Friday, August 19, 2011

Sleeping in garbage bags? A good idea!

My sister recently received a letter from a missionary, Cameron, who happens to be one of my good friends. In his letter, he reminisced about one of our many adventures together - the time we out smarted the rest of our scouting troop by using garbage bags as sleeping bags... Here's the scoop:

My scout master, at the time was an avid hiker and outdoorsman. This, was both a blessing and a curse. Blessing, because he took us to obscure places that I would have never seen otherwise. Curse, because he LOVED hiking - and hiking FAR.

On one particular occasion, we traveled to Havasupai - an Indian reservation in the Grand Canyon. Honest, this has to be one of the most beautiful places on earth.

If you were to hike through Havasupai, you'd see dazzling water cascading over awe-inspiring waterfalls. How's that for imagery? Breathtaking.

But, there's a catch - in order to get a glimpse of this natural wonder, you have to hike (backpack) for AGES through the Grand Canyon. I don't remember the exact distance, (I'm scared to look it up for fear that it actually isn't that far) but, I remember feeling utterly exhausted.

Knowing that it was going to be a difficult hike, and being the logical people that we are, Cameron and I put our heads together to come up with ways to minimize the amount of weight we would have to pack.

Your average hiker might think that a great way to minimize weight would be to scratch the tent and pack a small tarp instead, or to only pack light-weight clothing. Both are good ideas. Yet, Cameron and I, are not your average hiker.

Being not only logical, but also resourceful, we came up with the idea of taping two garbage bags together and sleeping in them. After all, they're water proof, so no tent would be needed. And, we were told that it would be warm, so no need to worry about getting cold. Ingenious!

So, that's what we did.

As we hiked, we watched as few members of our troop struggled, the hike seemed easier to us as we joyfully thought of how clever we were.

From then on, everything went well... Until our first night...

With all the careful planning that Cameron and I did, we somehow overlooked the possibility of a torrential rainstorm happening. Darn.

Garbage bags are waterproof, so at least we had that going for us. But, you can't exactly cover your head with a garbage bag for an extended amount of time. We had to come up with a plan and fast!

Being the logical, resourceful, and clever people that we are, we quickly huddled under someone else's tarp and stayed there for much of the first night. Bless their heart.

We made sure to pack their tarp out of the canyon for them.

The extra weight nearly killed us, but we figured it was the least we could do.


  1. very interesting, thanx for sharing :-)

  2. I had a similar experience hiking in Coyote Gulch. We were supposed to sleep underneath an overhang, so we didn't bring tents. Alas, our overhang was occupied by some guy proposing to his girlfriend, so we camped under the stars...riiiiiight before they disappeared under a cloud cover and we got soaked.

  3. hahaha Trust me, I feel your pain, Liesl!