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The "I don't get it" thread
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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.

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.

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 :)


Ian B.

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

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



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
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
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.

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.