- Apr 9, 2019 at 3:04 pm #3587885Brad RogersBPL Member
@mocs123Locale: Southeast Tennessee
Have you tried wearing breathable (non waterproof) footwear such as trailrunners and just letting your feet get wet? I know it sounds wrong, and goes against everything you have ever been taught about foot care, but 12 years ago I changed from one piece leather lined boots to trailrunners as an experiment and never looked back. Soon, I just started walking through creeks and streams without taking my shoes off and guess what – my feet were just fine. I’ve done up to 11 day trips with wet feet (Brooks Range) and had no issues – just dry my feet at night really well and put wet socks/shoes back on in the morning and get to walking. I have used the ziplock bag trip on trips where I know I will have wet shoes and will spend significant time in camp (say a more leisurely group trip), but on a solo trip I’m pretty much walking or sleeping.Apr 30, 2019 at 4:28 am #3590984Jason FBPL Member
I think toothpaste does have benefits, such as better cleaning action, abrasives and fluoride. For someone with painful memories of gum surgery it’s worth the weight. YMMV.Apr 30, 2019 at 8:31 pm #3591071Barry PBPL Member
@barrypLocale: Eastern Idaho (moved from Midwest)
I tried one or two times:
- A hip belt carrying my belt-less backpack.
- Putting a windshell over fleece. The fleece frosted over.
- Bringing a fleece jacket. It ended up being too heavy, never dried, wouldn’t compact, and not as warm as a much lighter-weight synthetic jacket. Today’s synthetics are just as breathable.
- Plastic folding utensils. They snapped.
- A lexan polycarbonate water bottle. I swear these weigh 10lbs at the end of a trip. The 1L 1.5oz Platypus/Nalgene collapsible water bottles have been great.
- Cup O Soup in a Styrofoam cup. My cup kept breaking in a backpack. So now, before the trip, I empty the contents into a qt freezer Ziploc bag.
- I tried a few dozen models of socks at least once. Everyone’s foot is differen. It takes a little while to hone in on a hiking sock.
- Bag liner in the sleeping bag.
- Emergency sack only. That was a sweaty mess.
BTW, I think permethrin is a blessing in tick-ridden country. That stuff is amazing. I watched at least 100 tics die that crawled onto my socks in IL and MO. And it has killed a few tics out West.
“Freezer-bag cooking ….If a bag punctures a few days after being eaten you… ”
Wow. I just can’t get my Ziploc freezer bags to puncture. Not doing dishes is a blessing for me. And if you want to see really tough, those Mountain House meal bags have some type of armor built in.
The Tetons were made for TevasJul 3, 2019 at 4:36 pm #3600479Josh JBPL Member
i thought exped fixed the baffle problem?Jul 3, 2019 at 8:48 pm #3600517David ThomasBPL Member
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Snow skirts for 4-season tents. You lay them out, shovel snow on top of them, which then thaw-freezes and locks them in place. The next morning, you cut them off your tent. Guy lines to a deadman stick work better.
Fishnet underwear. The theory was that it created air gaps under your intermediate layer, but they were cotton. And I could never rock them like Cheryl Tiegs did (google that if you weren’t a boy in 1978).
Ensolite pads. The cheaper CCF pads didn’t squish down so much and provided better padding.
Sierra Cups as mentioned by Tipi. Burned your lips, the contents sloshed out, and I never, ever cooked with it. I preferred an “Alps Cup” I got from a Dutch GF that was plastic, steeper sided with more usable volume.
Canvas backpacks. Like, really? In 1973 I got a BSA canvas backpack even though nylon had been invented 38 years earlier. It was good for stitching patches onto (but hard to do so). In a Sierra thunderstorm, not so much.
Coleman 2-burner white gas stoves. Camping gear, I realize, but decades after 1-pound propane cylinders made for easy lighting and adjustment, people were still using a heavier, fussier, larger set up:
Jul 3, 2019 at 11:50 pm #3600540Peter HowdBPL Member
David – Part of me thinks being able to cook anything on that Coleman monster is a life skill for the next generation up there with changing tires instead of calling AAA, balancing a checkbook, and changing the TV channel without a remote.Jul 4, 2019 at 5:07 pm #3600607Gary DunckelBPL Member
Ah, my dear friend David, but I will dispute the fishnet underwear thing. I do agree that the cotton ones in the ’70s were less than desirable, but mine likely saved my life around new years eve of 1974, when I found myself camping in the snow at 10,000′ and the temperature dropped to ~ minus 36* F.
Last winter I treated myself to a merino top layer made by Norway’s Brynje. It is probably the very best of this breed. When a wicking merino layer is worn over it, it creates rather amazing warmth.
Byrnje (and also Cheryl Tiegs) for the win!Jul 5, 2019 at 1:50 pm #3600666Jeff McWilliamsBPL Member
In regards to the Brynje fishnet base layers (B
I have this long sleeve Polartec Delta shirt from Mountain Hardwear that I’ve been wearing on training hikes:
45 lb pack, hiking up and down a 250′ ski hill (it’s Michigan!) in the full sun for 3 – 4 hours at a time. I train with pack weights that are heavier than my trip weight will be.
I prefer the long sleeved shirt for its sun protection rather than slathering on greasy sunblock, and the Polartec Delta seems cooler on the typical hot, muggy days than my merino stuff.
But my problem is that Polartec Delta is a relatively coarse knit. I think that’s by design.
With a heavier “training weight” pack, wearing that coarse knit fabric sucks. The knit gets to be really uncomfortable on the shoulders where the pack straps press down the most. When I take off the shirt afterward, my shoulders are covered in a reverse of the knit pattern in the fabric.
I couldn’t imagine wearing a fishnet brynje top. Seems like it would be a suffer fest with a heavy pack full of winter gear.Oct 22, 2019 at 6:54 pm #3615245Chris MalnowskiBPL Member
I really enjoyed this thread. I wish it would have kept going. Things that work and didn’t work are really helpful. And, the stuff that’s not really helpful, are still entertaining. I’m fairly new to all of this, so I don’t have anything to add, but I’m actually going to take the bottle bidet and see how I like it. I think I’ll be okay with a drip dry bum that’s moist (yep, I used that word) when pants go up.
But if I can get this thread back rolling, I’ll be happy to see more stuff that didn’t work… or the options that did.
Thanks to all of you pioneers.
ChrisOct 22, 2019 at 7:23 pm #3615246Gary DunckelBPL Member
Jeff, I agree that a Byrnje top wouldn’t work well at all in the conditions you described. For less intensive exercise, like snowshoeing on a fairly flat trail on a +20* F day, it excels for me. Probably the ideal conditions would be when ice fishing in a cold hut in northern Wisconsin on a -20* F windy day.Oct 23, 2019 at 1:53 am #3615301obx hikerBPL Member
@obxcolaLocale: Outer Banks of North Carolina
SO this guy is sky-diving, sailing along like a bird and it’s time to pull the ripdcord so he does…. and nothing happens.
So he pulls the cord for the emergency chute…. again nothing. He’s left sailing towards earth contemplating his doom when he notices a spot sailing upwards towards him
As he watches it getting closer he realizes it’s another guy sailing upwards. They meet.
He inquires: Say do you know how to open a parachute?
The guy replies: No.
Do you know how to light a Coleman stove?Oct 23, 2019 at 8:32 pm #3615377AaronBPL Member
Do you know how to light a Coleman stove?
Have you tried wearing breathable (non waterproof) footwear such as trailrunners and just letting your feet get wet?
I’ve not tried the other way. I have a hard time believing such a thing as waterproof shoes are good for much. I use waterproof shoe covers when cycling in the rain. They are only waterproof for about 30 minutes best case. They are primarily good for keeping wet feel from freezing in the wind of riding a bike. Waterproof hiking shoes?? How is that supposed to work?
1) They sound heavy
2) They don’t sound near as breathable as comfy trail runners
3) Do they really have a waterproof seal at the top? Like when I slosh knee deep through a stream, my socks will stay dry? I doubt it. And then I bet my socks will stay wet.
4) When I slosh through a stream in my trail runners and keep on hiking, I usually have dry socks within half an hour. Why fix a problem that isn’t a problem?Oct 23, 2019 at 9:40 pm #3615379john hansfordBPL Member
<i>Why fix a problem that isn’t a problem?</i>
If your feet don’t dry in 30 mins , or even 3 hours, or at all, all day, because they get repeatedly wet from rain, wet ground or vegetation, and it’s cold out, then for me that is a problem. You then have to faff with foot salve to ward off maceration, wash the mud off your socks and feet every night, and it’s just plain miserable.
Oct 23, 2019 at 9:47 pm #3615382David ThomasBPL Member
- If you enjoy cold, wet and muddy feet all day, then that’s fine, but I don’t.
- This year I hiked the Kungsleden in Swedish Lapland, notoriously rainy. In fact it did rain every day, but thankfully not all of every day. I would have been cold and miserable in mesh shoes.
- So as a precaution I took some Brooks Cascadia GTX shoes, only a few grams heavier than the regular mesh version. For all 250 miles I had no worse than damp feet each evening; my feet were clean and warm. No overheating, no hot spots or blisters. To keep the water out I used short gaiters under rain pants. Worked a treat.
- Of course wading knee high across streams is a special case, but there are thousands of miles of classic hiking that don’t require wading through water. . On these trails in cold wet weather there is definitely a place for gtx shoes.
@davidinkenaiLocale: North Woods. Far North.
Barry, “9. Emergency sack only. That was a sweaty mess.”
I mostly agree. I’ve slept in one but only for a night at a time. Yeah, got humid inside and my quilt weighed more afterwards. It worked well for that application (hunting caribou on Adak) because it was very light, could be set up anywhere and I could get back to town the next day and hang up the quilt and get it dried out.
Instead of “in case the day hike goes completely sideways”, it was “we might be on a 1-day hunt ore might overnight” so the ability to really reduce weight and bulk was very helpful. But for either of those applications, I think they have their place.
As one’s only shelter on a multi-night trip? No, not unless you had some assured opportunity to air everything out the next day and every day of the trip.Oct 26, 2019 at 3:21 am #3615825John PBPL Member
Sierra cups were a freaking ridiculous design, Useless for any purpose. But they were the thing to have, right?Oct 26, 2019 at 12:48 pm #3615854Dan YBPL Member
Sierra cups were a freaking ridiculous design, Useless for any purpose. But they were the thing to have, right?
The design is most efficient for heating water, much better than a straight wall cup.Oct 26, 2019 at 6:34 pm #3615879KarenBPL Member
I can add another, definitely an idea that wasn’t successful, not a piece of gear that failed. I attempted the JMT this summer, Lyell trailhead to Whitney, and bailed at Reds. I spent one night in Lee Vining and one at Tuolumne Lodge, and thought that would be sufficient time to get acclimated. I felt fine on day one out of Tuolumne, although I ate too much for breakfast. Before a big hike is not the time to eat! I camped at the headwaters area below Donahue pass. I wasn’t able to eat much dinner, and the next day couldn’t eat at all. A few crackers and black tea was the only food that didn’t make me nauseous. Second camp was at Emerald. By day three I was pretty light headed and not making good decisions. I knew it, but when you’re in the fog it’s hard to evaluate yourself. I waited two more days at Reds hoping to recover, but never did. On day 6, flying out, I was able to eat a small meal – one taco – and didn’t need more food for another 24 hours. By then I was only walking 5 miles a day, short day hikes. I’m guessing the more strenuous days exacerbated the effects of altitude.
I felt strong muscle- wise, only slightly sore – you know, the good sore – even after three days of hiking. I think I was definitely plenty physically fit to do this hike. But I couldn’t eat and the nausea got worse and worse. No headache, no breathing difficulty. But trying to concentrate on stream crossing, hiking during lightning storms, and crossing snowfields, just wasn’t working for me. The climbs and descents never felt hard or scary or too tough, but I just couldn’t think. I actually do not remember much of day three, I just mechanically walked in my brain fog.
Lots of things to do differently next time, but definitely more time at 9000+ is critical. Liquid nutrition, in case I can’t eat is needed – all those little packs of dried food came home with me! Bleh. Nothing at all was appetizing and when I did try to eat a meal at Reds, the outcome was not pretty, so to speak. I was pretty jealous of those hikers gorging on plate-sized pancakes. I rested and waited, but never felt better.
I hope to try again next year, with ideas that do actually work!Oct 27, 2019 at 6:17 am #3616011Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
You might of course have had a virus right then. Similar symptoms.
CheersOct 28, 2019 at 8:34 pm #3616187AaronBPL Member
Hey John, good points about waterproof shoes. Makes sense that there are in fact certain times when they make sense, as with any specialty gear. Although I think the vast majority of people aren’t planning on hiking in cold, continuously drizzly conditions.Dec 8, 2019 at 7:47 pm #3622075Dean F.BPL Member
@acrosomeLocale: Back in the Front Range
Her’s a big one that’s going to tick some people off:
Freezer Bag Cooking.
All that did was leave me with a pile of messy freezer bags that smelled like rotten food by the end of the hike and had to be thrown out. I could clean the bags after eating, but then how is that better than just making food in my pot? Heck, it would still be inferior since the pot is a LOT easier to clean. And you can still clean it with non-filtered water and scour with a handful of sand or gravel, because the next time you boil something in it to cook you will sterilize it.
Plus it doesn’t save you any weight. So I just make food in my pot. The only place where FBC might be helpful is in making larger multi-course meals for groups that for some odd reason only have one cooking kit.
EDIT– Ha! Just finished reading the thread and didn’t realize it was old, and that I had said the same thing eight months ago! So, here’s another that’s sure to incite attack:
This one requires explaining, though, because I actually love alcohol stoves. The issue is that almost everywhere that I hike has burn bans for most of the year that prohibit them, or at the least leave such stoves in a nebulous legal gray area that subject you to the whims of every holier-than-thou power-tripping ranger that you might encounter. Getting answers on whether or not alcohol stoves are allowed is often impossible because the wording of the bans rarely covers them specifically and, again, ask three rangers and you’ll get four different answers. So it’s usually just easier to bring a canister stove.Dec 8, 2019 at 9:03 pm #3622084Roger CaffinModerator
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
The big problem with Freezer Bag Cooking is that it isn’t cooking. When the ‘instructions’ say ‘simmer gently for 5 minutes’, FBC fails completely. Even Freeze Dried meals seem to profit from a little simmer, and if you have added ordinary rice for more carbo … well.
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