The forecast the night before this excursion said it would be cloudy with no rain. But it rained. Instead of cancelling though, we decided to do it anyway. The reason for going on these trips isn't for a leisurely stroll but for ADVENTURE! So rain shouldn't stop us from doing that.
It was so foggy on the hill that we couldn't even see the second forest from just a couple of hundred metres away. But we knew where we were going and that it would be better amongst the trees.
Instead of stopping where we have done before, we decided to go deeper into the woods and find a new camp. We knew we could find something better with more flat ground. We wanted the new camp to be even more out of the way than the last. So we went as far into woods as we could go.
After getting soaked, we could a perfect place to stop. It was flat and covered in grass with an embankment on one side. The embankment was good as it mean people won't just pass through the camp randomly. They would go around this area and hopefully miss it completely.
Due to the rain, we took our time to collect kindling and wood from the area and storing it under plastic bags to keep it as dry as possible. Dead wood from the floor was too soaked to be usable so we focused on finding dead standing trees and taking a bit from each of them.
I then made a pile of wood shavings and we split the dry logs into smaller pieces for kindling. We used char cloth and a ferro rod to get the fire going.
Char cloth and a ferro rod has become my go-to for lighting a fire. It only takes one strike to get an ember.
The fire we made was one of the smallest we have ever made. This is because we usually make fires too big for just cooking some lunch.
Once the fire was going nicely, we cooked our food including sausages. Pouring out the spaghetti was a three man job though. The pot was put too low on the fire so even the handle was too hot to touch.
Putting out the fire took a bit of time. The fact that everything in the area was already wet helped.
When we left the camp, we bee-lined for the next geocache on the loop we wanted to complete. This was a mistake. We should have gone back to the trail and then on to the cache location. We ended up walking through thick bushes on stinging nettles and having to climb over fallen trees. We even ended up on some private property and had to leave quickly.
We eventually made it and found the next cache. Then we followed the trail and found the rest of them. It was incredibly muddy and I was grateful for my high-top waterproof shoes.
The loop brought us right back to our car. I had to leave my perfect hiking stick I found though as it didn't fit in the car. I will need to remember where I hid it for next time.
Have a better way of handling cooking pots
We thought we had improved on the last time we had this problem. We found good sticks to hook the pot securely and could tip the pot to pour. But it was still a nightmare. We struggled all the same to get the food out the pot without burning ourselves.
The pot was too low on the fire. This made the entire pot, including the handle, too hot to touch. We should hang the pot higher next time.
Get more seating
The small mat I bring along ended up being used for pots, bowls and food. Be brought one tripod seat but it just sank into the wet mud.
I don't think bringing more seats would be practical. Instead, I'll need to invest in a large tarp or something similar. Then that can be layed down for plenty of people to sit.
My favourite means of seating would be some large logs with a flat section carved into it. But we didn't see anything suitable near the camp.
Don't wear shorts
I got stung hundreds of times...
Get an axe
Chopping wood with my large knife worked for the small bits but it would be so much easier to get a tool made for the job. My knife will last longer too.
Looking back on the things we learned from previous trips, we have come a long way. There are still many improvements to make and things to learn though.