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  1. #11
    Senior Member Nest's Avatar
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    I do believe you are doing a thru hike next year, and I am too. My biggest concern is the first leg of the hike from Springer through the Smokies. I plan on sleeping in a pair of patagonia cap 3 pants and top. Under the pants I plan on wearing some good running tights. On top of the cap 3 top I have a decent 13 oz. down jacket that I will sleep in if necessary. On my feet I have some heavyweight REI wool socks, and a wool cap for my head. This all goes with my potomac underquilt, and homemade top quilt with the same loft as the underquilt. It sounds like a lot, but I don't want to get caught in zero degree weather on the ridgelines of the Smokies unprepared.

  2. #12
    It's a bit warmer here, but the temperature fluctuation is quite high, especially in a hammock. At 10pm I bunked down in briefs only, but by 11:30pm I was in trousers, shirt, pullover and under a small towel for a blanket. I don't carry a sleeping bag or dedicated sleepwear, but it makes sense to wear layers that can be opened at the front and easily put on or discarded. I hang my clothes from the ridgeline and and heavy stuff goes in my pack just under the HH opening.

  3. #13
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Cerberus- I'm in the same boat, which is why I started this thread. I've been living the warm life in Florida for a decade this Feb; pretty sure my blood has thinned a bit. The first part of the hike is really my only concern and really only at night. Your 'warm load' doesn't sound like a lot to me; it's actually pretty close to the same as what I'm planning. I'll be taking a ccf pad and a 1/2 length UQ; that's the only real difference in our insulation. My biggest problem is clothing. Too many options.

    Oh, did I mention that my feet had the pleasure of experiencing frostbite when I was 19? Really rather not relive that little experience.

  4. #14
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    Re:thinning blood....

    It takes no time for that to happen I spent 1 winter in Australia and then that spring I froze at home...

    Consider a removable insulated hood from a down or similar WARM parka as opposed to a cap/hat if its going to be really cold. The hood will stay on better and seals around your face and neck. Much better kinda like a balaclava, without looking so bank-robber...

  5. #15
    Senior Member lvleph's Avatar
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    I should add that I made fleece socks to keep my feet warm. They are also knee high.

  6. #16
    Senior Member DGrav's Avatar
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    I swear by wool. Most of my gear is by Ibex . They are a bit pricey but the have some very good prices in their discount section plus you can find last years colors on various websites such as Backcountry.com for reasonable prices. I have even gotten a few pieces dirt cheap on Steepandcheep.com.

    For sleeping in the cold I wear Ibex Long Johns, an Ibex Ribbies long sleeve top, Smart Wool Alpine Socks, and a smartwool beany.

  7. #17
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    One set of thin merinowool underwear, used only to sleep in.

  8. #18
    Senior Member Nest's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cannibal View Post
    Cerberus- I'm in the same boat, which is why I started this thread. I've been living the warm life in Florida for a decade this Feb; pretty sure my blood has thinned a bit. The first part of the hike is really my only concern and really only at night. Your 'warm load' doesn't sound like a lot to me; it's actually pretty close to the same as what I'm planning. I'll be taking a ccf pad and a 1/2 length UQ; that's the only real difference in our insulation. My biggest problem is clothing. Too many options.

    Oh, did I mention that my feet had the pleasure of experiencing frostbite when I was 19? Really rather not relive that little experience.

    Unfortunately we won't have any good weather to test this stuff out in. Part of my winter gear is a bail out plan. I will eat a lot of food to keep up my energy and warm my body, then do a force march to the next road to get to town. If possible. If not, then the old survival skills come into play. Also on those freak cold nights, you can huddle up in the shelter with everyone else. Hang tarps over the opening to block the wind, and just crowd in. Not a good nights sleep, but that will get you through the bad areas until you can get into town. I figure if I can get down to 20* in my hammock I am happy. Anything below that I either go to ground or the shelter. When those aren't enough I head into town.

  9. #19
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus View Post
    Anything below that I either go to ground
    I am on a mission to avoid such activities. I've broken down and decided to carry a pad-spe-contraption (an spe as Dr. Frankenstien would make it) to boost my cold tolerance and to go to ground if I have to. That's why I'm really trying to do my homework on clothing options; every little bit is a couple of degrees.

    However, a bailout plan is always in the works and should be for everyone.
    Quote Originally Posted by Cerberus View Post
    When those aren't enough I head into town.
    Town has beer, right?

  10. #20
    Senior Member Cannibal's Avatar
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    Oh, I forgot; I'm also going out to Colorado the last week in December to visit family and play in the snow. That should give me a pretty good indication of what will work and what won't. Then I just have to account for humidity.

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