NOTE: IN ORDER TO BETTER SEE PHOTOS IN THEIR FULL 1600 PX. RESOLUTION, VIEW THEM IN THE ALBUM FORMAT BY CLICKING ON THE LEAD PHOTO OR ANY PHOTO IN THE POST. This is especially true for landscape shots. Thanks to Mark for the idea of adding this alert so the photos can be seen at their best!

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Camping Equipment Shopping Spree

It's been quite a week around here. While my mom made a couple of trips up to the ER to deal with a virus that turned into bronchitis and then pneumonia, my dad suffered a COPD exacerbation that landed him in the hospital for a couple of days.  While there they discovered his blood sugar level was quite high, which wasn't a big surprise as we've watched his A1C (and his weight) climb over the past year and a half.  For awhile he was following a diet plan that I outlined for them, and his A1C fell below 7.  Needless to say, the Diet Nazi descended upon their home again, cleaning out cupboards, buying groceries and making a few meals to hold them over until they get well enough to cook on their own.  I'll be back out to their house again on Tuesday to cook again and help get a weekly meal plan re-instated.  This time I intend to go by at least once a week for longer than the 6 week period that I did last time.  We're talking months, maybe even a year.  Accountability can make all the difference, and who wants their crazy daughter standing in their living room lecturing them about healthy eating every week? Shut her up by following the plan and get her talking about things that don't turn her into a  joyless nag, right?

That's a lot of orange.  I have an orange bike and water bottle too.  I don't know why.

As a break from all the medical drama I decided that today was the day to set up the tent I bought from Amazon a couple of weeks ago.  I normally shy away from spending money on myself, a habit left over from all those years staying at home with the kids.  This year we had a big surplus of funds when Wayne returned to work and the overtime was plentiful, so I decided it was time to get all those items on my wish list that I usually feel too guilty to splurge on.  I already told you about my new camera and my first ever laptop purchase, but it didn't end there.  After reading a lot of reviews I bought a Eureka Copper Canyon tent, too.  It's too heavy and bulky to take along on hiking trips, but it'll be great for having guests on my normally solo camping trips to Wisconsin's great state parks.

kit lens that wouldn't focus in use

Check out how tall it is!  And I set it up all by myself, after almost taking out the chandelier a couple of times that is.  No more changing clothes behind the car after checking to make sure no one is around.

Goofy wanted to "help"

In addition to the tent that I can't wait to use, I got a trekking pole, a serious Osprey backpack for some overnight camping on the Ice Age Trail here in Wisconsin this year and a Lowepro camera backpack too.  The trekking pole's knob-like handle detaches and you can mount a camera onto it, turning it into a monopod.  I bought the backpack and the trekking pole at REI along with a water reservoir and am very happy with the expert advice I got from REI's staff.

It almost killed me to put all this away after setting it up

The Lowepro Flipside Sport 15L AW backpack that I bought was very easy to use on my recent trip up to Menominee. (Click on the link and watch the video!)  I hated the one I had before, (see header photo) my back was always drenched in sweat, and it was difficult to access the camera.  Putting the bag on the ground to get at my equipment has led to equipment falling out onto the ground, or dirt getting in like during my recent trip to Reno.  I think I ruined my kit lens (no big loss) when sand got in the bag.  I'm still working at getting it to work right (autofocus won't engage) since I passed that camera body and lens down to Cory.  I wish the new bag had a touch more room for non-camera items, but I figured out that I can lash my Keen sandals onto the outside for water crossings which was a dilemma with my old bag as well.  It also has a spot for a 1 liter water reservoir and a place for a tripod.  By the way, in case you want to buy one too, the Flipside was way cheaper on Amazon than anywhere else, like $50 cheaper!  My only complaint is that I wish there was more padding on the straps.  If I find I need more padding I'm sure I can come up with a solution though.

When the Canon 70D and the ND grad filters go in it's full

Today I ordered a Canon 17-40mm lens online after reading a bunch of reviews.  I was tempted by the 18-35mm...but I just couldn't justify paying $1700 for a lens.  As it is the one I ordered still cost more money than my original Canon EOS DSLR did.

Now, if only the weather would co-operate so I can use all this stuff! Right now it's 19F and the wind is blowing so it feel like it's on 7F.  No camping weather in sight, I'm not that crazy.  But,  Mom and I are heading to Gatlinburg next month, and I'm so excited that I might even bring the tent if there's room in the car!


  1. First of all, I love that burnt orange color on your walls.

    I am drooling over all your camping equipment. So exciting!! We are leaving for KY this week, the weather is supposed to be nice and I am hoping to get some hiking in finally. Plus, I ordered a new camera that is supposed to come tomorrow, so I am giddy!

    When I get back in town, we need to get together and finally do a hike one day. We have so much to talk about.

  2. Love your purchases! Osprey makes amazing backpacks. I have two - my blue one I use exclusively is a ski mountaineering backpack that works well for summer hiking too. And I own the Canon 17-40 L lens, and it is a great lens. You'll enjoy it. Still saving my pennies for a 6D camera. And then a Go-pro!