July 4th at Pickwick

For the 4th of July this year the wife and I and a few other friends headed to the lake for the weekend. This was a great chance for us to take some of our new camping gear out, such as our new family tent (the REI Kingdom 4) and our new Coleman stove, as well as enjoy being outdoors and enjoying the company of our friends!

We enjoyed the weekend in luxury. We had the fans blowing the warm air around and a cold beer in our hand. There were stakes on the grill one night and beef and chicken kabobs the next. And while we were not right on the water, we were close enough to feel like we were. And of course we had good friends and the outdoors…

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Like I said we were able to use our new tent some more. I still very much enjoy the new tent, this weekend I really wished I had dished out the extra measly $30 and went with the 6 person tent rather than the 4. Not so much for height reasons as much as for floor space. We bought a queen size Coleman air mattress to use rather than our (smaller) backpacking air pads. The queen size mattress fit easily into the tent, but it will not fit in one side, or room. The pad extended out about a foot past the middle wall. So, I will not be able to use this pad when all 4 of us are using the tent. This is a bummer, but I had read about this when looking into buying the tent. The great thing though is that if I still want to swap it I can, cause it’s from REI.

The stove of course worked well. I am really glad I got this stove. I foresee many a times using it on car camping trips so I feel that it was well worth the money (not that it was really expensive).

And of course I have already mentioned our queen size Coleman air mattress. It slept excellent, and my pillows stayed on it just like as if I were in my own bed. Also, it is not one of the super thick mattresses, so blowing it up is easy and quick, and it will deflate in about 5 minutes (or less). And it was only $21 at Wal-Mart which made it even better.

The last thing I want to write about is an Ozark Trails 9 x 13 screen house. This was an impulse buy on my way out, and we were happy to have it. We didn’t have much trouble with mosquitoes (actually none, surprisingly). But the screen house provided much welcomed shade.

So, we got to try out new gear, hang out with good friends, eat some great grilled food, watch some fireworks, and just be outdoors. It was a great 4th!

About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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