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26th August
2011
posted by amber

Camping on Mars

We walked out from the domed city, wearing our environmental suits and carrying all our gear, enjoying the low gravity. Compared to hiking on Earth, this was easy, even though we carried 85 kg each, not counting the weight of the environmental suits. But they’re full of servo-mechs to help support their own weight, so it would be cheating for us to brag about carrying their 40 kg.

We travelled 35 km to our destination, literally bounding along, but taking time to enjoy the beauty of the desolate yet colourful landscape. If you like rocks, Mars is the place for you. If you prefer trees, stay on Earth.

We set up our base camp at a spot where the subterranean water isn’t too far from the surface and we used our lasers to melt enough for our needs. We inflated our inso-tents into the cave made when the ice melted, attached our hatch and ducked inside just as night and -60 degrees C arrived.

We had to keep our environmental suits on until we used the air maker to fill the tent, then we struggled out of the constricting suits, putting cream on our rub marks and washing off the day’s sweat.

We set up our cots and sleeping bags, then Doris unpacked the cooker and put our dinners in. She’d chosen chick peas and protein and rice for our first meal. It was delicious.

We folded the cots to make lounging chairs and we watched the news and a drama, then Rick set the display to campfire and we told stories while we drank hot chocolate.

We all agreed that it’s great to get away from civilization!

The Story 365 project is a year-long marathon of short story writing, with a new story posted every day on this website from May 1, 2011 – April 30, 2012. Stories must be a minimum of 200 words. Please help me by adding first line suggestions in the Comment section.

This is another story that I read around the campfire on my backpacking trip, using the names of some of the people along on our earthly camping expedition.

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