Friday, June 10, 2011

Mt. Garfield, Here I Come! (...41)

Tonight I'm making food and packing up for a hike in the White Mountains!  We're heading toward the mountains in the early morning and parking at about 1500 feet elevation.  We'll hike to about 4500 feet elevation to reach the Garfield Ridge Campfire to spend the night.  It's a moderate hike and my first overnight hike, except for 1 I did at age 12 in a summer camp.

Hiking destination: Garfield Ridge Campsite
This is gourmet hiking food:  banana bread, bacon, hardboiled eggs, peanuts, cashews, meatballs, bananas.  YUM-EE!

I have no hiking gear or even the basic knowledge of what to bring.  Thankfully my trusty hiking companion does.  He's got the gear and the wisdom, I've got the fear and the questions.  For one thing, what do we bring?  Luckily there's an easy answer to this on many hiking sites. What I read says if you're going for most of a day or more, you need to bring "The 10 Essentials of Hiking."  These are them:
  1. Navigation
  2. Sun protection
  3. Insulation
  4. Illumination
  5. First aid supplies
  6. Fire
  7. Repair kit and tools
  8. Nutrition (extra food)
  9. Hydration (extra water)
  10. Emergency shelter
For another thing, how do I fight a bear?  In the White Mountains there's wildlife, like white-tailed deer, moose, foxes, and black bears.  I'd love to see the first three.  Bears, I prefer not to encounter.  I'd like to see a black bear, from the shelter of an armored car, but I'm not interested in shaking hands or making eye contact.  WikiHow has 7 suggestions on how to fight a bear.  Basically, stay calm, make noise, act "big" by waving your arms, and take cover.  The Discovery Channel website has 2 suggestions.  The first one I can't help but laugh about:  "If the bear sees you, you should start talking to the bear in a calm, firm voice."  Hhmmm...I'm stickin' to WikiHow's 1st suggestion: "Avoid it."

With my two main questions answered, I'm now just hoping we don't get rained on.  Sleeping in a tent, on a mountain, in the rain, with a temperature of 51F could get chilly.  This forecast is a little unfortunate, but I'm so excited to hike and eat on the go with my hiking partner that I don't care about the weather.  I'm thrilled to head up the mountain and spend the night under the stars! 

Weather forecast for June 10, 2011

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