American Bushman

"If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write things worth reading or do things worth writing." —Benjamin Franklin

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Sleeping Out

Last night Jake, Laura, and I slept out on the screened-in porch for our first official "camp-out" of 2008.

The forecast called for rain and snow with temperatures in the low 30s and wind.

We put down the tarp and wool blanket I'm using in my Versa-Shelter, covered it with ground pads, laid the kids' sleeping bags (Wiggy's Superlights,) and covered each bag with another wool blanket. The kids chose their own pillows and accessories, I gave them each a lightstick, and Jake had a bit of a snack before bed to help him crank up his metabolism a bit before tucking in.

I slept down at their feet in front of the door. I had a space emergency blanket, Wiggy's poncho liner, and ground pad for my insulation from the decking and a Wiggy's Ultima Thule for my bag. I found myself overheating in the bag early on despite wearing short sleeves--not surprising as it's a -20 degree bag and the temperature was around 36 degrees.

Jake was the first to abandon after just 30 minutes or so. He got so excited about sleeping out that he couldn't relax and he was keeping his sister up. He was waving around the lightsticks and it looked like the lightsaber battles from the Star Wars movies.

Once he was gone the only sounds you could hear were the rain, the frogs, and the occasional truck on the highway. We did hear a pack of coyotes howling at one point but they were quite a way off. Laura drifted off to a heavy sleep quickly.

At around 1am she got up, adjusted her wool blanket, decided that her feet were too cold, and packed it in. I got up and walked her into the house and saw her off to bed. Then I headed back out to finish my night "out."

By this time the temperature was around 33 degrees and the rain had been blowing through the screen door as a fine, cold mist but I was still plenty comfortable in my bag. I could have moved up to where the kids had been sleeping but it didn't seem worth the effort.

I got up around 7am and the temperature is on the rise again. We were at 36 degrees when I came into the house for a cup of coffee (yeah, I'm back on the java train) and looks like it's going to get up into the 40s again today.

All in all it was a very enjoyable night out. Laura knows that she's made it through the coldest part of the night so getting her back out should be fairly easy. Jake just needs to get more comfortable with the idea.

Thanks for reading,



At 8:51 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

dont know you but im very impressed with the family involvement not only are you super full of outdoor knowledge you appear to understand that without family life matters naut

At 9:39 AM, Blogger American Bushman said...

Thanks for your kind words.


At 6:50 PM, Blogger Mungo said...

An inspiring post - I think it's time that I christen my new backyard shed with a camp-out.



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