Another perfect day in Dolly Sods Wilderness

Another perfect day in Dolly Sods Wilderness
Taken just off the Red Creek Trail/Blackbird Knob Trail Junction

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Fishin Trip with my Pa 2011

Had a very nice fishing trip with my Pa. The weather was kinda moody, but any time fishing with the best Pa ever is all good. We headed down to Stonecoal Lake in Lewis/Upshur Counties in WV (depends which end of the lake, which county you are in) with the plan to rent a cabin at Wisper Mountain Campground, but the place is so far out that we thought we might end up in Kentucky! So we turned around and figured out a plan B. Plan B was to sleep in the back of the truck at the Broken Wheel Campground on Skin Creek Road. Small, older, but decent place.

We caught a few fish, dodged a lot of rain drops and I actually can still cook! Critters seen: Tame, free-range rabbits at the campground, Momma whitetail deer, baby whitetail deer, Momma turkey and her babies, turkey vultures, crows, 2 beavers, a turtle and lots of dragonflies/damselflies. We had a thunderstorm surprise us Tuesday around noon, hated that. We packed up and headed home Wednesday morning. Nice trip. Stonecoal lake is a very pretty lake. It has a 10 horsepower outboard limit, so no speed boats/jetskis pissing you off. And the bonus is that there is no trash on the shoreline. If you like a peaceful and pretty fishing, sailboating, kayaking experience on a WV lake, then I recommend this one!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Field tryout of WBBB and Tarp Flyz

Well, I made it out this weekend to try out my new Warbonnet Blackbird 1.1 double hammock and the itty bitty Tarp Flyz. Conclusions: I like hammock hanging! I was comfortable and stayed warm using a Thermarest Ridgerest pad. It is pretty bulky, but does work. I slept pretty well.
The Tarp Flyz from Dutchware rock! They make hanging & adjusting a tarp very easy. It is pretty much a one-handed operation. If you use a tarp, you need these things. They are very tiny, about 1 inch by 3/4 inch. I think they are made of titanium. They do not have sharp points, that could tear a light-weight tarp or snag on stuff. I will try to put together a video on my next outing to demonstrate them.

I did not pick the best two trees to hang from as they were a bit too close together which made getting the right sag impossible. I decided to go with it anyway. I still slept well. I put the tarp over the hammock, just in case of rain before daylight and to block off any breezes. Using pads works, but they are very bulky to pack. I have decided to invest in an 3/4 length underquilt from (3-season phoenix rated to 15 degrees, 15.7 ounces, 50 x 45 inches). I will still have to use a short pad for my feet, but this should be way better. I will continue to use my Montbell UL spiral #3 sleeping bag as a top quilt for now; it worked well. I plan to use my hammock next weekend too. It does make finding places to camp much less problematic on holiday weekends, since I don't need a "perfect" spot.

Well, I sure hope everyone got out to experience one of the few nice weekends we have had for a while. I definitely had a very nice time hanging with a friend and then "hanging out" for the evening.

Oh, one last non-objective thought: I do not like the Coleman cilantro and lime rice and beans. It was easy to prepare, and would be enough for one person, but I personally did not like the flavor, since I do not consider heat to be a flavor (even though it was not that hot, there was really no other flavor). I only ate 3 or 4 spoonfuls, and then chucked it in the garbage can. Thank goodness for Clif Bars!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Dutch hooks and Dutch Flyz

I have just comleted a purchase at, for Dutch Hooks and Dutch Flyz. These itty bitty, Ultralight weight "tools" should make setting up a tarp a lot easier. They look to be ingenious gadgets. I will see about putting a review up when I have had a chance to use them. Just click the title above if you want to check out Dutch's site and check out his assortment of very useful stuff.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Warbonnet Blackbird Hammock

Well, I received my new hammock on Friday and the weather cleared enough today to set up my new hammock. The hammock is the Warbonnet Blackbird 1.1 double with the webbing suspension. The hammock was ordered on Monday and received on Friday. Very speedy!
It arrived in good condition. All seams are nice and even, no ravels, no loose threads. Everything that was to be included was received in good condition. Included stuff: webbing suspension, Bishop sack for storage shockcord guy outs for the hammock. Not included: Caribeaners (I plan to use Dutch clips), but used some stainless steel biners for test set up. Biners are not necessary for set up, but they make set up faster and easier.

The color is charcoal gray which will blend into the woods well. I plan on using my old Campmor 8x10 tarp for now. I seems to provide adequate coverage. I am still figuring out what insulation to use. For now, I am using some taped together pieces of a Gossamer Gear 1/4 inch Thinlight pad along with a Montbell UL short pad (35"). I will take a few extra insulation pieces the first trip or two until I get the hang of hanging :). It will be nice to have a "chair" to sit in while camping. It seemed very comfortable. The foot box is nice. I think this will be a nice summer adventure.
Price paid $130 + $10 for priority mail shipping
Video Review on my Youtube channel (Click the title above and you will be taken to the youtube page: i hope :). But just in case:

Thursday, March 31, 2011

Warbonnet Blackbird Hammock

Well, I have finally decided to purchase a hammock for backpacking. Have heard that you can't beat comfort. So, after much research and debate, I have decided to go with the Warbonnet Blackbird 1.1 double with the strap style suspension. I don't mind tying knots, but with the learning curve of hammock camping, I decided to keep the suspension simple. I will use my 8x10 silnylon Campmor tarp for now, but I hope to purchase a Cuben fiber tarp later.

I will put together a review on the tarp after I receive it and have a chance to set it up a few times.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Road Trip to Laurel Fork Wilderness in WV

I have never been to Laurel Fork Wilderness, so I decided to check the place out. It is a nice wilderness. Not a lot of loop hike possibilities, but what the heck, The campground is rather nice, but WAY out in the middle of nowheresville. I took another road out and eventually came to one of the roads up to Spruce Knob. The lake was still about 1/2 iced over, but folks were still trout fishing. I decided to head on up to the top, but decided that discretion is the better part of valor and turned around a ways from the top. The snow was still pretty deep but patchy. Since I had no one with me to push or to warn me of being too close to the edge of the road, I decided to turn around and backtrack out. On the backtrack, I had to stop for a Wood cock, known in these parts as a snipe. Very cool. All in all, I had a nice road trip.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

I made a few more stuff sacks out of spinnaker cloth. I also got my yogurt made. I do believe it turned out quite well! This will mean a few less Plastic containers in land fills. Yeah!

I need a hike!