CD’s trail journal entries become less consistent in Oregon. He documents damp air, cool nights, mosquitoes while hiking, and endless self reflection.
His journal entry from 8/7/04 addresses the mosquitoes three different times in two short paragraphs.
- As I was alternating between swatting mosquitoes and pumping water today I wondered, “What can’t I just sit on the couch and go use the tap when I want water like most people?”
- Soon, however, it was back to the woods and endless mosquito-hatchery ponds.
- Today’s mosquitoes are worse than last night’s but seem to be staying outside (but close).
Tips for handling mosquitoes while hiking.
1. Setting up your Tarptent.
- Lay down your floor cloth
- Lay your tent on top of your things
- Arrange your pack and other belongings on the floor cloth
- Pull up your tent
- Climb in quickly
2. Cooking dinner.
This may not be the best if bears are a consideration but you pick your poison I guess.
- Get into your Tarptent
- Set up your stove and prep your meal in your floor-less tent
- Quickly move your stove just outside the vestibule, exposing only your hands. Light outside your tent
- Wait inside the tent
- Reach out, grab the food and eat
- Expect to be bitten by mosquitoes as soon as exciting your tent
- Wear your rain jacket for protection
- Be organized and efficient
- Start walking
- Once you hit a good hiking speed, remove your arms from you rain jacket and tie them around your waist
- Untie your rain jacket and slide it back over your arms and head as you approach water stops or other stops
- Repeat as often as needed
4. Using your mosquito head net.
- Purchase and carry “>mosquito head net
- Purchase and carry at hat with a brim all the way around
- Pull “>mosquito netting over your hat
- Enjoy the view!
5. Embrace at least 20% DEET.
- Longer hair
- Thicker hair
- A longer, thicker beard
6. Embrace at least 20% DEET.
You will likely regret it if you don’t have it on hand.
The trail through Oregon leads to Mount Hood. CD found himself sleeping close enough to the Timberline Lodge to hear the music and see the lights of two wedding receptions. Such common first-world activities brought forward the surreal reality of having walked there from Mexico.
Was it worth the mosquito bites and endless buzzing? A picture is worth a thousand words.
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