Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The Way We Used To

View from Peggy Lake

I love camping. I love getting up in the mountains, having everything I need on my back. Feeling part of something so beautiful, so permanent and still so temporary.

But, I also love my new double wall, 30 ounce Big Agnes tent, my 10 ounce Sierra Design rain jacket, my 3 ounce MSR Pocket Rocket stove, and my thermarest.

In other words, I like being spoiled while I'm in the middle of nowhere. Maybe not spoiled in the 'in-hotel spa' sort of way, but spoiled in the 'dry and warm or at least will dry out quickly' sort of way.

That may also help explain why I have 3 tents, 3 backpacks, 3 systems of water purification, 4 rain jackets (oh, no, I think that's because I lived in Seattle).

With a multitude of outdoors sports stores and even more brands of equipment to choose from we are truly spoiled in a way never before known.

Here in Wyoming, we're a little closer to those days before gortex, some of the most authoritative writing on the wilderness here hasn't changed in a very long time. So one of the most helpful books for unofficial trails is the Field Book: The Bighorn Range.

Originally copyrighted in 1960, the version I have is from 1977. Some things haven't changed, like their advice on how to get where you want in the Bighorns. But others, well, take a look at the camping list.

Camping List

On the left side you'll see evidence of life before the internet (you have to write people to get information on actual paper!) and on the right side, surprisingly optional equipment includes maps (well, I suppose if you don't have GoogleEarth!).

It makes me want to hug my synthetic fabrics (comfortable, quick drying AND light).

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