Mt. Lemmon Overnight

Sarah, Burren, and I headed up Mt. Lemmon last Saturday to try out some of our new backpacking gear. It was our first official backpacking trip together. Other camping trips have been managed from the trunk of our car. This time we'd carry our gear in backpacks to a remote campsite, far from any other campers, woohoo!

Thank you for the birthday gift cards to REI!!! I used them to buy a blinking light for Burren's collar (she is otherwise invisible at night), chair conversions for our sleeping pads, and some small packable pillows. All added greatly to our comfort in the outdoors.

We found an excellent campsite on a high ridge with awesome views of the sunset and Tucson's twinkling lights at night. The ridge had the extra benefit of being heavily wooded which kept the wind to a minimum. At our elevation around 7,600 ft., we estimated how cold the air would become overnight. The overnight temperatures in Tucson were in the mid 40's during the week, so we guessed that Mt. Lemmon would be at least 10 degrees colder.

Well... that night my thermometer read 34 degrees, and that reading was inside the tent. Outside was in the high twenties. You Northeasterners are saying "that's not so bad!" Yeah, well, we've adjusted to the warm desert and it felt very cold as we watched the sun go down. We headed directly into our sleeping bags after sunset. The bags are rated to 20 degrees, and while we started out cold, those bags warmed right up.

Calling Burren into the tent with us was a bit tricky. She was racing around in the woods following every smell and noise. I finally had to get back outside, chase her down, and drag her in. For all of the unnecessary gear we had, I neglected to bring a blanket for Burren. I foolishly assumed that the dog would be warm enough in her own fur curled up between our bags. For a few hours she shifted back and forth between Sarah and me. One shift too many and I woke up and realized that Burren was shivering and shaking all over. Naturally, feeling guilty, I gave her some of my covers and she eventually warmed up and fell asleep.

Doggie sleeping bag for next time?


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