So, two posts ago was on my health and how I feel at times like my body is deteriorating. So what was my solution? Go on a rock climbing adventure with some guys in their late 40's and early 50's. Now THAT is the answer right!? Well, it sure was fun and my body held up just fine. (If you click on the last picture you can see me in my blue shirt scaling the cliff)
I have never been rock climbing before. The closest I have ever come was repelling in the military and then your standard rock walls here and there at a college or mega gym.
Anyhow, in the past year I have started teaching basic survival classes to groups of 5-20 people. What better environment than rock climbing? I wasn't teaching a thing on this one. This expedition was a learning experience for me from some very experienced people.. I have so much yet to learn.
We went to a camp site and struck out for climbing. There was a bit of repelling and then a lot of scaling cliff faces. I was very thankful we could start out with a smaller cliff. I must admit, I was terrified right up until I got off the ground. Then it was just me and the cliff and trust that rope! What an exhilarating experience. Definitely going again in the spring.
The first picture I was trying out a new light, cheap, camping shelter. It is an 8' x 10' blue tarp with a glued on survival blanket to reflect the fire heat. I slept in this thing and it was raining all night and got down to 33 degrees! What a good testing ground. I DID have a sleeping bag that I slept on top of for a cushion. I didn't need to get inside of it until about 2am when I ran out of wood for the fire. We couldn't bring enough in to the campsite. But the end result is that my experiment worked and my new shelter will be in my camp pack from now on. No heavy tents. Add a mosquito net and it is a backpacker dream. No rope or string required. Uses tension of tent stakes to keep everything in place. If you care to look at the design in full, go to http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pneD0wu8O3w which is where I learned to make this setup.