Our First Overnight Experience

We decided to needed to do a practice our outdoor camping skills away from the comforts of home. We needed to go somewhere where we couldn’t crawl into a real bed at 5 a.m. because we were still tired. We needed to see if we remembered to pack all we needed to be able to eat a hot meal away from the safety net of the kitchen microwave.

With our packs loaded up, we began our first multi-day backpacking experience!

The biggest concern I had was that it was snowing when we left home! But the local weatherman assured us that it wouldn’t last. I crossed my fingers.

(My apologies for the somewhat blurry photos. I didn’t know there was a clear piece of plastic over the lens on my phone until after I got home and saw the pics.)

Androscoggin RiverThe Mighty Androscoggin River. A few weeks earlier we had walked out on the frozen river.

11054440_869932363076937_2993762014385685771_n

11057339_869932623076911_9095212950225309027_nWoot! No snow! It turned into a beautiful day to be out in the woods.

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3173110_origWe almost saw a deer. Later in the day we DID see a deer!

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Earl said, “Do you think this is a beaver dam?”

1167118_origWe turned around and saw this.

Yup. That was probably a beaver dam!

Funny things happen in the woods!

4535355_origWhen possible, you want to be close to a water source, but not too close. We camped a little ways upstream from this brook. It was a great water source. Although it looked clear and refreshing, we still used our trusty water filter!

We’d hiked for about six miles when the trail crossed the stream above. We decided it was a good place to stop to set up camp. We found a spot that looked fairly level and fumbled with setting up the tarp and tent. We blew up our air mattresses, pulled out our sleeping quilt so the down could fluff up, and settled down to make dinner.

3641999_origA watched pot will boil. Eventually. Yummy mac ‘n cheese for dinner.
After dinner we realized we hadn’t thought about end-of-day entertainment. We didn’t have books to read or cards to play. What did we do? We went for a walk!At the top of a hill we stopped to check out a cairn. It seemed out of place in these woods. When we turned to continue walking, Earl spotted a deer at the bottom of the hill. We were able to enjoy watching for a few minutes before it took off running.

We returned to camp just before the sun went down. We were tired so we crawled into the tent and settled on our comfortable air mattresses. Except…

The ground that we thought was flat enough really was not. Our mattresses kept sliding to the bottom of the tent. Lesson learned. Pay more attention to the slant of the ground before you pitch your tent.

The next morning we packed up and headed for home.

8706758_origGoodbye campsite. Thanks for being our home for the night!

Stealth camping or Leave No Trace camping means that once you leave the campsite, no one would know that you ad been there. Here’s what our site looked like when we left in the morning. How’d we do?

 

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