Monday, November 28, 2016

Camping Nights - One More Year!

In March of 2011 I set the goal to camp a total of 365 nights by the time I turn 40.  (see the post HERE)  Well, I'm a little more than a year away from when I'll be 40, and I thought I'd look to see where I'm at.

If you'll look at the camping stats on the left side of the blog, I've got the following:
That means I only have 11 more days to go!  (For reference, when I set the goal I had only 259 nights, so I've come a long ways)

So I only need 11 more nights in the next year to make my goal!

Updated Hammock Camping

One of the leaders has gotten into making hammocks lately.  He made a few that he took up to High Adventure this last summer and let the boys use and abuse to see how well they held up.  They worked great!  The boys all wanted to make one, so they spent a couple weeks worth of activities learning how and making their own hammocks!  It was great!
They all learned how to cut fabric and sew fabric!  It was a fun project for them because it resulted in something they can use for the next campouts!

I wasn't able to make it to the sewing party, so I didn't get a chance to make a hammock for myself.  But shortly after they finished, the leader that started it all found plans online that he then modified to a hammock with netting over the top, and a ridgeline, and pockets and everything!  It was great!  He showed my son and I how to make our own hammocks like that.  It took us about 10 hours to get it totally done, but it turned out great!
My Hammock with my son's hammock behind - showing the zipper side, and the netting
 The really neat part of these hammocks is that the bottom of the hammock is double layer, with an opening so you can slip in a sleeping pad between the two layers.  Then it insulates the bottom side of you while you sleep.  Without a pad below you, you wouldn't stay warm even in 40 degree weather.  But with the pad, I was able to sleep comfortably in 34°F weather with a 3" foam pad.  I tried the next time with a 1/2" blue pad, and a truck windshield reflector.  It got down to 19 degrees that night, and though I was cold (mostly my feet since the nature of the hammock puts your feet up and the blood drains out of them somewhat), I survived.
Looking from the end shows how wide it is when it has a sleeping pad stuffed in

Monday, October 24, 2016

Lumberjack Campout Oct 2016

We have a few people in our neighborhood that use a wood burning stove to heat their home all winter.  A few years ago we decided to do a "Lumberjack" Campout and go cut wood to haul back and give to these people to help them get through the winter.  We get a wood cutting permit and go up to the same place each year because there's tons of wood ready to cut, and the road leading up to it is terrible, so nobody else goes up there.

This year was no different.  We spent about 6 hours with the adults cutting up the logs with chainsaws, and the boys and some adults hauling the wood back to the trucks and trailers.  This year we had enough boys that were interested in, and strong enough to chop the wood, so we were able to chop about 90% of the wood we harvested!

It's a lot of work!  We all work hard, and really get worn out, but the boys love the work, and they love that we drive down into town and go to a recreation center to play Wally Ball (volleyball in a racquetball court), and then swim for a couple hours before driving back up to camp and spending the night.

Even though it's a very hard working campout, it's one of our scout's favorite camps!  Partly because they get to chop wood, and partly because it is service and we are able to bless others with the wood we harvest.

I think another part of it is that it's a lot of work, and we as males crave some hard work once in a while.  There's a sense of accomplishment that comes when you work hard for a day to accomplish a task, and you finish the day totally worn out, sweaty, sore, and tired.  When take the time to look back at what you've been able to do, you feel like you've achieved something worthwhile.  You've made your mark.  You've stretched yourself and found yourself up to the task.

Boys need to learn to work hard.  They don't learn that from video games, they learn that from going out and working hard alongside adults that work hard.  They'll probably be surprised to see that they enjoy working hard too.