[at-l] Feedback Please!

Cody Girl codycodygirl at gmail.com
Fri Jan 15 16:56:42 CST 2010

Thanks to all of you!  I really appreciate the insight I get from each of

1.  Regarding campsite location, I was at an "approved" campsite, maybe 50
feet off the stream.  Other approved sites at this place were near 2
different waterfalls (brrrr) and mountain top.  I realized when I was
setting up I hadn't given proper thought to this question beforehand, so now
I've learned that lesson.  About 100 ft up the slope was an old long ago
abandoned logging road which also happened to be on the west face, so it
took early morning sun.  Hindsight tells me setting up right on that logging
road would've been the place.  Close enough to be in the "approved" area,
but up away from the stream and warmed up fast in the morning.  I'm
3.  On hanging the food bag, I will learn both the PCT and the
counterbalance methods.  I managed to get the bag up high enough in the
tree, far enough away from the trunk, but the tying to another tree was
where I stumbled and the logic of it all sort of escaped me.  Sort of
anyway, it wasn't pretty but I got it done.  I wasn't in bear country but
did want to test myself on this.  I should also add that I forgot to put the
gorp in the bag, realized it after I was in for the night.  I did not go out
and take the bag down to store the gorp.  I probably would have if I had
been in bear country and it wasn't 20 degrees!

4.  Busted tent stake, all your comments here tell me I need to further
educate myself on tent stakes.  I have no idea what material the stakes I
was using is.  I also have no idea what material the stakes to my old tent
are made of.  Or the few extra shepherd's crook style ones in my closet.
Unknown to me until packing up for this trip, the Caldera Cone stove kit
that I went with calls for 2 titanium (or steel)  shepherd's crook style
stakes to balance the cook pot.  It cautions that if I use aluminum it will
melt!  Well, what I have didn't melt but it did get dang hot and I burned my
knuckle, LOL!  So, I will make sure I have 2 titanium ones for the kitchen
system.  These will also serve as backups for my tent, if needed, and no
rocks etc are available.

Now to the keeping warm part.  All of the above is simply inexperience that
I will learn as i go.  Heck!  That was the point of this little trip, to
identify these problems.  The keeping warm part is the serious question that
will hurt me if I don't figure it out:

Mara, your site is amazing.  I think you nailed it on the thermarest too.  I
put my feet up on my pack to keep them off the ground.  I couldn't feel any
insulation from the thermarest at all, altho the rest of my bod was OK.

When I first bedded down I only had one pair of wool socks on, the second
went on as I got colder.  I don't believe I was cutting off circulation.

I knew about the warm water bottle idea, but didn't think of it in advance.
*If anyone wants to chime in here, is this something that under the
circumstances you would get out of the tent  in the middle of the night to
make hot water for?*  I'm sure the sensible thing to do would be to
anticipate the need and make it up before going to bed.

I had a buff and a ski band on my head.  I also had a Polartec 300 jacket
with hood on.  In addition the liner and the bag were snug on my head, my
head felt really warm.  I still had a fleece scarf and a wool hat I could
have put on, but I really felt comfortable on my head.

Bag liner is silk.

Besides my feet, here's what else I was wearing:
Bottom half:  midweight long undies, rain/wind pants.  Rain/wind pants went
on after I got cold, after that bottom half was fine
Top half:  midweight long undies, wool sweater, Polartec 300 jacket.  Jacket
went on after I got cold, after that top half was fine.

I also still had available another set of long underwear, tops & bottoms, a
pair of zipoff pants, and a pair of heavy duty snow gloves, in addition to
the scarf & hat.  I could have put my feet in the hat, I just now thought of
that one.

I've been trying to figure out gear solutions to keep my pack as light as
possible but still have what I need to take decent care of myself.  I went
with the 30 degree bag and liner based on advice from people who did their
thru this way, so maybe I just sleep a bit colder than they do.  I have a 15
degree REI down bag but it weighs 2 pounds more than the Montbell 30 degree
bag.  I was really trying to find a way to save that 2 pounds.  I estimate 5
more degrees, then I would've had more serious problems.  Maybe I'll just
have to carry that 2 pounds.  I might try the closed cell pad idea first,
before I make that decision.  It occurs to me also, this was my first night
in a Tarptent.  It also sleeps colder than a double wall tent I'd say, even
tho I've never been out in 20 degrees before.

I don't believe I was in any danger, I was uncomfortable is all.   I was at
a place 8 miles from home and only packed in one mile from the parking lot,
so I could've bailed out if I needed to.  I really wanted to test this gear
and myself, so from that perspective, a great success!

Thanks again everyone, I really appreciate your thoughtful replies!
*Amy*  I saw the dentist this week too.  He wanted to do a little
bridgework.  I said, Let's wait till November, I'm busy.  he agreed!  Whoo

On Fri, Jan 15, 2010 at 3:15 PM, Tom McGinnis <sloetoe at yahoo.com> wrote:

> --- On Fri, 1/15/10, Cody Girl <codycodygirl at gmail.com> wrote:
> > 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.
> ### You've seen the consensus of "not the top, not the bottom; somewhere
> out of the way." Solid advice.
> > 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.
> ### Did you have the hood snugged up to your noodle? Did you have a hat or
> two on? Did something (even foot position) cause your feet to poke the
> available insulation to thinness? And did you consider that unless your
> sleeping bag is a WM or Feathered Friends, that temperature rating is
> *trash*. Think about fleece footies for just your bag -- they may do the
> trick. Otherwise, re-rate your equipment for 30*-35*, and add some more to
> it before you head back to the 20* territory.
> >
> > 4.  I busted a tent stake, ... Do you carry an extra stake or two on long
> > distance hikes?
> > ### I have never busted anything other than a giant snow stake -- and
> yes, I carried 2-3 spare. But in non-snow, a spare stick, rock, or dead-man
> would do the trick. I've never busted a stake otherwise.
> wintertoe
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