View Poll Results: Do you typically carry overnight gear on a winter 4K day hike?

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  • Yes! Sleeping bag and windproof/waterproof barrier on every winter 4k!

    19 19.59%
  • Depends on the hike. (Lots of time above treeline, Extreme mileage, etc...)

    42 43.30%
  • Only when solo.

    3 3.09%
  • 6 extra pounds?!? Are you kidding? No way!

    33 34.02%
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Thread: Poll: Do you typically carry overnight gear on a winter 4K dayhike?

  1. #16
    Senior Member jniehof's Avatar
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    I carry what I consider overnight gear, namely enough to survive the night in something resembling comfort. I do not carry a sleeping bag (so I don't fit into your poll), but carry:
    closed-cell foam pad, full length
    canister stove and pot (not ideal for winter, but it'll get the job done, and the Whisperlite's a lot of weight for "just in case.")
    AMK emergency bivy
    spare socks and liner gloves
    one extra insulating layer, top (primaloft jacket of some sort) and bottom (micropuff full-zip pants). Clothing seems to me to be a little more flexible than a sleeping bag of comparable weight...for a group hike, the sleeping bag of course opens up some options in terms of hypo wrap and the like. If I ever find myself without an extra layer, I'll make note of that and pack another next time...so far it hasn't happened.

  2. #17
    Senior Member Little Rickie's Avatar
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    Extra top layer, nylon pants & jacket for a light wt layer I could stuff with anything I can find for extra insulation, small foam pad, several 55 gal garbage bags, emergence space blanket bag, emergency bivy bag, candle lantern, small lite wt tarp, hand warmers, fluffy vest, candle or alcohol stove with a metal cup.

    I could bundle/roll up in all this stuff and be warmism for a night.
    Last edited by Little Rickie; 03-10-2010 at 01:29 PM.
    Peace

    "How one parses a question tells you as much about the person as how they answer the question."

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  3. #18
    Senior Member dr_wu002's Avatar
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    Wow, I feel pretty left out. I don't bring any of the things mentioned, not even a first-aid kit (although I do carry duct tape). I have a few handwarmers, extra gloves and a parka that I think is useless and will probably stop bringing. I don't have a sleeping bag, tent, stove, or even extra clothes... not even a spare hat.

    I'm not a particularly tough or rugged person nor do I like taking risks. But at the same time I'd rather hike lighter than heavier and don't feel the need to take along all that superfluous gear or that it would even help me. Perhaps without all the emergency stuff I'm less likely to put myself in a situation that I will need it.... plus, if I'm injured but can still manage to set up a tent, make myself dinner and crawl into a sleeping bag, I can still manage to crawl a few miles to a trail head and get help.

    But hey, what you take on the trail is your business and what I take on the trail is my business. I've never asked someone that I'm hiking with if they have this or that and the people that I hike with usually don't care what type of weird stuff I have in my pack. Live Free or Die, baby!

    -Dr. Wu
    Last edited by dr_wu002; 03-10-2010 at 02:34 PM.
    To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
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  4. #19
    Member Casual Hiker's Avatar
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    This is a really helpful discussion for someone who is learning. I've been able to do a few hikes earlier in the winter, and I had my cold weather bag, stove, first aid kit, emergency blanket and a few other emergency supplies. I was wondering if I was crazy carrying all this stuff, but it doesn't appear to be the case. I'd rather carry the extra weight and never use any of the things I've brought than get hurt or stranded and realize that I am up a creek without a paddle.
    Not all who wander are lost

  5. #20
    Senior Member dr_wu002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Casual Hiker View Post
    I'd rather carry the extra weight and never use any of the things I've brought than get hurt or stranded and realize that I am up a creek without a paddle.
    I would make the argument that if you got hurt or stranded and did not have any of those things in your pack that with will, determination and at least 1/2 a nut in your head you'd be able to make it to safety. I guess you can ask yourself if having those items would make you take greater risks because they some how give you more confidence? I think that humans are a lot tougher and more resilient than our culture gives us credit for. When did we become so fragile and helpless in the face of injury, bad weather or getting lost? I don't think we are. A few generations ago, people didn't have these comforts (sometimes extreme comforts) and they managed all right. These days we have, at a minimum, better maps, more road access, more trails to get to the road etc.

    If you take a sleeping bag, tent etc it doesn't make you dumb or stupid or a weenie but there is, in my opinion, another viable and legitimate (and in my opinion better) perceptive on hiking "safe" than what others put forth here...

    -Dr. Wu
    To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
    -Thomas Paine

  6. #21
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    I usually always bring some emergency stuff, and have combinations of several options depending on how far I am going and where and the conditions. I have never brought a sleeping bag. Mine are too bulky and heavy at 3lbs to consider. I would like a 1lb emergency sleeping bag and may buy one some day. Now that I am taking my kids along at times, my needs for group grear for an emergency has increased. There is much greater risk skiing off trail then snowshoeing on one.

    I tend to think that laying in a snow trench in a bivy bag or sleeping bag would be miserable. Tree wells are harder to find then you would think, and may not be avail if you needed one. So my first line of defense lately has been a poncho tarp. This would let me rig a shelter most anywhere, including right over someone injured. I am attracted to the bothy bag idea, and so this is a poor attempt that at that too: I can just pull it over my head and over my kids, and we could stamp a hole in the snow and take cover. Maybe use poles or skis as a center pole. That seems better than any bivy bag option, and gives you modest protection to change layers, regroup, eat, or dig in further. I want to play with this more, and should have done that in my woods when I had lots of snow earlier in the winter.

    After that I would say: cell phone (mostly work high in Vt); thin pad; extra layers; hand warmers; bivy sack; and maybe an esbit stove or a candle.

  7. #22
    Junior Member Click Clack's Avatar
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    I carry an emergency space bivy (tin foil bag), a bunch of hand warmers, extra layers and enough hard shell gear to keep me out of the weather for quite some time. I do carry a reliable GPS so whiteouts don't particularly worry me, sprained ankles can be hiked on and a first aid kit ain't helping when you manage to break a leg.

    I'm in the school of thought where I don't want to have too much stuff that it creates a scenario I'm so loaded down with pack weight it gets me in trouble. Knowing when to turn back has done me wonders this winter and while it's never an easy decision it's never the wrong one.

    Could I survive a night out with what I have? I'm not sure, but then again, who really is unless you've done it in an emergency situation.

    It's all risk management and how much risk you're willing to accept. I'm with Dr Wu in that the when the S hits the fan and you can keep a reasonably cool head, you'll pull through on grit and determination.

    Full disclosure: I'm not what you'd call experienced, I routinely push the limits of my comfort zone. I frequently hike solo, in the winter, sometimes at night.

  8. #23
    Senior Member TrishandAlex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_wu002 View Post
    I would make the argument that if you got hurt or stranded and did not have any of those things in your pack that with will, determination and at least 1/2 a nut in your head you'd be able to make it to safety. I guess you can ask yourself if having those items would make you take greater risks because they some how give you more confidence? -Dr. Wu

    Speaking only for myself, I say no. I don't think I take greater risks, nor do I have more confidence, simply because I have all that with me. I began hauling that load because of Alex -- to NOT have all items with me makes me negligent, in my own opinion. If anything should happen to either one of us, she MUST be kept warm and safe, even comfortable if I can manage it.

    The times I hike without her, I still carry the gear. I'm used to it now, and so I figure why not?
    [B][SIZE=3]Patricia Ellis Herr (TRISH...ALEX...SAGE)


    Those who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of those doing it. --Chinese proverb.

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  9. #24
    Senior Member cbcbd's Avatar
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    No overnight gear. I carry the bear minimum to make it through the day. In fact, if I know the day is going to be longer I'd probably try to carry even less and be even more conscious about my weight.

    IMO
    More energy = more agility, less mistakes, shorter day.
    Carrying more stuff = less energy, more mistakes, longer day.

    I was benighted once on a long day with overnight temps just under freezing and we had no overnight gear. The night sucked, but I just made sure we kept moving very pragmatically and carefully through the night to avoid any mistakes that would lead to injury or death. It was better than just waiting around freezing. If we had carried overnight gear the whole ordeal would've just have taken a lot longer.
    Last edited by cbcbd; 03-10-2010 at 08:13 PM.
    Doug

  10. #25
    Senior Member NewHampshire's Avatar
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    Following the technicalities of your poll then no. But the world is not black and white. I ALWAYS have a down jacket, extra hats, gloves, etc. and my rain gear as well as a combination first aid/survival kit which, taken as a whole, should get me through the night as well as if I had a sleeping bag, etc. I would not say it would be a comfortable night, but still.....

    Add to that I am pretty confident other skills would get me through the night, be it a snow cave, starting a fire, and so on.

    Brian
    Adopter: Wildcat Ridge Trail from Rt.16 to Wildcat "D". If you have any issues please contact me!

  11. #26
    Senior Member leaf's Avatar
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    i can't agree more with cbcbd.

    as a wise and extraordinary climber said to me one day, "why are you carrying that water and food? you going up there to climb or have a f*%kin picnic?"

    that is all.
    Last edited by leaf; 03-10-2010 at 07:35 PM.

  12. #27
    Senior Member Neil's Avatar
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    Just because my house hasn't burned down yet doesn't mean I will cancel my fire insurance.

    Nevertheless, after greater than 30 years of doing stuff and nothing bad happening to me I keep paring my load down to progressively lower levels.

    Recently I attempted a moderately ambitious whack with a buddy whose day-pack weighed 32 pounds. Mine weighed about 15. We had to scramble up a steep pitch and we used our ice axes to help us along. His MSR's lost purchase and when he slipped back his ice ax held nicely and the leash yanked his shoulder just about out of the socket. The ensuing injury required us to turn around. A month later he still has a sore shoulder. Was the slippage due to the heavy pack? I don't know but the question is a worthwhile one.

  13. #28
    Senior Member dr_wu002's Avatar
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    Question:
    Quote Originally Posted by TrishandAlex View Post
    The times I hike without her, I still carry the gear. I'm used to it now, and so I figure why not?
    Answer:
    Quote Originally Posted by cbcbd View Post
    No gear. I carry the bear minimum to make it through the day. In fact, if I know the day is going to be longer I'd probably try to carry even less and be even more conscious about my weight.

    IMO
    More energy = more agility, less mistakes, shorter day.
    Carrying more stuff = less energy, more mistakes, longer day.

    I was benighted once on a long day with overnight temps just under freezing and we had no overnight gear. The night sucked, but I just made sure we kept moving very pragmatically and carefully through the night to avoid any mistakes that would lead to injury or death. It was better than just waiting around freezing. If we had carried overnight gear the whole ordeal would've just have taken a lot longer.
    -Dr. Wu
    To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
    -Thomas Paine

  14. #29
    Senior Member dr_wu002's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TrishandAlex View Post
    Speaking only for myself, I say no. I don't think I take greater risks, nor do I have more confidence, simply because I have all that with me. I began hauling that load because of Alex -- to NOT have all items with me makes me negligent, in my own opinion. If anything should happen to either one of us, she MUST be kept warm and safe, even comfortable if I can manage it.
    Honestly, I don't understand this. People have been taking their kids along with them for millions of years at this point. You can take whatever you want with you -- I don't care... but what makes you negligent if you leave it at home? What I don't understand is the automatic assumption of Less Gear = Negligence. Why is this the default?

    -Dr. Wu
    To argue with a person who has renounced the use of reason is like administering medicine to the dead.
    -Thomas Paine

  15. #30
    Senior Member TrishandAlex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dr_wu002 View Post
    What I don't understand is the automatic assumption of Less Gear = Negligence. Why is this the default?

    -Dr. Wu

    My kid looks to me to protect her. I feel that if I have the gear to keep her safe and warm, then I am adequately protecting her. If I go out there without such items, then if I/she becomes injured and we have to wait, there is a risk of becoming hypothermic. I can't let that happen, plain and simple. Having the gear with me lessens her chance of hypothermia should we be forced to overnight it/wait for SARS.

    As for the more mistakes risk -- I still say that isn't true, at least not for me. I don't think I'm at risk for making mistakes simply because I'm carrying a heavier pack. The longer day part -- I don't mind that, I don't feel the need to rush during a hike.

    ETA: I don't care what others bring on their hikes -- I speak only for me and for what I am personally comfortable with. I'm very much of the "hike your own hike" mindset.
    Last edited by TrishandAlex; 03-10-2010 at 09:04 PM.
    [B][SIZE=3]Patricia Ellis Herr (TRISH...ALEX...SAGE)


    Those who say it cannot be done should get out of the way of those doing it. --Chinese proverb.

    For more info about The Terrifying 25, contact me at patriciaellisherr@hotmail.com or search for The Terrifying 25 on Facebook.

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