Charles Daly

Writer

Tag: adventure

Boston Globe: Monomoy, Cape Cod’s desert island

Monomoy Island has been many things over the years: An island, a peninsula, an island again (as storms build and then destroy sand bridges with the mainland), a remote fishing village, a crime scene, a navigation hazard, and a wildlife sanctuary.

Just south of Chatham, at the elbow of Cape Cod, Monomoy is an 8-mile sandbar that separates the Atlantic Ocean and Nantucket Sound.

For now — that is until the shifting sands connect it to Chatham again — the only way to get there is by boat or kayak. To protect the island’s bird habitat, there are just three designated landing points where you can anchor. They’re not marked, you have to find them by GPS coordinates and try not to run aground on the way over.

Depending on where you land, it’s a 2- to 7-mile hike to the lighthouse at the end. The island narrows to just a few hundred feet across as you head south. Near the lighthouse, the land fans out again into a tear-drop shape of about 2 square miles. There are marshes, ponds, and tall grass. From up on a dune, you can see Nantucket on a clear day. Other than that, this is the middle of nowhere.

There’s a year-round chill in the air — from the meeting of warm and cold water at the end of the island — and it’s as if the wind remembers things the sands and waves have long obscured. You get the feeling that yours are not the only footprints here. And that’s true. Walking around the point, you’ll find the slab foundations of some old buildings, abandoned wells, the boat ramp from a decommissioned Coast Guard Station, and a boarded-up lighthouse, which is the only structure still standing.

Continue reading at the Boston Globe

 

7 Reasons to Bring a Tarp — DD Hammocks

My girlfriend and I balance each other out perfectly in the outdoors. She’s a climber and I’m a waterman. She knows how much food to pack, down to the calorie, and I (almost) never get us lost. She has all this camera gear, and I never get cold so there’s always room in my pack where warm layers should be.

But we have radically different ideas when it comes to shelter. I have one criterion: if it keeps the rain off, I’m good.

She, on the other hand, thinks shelter should:
> Keep the rain off.
> Keep the wind out
> Keep mosquitos and midges out.
> Act as a barrier against things that crawl and slither.
> Provide privacy
> Keep out murderers and tent burglers.

Guess who wins that argument? When we camp together, we usually sleep in a tent. But I have learned (the hard way) that it pays to bring a tarp even when you’re sleeping in a tent.

Here are few things you can do with your tarp other than sleep under it.

 

Make a Raft

Let’s start with the Macgyver option. Maybe you’re taking a shortcut across a lake, maybe you’re bored in camp on a rest day and need a project, or maybe you actually need a raft for survival purposes.

With just a few branches and some paracord, you can turn your 3×3 tarp into a raft. You can make an oar with the tarp bag and the right shaped stick.

Continue reading at DD Hammocks Adventure Blog

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