It has been 16 straight days of hiking at the time I write this. We are in the groove and are in full swing with our Trail Life. Like most newly weds, we have begun the "newlywed nesting" phase, but instead of picking out drapes and paint colors, we are dialing in our portable home... getting our systems down, mastering our new way of life on the trail. With the coming of each new day, we take it all down then build our nest somewhere else later that evening... every new set up, we are constantly having to adapt and innovate our home and are enjoying small successes every day.
David has mastered putting up our tent in just minutes... rain, wind or shine! He installed new pole cups to lines on the sides of the tent so that we can use my trekking poles to pull the sides out, giving us an extra roomy feel in the tent! I also think it is going to help with ventilation so that we can reduce morning condensation build up (we have woken up with a layer of frost on the inside of our "ceiling" more than one morning so far). I have my tricks for dealing with condensation in the morning, we have an ultra lightweight utility towel that as soon as we wake, I use to start wiping the inside walls down... we are dry in no time!
We have our laundry system, complete with a fold-up sink, biodegradable soap flakes, and a clothes drying line that David installed along the ridge of the inside of the tent on a rainy night. Now we can hang our solar lantern in the middle of the tent and slide it along the clothes line to give us light where we need!
We have a compression bag that we call the "kitchen" and one for the "bathroom" they have everything we need... compartmentalized into two small portable bags. We have a place for everything in the tent so that if we have to find anything in the night, we are not fumbling around in this tiny but cozy space. We have learned to put the next day's food out the night before because the quicker we can pack up in the morning, the more miles we can put in before the heat really sets in!
In the evening, we charge the phone that we used that day using both of our solar charged wraps, which spend the day soaking in the sun while we hike. Both solar chargers together usually gives us enough juice to charge 20%... It isn't much, but then again we are not using the phones for anything other than taking pictures, so it is enough for now.
For water collection and treatment, we share the responsibilities... Squeezing out 12L of H2O can be long and tedious, working together is a must for pretty much everything out here! We both cook, we both clean, we set up our home as a team and take it down just the same.
But David and I made a deal that whoever is last to wake up and move into Child's Pose (our good morning stretch), they have to do the dishes that day. Oh yeah, we learned very quickly to not wait to do the dishes until morning, our water is soooooooo much colder after night's near freezing temps! In an effort to reduce the breakfast dishes, we started boiling the H2O in our titanium cook pot and pour the oatmeal, then the water into the mugs... Less surface area to clean!
Most importantly, I figured out a way to make David "bulletproof" coffee using a muslin tea bag & ghee. We only get coffee at a few resupply stops but it will be a nice surprise when one comes our way! I still haven't tried sprouting my sunflower sprouting seeds but I think I will soak them overnight tonight to get the batch started... My plan is to hang the soaked seeds from a sprouting bag attached to my pack, rinsing them when they dry out.
Our unconventional lifestyle really points to building teamwork and fosters creativity, innovation and allows each of us to contribute with our individual strengths. All our systems are all experimental and everything is temporary. I could not imagine that we will ever stop working to improve our systems and ways on the trail. So much that we have to re-learn out here, the wilderness is a whole different domestically challenging beast... But we got this!