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billysinc
10-12-2007, 01:19 PM
I was reading on another forum about the number of rescues that occurred this past weekend in the Whites.

Whenever things like this occur you always get a number of opinions about how unprepared people are. My point of discussion is what and how much do you carry for doing certain hikes? I always tend to get ribbed about how little I carry when doing certain hikes and I always give it back to them about how much they carry.

I tend to carry just what I feel is comfortable for the conditions I expect to face. The gear I carry might be anything from a dual water bottle slack pack that holds an extra shirt, hat, gloves, raingear, and trail snacks for a dayhike. Up to a full size backpack with 35-40lbs of gear depending on the season and where I'm hiking. I tend to take just what I think I'll need and not weigh myself down with a lot of redundant gear.

Here's an example: A couple weeks back I did Waumbek with a friend. It was about 50 degrees with light to moderate rain and light wind. For the hike I had my dayhike setup like I listed above and I was comfortable the whole time. If needed I also had the lower leg sections of my convertible hiking shorts and a dri-clime windbreaker also in my pack on top of the raingear and stuff I usually carry. My friend had his 3500CuIn pack full of everything imaginable. Multiple wool sweaters, hats, gloves, pants etc.

I believe in being prepared but where do you draw the line if you're going on a 3-5 hour dayhike.

Gorque
10-12-2007, 07:23 PM
Well I wouldn't go this far (http://www.jaccuzzi.ch/index_e.html), but a dutch oven sure comes in handy at times. :D

Charlie
10-12-2007, 08:41 PM
now thats what we should do at lake in the clouds :D

Brad
10-12-2007, 09:08 PM
now thats what we should do at lake in the clouds :D
As I said before, make one of the lakes a hot tub.

Knapper
10-14-2007, 05:29 AM
When I go hiking, I pack expecting the worst. I do this from working on the summits and experiencing rescues of "day hikers." Many people head out for a day hike of 3-6 hours, break something and end up getting left in the elements for much longer than they anticipated. But when packing, I take the 36 hour forecast into consideration as well as the season, location I am hiking, and whether I am alone or not. To give an example, three of us hiked Middle Sugarloaf trail in NH on the 7th. It was sunny, fairly warm, and low winds. There was no rain in the forecast and yet all three of us asked each other at the summit if we had packed a rain coat and sure enough we all did. Now the hike was only roughly 1.3 miles with it only taking 45 minutes to get to the peak but we packed gear just in case. I would say pack based on your experience and knowledge of what you are doing. Also when on the trail, if the weather is getting worst it is easier and safer to hike back to your car than continue on further away from help. The trails will always be there, just pick another day to do them is the best advise I like to give.

stearnzie
10-24-2007, 08:25 PM
Knapper has a sound strategy...implicit in his response is the fact that even with a forecast, weather can really change in an instant, or an unexpected and short term deviation from that forecast can occur...packing some basics should be a non-negotiable (basics being first aid, extra set of dry clothes, water, food, compass, map, and a device to make fire, etc.). But a bit of forethought is really what I would always recomend.

I was once hiking on the Alpine Garden Trail as part of a dayhike. I brought all of the above, enough food for two days, four nalgenes full of water, solo tent, down bag, hat, gloves, jetboil set, whistle, and my camera. All of this was about 50+ lbs, and what some would call "highly unnecessary" on a dayhike. And even though I didn't get myself into a situation where I needed all of that stuff, I met a fellow traveler who was very, very weary because he'd run out of water - I had enough to offer him, but he wouldn't have had enough to offer to me. Another time, I gave extra food to a care taker at the Garfield Ridge Campsite because due to unforseen circumstance, he had to stay 16 days instead of the normal 10 days and he'd run out. . .

The moral? No, it's not to bring spare stuff so that you can give it to other people. The moral is go prepared, or you may find yourself relying on others ... either other day hikers, the caretaker or observer staff, or rescue workers...and as you can imagine, their families probably don't want them in harm's way any more than yours wants you in harm's way. Hit the gym, train those quads, and beef up the pack a little...but not too much ;)

Be good to yourselves...

RobertRogers
11-22-2007, 07:32 PM
I always bring along my survival kit (http://www.survivaltopics.com/survival/how-to-make-a-survival-kit-to-save-your-life/). I do mostly bushwhacking, alone, and feel it is my responsibility to be prepared to spend a night or two out. Many unexpected things can happen - sprain an ankle, break a leg, underestimate the time it takes to get from point A to B. And as you know the weather can really get tough.

So the kit contains means to make fire, shelter, signal, etc. Also I do not bring the bare necessity for clothing - throw in an extra light coat, always a wool hat (much heat escapes from your head, even on a summer night), always rain gear. I wouldn't feel right depending 100% on emergency services to save me should things go bad.

spyboy
11-22-2007, 08:08 PM
It's also important to carry the essential emergency gear on YOU (in your jacket or preferably pants, since you might take off your jacket) rather than in a pack or a pack on your dog (if you hike with one) because if you could lose your pack or your dog could run off after something, leaving you with no supplies.

At a minimum, I have my knife (leatherman), magensium firestarter block, some parachute cord (lightweight and strong) and a compass on me. I usually wear my rain jacket (ultrex lightweight jacket) since it's wind breaker and then have layers on under it, or in my backpack.

Extra socks (usually in a ziploc) are important, because if your feet get wet, the blisters will appear soon after, and that can really slow down your hiking.

A small flashight is always good (I have a 9 LED one that's incredibly bright) and a headlamp is handy for those fast sunsets when you're going slower than usual back to the trail head.

Bill O
11-22-2007, 08:19 PM
I was just reading that people considered to be experts in their field are far more likely to die than novices. For example, experts in avalanche safety/awareness are far more likely to be killed by an avalanche than someone traveling into the backcountry who knows nothing about avalanches.

Makes you wonder.

Don't laugh, by from watching Suvivorman and Man VS Wild the most essential tool they carry is a knife or large multi-tool. It seems to be the only item that always goes with them on their adventures. And except for the clothes on their back needed to prevent flash freezing that is all they need. Everything else just adds another increment of luxury in a survival situation.

Steve M
11-22-2007, 08:27 PM
For example, experts in avalanche safety/awareness are far more likely to be killed by an avalanche than someone traveling into the backcountry who knows nothing about avalanches.

Makes you wonder.


I guess ignorance is bliss.

spyboy
11-22-2007, 08:34 PM
Couldn't that just be from statistics? Because the expert is out there 5 days a week vs the novice who goes maybe once a month?

Kirk


I was just reading that people considered to be experts in their field are far more likely to die than novices. For example, experts in avalanche safety/awareness are far more likely to be killed by an avalanche than someone traveling into the backcountry who knows nothing about avalanches.

spyboy
11-22-2007, 08:40 PM
Did you catch the Survivorman behind the scenes episode? He scouts the area days before shooting and hangs out with local survival experts for the terrain he's in, to learn what's edible as well as hazards and dangers. Makes sense, but from watching the show you'd think he just parachutes into the back country and walks out a few days later.

He also always carries a sat phone in case it gets bad. I don't blame him, I'm all for surviving off the land, but it is the 21st century.

It's all interesting stuff, but I couldn't build a rabbit snare to save my life, that's why I pack powerbars :)

Kirk


Don't laugh, by from watching Suvivorman and Man VS Wild the most essential tool they carry is a knife or large multi-tool. It seems to be the only item that always goes with them on their adventures. And except for the clothes on their back needed to prevent flash freezing that is all they need. Everything else just adds another increment of luxury in a survival situation.

Bill O
11-22-2007, 09:19 PM
Did you catch the Survivorman behind the scenes episode? He scouts the area days before shooting and hangs out with local survival experts for the terrain he's in, to learn what's edible as well as hazards and dangers. Makes sense, but from watching the show you'd think he just parachutes into the back country and walks out a few days later.

He also always carries a sat phone in case it gets bad. I don't blame him, I'm all for surviving off the land, but it is the 21st century.

It's all interesting stuff, but I couldn't build a rabbit snare to save my life, that's why I pack powerbars :)

Kirk

Just watched that one. Its to be expected that he researches the area beforehand. He needs to know what to eat and what not to eat. I have a feeling the sat phone is for insurance purposes. Man VS Wild is much worse. They have pre-arranged scenarios and the camera crew has helped him in several locations.

rockin rex
11-23-2007, 06:13 AM
This topic comes up again and again on this and other forums and yet search and rescue/ fish and game has to go out and save these people. What is needed in your pack is what will get you safely from point A to point B. Weather should ALWAYS be checked before starting out and you take along the clothes that you will need for the weather you will be facing. If you are going above tree then pack an extra fleece and throw some thin liners in and a light beanie for the head just in case. The point has been well made here many times. Always if going above tree plan that you might have to spend the night outside due to an emergency. I have seen too many people in cotton shirts, sneakers and no pack above tree and if they were to get a sprained ankle or broken leg they would be in trouble. HIKE SMART and be around for another hike.

Bill O
11-23-2007, 08:11 AM
Couldn't that just be from statistics? Because the expert is out there 5 days a week vs the novice who goes maybe once a month?

Kirk

If done properly they should correct for this, but I doubt they did.

spyboy
11-23-2007, 08:19 AM
I've heard numerous times from safety training (for work) as well as in an outdoor wilderness survival class I took a few years ago that a disaster is a chain of events.

Break the chain and the disaster is avoided. If you read up on any big events (like the guy from CNET who died last year in Oregon) usually early on, something was done (or not done) that started the escalation. But many times along the series of events, another bad choice was usually made. At each point, if proper actions were taken, the disaster would have been avoided.

I think a key action a lot of people ignore is to turn around and head back to the car if something happens along their hike (provided it's easier to get back there than go to one of the huts)

I remember hiking Camel's Hump in Vermont, and on my return back to the parking lot, a woman with 3 kids stopped me and asked if I had any food, her son was hungry. What?!?!?! They looked like they had just parked the car and decided a hike would be a fun thing to do. I had a bag of carrots and handed it to the kid, who took 1 piece, I said take a handful and put them in your pockets. The mother says "don't you have any candy or anything?" Yeah, like I'm a vending machine...

They were in jeans and light sweatshirts, and were in for a surprise at the top, because there was about 1/2 inch of snow.

MelNino
12-24-2007, 11:44 AM
I usually pack more than the people I hike with, water bottles, emergency gear, warm weather gear, wet weather gear, food, knife, headlamp, cell phone, compass, camera. When I start training (I am not in the best shape, and have to get ready a few months before I tackle kmwn, ha) I usally carry my full pack on the nice little trails around here...I get funny looks from the people just carring a water bottle, but its worth it!

Then again, I'm a girl, I'm used to caring around a bunch of stuff in my purse (though not too many girls carrying around their pocket knife, waterproof matches, and a few caribiners...)