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Crafting while Enjoying Nature

It was a beautiful day out, up here in the mountains of northern Idaho. I love nature. I am very fortunate to live in a land with incredible national forests and lakes in every direction. My sister and I decided to squeeze in one more camping trip for the season. When we got to the park we found out they had a couple cabins available so it turned into a lovely cabin retreat.

My checklist while camping tends to go a bit like this: clothes, toiletries, tent, tarp, food, water, sleeping bag, map, crafting supplies, book, and a deck of cards.

Pack weight is a serious concern for any hiker or camper. One of my favorite crafting projects to take when I know I am going hiking is chainmail. My main chainmail bracelet material is anodized aluminum. This is perfect as it is light-weight, vibrantly colored, and water resistant. The bright colors of the rings make them easy to spot amidst the tall grass where I sometimes work. There are roughly 850 anodized aluminum rings in an ounce. A bracelet takes 100-400 rings. So a single bracelet project takes less than half an ounce of material. The only tools I need to bring are two pairs of pliers, which weigh in at 4 ounces each. This means I can pack a fantastic craft kit for less than a pound. Plus, the rings are easily dividable among multiple plastic bags. This makes them far less cumbersome to carry compared to art media that involves bulky sketchpads or weighty glass beads.

As we were going cabining, and not just out for a trail hike, I decided to bring a far more elaborate kit than the bare minimum. This gave me plenty of options regarding colors to calmly sort through at the cabin in the morning and selectively bring only the ones I was truly interested on working with on the trails.

The sky was a spectacular blue. The mountain lakes were refreshing after hiking all day. We were able to lay out on a quiet pier and spend some time soaking up the still mountain air... and of course make art happen! I didn’t get a chance to finish this silver and black dragonscale but it sure is off to a solid start.

Meanwhile, Halloween is just around the corner so I felt very inspired to make some seasonal bracelets. I managed to complete an entire pseudo-mobius in purple, orange, and black while resting in a meadow.

My sister and I had a wonderful time. I highly suggest bringing along a creative craft to relax with while enjoying the soothing world of nature.

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