So per usual it’s been awhile since we updated this, but we have been out a few times since the last time you heard from us in February. It was a tough winter around here; long and cold, and we’re paying for it now with how atrocious the roads are around here. Our latest mini-trip however was in the middle of February, where the cold and snow could’t stop us from having a good time. Scott, Frank, and I ventured once again to Mount Toby to visit our previous campsite, a place where the three of us hadn’t visited together as a group in over two years.
We caught a break with the weather, as the mercury climbed above freezing for the first time in quite some time. There was however a fair amount of snow on the ground, which only made the trip that much more challenging and interesting. Having camped in the snow previously we were well-versed in the challenges it would present us, but this being only a day trip we didn’t need nearly as much gear with us. Our objective was to go out, have a good hike, and try out some of our new gear, with the ultimate goal of individually making fire. It would prove a tough task.
After a roughly two hour scenic hike, we arrived at our old campground. Along the way we all grabbed some dry wood, bark, and miscellaneous tinder to try and make our fires with. The three of us chose our areas at our old campsite and got to it.
Frank chose the most difficult path with his fire and attempted to start it using the fire bow method. To Frank’s credit, amazingly he was almost able to get one going despite the tough conditions we were in, but it was not to be, and he ended up going a more conventional route after at least an hour of giving the fire bow a go. Scott was able to get his fire going quite quickly, but as we learned shortly after it was roaring he had used a propellant (which will go unnamed). I (T.J.) do have to say though that if it hadn’t been for Scott’s fire I probably would have lost multiple toes, as my boots were soaked through and I was feeling it.
That leaves me (T.J.), and I’m not proud to say it but I had zero success getting a fire going. I chose to use the magnesium shaving and striker method, and much to my chagrin I could not get any of my tinder to catch. I was able to get the magnesium to catch, but it seems the tinder I gathered just wasn’t dry enough to get anything to start. Disappointing, but hopefully I will be able to perfect the craft very soon.
After a few hours up at our campground and some much needed drying off, we packed up our things and hiked our way back out. The hike out only took about 45 minutes and was pretty easy as we were able to use our imprints from our hike up. We did have videos and a few photos from the trip, but rather unfortunately my (T.J.) netbook hard drive crashed and the materials were lost. A bummer for sure, but plenty of opportunities for more. More will be coming in the form of a three day camping trip this upcoming Memorial Day weekend, when the three of us plus a few significant others once again descend on Mount Toby for a great weekend of camping and hiking. Stay tuned for that post coming (hopefully) soon.