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  1. #1
    wa4chq's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
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    First time backpacking for this old coot....SNP

    First I wanna thank everyone here for the inspiration....I've been a lurker for years, joined the HF's and started planning/prepping for over a year and finally hit the trail.
    Winstone posted in late April about his trip to the SNP and the Riprap Hollow Loop. That did it....I was gonna head there for my first solo...
    I won't go into too much detail but I planned on doing two nights but it was so bloody hot and humid....and I work in that mess....I decided then and there I would rather backpack/camp in the cooler months. That said, I ended up with too much food and there were a few other items that I could have left behind. The pack with everything including my 2m HT weighed in at around 24lbs. I was going to park at the Riprap Trail parking lot and start there, but there were a few folks hanging around resting and I really didn't want to be hanging around anyone on my first trip... So I drove to the Wildcat Ridge parking lot and went in there, heading in a clockwise route. Started at 12:45. It was hot and humid but it was something I've wanted to do for a very long time. I didn't really know what to expect. Did the Wildcat and also hiked the trail to the left where the Riprap Tr. begins. Got back to the RR and crossed streams a few times and saw the swimming hole Winstone mentions.....and then continued on a little more until around 5:30 I found a spot to hang. By this time I was drenched and tired! Everything set up, didn't bother with TQ or BQ in the beginning, I just layed there trying to cool off. The Fronkey bug net covered in permethrin did just fine....(will mod it so I can move it out of the way). As the sun went down I could feel a little chill on my bare back so thought I better get the UQ out. I set it up but was concerned that hanging loose from the hammock would provide a bridge into the hammock for the large black ants that were hanging around with me, so I placed it in the hammock and that worked out fine. I brought the PLTQ out and along with the diy pillow I cobbled together last week slept until 5:30. Whats interesting is I've been test hanging with head right-feet left and when I did the Knotty mod to my diy hammock that's how I layed it out...but while struggling to remove the UQ and put it in the hammock, somehow the hammock flipped inside out.....I was laying there trying to get situated and something didn't feel right...my feet were now tight against the bugnet when before they weren't. I fiddling around and thought maybe I need to loosen the bungies for the KM....couldn't find 'em.....that's when I realized what had happened. So I switched positions and was amazed to feel the difference....I'll have to try it again, but it almost felt like it was more comfortable inside out and me laying head left-feet right....hmmmm....
    Nice moring breeze, warmed up some water for a lousy cup of instant coffee and instant breakfast. Problem was I didn't set the wind screen up correctly so the water never came to a boil.
    Got underway at 7:45 and enjoyed the vista's on this leg but it was hard on this old man newb..... got back to the AT and finished up by 10:45.
    This evening I will unpack, and decide on what I could leave behind, what I could do to improve certain things etc etc. You guys have been great....I couldn't have done without you....
    So for not going into detail I had a fantastic time, but will really look forward to doing it again and longer when it cools down!
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    I'll upload more pics on my webpage later....
    Sailing, ham radio (qrp), linux, diy hammock stuff...
    www.qsl.net/wa4chq/godspeed.html
    www.qsl.net/wa4chq/radio.html

  2. #2
    MAD777's Avatar
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    May 2009
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    Glad you were able to get out into the woods and have a comfortable night in your hammock.
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Sep 2010
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    Sounds like a good start! One quick comment on the heat. If you can arrange your hike so you stop near a swimming hole some time in the water will bring your core body temp back in line. Alcohol will dilate your surface blood vessels to help the process. Hydration is also an issue flushing out the exercise byproducts. Thus sitting in the creek with a bourbon and water at the end of a hot day makes a lot of sense. ;-)
    YMMV

    HYOH

    Free advice worth what you paid for it. ;-)

  4. #4
    wa4chq's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
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    diy gath'd end w/ KM, diy PH whip't
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    Thanks mad777...I really had a good time...just don't high humidity. Can't wait till fall/winter!
    Sailing, ham radio (qrp), linux, diy hammock stuff...
    www.qsl.net/wa4chq/godspeed.html
    www.qsl.net/wa4chq/radio.html

  5. #5
    wa4chq's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
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    diy gath'd end w/ KM, diy PH whip't
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    Thanks nothermark...there were many streams to cool off in including a really large 'pool' just below the small falls, I just didn't do it....forgot the speedos. :@ OK on the other solution...I can see why that would work.
    Sailing, ham radio (qrp), linux, diy hammock stuff...
    www.qsl.net/wa4chq/godspeed.html
    www.qsl.net/wa4chq/radio.html

  6. #6
    SilvrSurfr's Avatar
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    Jul 2011
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    Sounds like a great first solo. I'm none too keen on hot weather hanging and hiking. I always try to plan summer trips where I can cool off in a river or stream. When it's 95 degrees out and high humidity it's a total lifesaver!
    "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." Ralph Waldo Emerson

  7. #7
    wa4chq's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
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    diy gath'd end w/ KM, diy PH whip't
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    Thanks SilvrSurfr...when I stopped to try my Sawyer mini-filter, I'm reaching down trying to fill the little bag it came with...I'm changing this, just didn't have all the parts to finish....and I'm feeling that nice cool water and I'm thinking I should lay down in it---now I wished I had!
    Sailing, ham radio (qrp), linux, diy hammock stuff...
    www.qsl.net/wa4chq/godspeed.html
    www.qsl.net/wa4chq/radio.html

  8. #8
    Senior Member 2ply's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing the adventure. Looks like your first outing was a success and your DIY gear preformed well. Welcome to the madness.
    Everyone ought to believe in something....I believe I'll go set up the hammock!

  9. #9
    olddog's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
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    Sounds like the perfect first hike and hang. They will get better. Now to the serious stuff. Coffee! My ideal is to drip 180f hot water thru fresh ground 8 O' clock Colombian Coffee beans. I start the water heating and when it just starts to bubble pour enough to make... I just realized you're in VA. I'll be up there in three weeks and could show you if you're close enough to Woodstock.
    Most of us end up poorer here but richer for being here. Olddog, Fulltime hammocker, 365 nights a year.

  10. #10
    wa4chq's Avatar
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    Aug 2013
    Location
    Virginia
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    diy gath'd end w/ KM, diy PH whip't
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    Thanks olddog...yes, they're all gonna be different. I really am looking forward to the next one. I'm already looking at new trails in the SNP where I can continue to test my gear and myself.
    Now to coffee...sadly we're three hours from Woodstock....but I'm gonna perfect making my camp meals and my camp coffee....now I'm gettin' hungry.
    Sailing, ham radio (qrp), linux, diy hammock stuff...
    www.qsl.net/wa4chq/godspeed.html
    www.qsl.net/wa4chq/radio.html

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