I got a chance to go on my first solo backpacking trip the weekend of May 2-3rd.I loaded up a rented backpack with camping supplies from REI and tuna cans and ramen from Ranch 99 – enough supplies for one night.
Originally I was assigned Upper Camp, which the ranger suggested since it was near a river, but it’s also in this valley underneath all this forest cover and ended up having swarms of flies circling overhead.
Deer Horn is a 4.5 mi hike from HQ, and has a convenient benched rest stop with picnic tables about 2 miles in. The campsite itself is located on a plateau overlooking the trail and has light wind and less bugs (which only appear when the air is still). Private with lots of chirping birds in the morning and quiets down around dusk.
No problem setting up my Kelty Gunnison 1.3 with Footprint Tent. Night was warm and moon was full, so I slept without the rain cover, right under the stars.