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  1. #81
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    Forgetting a lighter is like forgetting your spoon. Everyone has done it once. I keep a firesteel and lighter in my FAK, now. I usually have a lighter in a pocket in my pack, one with my stove, too. I also have an extra plastic spoon in a pouch in my pack...just because. I like to eat.

  2. #82
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    Looks like you're all set with the sleeping bag then. So, I suppose you just need to dress less before you fall asleep. Contrary to some of the advice here I do use nalgene bottle as a hot water bottle. Mine never leaked. I suppose if you really were worried about that you can only use it before you get into your sleeping bag and place it standing up. However, a hot water bottle preheats your sleeping bag - this way you can jump in with less clothes on right away and if you are worried about leaks you can then take it out of the bag.

    My VB socks are very old. Actually all of my VB stuff is at least 20 years old. I got it from New Hampshire company named Warmlite. They are still in business but I'm not sure if they make anything else than tents nowadays.
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  3. #83
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    Always-dry base layer is a must, in my opinion. That means it can't be worn hiking.

    I'm a fan of keeping a journal and summarizing lessons-learned, just as you've done. What worked and what didn't. Sometimes, for short hikes, the journal is written from memory back home. I wish I'd been more thorough about these journals over the years. Lots of early hikes weren't recorded.

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    having said that about my old VB stuff, I occassionally improvized VB socks due to various reasons. Once, I think 3 years ago in January, at Baxter State Park, Chimney Pond we hit big winds and record low temperatures. My hiking boots cold not accomodate two layers of socks so I ended up using a very thin liner sock, grocery bag and my regular wool hiking sock. Worked great. My feet were balmy. We turned around at the top of the saddle due to the high winds on the plateau.
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  5. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by T.S.Kobzol View Post
    My VB socks are very old. Actually all of my VB stuff is at least 20 years old. I got it from New Hampshire company named Warmlite. They are still in business but I'm not sure if they make anything else than tents nowadays.
    They used to have a very entertaining NSFW website. Years ago. I think the good stuff's been taken down.

    Where do you get VB apparel nowadays? Name brands? Product names?

    I seriously need VB socks to got with my Sorrells.

  6. #86
    Clueless Weekender Another Kevin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    They used to have a very entertaining NSFW website. Years ago. I think the good stuff's been taken down.

    Where do you get VB apparel nowadays? Name brands? Product names?

    I seriously need VB socks to got with my Sorrells.
    They still have their catalog/brochure. It still has the same models. They'll mail you one, or email you a PDF. You have to certify that you're over 18. The brochure still has a long discussion of vapor barrier clothing. There are no prices on anything, you have to call Stephenson.

    The son of the original owner is running the company now. I think the old man is arranging naturist cruises, or some such.

    I still do the poor man's thing with my Sorels. Thin nylon or polyester dress socks, then a double layer of bread or newspaper bags, then wool socks. Rubber bands at the ankles to keep the bags from riding down. The bread or newspaper bags have to be doubled, a single layer rips almost immediately. A double layer almost never does, but I still carry some spares.
    I always know where I am. I'm right here.

  7. #87
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    Quote Originally Posted by egilbe View Post
    Forgetting a lighter is like forgetting your spoon. Everyone has done it once. I keep a firesteel and lighter in my FAK, now. I usually have a lighter in a pocket in my pack, one with my stove, too. I also have an extra plastic spoon in a pouch in my pack...just because. I like to eat.
    Exactly. Every once in a while at work I have a moment like that, a "forget your lighter" experience and it never happens again. This will be one of those things. I like to eat too, picked up two of those nifty $1 plastic sporks from REI.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.S.Kobzol View Post
    Looks like you're all set with the sleeping bag then. So, I suppose you just need to dress less before you fall asleep. Contrary to some of the advice here I do use nalgene bottle as a hot water bottle.
    Yeah, definitely going to have to experiment with less clothing before bed. I sleep cold anyway on a regular basis at home, I think I just was chilly from setting the tent and felt the need to be comfy right off the bat.

    I, too, keep Nalgenes in my sleeping bag. I give them an incredibly vigorous shake first to make sure theyíre sealed, but then I throw them in. Sometimes in my spare socks to keep me from burning my feet, depending on how hot the water is.

    Quote Originally Posted by rafe View Post
    Always-dry base layer is a must, in my opinion. That means it can't be worn hiking.

    I'm a fan of keeping a journal and summarizing lessons-learned, just as you've done. What worked and what didn't. Sometimes, for short hikes, the journal is written from memory back home. I wish I'd been more thorough about these journals over the years. Lots of early hikes weren't recorded.
    Lesson learned on the base layer being dry. I had a set of spare base layers in my clothes bag, but didnít think to change them out.

    One of the greatest choices I have made as a hiker and adventurer is the chronicling of my trips. The daily blog of the A.T. has left me with 190,000 words depicting my adventure, and has in turn left a storyline and research database for countless prospective hikers. I can go back and read through, smile, relive moments, etc. I take notes sometimes as I take breaks on the trail, or stop to take a photo, jotting enough detail to jog my memory from my tent later that night. It can be exhausting in the moment, but well worth it days and months later. Iím sure later in life Iíll be even more appreciative.

    Quote Originally Posted by T.S.Kobzol View Post
    having said that about my old VB stuff, I occassionally improvized VB socks due to various reasons. Once, I think 3 years ago in January, at Baxter State Park, Chimney Pond we hit big winds and record low temperatures. My hiking boots cold not accomodate two layers of socks so I ended up using a very thin liner sock, grocery bag and my regular wool hiking sock. Worked great. My feet were balmy. We turned around at the top of the saddle due to the high winds on the plateau.
    Copy that on the grocery bag front. Might be the best, most easily renewable method of accomplishing this.

    Quote Originally Posted by Another Kevin View Post
    They still have their catalog/brochure. It still has the same models. They'll mail you one, or email you a PDF. You have to certify that you're over 18. The brochure still has a long discussion of vapor barrier clothing. There are no prices on anything, you have to call Stephenson.

    I still do the poor man's thing with my Sorels. Thin nylon or polyester dress socks, then a double layer of bread or newspaper bags, then wool socks. Rubber bands at the ankles to keep the bags from riding down. The bread or newspaper bags have to be doubled, a single layer rips almost immediately. A double layer almost never does, but I still carry some spares.
    I e-mailed and asked for a catalog. Depending on price, Iíll order. Otherwise Iíll follow suit with you and Kobzol and do plastic bags over my liners. Well worth it for this multi-week trip to make sure Iíve got some barrier between my feet and the wool layer.
    --
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    GA-ME 2014 | April 4th - July 26th
    Long Trail Winter 2016 | December 19th - ......
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  8. #88
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    My only thought about hiking the LT, I have done 117 miles south to north, is like the one guy said about Mt Mansfield there are sections like Clarendon gorge which are extremely steep and will take some time to descend. You may not be able to stop yourself from falling. And some of the rock climbs are just plan dangerous in wet weather. I am not even talking icy weather. Make sure you have means to bug out. Satellite phone or spot would be smart.


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  9. #89

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    For multi-night trips in freezing temps I've found a neoprene balaclava to be a very beneficial vapor barrier. As a quilt user my head is sticking out with a Mad Bomber as my outer layer. Before I got the barrier I'd wake up with that hat covered in frost every morning. Now the moisture is kept inside the balaclava so my hat stays unfrozen for the entire trip. Makes your hair a bit funky though, something I normally don't notice as a hiker, so if I'm noticing it may be a bit more than a bit heh.

    Glad you enjoyed Carigain but sorry you didn't hit the tower. Very nice view of the entire Pemi from up there.
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  10. #90

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    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStranger View Post
    For multi-night trips in freezing temps I've found a neoprene balaclava to be a very beneficial vapor barrier..
    I have a gortex balaclava which I used above tree line in extreme conditions, along with a neoprene face mask and googles. The gortex balaclava was really tight on my head, it might fit better now that I have less hair...

    The LT doesn't have too much in the way of above tree line, just the mile or two on Mansfield and a few exposed spots like the top of Camels hump. But it could still be pretty windy along the ridges where the trees offer little protection and when traversing ski slope areas.

    Last winter would have been the time to do this hike since it was mild winter little snow. This winter is shaping up to be a more typical New England extreme winter.
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  11. #91

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    I have different gear for daytime use Slo-go'en. The balaclava I mentioned is dedicated for sleep like the rest of my cold weather sleep system. It is used to keep head moisture from passing into your insulation layers. In my case that is a heavier insulating balaclava and my rabbit lined hat, but the principle applies to those whose heads are wrapped inside their mummy bag too. The head puts out a lot of moisture during the night so that little item can really cut down frost build up.
    ďThe man who goes alone can start today; but he who travels with another must wait until that other is ready...Ē~Henry David Thoreau

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  12. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by Soggybottom View Post
    My only thought about hiking the LT, I have done 117 miles south to north, is like the one guy said about Mt Mansfield there are sections like Clarendon gorge which are extremely steep and will take some time to descend. Make sure you have means to bug out. Satellite phone or spot would be smart.
    Appreciate the heads up. Both myself and Santa, whom I'm hiking with, have SPOTs, and I also carry the $100,000 S&R insurance policy.

    Quote Originally Posted by LoneStranger View Post
    Glad you enjoyed Carigain but sorry you didn't hit the tower. Very nice view of the entire Pemi from up there.
    Great thought with the balaclava. Re: the tower, there wasn't much of a view anyway as the snow and clouds were both heavy!

    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    Last winter would have been the time to do this hike since it was mild winter little snow. This winter is shaping up to be a more typical New England extreme winter.
    I've got a neoprene/fleece face mask that I've used (and used last weekend) that provides great protection for my face above treeline in windy conditions. When my goggles are added, it provides 100% coverage along with my hat of my face from the elements. I'll certainly be utilizing this on the trail. I laughed at your last comment... the idea for hiking this in winter came up originally at Thanksgiving 2015, and Santa and I threw it out there as a "hey let's leave for the LT in 3 weeks!" but then decided it was too spontaneous. I can't choose the weather, I can only hike when it's safe to do so. We'll see how this goes! Hopefully a successful trip with a great storyline.
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  13. #93
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    Side note re: VBL...

    I just ordered a pair of VBL socks from the Connecticut company RBH Designs. They were $46 delivered, and I wrote a note to hopefully ensure they'll get to me by the 17th of December. I'm in Florida currently on my last work trip of the year, then fly home Friday night for my birthday before Santa and I depart for the Long Trail. At this point it's minute details to tweak. I bought four different BIC lighters at the grocery store Friday night.. so there's a *bit* of redundancy there.

    Thanks again everyone for the support and wisdom with this undertaking!
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  14. #94

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    While you've been basking in the sun in Florida, its been snowing here all week (flurries and squalls, which can add up) and when it finally cleared late yesterday, the temps dropped to 3 degrees this morning. Big storm moving in for tonight/tomorrow with 6-8" for us in the Whites. Vermont has been getting a lot of lake effect snow. I hope your ready for this! Your going to be breaking trail from day one.
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  15. #95
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    Wishing you guys a fantastic and safe trip.

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    A Long Trail scene from the winter issue of the Long Trail News:


  17. #97
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    Quote Originally Posted by Slo-go'en View Post
    While you've been basking in the sun in Florida, its been snowing here all week (flurries and squalls, which can add up) and when it finally cleared late yesterday, the temps dropped to 3 degrees this morning. Big storm moving in for tonight/tomorrow with 6-8" for us in the Whites. Vermont has been getting a lot of lake effect snow. I hope your ready for this! Your going to be breaking trail from day one.
    I flew out of Boston yesterday, so I've been in New England for the last few weeks, including the weather patterns in the past few days! It was 15 on my back porch when I left for Logan yesterday morning.

    Appreciate the encouragement!
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  18. #98
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    Quote Originally Posted by jeffmeh View Post
    Wishing you guys a fantastic and safe trip.
    Thanks Jeff! Appreciate it.

    Quote Originally Posted by Deacon View Post
    A Long Trail scene from the winter issue of the Long Trail News
    Great cover photo!
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  19. #99
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    I bought four different BIC lighters at the grocery store Friday night.. so there's a *bit* of redundancy there.


    It might be redundant, but I've found that Bic lighters don't work particularly well in the winter. If you want to be a little safer, you might consider taking only two of the lighters and then also bringing some waterproof matches or some strike-anywhere matches in a waterproof container.

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    I cant hardly use a lighter to light stove with cold fingers.
    A small firesteel can work easier to drop a shower of sparks onto stove sometimes.

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