Tag Archives: pegasus farm

Packing for Constellation Burn

15 Oct

As I am wont to do, I track my packing notes after camping or large trips. Basically, I’m looking to uplevel my preparedness and reduce my prep time for future trips. After three times at Constellation Burn, it’s time I do this for myself and others, if interested.

The weather at Constellation Burn

It’s different. It’s a mountain. It has its own ecosystem, and the weather for Elkins, WV, doesn’t exactly match the weather posted online.

Here’s the main thing you need to know:

Cold, wet, misty weather that penetrates into your very being and won’t let go

You absolutely must prepare for cold, wet, misty nights (and days, though mostly nights). While the mist and cold actually finds an interesting point of calm many nights, it still gets really cold and the dampness penetrates everything.

Shockingly sunny, bright, cloudless days that’ll fry if you’re not prepared

Pack your sundresses, your shorts, your light breezy clothes too. Someone else can explain it better than me, but essentially — so, I’ve been told — we’re above the cloud line during the day. What that means is that the sun is BRIGHT. It also gets hotter than down in the valley where Elkins (where the weather forecasts are given).

Just like at “the big burn:” once the sun starts to set, it’s time to head back to camp. The temps drop quickly and the cold and mist come in fast.

It’s often a bit warmer later in the night than earlier in the evening

Not sure how all this works, but if you can get yourself nice and warmed up as the sun sets, you’ll most likely be fine for the rest of the night.

Pack Wool

I am an advocate, a proselytizer, a preacher, a broken record when it comes to wool, warmth, protection from rain/damp/wet conditions and camping.

Pack wool

Pack lots of wool.

Pack wool for ALL parts of your body — feet, legs, hands, wrists, arms, torso, head and neck.

Pack various weights of wool (you can wear light wool during the day, especially in the morning and with the wind and wet conditions) for layers, for options, for warmth.

Pack wool to share and gift. (Older sweaters, holy gloves, pieces that shrunk and no longer fit… bring it all.)

Pack wool blankets — BRING SEVERAL. I always like to put down a layer of wool blankets (I work with afghans mostly) on the floor of my tent for comfort, warmth, style and cushioning. (If you always bring a wool afghan with you when camping, you always have an emergency layer of warmth with you.)

Wool protects you from the wet

The level of mist/wet/dampness at Constellation is something you absolutely must prepare for. You can’t not experience the mist and wetness, so you need to be prepared.

Hands down: wool is one of your best bets! It holds up to 40% of its weight in water and still keeps you warm even when wet.

Your feet

Do not bring just one pair of shoes, regardless of how durable they are. They’re going to get wet. Some shoes swell when they’re wet. Almost all shoes are uncomfortable when wet. I encourage you to pack

  • Flipflops for the shower
  • At least one pair of wool-lined shoes/boots, such as *real* Uggs/sheepskin lining
  • Another pair of comfortable shoes to handle the cold and wet
  • Sun/day shoes — preferably with closed toes as the grass can still be wet and prickly in places

A word about your fancy night-time outfits

Do not show up at Constellation with visions of your fabulous fancy outfits for night unless you have calculated in and figured out how you’re going to keep warm. The weather is not a joke. You’re on a mountain top. It’s very, very likely to be wet and misty, possibly raining, though the mist is rain-like enough!

You absolutely need to ensure that you’re going to be warm in your cute outfit. Maybe you need to wear some base layers of wool underneath. Maybe you need to add a hat to keep some body heat in you. Maybe you need to figure out how to get nice thick wool gloves built into your outfit. You definitely need to be wearing shoes that will allow you to also wear wool socks. (Cold, wet feet make for no fun.)

Camping under trees?

There’s little shade at Constellation. If you do camp under trees, you’re essentially camp in a night time ecosystem of rain. The trees will rain on your tent and camp area if it’s one of the mistier nights … and it’s quite often misty. It’s not a bad thing. Just be aware.

A quick note about Constellation

I love this burn! I find it super sweet, very well organized and well-produced. A nice mix of folks from all over attend — nice mix of people, geographic home bases, etc. I love the weather extremes with the misty cold mountain nights and bright sunny days. It’s starting to get some better music. (Yay!) And we even have an art car or two.

%d bloggers like this: