Monday, May 24, 2010

24: Haukåsen

Another great overnighter - this time one of my bestest friends, Kari, joined me on a trip to Haukåsen, a hill close to the lake Nøklevann. Not a long hike at all, just maybe an hour to get to where we wanted to camp, and  then the next day an hour or two back via a scenic route in glorius sunshine. The aim of this trip was purely to have a good time, not to cover lots of miles.

We started the hike under the hammock tarp in the parking lot. ? Yes, we really did. A freak downpour stopped us in our tracks and we tried to keep dry under a tree, but soon needed more protection. Of course the rain stopped as soon as I had the tarp up, but that was part of the plan. I like this alternative version of Murphy's law. It always works.

After putting the tarp back into the snakeskins (more about those later), we proceeded  along a well traveled forest road until we got to the bottom of the hill and started a short, but strenous climb. I had planned to go back to the spot I mentioned in an earlier post, but the GPS waypoint was in my old Garmin back home, and I couldn't quite locate it from pure memory, so we trodded along until we found a nice spot for Kari's tent (MSR Zoid 2 for the gear heads out there) and my hammock rig. Kari quickly got up her tent while I tried different tree combinations for the hammock.

Once I settled on a spot I found out that I had almost no soil to put the pegs into, so I ended up moving it 90 degrees so that I could use some stones and a log to attach guylines to.

Then I of course spent way too much time adjusting everything (never get into hammocking if you don't like to tinker with guylines and stuff), until Kari came over midly suggesting we got some food in us. Like last time I had brought a disposable grill, and we grilled some steaks and sausages, retreating to bags/quilts full, happy and content. Oh, and we enjoyed some of that Mintuu again - we're both starting to like it quite a bit. I blaim Hendrik for the (nice) addiction.

During the night the temperature fell to 9C/48F and we got some rain and wind, but everything worked fine. I got up to adjust the way my hammock hung a couple of times. I later found out that I had set it up with the foot end a little lower than the head end, a typical beginner mistake. The trick is to put the foot end a few inches higher than the head end to keep you from slowly sliding during the night. It became one of those nights where you don't feel that you've slept, only dosing off at times, and I feared the dreaded post-trip-headache and nausesa that I often get after a night camping, but incredibly I felt quite refreshed after all. I attribute this to the hammock. Once I get more attuned to it I am convinced I will get very high quality sleep - a definite goal of mine ;).

I got some condensation on the tarp during the night, but it quickly dried in the morning sun and breeze. Kari didn't get any condensation either, probably because she got good airflow throught the main vent of her tent which was facing the wind. Our location was good too, high above the lake. Camping down by the lake would surely have been a condensation feast.

The morning after we enjoyed breakfast in the sun, firing up the Bushbuddy to make water for tea. Lots of dry wood was available from nearby dead trees, so we quickly got the BB going. The sun was warming our backs and we were having a really good time, soaking in the sun and smells of the forest.

(Kari enjoying some morning coffee. The cup is the one I scored from the mystery box - thanks Hendrik :)

The Bushbuddy may not be the fastest stove around and blackens pots etc., but it is really fun to operate, and light in itself and in not needing to carry fuel. Kari promptly renamed it the "Bushbaby" when she saw how much I like it. I just need to find a natural pot grabber of sorts. Ended up using some heather.

Remember the "snakeskins" I mentioned earlier?. They're clever silnylon tubes that the tarp goes into. Packing up after breakfast went pretty quick needing only to slide each sleeve along the tarp until they met in the middle. It was then only matter of folding the long tube and lashing it with its own ridgeline. Nice stuff.

Another nice gadget for speeding up both setup and takedown is the Figure-9 rope tensioner. Knots of course works just as well, and for no extra weight, but still, I like the convenience of the Figure-9s.

The trip ended with a nice trek along some nice paths, carrying the trash out in a biobag. I think Hendrik would be proud of us :).

Ok, time to get geeky - so, how did the gear work out this time? I left home carrying 22-24 pounds because of 2 litres of water, grill, barbecue food, candy etc. Arriving at home it weighed about 6.5 kgs or 13 pounds, not too bad considering I carried a full hammock rig, plus what I needed to cook and sleep comfortably.

Some of the stuff I carried:

Gossamer Gear Mariposa Plus pack (750g) : very comfortable! I like this a lot. Will definitely use this on my 1-week trip with my brother this summer (carrying tent etc)

Bushbuddy wood stove (171g): great stove, easy to get going, burns very cleanly. Fits perfectly in the SP900

SP900 with Jason Klass lid (130g): my dedicated wood burning pot, especially since it is pretty blackened up by now

Petzl e+lite headlamp (45g) : does everything I need to at a killer weight. I only needed the lowest setting for the camp chores

MH Monkey Man ThermalPro fleece (567g) : very warm and comfortable. I really like to use this during breaks and in camp.

Warbonnet Blackbird hammock with suspension (936g)

OES Maccat Deluxe Spinnaker tarp with guylines, Figure-8s and snakeskins (414g)

Te-wa underquilt (379g)

Jacks R Better Sierra Sniveller top quilt (698g): 2.5 inches of loft from 800+ fill down. Love it so far.

Montane Jetstream windshirt (97g) : came in handy when it rained at the beginning of the trip

Stuff I carried, but didn't use:

Long handled titanium spork (9g)
Mora knife (51g)
Featherlite pants (118g)

That's it for now. Take care!


  1. Nice report Thomas, looks like a very nice area to visit. Good to see you managed to pitch the tarp without using pegs. You can save some more weight next trip by leaving them at home and using rocks and trees in future!

    I'm going to have to get myself a tarp...

  2. Joe: let me know if you want to borrow my solo tarp

  3. Nice to see the SP cup being used =)

    You had very nice weather and the camping spot looks great! Maybe I need to try your hammock when I come over and see if I find it comfortable enough - as I tried it ten years ago in Nicaragua I didn't close an eye (was more due to the "neighbours" which were talking all night).

  4. Drop some more weight by using whoopie slings, and if you must, switch out your caribiner for a C.A.M.P Nano....

  5. Never tried a hammock, but I am a fidgety sleeper so I suspect I'd end up either on the floor, or mummified...