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  1. #1
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    TR: Dolly Sods, 14 Deg. F

    Just wanted to give a brief trip report on a recent trip last Friday to Dolly Sods / Roaring Plains. Initially we were headed to the Red Creek Campground but the drifting snow had made the road very difficult to get through so we turned back to the road the goes out to the gas line cut on Roaring Plains. There most of the way to the cut we came on a very good campsite in the middle of the spruce. I was able to set up my hammock back in the spruce so I could avoid almost all of the wind. The hammock was a Trek Light with a Snugfit Universal plus a couple blue pads in a chair kit for the bottom insulation. I used a 0 deg down bag as a quilt, a cheap down jacket and three hats including a down balaclava for my top insulation. One of the key things I did however was that I brought an aluminum pan for melting snow over the fire - we melted a good amount of snow and when it was time to hit the hammock I had a Nalgene full of hot water to keep me comfortable. It was a great night - I was completely warm all night and of course being in a hammock I was completely comfortable too. If anything I was almost too warm with this setup. I must have looked quite the sight in the morning with the ice in my beard standing in my long johns and down jacket.

    Anyways - lessons learned
    1. a hot water bottle is worth its weight in gold on cold nights in a hammock
    2. having a good sized pan makes getting hot water very convenient - just leave it next to the firs and toss in snow whenever the water level gets low
    3. the Snugfit is easily replaces 2 ccf pads - before I started using the Snugfit I would have used 4 ccf pads in these conditions and it would not have been as comfortable
    4. as always keeping the head warm really helps keeping the rest of the body warm
    5. an iced over beard is no big deal but when the condensation doesn't freeze and drips down to skin level it is a bit noticeable.
    6. a sheltered site is great to have for setting up the hammock

  2. #2
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Alright, very interesting report. Already 14*F up there? Brrrr! And the Snugfit was plenty warm enough by itself even at that temp? Wow, that is much better than rated. Speer and Youngblood must be very conservative, as I have found out with my PeaPod.

    Did you have a double Trek light or a single?
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillyBob58 View Post
    Alright, very interesting report. Already 14*F up there? Brrrr! And the Snugfit was plenty warm enough by itself even at that temp? Wow, that is much better than rated. Speer and Youngblood must be very conservative, as I have found out with my PeaPod.

    Did you have a double Trek light or a single?
    Actually I did not try the Snugfit by itself - I was using the Snugfit plus two ccf pads for the bottom insulation. The 14 Deg. F was a little surprising but playing in the snow was fun - got to use my snowshoes for the first time in a few years - Shen just does not get the snow that the Sods do.

    I was using the Trek Light double.

  4. #4
    slowhike's Avatar
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    That hot water bottle is a wonderful thing on a cold night!
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  5. #5
    Senior Member rock_rat's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hog On Ice View Post
    Actually I did not try the Snugfit by itself - I was using the Snugfit plus two ccf pads for the bottom insulation. The 14 Deg. F was a little surprising but playing in the snow was fun - got to use my snowshoes for the first time in a few years - Shen just does not get the snow that the Sods do.

    I was using the Trek Light double.
    My understanding is that due to a combination of the wind patterns in the area and the elevation we can have freezing temps any time of the year on top the sods and there are only three months where you are guaranteed not to have snow. I know I've woken up to morning temps around 35 in mid July. The sods constitutes the southern most reach of several species which are otherwise only found in the Canadian tundra.
    Murphy was an optimist! - O'toole's commentary on Murphy's law
    The perversity of the Universe tends towards a maximum. - O'Toole's Corollary
    I think this O'Toole guys onto something. - Rock_Rat's commentary on O'Toole

  6. #6
    Senior Member BillyBob58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rock_rat View Post
    My understanding is that due to a combination of the wind patterns in the area and the elevation we can have freezing temps any time of the year on top the sods and there are only three months where you are guaranteed not to have snow. I know I've woken up to morning temps around 35 in mid July. The sods constitutes the southern most reach of several species which are otherwise only found in the Canadian tundra.
    Wow! This is another place I have always meant to hike in but have never got 'er done.
    For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us....that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and suffers the pains of childbirth together until now.
    Romans 8:18,21-22

  7. #7
    Senior Member NCPatrick's Avatar
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    I'd like to get up there myself sometime. If for no other reason than it's got such a cool name.

    Dolly Sods. Dolly Sods. (Not just Sods -- Dolly Sods).


    "Civilization is the limitless multiplication of unnecessary necessities."
    - Mark Twain
    I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.
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  8. #8
    Senior Member Crash's Avatar
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    Dolly Sods

    Quote Originally Posted by NCPatrick View Post
    I'd like to get up there myself sometime. If for no other reason than it's got such a cool name.

    Dolly Sods. Dolly Sods. (Not just Sods -- Dolly Sods).
    I've neve been there but I've always wanted to go there.
    Sounds like we need to do a hangout there!
    "Courage Grows Strong at a Wound" - Stewart Clan Motto

  9. #9
    2Questions's Avatar
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    It is an amazing place...like a little Canada with the sideways spruce trees from the windblown Allegheny front system that passes througfh there. I was almost blown off that plateau while camping in September. The weather can change in a hurry!
    BTW, I believe the name Dolly Sods comes from the name of the family that raised cattle there earlier..the Dahle family I believe. From there it was used an a military bombing location and there are signs warning of unexploded ordinance that may be found.
    There are many interesting things in that general area. Red creek with its 100 ft long water slide, diverse geography, lots of animals, tons of blueberries in season, usually good air blowing, plenty of water,...would make a nice area for a hang.

  10. #10
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    DS - Dahle=Dolly - Sods=Farms

    Quote Originally Posted by 2Questions View Post
    BTW, I believe the name Dolly Sods comes from the name of the family that raised cattle there earlier..the Dahle family I believe....would make a nice area for a hang.
    YES!!!! HappyCamper and I were there in July for a mini-hang and experienced 4 days of rain...<g>.. Guesstimating 10" plus. A Hang when the 30 odd different berries up there are ripe and juicy!

    Yes, family name is "Dahle" - pronounced "Dolly" and "Sods" is West Virginiaese for "Farms".

    *MY* fav place East of the Mississippi!
    Happy Trails,
    J.D.

    I never drink water. I'm afraid it will become habit-forming.

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