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[ft-l] Going solo

My first-ever backpacking trip was a solo overnighter to celebrate my 35th birthday. I can tell you I got little sleep that night! I hiked 6.5 miles in the Pennsylvania mountains, through a ski area and up to a shelter area on the Laurel Highlands Trail. Around nightfall, the temperatures plummetted and it started to snow. Hard. I didn't know enough about my stove and brought too little fuel, so I had no options but to eat my food cold. My sleeping bag didn't keep me warm. It was a good thing I had an emergency blanket, as I used it to keep the blowing snow from soaking my sleeping bag. I barely slept. At daybreak, I post-holed down the mountain, took an unintentional shortcut down a ski slope, to the empty ski lodge and snuck in to warm up, as I was shivering pretty bad. Made it back home, however! And I was out two weeks later with a friend (who lurks on this list), looking for more. She can tell you I didn't sleep much THAT night, either. ;-)

There's a more descriptive you-are-there account of my adventure in the AT-L archives at http://www.backcountry.net/arch/at/9703/msg00847.html

Cheers, Sandy