Saturday, November 22, 2008

Mineral Wells campout: retrospective

Where I work at we have a retrospective meeting at the end of each iteration of the project. Basically we discuss the good, bad and ugly of a project to see what's working, what can be improved in the next iteration and what we never want to try again.

Given that I would like to try the same thing with the our campout

Mineral Wells campout (retrospective/lessons learned)

- Nate had a really good time (he really enjoyed the tug-of-war and the three mile hike)
- Nate has been more willing to try new foods.
- No rain! Originally there was rain forecasted for Saturday.
- The tent held up against the wind very well.
- I purchased my new favorite winter hat.

- Found out the hard way that a sleeping bag rated at 30 degrees means you will survive at that temperature – not be comfortable at it.
- Need to find more comfortable padding for under the sleeping bag (hard ground bad). The think foam pad I have is not enough for me. An air mattress is a BAD idea in cold weather.
- Layering clothing won't always work unless you have one thick layer or have a lot of layers.

- Was not fully prepared for the cold nights.

The Friggin hilarious (A new category I want to add in)
- The parents that complained on Friday that what we had was not a real campout because we had running water and a bathroom at the campsite. All I could do was remind them that this was a cub scout camp out – not Survivorman. After the first night no one complained (especially when they discovered that the bathroom had an electric hand warme....dryer. Though to their credit all the ones that complained on Friday all stayed through the whole ordeal, though I do want to point out that the whiner (that's me) stayed through it all too.

Lessons learned.

1.Get a thicker foam mattress for next camp out. Air mattress is okay if its a summer campout.

2.One of the guys at work suggested using a trash bag around the feet of the sleeping bad to help keep the heat in. I googled this and found some very interesting information.

3.Another interesting tidbit I will try out: put a tarp under the tent. The main reason I heard was that it helps the tent last longer but after reading the above article it also is supposed to add a layer of insulation under the tent. The main thing is though not to have any bit of the tarp sticking out from under the tent as it could help water to collect under the tent.

4.For cold weather I will bring the heavy clothing. This last trip I relied too much on layering. Next time I will bring the heavy coat and heavy wool pants that was not only comfortable in the 5 degree Minnesota winter but actually warm because I would only be wearing it for a couple of hours. But I definitely could have used the wool pants at night.

5.When its below freezing I will bring a blanket for inside the sleeping blanket (if I do all this I should burning up in all but sub zero temperature – but better than being cold because I can always remove a layer).

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