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Thread: What's in your pack

  1. #1
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    Default What's in your pack

    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.

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    Well I wouldn't go this far, but a dutch oven sure comes in handy at times.
    Every landscape which is dreary enough has a certain beauty to my eyes, and in this instance
    its permanent qualities were enhanced by the weather. H.D. Thoreau

  3. #3
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    now thats what we should do at lake in the clouds
    i am a Summit Club member
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    If your not a OBS member yet then what are you waiting for

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    Quote Originally Posted by hawk
    now thats what we should do at lake in the clouds
    As I said before, make one of the lakes a hot tub.
    Brad (a 6288 club member)
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  5. #5
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    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.

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    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...
    Matthew I. Stearns
    NH Native

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    I always bring along my survival kit. 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.

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    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.

  9. #9
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    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.
    Last edited by Bill O; 11-22-2007 at 08:25 PM.
    Bill
    Next up: Vermont City Marathon: May, 2011
    EasternLight

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill O
    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.
    Steve
    Is there really any BAD weather???

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