Hiker Debates Nudity over Wearing Wet Clothes

Bama➡️Baxter Day 57&58

Day 57: 19.7 miles

Last night it began raining around 3am. I woke up and quickly checked my set up to be sure there wasn’t any rain getting in. Then I laid back down and fell back asleep.

When I woke up again around 5:30am I heard John shuffling around. I checked my tent and it seemed bone dry. Though upon further inspection I noticed that a small puddle had formed in one of the corners of my tents. Everything was still dry… except for my pile of hiking clothes.

My sun hoodie, shorts, and socks were all sopping wet. I literally had to ring them all out. Luckily my sleeping back and sleep clothes were dry. In order to keep my things dry I had to strategically undress. I fumbled around my tent in the nude trying to keep my sleep clothes dry and my sleeping bag. The idea of putting on my literally sopping wet hiking clothes really made me consider just hiking out buck ass naked. When I finally had packed up everything in my tent the last thing I did was get dressed. I rang the water out of my clothing and hesitantly put them on. How fun. Hiking sure is a trip.

I could hear the guys packing up as well and within no time we were all set to go. I reluctantly put on my wet clothes and got ready to walk. On the bright side, you don’t need to wear rain gear walking if you’re already soaked.

We set out and had a bit of a climb to start which was a nice treat honestly. I warmed up quickly which I really needed. My clothes dried a bit, but then the rain picked up and I was soaked again. Once we started to go downhill I was freezing so I put on my rain gear to stay warm. Being wet and cold can be a truly dangerous thing on trail. But at least I knew that I had a dry puffy, fleece, sleeping clothes, and a sleeping bag for later. That was the only thing keeping me going.

A foggy start to the morning after the rain finally passed.

The four of us wound up doing about 6-7 miles before taking our first break. There was no point in stopping to rest while it was still pouring rain. And after a little while the rain let up which was a relief. We stopped at Flint Mountain Shelter for our first break. Everyone there was still breaking camp. Another hiker Snuggie was in the shelter and I was so excited to finally meet him! He did the Pinhoti this year as well and I’ve been following him and corresponding a bit on social media over the last month or so. It was so cool to finally meet in person.

Big butt rock

At our break I made a hot chocolate to warm up a bit. I let Sweet Pea use my stove to make himself a hot coffee sense he doesn’t carry a stove. There’s nothing like a warm drink on a cold rainy morning. My clothes had dried out a lot but I was still super cold. I did what I could to stay warm without having to sacrifice any of my dry clothing. We all sat there for a little while and then decided to push on. When you’re uncomfortably cold at a break you can really only hang out for so long.

A flowing waterfall we passed along the trail.

We walked a few more miles after that, all bundled up in our rain gear for warmth even though the rain had mostly subsided. All of us were begging for the sun to come out and warm us up. And eventually it did! When we came upon a sunny spot along the trail it was an easy decision to sit there and break. We all laid out our wet tents and gear for them to dry as much as possible. And I laid on my zlite to bask in the sun as much as possible. It felt so good to finally warm up to a comfortable temperature. Before long all of us gear was 90% dry which was a huge relief. At least our gear was now tolerably dry for later this evening. Setting up a soaking wet tent to sleep inside can be pretty miserable.

A stone monument along the side of the trail.

After taking a nice long break to warm up and dry out we pushed on to Sam’s Gap. We had been manifesting trail magic there all day. Talking about how awesome a warm blanket or a hot chocolate would be. And when we finally arrived there may not have been blankets or cocoa, but there was a bag with some snacks put out for hikers. That was good enough for me.

It was a cloudy day but the sun kept popping out just long enough to give us some relief. At Sam’s Gap I laid the rest of my gear out one last time for it to get bone dry. That was such a good feeling, knowing that all of my gear was back to its regular state of being. The four of us laid there on the curb for a while with a couple other hikers Snuggie, Mud Bag, and Lordy Day. They were trying to catch a ride into Erwin to get a bit more food.

Nero walking along the side of the road near Sam’s Gap.

From there we only planned to do a couple more miles. I was glad to not be walking much further. We had already done 17 miles and the first 7 were pretty miserable. Plus we took less breaks than we normally would have which is exhausting.

After heading out of the Gap we pushed on another 1.2 miles to a water source. There we loaded up on water with the plan to camp at the soonest possible site. We found a beautiful over look with enough room for all of us. Another hiker Clacker was already there tented so we all joined him. And right as I got my tent set up it began to lightly rain again. The timing was truly perfect. I hid in my tent for a bit and got situated. And not long after that the rain subsided.

The mile marker sign by our camp site. Only 1869 miles left to Baxter State Park.

We all sat out and cooked dinner together after that. It was a great way to end off the day. It’s so funny how a day can start at such a low and end on such a high. Waking up and beginning my morning in sopping wet clothing was not ideal. But we made the most of it and still got the miles in. I felt so grateful that the sun at least came out long enough to dry out and warm up. There is truly nothing more that I could ask for on a rainy day.

The sunset by our camp site for the night.

Tonight’s tent site was much flatter and the views were fantastic. We watched a beautiful sunset before all calling it a night.

Another note from today, Tom has officially gained a trail name as well “Nero”. Because whenever we do “shorter” days lately (like 15-17 miles) he jokes that its a Nero which is pretty hilarious. It’s all relative out here!

Day 58: 16.5 miles

This morning I woke up in my tent around 6am. I had such an incredible nights sleep last night. The site I set up at was perfectly level and my tent was bone dry. It was such an amazing contrast in comparison to waking up in a puddle yesterday morning. I was energized and stoked to start the day. There were incredible views of the sunrise from our site so I got to watch that while I packed up. We all got ready to begin another day of walking.

The beautiful sunrise at our camp site.

As we were getting ready to leave we could hear Clacker on the phone with a few people. He had woken up feeling sick and was trying to get a shuttle ride scheduled from Sam’s Gap. Last night he had talked about how some of his trail family had come down with noro virus, and now he was thinking that he was getting sick too. So he planned to backtrack the couple of miles to the road and go into Erwin today. Poor dude. There has been a lot of talk lately about people in the bubble in front and behind us coming down with noro.

The same thing happened in the Washington bubble last year on the PCT, so I recognized what was happening. Pretty soon people were going to be dropping like flies all around us. Noro is no joke. We wished him luck and hopefully he’s just feeling a bit nauseas or something and it’s not actually noro.

After that we set out to begin walking. There were a few large climbs but the views were exposed and open. It was a really nice morning. Though at the top of some of the exposed climbs it was super cold and windy. All of us pushed on with our rain gear on until we couldn’t take it anymore and had to strip off the sweaty layers. You warm up so fast in rain gear.

The beautiful view at the top of our first climb of the day.

While we were walking Nero decided that we should trail name John “Spring Break”. Because the first couple weeks on trail it was spring break, and he kept screaming that and cheering like a party animal. It was quite fitting. So from now on I’ll be referring to the guys, John, Tom, and Jesse by their three trail names. Spring Break, Nero, and Sweet Pea.

Spring Break, Sweet Pea, and Nero hiking along the trail ahead of me.

A few more miles into the day we passed by a cooler in the middle of the woods. We were all quite skeptical of it and were assuming the cooler would be empty. But it appeared that someone had actually just set it out, and there was a note taped to the top that said “magic”. We opened it up to see a tin of cookies, caramels, and a bowl full of shelled hard boiled eggs. Sweet Pea grabbed an egg and began to de shell it. We were all cautious of the food because of noro, but figured that the eggs might be the safest thing because of the shell. Hiker logic I suppose. First we judged him… but then after watching him eat it we all joined in. I had 2 hard boiled eggs and they were amazing. My body really needed the protein.

The trail magic cooler that we stumbled upon in the woods.

Eating my first of two hard boiled eggs from the trail magic cooler.

As we were walking away we passed by 2 guys who were out hunting. We commented that there were some delicious hard boiled eggs in the cooler and they looked at us like we were insane. Thru hiking is so incredibly weird. When else in your life would you pass a cooler in the woods, full of hard boiled eggs, and decide that eating them was a good idea?

Nero, Spring Break, Sweet Pea, and I cheers-ing our trail magic hard boiled eggs.

From there we did another few miles and then took a break at a shelter. We met Pac Man, Smoke Master, and one other hiker. All of us hung out and talked. Pac Man had an aero press coffee maker and made Sweet Pea a fresh cup. He offered some to anyone who was interested which was really nice.

While we were resting Nero decided to press on and keep going. He wants to get into Erwin today to resupply sooner. He’s trying to do a sub 120 day AT hike so he’s on a bit more of a time crunch. The rest of us are looking to do a short relaxing day and then head into Erwin tomorrow for breakfast. So we said our goodbyes to Nero which was sad. You really never know if you’re going to see someone again out here. But I have a feeling that we will.

Spring Break in mourning after Nero hiked on without us.

Sweet Pea, Spring Break and I headed out after a while to continue walking. There was a lot of downhill with a few small climbs in between. It was a really nice moderate day of walking. After another handful of miles we took another break. Our first without Nero! Which was sad. He’s a hilarious dude and always making all of us laugh like crazy.

Beautiful exposed views at the top of our first climb of the day.

Then we kept on doing and did another few miles to a road crossing. When we passed by there was a mini van set up and a guy was doing trail magic! His name was Kent and he’s supporting his wife Patty who is hiking the AT. He’s slack packing her a lot so she can do longer days. And he’ll meet her at road intersections over the course of the day which is really cool. Quite the support system! So sometimes while he’s waiting for Patty he sets up and does trail magic! He had a big spread of snacks, fruit, sodas, beer, and Gatorade’s. It was an awesome surprise. We hung out there for a while with a few other hikers Squatch, Pac Man, and Smoke Master.

Beautiful purple flowers growing alongside the trail.

After a while we decided to push on. It was only another 4 more or so to the shelter where we planned to camp tonight. It seems like most other people are pushing on to Erwin. But for us it would be a 23 mile day to get to town. And a 16 mile day sounded a lot more chill.

Leaving the trial magic there was a climb for a couple of miles. Then the trail was a bit more gradual leading to the shelter. Before arriving at the shelter we stopped off for water. From there the shelter was only .2 miles away. There were a couple hikers there already but they weren’t planning to stay. We set up inside the shelter and then all sat to eat some dinner. More hikers arrived as time went on and some sat at the picnic table and cooked. I met two hikers Lemon and Subway who were both really nice.

An AT marker painted on a rock along the trail.

One other hiker joined us in the shelter, but otherwise everyone else tented. People are seriously worried about noro virus and are trying to avoid shared spaced. But personally I don’t really worry in the shelters. I don’t touch the walls or floor and other surfaces. When I set up I just lay my ground sheet out and then set up a layer for myself. I’m sure that’s not a fool proof plan but it’s worked for me so far.

It’s supposed to be super cold tonight so I was looking forward to the toasty body heat created by the small shelter. I tucked myself into my sleeping bag nice and early and called it a night.

Painted trillium flower along the side of the trail.

Affiliate Disclosure

This website contains affiliate links, which means The Trek may receive a percentage of any product or service you purchase using the links in the articles or advertisements. The buyer pays the same price as they would otherwise, and your purchase helps to support The Trek's ongoing goal to serve you quality backpacking advice and information. Thanks for your support!

To learn more, please visit the About This Site page.

Comments 3

  • thetentman : May 3rd

    Hiking in the rain sucks, but you can only get so wet, and then it does not matter except to stay warm. Noro is no joke. Beware.

    Good luck.

  • pearwood : May 3rd

    A character, yea verily. Go for it!

  • dwest : May 3rd

    I scrolled but didn’t see a single photo of naked hikers.. bummer.

    Me personally, cuz I’m not as youthful as I once was, I’m thinking I’m sparing the rest of you poor unsuspecting souls in case you see me. But if some cute bold honey wants to go about in her birthday suit, hey, have at it.

    As long as temperatures permit of course.


What Do You Think?