Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Welcome to the Honda Hilton

At a trail maintenance outing to Sutton Bluff in Missouri, our Honda Element became the HONDA HILTON. Because we arrived late in the evening and were unable to see if any camping areas were level or didn't have rocks and because it was very cold, I agreed to sleep in the Element. The literature boasted that it could be used this way, but I was doubtful. My back sometimes struggles on "level" ground in a tent even with a great "Big Agnes" self-inflating sleep mat so I didn't think sleeping in a car was going to be remotely comfortable. I was wrong. Make a note for the records. I was terribly wrong. We pulled into the campground and chatted with friends. We then went back to the Element and prepared it for camping. We took off the front headrests and reclined the front seats to meet the 2nd row of seats. We took the gear out of the back and reclined the back seats leaving the headrests on. I noted the "bed" had a drop off around my knees so I doubled up my sleep mat in that area after slightly inflating it. We put our full length Kelty Clear Creek bags out and found we had lots of room left for gear! We put gear bags on the front seats, stored boots and water (the campground was officially closed) and propane cylinder spares in the front footwells. My stove and food slid under the rear seats by the clamshell opening and we even hung a headlamp from the grab bar for a little night light. I suspect we were a tad warmer than if we'd been in the tent, but the condensation was still there. I did, however, sleep beautifully! So we didn't pitch the tent all weekend. This is just another great bonus for the Element. It slept one large adult, one 11 year old boy and a very large Yorki in comfort. We could even do a quick flip and drive to the worksite. So no only will the Element load up for a month at the beach complete with kayak and gear, it will become an RV or Honda Hilton. I'll try a dry run with both kids and see if we can use it at the next maintenance outing. Come join us!
Wear layers. See you there with or without your own Honda Hilton.

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