[at-l] Feedback Please!

Amy Forinash amy at forinash.net
Fri Jan 15 09:39:14 CST 2010

On Jan 15, 2010, at 10:23 AM, Cody Girl wrote:

> Hi everyone.  I know many of you are off to the So Ruck, but for all who are available, I sure would appreciate your opinion here. I've been out in the woods for a couple of days, testing  gear  for the upcoming hike, testing myself, etc.  A few questions.
> 1.  Campsite selection:  It's around 20 degrees.  Given a choice of mountain top or a little cove near a stream, which site do you choose and why?  Weather is clear with little wind. 

Can I choose another option?  The low area near the stream will be cold.  So will the top of the mountain.  Something just off the side of the mountain with a windbreak would work for me.

> 2.  My gear wasn't quite down with the temps.  At 20 degrees, with two pairs of wool socks, in the bag, full length thermarest, feet propped up on my pack, with my coat over the bag, my feet were so cold they just hurt.  Any additional tips on keeping feet warm in cold weather camp, short of carrying a beefier bag? (I was using a 30 degree bag with a 10 degree liner, so I was pushing the limit of the gear)  I accept the fact that some nights are just gonna be cold, but I was sure hoping I would be warmer at 20 degrees. 

Put warm water in your water bottle or platypus.  Put it near your feet.  I do this with two bag on cold nights - one for my core, one for my feet.

Raising your feet probably made them colder.  The blood will tend to drain back downhill.

Were you warm before you went to sleep?  Hot drinks, jumping jacks, foot massage?

> 3.  I managed to hang my foodbag, but was wondering if anyone could point me to the "right way" to hang a food bag, or a you tube or anything like?  The one direction I have involves two bags used as counterweight, with no tying off to a tree and using a stick or trek pole to pull it down the next morning.  This seems complicated and I didn't follow it.   Also, in hanging the food bag, is the objective to keep it away from bears only?  or all critters?  seems like a mouse, etc, could get to it if they wanted to, regardless.  My few solo backpacks to date have been in the Smokies with cables at all the campsites so I've never had to address this one on my own before. 

Hanging the foodbag gets it away from most critters.  The mice tend to stick near the shelters.

I use one foodbag and tie off to another tree but I've been considering a method I saw that involves a stick and a carabiner.  The stick jams against the carabiner and you let the rope dangle to the ground.

> 4.  I busted a tent stake, not sure if because I was trying to pound it into a root, a rock, or plain old frozen dirt, but bust it I did.  A rock worked fine to anchor the line, but I wouldn't want to have more than one point under a rock.  Do you carry an extra stake or two on long distance hikes?

Nope.  I haven't broken a stake but I feel confident that I could tie off to bushes, rocks, or trees until I bought a new one.

> That's about it.  I had a great time, cold feet and all!  This was my coldest night ever out on the woods, at this temp no one was stirring.  It was absolute stillness.  There was snow on the ground too and ice on the stream banks, quite beautiful.    

:)  That's how I felt about my hike in the snow last December.


(PS I'm off to the doc to get refills on prescriptions and get all my annual maintenance out of the way before I go.  Went to the dentist Monday, got an eye exam next Monday, then I should be good.  Now considering whether to do  COBRA or get a short term plan somewhere.)

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