No, really, you should. Hikes are fun!
As I mentioned in my Update post last month (holy cow! Where did May go?) I was talked into taking a long hike with the hubs and some of his friends from work. Originally we planned to go for 3 days and 2 nights on a hike-in-hike-out type trip, but when we evaluated what gear we had available, we decided 2 days and 1 night would be a better option for us. That way, we only had to carry one night’s worth of food and one day’s breakfast, and we could eat the other meals on the way into/out of the hike location. It also meant we didn’t have to carry as much in the way of toiletries or clothes.
Above you can see the clothing I packed for the 2-day adventure. There was a significant chance of rain, so I packed a full extra outfit and plenty of layers – no one wants to sit around at night in wet clothes! In the photo (from left to right) are a long-sleeved moisture-wicking 1/4 zip pullover, a short sleeve tech shirt, 2 pairs of gym shorts, 2 pairs of long running tights, 3 dry-fit Nike tanks, 2 sports bras, 3 pairs of cushy athletic socks, and some underwear (gotta have undies.) I folded all this and stashed it in the mesh wash bag to can see on the left. Not shown are my North Face fleece and Columbia rain shell (you can see the sleeve of my hot pink rain jacket below, though.) I found the Columbia rain jacket at Nordstrom Rack a few days before the hike and picked it up because it was super lightweight, vented, and looked like it would fit either under or over my fleece, if necessary. I’m so glad I bought this, because camping near a waterfall meant the air was damp, and I was glad to have a waterproof layer. On our way into the park, I wore another pair of running tights (in a cropped length), a dry-fit Nike tank, another 1/4 zip pullover, and my fleece. I’m glad I brought the extra tee and running tights, because when we made camp for the night I immediately took off anything that was wet from our creek-crossing adventures and then layered up in full-length running tights and my extra shirt!
Even though we weren’t packing as much, the trip still started out a bit frantically – the hubs said that he had a one-person tent stashed away along with a couple of large backpacks (old Army gear, specifically) but when we went to pack them, he couldn’t find the tent! We ended up being able to borrow one from our friends at the last minute, so it was all good, but we definitely need to put that on the list for next time! I ended up sharing a one-person tent with Abe, and the hubs slept under the stars. In the future, I think we’ll go out and purchase a 2 person tent (or maybe even a slightly larger one – Abe takes up just about as much space as I do at night!)
The trails we hiked were in the Seneca Rocks area of the Monongahela National Forest in West Virginia. It was super muddy the days we were there (a huge thunderstorm system had come through the area the day before) but we all just resigned ourselves to getting wet and wading through creeks and the scenery was awesome. There were tons of mini waterfalls and a few larger ones, too (one of which we camped by at night.) Unfortunately, all the water meant we had a hard time finding dry wood for a fire, so we were a bit colder than we would’ve liked at night and early the next morning.
We really enjoyed getting out and doing something active, so I’m sure we’ll go hiking again. There are a ton of different parks and trails around us, so there is plenty of opportunity. In fact, there’s also a short trail right near our house. It’s a pretty low-laying area near a creek, so it was too muddy to explore over the winter or spring, but it’s finally dried out a bit, and the Horrible Hound and I have started checking it out. It’s so nice to have something like this close by – I foresee a lot of trail runs in our future!
How about you, my lovely readers? Have you been up to anything active or outdoorsy lately? Any tips for taking your dog on extended camping trips?