My Dirt Time The Adventures of Tom Sciacca

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Inside my hooch

My Dirt Time Here's the inside of my hooch. Nothing fancy, but very comfortable. As I mentioned earlier, I love camping in the open where you can see the outdoors and the sky. it is so peaceful and makes the trip for me. Another great advantage of this kind of open air shelter is that you can stand up and change your clothes easily while still out of the elements. I not only have a camp sleeping pad under my sleeping bag, but I also have one of the thicker survival blankets between the ground and the pad. When I go to bed I put my other survival blanket on top of me. Between the two of them and my zero degree sleeping bag, I have never been cold. Needless to say, two of the thicker survival blankets are on my winter camping equipment list. Not only are they very useful, but they are also pretty light.

A couple months ago my buddy Mark and I hiked around Tully NY and spent the night on top of a local mountain. The temps only dropped into the thirties because winter hadnít hit yet. So I tried a couple new things. One was the Hennessy Expedition Asymmetrical Hammock. I also wanted to pack as light as possible so rather than packing a sleeping bag and tent, I just packed the hammock, a bivy sack and two survival blankets. While I was warm all night, I forgot that the best way to sleep in a hammock is on your back and Iím not a back sleeper. That combined with the noise of the survival blankets (they sound like foil being crinkled) and my constant shifting from not sleeping like I normally do, kept me up all night. Iíll have to add the hammock to my winter camping equipment in warmer weather.

I have an idea that I want to try on my next winter camping trip. I want to get that aluminum duct tape thatís used to install heating ducts. If I use the duct tape to seal the two survival blankets together itíll make another bag to hold in my heat and not only a cover on the top and bottom. That should increase my warmth even more. Now as I sleep, periodically my feet will be uncovered by the survival blanket and this idea should solve that problem.

Another great use for the thicker survival blankets is man's best friend. This inset pic is of my awesome little (not so little anymore) 7 year old chocolate lab, Cocoa. Not a terribly original name for a chocolate lab, but the kids picked it out. On the trip I took a couple months ago, Cocoa came with us and did a great job of hiking about three miles up and down the mountain the first day. At night, I used one of my survival blankets and made a lean to shelter for Cocoa. She was a little cold by the morning, but she was ok.

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