I couldn't figure out where to put this, but as it is / was group trip related.
On the MRHO trip report thread Slow hike said:
So, my "lesson learned" post:
Originally Posted by slowhike
ME: Gortex (O.R. gear) rain coat that had kept me dry many times before, Washed ONLY in clear water, never any soap. No bug stuff on it, etc. I got soaked through.
Rain pants, their first time in rain (were used as just cold weather pants for past 8 years) Yea, got soaked legs.
Under that all was my regular hiking clothing for the temps encountered, only "Issue" my pants under the rain pants were cotton, didn't count on getting that wet. Everything else was nylon or Poly, my socks were wool.
I feel we didn't push very hard, stayed cool, etc. Took a few standing breaks as we were mostly in the open till just before the Wise shelter. I for one ate little, even at the Wise. Which was one thing that set off alarms for me, I was NOT hungry. Warning #2: I didn't have the energy to look far in my food bag, way to tired to get food out. Food I wasn't hungry for, but knew I seriously needed! Then I took a close look at my 3 companions, as stated in a previous post, I looked at them as a mirror to me; I felt GREAT, was still having fun, could see in my 3 mirrors that I was in sad shape. So I forced down some tiny candy bars & a bit of jerky & we bailed!
Our "Plan #2" was to set up in the shelter would have likely been a good plan IF we didn't have someone for sure at the group campground, not comfortable, but all 4 of us in drier clothing & after eating, the shelter MAY have provided enough shelter, especially with the front covered by our tarps.
I think, for me at least, having the #2 plan, made the decision to bail easier. I don't know why, but it did.
Should we have stayed? No way of knowing. I think not. IF we could have built a fire, that would undoubtedly been the thing to do. But at the group campground, with a lot of fire starting alcohol, 3 Trioxine tabs & 1/4 of a Duraflame log & several people trying, they could not get a lasting fire started.
The toughest one in the group, less body mass (OK, Fat LOL) was Chickadee. I think she managed to stay drier than the rest of us, but had less natural insulation.
What I wish we had done different? Not sure. Maybe not hike in the rain. But I have hiked in cold rain before & for me to not hike,,,, well, not going to happen.
Set up camp sooner? We discussed that Monday, our first spot to camp was a bit over 1/2 mile from the shelter, we don't think that would have made any difference.
Turn back? Sure,, When? We were fine while moving, or at least felt we were.
Eat more? Yep, should have, but with that rain, I for one didn't feel like stopping & opening my pack. A lesson I did take away, I had issues finding my snacks that were in the bottom of my food bag. I now have a small Teal colored (My food bag is Orange) bag that will be attached to the food bag to stay near the top for ease of finding. This little bag will hold 5 days of snacks easily & is easy to see in the food bag.
I hiked in a rain parka, but had removed many insulating layers underneath it before starting. I expected to heat up as I climbed and switch to a wind parka, but I didn't need to. From the waist down I had thin wool pants and silk long johns. They got wet, and the tops of my thighs got unpleasantly cold. I probably should have worn rain pants (which I had with me), but I was sure I'd overheat. Now I'm not so sure. The best thing I did was wearing the rain parka, and the second best thing was wearing my Mad Bomber Hat under the hood. I had planned to use just a possum down hat and a windproof fleece hat instead of the MB, but on impulse I kept it. I'm convinced that keeping my head completely warm was a good move. When we got to Wise I was not shivering, but I knew I'd be more comfortable with dry pants. I swapped for heavier poly thermal underwear, GI pants liners, and insulated goretex snow pants. I was immediately comfortable again, and stayed that way, even after the ford of Quebec Branch wetted me somewhat from the knees down. I didn't have trouble setting up my hammock at the campground, but only ate some cold food before going to bed. I made a point of getting up to pee and drink more water several times during the night. Next morning I had to cope with a diminishing supply of dry socks, and a total lack of dry gloves or mittens. That was perhaps the hardest challenge of the weekend. Tying frozen shoelaces with bare fingers in 24° temps = difficult and no fun.
Next year I'll have two sets of dry clothing in the car, and not just cotton duds to drive home in. I did have dry boots to put on, but the wet snow had them soaked through by Saturday.
I hope these details help others plan for winter trips. We're all different. I didn't have hypothermia, but I was acutely aware of my age and the need to know when I made a trip from the hammock to the car, I'd best remember what I went for. ;)
Everyone is different. I am glad Dave went with us when we bailed, & more importantly I think, supported us getting to safety, even though he may have been in less danger (He WAS in warm dry clothing). I feel that any opposition to us getting to safety, would have easily convinced us to stay, of course no telling what the outcome would have been, we may have indeed been fine.
I too was feeling my age, still am,,,, lets call it "feeling Fluffy" in the head a week later.
Stopping to have a hot drink, even if just warming water with a stove will help a lot. Did you all have stoves. But nothing like eating and getting dry duds.
That wet cold is perilous.
Since you all made it ....it makes for an exciting trip report. TG))))
Doctari: Are you sure you didn't just sweat in the rain pants? It is easy to do and not know it. It doesn't take much exertion under a load to sweat.
Oh, and I'm glad you're alive and well
I had probably one of my closest times with being frigid cold... I was at work, washing the radiators, standing in a man lift 25' off the ground, spraying everything above me with a fire hose... I got soaking wet, and although it was only 45* with wet feet, wet hands, nothing covering my head and a wet shirt... We had about a 20 mph wind that I had no protection from... Stepping out to go to break I was shivering like crazy, hands were numb, feet were frozen... I couldn't pass the touch your fingers together test... Went inside put 2 cups of hot water in my canteen and held it until I could feel my hands, mixed some hot chocolate in it and made it warm enough that I could still gulp it down... Got an extra jacket that I keep in my locker and sat at break until I thawed out...
I had the thought that I would have been screwed if I was out hiking... But out hiking I would have been moving and probably would have warmed myself up, standing in the basket exposed to the wind and wet is what got me... I would have also been more vigilant about staying dry with no where to bail to... And I always have spare clothes in a dry bag... Even in summer, I guess that's the old boy scout in me...
Yea, possibly. At the time, I felt that it was soak through, as it seemed VERY wet.
Originally Posted by Spyvenom
Thanks for the tip Shug. I for one,,, how to put it,,, Only way to put it: I didn't feel like it. KNEW it was the smart thing to do, KNEW I could do it easily, KNEW I SHOULD do that,,,, couldn't bring myself to even reach for the cook set. I wish I had, & at least now will TRY to do so in the future. I somehow suspect that burning down the shelter was a distinct possibility.
It has now been a bit over 1 week since we got back to the relative safety of the group area. (by a bit over 1.5 hrs) & I am still not right.
When I seriously knew that I was in trouble was setting up Tarp & Hammock. Normally, IF I take time for a sip of tea when setting up, I can rig for winter in about 30 minutes, Thursday it took at least 2 hours! And I hurried as fast as I could. Makes me wonder if trying to start a fire in my stove,,,,,,, Well, even now I am typing one letter at a time & making sure I did it right, been touch typing for 40 years. If I posted what I type without correction, it's unreadable.
Another lesson I have learned it to stay hydrated to the max. When you do this your body has the maximum amount of blood improving circulation to key areas, in particular the core body parts. The one time I had serious hypothermia, I drank a quart of cold water, ate a bunch of carbs and it helped immensely. When cold, hydration is often not considered, it is easy to back off water especially if it is cold. Big mistake. Drink lots of water and snack.
My lesson was learned the hard way for sure.
Judging from the number of times I "answered nature" Thursday night, I was WELL hydrated. :D That is one thing I did right, I drank fairly often.
Originally Posted by canoebie
BTW, I suspect my rain pants did the job they were supposed to do, the wet pants (A quick run of the pants under the faucet & my hand was dry) were from ME! Never again will I hike in cotton. Knew better, did it anyway. :rolleyes: Getting Fleece pants Saturday or at least by Tuesday.
:confused: When were you?? :laugh:
Originally Posted by Doctari
I got hypoed once. Colorado, 1983. Ski season, beautiful warm sunny day, headed to the lift in a light sweater and wind jacket, sweaty....then sat in a liftchair going up the mountain. Big weather change from the bottom to the top. 40* drop, windy, snowy.
Shivering, I tried to ski my way to the bottom. Didn't make it! Passed out.:scared: Ski Patrol stopped by to sled me off the hill. (my first pulk experience.:cool:)
The medical staff packed me in hot water bottles. I dont remember much else. Took a few days to get my wits back (well, at least some of them)
Anyways, glad your okay, and always keep your guard up to the elements. We do take some serious risks playing hammock heroes.
I am actually a little suprised we don't hear more stories?