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 Post subject: A Badlands Thanksgiving
PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:17 am 
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The Badlands or french fur trappers called it "les mauvais terres pour traverse" aka bad lands to travel through have been somewhere I wanted to visit for quite some time. Thanksgiving's 4 day weekend was a great opportunity to get out and visit this area. Primarily this was a photography trip so I do not have a lot of gear photos but I did get a chance to test some new gear and re-use old gear.

Weather Conditions
Temperatures were forecast to be pretty mild - 50s which was surprising but welcome. However I wanted to be prepared for the cold to come out of nowhere. We also knew we could expect strong winds off the grasslands that surround the Badlands.

Gear selection (of note, not exhaustive)
Sleeping/shelter:
Sea to summit Groundmat
Nanutuk 20f down quilt
Silk liner bag
Merino baselayers
Cosco down blanket
UK Army surplus Bivi Bag
USGI Poncho

Clothing:
High-loft fleece
Cotopaxi windshirt
UK Army surplus Wind Smock (Desert DPM)

Packs:
Osprey aether 70
Hillpeople gear Kitbag

Cooking
Titanium snowpeak
Titanium UL china made stove gas canister

Trip pictures/report
Image
My friend on the path. You can see the path is well trod. We didn't have fixed mileage goals and had arrived relatively close to sunset. Being photography trip we wanted to just hike in a bit and set up at a nice place for photography.

Image
Some of the formations. The larger ones are just scaled up of this.

Image
Hoof prints - the silt held foot prints from the last time it rained or was wet I believe. Most places we walked on this surface our weight was not enough to break and make such clear prints.

Image
Debating a campsite location from the trail.

Camp set up
I did not want to carry my tent, I'm trying to move towards a tarp centric system for weight reasons so I opted to use my old USGI poncho whilst I debate what actual tarp I want. The USGI poncho is too small for coverage for me so I paired it, as I have in the past here with my UK bivi bag (Sleeping Bag cover)

Image
I went with a modified 'cave' set up here. The wind was coming from behind so this would shield me and my friends tent and the terrain features helped me should the wind change later. The next morning intense wind would hit us and knock his tent loose. My shelter actually survived longer (we were packing down anyway). Wind at morning and night in such locations I've found to be the norm and it is something one should prepare for.

Image
Image
Some other angles of it staked out from behind.

Notes:
- As stated it's a bit small for me but I like this cave set up. During the night my friend said he felt wind and was disturbed, I felt nothing and had staked it out such there was not flapping/rattling. In the morning the wind did change direction and present a challenge. With a bigger tarp another design may be possible but for a USGI poncho this does give decent space and coverage + strength. I realize I need better tent pegs however and will be adding these to my shelter kit.

It was so warm I was too warm! The Nanutuck quilt is an excellent piece of equipment. It has a sewn in footbox and then is a nicely lofted quilt. You sleep directly on your mat and I wrap the quilt around me and tuck in. There is enough material it does not come off with movement. Sleeping in a fleece with a hood eliminates the sleeping bag hood some are used to. I didn't use my liner or the cosco down blanket.

Image
Sunset.

Food - instant mashed potato and packet tuna was perfect for this trip. There was/is no water here. Well no potable water. I carried in 3 litres which was more than adequate for this and I could have got by on two but why not have extra.

Other gear comments
My UK army surplus wind smock is simply excellent in this environment. No it isn't UL or fancy it's a cotton poly blend but it has a ton of pockets that are useful. It's long enough to cover your privates in the wind. It's wind proof and water resistant with a good hood. Great around the camp/low exertion.

The Cotopaxi windshirt was a new purchase and I wore it when we hiked out. I like it, simple easy to compress and carry. Does what you would expect and has been a good purchase for someone like me who generates a lot of body heat when moving.

Boots - I'm still wearing the desert boots Blackdog sent me years ago. I hope I honour his memory by taking them on new adventures. Lowa desert boots. Simply excellent.

Thanks for reading.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 11:20 am 
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Great Write up of what looks to be a great trip.

Glad to hear the UK MOD Gear holds up so well.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 12:28 pm 
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Quote:
Boots - I'm still wearing the desert boots Blackdog sent me years ago. I hope I honour his memory by taking them on new adventures


That's pretty damm fine !

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:13 pm 
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Thanks for the write-up and pictures!

I have just started experimenting with the 9' Kelty Noah's Tarp and so far like it a lot. There are lighter tarps out there but I got this on Woot for $27 so that I could try out tarp options.

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PostPosted: Tue Nov 28, 2017 2:19 pm 
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teotwaki wrote:
Thanks for the write-up and pictures!

I have just started experimenting with the 9' Kelty Noah's Tarp and so far like it a lot. There are lighter tarps out there but I got this on Woot for $27 so that I could try out tarp options.

I found this video pretty fun to get some ideas from when I was starting out


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PostPosted: Wed Nov 29, 2017 9:29 pm 
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I went from poncho liner (me+) to tent (wife) to small camp (family) and now back to poncho line when on my own. There is a lot to be said for some small light weight shelter in a dry climate.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:59 am 
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Great pictorial. Thanks.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 7:21 pm 
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I have a 6x8 ish poncho and a 10x10 tarp you can borrow if you can't decide what size you need, also I can always just sew a few extra feet of nylon on your GI poncho till we find your perfect size.

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PostPosted: Thu Nov 30, 2017 8:58 pm 
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Nice outing brother!

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