After Shakedown Hike, What’s Staying Home, What I’m Taking
This weekend I took off to try out my new Cuben Fiber tarp, under quilt, and top quilt on a short hike in New Hampshire’s Belknap Mountains located in the Lakes Region. The hike went OK, but I did find out some things that don’t work and so I will not be including them for my AT hike.
What’s Staying Home
First, during the hike I needed to wear my traction cleats due to ice that was under the recent snow cover. I had taken with me my Stabilicers. While these work great for general walking on icy sidewalks or driveways, I found I was constantly having to stop to put them back on. I should have gone with the strap-on type of cleat instead.
Next I found that my Katadyn BeFree bottle and filter, while excellent for filtering water, should probably not be used as my water bottle, because after the first drink it just sags to the side. So this will just be collapsed inside the pack, only to be used for its filtering ability.
Once at the campsite I had chosen, I started to hang my hammock and rainfly. This is where I found that the guy line tensioners on my ridgeline and other tarp lines were not easy to use with gloves on. So I will be changing these to Dutchware Stingerz for the ridgeline, and ZPacks Lineloc3 for my guylines.
Errors I Made
So as I stated above my ridgeline and guyline tensioners were not easy to use with gloves on. During this hike the temperature started at 10 degrees, but by the time I had gotten to my campsite the temperature had dropped to 0 degrees with a 15 mph wind. Because of not being able to manipulate the tensioners with my gloves on I had to do it bare-handed. This led to further problems, such as the beginning symptoms of frostbite on my fingers. Although I tried various ways of warming them, they just kept getting more numb.
It was then that I decided to pack it in and head back down the mountain, and back home to treat my fingers. Once home I jumped in the hot tub to warm appendages. However, enough time had passed that there seems to be residual effects. As I am writing this my index finger and thumb still have no feeling. Thankfully I had come down soon enough to avoid complete frostbite and instead have what is known as frostnip. The doctor says that the feeling in my fingers should return in about a week.
So now I’m looking forward to my new items coming in so I can speed up my setup and have it be glove friendly.
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