[pct-l] Fw: Staying Warm...

Georgi Heitman bobbnweav at citlink.net
Thu Jan 18 09:42:30 CST 2007

Subject: Staying Warm...

This old, perpetual Girl Scout remembers that the first rule of keeping warm at night is to not sleep in the clothes you wore all day.  Even on a cool day a person will perspire, and that moisture wicks to the clothing that the hiker has been wearing.  Come nightfall and the  hiker hits the sack, all that moisture in your clothing gangs on you, gets chilly and wants the you, the hiker to warm it up.  Wearing dry clothing, including underwear, long johns are good, that hasn't been hiked in all day is a key factor in keeping warm at night.  Also, the old adage that if your feet are cold, put a hat on your head really works...I usually get a stocking cap on well before hitting the sack.  Oh, and speaking of sacks, if the sleeping bag being used is down filled, be sure to shake it out well, the down will fluff up (called 'lofting' ), can take 30 minutes or so.  Then, whatever you do, don't sit or set anything on that lofted bag...just slide yourself down inside with as little kerfuffle (commotion) as possible.  That nicely lofted down just snuggles in around you.
My friend, Bill Davis is into light to ultra lite gear.  Last night he showed me a bivy sack that couldn't have weighed much more than 2.5 ounces.  While it has mosquito netting, it doesn't have to be used, I don't think, a sleeping bag in something of that nature inside a tent should keep the skinniest guy warm.  The website Bill uses is www.backpackinglite.com, I think.
 Oh, and a cuppa anything warm just before crawling into bed is good...hot chocolate is best IMHO. Come morning, he might start hiking in what he put on to sleep in plus clothing over it (the sleepwear being long johns, in my case anyway)  By 10 A.M. or so, he should be warm enough from hiking to get out of the long undies.  They can then be pinned to the back of his pack for an hour or two to dry out so that they can be worn again to sleep in.  As for hiking warm, Bill has the lightest vest I've ever had on, and it should keep anyone warm and toasty. In snow, or extremely cold weather (think winter snow camping) I'd wear my down vest or a jacket over the long johns if I needed to. Bill's vest would work like a charm for sleeping in, I'd guess.

So those are my tips...some have been around for 35 years or so...probably old hat and out of date by now with all the lite gear that's out there today.  The website I gave you apparently carries patterns for gear that you'd like to own, but is too pricey for the average weekend hiker to buy.  It even tells you where to buy the fabric and notions, like zippers and such.  Sounds much like the old Frostline kits I mentioned a couple of weeks back.  A good seamstress could put together the kind of gear your friend needs to have at a fraction of the price of buying it in a store.
Good luck, Happy trails,
Georgi, trail angel
Old Station

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