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  1. #21
    Alamosa's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Bozeman MT
    Hammock
    DIY
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    12' Winter Shelter
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    1,109
    In true Winter camping situations, I also take my pulk and don't mind a little extra gear.

    I separate my day/hiking/camp clothes from my sleeping gear. If my day clothes are wet from snow, sweat, etc., I still want to have a set of sleep gear that I know is dry. This gives me a full set of backups both directions for when the emergency could be the weatherman was wrong (my most common emergency). I can add to my sleep setup with more clothes from my day gear and I can always wrap up in my quilts to add to my day gear. In all cases, for safety, I always want to have one more layer available than I need. This arrangement gives me many layers of safety.

    Now if the emergency is the gear itself, it is harder to have one more available without taking double or triple gear which is unreasonable. As far as my hammock setup goes, I have straps and cordage that will likely be able to take care of issues with the suspension. I have tape that will likely address a rip in the tarp and if there is a total failure, it is the easiest thing to go without in the winter. Even if it snows, it will likely just build up on the top quilt if it is doing its job properly.

    The hammock is really the one piece of gear that if it fails will be a big issue. My first alternative would be the gear hammock. Shorter and not as comfortable, but certainly serviceable. If that is not an option then I can always rely on my clothing layers and quilts to get me through the night(s) until I am back at base. Probably not comfortable and may not get much sleep, but certainly safe enough.

    Injury is a much bigger concern to me than gear failure - much harder to take spare parts.
    We must, indeed, all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately. - Ben Franklin
    (known as a win-win on this forum)

  2. #22
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Hammock
    Chameleon Hexon 1.6
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    KC Cat Tangle 12
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    LLG CR, Wooki
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    Whoopie & shackle
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alamosa View Post
    Injury is a much bigger concern to me than gear failure - much harder to take spare parts.
    Hiking partner with matching blood type?

  3. #23
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Jan 2007
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    Tupelo, MS
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    When I hike into some of the western wildernesses, when getting back to my my car(or any other semblance of civilization) it is hard for me to really relax if I don't have at least a torso pad. CCF gives the most assurance(and least comfort on the ground) since it is failure proof, but inflatable pads are much less bulky and more comfortable. No trees? UQ wet or not warm enough for whatever reason? Hammock is torn or suspension broke?(has happened to me, but not in the wilderness)

    Tarps spring leaks or get torn, seen it happen. A pad probably won't help with that, but I have gotten under a rock over hang(pad on the ground). But, if no spare parts, if the suspension or hammock tears, the ground it is. Or how about this: your UQ(or jacket or pats) gets ripped and you watch the down blowing off in the breeze? Now I've never seen that happen, but I have seen a branch loaded by snow in June break off and puncture a big hole in a tarp, dumping snow in the face and down the neck of the fellow catching some Z's in his sleeping bag. Fortunately the branch stopped inches from his face. So I guess if that can happen, an UQ or TQ can get ripped. Probably less of an issue with a Climashield synthetic quilt.

    On this night, when I was too sick to get over the pass and back down to the trees before dark, I was so, so grateful that I had my pads with me.
    I was just as glad for the pads as I had been 2 nights previously when I was unable to figure out how to stay warm on my 1st ever night in my hammock. Ended up bailing and sleeping on the ground and under the stars. Now, that was 13 years ago and has not happened since. But, I certainly can not guarantee that something won't force me to ground or shelter in the future, so if I can't just get up and hike out, I choose to carry the extra weight of the pads and whatever else extra I might need. Also, lately I have been considering- for those trips- just using hammocks that are pretty darn comfy with a pad: bridge or 90 degree hammocks, and leaving the UQ behind.

    If it is not such a long hike out, I usually chance it and go padless. But the thought of these old bones on the ground for a night with no padding or insulation is a bit more than I can stand to think about.

    Also, on those Rocky Mountain Trios, I might even volunteer to sleep on the ground for one night, way above timberline in order to take in the bazillion stars.

  4. #24
    cmoulder's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2017
    Location
    Ossining, NY
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    DH Darien #6235, #7111
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    HG hex, hex w/door
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    I do worry when going to someplace I haven't been before, so I google the heck out of it and ask around quite a bit to confirm. Copper Ridge in North Cascades NP was a close call at Boundary Camp and I was starting to think I should have brought an air mat, and in Baxter State Park, ME there was one camp area we used (Pogy Pond) where neither hammocks nor tents are permitted. So I grudgingly carried that extra 10.4 oz air mat and 1.6 oz pillow around for a few days.
    UL, because nobody ever asks "How can I make my pack heavier?"

    Simplicity boils down to two steps: Identify the essential. Eliminate the rest. Leo Babauta

  5. #25
    cougarmeat's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Bend, OR
    Hammock
    WBBB, WBRR, WL LiteOwl
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    OES, WL BullFro
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    HG UQ, TQ, WB UQ
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    Python Straps
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    1,543
    If you are in a winter and/or wet environment you might want to check the adhesives on your repair tapes. Some don't do so well when wet or when very cold.

    I like the hiking partner with the same blood type redundancy plan. Yet another question to ask the group at the trailhead.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  6. #26
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cougarmeat View Post
    If you are in a winter and/or wet environment you might want to check the adhesives on your repair tapes. Some don't do so well when wet or when very cold.

    I like the hiking partner with the same blood type redundancy plan. Yet another question to ask the group at the trailhead.
    It is a great idea, but what I want to see is how you guys pull off that blood transfusion in wilderness camp!

  7. #27
    cougarmeat's Avatar
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    Aug 2012
    Location
    Bend, OR
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    WBBB, WBRR, WL LiteOwl
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    > It is a great idea, but what I want to see is how you guys pull off that blood transfusion in wilderness camp!

    I think alcohol might be part of the process; maybe gravity.
    In order to see what few have seen, you must go where few have gone. And DO what few have done.

  8. #28
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2015
    Location
    Washington, D.C.
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    WB RR, DIY Bridge (Dutch Kit)
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    I like to divide my gear into two categories: essential and nice-to-have. For the essential, I ask myself what would happen if one of those items failed. For example, if my headlamp failed. What if my lighter failed? If I think it's significant enough, I bring a backup, e.g., I have a spare and smaller headlamp (or use my phone). I have a second source of fire.

    But really, I think about what is my survival risk if I have a failure. If my food bag gets destroyed, I'm having an involuntary fast. Will it kill me? No. Will I be happy? No. Will I survive? Yes. Will I have a good story? Yes.

    A lot of this is all about fear. I realize everything can fail but how much additional weight do I want to carry just in the unlikely event that it does fail? I've learned to let a lot of this fear go and not worry about something that will not likely happen. But I do think about it ahead of time to determine what the consequences will be. Run through your checklist of gear you are planning to take and ask yourself what would happen if each item failed. Do you want to bring an replacement or perhaps something that can be fashioned into a replacement? I always bring spare cordage because I think that's a significant failure point and a spare Amsteel suspension system is very light. If my hammock rips I'm sleeping on the ground.

  9. #29
    New Member
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    Feb 2016
    Location
    Valdez AK
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    Small hatchet like a Fiskars x7, something to start a fire.
    Spend the miserable time doing something productive, crash on whatever you have on the ground with a nice fire.

  10. #30

    Join Date
    Mar 2017
    Location
    Saginaw, MI
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    Dutch 2.4 Hexon 11'
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    Interesting Thread!

    My viewpoint is from my experience, which is not any marathon week-long hiking expeditions into the wild. I prefer shorter walks at my age, and enjoy the company of a comfortable group of fellow hangers in Michigan.

    Risk analysis is a large topic. Everyone has different variables, due to age, health, gear, experience, weather, location, other campers. Safety in numbers is a very real bonus. Hot Tents make winter hammock camping ridiculously comfortable, with only a bit more effort to do a good job with stove wood. With enough people along, nice extras make the cut into everyone's (in my group, SLED camping in Winter) gear list. When the downside of adding 10-20 pounds of extra gear is barely noticed when pulling sled over snow, comfort items make a huge difference.

    Backup gear is just that, until you need it. I usually bring an extra tarp along, and a hammock (used as a gear loft), extra rope, extra food, extra fire kit, an axe and saw for firewood (breaking up wood by hand is too much work). I bring a CCF pad, to step out on from my hammock. It doubles as a seat cover/warm spot to sit. And has a number of emergency possibilities if I ever need.

    I go camping to relax and hang out with friends. I don't go camping to see how much discomfort I can tolerate. Been there, done that in my younger days. I prefer hiking in, with sled, a few hours and then setup a nice base camp to satisfy the primal urge to sit around a fire and talk about whatever in comfort with some simple conveniences like Dutch Ovens, enough paper towel to properly clean up meals, tools to make camp safe and easy.

    I believe everyone should think thru a worst case set of options to resolve any dangerous issues. But, enough experience, gear, company (2-3 people at least) makes almost all the risk negligible. Plus a worst case scenario is simply a walk out of a few hours, at least where we usually camp. Medical emergency is probably the biggest unknown variable. Everyone's health is different and not necessarily in the best shape. A med kit of some sort, specific to yourself, goes a long ways to mitigate medical risk problems. A little bit of foresight with regards to burns, bleeding, broken bones, sprains only takes a little bit of knowledge.

    And, in the end, in the modern cell phone connected world, help is only a phone call away, most of the time.

    Not sure any of this is/was helpful. I know my gear lists are becoming almost memorized because they really don't change much anymore. Food, number of days expected trip, a few location specific items are the only things that change. If anything, my gear pile is very slowly reducing; for example 3 flashlights is a bit overkill, batteries for a complete change aren't necessary, don't really need 3 or more knives (varying sizes/duties), don't need 3+ sporks (haven't lost one yet), etc.

    Probably best piece of advice I could give is use your common sense. Avoid dangerous situations, don't go looking for trouble. Insert "without" into Survival Rule of 3's: 3 seconds common sense, 3 minutes breathing, 3 hours shelter, 3 days water, 3 weeks food, 3 months hope! Planned vs Unplanned, Camping vs Survival, Prepared vs UnPrepared, different situations but Attitude / Knowledge / Experience are the critical controlled variables. Gear helps and is a large variable.

    Don't approach camping from a fear based mindset, go for the fun/adventure and only to the limit of your abilities and gear. Dress appropriately and bring a few extras. Enjoy the trip and any company!!
    Last edited by Gregori; 08-27-2019 at 14:02.

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