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  1. #41

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    i believe threads like this can be invaluable, and not just for the novice hiker either. Reading accounts of real world experience can save lives. So here goes my experience...

    Ive noticed most of these posts involve rain or snow....Interestingly enough mine doesn't involve either. It involves heavy fog.

    My girlfriend and I were section hiking Virginia last year, Early October. We were just north of Grayson Highlands hiking sobo. The previous day was quite warm, warm enough to sweat and even got a little sun burnt. In fact I remember walking around camp without a shirt on that evening. It rained that night dropping the temps significantly. The rain had ceased at some point overnight but it left the air completely saturated. We packed up camp, had warm coffee and a bar and starting hiking.

    I was hiking in what I had on the day before which was shorts and short sleeves; although we had our "winter gear" with us. About 2 miles in I noticed I was shivering. I thought if we just kept moving I would be fine. My girlfriend has many more layers on that I and was fine but noticed my shivering. I was being stubborn and insisted I was fine and to just keep moving thinking I would warm up and the temps would rise, especially given the warm temps the day before. 20 minutes later the shivering hadnt stopped and I noticed I was feeling a little "slow" in my head. The girlfriend finally convinced me to stop being an idiot and put a layer on. I complied, warmed up and felt much better.

    Moral of the story, dont be stubborn and be preemptive. Dont wait until the shivering starts. Be one step head. On my JMT thru hike this August I always took the approach of "I would always rather have the extra layers on and be too warm than to try and put the layers on to warm up"

  2. #42
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    It started as a half-joke, but my partner and I, when faced with inclement weather on a trail, regularly do a "let's review the signs of hypothermia" bit together. We were just discussing (on a rainy but warm hike last week) how, for all of the worrying people do about bears, snakes and creeps, the real risks on the trail are (1) slip and fall (2) ticks and (3) hypothermia.

  3. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by marilandica View Post
    It started as a half-joke, but my partner and I, when faced with inclement weather on a trail, regularly do a "let's review the signs of hypothermia" bit together. We were just discussing (on a rainy but warm hike last week) how, for all of the worrying people do about bears, snakes and creeps, the real risks on the trail are (1) slip and fall (2) ticks and (3) hypothermia.
    Slip And Fall is a big one for me since my pack is usually in the 80 lb range---requiring careful boot placement and eye-to-trail coordination at all times. Esp on a snowy trail.

    Ticks are not a consideration where I backpack in the Southeast. They get on me---I pull them off.

    YELLOW JACKETS on the other hand are a real nuisance between August and thru October. I WILL get stung so I keep my eyeballs open for their nests and carry some StingKill juice.

    And Rattlesnakes have taken over the mountains of TN and NC so they're a real concern from June into September. Keep Your Eyeballs Open and Your Butt Cheeks Clenched---my hiking mantra.

    Hypothermia might be a real issue with dayhikers but as a backpacker it never presents a problem since I can always stop somewhere and set up camp.

    Here's the things which affect me---

    ** Lightning storms and zapping white flash bolts when I'm set up at exposed spots.
    ** Falling dead tree snags in a windstorm or at any time.
    ** The aforementioned Rattleheads and Yellow Butts.
    ** High water creek crossings after big rainstorms when I'm on the wrong side of a creek and need to get to the other side---often resulting in making some stupid decisions to cross when I SHOULD STAY PUT.

  4. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tipi Walter View Post
    Slip And Fall is a big one for me since my pack is usually in the 80 lb range---requiring careful boot placement and eye-to-trail coordination at all times. Esp on a snowy trail.

    Ticks are not a consideration where I backpack in the Southeast. They get on me---I pull them off.

    YELLOW JACKETS on the other hand are a real nuisance between August and thru October. I WILL get stung so I keep my eyeballs open for their nests and carry some StingKill juice.

    And Rattlesnakes have taken over the mountains of TN and NC so they're a real concern from June into September. Keep Your Eyeballs Open and Your Butt Cheeks Clenched---my hiking mantra.

    Hypothermia might be a real issue with dayhikers but as a backpacker it never presents a problem since I can always stop somewhere and set up camp.

    Here's the things which affect me---

    ** Lightning storms and zapping white flash bolts when I'm set up at exposed spots.
    ** Falling dead tree snags in a windstorm or at any time.
    ** The aforementioned Rattleheads and Yellow Butts.
    ** High water creek crossings after big rainstorms when I'm on the wrong side of a creek and need to get to the other side---often resulting in making some stupid decisions to cross when I SHOULD STAY PUT.


    Rattlesnakes have taken over the mountains? Could you expand please sir?

  5. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by blue indian View Post
    Rattlesnakes have taken over the mountains? Could you expand please sir?
    They are the Grizzlies of the Southeast---and put the Wild in Wilderness. On one backpacking trip I saw 3 rattlesnakes and 1 copperhead. On a recent summer trip I saw 3 rattlesnakes.

    Dubious? Check out my keyword Snake pics from previous trips---

    https://tipiwalter.smugmug.com/keyword/snakes/

  6. #46
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    Rattlesnakes the grizzlies of the SE, PLEASE, ROFLMAO.

    You should leave your comfy back yard , come out west and try your snake charmer skills on a 7’ male grizzly.

    You could throw 20 jars of Skippy at him.

  7. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hosh View Post
    Rattlesnakes the grizzlies of the SE, PLEASE, ROFLMAO.
    You should leave your comfy back yard , come out west and try your snake charmer skills on a 7’ male grizzly.
    I think Tipi is on to something. They're both highly overrated dangers.

    I've encountered several of each and been stupidly close to both in the wild (yes, stupid!). Maybe I've been lucky, but I've never had a rattler do more than rattle as I stopped abruptly and walked around it. Most of them are making a concerted effort to get away. Grizzlies, at least in Alaska have mostly pretty much ignored me as I try not to wet my pants and back away.

    People really need to focus on the more real dangers of falling, hypothermia, lightning and insect bites/stings if you're allergic. Wild animals just don't rank up there with the others in dangerous and if you behave appropriately (yes educate yourself!) the risk is even more minute.
    I'm not lost. I'm exploring.

  8. #48
    Registered User Venchka's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hosh View Post
    Rattlesnakes the grizzlies of the SE, PLEASE, ROFLMAO.

    You should leave your comfy back yard , come out west and try your snake charmer skills on a 7’ male grizzly.

    You could throw 20 jars of Skippy at him.
    Very interesting. Looking at Yellowstone which has a healthy Grizz population and the Prairie Rattlesnake...
    “...While it can’t hurt to be on the lookout for these slitherers, the National Park Service has only recorded two rattlesnake bites in Yellowstone’s history.”
    Consider yourself lucky if you happen to be in Grand Teton NP and get a glimpse of Bear #399, age 22 and her offspring Trouble and Velcro Child.
    Wayne

  9. #49
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    Ok enough with the debating, taking a good thread off track. Any others with experiences to share?!!

  10. #50

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    Quote Originally Posted by colorado_rob View Post
    They do work reasonably well for a one-use warmup, but not so much as an actual shelter. And really, to get or keep warm, it's usually better to just keep going, making sure to eat calories. Calories = heat! (quite literally)

    There are some slightly heavier options that are quite a bit more effective, one can actually sleep (or rest, at least) in something like this (5.5 oz, but expensive!):

    https://www.redcross.org/store/survi...FRVLAQodz-MEgA
    Thank you for posting this product. Regardless of the cost, it's going to be in my pack always, summer or winter.

  11. #51
    Registered User egilbe's Avatar
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    My only experience with Hypothermia that I can recall is my gf's full body shakes right after a Muckfest race for a cure for MS in Dallas last year. It was a sunny day in October. The day before we arrived and the day after we left the temps were in the 80's in Dallas. The four days we were there, the temps plummeted to the 30's and 40's. The race course is s seres of water obstacles and mud pits strewn over a 5k race course. The wind was a pretty steady 25 to 30 mph. While we were running, we stayed warm enough. The water obstacles were warm. When we finished the race, there were showers to wash the mud off. It gets everywhere. While standing outside waiting for the showers, my GF started experiencing full body shakes. We saw people wrapped up in mylar blankets, but couldn't find for ourselves. Another woman saw her shivering, shaking really, and found her and emergency blanket to use. Her shivering stopped shortly after she wrapped herself up in it. Those blankets do work.

    It was scary how fast she cooled off in that wind.

  12. #52

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    Take a inadvertent dump from a canoe or a kayak in the spring in New England and you will see how quickly it kicks in. One minute you have use of your hands and the minute later you dont.

  13. #53
    Garlic
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Take a inadvertent dump from a canoe or a kayak in the spring in New England and you will see how quickly it kicks in. One minute you have use of your hands and the minute later you dont.
    Sorry, I'm still laughing. We have different definitions of "taking a dump," and inadvertent ones are definitely one of my fears as I age. Every fart is a risk, as they say.
    "Throw a loaf of bread and a pound of tea in an old sack and jump over the back fence." John Muir on expedition planning

  14. #54
    Registered User Nanatuk's Avatar
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    LOL... Just spit my coffee across my laptop screen

  15. #55

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    I can see your point. Of course talk to a hard core sea kayaker about the gymnastics they have to go through if they have to take one of your style dumps in the middle of a long crossing and its gets even more interesting. On occasion your style dump leads to a paddling dump

  16. #56

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    I was wondering how someone takes an inadvertent dump from a canoe. Made me laugh...thanks.

  17. #57

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    I have only had the shivers once.The weather was perfect and only 38 degrees Farenheit.Yet I was so cold in my hammock that shivers set in.I got up,put on all my dry clothes and shell layer and ate some sort of candy or energy bar.Moved around a bit to get the circulation going and got back amongst the feathers.Shivers went away quickly and rest of the night was fine.I think energy bars don't get enough credit as we focus more on clothes.

    Some say you don't need much in the way of clothes when immersed in goose down quilts and it may work great for some people but I'm not one of them.

  18. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by peakbagger View Post
    Take a inadvertent dump from a canoe or a kayak in the spring in New England and you will see how quickly it kicks in. One minute you have use of your hands and the minute later you dont.
    One February in MD we got a 70 something degree day out of nowhere and everybody lost their mind, including me. I loaded up the canoe that me and my friends had been using as a sled all winter and hit the Piscataway Creek. Canoe sank in a matter of minutes and I was swimming back in frigid water. About 10 yard from shore my muscles were giving out and I thought I was dying one of the all time dumbest deaths.
    You can walk in another person's shoes, but only with your feet

  19. #59

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    Quote Originally Posted by devoidapop View Post
    One February in MD we got a 70 something degree day out of nowhere and everybody lost their mind, including me. I loaded up the canoe that me and my friends had been using as a sled all winter and hit the Piscataway Creek. Canoe sank in a matter of minutes and I was swimming back in frigid water. About 10 yard from shore my muscles were giving out and I thought I was dying one of the all time dumbest deaths.
    Yup. I capsized after an elevation drop (barely can call it a rapid), in 50* water, about the same air temp, a good 15mph breeze, and had another 5 miles to row to get back to our vehicles. That was a bit scary, but I furiously rowed and kept the shivers away. Took a few hours once we got back to my friends house to shake off the cold.

    That leads to my current practice of zero tolerance for being out on anything that is a lower combined temp of 120*. USGS website is good for finding the current water temp, water level, and discharge rate.

    And also was amazed at how well the life jacket popped me up to the surface, something I wasn't religious about wearing but a friend insisted. Now I wear it any time I'm on moving water (not a lake).

  20. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleTim View Post
    Yup. I capsized after an elevation drop (barely can call it a rapid), in 50* water, about the same air temp, a good 15mph breeze, and had another 5 miles to row to get back to our vehicles. That was a bit scary, but I furiously rowed and kept the shivers away. Took a few hours once we got back to my friends house to shake off the cold.

    That leads to my current practice of zero tolerance for being out on anything that is a lower combined temp of 120*. USGS website is good for finding the current water temp, water level, and discharge rate.

    And also was amazed at how well the life jacket popped me up to the surface, something I wasn't religious about wearing but a friend insisted. Now I wear it any time I'm on moving water (not a lake).
    35* water with 85* air would scare me silly.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

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