Needed some down time to relax and recharge, so I decided to do a quick overnighter last night along the Molalla River, south of Table Rock.
I took the opportunity to experiment with a few things while I was out. The first was making cotton ball and Vaseline fire starters. Made up a batch in the morning before leaving. They work really well, and I'll be keeping them in my go bag in the truck.
The second thing was building an upside down fire. For those that don't know what that is, you start with the largest pieces of wood on the bottom and build up with smaller pieces until you have your kindling on top. Drop your fire starter into the kindling, light it, and let it do the rest. As each layer burns, it heats the layer below it, which will eventually catch. I built 4 or 5 layers, not including the kindling, and it went for a little over an hour before reaching the bottom layer.
The third experiment was sleeping in a hammock. I actually didn't expect that to go very well, because I don't have an underquilt or anything. I was right. Even in an army sleep system, I was cold in about an hour. Also, just getting into one of those while it's in a hammock is a more complicated operation than one might think. Ended up sleeping in the truck, which I was already prepared for as a back-up.