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Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
The "I don't get it" thread on 03/09/2013 16:13:22 MST Print View

A place for you to pick a nuanced issue in light weight backpacking that you just "don't get" and have people that "get it" offer some perspective. No trick/cynical/rhetorical questions or "my way is better than your way" or "you're doing it all wrong" type thing. Just honest questions and concerns about something that you don't do or use and a chance to learn from those that do--maybe change your mind about something and end up improving your backpacking experience, who knows?

I'll start.

I recently saw a thread on one water resistant mitt vs. another (Zpacks WPB vs. MLD eVent) and after skimming the thread realized this was something I really don't get. I have never used them, in fairness, but have never felt the need.

When it rains, I don't care if my hands get wet, and I don't see the big deal. In the summer, they don't get cold from being wet because, well, it's summer and warm. In the spring/fall my hands rarely get cold and wet because either I am hiking (and hence, blood is pumping, and I'm warm) or if I am at camp I am under my shelter for the night (and hence fairly dry). Also in the spring/fall I usually wear a pair of thin wool or alpaca gloves to keep my hands warm, and when they get wet, they still keep my hands warm--not as warm when dry, obviously, but warm enough.

In the winter I wear synth or wool liners and either leather or wool over gloves, and they don't get wet often. Though there have been times in the winter that both my gloves got soaked (e.g. two months ago, slipped while walking over a small frozen stream and the ice broke). But my hands were still warm enough, and eventually dried out as I hiked and I was fine.

Plus, in climbing around on rocks or holding on to trees as is done when out in nature at times, or if you slip and/or fall (which is more likely when it is raining and slick, after all) wouldn't it be more likely for over mitts to get damaged or worn out? And when you need to blow your nose or use the bathroom or something where you need/want to take off your gloves/mitts, your hands are going to get at least a little wet eventually, right?

I live in an area that gets a fair amount if not a lot of rain, and have done plenty of trips out in the rain during all 4 seasons, and can't remember a time when my hands were wet and/or cold enough for me to wish I had a pair of water resistant over mitts. Maybe it's because I don't use hiking poles? Do I just have good circulation? Or what am I missing here?

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Windshirts. on 03/09/2013 16:57:36 MST Print View

I don't get windshirts. So many people seem to LOVE them, but I've never felt that I needed a windshirt where a power stretch fleece or rain jacket couldn't suffice. I know they're very light, but I've been fine without one, so why add another piece of gear?

Are they really that awesome?

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Windshirts. on 03/09/2013 17:06:49 MST Print View

Trav,

I will bring a spare windshirt for you to try on the Pictured Rocks trip if you like.
If your hiking in a forest where wind is not a big issue a wind shirt maybe a moot point, but if your on a windy open mountain then its your best buddy.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Windshirts. on 03/09/2013 17:11:15 MST Print View

Ahhh, I see what dirty tricks you are up to, Stephen. You're just trying to get me to spend more money. ;)


Sure! I'll give it a go!

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Windshirts. on 03/09/2013 17:16:42 MST Print View

Would you, like dark blue, light blue, red or green.

Oh, hood or no hood?

Edited by stephenm on 03/09/2013 17:53:58 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Re: Windshirts. on 03/09/2013 18:07:33 MST Print View

Lol. Got a houdini?

No opinion on color. Hood please!

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Windshirts. on 03/09/2013 18:17:15 MST Print View

I do indeed have Houdiini, have yet to use it in anger yet as have been wearing Paramo all winter.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Windshirts. on 03/09/2013 18:19:13 MST Print View

Ah, Paramo! That I wouldn't mind trying...

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Windshirts. on 03/09/2013 18:23:17 MST Print View

I will bring that along for a look see as well.

My wife said she would come on the Pictured Rocks trip, with one caveat, will ping you on the other thread.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: over mitts on 03/09/2013 18:34:31 MST Print View

Cesar,
I'm with you. The only time my hands were cold from rain, I just pulled the arms of my DriDucks over them. Maybe I need to hike in cold blowing rain more?

Stephen,
You're making me really regret not being able to make that trip. :P I've also used my DriDucks for those windy passes. It's worked fine so far but I don't have a lot of experience yet.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: over mitts on 03/09/2013 18:53:40 MST Print View

That's a shame you cannot make it Michael,

I have seen Dri ducks in Walmart but have yet to try them out, must do sometime.

William Segraves
(sbill9000) - F - M
Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/09/2013 19:05:43 MST Print View

Different strokes for different folks. Nothing I like better for keeping hands warm in a driving 33 degree rain than a pair of myog fleece mittens (1.2 oz, XL) covered with myog wpb mitts (1 oz, XL). I do use trekking poles, so that may be part of it. When they wear out, I'll make another pair.

Without them, I've had hands get cold enough that it mattered, even while hiking vigorously. It's not a mistake I'll make twice.

I didn't really "get" windshirts either, until I took a 2 oz myog tyvek windshirt (just cut from a tyvek suit) on an extended trip. Was it necessary? Probably not, but I found myself using it multiple times every day. After that, I bought a real windshirt. Perhaps it's a luxury/convenience item, but it's a couple of ounces that get a lot of use.

Best,

Bill

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
The "I don't get it" thread on 03/09/2013 19:25:02 MST Print View

As a runner, I get windshirts. One of the best pieces of gear out there. Small and light enough to tie around the waist or stuff in your shorts, yet fully functional for aerobic stuff in cold weather. I've had my Houdini and others down to 20 degrees with nothing but a t-shirt and arm sleeves underneath.

1
Perhaps they don't make sense to some in the context of backpacking when you have a rain shell and other insulation at your disposal, but when you're trying to keep your whole kit to a pound or less and ultra compact for a long run, they shine.

________________________________________________

What I don't get is how many people are "not getting" mitts and windshirts, while we've got people here that are content peeing in the bottles and pots they eat or drink out of.

Just Say No to peeing in your dinnerware!

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Windshirts. on 03/09/2013 19:42:32 MST Print View

Windshirts block wind and are more breathable (which means that you will be dryer) than a rain jacket. What's so complicated about that?

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Windshirts. on 03/09/2013 20:37:31 MST Print View

One of the tenants of lightweight backpacking is utilizing multiple use gear. A raincoat can block wind, therefore it has multiple uses. A windshirt cannot be used as a rain jacket.

The concept of where and why a rain jacket is useful isn't complicated, but when I can keep wind off me adequately with gear I already carry, a windshirt seems less useful to me.

That being said, I'm willing to see what I may be missing.

Edited by T.L. on 03/09/2013 20:54:35 MST.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Windshirts. on 03/09/2013 20:53:37 MST Print View

My wind proof is never in my pack as I am always wearing so does not effect my base weight, and I see skin out weight as anal retentive.
If its raining I wear both.

rOg w
(rOg_w) - F - M

Locale: rogwilmers.wordpress
deleted on 03/09/2013 20:58:14 MST Print View

deleted

Edited by rOg_w on 06/17/2013 19:57:35 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: Windshirts. on 03/09/2013 21:16:52 MST Print View

That's a very good point Travis, but the extra breathability is well worth the weight, especially in shoulder seasons where staying dry is much more important.
It might mean the difference between having a hiking layer that is dry enough to sleep in and having a layer that is too damp to sleep in.

Edited by justin_baker on 03/09/2013 21:17:24 MST.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Re: Windshirts. on 03/09/2013 21:38:00 MST Print View

I guess that's why I need to try one! Apparently I'm missing something (I mean that seriously).

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Windshirts. on 03/09/2013 21:41:50 MST Print View

Remind me the day before the Pictured Rocks trip and I will bring one along for you to try out.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/09/2013 21:52:27 MST Print View

Is this a windshirt thread?

I don't like trolls and how so many threads that start off interesting end up going off on tangents.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/09/2013 21:55:04 MST Print View

What was trolled?

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/09/2013 21:58:40 MST Print View

Just kidding


What I don't get...

I just don't understand why everybody brings sooo much crap with them when they go backpacking.
Even light is not really light on this site. The average backpack from trips on this site on a 3 day trip probably weighs 28 pounds or so?
Why do people need to bring their bed and kitchen sink with them?
I thought roughing it was a good thing when heading out on a trip?

I don't get it.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/09/2013 21:58:59 MST Print View

I thought trolls lived under bridges.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/09/2013 22:21:20 MST Print View

We bring a pad to sleep on, and a stove and pot to cook on.

Sleeping on 20f bare ground and lighting a fire at 12000ft can be a bit dicey.

Edited by stephenm on 03/09/2013 22:22:31 MST.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Re: Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/09/2013 23:34:13 MST Print View

Aaron,

I think the reason is that Comfort UL is so easy these days. In no bear can zones you can go 10lbs and bring the kitchen sink (literally). So as tech has improved you can bring more stuff. And the benefit of cutting that stuff is minimal as for a weekend trip you can have a 18lb pack and a 12lb baseweight. My last trip I brought a chair and was under 10 lbs, my new goal is 10lbs full kitchen set up to cook pizza, cookies and bread. Luxury UL is what you are seeing.

Now back to back 40 mile days and my list changes a lot but where is the driver to go lighter than 10lbs for a 20 mile day weekend trip.

Edited by GregF on 03/09/2013 23:35:09 MST.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Re: mitts, windshirts, and...pee? on 03/10/2013 01:03:02 MST Print View

Glad I am not the only one that doesn't get mitts. I was half expecting to be mocked and trolled for not seeing the point.

Windshirts on the other hand, I get. I don't always bring one, but I often do, especially on section hikes and summer trips. For me it is about fine tuning warmth, and for around 100-200g depending on what kind of windshirt, it is not that much of a weight penalty. I have one that is 75g that sees the most use, but I also have a beefier running jacket that is around 200g that I use in cooler temps because it is warmer (plus has nice pockets too as a bonus). I have yet another that is 140g that is in my urban backpack that I use a lot as an extra layer--great for when I stay out later than expected and it's much colder around midnight.

Even in places that see a lot of rain, which probably includes where I live and hike, it is usually not raining. So my windshirts see more use than my rain gear. Plus it is multi-use: you can wear them to bed (I often do), wear as a shirt while you wash/dry your t-shirt, and if it is warmer out but raining it is a nice buffer between a rain jacket/poncho and arms (if, like me, you don't find rain shells as nice on the skin as windshirt nylon).

Now the whole pee bottle or pee in your pot thing I don't get either. Not because I think it is "gross" either--fresh pee is sterile, from what I gather. I just don't mind getting up to pee outside of my shelter, even in the rain. Only takes a minute or so, even when squirming out of a bivy. Maybe because this is not as frequent for me? I hardly ever wake up at home to pee, and would estimate that I wake up to pee out backpacking maybe 20-25% of the time. I do make it a point to try and pee before bed, though.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: mitts, windshirts, and...pee? on 03/10/2013 07:57:06 MDT Print View

Hi Cesar,

Just had a think and I have 4 pairs of mitts I use through the various seasons.

MLD Event mitts.
Gooses Feet down mitts.
Outdoor Pl 400 fleece mitts.
OutDoor Designs inferno mitts.

The Mld pair are what I use most and layer the Down or fleece mitts under them if need be but prefer to keep the down ones for camp use.

The infermo mitts have a crazy amount of synthetic fill (around 220gm2) and are solely for winter.

When using the Mld pair on the move in winter I will usually have 1 or 2 pairs of liner gloves under them, in summer I may wear them by themselves.

Edited by stephenm on 03/10/2013 08:02:10 MDT.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
Skin out weight on 03/10/2013 08:56:51 MDT Print View

I don't get "skin out" weight.

I mean, if my everyday dress is jeans, shoes, car keys, wallet, pocket knife, cell phone, etc. I'm probably wearing 5 lbs of clothes. But, since I wear this on nearly a daily basis, my body is used to the weight as if it was my own body weight.

Based on that, I don't see the point in calculating the weight of anything other than what is in your pack, unless you normally walk around naked, or your backpacking clothes are heavier than your EDC. I doubt either of those cases are ever true.

In fact, I propose that the standard be to calculate your skin out weight, but you subtract your EDC weight from that number, and the result is your actual backpacking weight.

I'm gonna start wearing a 30lb weight vest 24/7, so backpacking will feel like I lost weight, lol.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Skin out weight on 03/10/2013 11:10:34 MDT Print View

I hear ya on that, Nick.

I guess I "get it," but never saw the need to really care about total worn weight in a spreadsheet. I do pay attention not to stuff my pockets full of extra stuff and when I buy a garment I look for the lightest version of what I need.

I've even considered using an *inside/on/attached to* the pack only measurement; not including the pack weight. Why? Because good, supportive packs are light enough now that when worn empty they feel light like clothing. Plus, a good suspension system can make the load feel lighter than it is.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Skin out weight on 03/10/2013 11:19:48 MDT Print View

+ 2 with Nick.

I don't even care what my base is. It's all about the weight carried on my back.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Skin out weight on 03/10/2013 11:21:07 MDT Print View

I will make sure I don't have any coins in my pocket but that's about it.

Travis,

I find a weight minus pack measurement makes sense for me most of the time.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 03/10/2013 11:28:18 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/12/2013 22:49:19 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: shelter weight without guylines or stakes on 03/10/2013 11:29:53 MDT Print View

It makes it easier for them to tell porkies :-)

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
2.5 lb bivy shelters for below treeline use. on 03/10/2013 11:44:31 MDT Print View

Don't get it.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: shelter weight without guylines or stakes on 03/10/2013 11:46:58 MDT Print View

"I don't get why many tents are advertised with a weight minus guylines and stakes."

Because there are many different guylines and stakes with varying weights out there. I might use a different set, at a different weight, than you. So advertising only the shelter weight makes sense.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 03/10/2013 12:10:42 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/12/2013 22:51:28 MDT.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: RE: Bivy on 03/10/2013 12:23:38 MDT Print View

Pretty awesome, eh?

Tee, hee.

Lyan Jordan
(redmonk)

Locale: Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 13:44:54 MDT Print View

moving slow enough to find a rain jacket tolerable to wear as a wind shirt, I don't get it.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 13:51:30 MDT Print View

Esbit. Many here seem to love it so. I find it smelly, messy and slow. Have a canister stove. Want to give it a go? Though I am very happy with my alcohol stove and cone. I can see some advantages on paper, but in real life I am not a fan.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 14:24:22 MDT Print View

"moving slow enough to find a rain jacket tolerable to wear as a wind shirt, I don't get it."


If the temps are right you can hike at a good pace with a thin shirt a light shell. Especially handy it the ol' 35*F and windy/rainy.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: I don't get it on 03/10/2013 14:36:02 MDT Print View

I don't get the "I don't get it" thread.
Different people, priorities, goals, activities, comfort levels, climates, and aesthetic values. What's to get?

Jason Elsworth
(jephoto) - M

Locale: New Zealand
The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 14:49:01 MDT Print View

@ Aaron- I just don't understand why everybody brings sooo much crap with them when they go backpacking.

What specifically do you see on gear lists that people don't need.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
It's alive! on 03/10/2013 14:59:02 MDT Print View

Stephen - Thanks for your input on mitts. Seems like you really love them if you have so many pairs. Still not sure about them. I guess some people just really want dry and very warm hands all the time, or maybe have bad circulation, I guess.

Nick - You raise valid concerns. I was looking at my geargrams list of my new 1+ season list earlier today, doing some updates and such. I thought about the same things you brought up actually, about a lot of stuff being in my pockets, and that I wear heavy clothing for urban use all the time, etc. Because I tend to nerd out on things, I included in my gear list literally everything I plan on taking down to the last detail, other than consumables and clothing worn, and I am around 3.3kg/7.3lbs. Yet with a bit of "cheating" I could make this into a SUL gear list but stuffing a bunch of stuff in my pockets, or not counting things like my glasses, key chain, wallet items, rain jacket, minor consumables like lip balm and sunblock, etc. After I upgraded my clothing systems last year and did a few FSO weights, I feel much like you, that I am over it and will just stick to BW--but I just have to include everything that is not consumable or clothing. Plus I think it is fun to know exactly how much every little thing I carry weighs.

Ken - I am with you on Esbit. I think it's great as a back up or as a firestarter, but for me too many drawbacks for me to use. I am alcohol all the way, even in winter, though I must admit the gas users really shine in the winter.

Ike - Oh how delightfully post-modern of you. You will receive the fish as soon as my attorney gets "the" signal, and thank you for your "feedback."

EDIT: Yes.

Edited by PrimeZombie on 03/10/2013 15:02:57 MDT.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 15:01:38 MDT Print View

Alcohol stoves... slow, finicky, potentially messy... on paper the advantages can be nice but in practice i found mine annoying in the wind and slow even in good conditions.

give me my Optimus Crux any day.. 1 small fuel canister can last me 2+ weeks if needed and in 3mins i have boiling water enough for FBC. can be set up, boiling and taken down quick in any non freezing weather. i'll "spend" a few ounces for convenience.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: It's alive! on 03/10/2013 15:03:08 MDT Print View

Hi Cesar,

The MLD Mitts get used all year round, the fleece mitts from about 35f-20f, I use he other from 20f to about -10f, anything colder I would rather
be in the pub.

Cheers,

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Re: Re: Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 15:10:05 MDT Print View

"Alcohol stoves... slow, finicky, potentially messy... on paper the advantages can be nice but in practice i found mine annoying in the wind and slow even in good conditions. "

For one I will say that I mos def get using gas--as I just mentioned, in the winter they really are awesome. I somewhat recently wrote about why I prefer alcohol on my blog, forgive me for quoting myself:

(alcohol) is relatively cheap, very easy to find (virtually all gas stations and campgrounds in Sweden/Norway sell it), easy to use, easy to store (in various kinds of recycled plastic bottles), and when it burns it is quiet, nearly odor free, and only leaves small amounts of soot (if any).

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 03/10/2013 15:21:58 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/12/2013 23:08:00 MDT.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Re: Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 15:22:59 MDT Print View

12oz bottle of HEET is $5 on Amazon.. 12 boils 4oz canister of isobutane is $4.5-5.50 and is 15+ boils. never leaks, never spills, boils 1.5c of water in 3 minutes.

I don't do overnights in winter so the cold disadvantages of canisters don't concern me

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
RE: skin out weight on 03/10/2013 15:25:07 MDT Print View

Travis and Aaron: Good points.

I also tend to count the actual backpack weight last, and it holds the least significance to me. I would much rather carry 30lbs that fells like 20, than 25lbs that feels like 25...

If I really want to save weight I could throw it all in a garbage bag and just carry it over one shoulder...

This is a big reason I am getting more and more interested in external frames. Especially now that I've realized they don't weigh any more, and sometimes less than internals, and carry more comfortably.

And, yes, what's the point of a 5lb base weight if you carry 25lbs worth of food, water, and alcohol. I think a good standard would be to compare the backpack trail head weight for a 3 day trip. I think that would be the most accurate way of comparing yourself to others, and establishing UL, SUL, and XUL definitions.

In fact, I would go on to say that the "standard" should be you skin out trail head weight for a 3 day trip minus your urban EDC weight. For arguments sake, we can say 2liters of water would be standard for calculation purposes.

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 03/10/2013 15:38:08 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/12/2013 23:39:29 MDT.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: RE: skin out weight on 03/10/2013 15:40:50 MDT Print View

lol why should there be a standard days, water etc?

baseweight works well to compare because it is simple and universal. your baseweight is the same regardless of trip length, food preferences, water requirements, base clothing. The point is the compare minus variables.

this summer most of my gear was the same when i did a 2 day weekend trip as it was for an 18 day thru-hike

Edited by JakeDatc on 03/10/2013 15:43:55 MDT.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 15:54:40 MDT Print View

"I don't get it" often just means "I have not experienced that"
Quick example " I don't get why some complain about condensation in..." can simply mean " I hike where it is dry and windy or possibly I am much smaller/shorter sweat a lot less than the guys that complain".
To address the mitts thing, I use water proof (early Gore-tex) thin mitts by themselves or over my wool gloves because at just over freezing , say between 33 and 38f, rain is very cold . At those temps in the rain it is much more difficult to remain warm than at 25f.
(my wool gloves are part of my sleep system so I don't want to get those wet)
Wind jackets I don't use because rain is more of a problem for me than wind, so a wind jacket only, does not take care of rain (real rain...) whilst my rain jacket is good enough for me in the wind, however I am aware that others hike where rain is not much of an issue but wind is.
I have often addressed this point arguing at different times for the opposite point of view.
That is not to be contrarian but just to explain the different situations count for different solutions.
For example wood burning stoves.
Some don't get why not everybody is using them ( well you can't burn wood if it isn't legal or there is no wood to burn...) others don't get why they are used at all (that is because they hike (or camp) in forested areas where fires are not likely to take hold )
My point is that if you have only hiked in a somewhat similar climate (or under particular laws or lack of) all your life you will find it difficult to understand why others do it differently.

BTW, in Australia we get 95% Ethanol for about $3.50 a liter . Any supermarket will have that. So it works for me and my 550ml Caldera Cone kit...but no I don't use alcohol to melt snow.

Ike Jutkowitz
(Ike) - M

Locale: Central Michigan
re: on 03/10/2013 15:55:22 MDT Print View

Well played, Cesar.
Seriously though, isn't it enough to have found the gear that works perfectly for you? There is no universal truth, and rarely is there common ground. We like what we like, period. Personal aesthetic is very much at the heart of gear selection. Unfortunately, some (not you) never get past the "this works well for me so it must work for everyone" mentality. This intolerance is usually covered up with the inevitable "Hike your own hike", which near as I can tell means, "your way is dumb, but whatever.."

That's why I say "Don't get it". You don't have to. Only the person carrying the gear needs to.

PS- Windshirts are da bomb

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Esbit on 03/10/2013 16:03:44 MDT Print View

Esbit is a good compact and stable fuel that can be used in many ways. You could use three rocks an an Esbit tablet if you needed to. I use a tiny Ti wing stove, aluminum foil winscreen and a small Ti cup for my most minimal kitchen.

The easy way to start Esbit is to put a dab of alcohol gel hand cleaner on it and give it a spark.

I carry several tabs in an aluminum can with a screw cap. Keeps the smell at bay

Esbit soot comes of easily with a good old steel wool Brillo pad. I carry my pot in a ziplock and clean the soot at home.

I don't get why someone hasn't made a better Ti stove to use with Esbit. Esbit has marketed some hard anodized aluminum pot and stove combos, but they walk away from the simplicity of the stamped steel stove design from WW2.

Edited by dwambaugh on 03/10/2013 16:08:15 MDT.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Re: re: on 03/10/2013 16:13:04 MDT Print View

"Seriously though, isn't it enough to have found the gear that works perfectly for you? There is no universal truth, and rarely is there common ground. We like what we like, period. Personal aesthetic is very much at the heart of gear selection. Unfortunately, some (not you) never get past the "this works well for me so it must work for everyone" mentality. This intolerance is usually covered up with the inevitable "Hike your own hike", which near as I can tell means, "your way is dumb, but whatever.." "

Good points. I suppose I am just always curious about how other people do things, and always looking to learn from different perspectives.

I always work from the position that I don't know anything, even with things I am familiar with, as it forces me to re-evaluate things.

I have a friend who is a hardcore bushcrafter type guy. We will meet up several times a year for excellent overnighters, did one just last month. He has this massive pack, must be like 80 liters, and he takes lots of stuff and lots of weight. Yet we learn from each other, always. His camp coffee is the best I have ever had out in the wild, and the best I can do is tea (which while not bad, is nothing compared to his freshly ground gourmet coffee).

The moment you think something is perfect is the moment that learning and experience stops for that thing or idea.

:)

Daniel Fish
(daniel@fishfamilypdx.com)

Locale: PDX
... on 03/10/2013 16:17:17 MDT Print View

...

Edited by daniel@fishfamilypdx.com on 06/12/2013 23:47:36 MDT.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 16:35:44 MDT Print View

Sometimes an "I don't get it" situation can be a challenge to try something new!

The wind shirt, for me, was a case in point. I never figured I'd need one until I spend an unusually warm day in Wyoming's Wind Rivers fighting off horseflies and deer flies, which gleefully chomped me through my Permethrin-sprayed shirt as though it were an appetizer. (I since read the fine print on the Permethrin label and discovered it's not supposed to be effective for flies.) What I really wanted after that experience was a suit of medieval armor, but I figured that would be a bit too heavy. I noticed the critters weren't biting through my closer-woven nylon pants, so I decided to try a wind shirt, an item I had always thought was completely unnecessary. I got one, and lo and behold, it kept the flies off--no need for that suit of armor!

That was almost 5 years ago. Since then my wind shirt has become the most versatile garment I own, and I'd never, ever go out without it. It's the garment I most often put on during rest stops--in summer it's all I need, although I do take a puffy jacket for cold evenings and mornings. It's what I wear around camp when the temp is in the 60's, a little cool for shirt sleeves but not warm enough for a puffy. When it's cold and windy but not rainy, it's the layer i wear for hiking. Just the wind shirt over a baselayer top (plus lightweight liner gloves and a headband) will take me down to 20*F as long as I'm actively moving. It has to get below 20* before I need even a lightweight mid-layer. Out here in the PNW we occasionally get days that are foggy with a bit of drizzle, not enough for a rain jacket. The wind shirt is just right for those conditions, too.

I can say the same thing for trail runners instead of Goretex-lined boots and for trekking poles. I had to go through a kicking-and-screaming protest (mentally, anyway) before I could be persuaded to try either of them. Once I tried them, I was sold and never went back.

Of course if you try something and it doesn't work for you or still seems unnecessary, then there's certainly no reason to use it. Not everything works for everybody. I'm that way with a quilt instead of a sleeping bag. HYOH and YMMV and all that!

You don't have to spend a bunch of money, either. If you don't own a nylon windbreaker, look for one at a thrift shop. Ditto ski poles if you want to try out trekking poles. Try them on dayhikes or overnighters, where a little extra weight is no big deal. If you like them, then buy the lightweight versions. If you don't, just donate them back to the thrift shop (tax deduction).

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: I don't get it on 03/10/2013 16:46:42 MDT Print View

It's the new Chaff, kinda.

Could have called it the This don't work for me, but you seem OK with it thread.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Thanks dale! on 03/10/2013 16:50:39 MDT Print View

"That's a great idea for starting the esbit. Plus the hand sanitizer is dual purpose now."

Everclear is even more multi-purpose :)

I count the hand cleaner as part of my emergency supplies for fire starting. You can set it off with a dead Bic lighter that still has the spark wheel operating or *one* match. The weeniest spark from a firesteel will set it off. Could save your bacon if your hands aren't working well.

Alcohol swabs from your first aid kit can work the same way.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Windshirts and mosquitos; another use? on 03/10/2013 16:56:15 MDT Print View

Mary, you got me thinking with your comment on bugs and wind shirts...

One of the problems with some bug nets is that they are often small by design, whether it is to save weight and/or to fit under a tarp. So on those warm nights where you're not covered by a sleeping bag or quilt, you may have exposed skin that is touching the netting. Inevitably, mosquitos will find that spot and chomp away.

I'm thinking wearing a wind shirt to bed could prevent this along your arms and shoulders, which is where you're most likely going to be touching the netting.

Can mosquitos bite through wind shirts?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Windshirts and mosquitos; another use? on 03/10/2013 17:02:49 MDT Print View

"Can mosquitos bite through wind shirts?"

This one might be able to:

skeeter

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 17:06:20 MDT Print View

I don't get why people think it's so weird that I poop in my cook pot..... ok that one might have been too much.

What I don't get is down pants. I must have inherited some freakish genetic trait where my legs don't ever get cold, even in camp, but I doubt I'll buy a pair with the possible exception of boosting a sleeping bag's performance. I haven't been below -20* but to be honest, I don't really want to.

I'm also an Esbit fan. I find that I can heat up three cups of water with one tab sufficient for rehydrating food in my cozy and my morning coffee. There isn't anything to mechanically fail or leak. Altitude and ambient temperature do not appear to affect it from a heat source perspective. It's only .5 oz per tab and makes for a great emergency fire starter. The only ding I can give it is the residue (not a big deal), the smell (seems that people overreact to this), and the cost (expensive compared to Heet.) What I don't get is LNT! Why can't I clean the Esbit residue off on a marmot or a chipmunk..... ok that's probably out there flapping as well.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Esbit on 03/10/2013 17:15:38 MDT Print View

"I don't get why someone hasn't made a better Ti stove to use with Esbit."

Trail Designs has the Gram Cracker, which is an Esbit burner made of titanium. The wing stove is an Esbit burner and pot support. The Gram Cracker doesn't need more pot support since it is intended to be used within a Caldera Cone.

--B.G.--

Harrison Carpenter
(carpenh) - M

Locale: St. Vrain River Valley
Re: Re: Re: Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 17:16:04 MDT Print View

Anyone from da Yoop will tell you trolls live south of St. Ignace.

Aaron Davis
(ardavis324) - F
Toothpaste.. on 03/10/2013 17:17:58 MDT Print View

I don't get why so many are so disgusted with using Dr. Bronners as toothpaste. Considering all of the other ways we "rough it", this seems so peculiar to me.

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: Toothpaste.. on 03/10/2013 17:22:02 MDT Print View

'cause it tastes like soap. Made me wretch. No so great on grease either. I don't like how it thickens up when cold. All that ABC script is weird. Need more reasons not to go with Dr. B.? The tiny amount of toothpaste needed fo a trip is no burden.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Hand sanitizer/Esbit on 03/10/2013 17:29:06 MDT Print View

As usual, Dale has great technique:

"The easy way to start Esbit is to put a dab of alcohol gel hand cleaner on it and give it a spark."

As for the Everclear, there's yet another use--fill a small ethanol-based hand sanitizer (eg, Purell--70% EtOH) bottle half full, and add Everclear to fill up the bottle. Shake it well, and you have beefed up the ethanol concentration significantly (from 70% to over 80%), which adds extra firepower.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Toothpaste.. on 03/10/2013 17:30:16 MDT Print View

Don't bathe in the woods or need to wash dishes so might as well use real toothpaste.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: Toothpaste.. on 03/10/2013 17:53:55 MDT Print View

I don't get why people take toothpaste.

I don't get why people can't just sleep on their back on a teeny torso length bit of foam.

I don't get Swiss army knives and their ilk.

On the other hand, I don't get fixed blade knives either.

I don't get tarps.

I don't get Aarn packs. Or LuxuryLite.

I don't get people who don't get windshirts.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Toothpaste.. on 03/10/2013 18:10:27 MDT Print View

Windshirts really hit home for me on one trip in the Alps in Switzerland when it was freezing and raining and my Montane Superfly eVent jacket started wetting out and leaking, even though I had recently washed and reproofed it. I was close to getting hypothermic. It got so bad that I decided to take it off and change to my Montane Lightspeed windshirt. It didn't repel the rain, but I immediately felt warmer. I walked for the rest of the day in the rain, wearing just a wool baselayer shirt, a microfleece midlayer, and the windshirt. Though I was wet, I was warm and the walking dried off any moisture next to my skin. And it dried so fast when I finally got into my shelter, that I was able to sleep in it. A wool t-shirt and windshirt are usually all I need when walking hard in the higher reaches, even when it is quite cold and windy. Just don an insulation jacket over it when taking rest breaks. That thin film against the leeching effects of wind makes a huge, huge difference. I now take a windshirt on every trip. I hardly ever use a rain jacket anymore, even in heavy rain, unless it is really cold. As long as I can can stay warm, and can dry fast, I'm okay.

The new Neoshells (I have a Rab Neo Stretch Jacket), look very promising, though. If they can be designed to be light enough, they could replace my windshirt and be waterproof at the same time.

I don't get wearing shoes without proper treads. Have the people who wear them ever slipped on wet rocks or trudged through mud?

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: The "I don't get it" thread on 03/10/2013 18:11:50 MDT Print View

I don't get 'it.' But I'm working on it.....

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Esbit on 03/10/2013 18:23:30 MDT Print View

I like esbit because you don't need a stove for it. You can just rig up something with rocks. I carry a few esbits as backups when I am mostly cooking over wood fires. If everything is wet and I don't want to deal with making a fire, I will just pull out an esbit. They also work well as firestarters.

spelt the enigmatic
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
Mitts again on 03/10/2013 19:46:59 MDT Print View

I don't get why people prefer them over gloves. Except in extremely cold temps, I haven't noticed any difference in warmth, and for everything else mitts just sacrifice dexterity.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Cameras on 03/10/2013 21:11:58 MDT Print View

I don't get viewing the scenery through a viewfinder. In the time it takes to compose and shoot a picture, I'll reflect on the scene, my thoughts, and feelings about it making it more memorable. I bring all my neurons with me and back again anyway, so there's weight penalty for memorizing things.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Cameras on 03/10/2013 21:20:44 MDT Print View

When you do it right, either with a camera or with a pen and paper (they are very different in execution), photography and drawing can bring an incredibly rich "seeing" of the world around you, mainly because you are intensely focusing on that. Good photography is not just snapping the camera. That's why great photographs don't depend so much on the camera, but on how the person with the camera is looking at things.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Cameras on 03/10/2013 21:28:13 MDT Print View

Plus it is nice to share your experience with others who did not go. or to look back and remember and relive it again. With experience you can start being selective with what you shoot. There are only so many mushrooms, "neat little waterfalls", flowers, ferns etc before you need to just let it go ;) but nice landscapes, portraits, fun summit photos etc

This shot sums up a lot of my Long Trail experience in one shot.
LT

Edited by JakeDatc on 03/10/2013 21:29:55 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Cameras on 03/10/2013 22:04:59 MDT Print View

I flip flop on this one all the time.

First 10 years of my travel trips, I never took a camera. Very similar to what David Thomas wrote a few posts above.

Then the last few trips, I started bringing my camera. On some of them, I was really snapping away -- and glad to have it with me. On another one (two months' duration) -- I took exactly 3 photos.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Cameras on 03/10/2013 23:53:56 MDT Print View

I enjoy being able to look back at a trip through pictures, but I noticed that taking pictures constantly can kinda ruins the fun. Mostly I like to share the photos with others. It works well when you have a good photographer hiking with you that will do all of the work.

Edited by justin_baker on 03/10/2013 23:55:38 MDT.

Nick Larsen
(stingray4540) - F

Locale: South Bay
@ Jake Re: skin out weight on 03/11/2013 01:25:05 MDT Print View

Jake:
How dare you question me!
Haha, just kidding.

Seriously though, here is my reasoning behind the idea:

1) Standard days - makes it easy to calculate your consumables, and since, as you pointed out, a 2 night trip will use the same base gear as a 2 week trip, it will be easier to base the standard on a shorter trip length, and one that is probably the most common.

This also helps account for weights that otherwise go unaccounted for. Say your baseweight is 10lbs, and my baseweight is 10lbs. But, you use esbit and carry 6 ounces of fuel for a 3 day trip, and I use a canister stove and carry 1 pound of fuel for a 3 day trip. See, right there is unaccounted for weights that are a big topic here, but don't find there way into baseweights. Same for guy who uses efficent alcohol stove vs. someone who uses super fast but fuel hog alcohol stove.


2) Water - while this won't be relevant to me and you comparing weights, since the water will be the same, it will help people who are new to backpacking, or just new to BPL compare to us. It will also be helpfull to those that don't own a gram scale, and don't know about geargrams.com.

The whole idea behind my "standard" is that anyone and everyone can compare there "BPL standard" weight to someone else, and be comparing apples to apples. As it stands right now, you have people listing "baseweight", "skin out weight", "trailhead weight", "bone out weight", etc. etc.

With the "standard" any Joe Schmoe can step on a scale right before he leaves for a trip and have a good idea of how he compares to others, and where he falls in the traditional, UL, SUL, XUL scheme of things.

Another thing it would do is help account for different food preferences. Jimmy only eats olive oil and peanut butter and thus only carries 3lbs. of food for 3 days, while Rebeca brings two steaks, and a repackaged bottle of wine on a 3 day trip, and wonders why her trail head weight is 35lbs. despite her 10lb. baseweight. Well, with this system, she can better figure out where the extra weight is coming from.

Anyways, it's just an idea I had that would make things easier for people to get a better understanding of what they are actually carrying on the trail.

Maybe I should give this topic its own thread, if there is interest in discussing it further.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Heet vs canisters on 03/11/2013 07:29:00 MDT Print View

> 12oz bottle of HEET is $5 on Amazon.. 12 boils 4oz canister of isobutane is $4.5-5.50 and is 15+ boils. never leaks, never spills, boils 1.5c of water in 3 minutes.

That's some seriously expensive Heet. Even in Aspen, CO, I picked up a bottle for $2.50 at a Shell station downtown. You should be able to get at LEAST 18 boils out of a bottle. I get 20-22 (using a Super Cat) though some of my boils are just 1 cup.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Windshirts on 03/11/2013 07:36:11 MDT Print View

I think the main reason I haven't felt compelled to spend the money on one is that my normal hiking shirt (BPL Thorofare) pretty much acts like one. It's tightly woven so insects can't bite through. It does not however have DWR so I'd need to add the rain layer if conditions dictate.

Michael Ray
(topshot) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Cameras on 03/11/2013 07:53:36 MDT Print View

My neurons don't seem to recall as well as David's or Ben's. I like to relive the trip and share with others. I'm fairly selective on what I'll take pics of but will admit I'll sometimes take a lot of a particular scene and at time think I go overboard. I've moved toward taking more video than pics so I can document the trip better. I prefer video trip reports than photos and text.

Erik Basil
(EBasil) - M

Locale: Atzlan
I don't get... on 03/11/2013 09:12:26 MDT Print View

I used to "not get" this "Base Weight" and "Skin Out Weight" fanaticism, but now I do. In terms of Base Weight, it's still confusing to anyone that is concerned with the more basic "what's my pack going to actually weigh when I hike" issue, but it's useful to isolate weight and gear issues. Of course, it's also useful to brag with misleading-ly low numbers, ha ha! The part of "skin-out" that I get is that it's dumb. (Yes, I get it clearly and anyone that likes "skin-out" numbers doesn't get it. Everyone but me is crazy, etc...) Finally, although I "get" Base Weight, I still focus and prefer Pack Weight/Trailhead Weight/Carry Weight.

I still don't "get" floorless shelters, Reflectix sleeping pads, 5-toe shoes to backpack in and the ascetic "take the bare minimum to survive" approach. I have been lured and swayed by Tony Ronco's "Comfort UL" (or "comfort light") even though I carry WAAAAAY more than he and his crew do. Come to think of it, I think he uses floorless shelters. That man needs help.

William Segraves
(sbill9000) - F - M
base weight on 03/11/2013 11:16:17 MDT Print View

"2 night trip will use the same base gear as a 2 week trip"

For what it's worth, my base weight's usually significantly different for a 2 night trip vs a 10 night trip. Even if everything else were the same (which it's usually not, see below), 12 extra pounds of food would normally push me up to a different pack.

My base weight will also vary based on expected weather, terrain, proximity to potential exit points, recreational opportunities, and whether solo or group.

Best,

Bill S.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: base weight on 03/11/2013 14:12:51 MDT Print View

"For what it's worth, my base weight's usually significantly different for a 2 night trip vs a 10 night trip. Even if everything else were the same (which it's usually not, see below), 12 extra pounds of food would normally push me up to a different pack."

Agreed. I usually only do overnight trips when the weather forecast is good. A 10 day trip means I pack for every kind of weather imaginable, including extra food and water if I should get caught by a swollen river or whiteout. This means my tent, sleeping bag, clothing, stove and fuel choice are different, as well as the extra food. For an overnight, I would not even bother to carry stuff like toothpaste, toothbrush, washing supplies etc..., and may just throw in a Frogg Togg just in case. Longer trips I will take a more durable rainjacket. So to me, base weight, skin-out, total weight and all that nonsense varies by trip, and also by whether it's just me or me and my partner.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
I don't get...... on 03/11/2013 16:17:21 MDT Print View

I don't get why people freak out about cotton clothing.
I wear a simple cotton t-shirt 90% of the time, but it's usually mild weather when I hike. I get a slight cool down from sweat when I stop, but it's not that big of a problem. They are comfortable and cheap and don't smell horrible after an hour of hiking. Polycotton is really good too. If the weather gets nasty, I always have a wind shirt and a non-cotton base layer to throw on.
What I REALLY don't get is people wearing synthetic shirts in the middle summer when it's scorching hot out. Why would you want a wicking layer in a hot environment? Maybe I just don't sweat enough to get uncomfortably sweaty.
Denim pants aren't that bad either if the weather is dry. They protect your legs much better than thin nylon pants if you are bushwacking or walking through prickly thorn stuff.
I'm just tired of people treating cotton clothing as if it's always unacceptable for hiking in any situation.

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: I don't get...... on 03/11/2013 16:51:22 MDT Print View

Justin, I agree with you 100%. Cotton is overly demonised in backpacking circles. And I like silk too :)

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: I don't get...... on 03/11/2013 17:48:05 MDT Print View

Justin, I agree with you 100%. Cotton is overly demonised in backpacking circles. And I like silk too :)

Definitely agree with both of you. I wonder, sometimes, how many people in the backpacking circles have hiked in super high humidity or jungles. You want just the opposite in those situations, where trying to stay cool means something that doesn't dry out too fast, and the danger of hypothermia is nonexistent. And why would anyone want to wear a synthetic layer in hot, humid conditions when you want something that breathes as much as possible? Both nylon and polyester breathe terribly compared to cotton (or silk). It's different from hot, dry conditions, where you can get cool in the shade.

A cotton bandana makes a great towel and neckerchief.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
The "I don't get it" thread on 03/11/2013 17:57:10 MDT Print View

"cotton kills" is the easy way out, saves having to explain when and why.
(BTW, cotton does not kill, it is people that wear wet cotton at just above and below freezing that kill themselves)
oddly well below freezing cotton is good again.
Anyway, I wear a wool T (or cotton) when it is really hot, so there.
@Miguel
Yes a wet cotton bandana (OK I use a hankie...) around the neck helps a lot too when hot.
I always have a large cotton hankie with me.
(and the Buff...)

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"The "I don't get it" thread" on 03/11/2013 19:02:46 MDT Print View

Cotton doesn't kill people. Cottonmouths kill people, or make them very sick.

Still, I never wear cotton while backpacking. I don't want to get bit.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: "The "I don't get it" thread" on 03/11/2013 19:35:29 MDT Print View

Seems "a lot" of people don't get it.

For gear brought, think about what you actually need (on your back).

A warm enough jack to lounge around in.
A sleeping bag that with the jacket is warm enough.
Food, maybe a can stove and gas to cook.
A pad
About 4 ounces between sun block, and toiletries.
Pack and maps.

So look at everyones pack lists, there are 3-4 times as much crap in them.
I don't get it...

Lynn Tramper
(retropump) - F

Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna
Re: Re: "The "I don't get it" thread" on 03/11/2013 19:46:54 MDT Print View

Oh really, Aaron, why do you need to cook food?

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: "The "I don't get it" thread" on 03/11/2013 19:48:00 MDT Print View

He did say maybe.


Aaron doesn't look like he eats very much. Probably dispenses with the stove.

Edited by kthompson on 03/11/2013 19:54:42 MDT.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: "The "I don't get it" thread" on 03/11/2013 19:50:21 MDT Print View

hmm.. i find cotton to be pretty damn abrasive when it's sweaty/wet. when i was younger and wore cotton tshirt i'd always have chaffed up shoulders and hips from my straps. now it's wool or synthetic. i wear carharts for rock climbing but they are pretty rough for lots of hiking and hot too. nylon zip offs for me.. no bushwacking here.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: "The "I don't get it" thread" on 03/11/2013 19:53:03 MDT Print View

"Cotton doesn't kill people. Cottonmouths kill people, or make them very sick."


I hate it when I get cottonmouth. Makes me stop for water more often....

James Klein
(jnklein21) - M

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: "The "I don't get it" thread" on 03/11/2013 20:04:53 MDT Print View

what about something to keep the rain off (while moving and while resting - seems nescessary.

Something to ancor this shelter to the ground with is nice when it windy.

A pot to cook the food in (& eat it out off) is handy. And a lid and windshield is nice so you can carry less fuel. Some device to start the stove helps.

Container to protect your food from critters is helpful in many hiking areas.

But yes many thing aren't really essential to getting by while out...just essential in determining how well we get by. Each enviroment coupled with each individual will demand different things for getting by and getting by well.

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: Re: Re: "The "I don't get it" thread" on 03/11/2013 21:46:40 MDT Print View

I would rather get by with half the weight then fell like I need what I really don't.

Then again, some people don't get why you have to go so light when some of the stuff they carry "only" weighs a few pounds.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
I don't get it thread on 03/11/2013 21:55:28 MDT Print View

I don't get the whole " let's see how low, cold, uncomfortable I can go and still make it through the night". I have seen it over and over, as if it is an achievement worthy the risk or even just the discomfort.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: "The "I don't get it" thread" on 03/11/2013 21:55:53 MDT Print View

Two things I don't get....

1. This need to compare with others. Don't get me wrong, I value other hikers' opinion and experience. But at the end, it's whatever works for me. Which brings us to #2...

2. The need to explain or justify to others.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: Re: Re: "The "I don't get it" thread" on 03/11/2013 21:59:47 MDT Print View

You don't even "need" a sleeping bag. Just sleep by the fire all night. I'm being completely serious here. I have done this a couple of times in warm weather and pushed a 35 degree bag into the teens more times than I want to admit.

I am not recommending this, but if we are discussing what we "need" then... yeah.

Edited by justin_baker on 03/11/2013 22:00:59 MDT.

Katharina ....
(Kat_P) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Coast
Re: Re: "The "I don't get it" thread" on 03/11/2013 22:12:43 MDT Print View

Comparing....it's human nature. Not that it makes right, but we seem hard wired for it.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: I don't get it thread on 03/11/2013 22:51:52 MDT Print View

"I don't get the whole " let's see how low, cold, uncomfortable I can go and still make it through the night". I have seen it over and over, as if it is an achievement worthy the risk or even just the discomfort."

Amen. To each their own but I'll save weight anywhere else but my sleep system. Freezing through the night is serious type three fun.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: I don't get it thread on 03/12/2013 00:03:23 MDT Print View

Cold, uncomfortable nights can really wear you down and ruin your energy for the next day/

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Re: Re: Windshirts. on 03/12/2013 01:13:24 MDT Print View

Stephen M. wrote, "...and I see skin out weight as anal retentive..."

Haha, glad i'm not the only one (actually, i don't really care too much one way or the other what others do or don't do, but in the spirit of this thread...) Only exception is my footwear--i do pay attention to weight of that.

Edited by ArcturusBear on 03/12/2013 01:57:15 MDT.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: I don't get...... on 03/12/2013 01:49:32 MDT Print View

" 'Justin, I agree with you 100%. Cotton is overly demonised in backpacking circles. And I like silk too :) '

Definitely agree with both of you. I wonder, sometimes, how many people in the backpacking circles have hiked in super high humidity or jungles. You want just the opposite in those situations, where trying to stay cool means something that doesn't dry out too fast, and the danger of hypothermia is nonexistent. And why would anyone want to wear a synthetic layer in hot, humid conditions when you want something that breathes as much as possible? Both nylon and polyester breathe terribly compared to cotton (or silk). It's different from hot, dry conditions, where you can get cool in the shade.

A cotton bandana makes a great towel and neckerchief."

I don't mind poly/cotton blends so much, but i really prefer either pure linen or high linen blends, when it's very hot and especially muggy out. To me, linen has the perfect balance of absorbing, and evaporating moisture at a nice fast, but not too fast rate. Linen also has odor managing properties similar in effectiveness to wool, but since it's so much stronger than Wool (it's 2 to 3 times stronger than cotton which is already stronger than wool), it can be made thinner, and thus will dry out faster. Being hollow fibers that are primarily cellulose (but also lignin) and thus highly absorbent in nature, it acts like a super wicking straw that sucks and absorbs the moisture right off the skin to evaporate nice and evenly throughout the fabric--NOT just on the surface like synthetics--especially pure polyester.

Something i would like to try, but haven't found yet, is Linen-Nylon blends.

Linen can be expensive, but i've bought most of mine at thrift stores, the occasional store closing, or the really good, occasional sales at Men's Wearhouse. So yeah, i don't get why linen isn't more popular for hot weather hiking/backpacking.

Nothing so far beats it, imo and ime. However, i would like to try a 70% or so Linen to 30% or so microfiber nylon blend. Increase the strength, resilience, and drying time somewhat. (however, pure Linen does tend to last a lonnng time in and of itself).

A decent alternative to Linen imo/e is Tencel-Poly blends. I have a couple of pants that range from 40 to 60 percent tencel to 60 to 40 polyester and a t-shirt that is primarily tencel with some poly, and these too are nice for hot weather, but not quite as cool as the linen.

William Segraves
(sbill9000) - F - M
drying too fast on 03/12/2013 07:00:32 MDT Print View

A couple of people mentioned the undesirability of a garment material that dries *too* fast. I'm having a hard time thinking of specific circumstances under which that would be a problem. (The only one I've come up seems really obscure and easily avoidable.)

Thoughts on when/whether this would ever be an issue?

Thanks!

Best,

Bill S.

j lan
(justaddfuel) - F

Locale: MN
Re: drying too fast on 03/12/2013 07:38:14 MDT Print View

Bill,

In the desert.

Jay

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Holds water on 03/12/2013 07:59:57 MDT Print View

Bill, I prefer a cotton shirt - either a T-shirt or an old collared dress shirt for a Grand Canyon Rim-River-Rim in summer. I find I feel fresher if I wet such a shirt from any stream crossing or water station than to sweat that much moisture to cool myself. A wicking shirt just doesn't hold water and isn't as cooling.

So it is a short term situation, I suppose - 7 or 8 hours solo or 9 with a grade schooler along.

Now for Eugene's R2R2R which was much earlier in the year and started and ended in snowstorms, there was no cotton on me.

William Segraves
(sbill9000) - F - M
Re: Holds water on 03/12/2013 08:12:10 MDT Print View

Thanks, David. That's helpful.

Just to be sure I understand, it'd be for hot, low humidity conditions where water sources are relatively infrequent, to allow you to spread out the cooling effect over a longer period of time? I get cooled nicely if I soak the poly/nylon blend shirts I usually wear, but it doesn't last very long. Same amount of cooling per gram of water though, right, so I could in principle recoup by carrying some extra water and re-soaking the shirt? (Not that I'd want to, in preference to your solution, just trying to be sure I'm understanding the underlying science.)

Cheers,

Bill

Edited by sbill9000 on 03/12/2013 14:17:30 MDT.

Elliott Wolin
(ewolin) - MLife

Locale: Hampton Roads, Virginia
RE: Holds water on 03/12/2013 14:13:09 MDT Print View

We always use totally soaked cotton t-shirts in the really hot weather, they work great. And nothing holds water better than cotton!

Although come to think of it, just after Douglas Adams' anniversary, maybe a cotton towel would be a better choice...

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: "The "I don't get it" thread": Short Jackets on 03/12/2013 16:46:07 MDT Print View

I've been trying to think what it is that I really don't get, and this morning, while browsing for waterproof shells, it came back to me... I don't get outer shells that are shorter than the shirts you wear underneath them. What is the point? Your shirt sticks out from below the hem and gets wet. Unless you wear your mid layer tucked into your pants, I see no advantage to this. And so many outer shells are designed to be short like this, with hardly any alternatives! Am I the only one who is frustrated by this?

Edited by butuki on 03/12/2013 16:47:04 MDT.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Holds water on 03/12/2013 21:37:46 MDT Print View

Even in cooler weather (around freezing), I have hiked in all cotton and been fine. It's not the ideal fabric, but it's not going to kill you unless it gets wet. The slight cooling from sweat tends to be more of an inconvenience than a problem. However, I don't sweat all that much.
What I am trying to say is someone can go backpacking in their street clothes in mild weather and be perfectly fine.

Kevin Schneringer
(Slammer) - MLife

Locale: Oklahoma Flat Lands
Amazing on 03/12/2013 21:46:11 MDT Print View

It is amazing that this thread is the busiest on the whole site. Mostly over Cotton of all things!
My two cents- cotton is why some Wise Man invented Anti Monkey Butt Powder! I guess the abrasiveness was more than he could bear??

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Holds water on 03/13/2013 11:41:06 MDT Print View

Bill wrote, "Just to be sure I understand, it'd be for hot, low humidity conditions where water sources are relatively infrequent, to allow you to spread out the cooling effect over a longer period of time? I get cooled nicely if I soak the poly/nylon blend shirts I usually wear, but it doesn't last very long. Same amount of cooling per gram of water though, right, so I could in principle recoup by carrying some extra water and re-soaking the shirt? (Not that I'd want to, in preference to your solution, just trying to be sure I'm understanding the underlying science.)"

Another plug for linen: I live in the Southeast (central VA), and so experience a lot of hot, rather humid weather. If you compare the thermal conductivity of different common fabrics it goes like this from least thermally conductive to most; polypropylene, silk, polyester, wool/acrylic (silk, poly, wool, and acrylic are relatively close to each other) , nylon, linen, and cotton.

Where i live during the hot weather, you want something that absorbs and/or wicks moisture fast off your skin, and also releases it relatively fast, while being fairly thermally conductive at the same time. The only thing which fits this bill, in both my experience and research is linen (and hemp, these are very similar).

However, in the Sun, you want some thermal resistance. Linen has more thermal resistance than cotton because it has hollow fibers, and so it does insulate you some from the Sun as well--definitely more than cotton.

I've tried different types of fabric for those hot humid days, and so far my linen shirts seem to keep me the coolest of any. The next best that i've found is high nylon content with some cotton or tencel (so like 65 to 75% nylon to 35 to 25% cotton or tencel). However, untreated nylon is one of the fabrics most quickly broken down and degraded by UV rays.

Pure cotton i only like for desert like conditions of hot and very dry, but even then it's not ideal because there is so little thermal resistance, and processed cotton doesn't have much UV protection--unlike linen and hemp, which are naturally highly U.V. protecting and resistant. Linen holds water longer than the synthetic fibers (given similar thickness, weave, etc), but releases it noticeably faster than cotton.

There are probably good reasons why so many of the earlier Euro and American explorers of Africa and Asia typically wore light colored, loose fitting, and long all Linen clothes. Because it worked.

Plus Linen, like Wool, is great at controlling and minimizing odor. It is commonly known as the most hygienic fabric.

Edited by ArcturusBear on 03/13/2013 11:44:48 MDT.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: "The "I don't get it" thread": Short Jackets on 03/13/2013 11:58:59 MDT Print View

Hi Miquel,

My guess is why some WPB shells are designed that way, is probably to increase aeration? A shorter and especially if also wider outer shell will breathe better than a longer and more narrow one.

If that is the case, it's a good tradeoff to me to tuck in my mid layer into my pants.

Rob P
(rpjr) - M
Scandinavian Cotton gear on 03/13/2013 13:41:15 MDT Print View

Scandinavian outdoor gear seems to use a fair amount of cotton. I remember some of the Lundhags trousers having a fair bit of cotton, for example.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"The "I don't get it" thread" on 03/13/2013 13:41:47 MDT Print View

Cotton is a poor sun shirt--or hat, for that matter. The rays just shoot on through. One reason that a cotton bandana draped from a hat for sun protection is not as good as it seems.

Josh Brock
(needsAbath)

Locale: Outside
Cotton the fabric of our lives on 03/13/2013 14:19:49 MDT Print View

Going to have to dsagree with you guys on the usefullness of cotton.

1. It's heavy
2. doesnt breath as well as say a nice thin smart wool shit
3 it might be warm/hot during the day but in the desert that changes at night (same with the sierra's my backyard)and nothing is worse than a cotton shirt that wont dry before you go to bed in your down sleeping bag(i dont carry much extra clothing if any and use almost everything i bring in my sleep system to save weight)
4. i have seen first hand someone(my dad) get VERY cold cause he wore cotton out for one of our winter split boarding trips on a really nice day. its soaked through from sweat and when the sun started dropping he was not comfortable at all.

I can only see one use for cotton out on the trail and that is to get it wet and wrap it around you. but not worth the weight IMHO. Rather just have a loose fitting breathalbe exificio or columbia collared shirt. you barely even know they are there andthey protect from the sun.

The mitts thing i could see only because a lot of people get really cold hands and other do not. I personally do not.

Wind shirt-dont really get it either. I have read every single entry in this thread and still havent found a use mentioned that is not covered by another piece of gear I HAVE to already carry. But that is my personal gear list and every one has there own. I guess I could replace a piece of my gear with it and it would be lighter but as i said i use all my clothes(summer spring fall not winter)in my sleep system and that would change things.

I dont really get hammock camping in winter. With all the crap you have to get to bring that thing out there(huge tarp,under quilt top quilt) you would just be better off on the ground. But my winter philosophy is the opposite of my summer I pack heavy(ie. filet, wine, fondue extra everything) and drag it in a sled so me and my dad end up in a Kifaru 8 man tent with a wood burning stove heater for just the two of us.

Franco Darioli
(Franco) - M

Locale: Melbourne
The "I don't get it" thread on 03/13/2013 15:23:31 MDT Print View

Scandinavian outdoor gear seems to use a fair amount of cotton
That is why I stated that "cotton kills" is used to save having to explain...
Cotton breathes very well so it become useful again at well below freezing point when the air is dry so there is no chance of the material getting wet (from rain or humidity).
On the other hand in really hot weather when a layer that stays wet is desirable it works as long as you are flexible enough to have another layer for when the temperature drop.
So as usual you need to have the whole picture not just one bit of info and most of all apply some "common" sense...

Just to amplify that a bit and this has to do with how I think not necessarily "scientifically" correct...
If I hike in really hot weather , 90 plus, and I have a layer that once it gets wet (cotton or wool) stays wet for longer than a wicking type I will than sweat less because I am already wet.
Sweating less means that I can drink less, that means I don't need to carry as much water.
Now a shirt to wear at night once I take my wet layer off is going to be 8 oz (mine is...).
Having had that wet layer on during the day probably saved me a lot more than 8 oz in water and I have a clean layer on at camp.

Edited by Franco on 03/13/2013 15:35:14 MDT.

Josh Brock
(needsAbath)

Locale: Outside
cotton candy on 03/13/2013 15:33:45 MDT Print View

defranco? hope I spelled that right?

Yeah I guess the really cold would work as long as you dont sweat. and I guess that depends on the definition of what is really cold -5F -15F -20F -60. I know at -10F If I was active I still would not want to be wearing cotton(personally). Below that I cant speak from expierence so I couldnt say.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: cotton candy on 03/13/2013 16:27:57 MDT Print View

Cotton makes great outerwear for cold winter weather. It makes terrible base layers and insulation layers for cold winter weather.
Canvas anoraks are very popular for cold snow camping. The block the wind and snow and breathe well. They won't get wet in very cold conditions. They are similar to soft shells, just older technology. Some people claim that canvas breathes much better than modern winter outwear.

Check out the Empire Wool and Canvas Company Arctic Anorak:
http://www.empirecanvasworks.com/arcticanorak.htm
a

Josh Brock
(needsAbath)

Locale: Outside
cotton on 03/13/2013 17:04:23 MDT Print View

Outer layers now there is a concept that I havent thought of. That does look promising! But it would still have to pretty cold for me to wear cotton in the snow. But that is an insight i havent thought of and definately adds to the usefullness of cotton.

I'll stick with my FF volant jacket and pants. Probably half the weight for 5 times the price(I cant see that site at my office).

I know of a couple companies that make wall tents out of heavy canvas meant to be used in winter but that stuff is seriously heavy duty. So I guess I should have known some one woulod make a jacket for similar use. what about oiled canvas? do you know if that is breathable?

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: cotton on 03/13/2013 19:27:09 MDT Print View

Oiling or waxing canvas really ruins the breathability (the oils and waxes also add a ton of wieght). Anoraks used for cold snow hiking aren't treated with anything. Canvas mukluks/booties are also very popular for cold snow hiking and aren't treated with anything.

You can take a canvas anorak (or any heavy cotton jacket) and wax/oil it to make a really good, tough rain jacket that is mostly waterproof. This is what they used for rain gear before the invention of rubberized rain jackets. It will last for years and years of heavy use. But a modern rain jacket is much better and lighter for backpacking.

Edited by justin_baker on 03/13/2013 19:28:41 MDT.

Josh Brock
(needsAbath)

Locale: Outside
bleh on 03/13/2013 21:52:25 MDT Print View

Well atleast you changed my stand point on cotton to some degree.

lets get this thread back on track "I dont get" Ultra light winter back packing. I have to carry so much extra gear to keep warm I just dont really get trying to lighten that up. Nor do I get carrying a back pack. Sleds/pulks are so much easier to drag. You might have to change your path some times or be creative up steep areas but nothing a rope and two people pulling it cant solve. This is just for winter backpacking obviously is your goals are to just summit peaks a sled wont work.

Ive done side hill steep up hill and let me tell you I love down hill. I use a split board so I just glide the whole way no energy spent. Maybe some one can shed some light on this for me.

What advantages does a backpack have over a sled in deep snow?

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: bleh on 03/13/2013 22:01:59 MDT Print View

>"I dont get" Ultra light winter back packing. I have to carry so much extra gear to keep warm I just dont really get trying to lighten that up.

For sure, ultralight winter backpacking means a very different thing than the other 3 seasons. The UL threshold goes up accordingly. That doesn't mean that you can't still strive to watch weight and carry less, without being stupid about it. I can keep my winter base weight to ~15lbs and be good to 0*F.


>What advantages does a backpack have over a sled in deep snow?


I've never pulled a sled or pulk, so take this FWIW. They may just invite you to carry more stuff because it can hold it. Every pulk I see is laden with pounds and pounds and pounds of stuff. Even in winter, I like to keep my kit as minimal as possible.

Josh Brock
(needsAbath)

Locale: Outside
bleh on 03/13/2013 22:51:44 MDT Print View

Do you carry spare clothes, gloves, ect. I also carry a FF volant down jacket and pants to wear to bed and around camp. Not to mention an expend down mat. I guess I look at it this way in the other three seasons the consequences if your gear fails(ie gets wet) is you will be uncomfortable for a little but in the winter you could easily lose toes, fingers, or even die if you dont have the extra stuff and the difference between 30-40 pounds in a sled is really nothing.... thats also why you always see those things packed down with a ton of gear.

Edited by needsAbath on 03/13/2013 22:58:54 MDT.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: bleh on 03/14/2013 00:44:08 MDT Print View

I guess I look at it this way in the other three seasons the consequences if your gear fails(ie gets wet) is you will be uncomfortable for a little but in the winter you could easily lose toes, fingers, or even die if you dont have the extra stuff

you can die any season up here in the PNW ... theres deaths to prove it ...

hypothermia can happen in the rainy shoulder seasons quite easily

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: bleh on 03/14/2013 07:15:58 MDT Print View

This is the gist of my winter kit, minus some of the dinky stuff:

Clothing carried when not hiking:

Down puffy
Katabatic down hood
Black Rock Gear down mitts
Columbia insulated WP/B pants
extra pair of socks
Down booties
Rain jacket in case things get sloppy


Clothing when hiking:

Powerstretch tights
regular ol' Nylon pants
Cap 1 or 2 base layer
Patagonia R1 Zip
softshell or Driclime
wool beanie
fleece gloves if needed
fleece balaclava


Sleeping:
Neoair XTherm
EE Rev X Quilt w/overstuff


Other:
Trailstar
winter canister stove
food
water
backpack and liner
snowshoes(not counted in base weight)
hiking poles (not counted in base weight)

Edited by T.L. on 03/14/2013 07:17:50 MDT.

Josh Brock
(needsAbath)

Locale: Outside
bleh on 03/14/2013 10:52:55 MDT Print View

I like this thread I say what I don't get and why and you guys give me a different perspective. Good stuff.

Yeah Eric I know you can die in any season but in California its pretty hard to die of hypothermia summer or spring(you'd really have to be trying)....but yes I imagine that places like Greenland you could still get that way in summer easily.

Travis-I like the list! and mine does not look too different I carry a couple extra pairs of mits- leather insulated gloves(love these) marmot primaloft expedition mitts and wool gloves(these work really well even when wet I know from experience)

I carry a complete extra set of base layers. basically I have atleast one extra of everything except my shells(to expensive to get 2 alpha sv jackets and pants for me any way. oh and the down suit is heavy but the sleeping quilt is like a pound. I love getting up to go pee at night and feeling like I am in a sleeping bag. I also find I don't procrastinate as much in the morning cause I don't really ever have to deal with the cold.....

where me and you really start to differ is Im guessing food and shelter. I usually bring two bottles of wine, tender loin cut into steaks in an olive oil salt pepper and garlic marinade, and last time we did a white wine and cheese fondue. I have to carry my snow shoes because I split board. I sleep in an 8 man kifaru tipi with a with a wood stove(heater). I usually have to bring a backpack for day hiking/snowboarding. I think with all that Im usually about 40 lbs maybe a little over.

You should see the envy in other peoples eyes when me and my dad fly past them in deep snow breaking trail faster than they can hike in snow shoes(which are really slow when compared to skis) and to come to camp only to find us set up with a fire going in our tipi. with the steak cooking in the fry pan and rice, potatoes or fondue bubbling. The best thing is that we can dry all of our stuff at night so we never have wet stuff (unless something goes really wrong). I've even taken a shower in that thing. We have easily gotten the inside of the tipi to over 70 probably closer to 80 when it was below 20 outside. oh and camera gear that stuff weighs but I get great shots in the winter like my avatar. That's my dad sitting on a dock watching the sun come up over echo lake after trekking through the night.

Edited by needsAbath on 03/14/2013 10:56:22 MDT.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: bleh on 03/14/2013 11:11:56 MDT Print View

On every trip I have been on since moving to the US the forecast has been about as accurate as peeing blindfolded.

I always carry a puffy parka, trousers and a decent sleeping bag in winter, when I was young and handsome I used to carry crap gear and suffered big time

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: bleh on 03/14/2013 12:16:31 MDT Print View

Stephen-- yeah, its an issue here. What you have to do is align yourself with the magnetic declination. It's about 3 degrees northeast of true north. Give me a compass and a good wind, and I'll pee on a nickel from 10 feet away.



Josh, sounds like you live like kings while out in the wilds!

Edited by T.L. on 03/14/2013 12:18:12 MDT.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Re: Re: Re: bleh on 03/14/2013 13:49:40 MDT Print View

Travis, How ya gonna find that nickle while blindfolded?

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: bleh on 03/14/2013 13:57:45 MDT Print View

Maybe you cheat Travis and peak ;-)

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Re: bleh on 03/14/2013 14:28:04 MDT Print View

"Maybe you cheat Travis and peak"

Some people think Travis peaked a long time ago.....

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: bleh on 03/14/2013 14:51:31 MDT Print View

:-)

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: bleh on 03/14/2013 15:02:50 MDT Print View

Alas, 'tis true. Last week was the pinnacle. It's all downhill from here.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: bleh on 03/14/2013 15:06:00 MDT Print View

Old age pension next mate :-)

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: cotton candy on 03/14/2013 15:09:37 MDT Print View

The RIGHT sort of cotton makes good parkas for certain conditions. Check out the Ventile brand. Unlike ordinary highly processed cotton, Ventile does not wet out nearly as much. It has a long and noble history - but it is a bit heavy.

Cheers

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Re: cotton candy on 03/14/2013 15:14:23 MDT Print View

When cotton is waxed or oiled, the wax absorbs into the cotton and takes up most of the physical space. For that reason, waxed cotton absorbs far less water weight when fully submerged in water.
Just something I've noticed.

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Hooray for helping to get it :) on 03/14/2013 17:25:22 MDT Print View

"I like this thread I say what I don't get and why and you guys give me a different perspective. Good stuff."

This made me a bit happy, glad you get the get it thread ;)

Hard to keep up now with all the feedback, I'd just want to thank all for their contributions and playing nice.

Mary's point about windbreakers I thought was a good one.

I still don't get mitts, however. Maybe in the winter, but pretty low on my gear wish list.

I get getting very happy that my new Zpacks sleeping bag is in the mail! My final piece of my 1+season puzzle! Super excited!

The cotton debate has valid points on each side, I think. In the summer I wear often cotton t-shirts and will usually change into a my syth base layer at night/sleep. For late spring and early fall warm-ish type weather (around 15-20C) I often wear a 50% cotton 50% poly blend army t-shirt. Spring, fall, and winter is synth and wool all the way for me. The only exception, and this is only because I am both lazy and cheap, is underwear. I always wear a pair of cotton boxer briefs that also double as my swim trunks (and this is only when I can't or don't want to skinny dip). The plus side is that they soak up sweat down there and keep me, err, fresher and not as stinky. Down side is weight and takes a while to dry--never had issues with warmth, but then again, this is just underwear I am talking about, and I have syth or wool base layers with me most of the time anyhow. If I saw a nice pair of wool boxer briefs and the price was right, I would buy them.

But moving on, I don't get having to get permits to go backpacking/camping in certain trails in the USA. What's the point? Why not just have all major trails and national parks open to the public all the time? I know I have mentioned this many times before, but I find Sweden's laws to be much better. Not only are there no permits, you can backpack and camp on private land, so long as it is "wild" and not like someone's backyard. It's great buying a map of an area I want to explore here--pretty much all the woods are potential adventures.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Hooray for helping to get it :) on 03/14/2013 17:36:34 MDT Print View

"But moving on, I don't get having to get permits to go backpacking/camping in certain trails in the USA. What's the point? Why not just have all major trails and national parks open to the public all the time?"


Consider the fact the the population of the city of Los Angeles alone is 1/3 that of your entire country. Los Angeles County alone has a population as big as Sweden...and that is only a portion of Southern California. And all of these people are within 4 hours driving from many very popular national and state parks.

Not that I'm a big fan of having to get permits from the government to do things, but I have to question what sort of impact a population of this size would create if it were not for quota and permit systems in popular hiking and camping areas. Many of the more popular areas in the Sierra Nevada are a genuine crowding fiasco even with strict permit programs in place.

For those that know the area, dare to imagine what a place like Cottonwood Lakes would look like on the 4th of July weekend if there were not permit system in place....

Edited by xnomanx on 03/14/2013 17:42:56 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Hooray for helping to get it :) on 03/14/2013 17:47:03 MDT Print View

If we would quit maintaining trails and let them go back to their natural state the visitor count would go way down, maybe to the point we could get rid of the permit system.

I rarely go places that require a permit -- permits tell me the places are probably over-crowded. Can't see any enjoyment hanging out in a crowd. Might as well go to Wal Mart instead.

:)

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Re: Re: Hooray for helping to get it :) on 03/14/2013 17:50:36 MDT Print View

Craig, if one location has too many people for your liking, why not go to another location?

Also, we would have to operate under the assumption that if they took the permits away that there would be a flood of people into national parks. I am willing to entertain the idea as plausible, but I also think it would be possible that after a certain amount of time if this flood of people happened, that it the novelty would be gone and things would go back to "normal" or maybe even less people afterwards because people moved on to other locations.

Tone is something that is difficult to get across via forum posts, so I assure you that I don't mean to come off as confrontational and just want to explore this issue in more detail :)

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Re: Nick on 03/14/2013 17:56:07 MDT Print View

As I often find when reading your posts, I generally agree with your sentiments.

You raise and interesting point about letting things just go back to their natural state. I wish there was a real example to point to in order to confirm this theory of yours, but I am drawing blanks. It seems to follow, but don't want to jump the gun here. I like the idea, though.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Hooray for helping to get it :) on 03/14/2013 18:03:41 MDT Print View

"I rarely go places that require a permit -- permits tell me the places are probably over-crowded."

There are wilderness permits, and then there are wilderness quotas.

Wilderness permits, if unlimited in quantity, allow the authorities to keep track of how many total visitor days or nights have happened within their jurisdiction. That might help that agency receive better funding, or at least it allows the agency to show where the visitor use was highest. Having a permit requirement also allows the agency to restrict visitor use during special conditions, like during a forest fire upwind, or during floods. It also forces visitors to sign a form stating that they agree to abide by the wilderness regulations, campfire restrictions, and things like that.

Where the visitor use gets high, the agency sometimes has daily trail quotas. This has little to do with agency funding, but it simply allows the agency to spread out the visitor use away from the most popular trails. Some agencies know that their most popular trail would be terribly overused were it not for daily trail quotas. Then once they start "selling" wilderness permits, they get used to that revenue stream. Some of the money is spent on trail maintenance.

If one particular trail can handle 50 people per day without detracting from the wilderness experience, you wouldn't want to be vistor number 900 for that day, would you?

It seems like each agency operates a little differently. U.S. Forest Service is part of the Department of Agriculture since it originally had more to do with lumber harvesting. National Park Service is part of the Department of the Interior, and it is much more about pure preservation.

--B.G.--

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Nick on 03/14/2013 18:05:47 MDT Print View

There probably aren't any good examples where this has been done.

However, there are places in the desert I hike that used to have 4WD tracks, but no trails. They had a lot of use when 4WD vehicles were allowed. After they were designated wilderness areas, pretty much no one ever goes there... it is too difficult for most people since there are no trails. I like these places and hike them a lot. Solitude is guaranteed.

I think we should start by blowing up HWY 120 from Mono Lake to well past Yosemite. Eliminate all roads within 20 miles of a wilderness boundary. Turn most federal lands into designated wilderness areas. Eliminate all leases and franchises on federal land.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Hooray for helping to get it :) on 03/14/2013 18:13:59 MDT Print View

All of the outdoor activities seem to attract two different crowds. When I go fishing or kayaking, I'll pass a drift boat and zone out watching the graceful casts then I'll pass an island of six-pack-Charlie’s on their inner tubes who impose themselves on everyone else on the river. Nothing against beer or bikinis as they have a right to enjoy the river in their own way but I get tired of constantly grabbing beer cans as they float down the river.

I have too many memories of idiots feeding bears PBJs at Yellowstone and weekend warriors stomping past "Stay on Trail" signs into the meadows surrounding Mt. Rainier. I find it difficult to believe that we as a species are capable of policing ourselves in these popular areas and permits should be required.

FWIW I'm faxing off my permit for the Wonderland Trail tonight and I've never encountered so much red tape but such is life.

For the record, not being confrontational; just a difference of opinion.

Edited by IDBLOOM on 03/14/2013 18:25:32 MDT.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: Nick on 03/14/2013 18:21:04 MDT Print View

"After they were designated wilderness areas, pretty much no one ever goes there... it is too difficult for most people since there are no trails. I like these places and hike them a lot. Solitude is guaranteed."

Nick, can I offer a quote by Yogi Berra?

"Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

--B.G.--

Cesar Valdez
(PrimeZombie) - F

Locale: Scandinavia
Re: Re: Re: Re: Hooray for helping to get it :) on 03/14/2013 18:36:51 MDT Print View

Ian - I commiserate with your stories, and I am sure most of us have had similar if not identical experiences.

What I think would be a more effective, long term solution would be:

1. Punish jerks who litter and feed bears harshly! As in stiff fines--like thousands of dollars, which could go back into national park funds--and community service.

2. Education, education, education. I can't recall being taught very much in public schools in the US about respecting nature, but that could just have been my bad luck with the schools I went to. Schools ought to teach kids more about nature in general, and respecting it.

3. Encourage people not to ignore abuses of nature. I have called the police in the US on people that were getting drunk, littering, and letting their pit bulls run around without a leash. One of the dogs even charged at me, but I kept my cool because my family always had dogs and I know how to be around them, and it just growled and sniffed me before the owner reluctantly came and got it. This was on the AT in PA. Imagine if a small child would have been there and the dog attacked it. Point is, make it easy to report jerks, encourage it, and see #1 about punishment.


And thanks for the disclaimer, things can get tricky with online communication. Yet the most interesting conversations are usually the most controversial ;)

Edit: typos

Edited by PrimeZombie on 03/14/2013 18:38:19 MDT.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: Nick on 03/14/2013 18:52:35 MDT Print View

"Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."

I like the quote.

Josh Brock
(needsAbath)

Locale: Outside
Permits on 03/14/2013 19:01:42 MDT Print View

I dont like getting a permits but I see the point of it. Our wilderness in california basically the whole PCT would be packed and full of poop(insert corrisponding explitive) heads doing any thing they want. Pissing in rivers, causing forrest fires, building stuff they shouldnt, dumping bodies(totally serious). There would not be any park ranger monitoring parks.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Permits on 03/14/2013 19:27:32 MDT Print View

Permits are an alien requirement to me coming from Europe, at home in Ireland one does see idiots in the mountains.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Permits on 03/14/2013 19:29:15 MDT Print View

>at home in Ireland one does see idiots in the mountains.

I just have to walk out my door to see idiots.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Permits on 03/14/2013 19:33:16 MDT Print View

I hear you brother.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Permits on 03/14/2013 19:37:33 MDT Print View

Overall this is exactly why I, like my buddy Nick, am increasingly becoming a California desert rat.

But you probably shouldn't listen to Nick or I or anyone else that goes there. Desert folk are crazy.

The desert is awful.
There's nothing for you there.
Stay in the mountains.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: Permits on 03/14/2013 19:39:59 MDT Print View

"I just have to walk out my door to see idiots."

A mirror works well for me.....

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Permits on 03/14/2013 20:43:37 MDT Print View

Really, Craig...

You shouldn't romanticize deserts. They are awful places; not fit for human habitation.

One needs to be prepared for earthquakes, boulder avalanches, landslides, flash floods, freezing temperatures, triple-digit temperatures, rabid rodents and mammals, poisonous snakes, poisonous insects and spiders, predatory packs of coyotes, sand that gets into your food/water/teeth, man-eating tarantulas, nasty large biting lizards, no marked trails, probably no water, GPS and PBL failures from military activities, and a general lack of cell phone coverage. Other than that they are just okay.

BTW, did I mention poisonous snakes and triple digit temperatures?

snake

118f

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
the desert on 03/14/2013 20:47:23 MDT Print View

Nick, but it is a _dry_ heat.

--B.G.--

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Dry Heat on 03/14/2013 21:01:55 MDT Print View

A term I am sure was invented by the Palm Springs Convention and Visitor's Bureau.

Over 112 it feels like some opened a blast furnace.

Over 118 the top of your shoes get so hot that burn blisters form on your feet, so we wear flip flops instead.

Over 120 we fry eggs on the sidewalk.

Over 122 the dry heat sucks the moisture out of your body.

When it hits 125 we desert rats go indoors and watch Oprah -- the heat is worse than her show.

125 is the hottest I have been in -- I don't what people in hotter weather -- probably go to Iraq or Kuwait and do army stuff.

Edited by ngatel on 03/14/2013 21:03:05 MDT.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Permits on 03/14/2013 21:01:55 MDT Print View

"and a general lack of cell phone coverage."

You might not have wanted to use a screen shot when you had 5 bars.....

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Permits on 03/14/2013 21:07:05 MDT Print View

That picture was taken in Palm Springs, which believe it or not is actually a city and has a cell tower :)

Ken Thompson
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Re: the desert on 03/14/2013 21:16:51 MDT Print View

Don't forget the sandblasting by high winds guys. Terrible there. Quicksand too, really.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: the desert on 03/14/2013 21:20:03 MDT Print View

Ken,

That's true, but I didn't want scare anyone.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: Re: the desert on 03/14/2013 21:29:26 MDT Print View

We really shouldn't get out for a trip in the desert together soon Nick.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: the desert on 03/14/2013 21:42:12 MDT Print View

We shouldn't.

Unfortunately I created an awesome two day 40 mile loop for you that has reliable water at the halfway point. Scenery, terrain variation, and history is stellar. Hopefully the desert tortoises won't attack us or we won't fall into an abandoned mine shaft.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: the desert on 03/14/2013 22:04:51 MDT Print View

Yeah, give me 115 to 120 at low humidity any day over 105 at 70 to 90 % humidity--wherein the sweat just pours and pours and never dries. However, i don't think i would handle anything above 120, dry or not, particularly well.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: the desert on 03/14/2013 22:14:14 MDT Print View

My brother was in Afghanistan last year, where the daytime highs were near 140 (yes, literally). Worst part of it was he was in the river valley, so the humidity was seriously high too.

Then again, the body adjusts. He would get so chilled when the temperature dropped to 100 that he'd have to put on a jacket to keep warm.

Craig W.
(xnomanx) - F - M
Re: Re: the desert on 03/14/2013 22:20:13 MDT Print View

Last August I was geared up to do a ~30 mile 1.5 day XC solo in the Mojave when temps were 118 and expected to top 120. There was no water on the route. I packed 4 gallons of water and 4 pounds of gear.
My wife talked me out of it the night before.
Of all the things I've done, this was the first and only time she has ever expressed serious doubt and said she thought my plans were a very bad idea.
I listened and stayed home.

We'll never know...

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: Re: Re: the desert on 03/14/2013 22:21:47 MDT Print View

Clayton, that is crazy... I couldn't even begin to imagine that.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: Re: the desert on 03/14/2013 23:11:42 MDT Print View

"My brother was in Afghanistan last year, where the daytime highs were near 140 (yes, literally)."

That may not have been an accurate measurement, or maybe it was next to a hot vehicle. I think the world's record is about 134 F in open air (Death Valley). The ground temperature can get up to 200 F, but that is a different thing.

The previous record came from the Sahara Desert, but that recording has been discredited now.

--B.G.--

Josh Brock
(needsAbath)

Locale: Outside
GICH on 03/14/2013 23:22:30 MDT Print View

I went in a sauna once.................. that was pretty hot GICH.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - F

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Re: Re: the desert on 03/15/2013 00:16:39 MDT Print View

So I looked up the average yearly temps for Sangin, where he was based, and there nothing like that high. More like the Mid-Atlantic summers with Southern winters.

I'll have to follow up with him on this one--I remember some pretty astounding heat, but maybe there were other reasons for the heat. Or maybe he exaggerated or I have a terrible memory.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: the desert on 03/15/2013 08:54:58 MDT Print View

Apples to oranges but when I was in Pakistan, temperatures hit 120* by 10am and the mercury was still rising. Unless there was a mission, the Pakistan military would hunker down during the middle of the day until the worst of it was over.

Maybe it did or didn't hit a true 140* in Afghanistan but from a general misery POV it really doesn't matter. Those temperatures just suck. I call my body armor the “Microwave Crisping Sleeve.” When it’s really hot outside, I’ll pull the armor away from my body to improve ventilation and feel a blast of heat come from the inside. Beats the alternative I suppose.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Re: the desert on 03/15/2013 09:43:28 MDT Print View

I lived in Saudi Arabia in the late '80s. The first year I was working in an isolated American-like Aramco company town in the dry desert interior. Humidity was non-existant, usually at 2-5%, and there was always a wind. After work one hot September day I crawled under the perimeter fence (which was there to keep the kids inside and the wandering camels out) to do a 3-4 mile loop-wander in the desert. I knew it was well over 120* F. I started to feel nauseated and a bit weak after a couple of miles. I checked my thermometer, and the temperature 3' above ground in my shadow was 134* F. I headed back home, and when I saw my face in the mirror, it was completely covered with a white film of evaporated salt-sweat. The wind evaporated my sweat as fast as it formed. Since I didn't feel any sweat dripping on my face out there, I thought I was doing fine. If I'd stayed out there much longer, I might have been toast.

After a year of isolated living in that desolate outpost, I was able to transfer to the oil refinery town on the Persian Gulf. The temperatures never got much above 120* F, due to the buffering effect of the 90-degree sea temperature. But was it ever humid! The worst was in September, when the usually constant north winds stopped, and the humidity hovered around 90-95% day and night. Even at midnight, when the air temps dropped to maybe 95* F, there was no way a guy could do any real physical activity outside.

I'll take dry heat over high humidity any day...even if it kills me.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: the desert on 03/15/2013 10:31:54 MDT Print View

Bob is correct on the highest recorded temperature, at least from the last time I checked. People do tend to exaggerate temperatures.

Craig, good call by your wife. Remember our 105F hike? 105 vs 120 is another universe.

I have lived and hiked in the lower desert for over 30 years, and like to say I am acclimated -- meaning the heat affects me less than others -- but we cannot truly acclimate to this kind of heat, but we can adapt or strategies for survival. Our bodies are going to work very hard to keep our core at 98.6 F; which means we are going to sweat a lot as the temperature goes up.

And as our sweating increases (evaporation in an effort to keep the core temperature at specs), we are going to lose precious body minerals, as Gary shared earlier. Lose too much in the way of body salts/minerals you will get sick and often irrational -- I know, it has happened to me a couple times. Many people take salt tablets, (which upset my stomach). I like to eat Pringles, which have gotten me through some difficult situations, but salt alone is not going to replenish everything you need; not to mention your thirst increases when you eat salty foods.

I usually avoid hiking in really hot weather, but do hike in triple digits. When it gets to 108 or above, then I am hiking at night and resting under a tarp during the heat of the day... but even under a tarp I am not truly comfortable and it is difficult too sleep. Also don't assume low deserts have low humidity. Some years it is not unusual for tropical storms to come up from Mexico and 117F with a 90% chance of afternoon thunderstorms happens. You do not know what "crotch rot" is unless you have spent a week in 117F and 90% humidity. Another thing, when daytime temps hit highs of 120+ you can normally plan on the temperature at midnight to be 100+.

Here is a table from The Complete Walker, by Colin Fletcher that shows how much water is needed to survive; and survive in this table means how many days until you die.

water needed to survive

Marty Cochran
(mcochran77) - F - M

Locale: Southern Oregon
Santa Barbara's record temperature on 03/15/2013 18:36:57 MDT Print View

What I find surprising is that Santa Barbara held the record temperature (133 degrees) for 75 years before Death Valley claimed the title.

Santa Barbara's Great Simoon of 1859:
http://www.geog.ucsb.edu/events/department-news/771/goleta-s-great-simoon-of-1859/

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: the desert on 03/16/2013 18:01:09 MDT Print View

Bob is correct on the highest recorded temperature, at least from the last time I checked. People do tend to exaggerate temperatures.

Well, it's a bit unfair to quote statistics that for the most part only come from places where people have the money to put into these surveys. Many parts of the world are probably just as hot as Death Valley, but no one has ever recorded the temperatures. It is impossible for those who do these recordings to be everywhere, especially in very remote, very poor countries that no one has an interest in going to. And how many temperatures, even in Death Valley, have turned up, but gone unrecorded because no one was there to record them?

Take a look at Dallol, Ethiopia, which has the record for the average highest temperature on Earth. Who knows what the highest temperature in this region, which is extremely remote and virtually unknown to most westerners until recently, might at one time have been?

Humidity makes a huge difference in how well one can stand the heat. At least with dry heat you can find shade and get relief that way. Even with lower temperatures, humid heat is unrelenting. You can't get away from it unless you have an enclosed, air conditioned place. The air doesn't cool at night. And because of the humidity your perspiration doesn't cool you. So drinking doesn't much help either. A fan only barely. Top that with a far greater number of insects that love the humidity, and you've got really miserable conditions. Getting in a sleeping bag can be awful, even a thin one. Even just a mesh canopy, which stills the air, can exacerbate the misery of the heat. Your clothes are constantly wet from perspiration, but synthetics don't breathe well, so that makes them feel hotter, and they stick to you. Cotton, silk, linen, hemp, pineapple, and bamboo cloth are the only materials that work in these conditions. Wool just feels very hot and holds all your moisture. The danger here is not hypothermia, but hyperthermia, over-heating. You can get very sick and die from heat exhaustion or heat stroke. If the temperature gets high enough, there is a point where just walking takes too much energy. That's why most Southeast Asians get up at dawn, when it is slightly cooler, take a break during mid-day, and are again active in the evening. They think a lot of sun-burned, red-skinned, rolling-with-sweat western tourists have lost their minds.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: the desert on 03/16/2013 18:24:09 MDT Print View

"Well, it's a bit unfair to quote statistics that for the most part only come from places where people have the money to put into these surveys. Many parts of the world are probably just as hot as Death Valley, but no one has ever recorded the temperatures."

True.

But for most of us anything over 120F is going to mean death if we go hiking for a few days. So... 134, 137, 139 really doesn't mean a lot.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"The "I don't get it" thread" : Merino socks in summer. on 03/16/2013 19:55:20 MDT Print View

Hope this isn't a drift, sand or otherwise, but I don't get Merino wool socks in summer.
Not only in the desert, but anywhere. Merino socks, even in a blend, make my feet sweat, which results in blisters. Moisture management, my...!

A lot of peoples' mileage varies on this one.

For me, the problem is that you can't find non-merino blends anywhere anymore, except online. I sense a marketing trend.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Merino socks in summer. on 03/16/2013 22:06:19 MDT Print View

To paraphrase Andy Warhol, "In the future, every sheep will be merino for 15 minutes (right at sheering time)."

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: "The "I don't get it" thread" : Merino socks in summer. on 03/17/2013 20:35:11 MDT Print View

Jeffrey, are you wearing very thin merino wool socks? That's the key. Many people turn to wool sock liners instead of regular socks, as their main sock in the summer. Even a little thicker, and the wool socks become saunas in the summer.

Another alternative is to not wear socks at all. Have you tried hiking sandals? In very hot temperatures there's nothing as comfortable. Just be careful not to let your feet get sunburned. Since a lot of people wear shoes all year long, their feet may not be acclimated to exposure to the sun. I use Chacos Z2's (with the toe loop... makes them much more stable on descents and sidehilling). Wish I could find something lighter, but not as light as, and with better grip than huaraches.

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: the desert on 03/17/2013 20:42:28 MDT Print View

But for most of us anything over 120F is going to mean death if we go hiking for a few days. So... 134, 137, 139 really doesn't mean a lot.

Last summer when I was in the Pyrenees I had to deal with 40ºC to 42ºC dry heat. I'd never hiked in dry heat conditions before at those temperatures. It gets hot here in Japan, but usually never higher than 40ºC, with 95~100% humidity. So I thought I was used to the heat. Little did I know just how fast dry heat takes the moisture out of your body. In Japan I'm usually okay with, at most, 2 liters of water during the day while hiking, but I quickly found that I needed at least 4 liters in the Pyrenees, just for drinking as I walked. I've never needed to use my aluminized umbrella here in Japan, but used it everyday in the Pyrenees. Gave me a very healthy respect for desert-like conditions, and encouraged me to learn a lot more about desert walking before I attempted anything more ambitious!

Edited by butuki on 03/17/2013 20:44:13 MDT.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
The "I don't get it" thread" on 03/17/2013 20:56:57 MDT Print View

Miguel: yep,you're right, I haven't tried very thin merino socks in the summer. But I like a bit of padding. I don't "get" why I would give that up for the "benefit" of wearing skinny wool. And then, thanks for the suggestion, but hiking sandals won't work for me.

I think that this just comes down to anatomy and physiology. Everyone has to work out their own system.

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Merino socks on 03/17/2013 22:05:01 MDT Print View

I was going to buy a couple pairs of the Thorlo merino wool ankle running socks. It has a minimal amount of padding but from reading your concerns this sounds like a no-go? This will be my first season in 100% trail runners (I've used hybrids or boots in the past) and I've always worn a traditional wool sock. My feet would sweat a ton in them and they would take forever to dry so I was hoping the merino wool Thorlos were going to do the trick but now I'm starting to second guess that logic and looking at the cool max version.

http://www.rei.com/product/798136/thorlo-experia-merino-woolsilk-running-socks-mens

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: The "I don't get it" thread" on 03/18/2013 01:26:22 MDT Print View

Miguel: yep,you're right, I haven't tried very thin merino socks in the summer. But I like a bit of padding. I don't "get" why I would give that up for the "benefit" of wearing skinny wool.

Everyone is different, of course, and I won't try to contradict what you feel works and doesn't work for you. I'm just confused as to why, if you use running shoes to hike in like I do, that you would need extra padding? Nearly every running shoe, except barefoot shoes, that I've ever used has more than enough padding, even without socks. Perhaps you are using boots... that that might be the difference. I haven't used boots in over 13 years.

Adam Rothermich
(aroth87) - F

Locale: Missouri Ozarks
Re: Merino socks on 03/18/2013 06:44:34 MDT Print View

Ian, I'm guessing if you've been wearing boots they're probably been waterproof which won't do you any favors if your socks get wet. I think you'll be surprised at how much more comfortable your feet will be in trail runners, especially in hot weather. Instead of steaming in their own sweat all day, your feet will be able to get some fresh air. The only time I don't wear trail runners is when I'm doing trail maintenance or when there's snow. Oh, and I wear merino socks year-round too :)

Adam

Ian B.
(IDBLOOM) - MLife

Locale: PNW
Makes sense on 03/18/2013 07:27:23 MDT Print View

The logic makes sense. With the gear upgrades I'm making for this season, I hopefully will keep my total pack weight at or under 20lbs. I'll try a liner type sock with whatever trail runners I end up with and see how it goes.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
Agree with light socks on 03/18/2013 07:56:23 MDT Print View

I also converted to lightweight socks pretty much year round. I used to hike in mid weight wool socks because that's what most of the socks were at REI so it had to be right. After playing around with liners and dress socks I finally locked onto Coolmax Wrightsocks. These are very lightweight double layer socks which are about the weight of two pairs of liner socks. These have allowed my feet to breathe and stay cool.

So, now for my "don't get it". I don't get why most BPing folks stay isolated in the BPing little world instead of looking outside of BPing into adjacent areas such as endurance biking and trail running to solve problems such as nutrition and footwear. The socks referenced above came out of the running world and much of the maltodextrin based nutrition products were developed for the endurance running and biking world. These adjecent areas have orders of magnitude more money and attention devoted to them and the demands are every bit as harsh if not more extreme than the typical backpacker encounters. I just don't get it!!! :)

Miguel Arboleda
(butuki) - MLife

Locale: Kanto Plain, Japan
Re: Agree with light socks on 03/18/2013 08:51:10 MDT Print View

Hiking Malto, I'm not sure how long you've been around BPL, but for the first 8 years or so, this whole community was extremely wide-ranging and excited about new ideas. Everyday someone from other discipline would post something or other about what people were doing in running, in bicycling, in fishing, scuba diving, kayaking, why even traditional mountain hunters in Japan! It's died down a lot since then, and not a lot of new ideas are flowing anymore. Most of the members here are involved in far more than BPL; a lot of the long-term members I know, including myself, are bicycle travelers, hammock campers, mountaineers, and fishermen. Look in the archives. I think you will be quite surprised.

Edited by butuki on 03/18/2013 08:51:43 MDT.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Re: Agree with light socks on 03/18/2013 09:23:33 MDT Print View

LOL Yea GG how long you been around this place ;) 1000 posts is apparently chump change now haha

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
The "I don't get it" thread" on 03/18/2013 10:03:14 MDT Print View

Miguel: I wear boots. So yes, that's the difference maker I guess.

Josh Brock
(needsAbath)

Locale: Outside
Ugly desert on 03/19/2013 21:48:23 MDT Print View

I agree with you guys the desert is an awful and ugly place.

Edit wont let me up load my picture sarcasm^^

high desert

Edited by needsAbath on 03/19/2013 22:08:22 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
stupid ugly desert. on 03/19/2013 22:25:13 MDT Print View

nk/

hk;

Aaron Sorensen
(awsorensen) - MLife

Locale: South of Forester Pass
Re: stupid ugly a lot on 03/19/2013 22:29:28 MDT Print View

Hey, I spent 15 minutes at the Grand Canyon and was ready to go.
It's the same color everywhere with a river waaayyy down there.

Marko Botsaris
(millonas) - F - MLife

Locale: Santa Cruz Mountains, CA
Re: Ugly desert on 03/20/2013 08:50:35 MDT Print View

'Edit wont let me up load my picture sarcasm'

I've been looking for a keyboard with built-in sarcasm and irony keys for years.

just Justin Whitson
(ArcturusBear)
Re: socks on 03/20/2013 23:33:43 MDT Print View

When it's warmer out, or i'm using my WP"B" shoes, i use a very thin sock made out of 88% Linen and 12% Polyester supposedly. I say supposedly, because i bought them very cheap off of ebay, from someone who apparently bought them straight from China, because there was only Chinese on the packaging. I did look up the characters, and it seemed to say Linen and Polyester. In any case, i like to wear these even when i wear sandals also.

Very nice, very cool, and surprisingly tough/durable so far--especially considering how thin they are.

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hooray for helping to get it :) on 03/22/2013 13:24:37 MDT Print View

"Craig, if one location has too many people for your liking, why not go to another location?

Also, we would have to operate under the assumption that if they took the permits away that there would be a flood of people into national parks. I am willing to entertain the idea as plausible, but I also think it would be possible that after a certain amount of time if this flood of people happened, that it the novelty would be gone and things would go back to "normal" or maybe even less people afterwards because people moved on to other locations."

Lets take a look at the Yosemite half dome trail. The trail is about 100 years old and when it opened there were a few trees on top of half dome. The last tree was cut down for firewood a long time ago. permits were not required. Originally very few people hiked up to half dome. The trail was only open in the summer months the trail is too dangerous in the winter. The last 500 feet of the hike is marked by two cable hand rails which most people need.

in 2010 on average 800 people per day went up the trial. On a busy holiday weekend in July or September the number could go to over 1000 per day. Most of the people are not from California. A larger percentage of people a large percentage of Asians and Europeans as well as others from north america come to see the park. Most will only visit once in there life and large percentage want to hike the trails in the valley area (half dome being the most famous).

The large number of hikers caused safety issues at half dome. Signs warn to get off of half dome in the event of bad weather. However do to the traffic jams on the cables many could not get off. Others would go around the people on the cables to get up or down. One slip could cause you to fall to your death. In one bad month (I think it was in 2010) there were 4 deaths in one month. Shortly thereafter the park service instituted a permit system. there is a $5000 fine for hiking it without a permit.

You would think that the crowds would discouraging people from hiking Mt Whitney, the john Muir trail and half dome. But historically that has not happened in any of the national parks. Visitation rates in many of the nationally parks has been steadily rising for decades.

http://www.backpacker.com/october_08_americas_10_most_dangerous_hikes_mist_trail_half_dome_ca/destinations/12629

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/mb_post_form.html?po=reply&note_id=638131&forum_thread_id=74499

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
I don't get Half Dome permits on 03/22/2013 13:58:02 MDT Print View

I don't get Half Dome permits as currently implemented. There are smart people at the NPS so why can't they look at the underlying causes of those deaths (people on the cables during late afternoon thunderstorms - not due to lightening, I only know of one lightening death on HD, but from slipping on wet rock). Instead they look at correlations - deaths on 800+ visitation days (which slows down everyone's travel and results in more people on the cables in late afternoon).

My idea/wish/desire/comment to the NPS: There's one right way to climb HD in the summer, IMNSHO: leave early. 5 am is great. 6 am is okay. 7 am not so good. Those deaths? I'm pretty sure they were all/most all of people who left at 9 and 10 and 11 am. Which meant they hiked in the heat of the day, in full sun, went slower because of it, and were on the cables in the late afternoon. Late afternoon is when the Sierra has its thunderstorms and is essentially the only time that rock is wet from May to September.

My proposed system: Anyone can print out a "permit" from a website. It explains the rules and gives safety guidelines. There's a time/date-stamp machine at Happy Isles. You must be within the first 200 people if you get your permit time-stamped AFTER 7 am. If you get time-stamped before 7 am, there's no limit. If you have a backpacking permit (which already have their own quotas) for a different trailhead, you are also allowed. Maybe there's a time-stamp machine in LYV for those backpacking to ensure they too get an early start.

This would mean far fewer people there in the dangerous afternoon then the current permit system (400 with no time constraint, so many start late) AND it would allow more people to see/enjoy/challenge themselves on this iconic hike.

It would cost almost nothing to administrate, nothing to hikers, and be easy to enforce - proper time-stamp: you're good, no time-stamp: expensive fine.

It would be to my personal detriment, because in addition to beating the sun and the heat, I also like beating the crowds. My last time up, I saw NO ONE the whole way and only 6 people joined me on top before I left at sunrise (I hit the trail at 2 am).

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: I don't get Half Dome permits on 03/22/2013 14:25:15 MDT Print View

David, agreed.

The last time that I went up Half Dome, we started from the campground at 6 a.m. and hit the top before 9:30 a.m., so our hikers were almost the only ones around. But then after early lunch, we were heading down when the hoards of tourists were headed up the cables. It was a mess.

However, you can't expect tourists to start hiking much before 8 or 9 a.m. Remember, it is their vacation.

--B.G.--

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: I don't get Half Dome permits on 03/22/2013 15:02:35 MDT Print View

Remove the cables and quit doing trail maintenance. Get rid of the permit system. Mother nature will cull out the hordes.

;)

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: I don't get Half Dome permits on 03/23/2013 00:44:05 MDT Print View

"My proposed system: Anyone can print out a "permit" from a website. It explains the rules and gives safety guidelines."

Yosemite rangers have been explaining the rules and guidelines for years. Yet people rutinely ignore them. At Yosemite, Vernal, and nevada falls there are signs warning people to stay away from the water and to not go swimming. There are guard rails and signs saying do not cross. And yet people ignor them and go over the edge every year. Explaining the rules and guidelines doesn't work.

"There's a time/date-stamp machine at Happy Isles. You must be within the first 200 people if you get your permit time-stamped AFTER 7 am. If you get time-stamped before 7 am, there's no limit."

What is going to revent 700+ people showing up at 4AM to get there permit stamped? having 700 people hiking in the dark doesn't sound like a good idea.

People may not like that fact that there are a limited number of permits available and that they will be checked 1 mile before they get to the top, but it works.

"Why can't they look at the underlying causes of those deaths (people on the cables during late afternoon thunderstorms - not due to lightening,"


They did and found a significant number of deaths appears to be directly or indirectly related to crowds. In one of my links pointed to a hiker from japan that let go of the hand rail so he could get around slower hikers on the cables. He slipped fell in dry weather and rolled over the edge. In another case bad weather appeared suddenly in the morning and most people decided to get off. Unfortunately a traffic jam of people going down occurred and not everyone could get off before the worst of the weather arrived. (the video on the NPS page http://www.nps.gov/yose/planyourvisit/halfdome.htm#CP_JUMP_365187)

The current permit limit of 300 per day greatly reduces the possibility of traffic jams on the cables.

Dirk R
(Dirk)
Re: I don't get Half Dome Permits on 03/23/2013 01:45:37 MDT Print View

I have to agree that the greatest threat of accident seems to be relatd to overcrowding. I went up last summer while hiking the JMT and there were entirely too many people trying to get up and down at pretty much the same time. It honestly felt like an accident waiting to happen.

In the roughly 15 minutes it took me to get up the cables, I witnessed some pretty questionable actions by people I would venture to characterize as inexperienced hikers. The cavalier attitude and risk taking was enough to make me certain they lacked an appreciation for slick granite and the elixir that is momentum and gravity.

Fortunately, nobody was hurt but if I am to go up again, I will time the hike to minimize the number of users.

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: Re: I don't get Half Dome permits on 03/23/2013 09:14:46 MDT Print View

"What is going to revent 700+ people showing up at 4AM to get there permit stamped? having 700 people hiking in the dark doesn't sound like a good idea. "

You won't get 700+ people to get up and stand in line at 4 a.m. unless it is for tickets to a Bon Jovi concert.

--B.G.--

spelt the enigmatic
(spelt) - F

Locale: SW/C PA
I don't get it on 03/23/2013 11:19:44 MDT Print View

I don't get trail names. They don't seem to be a big deal here, but they sure are elsewhere (whitblaze, through-hiker blogs). Maybe it is part of through-hiker culture but it seems a little weird to me.

Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: I don't get it on 03/23/2013 12:45:48 MDT Print View

It is a thru-hiker thing. Generally it's a nickname that you've earned somehow either from a single incident or a continuous habit/personality. I am guessing it is more prominent on the AT rather than the PCT/CDT since it seems to be more social but they all have it.

personally i think you should be given a trailname and not name yourself.

-Speedy LT'12 :)

Edited by JakeDatc on 03/23/2013 12:46:23 MDT.

John Harper
(johnnyh88) - M

Locale: The SouthWest
Groundsheets on 03/24/2013 12:52:29 MDT Print View

I don't get groundsheets for tents. I am surprised how many people think they are necessary, even here on BPL. Why should I carry a 2nd floor?

Tarp or bivy users - I can understand a groundsheet.

Jan S
(karl-ton)
Re: Groundsheets on 03/24/2013 13:13:20 MDT Print View

They have their uses if you camp on wet muddy ground and don't want to crawl through the mud while getting in or out (maybe that problem is just me) or don't want to store your gear in the mud and keep it dry. They also reduce condensation a lot on certain grounds (wet grass in the summer) Same for abrasion on very rocky ground.

Basically you get a tent floor that you only take when you need and can easily switch out if broken. Of course their use varies with the amount of tents you own and how long you plan to use a tent and how expensive the tent was (Hillebergs come to mind, I wouldn't want to have a hole in my $ 1.000 tent).

Linda Alvarez
(Liniac) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
ground sheets on 03/24/2013 14:02:48 MDT Print View

My threshold is quite a bit lower than $1,000! I'll pay a 2 oz penalty to protect even a $100 tent. My groundsheets often come home with abrasions, and pick up dirt, mud, pine needles etc. I can replace it for a few bucks. My tent floors still look pretty good.

Jan S
(karl-ton)
Re: ground sheets on 03/24/2013 14:38:55 MDT Print View

My threshold too actually. And I use groundsheet for all of my tents (is there such a thing as having too many tents? Or being a tentaholic?). And reading the original comment again: I don't have a $ 1.000 Hilleberg tent and probably wouldn't get one even if I could afford one.

Justin Baker
(justin_baker) - F

Locale: Santa Rosa, CA
Re: Groundsheets on 03/24/2013 15:27:52 MDT Print View

Because ground sheets are extremely light, cheap and replaceable. A tent is none of those things. For some people, an expensive tent is a huge investment that they want to last for years and years.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
US Toilet Stalls on 03/24/2013 18:17:56 MDT Print View

I don't get the lack of privacy with US Toilet stalls.

David Thomas
(DavidinKenai) - MLife

Locale: North Woods. Far North.
Re: US Toilet Stalls on 03/24/2013 18:44:55 MDT Print View

>"lack of privacy with US Toilet stalls."

Do you refer to the relatively large gaps at the bottom of each panel and the vertical gaps at panel junctions? There is less "coverage" than in other countries. I suspect it is to minimize extracurricular activities in the stall and also to make cleaning easier - you can mop under the door and from one stall to the next.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: US Toilet Stalls on 03/24/2013 18:59:03 MDT Print View

Yep, its the very large gaps.

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Re: Re: US Toilet Stalls on 03/24/2013 19:00:58 MDT Print View

"Yep, its the very large gaps."

They're there to make it easier for Larry Craig to find dates....

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Re: Re: US Toilet Stalls on 03/24/2013 19:20:13 MDT Print View

Had to google that one.

Joel Benford
(Morte66) - F - M

Locale: Surrey flatlands, England
Re: Re: "The "I don't get it" thread": Short Jackets on 04/16/2013 15:21:34 MDT Print View

Miguel Arboleda (butuki) wrote: " I don't get outer shells that are shorter than the shirts you wear underneath them. What is the point? Your shirt sticks out from below the hem and gets wet. Unless you wear your mid layer tucked into your pants, I see no advantage to this. And so many outer shells are designed to be short like this, with hardly any alternatives! Am I the only one who is frustrated by this?"

It's the damn climbers. Jackets are cut short to fit under climbing harnesses, and hoods are like parachutes to go over climbing helmets. I guess manufacturers think they have to cater to climbers, or to walkers who think they might perhaps climb one day.

[The Rab Bergen, BTW, is a very nice walking jacket in eVent with a long cut and a small hood, at a reasonable if not brilliant weight. Rab make more W/B jackets than I can remember, and all but that one are designed for climbing rather than walking.]

Joel Benford
(Morte66) - F - M

Locale: Surrey flatlands, England
IDG 20 inch mats on 04/16/2013 15:33:50 MDT Print View

I don't camp, I haven't camped for 20 years, and I have no great wish to camp. But it has been made clear to me that I may be camping soon. My strongest memory of camping, on a "standard" foam mat, is putting my arms down by my side... ...and snatching them back as the ground tried to turn them to ice. Several times.

I tried an experiment recently with folded blankets on the bedroom floor, and it seemd pretty much the same. Nasty shock every 30 seconds. I'm about 27 inches across at the shoulders, and 20 inch mats just plain don't work.

What the heck do you people do?

Of all the werid and wonderful stuff I read about here, I have no problem with sawnoff toothbrushes. I don't have *much* problem with people selling "waterproof" equipment that isn't water proof (until seam sealed), which I suspect might be illegal in Europe. But I can't for the life of me understand how 20 inches became a standard mat width.

I'm about ready to pull the trigger on a wide Exped, but I keep holding back because I wonder if there's some trick I'm missing.

Andrew Zajac
(AZajac)

Locale: South West
short jackets and narrow pads on 04/16/2013 17:25:54 MDT Print View

Just my opinions here, but I have to disagree with the climbers opinion above. The voluminous hoods are definitely for climbers as are longer sleeves and chest pockets. However, I look for longer length jackets to climb in so they stay in my harness and don't expose my midriff as I reach above my head. I think short jackets are a product of competition to have the lightest weight jacket on the market.

I have read Mike Clelland's book and in his book he recommends putting your shoes under your elbows and to sleep on your back. I have not tried this, but it doesn't sound very comfortable. I personally use a 20" wide ridgerest and measured my shoulders at 24" and haven't had any problems. I sleep on my stomach with my hands kind of tucked under my thighs. My shoulders extend ever the edge of the pad, but just don't hit the ground.

Edited to include narrow pad opinion

Edited by AZajac on 04/16/2013 17:36:54 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: IDG 20 inch mats on 04/16/2013 19:41:23 MDT Print View

I'm 20 inches across at shoulders. If I lay on back with arms at sides, they fit on 20 inch pad.

Measure again, I don't think you're 27 inches : )

Joel Benford
(Morte66) - F - M

Locale: Surrey flatlands, England
Re: Re: IDG 20 inch mats on 04/17/2013 06:11:34 MDT Print View

You're right, it's 27 inches at the biceps, bit less at the shoulders.