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  1. #1
    Doctari's Avatar
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    7th annual Mt Rogers hangout.

    The 2013 Mt Rogers Hangout planning forum:

    Well, it’s that time again, the SEVENTH annual Mt Rogers Winter hangout to be held at the Grayson Highlands State park group campground on January 18 – 20. 2013. The oldest Cold Weather campout for Hammocks!

    SO: LET THE PLANNING BEGIN!!! WOO HOO!!!!!

    Now we can get to the important stuff like FOOD & Raffle stuff. There is also the option of day hikes & what to do if you get there early, like on Thursday the 17th.
    Last year (2011) to do any serious hiking required snowshoes, so that is something to consider. HOWEVER, 2011 was the first time snowshoes were seriously needed due to the depth of the snow, especially when it was in drifts.
    AND, this year (2012), “warm” weather & a pretty constant rain.

    Before we get too far in, let me remind all that this is NOT a hammocker only event! Tents are welcome, as are any other “Groundlings”. In fact, I can safely say, if someone wants to build (& sleep in?) an Igloo; that would be GREAT & enthusiastically viewed by all attendees. (This is a subtle hint by me. Well, as close to subtle as I get.) So far we have had several tents at the MRHO over the past 6 years & they were welcomed heartily. OK, so we pointed & laughed at them a few times, doesn’t mean they weren’t welcome.

    Food: On Saturday (starting at around Noon or just after) is the “Pot luck dinner” where everyone brings that special food item to share around the campfire. 2012 there was Darby’s wonderful Chili, & Jim’s “Jimbalaya” Plus more food then I can remember over a year later. All I know is; I ate a LOT! The rest of the time your food is up to you.
    Many of us go to the Log House restaurant a few miles from the park on Sunday for Breakfast/Lunch. More info to follow.

    Raffle prizes: Every year just after the Potluck dinner, there is a gear Raffle for the attendees. Donations are accepted, preferably something new(ish) & nice. Hammock related items are usually the focus, & cold weather camping gear is always appreciated. Many use newly won quilts, or clothing that night!! DIY stuff is also encouraged; in 2010 I got a great set of Whoopie slings from Headchange4U that he made (Thanks Jason!). Tickets for the Raffle are $10.00 each & the proceeds go toward: rental of the Group campsite & shelter, rental of a “Porta Privy” from Jobsite Johnny with the leftover funds going to (donated) support Hammock Forums, White Blaze & the ATC. So dig deep for the chance to win big & support a great group of organizations.

    Camping: We are at the group campground and amphitheater. During NORMAL times of the year, that would mean we have to stay IN the Group area ONLY! But as we are the only ones here during the winter (“Crazy enough to camp in this weather”) we can pretty much spread out as much as we want to. We have been asked to please stay (camping wise) E of the amphitheater & S of the Road / parking lot. There are AMPLE trees in the area & minimal ground cover to worry about. There is parking for (by my estimation) about 30 cars at the Group Campground, & so far we have never filled those spaces.

    ALCOHOL consumption: is not allowed in the park. Sorry! And, the Rangers are INVITED to the potluck. 2 attended in 2011, so drink at your own risk.

    Day hikes: OH MY! There are so many trails in the area. Later I (or someone else) can post a map of the area. A few words of advice if you go on a hike: It is WINTER, and we are in the mountains. That means the weather can change VERY VERY QUICKLY!!! So, take a friend or 3, warm clothing & at least a lunch. An INSULATED water bottle is also important, &/or keep one inside your coat. Cell phone coverage in & around Grayson highlands is spotty at best, so DO NOT COUNT ON YOUR CELL PHONE IN AN EMERGENCY!!

    After Event: On Sunday, many go to the Log House Restaurant about a 30 minute drive from the park for Breakfast / Brunch. Go Left out of the Park entrance. This year I plan on calling them on Monday before to warn that we are coming, so if we could get a rough count by then, that would be great!

    General information on the hangout: It will be cold, it may be VERY cold!! It will be windy, it may be VERY windy! It may snow, & it may snow A LOT!!! It may also rain, yes even at below freezing temps!! In those conditions, the rain freezes as soon as it touches almost anything, even you. And, as mentioned above, it RAINED a lot in 2012, so no matter what the weather people say, bring rain gear!

    If you have ANY questions about cold weather camping, feel free to ask them now or at the hangout. If you have ever wanted to try winter camping but, like me were afraid to try, this is the time to do it: we are in a relatively safe area, with quite a few very experienced Cold Weather hangers so help & advice is readily at hand. I will likely repeat this several times before the actual event, but please remember: IF YOU NEED HELP, ASK SOMEONE!! IF YOU GET TOO COLD AT NIGHT, WAKE SOMEONE UP FOR HELP!! Do NOT “tough it out” Hypothermia is a bad thing!! Also, the cars are close so can be a good place to warm up if you need it, if you rode with someone, be sure to know where they are camped & go ask for the car keys. IF I get to go, I will be camped quite a ways down the hill almost directly in line with the end of the road*, approximately due South & about 100 yards. I will NOT mind if you wake me up because you are cold!!! *At end of road, turn 90 deg Right, follow the creek bed along the left bank, large gray tarp, oriented N/S.
    Regarding car keys, bring a spare set or 2 & put them somewhere on you &/or your car just in case you get locked out with the keys inside your car.
    If you are unsure that your insulation is set up properly, ask one of the “Old timers” for a pointer or two. This saved my trip during the first MRHO (Thanks Pan!) & can save yours!! Good insulation, installed / used poorly can mean a cold night.
    Chemical hot packs can make a BIG difference!
    You may have heard this phrase used a lot regarding real estate: “Location, Location, Location!” in Winter / Cold Weather camping it is CRITICAL. As mentioned above, “In some locations it got down to –2 degrees.” In other areas, within as little as 50’, it was up to 5 degrees warmer (Even allowing for differences in thermometers, pretty remarkable). Also, orientation of your tarp ACROSS the prevailing wind direction means a warmer night. Generally wind direction is from the West, but there are times when it will seem to be coming from all points of the compass at the same time. Not kidding! As mentioned above, it can get quite windy so be prepared to stake your tarp as much as you can, now is not the time to skimp on ANYTHING!!
    As the hangout is at the group camping area, we are close to the park road, which means you can bring extra anything (Food, insulation, etc.) to make life a bit easier. In fact, in 2011 there were 2 Coleman multi burner stoves, which made it nice for fixing some of the larger food items like chili & Jimbalaya. I suspect that some will bring firewood, if you do, please be sure it is not from a quarantined area (Emerald Ash Borer, Balsam Woolly Algid, etc). If you don’t know, find out before you bring possibly contaminated wood to the area. Thank you! For example, I would not be bringing firewood as my area is infested with the Emerald Ash Borer. Another note about fire: No matter how much you paid for which ever piece of gear, if you set it too close to the fire it will melt or burn if it’s made of the correct stuff. With the fire we had in 2011, stuff (like water bottles & shoes) sitting on the wall, 2’ to 3’ from frank fire, melted. Yea, it was a big fire.

    Another “It bears saying more than once!” Now is not the time to skimp on ANYTHING!!

    Thursday: I plan on hiking to the Wise Shelter for the night.
    Friday: IF I go to the Wise shelter Thursday & am feeling “Frisky” I may attempt a hike to the Scales & back. This is one of my favorite hikes in the area.

    Now for the “Bad stuff!”
    Remember a few things about food at a winter campout. It will freeze! Cooking times are MUCH longer! It will freeze once you cook it! Water is harder to come by, & it will freeze once you have it! High fat food means fuel for the furnace, this campout is NOT the time to be on a low fat diet. That being said, even Olive oil will freeze when the warmest the weekend gets is 20f. No, keeping it in your car will not keep anything from freezing, sorry. In 2011 it got to negative 2 in some areas, this means whatever freezes will freeze VERY solid.
    EVERYTHING is harder to do in the cold. It is harder to move due to the amount of clothing worn AND due to the cold. Doing fine motor skills is hard with gloves on, & even harder without in sub freezing weather. Going to the toilet, even in a nice enclosed port-a-privy is, at best, an adventure. Along those lines: hand sanitizer will freeze, & baby wipes become useless in short order. I overcame that in 2011 by keeping both in an inside pocket. But at 17 degrees F or colder, you better use them as soon as you get them out or,,, well: BURR! Snow is pretty, but very hard to walk on / through without snowshoes. Even the stuff that is compressed on the trails to & from various “events” at the campground it will take more energy than walking those same area during warmer weather. A ¼ mile walk to the privy can feel like a ½ mile hike or more if the snow is really deep & the park service couldn’t plow the road.
    WATER FREEZES AT 32 DEGREES FAHRENHEIT (Or 0 C) At below 0 F, it freezes VERY quickly! So do try to keep your water warm & insulated. A pocket or pouch INSIDE your coat to hold your water bottle can be a good idea. And outside pocket will not keep your water bottle from freezing.

    So, anyway, a great time is always had; good food, good company, “bad” weather, you know, “Fun!”

    Cold weather tips N hints:
    Stay slightly cool to stay warm. If you get too warm you will sweat, if you sweat you are getting wet, if you get wet you will get cold. I have been known to get overheated at just about every cold weather hang out so have stripped to just tee shirt & pants (or kilt) just to cool off & not get wet.
    Eat high calorie / high fat foods. Eat more than you would in temperate weather doing the same activities. Bear in mind that even just standing around the campfire talking you are burning a LOT of calories just to stay warm, regardless of your insulation.
    A high calorie snack just before bed can help you stay warm at night. And a snack during the night (Perhaps after a trip to answer the “call of nature”) can help you stay warmer longer.
    A few chemical heat packs kept handy can warm you up if you get too cold. HINT: Do not use BEFORE you get cold, they may get you too hot, thereby causing you to sweat & (as above) get colder. Also you can put a hot water bottle in your hammock with you, for more info on this go to http://www.hammockforums.net/forum/s...ead.php?t=6313
    During the hangout, drink a lot of water! Dehydration can lead to an increased risk of hypothermia. Drinking warmed water (Coffee, Hot chocolate, hot Gatorade, etc.) can reduce the cooling effect of drinking cold water. And, much of the water available at the hangout is very near freezing temp. Personal note: As a rule, I do not get cold, ever, but at the 2011 hangout I did, after doing an AAR when I got home, I figured out that I simply had not drank enough. At least that is all I could figure out I did wrong.
    Alcohol use will dilate your peripheral blood vessels (the ones in your skin) making you FEEL warmer, HOWEVER, this will cause you to cool off much faster, with the side effect of reduced sensation due to alcohol use that will not let you notice you are in trouble.
    IF someone looks disoriented (much like over indulgence of alcohol) they may be in the mid to late stages of Hypothermia & need help NOW! They need to be warmed up quickly & without delay!
    IF someone comes to you & says “I think you are getting hypothermia! Let me help you!” listen to them. If it is true & you are hypothermic, you will NOT know it!
    IF you see someone that may be in hypothermia, get him or her to someplace warm. They may fight you, so be gentle yet firm. Once they warm up they will thank you!!
    If Anyone starts taking off clothing AND are incoherent, they are in DEEP trouble & it is now time for the group to get them to a warm place.
    If he is coherent & taking off clothing, leave Doctari alone. Because once again he stupidly got overheated & is close to HYPER-thermia. Yes, even if it’s well below freezing. Happens every year, so why should this one be any different?
    IF you feel you are in trouble, regardless of the time of day, GET HELP! If you are shivering & can’t stop, regardless of the time of day, GET HELP! If you suddenly stop shivering, regardless of the time of day, GET HELP!
    If someone wakes you up for Help, regardless of the time of day, GIVE / GET them help!!
    At the average temperatures we have had over the years at Mt Rogers, Hypothermia can progress very rapidly. If you think someone is approaching hypothermia NOW is the time to act. In 2011 the temps at least got close to ZERO, that is not the time or temperature to wait to see if they get better on their own.
    In 2012 it Rained, a LOT, prime hypothermia weather.
    THIS BEARS REPEATING: IF SOMEONE OFFERS YOU HELP, ACCEPT IT!! IF SOMEONE NEEDS HELP, GIVE IT!!
    If you have extra insulation for your sleep system, bring it with you. You don’t have to use it, but have it ready to deploy.
    Contrary to what you may think, ventilation is CRITICAL to keeping warm. So do not fully seal your tarp or tent. If you have a hammock sock or similar (like a BBO or a full coverage 1X), leave it open for ventilation! Even fabric that is breathable (Like bug netting) can get sealed by your breath freezing on it, causing you to get “snowed on” & chilled Or even cut off the air flow.
    Also, keeping your Top Quilt dry can be a bit, , , , challenging, especially by your head (Mouth n nose) from breathing on it. See Shug’s videos on how he reduces that with a small piece of fleece strategically placed.
    Your camera may freeze / quit working. Your back up camera may also freeze. At times I could get about 5 quick pictures or about 15 - 20 ssssssseconds of video before mine said “ENOUGH” & shut down in 2011. Then other times it would work for 30 minutes or more. YPYM, YTYC*. And, if it rains, a waterproof covering or camera is a boon.

    If it snows, or if it MAY snow: do not stake your tarp all the way to the ground. Leave a gap at least ½ the distance from the ground of the expected snowfall depth. If you do not do this the weight of the snow may well collapse your tarp around you. Leaving this “Gap” will allow the snow to fall off of your tarp. Also bear in mind that snowfall predictions from the weather service are for lowland areas, the snowfall up in Grayson highlands may be 2 – 4 times higher. A snow shovel will help you to dig out if you miss guess the gap.
    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

  2. #2
    Doctari's Avatar
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    Check list ideas

    WINTER GEAR Checklist. Feel free to ignore items or add as needed, this is just some suggestions:

    Sleeping gear:
    “Primary” underquilt ________
    Secondary underquilt ________
    “Primary” Top quilt ________
    Secondary Top quilt ________
    “Space Blanket” ________
    Another “Space Blanket” ________
    Reflective “Truckers” windscreen. ________
    CCF Pad ________
    Hammock Sock ________
    Sleeping hat ________
    Chemical Hot Packs (assorted sizes, minimum 1 per night?) ________
    Gloves (I use liner gloves) ________
    Frost bib (see Shug’s videos) ________
    Insulated water bottle WITH A TIGHT FITTING LID!! ________
    Face mask ________
    Scarf ________
    Optional Insulation ________
    Optional Insulation ________
    Optional Insulation ________
    Optional Insulation ________
    Optional Insulation ________
    Optional Insulation ________
    Optional Insulation ________

    Clothing:
    LAYERS people, LAYERS!
    Poly pro undergarment(s) ________
    Minimum 1 pair DRY socks per night ________
    “Down booties” or equivalent ________
    Panty hose (Yes, even guys can wear them, surprisingly warm & light) ________
    Long underwear ________
    Fleece jacket ________
    Fleece vest ________
    “Down” Jacket (Think Stay Puffed Man type jacket) for standing around talking. ________
    Gloves (in addition to sleeping gloves) ________
    Wind pants ________
    Hat(s) ________
    Rain Coat ________
    Rain Pants ________
    Optional clothing ________
    Optional clothing ________
    Optional clothing ________
    Optional clothing ________
    Optional clothing ________
    Optional clothing ________
    Optional clothing ________
    Optional clothing ________
    Optional clothing ________

    Food stuff:
    You will need this to keep warm!
    Thursday:
    Breakfast ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Lunch ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Dinner ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Nighttime snack ________
    Nighttime snack ________
    Nighttime snack ________
    Nighttime snack ________
    Friday:
    Breakfast ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Lunch ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Dinner ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Nighttime snack ________
    Nighttime snack ________
    Nighttime snack ________
    Nighttime snack ________
    Saturday
    Breakfast ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Lunch ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Hourly snack ________
    Pot Luck Dinner item(s) __________________________________________________ _____
    __________________________________________________ _________________________
    __________________________________________________ _________________________
    Hourly snack __________
    Nighttime snack __________
    Nighttime snack __________
    Nighttime snack __________
    Nighttime snack __________
    Sunday:
    Breakfast __________
    Hourly snack __________
    Hourly snack __________
    Hourly snack __________
    Lunch at the Log House? ____ (Please let Doctari know if you are going)

    Miscellaneous stuff:
    Camera(s) ________
    Raffle item(s) ________
    Snacks to share ________
    Water container(s), preferably insulated ________
    Insulated Sit pad (RECOMMENDED!) ________
    Folding chair (RECOMMENDED!) ________
    Snowshoes ________
    Ice cleats ________
    Snow shovel (RECOMMENDED!) ________
    SUNGLASSES ________
    Gaiters ________
    Tarp door(s) ________
    Extra tarp stakes ________
    Extra tarp tie out cord ________
    Extra Hammock stuff “Just in case” ________

    Large pot AND lid for heating water or melting snow ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________
    _______________________________ ________


    * You Pay Your Money, You Take Your Chances!
    Last edited by Doctari; 09-20-2012 at 17:35.
    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

  3. #3
    Senior Member lazy river road's Avatar
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    Man I had so much fun last year I really hope to make it again. It will have to be decided later as Ill have to see where I'm at with my weekend job. Its great that winter is almost here.
    Sometimes I like to hike and think, And sometimes I just like to hike.

    Hiking is'ent about waiting for the storm to pass its about learning to hike in the rain.

  4. #4
    2Questions's Avatar
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    Can I place my order now for 10" or more of the white stuff?
    2QZQ Hammock Specialties
    Specializing in:
    Hennessy Hammock zipper modifications
    Sewn on Tarp doors, Pole Pockets, and Grizz Beaks
    Ridgeline and gear organizers, peak storage bags, UQ protectors,
    and More!

    "The difference between genius and stupidity is.... genius has its limits" - Albert Einstein

  5. #5
    Doctari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2Questions View Post
    Can I place my order now for 10" or more of the white stuff?
    Yes please!
    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

  6. #6
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    My first HF hang was here last year...what a great time! Doctari, I hope we can get a few trail miles in together; you were a big help to me. Count me in.

  7. #7
    Doctari's Avatar
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    AAARRG! I cant believe I left this out, AGAIN!: Some in the past years have had Down Boots (booties?) for around camp & "calls of nature" & all spoke highly of the warmth & comfort. Be sure to get the ones with a durable sole so you can walk around camp. Waterproof (Goretex? Similar?) May also be a good idea.

    Now some additional notes from the planning part of last years hangout:
    To view a map of the area, http://www.dcr.virginia.gov/state_pa...nhighlands.pdf
    our gathering area is just behind [about 60' ESE] the CAMP STORE. (Closed in winter). And we camp near that central area.

    Raul Perez posted a nice write up on his web site on winter camping with a Hammock & hiking. Well worth viewing, can be viewed here. A note about Part 3 of Water Monkey's winter hiking Blog. Be "warned" that he is not subtle about some of the warnings, but then as he says, "Don't be a weenie!" Winter camping REQUIRES,,,, being not subtle. This blog combined with the info here will make your winter camping experience much more fun.
    Some "take home messages" I liked:
    Winter is the least forgiving season to have something go wrong in.
    Everything Looks Legit On Paper – Trust No One! Yeah you read that right… don’t even trust me. From Doctari: Or me either! Don't get out there & say "Oh, Doctari &/or Water Monkey said to do it this way & I had a TERRIBLE time!" We are only offering what has worked for us! Even if doing what we do MAY work for you, it can't if you don't practice first!
    Don’t cheat the test. Getting to know your gear by examining it in your living room is totally different than actually testing it.
    For winter testing I suggest testing your gear in actual conditions you will most likely be facing. Now, I’m not saying take your new gear and hit the trails for a few days with lows in the teens to see how it fairs. Cause that’s just stupid.
    From Doctari: at least test your gear outside. Possibly / probably, you won’t see the wind & temps & precipitation at Mt Rogers, but give it a try in conditions as close as you can get!

    Would anyone who has the skills be willing to do assorted survival seminars?
    Fire starting in an emergency, in winter.
    Shelter building (after catastrophic failure of your tarp & hammock).
    Finding your way home after loosing your compass, (and after a big, over night snowfall).
    Whatever else you can think of.
    I can start a fire, but the more important it is that I have a fire, the worse my skills are. So, if I was on a beach at a luxury resort in a tropical climate, & just doing it for fun, I can put together a fire that the gods would envy with no fire starting tools & 5 Popsicle sticks. Cold weather, I'm lost & my only hope of survival is a fire: I could have a fully functional flame thrower, 5 cords of wood & 15 lbs of "Perfect" kindling & etc, & I would NOT be able to start a fire.

    If someone wonders: “Is MY insulation enough?”
    I’m sorry, but It's really hard to say: "Sure, that will work for you!" because we all sleep differently. I am pretty sure that MY set up would leave you "Freezing to death". Your's seems adequate, , , at least for me. Some questions YOU need to ask yourself: Do I sleep cold? At 20 degrees (that you mention getting down to) would my set up be enough? Would it get me to lower temps? How much lower?? Is that enough?!?!?
    A few air activated heat packs can compensate for not quite enough insulation. Take a tip from me, do NOT pre-treat as in don't activate the hot pack as you get in bed. I did that once & got WAY too hot, so I sweated, then got wet. Thankfully I noticed it early & was able to dry off [cooled off, changed clothes, aired out the insulation as best I could in 14 degree weather & started over.] & get back to sleep.
    AND, hard as it is to imagine, Most Importantly (after adequate insulation) can you ventilate your shelter enough? Poor ventilation means more condensation, more condensation means you are getting wet, getting wet means getting COLD! You don't have to sleep "Out in the open" but a fully sealed shelter is a bad thing. Many feel that sealing all of the gaps will keep the cold out, and to a point it will, but it will also keep the moisture you generate in.

    A reminder to those driving:
    Along some of the roads to the park, and especially the park roads themselves, can be very tricky, especially to those not used to driving on mountain roads, in the snow. The road in the sun can be dry, very dry. A few feet away, in the shade can be a VERY slippery sheet of ICE!! Many times this Ice can be in a curve.
    So, a brief Primer for driving on the ice & snow, this is not all inclusive, but can be a start: Drive SMOOTHLY! Break SMOOTHLY! Do not accelerate or brake hard, in fact, do not let off the gas too fast. Turn INTO a spin. If your car doesn't have anti lock brakes, practice GENTLY pumping them to come to a stop if you slide. This should go without saying, but TURN OFF YOUR CELL PHONE WHILE DRIVING, Cause honestly, you don't need the distraction.
    Consider turning off your radio (stereo, CD Player, MP3 player, etc) & having your passengers limit talking. The views along here can be heart stopping, if you MUST see one, find a place to pull over safely, stop, & THEN look!

    IF YOU NEED HELP, AT ANYTIME, ASK!!!! 14 degrees or colder, minus wind chill AND / OR raining, is NOT the time to "Tough it out". Sorry to be morbid, but I do not want to have to make arrangements to get your corpse out of the woods just because you didn't want help when you needed it! Honestly, I would rather you woke me up at 0200 on Sat morning saying "I'm cold & can't get warm!" than to find your DB later that day! I can fix you being cold!! The other option,,, not so much!

    GPS Numbers for THE parking lot: N 36o 38.392’ W 81o 29.252’ Standing on the road between the parking lot & the camp-store.

    Some Incentive for going: NO biting insects, Minimal chance of Hyperthermia, Fewer other hikers so solitude is likely to be easier to obtain, good possibility of snow, GREAT food at the potluck on Sat, & (Provided you packed properly) Great food the rest of the time The chance to fully test your cold weather gear.
    Remember, NO BITING INSECTS!

    This is a fun site for those going AND for those not going. It's the view from the camera atop the ranger's station / visitors center, updated about every 15 minutes or so. There is also a weather station on the site, just scroll down.
    http://graysonfriends.org/pages/ww.html

    A note on water: to refill, in the visitors center, between the man's & woman's bathrooms is a "Janitors closet" with a high faucet for filling tall things like buckets & water coolers. The faucet has hot & cold water.

    The trail to the Wise from the parking lot near the group campground is mostly easy as it is an abandoned gravel road. There is one semi substantial creek crossing at around the half way point: average depth about 8” to 2' depending on flow. 15' to 30' wide, again, depending on flow. Plus another creek that is mostly a swampy area a little further on.
    After you pass through the gate/stile: you cross a tiny stream (1 step across) then the trail goes a bit left & up, at the top of the hill, on your left is a gate, it's been open the past 4 years, go thru that gate, then bear (roughly) NNW, OR follow the faint former farm road up to the AT, then turn right to see the shelter. If, on the main trail, you come to a deep & wide river (stream?) after going thru the gate, you went to far, go back & look for the gate that will now be on your right.
    Remember: If you come to a gate that is closed, close it after you pass thru, if it is open, leave it open!!!!

    A different map can be viewed at http://www.hammockforums.net/gallery...r&imageuser=25
    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

  8. #8
    slowhike's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Winston-Salem, NC
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    Thanks Doctari. Lets hope it's a little more winter like in Jan 13 than it was in Jan 12
    don`t leave the CREATOR out of the creation!

  9. #9
    Senior Member bonsaihiker's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Northern Kentucky (Greater Cincinnati)
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    Planning on it again this year--hopefully without an oxygen tank standing next to my hammock! Also, hopefully without a lake forming underneath. And hopefully without a leaking tarp!

    Only issue is getting the time off, and I won't know until next year.
    --Scott <><

    "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

  10. #10
    Doctari's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
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    Cincinnati, Oh
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    For those getting ready for the cold that we have a good chance to have in Jan. Cannibal just did a short how to / what works for me post HERE
    Plus, Raul Perez did a good cold weather write up & there is a link in Cannibal's post.

    Extreme weather is not for sissies! Extreme weather at either end of the temperature range can & does kill. Even last year, with it being "warm" enough to rain, hypothermia is a real danger. And like both above (& I) say, it can screw with your thinking process. Still, this get together is for having fun, so don't let this warning scare you off! Just be prepared, & have back up gear in your "truck" & a back up plan if that isn't enough.
    AND, most importantly, what keeps Doctari warm is not likely to be enough for almost anyone else. But then he just ain't right I have a picture of him standing at the wise shelter in pants & boots, the temp was around 17 f,,,,,,
    When you have a backpack on, no matter where you are, you’re home.
    PAIN is INEVITABLE. MISERY is OPTIONAL.

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