Central Florida solo trip highlighting site-setup, campfire meal prep, and benefits to listening to crickets.
Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/TheTrailConnection)
Central Florida solo trip highlighting site-setup, campfire meal prep, and benefits to listening to crickets.
Support the show (https://www.patreon.com/TheTrailConnection)
I think a key survival technique is the ability to adapt to the conditions around you, the ability to conform to whatever new variables a re entered into the equation. I'm Tim Garland. This is the trail connection podcast. Hey everybody and welcome back to the trail connection podcast. Today we're camping out in my secret spot and a , I just want to take a minute to welcome you to my fortress of solitude. This is the spot that I come to pretty regularly when I can, when the weather's permitting. Um, and this was the training ground for me. It was the spot that I found a couple of years ago and kind of used to run to , um, when I needed to get away and, and just kind of reflect on some things. So , um, I want to take a minute and just thank everybody who, who took the time to watch and listen to that first episode and I understand, you know, it was probably a little more heavy than what you were expecting. And definitely if you are tuning into , see , you know, what is the trail connection and talk about hiking. And camping that that probably is not what you're expecting at all. So thank you for taking the time to listen to it if you finished it. And , um , today I intend on turning it up a little bit and making it a little bit more lighthearted. Um, and I just, I felt like I needed to start there because that's where it started for me. You know, it , uh, it definitely, I'm not going to say it was a dark place, but it was a definite low for sure. But I came out of that and so I just, I wanted everyone to understand where I started and how I kind of worked my way through that. So this is the next step in that process. I um, I took a lot of time, a lot of hours of hiking and , and wandering and exploring. And , um, I found an area that was high enough that it was out of the low lying swamp area , um , far enough away that it felt like I was getting away, but close enough that if I had an emergency, I could get out of here pretty quick. And , um, I just, I searched high and low for the perfect spot to get to and it's, it's pretty crazy because , um, you know, speaking of having to adapt the way that I came in today was on the complete opposite end of the property. Um, and it's not the typical route that I take in here at all. So that was a little frustrating and it's even more frustrating when you get out here and there is just water standing everywhere you see. And , um, I know you can't see it on the video and you definitely can't see it if you're listening to the podcast. But , uh, right now I'm sitting on an Island in the middle of the swamp. There is water literally standing all around me. Um , I'm on a little high area and , uh, so I guess I chose, well , um, hasn't been tested like this before in the last couple of years that I've been coming back here. So it's good to know, glad that , uh, this spot stays high and dry. It's just a , all the area around it that you would use to get to it kinda gets , uh , underwater sometimes. So, but , uh , this is a neat spot because it's so far back and tucked away from, you know, the main trail. Um, it's different every single time I come out here, even when I come in the normal way that I come in. Uh, because you know, water level changes and, a nd terrain changes, seasons change. I mean the, the face of the forest is constantly changing and it's very, u h, it's very difficult for it to stay looking exactly the same. So it took me a little bit longer to find it today cause it's been awhile, u m, w ork just coming out of summer. So it's been several months since I've been back here. And , um, and the trail is different every single time. And what's cool about this is I use a game trails. It's not a typical, like well-defined beaten path. It's a , it's, it's an animal trail. And I don't know if any of you have had an opportunity to follow a game trail unless you're a Hunter. Um, but , uh, it's different. You know, and it's not clearly defined. You're basically following tracks or , uh , following a tiny little trail that's cut through grass or weeds or you know, in the, in the mud. And , um, it's, it fades away, sometimes it turns abruptly. Um, but most of the, it just out here and just kind of follows, you know, the current edge of the waterline or the water level. So like I said, you know, it's different every single time. And, you know, it got me thinking as I was hiking out here and, you know, talking about being able to be flexible and being able to adapt. You know, there, there are things that we want to accomplish in our life and a lot of us might have similar goals or, or aspirations, but , uh, the path that we each take to get to those or get to the , to accomplishing those , um, might not look exactly the same for each of us. You know, it's a , we , we all have something that we're striving towards and something that we're working at, but how we go about accomplishing that goal or , um, attaining what we're, what we're going after. It , it always is different and it's different for different people. So , um, life throws you curves, man, you gotta you gotta adapt to it. So anyway , um, so today I wanted to talk a little bit about my gear set up for the area out here and then I've also got something cooking in the fire right now. I want to tell y'all about , um, that I'm really excited to try and then , uh, we'll kinda, we'll wrap it up. So I chose a hammock for camping out here and because of it being such a low lying area and, and all that , um, I decided that I was gonna I was gonna go with the hammock , cause you can't go wrong with that. As long as you got plenty of trees, you get something to post up on. So , um, I'm going to go ahead and give this company a plug. We are not partners at this point, but , uh, I just love this thing so much that , uh, I just want to thank them , you know. Um, so I have a double hammock made by Everest active gear. And , um , this thing has been with me for the last two years. I take it pretty much every time I go camping. I've loaned it to others that I'm trying to convert to camp. And , um, so it's, it's been really, really good to experience being outdoors in . And so , um, it's a double hammock so it means there's room for two and uh, hopefully one day I'll get to share it with my wife. Uh, she's been with child for about seven years now , um, because we don't have cable and , uh, it's , uh, it's , uh , it just hasn't worked out for her to come out and camp with me yet, but she wants to and she's intending to, it's just, we gotta get our babies a little bit bigger before she's able to do that. But I'm plenty of room in there. It's really, really nice and cozy. It's got an integrated bug net, which is essential if you are camping out here. And I don't know if you guys can see this on the video right now, but I am being swarmed by love bugs. So it's only appropriate at this moment to be talking about a bug net . Um, but if it's not love bugs, it's mosquitoes or nets or whatever. And , uh , this thing is just, it's awesome. Um, if you don't need the bug net, then you can flip it upside down and just lay on top eh , no big deal. And , uh , it's , it's great. It comes with the straps included as well and all of that comes pretty much for the price of an Indian . Um, and so it's affordable and , uh, you get all the, all the pieces that you need. It also has a rain fly that I have , uh , as well, but I don't have it put up right now. Um, cause it's, it's nice and bright and no chance of rain. So I'm going to keep it up and open , uh, tonight so I can take a look at stars, if I can see any and all that. So I also have a , uh, insulated thermal inflatable sleeping pad in there. And , um, that one's made specifically for hammocks. It , uh , it's got a nice spread on it and butterfly type set up to where it spreads the hammock out a little bit. You got plenty of room and that was like absolutely one of the best buys when it comes to pieces of gear that I've gotten in the last couple of years because it's a game changer. Um , pretty much before I had it, every single time I would come out and camp, I would wake up multiple times a night with a cold butt or cold feet. And um, he just, you know, your , all of the, the weight kind of goes down to one spot in the hammock and that's where, when everything's compressed, that's where the cold temperature comes in. So this thing's great because it adds some comfort. It's got padding, but it also has a thermal effect, which keeps you nice and toasty all night. So that's great. Still haven't solved the cold feet problem. I'm pretty sure it's because my, my hammock is hanging too low, but I don't know. If you're listening and you can solve that problem for me, please write me or message me, let me know. Cause I'd like, I would love to , uh, not wake up in the middle of the night with cold feet. So anyway , um , also got an inflatable pillow , uh , that's real nice to, to have as well. Kinda keeps your neck elevated a little bit. But , um, I love this thing. I love this hammock and I love this setup and , uh, I gotta be honest with you, I sleep better in this than I do in my own bed at home. And , uh, I tell everybody that, so I have no problem, you know , uh, recommending these products to anybody who asks. So , um, I've also got a nice little, a little table here and um, I know it's probably something that's not essential for backpackers , uh, cause you're typically trying to go lightweight and less gear , uh , cause you're gonna if you're going distances. But with this spot being so close by to the truck , um, you know, I don't mind a little extra weight and it's, it's worth it to me. So, yeah, I'm a comfort guy. So , um, I've been out here so many times trying to cook a meal or prepare something and you know, I'm right down in the dirt and the soil out here is, is real soggy because of how low lying it is. And it's just always damned and uh, it's difficult not to just get junk in your, in your meal that you're trying to prepare. So I bought that pretty, pretty soon once I started coming out here. And it's been, it's been an essential piece of gear for me, especially when I come out here and I'm planning on cooking, but it's cool. It's a real lightweight breaks down in packs down really nice. Um, and um, it was only about 30 bucks on Amazon. Um, but it's great for meal prep or playing some cards or whatever you need it to set it on. So I bring that along with me as well. I've also got a , uh , a chair that , uh, packs down real nice as well. And again, you know, this is one of those things that where it's worth, you know, the extra pound or you know, pound 10 ounces of what it is to pack on the SAC . Because I mean, being able to to post up in recline and just sit back and relax by the fire is so nice. I'm , the first few times I came out here, I was sitting on logs and dragon , you know, laid over Cyprus trees that had dried out , um, as big as big stumps as I could bring over towards a fire. I was dragging over here and before I knew it, I was just like, man, I gotta get me a chair. So I picked one of these up as well and um , works out really nice. Um, uh, I'm really thankful to have this as well. It's got a pillow included in it, so if you want to , you know, lay your head back and look up a little bit, you can. But , uh, these two pieces of gear are not essential for backpackers, but , uh, for me, I bring them pretty much any chance I get just because it's a , it's nice to be able to set up and have some comforts, you know, and make things a little bit easier. So , um , speaking of meal prep , um, today I've got , uh , chicken breasts that have been in some olive oil with some lemon pepper seasoning and , um, that's been sitting in there for a few hours and , uh, I typically will bring out something like that. Um, I've, I've cooked all kinds of meats out here though. I've cooked a chicken, I've cooked salmon, I've cooked several different cuts of steak. Um, and all of it usually turns out pretty well. But , um, you know, I like to experiment and try different things out here. So most of the times I'm by myself, so it really doesn't matter if I mess it up or if it tastes bad, but it kind of gives me an opportunity to , uh , get some experience and just try out some cool stuff so I can impress whoever I bring out here. And , um, so today I'm cooking a piece of chicken and , uh , right now I've got some red wild potatoes, the tiny ones, many potatoes in a little Weber pan , um, with some fresh Rosemary and some spices and olive oil as well, just roasting in the coals . And , um, so those are probably be ready about the time we wrap up and then I'll throw the chicken breast on there and, and uh, get it going. So I've got a really cool little uh , grill grate that I bought and , um, it's real lightweight. It's , um, it's got a fine mesh on it, you know, they're like quarter inch squares on there, but , um, I've got a couple lightweight tent stakes that I pushed down in the ground on each corner and then lay that grade on top of it and then I'll take some coals from the fire and rake them out and underneath that. And , uh , that's what I use to cook on and it's worked out really, really well cause , uh, you can, you know, pull the stakes up or push them down lower if you need to to get the, get the level of the grill , uh, right where you want it and at a good spot. And , um, so most of the stuff that I've cooked on and it's turned out pretty delicious and , uh, I'm excited to try this chicken breasts today. So , um, you know , it's funny, I've, I've tried a lot of different things out here and , uh, I came out here with my brother one time and , um, I , uh, I cook some salmon for us, which turned out incredible. I mean that was some of the best fish I've had in awhile. And the , just the smokiness that you get off of the, the campfire on anything that you cook adds just this dynamic to the flavor that , uh, is really unique. And it, it just, it tastes like camping. It's awesome. Um, but you know, the fish man, we , uh , I laid that out on the, on the great and I cooked that on the same side skin down, which I know some people will flip it throughout. Um, I'm not a professional cook, but I imagine that most professionals would not flip it, but , uh, you know, you can if you need to. But anyway, that turned out really well. And um , the chicken was per, I mean the , the, the, the fish was perfect. Um, we also had some steam broccoli that night. I , uh, I did the same thing with the potatoes that I, that I did with the broccoli except for the broccoli. I, I poke some holes in 10 full at steam escape and kind of steam the broccoli. And that turned out well as well as all S also. Um, and it just, it had the, the tenderness of a steamed vegetable, but also kind of had that roasted like smokey flavor of the campfire. And I threw some spices in there as well with the olive oil to roast it. Um, so a really, really delicious meal. And , uh, the only thing we messed up that time was , uh, I , I tried cooking rice and , uh, I don't know what exactly happened, but something went terribly, terribly wrong with that because it did not taste good at all. My brother , uh, well it's a good sport, but , uh, I think he got about two bites in and then he's like, I can't, I can't do this man. So he ended up dumping the rest of the Nicole's on fire, but , um, it was just crunchy. I , uh, I don't know what happened, honestly. I'm just , uh , not a big fan of trying to do it cause it's , it's, it's just messy and it, it takes a lot of water too . So the, the other thing you got to think about when you're coming out remote is the , the volume of water that you're going to bring and what you're going to be cooking, what you're going to be drinking, all that kind of stuff. And this particular spot , um, there's not too many water sources around, but even the ones that are, I wouldn't trust at all. Um, I don't know if any of you have seen the Hillsborough river or familiar with the Hillsborough river, but , um, it's not something that the average person would be like, yeah, I drink that or I drink out of that. Uh, it's pretty gross. It's a, it's almost a black water body and body water and , um, I don't know what exactly causes that. I mean there's a lot of Oak tree leaves that drop around it and Cypress knees and all kind of like Cyprus trees and, and all that stuff. And I'm assuming that it's runoff, you know, but like from the acidity and the leaves and all that, but I don't know for sure, but I'm not going to drink because no matter how much you it to me, you know, whether you got a water filter system, you boil it, whatever. Like I , I'll pass. Okay. Because I just, I just don't trust it. I mean, you never want to take any, any water from standing areas as well, you know, op . Absolutely. But even the running water around here , um, unless it's coming straight out of a spring, it's crystal clear. I'll still filter it, but , um , I'm still gonna be a little weary about drinking it. Um, I just, I dunno , growing up, you know, I would come back here and I'd hike and fish with my buddy and you know, we'd be down that river all the time, you know , fishing in Weyden and jumping out of trees and swimming. But, you know, looking back as an adult, I'm like, what in the world was I thinking, man, it's like there's snakes , uh , water moccasins in there, there's alligators in there, there's probably flesh eating bacteria. Um, but you know, we would just do it and, you know, I guess , uh , kids don't think about that kind of stuff. But as I got a little bit older and, and kind of realized, you know, I probably shouldn't be doing that. And , um , so anyway, long story short, I don't trust drinking water either . So anything that I bring out here, like I've got to bring any water I have, I've got to bring it out here. And so I'm just mindful of the amount that I bring. Um, and rice takes a lot, so it's , uh , it's just not worth it to me. Maybe I'll try it again one day. I dunno , it burned me pretty bad, but we'll see. But , uh, speaking of water , um, you know, one time I , uh, I brought my dad out here and I felt so bad because I totally messed up how I packed his , uh, his backpack. Um, he borrowed one of mine and it's the first time he was coming out here and we , uh, we were coming after work one day. Um , I was at my job and he had a job going on. So when I got home I was rushed and I was packing up everything real fast trying to get it to go. And um , I had these two , um, gallon jugs of water that I threw in the pack and I, I just threw him right in the top of his pack. And that poor guy, I mean he was teetering and tottering the whole way back here over logs and , and around trees and all that kind of stuff and totally off balance. And , and I know as not how you pack a backpack at all. I understand that. But , uh, I was in a hurry and, and just wasn't thinking anyway. Uh , let's just say the , the hike back was a little bit better cause the water was gone and the jugs were empty. So sorry, dad, lesson learnedSpeaker 4:
what happened again. But uh , it's a story, something to tell. Um, but anyway, I really enjoy coming out here a lot and uh , made some good memories and it's been a good training ground for me. You know, I can't wait to bring my kids out here. You can't put my boys and ring my wife and my daughter and share with them. You know, some of the experiences that I've gotten out here,Speaker 2:
but I'm [inaudible]Speaker 4:
yeah, I just sit here and I think about a lot of different things and it's important to get this time carved away. And sometimes when you're on your own, I mean, it's solitude. It's a, it's a good time for reflection. It's a good time to meditate and just sit back and think, clear your mind. Just let it run wherever it wants to run. And there have been times where I've come out here and literally just sat here and stared into the coals of the fire and just thought about anything and everything and just let my mind go. And um , it's been, it's been healthy to be able to do that because we all get so caught up and just the day to day grind of, you know , I gotta pay this bill, I got to do this, I gotta go, I gotta go do that. We've gotta be here, we've got to go there, so-and-so's coming over tomorrow. We got to get the house immaculate and blah, blah, blah, blah. I mean, it's just constantly one thing after another and it gets old. I mean, it really does. Just having such a busy life all the time and you just, we all just need to slow down and not try to cram so much into every single day and take opportunities like this where you can come out and just sit and listen, just listen to the birds chirping, you know, or the leaves fallingSpeaker 2:
the animals rustling around. It's been so cool to come out here and be sitting here just hanging out and all of a sudden a group of wild boar come walking through the of the area or be hiking out here and look up and see two or three deer and you know, spook them and they run off, take offSpeaker 2:
and [inaudible]Speaker 4:
and sit back and lay in the hammock and just listen to the birds chirping and the wind blowing through the trees and the leaves. He knows the reason why there's these recordings of nature sounds that help people sleep, help people relax. I never really thought about it before until this whole process began, but I think that's the way God designed it. I think he designed it for us to enjoy and to be able to be rejuvenated and reenergized and calmed when we just sit out here and just let it happen and let it just be what it is around us and not try to force anything and I need that reminder constantly. Just letting things go and just let them, let them do what they're going to do. I mean, I'm not saying you got to kick back and take no action in your life whatsoever because that's absolutely not the case at all. I think it's extremely important for us to have goals and to try to accomplish those goals and to work forward and push and, and grow and learn. But I gotta tell you, I've learned more in the last two years about myself and about life than I have in most of my adult life. And it's because I've taken the time to turn off all of this tractions and just live and I'm still not perfect at it. My wife and my kids can attest to that. I'm still distracted. I'm still a jerk sometimes and I haven't gotten this perfected, but I am way, way better off now than I was two years ago.Speaker 2:
there's just not as much pressure on being what everybody else expects me to be and just be who I am. And for me like this, this whole process and, and this journey has been really incredible from the standpoint I've gotten to experience really cool things and, and amazing places and meet some cool people. But what's been the most incredible about it is just my attitude and my stress level is totally different. It's just things that normally would have been a big deal don't really matter anymore. And the stuff that would normally infuriate me and send me into a blind rage, just get me a little frustrated now. And like I said, you know, I still have a long way to go. I still lose my temper and I still get annoyed and all that, like this , this isn't, I'm not perfected by spending a little time in nature. My point is if you don't take the time to do it, if you don't take the time to cut out the crap and just focus on what's most important and prioritize what it is that this life is all about, you're gonna wake up one day and just full of regret. And that's not something that you should do. That's not something I want to do. And so that's part of the reason why I'm taking the time and taking the action that I'm taking now is I don't want to wake up when my kids are about to graduate high school or about to leave the house and sit back and say, man, I wish that we would have done all these things that we talked about doing. I'm just gonna start doing them. The kids want to , my kids want to camp in the back yard . We're camping in the backyard. Who cares if it's 80 degrees outside? You know, they want to take a trip. My family wants to take a trip. Who cares? If we don't have a lot of savings in the bank, we'll figure out a way we'll make it happen. It's the experiences in life that are going to leave the lasting memories for your children and your family and for me,Speaker 2:
okay ,Speaker 4:
that that is of the utmost importance right now. They're not going to care about, you know, what types of meals we had all the time, or yeah , the types of clothes that they wore or whatever, based on what daddy's income was, they're going to think, well, wow, my dad took the time, even though he worked hard to do fun and special things with us and, and enjoy the time with us. And that's what I want. I just, I want my kids to have the memory. I want my wife to feel supported that she's not parenting fortunate for children on her own, you know, and that when we're together and we're experiencing things together that I'm not stressed about every dime we're going to spend because it's going to be impactful somehow. LikeSpeaker 2:
I just want us to have memories of the last, the lifetime and look back on this time in our life with so much joy and with like such passion that it, it was, it was a prime, is it prime time? So, I mean that's kind of some of the stuff that I think about a lot, you know, when I come out here. And I think that that's important for other people to try to do as well. And so I would encourage you, you know , you don't have to have all the fancy gear that I've got or you don't have to have , uh , you know, the best type of equipment. You can get something relatively cheap. You can get something pretty affordable and just go, if you're , if you have an inkling at all to do, do anything that we're talking about, just go and just do it. Don't let anything hold you back. So there you have it. That's my, that's my monologue and that's my deep thought for today. Um, you know, this show is gonna change it a little bit as it progresses and transition more away from the philosophical, you know, the, the thought provoking stuff and discussion and, and get more focused on the topic at hand. You know, we are, we're going to be talking about hiking and camping and all a bunch of different variety of topics surrounding those. Those two things or three things. And for those of you who are looking for a podcast, then that's what it is. It will get there. But please understand, you know, this is, this has been a process for me and I'm trying to lay out that process and that journey for those following along , um, and get you understand kind of where I'm coming from. So for those of you who are interested in this type of thing that like you're wanting what the first episode offered and what maybe the last few minutes offered, I would encourage you to check out our social media pages because I'm constantly posting pictures and thoughtful captions , um, you know, that have more of a motivational and an inspirational type message and this show will have some of that sprinkled in. But overall we are going to be getting into more of the , uh , specifics of different topics surrounding this hobby and in this activity of camping and hiking and backpacking and all that stuff that's involved. Um, so I encourage you to keep following along. If you haven't already, go follow our Instagram page and like our Facebook page and subscribe to us on YouTube in your , you're going to get a lot of different content through there. Um, and I think that you'll, you'll see that , uh, over time we're going to find our groove and we'll, we'll get, we'll get there. Um, but again, you know, this is just a work in progress and, and these types of things take time and money and all kinds of stuff to be artistic and, and be creative. And, and , um, I just, I just, most of all, I want to be real and genuine with my audience. I just want you guys to see what I see through my eyes and through my personality and through my perspective and, and try to bring you into the realm that I'm , I'm operating in right now and , uh, and share that with you. So , um, if you are encouraged or excited about this process and this, this path and this project specifically, then I would really encourage you to go check out our Patrion page , um, and look at some of the different , um, packages that we offer on their subscription tiers that are available. Because not only is that going to help support the show, but that's also gonna give you an insider scoop and insider perspective to a lot of stuff that we're doing. There's a lot of content that will be available through that Avenue that is not going to be available to everybody else. And , um, it's a , it's going to be a huge help to be able to get this show to the level that I want it to be at and move us down the line a little bit and help us be able to accomplish some of the goals that we've set up. So if you have some time, I would, I would encourage you to go check that out. And thank you again for everybody who is taking the time to listen and follow and subscribe. And , uh, we are now on all podcast platforms. Um, I believe the only one that we're still waiting on confirmation back from is Pandora. Um, but other than that you can plug into the trail connection on any of your podcast apps and we will show up and um, we are also starting to build a presence and a following on , on social media as well. So be a part of that community. Jump on there and help support us. And thank you so much from the bottom of my heart. I appreciate every single one of you and the support that you're giving in the positivity and in everything that you offer. Um, and keep, keep tuning in because we're not done yet. We're just getting started. And so next week we introduce our first guest to , or the next episode we introduce our first guest to the trail connection. I think that's gonna completely change the dynamic of the show and I'm super excited to get that going and get that rolling. And I'm really, really pumped to get you guys along the way with me and bring you along. So thanks again for tuning in. See you back in a couple of weeks. This is the trailTim:
action [inaudible] .