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drying cloths on the trail


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  • #1254297
    victor larivee
    BPL Member

    @vlarivee

    Locale: white mountains

    I've heard alot about people drying cloths at night by bringing them inside there sleeping bag. I am concenred that then the items dry the moisture (evaporation)will soak me and my down sleeping bag from the inside. I don't get it, yes maybe your socks will dry but your down sleeping bag will loose all its insulation properties and you will freeze. What does really happen???

    #1564641
    EndoftheTrail
    BPL Member

    @ben2world-2

    You can do it but you've got to be "reasonable".

    Even when it's raining outside, quick-dry synthetics will dry — or at least be only "slightly damp" when hung or spread around overnight either inside or outside your tent (say in the vestibule). I've not actually needed to sandwich damp clothes into my bag.

    But if you have just 1 or 2 slightly damp pieces — you can place them (or even wear them) inside your bag so your body heat will "pmup out" the moisture faster. Obviously, there are limits and you don't want to stuff so many wet things that the moisture will cause your bag to 'collapse'.

    #1564651
    Javan Dempsey
    Member

    @jdempsey

    Locale: The-Stateless-Society

    Anybody got a suggestion on an effective way to dry out waterproof gloves in cold conditions?

    I admittedly don't have a ton of real cold weather experience, but on a recent trip, after a very snowy day and night, my gloves were still soaked inside, even though I kept them in the bag with me. Nearly froze my hands out once they got cold…

    Any suggestions?

    #1564652
    John S.
    BPL Member

    @jshann

    Try to prevent it next time by using a vapor barrier? If wet, you could put, inside the glove, a hand warmer or small hot water bottle (more difficult). Just a couple thoughts.

    #1564653
    Jim MacDiarmid
    BPL Member

    @jrmacd

    You have to keep them close to your body. Best is to have multiple socks/gloves so you can dry them during the day, in an inside pocket of your jacket, when you're really generating some heat. My experience last winter was that the clothes I was wearing that were slightly damp when I went to sleep were dry in the morning (200wt merino wool), while the liner gloves (powerstretch 50 wt) that I tried to dry in stuff sack kept loose in the bag with me were still wet.

    Edit, noting. One thing I didn't take into account last winter was how much sweat can wet out your gloves. What I'm learning this winter is that I can wearing very thin gloves(Powestretch 50 weight) into the teens as long as I'm active(snowshoeing, hiking, digging a snow cave) and my hands are nice and warm. Thinner gloves mean less sweat, and less wet gloves. For low activity periods, I have a pair of mitts or heavier gloves. For something wet like snow cave digging, or travelling in the snow, consider a SUL, wp/b overmitt like the MLD Event rain mitts.

    I really like grocery bag vapor barriers for my feet in the winter. Thin pair of merino or poly liner socks, grocery bag, and properly heavy socks for whatever temps you are expecting. The liner's are soaked, but they're thin, so they dry, and both poly and merino retain warmth when wet anyways. More importantly, your heavier socks and boots stay dry inside, so you don't have to put on frozen footwear in the morning.

    #1564655
    Greg Mihalik
    BPL Member

    @greg23

    Locale: Colorado

    Mentioned elsewhere…

    rotate through two or three medium-weight, minimalistic, pair that can be dried "under your shirt".

    #1564663
    Javan Dempsey
    Member

    @jdempsey

    Locale: The-Stateless-Society

    Thanks, that makes sense.

    I had intended to take a light pair of knit wool gloves for high exertion, and the thicker ones for camp, but I lost one of the wool gloves somewhere the first night near the trail-head.

    During the ups and downs, I found myself constantly on and off with the others to try and keep comfy, winter hiking really is a different story. The ended up completely soaked out, and I'm not really a sweater.

    I used a TB VBL on my feet, and my boots stayed dry, but even so, waking up in low single digits, were still frozen stiff. Had to put those in my bag for a while, just to get them on my feet.

    #1564685
    Greg Mihalik
    BPL Member

    @greg23

    Locale: Colorado

    "…my boots stayed dry, but even so, waking up in low single digits, were still frozen stiff…"

    I have filled my platy with hot water, and then put it in a boot to thaw and warm it, one at a time.

    #1564687
    Bob Gross
    BPL Member

    @b-g-2-2

    Locale: Silicon Valley

    Speaking as a X-C skier, I know that most of us carry two pairs of light-to-medium weight gloves, plus maybe one pair of heavier mitts. If we are skiing, then eventually we will be falling, and that means that the gloves get snow on them. After a while, if the gloves are wet, we put on the spare gloves that we have been keeping warm and dry in our pants pockets, and the wet ones go back into the pants pockets. Maybe they will stay a little damp, but at least they will be warm. If you store the wet gloves away from your body, then they might freeze, and that is worse than no gloves at all. The heavier mitts generally only get used for snowcamping, digging snow caves, etc.
    –B.G.–

    #1564700
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    Yeah, we found out that wearing just liner gloves when the snow is wet can be bad news. So I often wear light liner gloves and put light Gore-Tex mitt shells over them if I am going to be either working with snow or at risk of falling over. (Me, fall over while skiing? Never! Ahem! :-) )

    Cheers

    #1564736
    Jim MacDiarmid
    BPL Member

    @jrmacd

    I had intended to take a light pair of knit wool gloves for high exertion, and the thicker ones for camp

    The only issue with wool gloves, as much as I love merino, is that wool doesn't dry as fast as something like power stretch.

    The system I'm currently trying out is similar to Bob's and Roger's. Two pairs of 50wt Power stretch gloves (MH Butter Liner and OR PL 50 Base; of those two I'd buy the Butter liner again before the OR), with MLD Rain [email protected] oz or so to wear over the liners when I think/know my hands will be getting wet.

    For around camp, I'm bringing a pair of OR PL 400 mitts for warmth and use as pot grabbers for my handle-less ti pot, and for extra insulation under the BPL Featherlite mitts I have for really cold (good down to 0*F if Dr. Jordan is to be trusted)

    #1564792
    Brad Groves
    BPL Member

    @4quietwoods

    Locale: Michigan

    I personally think it's mental to take wet clothing into a dry sleeping bag. It makes no sense to expose your one good, dry bit of insulation to wetness.

    Body heat will dry clothes. If I have something that's really wet (ie I just wore it thru a rainstorm without a jacket on) and it becomes cold, I might ditch the baselayer and go for my dry midlayers. Only dry clothing comes into contact w/dry gear. Start off the next day w/the wet shirt (pants, socks, etc) and let my body heat dry it out. If the temps aren't so low that I'm immediately concerned about hypothermia, then I just keep wearing the shirt. Just about everything I wear (wool, synthetic) seems to dry in about 1/2 hour or so, particularly if it isn't 100% humidity (ie currently raining).

    #1564794
    David Chenault
    BPL Member

    @davec

    Locale: Queen City, MT

    Shell gloves/mitts that have an integrated liner have no place on multiday trips (IMO).

    As or drying stuff overnight, there is a big difference between damp and soaked. Strive for the former. Build a fire is necessary. Then, if you really need them to dry out, put the gloves/socks/etc under all your layers against your belly. Not comfy, but gets the job done.

    You will kill some loft on a down bag. If it's really cold at night, best to start the trip with a bit of extra warmth in your complete system, and take sunny and windy opportunities to dry your bag mid-day.

    #1564798
    Steven McAllister
    BPL Member

    @brooklynkayak

    Locale: Arizona, US

    Hey Brad,
    Regarding:
    "I personally think it's mental to take wet clothing into a dry sleeping bag. It makes no sense to expose your one good, dry bit of insulation to wetness."

    There are times when this works well, like when it is not so cold that you don't mind losing some warmth for one night.

    I find that any wet clothes that I wear to bed are dry the next morning and so is the sleeping bag.
    I will usually fluff up and lay the bag in the sun if I can in the morning or on breaks to remove any trace dampness.

    I have found that a down bag will recover from this just fine.

    I probably wouldn't recommend this if it is below freezing.

    Hanging wet clothing in your shelter will usually dry them better than hanging them outside.
    Your shelter should have enough ventilation that the extra dampness won't cause excessive condensation.

    #1564811
    Javan Dempsey
    Member

    @jdempsey

    Locale: The-Stateless-Society

    Steven, are you wearing a Sumo Wrestler outfit?

    #1564843
    John S.
    BPL Member

    @jshann

    It's the Michelin Head Man…looks warm from here.

    #1564893
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    > I personally think it's mental to take wet clothing into a dry sleeping bag. It makes
    > no sense to expose your one good, dry bit of insulation to wetness.

    I have to agree.
    Look, there are two main scenarios to consider:
    * Tomorrow will be fine: in which case you can dry your wet clothing out tomorrow while you are walking. So wear dry stuff tonight to bed and leave the wet stuff in a corner.
    * Tomorrow will be wet: in which there is little point in trying to dry anything as it will promptly get wet tomorrow. So wear dry stuff tonight to bed and leave the wet stuff in a corner.

    Novices may find the idea of putting wet stuff on in the morning just too horrible to contemplate. But one gets used to it as confidence (or experience) grows. The one thing which seems to be the hardest to accept is that when it is wet – you will get wet!

    Cheers

    #1564901
    William Glazer
    Member

    @ukulelebill

    Locale: Northeast Ohio

    I do think putting the wet clothes on in the AM is a great solution, and sleeping totally dry. I also had to work hard at developing the ability to spring out of my sleeping bag and being on trail in 15-20 minutes on cold snowy mornings. Jumping right out of the sack has never been one of my strong suits.
    For me this quick start means: hop out of the sleeping bag, boil H2O for just one cup of coffee while I quickly pack up gear and tie shoe laces. Pour H2O through filter, wave pot through cold air to cool quickly, pack pot, start hiking, drink coffee and eat pop tart while I walk even if that means walking slow. Within 25-30 minutes of rising I'm totally warm and comfortable again. And none of the rush seemed so bad–just means I'll have more time to lounge mid-afternoon at some vista.

    Happy Trails-
    Ukulele Bill

    #1564903
    Lynn Tramper
    Member

    @retropump

    Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna

    Like Roger said, although in winter conditions (assume sub-freezing at night), I put my wet stuff in a plastic bag and put it either in the sleeping bag with me, or under it. this is to keep it from freezing, plus it's a little less stressful putting on warm wet gear rather than cold.

    #1564905
    Bob Gross
    BPL Member

    @b-g-2-2

    Locale: Silicon Valley

    Putting wet clothes on in the morning won't work if it is a cold winter trip. When it is +10 F and 10 feet of snow on the ground, no way am I going to put on wet clothes.
    –B.G.–

    #1564914
    Robert Blean
    BPL Member

    @blean

    Locale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras

    Getting clothing wet on winter trips is a case of where it is better to avoid the problem than to need to solve it.

    I do agree that things *can* get wet in the winter, and understanding how to deal with that is worthwhile. I also firmly believe that should be the exception, not the rule.

    It seems to me that the main emphasis should be on how to avoid having wet things to begin with. By and large, the worst problem should be *minor* dampness in the underwear and socks from the day. That amount of dampness is easy to deal with.

    — Bob

    #1564932
    Brad Groves
    BPL Member

    @4quietwoods

    Locale: Michigan

    There's no rain 20*F below freezing, so I'm not sure how you'd get clothes soaked in that environment. Most likely way would be someone severely over-dressed for conditions. (Example: even at 10*F the most I'm usually wearing when on the move is a wool 3 and a windbreaker, and I still might have to take care not to overheat… assuming cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, etc.) Other than that it would be falling thru ice into a body of water, in which case I hope you have some good fire-building skills, you were only wearing your "active" layers, and your primary insulation is still dry in the pack.

    Boots/foot stuff and hand stuff is the biggest "wet" problem for most in winter. Changes of gloves inside the jacket works for me. I like using VBL in boots to keep the insulation dry; I have put on frozen boots in the morning. (Spring paddle/portage trips.) It's not pleasant, but it's fine. (Edit: frozen boots in winter not as good. But if it's that cold that it matters, I have a boot w/removable liner, and I probably VBL'd it, and there's a decent chance I'll just wear the liners to bed.)

    Wet stuff always gets segregated from dry. Yes, putting on cold wet clothes is unpleasant. But if you're putting them on in the morning, you just finished fueling up, topped off w/a hot beverage, and are going to start cranking up your metabolism. No worries. Any mild dampness in baselayers from a days moving should dry out (at the end of same day) just by keeping the stuff on.

    #1564953
    Roger Caffin
    BPL Member

    @rcaffin

    Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe

    > When it is +10 F and 10 feet of snow on the ground, no way am I going to put on wet clothes.

    Have to agree there! But as others have correctly noted, you should not be wet at +10 F anyhow.

    Let's repeat that for clarity. When you are travelling in the snow in serious cold, your FIRST objective has to be to stay dry. That means travelling cool, not sweating. The fastest way of dying in the snow is to get wet. About the only items which I get wet in the snow would be my socks, and that really only happens just below freezing anyhow (melted snow late PM).

    As Lynn said, a good trick is to bag up the boots and socks and store them under the foot of my quilt so they don't freeze overnight. But that doesn't let their moisture into the down – which would be risky, or even foolish on a long trip.

    Cheers

    #1564954
    Lynn Tramper
    Member

    @retropump

    Locale: The Antipodes of La Coruna

    It is not uncommon (in these parts) for it to be raining heavily one day, or for deep river crossings even in winter, and then wake to snow or a heavy frost the next morning. So dealing with wet clothes in freezing conditions is common and not fun. I always carry a spare (dry) thermal layer and socks for sleeping in, and if necessary I will wear those for a while on cold mornings to get warmed up. Once warm, I will trade them for my wet clothes (still in plastic bag against my body heat) and these usually dry with exertion.

    #1565005
    victor larivee
    BPL Member

    @vlarivee

    Locale: white mountains

    thanks everyone
    tips to stay dry when hiking in the winter
    don't get wet/ limit sweat (ensure clothing selection matches exersion).
    Hand system, two thin hiking glove switch them out when on the move and put the spare pair inside your layers to dry, WP shell and a warm pair of mittens for camp.
    Any wet items place in a plastic bag and keep under your sleeping bag at night to keep them warm (won't dry them) in the morning put the damp items on before you head out. When on the move the items should dry.

    When in doubt bring an extra pair

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