Jan 30, 2008 at 4:03 pm #1227023
Although this is without any backup clothing during the summer it is representative of what I've reached in about a year.Feb 1, 2008 at 9:13 am #1418692
John, this is an admirable list and reveals your determination. Attempting to make similar weight reductions, I am interested in your experience with the tarp, sleeping bag combination at temps of approximately 40°. At 62 I don’t generate as much heat as I use to.Feb 1, 2008 at 9:44 am #1418698
My interest is in the rain cape. It has a lot of potential but I am interested to hear of your experiences in a day of humid/rain on the LT, which I suspect you had on your thru last year. Do you have a photo of the cape with your pack on?Feb 1, 2008 at 10:08 am #1418703
@idahomtmanLocale: Northern Idaho
At what temperatures (day and night) are you using this system? Does the cape provide adequate coverage in a rain storm to protect your down sleeping bag inside the pack? Are you wearing a wind shirt or jacket while you hike?
If I remove my Thermawrap jacket, Chameece hat, extra pair of socks, Possum Down gloves, LW capilene bottoms, Wisp windshirt, and camera I can get my pack weight to 4 pounds, but I can't hike anywhere in the west except maybe in the desert. I am planning a Long Trail thru-hike within the next couple of years. Are these items unnecessary on the LT?Feb 1, 2008 at 11:31 am #1418710
I just had a lengthy answer to all three dissapear into the ether. OK, I'm trying again in a more direct route. I'm going to answer each of the questions on a individual basis.
John… I'm not the most experienced tarp camper out there. Last year on the LT I used a Contrail when not sleeping in a shelter or cowboy camping. There was one night where it dipped to about 39F. I was near the top of a mountain, not in the tent, and somewhat exposed to a brisk wind. The bag I use in the summer is rated at 50F, but I'm a very warm sleeper. That was the only night on the thru that I slipped my windshirt over my short sleeved shirt. I also slept in shorts. So 40F under a tarp is no problem. BTW… I'm 68 in two months.
Roger… I guess it wasn't you that I PM about this, so here goes. I am sold on the ID Silcoat Cape after using it on the thru. I used it in heavy showers, raining so hard that the water and mud was above my socks, but the pack and my upper body stayed completely dry. Probably even more impressive to me was the ability to hike on a warm, humid, rainy day and not be stiffled by humidity under the cape. I found that the natural action of using the hiking poles kept the cape slightly out from my body and also circulated air underneath. I can't see anything changing me from the cape, especially when I'd have to carry a pack cover, too. Sorry, no photo wearing the cape.
Dave… I hiked the LT in August. During the day it was in the high 80's in the south and anywhere from 50 to 75 in the north, depending on elevation. At night in the upper 70's in the south to just 40 to 50 in the north. In the north much of the temperature difference was in the elevation varations. Other than the one night when it dipped slightly below 40F while sleeping, the only two times I wore my windshirt were when I was near the top of Camel's Hump and also when summiting Mount Mansfield on chilly and windy mornings. Coming out of the clouds right at the summit of each. I wore shorts all the way and also just a short sleeved shirt except for those exceptions. After the initial 75 miles, almost every day begins with a significant climb. It's enough to warm almost anyone up. I'd say leave all that gear except for the wind shirt and camera, unless you are a very, very cold sleeper. The LT is a great hike. The north is exceptional. Other than the south, let me know if you spot a piece of level ground. In the north it's called "Vermont Flat".Feb 1, 2008 at 11:48 am #1418711
I appreciate your comments on this forum and others, in a previous life I spent a lot of time in NY state.
All the best for your hiking pursuits, especially the CT, for me the LT is a goal, when I cross the pond next.Feb 3, 2008 at 9:27 pm #1418991
@burkestLocale: Collegiate Peaks Wilderness
How well does the ID cape work in windy conditions? I too am hiking the CT this summer and have thought about using an ID cape but always felt that it would billow too much in high winds and let rain in.
By the way when are you starting the CT? I am going to start around july 1st. It would be great if we meet up on trail.Feb 4, 2008 at 4:02 am #1419011
There is a drawcord around the bottom of the cape if you should want it tighter, or for use in strong winds. I used it twice in winds and it works quite well. Otherwise I left it almost fully extended for maximum ventilation.
I'm planning on starting around July 22nd to try to lessen the impact of the thunderstorms.Feb 10, 2008 at 3:59 pm #1420014
@djaaronreedLocale: Central Rockies
Just as an FYI:
The San Juan mountains have had record snow fall amounts this winter. They are over 140% of normal snow pack for this time of year, which is pretty extraordinary! So every CT hiker should be aware that even in late July, you might come across some deep snowfields and drifts. I doubt they would be impassable, but anything is possible!
As for Denver, we haven't had the normal amounts of snow and are a little below average. :(
Also, just know that the first stage up Waterton Canyon is horrible! It's just a flat dirt road, with a lot of bycycling and pedestrian traffic. Once you get to the dam it finally changes for the better!Feb 10, 2008 at 6:12 pm #1420037
Have you got a timetable in mind as far as how long its going to take you to do the CT? Just curious. The CT is on my definitely-to-do list of hikes.Feb 11, 2008 at 4:59 am #1420093
I'm planning on about 35 days of actual hiking, 2 or 3 zero days, and another 3 days of peak summiting… so almost six weeks total. I want to enjoy it so am not planning on pushing too hard.Feb 11, 2008 at 6:47 am #1420098
Hi John. Nice list. Very impressive indeed.
One question for you: Do you find that the solo tarp is comfortably sized, especially when it comes to riding out a rain storm? I've been looking into tarps recently too, but I'm not sure if weight is such an issue for me that I wouldn't prefer a slightly larger tarp.
-DaveFeb 11, 2008 at 7:01 am #1420100
Hi there Ramapo… I'm new to purely single tarps. I've been using a larger, 1.5 sized, version and had no problem. Between the tarp that I was using and also TarpTent use I feel quite confident that the recently purchased MLD Grace Solo will be a great addition. It took me quite awhile to make the decision, so I can understand your hesitation. BTW, Ron will make a tarp longer, and will also make it wider at the foot end to fit a need.
The Grace Solo tarp has been EXCELLENT. Slightly raise for normal conditions and lowered for rain or very windy nights. Very easy to set up and easy to adjust from the inside with those linelocs that Ron uses.Feb 11, 2008 at 7:20 am #1420101
Thanks for the info John. Good to know that MLD will modify their tarps. I'm liking the MLD stuff more and more in general. I'd like to try one of the Super Zip packs this summer too.
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