There's not a lot of room for modesty in those type of pursuits.
The there is when one has to "more than urinate" when it is -20 or below. That takes place in a bag in the tent in front of your buddies as well as attempting to do so outside of the tent would create instant flash freezing of exposed areas.
My original point wasn't that warm kidneys will relive hypothermia better. It was merely to point out that frequent urination is not necessarily a sign of being fully hydrated in cold conditions.
I must confess, Hangnout's link made the point much better than my effort.
The last time the Mt. Rogers hang was actually a hike up to Wise Shelter, most of the group scavenged for wood within several hundred yards of the shelter, and the best that could be mustered was a wet smolder with an occasional flame.
I've been in enough similar spots that I now carry several Esbits and a couple of pieces of fat wood in my emergency bag along with some cocoa packets and food that will not freeze plus matches, fire steel and a lighter. Perhaps it is overkill, but I consider it an insurance policy.
Glad you had enough sense to bail before you got into real trouble.
Glad everyone is safe.
I read through most of the posts and like some others, I had a bout with hypothermia. It was my tenth birthday, end of October about 45*F and rainy. I do not recall too much of the experience except for being miserable at the beginning of the trip.
Anyway, the only thing I could add that hasn't been said about hypothermia in general is how one's cognitive abilities become impaired even before one enters a hypothermic state. Once someone actually becomes hypothermic, their decision making ability is so off, they will do the opposite of what they should do, which is often nothing. Poor decisions can be made even by the most knowledgeable which can be disastrous. It is important for everyone in the group to be aware of early warning signs of hypothermia (and heatstroke etc...) and act accordingly since the perso's cognitive abilities may be impaired. Once someone enters a hypothermic state they need your help and may even argue with you as they now "feel fine". This is often true in many medical emergencies; you must make the right decision for them as they are incapable of doing so.
When on solo trips, I am acutely aware of the dangers so I am extra careful to avoid threatening situations and circumstances. I am constantly doing self evaluations of myself before I even begin to make poor choices.
It's not the cold, it's the wet that will get you.
Stay dry if you can. Get dry asap.
However, I don't think those items would have mattered much on that particular day. A better fire-starter might have been a white-gas stove! Actually, multiple attempts to get a fire started were made by non-impaired, experienced people at the campground, including using a Dura-flame log. If the fire was going before the rain and snow started it may have been different, but nothing seemed to work. I really think that, in those conditions with rain changing to very heavy, wet snow, the best thing is to get under shelter and stay dry.
I ordered a new rain shell with waterproof zips and more base layers last night. Also a cuben pack cover, as my silnylon pack cover did not seem to be waterproof either. I was very thankful on that trip that I use a roll-top dry bag as a pack liner to keep my essentials dry.
"I fish because I love to; because I love the environs where trout are found, which are invariably beautiful... because, in a world where most men seem to spend their lives doing things they hate, my fishing is at once an endless source of delight and an act of small rebellion; because trout do not lie or cheat and cannot be bought or bribed or impressed by power, but respond only to quietude and humility and endless patience...." --Robert Traver
It is good that you all stuck together and bailed together for mutual support and most importantly decision making.
Thanks for sharing in thi thread....Someone who read of this event may someday be saved because you shared.
Ounces to Grams.
www.jacksrbetter.com ... Largest supplier of camping quilts and under quilts...Home of the Original Nest Under Quilt, and Bear Mountain Bridge Hammock. 800 595 0413
Most anything I have thought about adding has already been said. One thing that I think was mentioned but I'll restate it, was concerning rain gear.
It seams a good idea that it should be washed & retreated every so often, following recommendations for that type of rain gear.
don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!
I am still flying solo or with one person more than not. Maybe one thing to take away is to over prepare next time. For me going ultra light is fine on a pleasant summer day, but I tend to over do it in the winter.
Is that too much to ask? Girls with frikkin' lasers on their heads?
The hanger formly known as "hammock engineer".