Late in the afternoon, we hiked up into the hills behind Costanoa
on Whitehouse Creek Trail, a steep, duff-soft path that eventually
opened to a stunning vista. Far below us, fields of brown grass
swept away to the Pacific, where great arcs of sandy beach absorbed
the impact of lines of tiny white breakers, and birds wheeled in
It was a hushed Donner Pass snowfall and velvet black outback
night, one of those exhilarating moments that snaps your senses to
full attention and makes you giddy to be under spectacular sky.
That night, Kathy sleeping beside me, I raised myself up on a
softly cushioned elbow and stared at the hills perched below the
It would be nice to sleep up there, I thought, but not tonight.
PACK LUXURIOUS, PACK SMART
Technology has raised the comfort level of camping to penthouse
heights, and you could fill several Grand Canyons with today's
state-of-the-art gear. Take a look at this brief assortment to add
luxury and safety to your next camping trip.
A silk sleeping bag liner that's decadently comfortable and light.
It also helps keep the inside of your sleeping bag clean. (Washing
a sleeping bag does more to shorten its life than anything else.)
$59. DreamSack; (800) 670-7661; www.dreamsack.com
SunnyRec Hexagrip Sleeping Pad with Pillow
Self-inflating sleeping pads revolutionized an outdoor night's
sleep. This one has a comfortable 10-by-20-inch pillow that rises
gently from your shoulders to your neck. Packs light at 2 pounds.
$74. SunnyRec Corporation; (310) 638-4368
Montane's Mission Kitchen
Never lose the can opener or schlep your kitchen in unraveling
paper bags again. This soft-sided cooking gear organizer is big
enough - 3 cubic feet - to hold plates, utensils, and assorted
kitchen paraphernalia, and it's filled with dividers and pouches to
keep everything in its place. A nice touch, the hard top serves as
a cutting board. $129.95.