3 Days: Hammock Camping Under a Harvest Moon

The summer just flew by.  Even though I’ve been out hiking, kayaking and camping all year, it feels like I haven’t done much!  So, since I worked on Labor Day I took my 3 day weekend this past week. With my normal days off being Fridays and Saturdays I decided to take Thursday off and head out late Wednesday to Frances Slocum State Park in Luzerne County Pennsylvania. That extra few hours on Wednesday makes it feel so much longer, probably because there’s no need to rush the following morning.

img_20160914_192919I got to the park and headed to camp site 95 in the walk-in tent section and got my hammock up and grabbed a bite to eat just before the Sun set. I was eager to test out some gear… some new and some I just hadn’t had a chance to try out yet. I recently purchased a new Paria Outdoor Products Sanctuary SilTarp after my recent backpacking trip. I was looking to shed weight in any gear I could and this tarp is only 15oz packed. So I got to test that out. I also gave my DIY emergency blanket under quilt a try… still needs some work but it’s a good start. Early in the year I found a steal of a bargain on an Exped Scout Hammock Combi for $68, usually goes for more than $200. This was the first time I used that, for 1 night anyway, I switched back to m ENO Doublenest for nights 2 and 3. I also gave my new Fire Knife from Light My Fire a good test… took a lot of practice to get the hang of, but I’m getting better with it.

img_20160914_195102For the first 2 nights I was the only person in the walk-in loop and there were only 6 other sites in use out of 100 in the park… so it was pretty quiet. Of course on Friday night there were more people but it was still very peaceful.  The park is named after a young girl who was kidnapped by Lenape Indians in 1778 and was found almost 60 years later by her family. She told the story of her capture and how they had spent the first night under a rock shelter believed to be on what is now park property. She declined to return with her family. Her name is found throughout the area as is her Indian name, Maconaquah meaning Young or Little Bear.

img_20160916_185059The most difficult part of sleeping these 3 nights was how bright the Moon was, but that’s not really a complaint. My campsite was on top of a ridge, with my hammock lined North/South so I could watch the Sun set to my right and the Moon rise to my left and then vice versa in the morning. It was a great site. For the last night, I took the tarp down and watched the Moon and stars all night.

I got a little hiking and kayaking in as well, what a great way to end the summer. Now to start planning fall camping trips! To see more of what it was like, check out the video:

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