Tuesday, 10 April 2018

The Old Man Is Snoring

Now, I'm aware I live on the West Coast of Canada.  I'm aware I live in the Pacific North We(s)t.  I'm aware I live in a tropical rainforest.....area.  I'm aware it is only (at best) very early Spring.  I *know* all these things.  And yet, I was still surprised by the rain Jason and I had camping.

I think it's in part because we spent a good amount of time checking forecasts (I know, they're only educated "guesses") and actually decided on an entirely different trip based on said forecasts, so we weren't really expecting much rain (if any) until the last afternoon of our trip.  (By when, in theory, we'd be packed up and ready to go.)

First day was clear, which meant it was cold.  As in.. you can see your breath cold.  Which, again, it was end of March, so....  not Spring/Summer weather, but I was still a little surprised by the amount of chill.  We had the fire going all day, and layers on, so we did ok for cold, until it got to night and bedtime.  We let the fire burn down and then all of a sudden I was freezing.  Like, really effing cold.  You could ask Jason, I went from ok in front of a low fire, to "I have to get into the tent and sleeping bag RIGHT NOW" shivering and teeth chattering cold.

So yeah, first night was cold.  And yeah, my sleeping bag is so not rated for cold.  I remember thinking that during Burning Man 2015, but not bothering to do anything about it, because, well, it's not really a priority.  My bed, after all, is warm, and Burning Man is only once a year.  (I haven't been camping outside of my trip down there for ages I realized!)

Next day was overcast, so a bit warmer, but basically dry, until we were in the tent... at which point it started to rain.  We kind of laughed at our excellent timing and trusted the rain fly and gear and went to sleep.

We woke up to rain.  And it rained or drizzled all of our third day.  Like, non stop precipitation.  (Not in the forecast, just saying!)  We did fine keeping the fire going, but that was when I was reminded that my rain jacket is... not water proof.  And that it was really not doing much of a job of being even water resistant.  Sigh.  So, yeah, I got kind of miserable.  I was damp.  Not soaked, but damp.  And therefore not warm.

And there was the frustration of trying to dry off by the fire, without getting overly hot in one spot (ie it was easy to dry off my still pretty waterproof pant later, but not my top)  So I found myself doing a lot of contorting trying to dry off an arm or my back or my hood (during the lighter rain) while watching the rest of me get super soaked.  Sigh.  Jason suggested I head into the tent and this felt like giving up, but at a certain point I didn't care anymore.  I didn't want to be this wet and grumpy on this trip, so I headed in and stripped off my wet gear.  Learned then that pretty much all of my layers were damp (ie not super wet, but not at all dry) and that missing that top layer of water proofing had really not set me up for feeling good or warm.

Jason then took my gear, put it in the car and turned the heat on full.  I had never heard of this before, and it TOTALLY felt like cheating to me, but I lay in my sleeping bag and warmed up and a while later, putting on dry gear felt like heaven.  So, first thing's first.. I need better waterproof gear if I'm camping out this way again.

We made it through til evening, with a drive into town to fill up on firewood and to find some comfort (I tried Fireball for the first time, it helps!) and then took ourselves to bed when the night brought even more rain.

There's so much more detail to the "it rained" story, but Jason says I "did really well" and shouldn't be hard on myself right now, so I'll leave it at "it rained and I got wet and frustrated."  (And miserable)

So yeah, we got rain... camping in late Winter, on the West Coast.  Who knew?  (winky emoticon here)

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