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Justin Marney
(gotascii) - M

Locale: Shenandoah
New 8lb Shenandoah/AT Winter Gear List on 02/19/2009 10:26:31 MST Print View

I posted a pretty crappy looking list a while back and I've had some time to test stuff out on several trips this winter. I also got a hold of a postal scale and some new gear. Here is a SNP/AT winter list with a 8lb base pack weight that has proven to be comfortable and easy to use (I'm pretty much a complete noob to a lot of this stuff: alcohol stoves, tarp, bivy, lightweight, etc).

Update: It was suggested that not everyone knows what "Shenandoah Winter" means meteorologically. Here is a brief description of the weather and my approach.

Avg Temps (F): 25-45
Edge Temps (F): 10, 60+
Nights: 3-5
Avg Distance/Day: 10-12mi

Weather:
SNP winters, as well as winters on the AT in general, can best be described as the temperature band that creates cold, wet, precipitation. At the very least, 2 or 3 times a month SNP sees a wintry mix, occasionally lasting for days at a time. Usually all this water will then freeze on everything, including Skyline Drive. Much like Virginia's roller-coaster-like weather, it will inevitably be 60deg the following day.

I try to avoid aforementioned rainy periods and backpack on weekends where heavy precipitation is not in the forecast. Although, this list is based on being prepared to handle a night of steady rain or snow fall.

SNP/AT Winter Gear List

Edited by gotascii on 02/26/2009 11:52:58 MST.

Mike Klinefelter
(mjkline)

Locale: Southern California
Nice List on 02/20/2009 08:42:50 MST Print View

I noticed you're using the TiGoat Raven XL. On the TG website they still list it as "coming soon." I was curious as to how you like it and it's sizing. I have an older TG bivy with the old style netting. I like the bivy, but hate the netting, it gets in the way all the time. I had to have them custom make the bivy for me, since I'm 6'6" and the large bivy I first ordered was way too short. I also had them do some other customizations, such as a foot box end and grosgrain stake out loops. So anything you can tell me about the new Raven XL would be greatly appreciated.

Justin Marney
(gotascii) - M

Locale: Shenandoah
Raven XL on 02/24/2009 08:27:31 MST Print View

I have never seen the Ptarmigan but from the website it appears that the Raven is the same in all aspects except the length. I measured the Raven this morning and it has a 76" chest girth and ~46" foot girth which match the the Ptarmigan. It is ~96" long which is 10" longer than the Ptarmigan, as the website says. It has the same articulated bathtub floor design so no boxed foot end. It has one tie-out on the hood, no steak out loops. I have not yet experienced foul weather with the bivy so beyond measurements and a testimony to the quality craftsmanship one would expect I can't give you much more. I will say that I am 6'4" and my 15deg Helium L fits in with room to spare. Oh, also, it weighs 7oz without the stuff sack.

Edited by gotascii on 02/24/2009 12:09:26 MST.

Joshua Williamson
(Blueberry_Finder) - F

Locale: D.C.
Too many Jackets on 02/26/2009 08:37:57 MST Print View

I noticed you had Driducks and a Windshirt. Why not use just the Driducks or just use a nice lightweight Parka that breathes well like the Patagonia Houdini etc.
Also, I didn't notice any base insulation on that list, maybe I missed it, i.e. (down vest or synthetic puff filled coat).

Justin Marney
(gotascii) - M

Locale: Shenandoah
New 8lb Shenandoah/AT Winter Gear List on 02/26/2009 09:00:22 MST Print View

Insulation is provided by my Thermawrap parka (row labeled INSULATION). The DriDucks provides adequate protection from periods of sustained rainfall. I don't think I could use my parka for that. My Houdini wouldn't stand up to a steady rain. You're suggestion of ditching the Houdini and using the DriDucks for both wind shirt and rain jacket duties is interesting. Have you done something like this before? I know the DriDucks breathes well but I really love my Houdini's ability to breathe, block wind, and shed light rain. I am worried the DriDucks jacket would wet out long before my Houdini. I will bring along both this weekend and hike with my DriDucks as a wind shirt.

Jim Colten
(jcolten)

Locale: MN
Re: New 8lb Shenandoah/AT Winter Gear List on 02/26/2009 10:38:15 MST Print View

Nice list. But allow me to suggest that gear lists are always more informative if descriptions like winter or the ubiquitous three season are further explained by including temperature range and precipitation possibilities you want to cover. Especially for a geographically diverse audience like BPL.

Also, about those eight titanium steaks ... I suppose they could be dual use if not eaten until the last morning's breakfast but does your dentist know you are doing that? he-he

Justin Marney
(gotascii) - M

Locale: Shenandoah
New 8lb Shenandoah/AT Winter Gear List on 02/26/2009 11:56:40 MST Print View

@Jim Ha! Good catch. Using Ti steaks to hold my tent down would be a bit extreme. In addition to properly representing the items I use to secure my tent, I also added a blurb describing the general conditions one encounters on the AT in SNP.