Hey, Fellow Adventurers!
Here at Everything Summer Camp, we embrace the rugged reality of the wilderness and finding our place within it. So we’re excited to take you on a trip today with Reannon, a three-year veteran on our customer service team and a bonafide explorer as she recounts her trip to the Blackhills in South Dakota’s Custer State Park. A four-day trip with her good friend, Jake, made for a challenging and literally breathtaking adventure that she won’t be forgetting soon!
She set out with her Backpack from The North Face. “I’ve had it for five years and it has been to more states then a backpack should,” she said with a laugh. She brought along a 30° Kelty Sleeping Bag that she used to curl up in inside an ENO DoubleNest Hammock. With a cooking pan, some food, and a solid pair of waterproof hiking boots, Rae and Jake made their way to South Dakota.
Arriving in the second week of August last summer, Rae and Jake made their way up Black Elk Peak on a day no cooler than 90°! However, as they made their way to the top, the temps began to drop by the tens. One hour in and it was already down to 83°—a welcome change about three miles into the journey up the peak, 7,244 ft. up in total.
Rae reported that her ears had popped at about 2500ft.—only a third of the way up. And as the temperature dropped the wind grew. She described the majesty of the swaying pines and the difficulty she had catching a satisfactory breath. “The whole time it was kind of hard to breathe,” she told me.
In just two and half hours more, Rae and Jake had accomplished their nine-mile journey to the unbelievable outlook on the top of Black Elk Peak. The pictures are great, but they can’t come close to seeing it for yourself.
The next day they took things a bit easier, but they still put 3,000 ft. of the woodsy Lover’s Leap trail beneath them. There weren’t many people out there with them, but they saw some wildlife including two mountain goats and a “ridiculous amount of deer.”
“The sleeping bag worked perfectly,” Rae mentioned. “It was thin enough but kept me warm when it was super cold at night. My hammock was hands down the best birthday gift I ever got! I use it almost every single day and it’s the most durable hammock ever—so easy to get in and out of and it keeps the bugs away too.”
Rae had been getting into the outdoorsy life for the previous three years, but hiking Black Elk Peak and Lover’s Leap was her first big adventure. And she’s not stopping anytime soon. She sees Banff, a Canadian resort town that contains Mt. Rundle and Mt. Cascade (part of the Rocky Mountains). She also would love to visit Boulder, Colorado someday. “I just need to see it and do it myself,” she says. Enjoy seeing the great outdoors for yourself and, as always, thanks for reading!