I tend to test new gear before I go on long trips. I can’t say I’ve really caught many problems other than my learning curve, but it just seems like a good idea.
I should have applied the same logic to my camping gear. I really didn’t to open a new tent, sleeping bag, and air mattress at home (because who wants to repack that). Turns out my air mattress had a slow leak. Every three hours, my body was touching the ground. I didn’t mind the rocks so much, but it was about 25 degrees out, and direct contact with rocks at that temperature is really cold! So I didn’t sleep much, but I was pretty alert at 4am when I crawled out of my tent to go take this shot of the Milky Way before dawn.