So… I’m Heather aka Oompa Loompa, Shorty, Midget, Little One, Teeny Bopper… basically anything you have ever heard a giant (like Andy) call a short person (like me)… I’m also known as Chick Norris, the side kick of Chuck Norris. And yes, I really am as bad ass as he is… almost.
So we are here to blog about our “adventures”… and oh my, what adventures we will have. See, we aren’t your normal run of the mill crew… I’m the youngest of the group and the oldest is well… almost 3x my age. We are all pretty goofy in our own sense.. Andy and Derek have been friends FOREVER.. and sometimes I honestly don’t understand why I agreed to spend 5 days in the wilderness with those two… you’d think that dealing with one at home on a day-to-day basis would satisfy my need for smart ass remarks 24/7.. but nope, that’s just not the way it is.
I’ve only done one overnight… A short trip, about 4 miles in and 4 miles out. A great day hike if you are ever in the area (Peralta Trail in the Superstition Mountains). For me, it was a perfect trip to see what I was getting myself into.. and oh my, was I in for an eye opener…
I think the biggest lesson I learned this trip was that, for me, comfort is key. When we were deciding what type of sleeping mat we were going to choose for our endeavors we did tons of research (well… Andy did tons of research). We came across the Thermarest Ridgerest, which had some really great reviews. EVERYONE seemed to love it. However, I was never really sold on it, it seemed too thin (only about a 1/2 inch of foam), but it was super insulating and very lightweight. One day, while hiking this exact trail, we passed a group of backpackers, and to my surprise, almost every single one of them had this thing strapped to the bottom of their packs. So I though “Well.. why not.. what can it hurt to try the thing out?”. The next day I went out and purchased my Thermarest Ridgerest!
I should have listened to my instincts…. I must have woken up 20 times that night with different areas of my ass going numb. It was the worst nights sleep I could have ever imagined for my first trip. So, that’s when I started thinking to myself.. How and I gonna hike 40 miles in 5 days with that kinda sleep? Answer: I’m not. Solution: I turned the Thermarest into a sleeping pad for my dog and bought myself an Exped Synmat UL 7. It was ten times the price but worth it for ten times the comfort. Weighing “only” 5 oz more than the Thermarest, it blows up to be about 2.5 inches thick and it’s still just as insulating. The only testing of the mat I’ve done is on my kitchen tile floor, but I honestly think this mat will be the key to my survival… and I mean that by: A bad nights sleep = a bitchy me and a bitchy me = getting thrown off the top of half dome by my friends who are sick of me complaining about how I can’t go another step or I will die of exhaustion. And I don’t know what you think… but in my eyes, that would not be a fun way to get down the mountain.