Backpacking Flat Tarp Sleep System Field Test
I Never Learn....Backpack Shelter and Sleep System Redux, I am home from a field test of my new shelter and sleep system. I did a 12 mile hike in Nantahala National Forest, I know I said I was going to Pisgah National Forest but changed plans at the last minute. My starting total pack weight was 22.5 pounds, this is total carried weight including fishing gear, food, fuel and my empty water bottle with Sawyer Squeeze filter. I typically don't carry water because where I hike there are so many water sources it isn't necessary. This particular trail has over 30 stream crossings, everything from small branches to main creek crossings, so water is never an issue.
The start of the trip was cool, 58 degrees, and overcast. The trail head is at almost 5300 ft, nothing by western standards but pretty high for the east coast. When I got out of the truck in shorts and a t-shirt I was a little worried about my clothing choices, but after a few minutes on steep terrain I warmed right up. As you can see the actual start of the trail was a short road walk before we hit the real trail.
One of the very good things about this hike is that for the most part it is all down hill. This is a thru hike so we park our cars at the end of the trail and get a shuttle to the top. My cousin, Todd, was nice enough to shuttle us to the top.
On the first day we walked a little over 3 miles before we set up camp. This is predominately a fishing trip and Patrick and I were ready to get into some fish. I will say that the fishing was absolutely fantastic. This stream is all native southern strain brook trout and they are almost never shy about attacking a dry fly and this trip was no different.