with these three varieties.
1. The ready-made soup was shockingly easy. Two minutes from opening the can to eating the warmed-up soup.
A commenter on my earlier post said it was better to bring 16 oz of food (soup in this case) instead of 16 oz of chair. I found this to be true.
2. The dehydrated vegetable pieces in the bean chili turned out to be disgusting.
When I went to chuck the rest into the bushes, I poked my leg into a plant that made my right shin break out in allergic hives.
3. The gumbo was okay. I cooked it with potatoes and lentils. It was nice to eat real food instead of dehydrated or super-processed foods.
One wonderful thing is that I became back in touch with my body, the way I was during survival school. I could keenly feel indigestion, hunger, weariness.
The weather report said lows were around 53 degrees, but I froze at night. I woke up every hour from the cold. (This part of the trip was not so great.) I could not sleep at all between 2:30am and 4:30am due to the cold.
The second day, I decided the reason for the cold was insufficient insulation between me and the ground. I spent an hour gathering pine needles to make into a bed.
I was so proud of myself. On the fourth trip to gather pine needles, I poked my unharmed leg into the allergic plant covering most of my campsite, and got hives on my left shin. The allergic reaction was so painful that I thought I had been stung by a bee.
This is the horrid death-plant that caused me allergic hives and throbbing pain every time it touched my skin.
I made a pine needle bed. I realize it looks a bit like a grave in the photo. But it was not scary in real life. I put my tent on top of it, and my blanket in my tent. I was excited about my pine needle bed. I took a nap and it was comfortable and warm. Then night fell, and ... I froze again. I woke up every 90 minutes, which is a slight improvement over every hour but was still ghastly.
As soon as I came home, I bought a frou-frou expensive thermarest camping pad with fancy insulation.
Note the circle of allergic-death-plant around my whole sleeping area.
It was nice being off the grid, sans email. Peaceful. Without the sounds of the city, my own inner voice becomes much more clear.