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Thread: Wow, this a trip report for the books!

  1. #31
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    If one takes a WFA course, one of the first things one does is put the patient on a pad.

    If one carries a stove, one can melt water so as not be dehydrated.

    A parka and pants are not alternatives to a sleeping bag. If they were, winter backpackers wouldn't carry sleeping bags, just down jackets and pants.

    If you think that a person with a jacket and pants, no pad, no sleeping bag, and no stove will be "just as warm and toasty" as someone with them, we can respectfully disagree.
    I understand the uses for all these items. My original point, if one was to stop and read it, was that I seriously doubt most people carry a sleeping bag and stove on a typical Winter day hike in NH, not whether or not that is a smart decision. I've never taken a WFA course but I'm pretty sure it isn't heavily geared towards day hikes in highly populated areas with established trail networks with easy road access to emergency services. It may incorporate strategies for more remote areas lacking these amenities.

    In an emergency situation in Winter I'm saying there may be many factors that make using a stove or building a fire difficult or impossible, especially solo as the person in this incident was. In the conditions given in this report I seriously doubt that he'd be able to use a stove effectively. In addition to carrying a stove, you need to be carrying the proper stove and have the physical possibility of using it. If it just gets dark and I'm hopelessly lost sure sitting down and boiling water for a hot chocolate or water or whatever would be an obvious plus. If I'm lost on the side of Mt Jefferson in a 50mph wind with a dislocated shoulder I doubt the stove will be of help to me. So for me personally, I feel like the probability that I would need a stove and have the conditions to use it and be injury free enough to actually use it are low enough I choose to save the weight. I generally carry more water than most people, even in Winter, which further reinforces my choice on the stove.

    And on the "jacket and pants" thing you keep filling in the blanks out of context from what I am saying. I have a down jacket and down pants intended for extreme weather (fill content, down, etc just like a sleeping bag with comparable temp rating) and combined with a pad and my Gore Tex bivy is EXTREMELY comfortable well below zero. I have actually tested it. I am not assuming it works. I'm not talking about a Patagonia Nano Puff jacket and fleece pants. I agree you need solid insulation. I do not agree that the only possible option has to be a sleeping bag. I would further suggest that given the size of most people's day packs the sleeping bag they bring, if any, has inferior insulating properties to my "jacket and pants". And again in the context of the post - a Winter solo day hike on an established trail network in a populated area - I am quite comfortable with my choices.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  2. #32
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Hey, who tries for Monroe, Washington and Jefferson solo as winter out-and-back? Crazy in the best condx!
    A lot of people nowadays. In the right conditions that really is not as bad as it sounds. And if the times this guy referenced in his report are legitimate, he was more than capable of doing this from a fitness point of view.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  3. #33
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    I'm not here to cast shade on this gent, but he hardly struck me as carrying the gear or making the decisions someone "experienced" would:

    He didn't have a pad.
    He didn't have a sleeping bag.
    He didn't have a bivy.
    He didn't have a stove.

    Having recently hiked down Cog route myself for the first time, while steep in some sections, it is by far and away the quickest and easiest route off Mt. Washington, and there's a shelter on the way down if things got really bad. If one couldn't follow the tracks right next to it, I have no idea why anyone would believe the Jewell Trail would be anything but harder.

    Reasonable people can disagree, but I think there is a strong argument to be made that this individual survived despite his actions, not because of them.
    I know I'm giving you are a hard time on this but would you be willing to share the brand/make/model of these 4 items that you personally carry (pad/sleeping bag/bivy/stove) in a typical Winter day hike scenario? I think we can put you in the "ideally prepared" category so I'm curious to evaluate the weight and space requirements of your kit versus what a "typical" weekend warrior in the Franconia lot on a SAT might have.

    I promise there will be no "Aha! My coat has 4.2 more grams of down than your sleeping bag" moments. I'm just curious on the comparison of ideal versus likely. You can message me if you'd prefer not to list for someone else's "aha" moment.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  4. #34
    Senior Member CaptCaper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by iAmKrzys View Post
    I wonder if the poster of this report has a (real) hiking GPS. In very low visibility it could help him retrace his steps even if he did not have good trail maps on it.
    Being a sea going guy since day 1 and navigating and finding wrecks was my passion what I've done for 22 yrs now is record the trip on my gps with a high track point drop during the summer months. Reload it for winter hikes incase of issues like above. Also I record the hike that winter day from the trailhead so if I wanted to head back it would be a very fresh recording. Oh and I carry 2 proven gpsr's with extra batteries.

    On new hikes I've plotted a route (trail) with many wapoints loaded it to my gps's just in case I need a reference to stay within reason on a trail or ridgeline.

    I save every one still and I've got all my tracks and the data within them of the 48 52 and many others since 1998. Many in dupilcate's etc.

    And yes we (wife) carry many map's compasses as well.

  5. #35
    Moderator bikehikeskifish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ChrisB View Post
    Hey, who tries for Monroe, Washington and Jefferson solo as winter out-and-back? Crazy in the best condx!
    Lots of people do it as a loop rather than an out-and-back (out-and-back to Jefferson.) I've done this solo twice (well, once with my dog.) I've done all the Presidential and Franconia peaks solo (or just me and my dog) in winter more than once. Wouldn't do it in questionable weather but during a forecasted high pressure period, not scary at all.

    I actually considered that the post by Bob on New England Trail Conditions might be a troll, but he's posted lots of other trips, so maybe not.

    Tim
    Bike, Hike, Ski, Sleep. Eat, Fish, Repeat.

  6. #36
    Senior Member dug's Avatar
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    I've carried a 1/3 piece of a Ridgerest on me from Newfoundland to Alaska over the last 25 years. It goes with me on all day hikes, winter and summer; and also all backpacking trips (and, if it matters, around the yard to kneel on, clean the pool skimmer, painting trim, etc.). It's essentially a 2x2 square closed foam pad that can (and has) been stood or sat on for hours in all weather. It can wrap a leg w/ straps. It weighs just a few ounces, can fit inside a backpack (against my back) to ensure no stray pot handles stick me. On day hikes, I just strap it on the outside. I imagine it will go in my casket someday as well...

    I also carry my stove always and have actually run into two situations where someone needed to be warmed up fast, and was glad to be able to have a tool to use to assist.

  7. #37
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dug View Post
    I also carry my stove always and have actually run into two situations where someone needed to be warmed up fast, and was glad to be able to have a tool to use to assist.
    That's a valid point. I'm a solo hiker and my gear perspective is biased toward what I need but I might find myself in a scenario someday where I'm not the person having the emergency. I don't know that I'd ever be packing gear from the point of view of what other people might need (that could be a big list nowadays!) but that is a sensible observation.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  8. #38
    Junior Member Mitts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    (I've tested in my yard as low as - 35 deg F for 30 minutes).
    Is this -35 degrees for 30 minutes a joke?

    You consistently post things on this board that are not aligned with backcountry best practices and back them up with contrived "theories" and "tests" that you have thought up or done that are not applicable to real world situations or other people. I'm not here to tell you what to on your hikes but your "advice" is going to get someone hurt someday.

  9. #39
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitts View Post
    Is this -35 degrees for 30 minutes a joke?

    You consistently post things on this board that are not aligned with backcountry best practices and back them up with contrived "theories" and "tests" that you have thought up or done that are not applicable to real world situations or other people. I'm not here to tell you what to on your hikes but your "advice" is going to get someone hurt someday.
    Uh no it is not. We had a wicked cold snap several years back so I dressed up in all the clothes I would normally Winter hike in, put my Gore Tex bivy on the ground, put my z-fold in it, crawled in and laid there for 30 minutes and I was fine. I'm sure after 10-12 hours in an actual overnight scenario I wouldn't be toasty warm but I'm extremely confident I would survive just fine. I have slept overnight in the same set up on my deck in far less severe conditions without issue. For the weather I typically would hike in (which would never be -35 deg F) my set up is more than adequate for the conditions. I don't recall labeling it as "advice" and I don't recall saying it is applicable to all other people. I said it is what "I do" and is not automatically wrong or completely inadequate just because it is not what Brian would do. You can believe whatever you want. Your opinion has no value to my thought process when I hike.

    What exactly is "contrived" or "not real world scenarios" in all these posts you mention? Maybe you can message Brian and see if he has more specific things he disagrees with me on? Based on the odd timing of this post I suspect you just have an agenda to further here and not actual details you want to discuss but I'd be happy to clarify any of these wild and inconsistent "theories" I seem to be pedaling....
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  10. #40
    Senior Member skiguy's Avatar
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    Minus 35 in Woodstock Conn.? When was that?
    "I'm getting up and going to work everyday and I am stoked. That does not suck!"__Shane McConkey

  11. #41
    Junior Member Mitts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DayTrip View Post
    Uh no it is not. We had a wicked cold snap several years back so I dressed up in all the clothes I would normally Winter hike in, put my Gore Tex bivy on the ground, put my z-fold in it, crawled in and laid there for 30 minutes and I was fine. I'm sure after 10-12 hours in an actual overnight scenario I wouldn't be toasty warm but I'm extremely confident I would survive just fine. I have slept overnight in the same set up on my deck in far less severe conditions without issue. For the weather I typically would hike in (which would never be -35 deg F) my set up is more than adequate for the conditions. I don't recall labeling it as "advice" and I don't recall saying it is applicable to all other people. I said it is what "I do" and is not automatically wrong or completely inadequate just because it is not what Brian would do. You can believe whatever you want. Your opinion has no value to my thought process when I hike.

    What exactly is "contrived" or "not real world scenarios" in all these posts you mention? Maybe you can message Brian and see if he has more specific things he disagrees with me on? Based on the odd timing of this post I suspect you just have an agenda to further here and not actual details you want to discuss but I'd be happy to clarify any of these wild and inconsistent "theories" I seem to be pedaling....
    Thinking that spending 30 minutes in your backyard has any bearing on understanding an unplanned overnight is contrived. Your convoluted and illogical risk model in the "Missing hiker's dog turns up" thread doesn't align with the accepted ways that experienced and knowledgeable backcountry hikers and climbers think about risk. Your dogmatic gear choices fall into the same category. I'm posting this not to change your mind but to caution others who might read your posts. Its also not productive in a discussion about what a person could have done better to endure a night out to have someone offer up that they have a safety system that totally diverges from decades of learning and its proven because of 30 minutes in a backyard testing.

    I'm not sure what agenda you're referring to. I don't know any of the posters in this thread or the author of the trip report.

  12. #42
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitts View Post
    Thinking that spending 30 minutes in your backyard has any bearing on understanding an unplanned overnight is contrived. Your convoluted and illogical risk model in the "Missing hiker's dog turns up" thread doesn't align with the accepted ways that experienced and knowledgeable backcountry hikers and climbers think about risk. Your dogmatic gear choices fall into the same category. I'm posting this not to change your mind but to caution others who might read your posts. Its also not productive in a discussion about what a person could have done better to endure a night out to have someone offer up that they have a safety system that totally diverges from decades of learning and its proven because of 30 minutes in a backyard testing.

    I'm not sure what agenda you're referring to. I don't know any of the posters in this thread or the author of the trip report.
    So how did you develop a better model for an unplanned overnight? Do you spontaneously schedule "unplanned overnights" to learn from the experience? That would seem contradictory to surprise yourself on purpose. If you planned for it how would it be an "unplanned event"? This whole thought process makes no sense to me. Where are you deriving your knowledge from - simply by what people like Bryan decree is the only possible correct course of action (sorry Bryan I keep referencing you because of your initial comment but I mean it in a more generic way like "that guy")?

    It would seem to me that the only way to gain some level of experience for that scenario is to actually try stuff out and see what works/doesn't work. Of course it won't be exactly the same. And as I indicated this was not the only thing I have ever done, which you can't seem to shake. I go hiking in the pouring rain on purpose for hours, try different layers, socks, jackets and gloves, hiking in the dark, etc all very much on purpose so I'll have some sense of what could happen if I found myself in those conditions for real. And I'm not sure why you take such vehement and comprehensive resentment about my "theories" and "dogmatic gear choices". What the hell is that? Is carrying a Gore Tex bivy shelter, arctic grade down gear and extra water - for a DAY hike - a radical and revolutionary concept? I'm not quite sure what else you expect me, or anyone else, to do to prepare for that moment. Do you want me to break my arm on purpose and throw myself off a bridge abutment so I can get some good old-fashioned learnin' done? I certainly don't think anything I've tried is anything dogmatic or theoretical. It kinda sounds like the "decades of learning" thing you mentioned doesn't it? Apparently that is "decades of learning" for certain people and "theories and dogmatic nonsense" for other people.

    I don't recall you ever making a single comment on any post or reply on anything I have ever done here so I'm not quite sure why you're just jumping out of nowhere to criticize apparently every thing I've ever said or done with "convoluted risk models" and "theories" and dogmas. If you're actually reading my posts I have no idea how you'd arrive at that conclusion. Seems like a personal attack for a personal reason.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  13. #43
    Senior Member DayTrip's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mitts View Post
    Your convoluted and illogical risk model in the "Missing hiker's dog turns up".
    You may find this article of interest: https://www.project-risk-manager.com...risk-analysis/

    It explains the "convoluted and illogical risk" model I subscribe to which happens to be pretty common across a wide variety of industries and organizations. Pretty mainstream stuff. The bibliography in Ty Gagne's books reference several sources detailing this model.
    “Sometimes when you’ve lost something in your life that matters, the only thing left to do is go and find it.” Renan Ozturk

  14. #44
    Senior Member sierra's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by B the Hiker View Post
    I am afraid you are following a logical fallacy. Your "system" (or lack thereof) is completely inadequate; it's just you have never needed to use it. Your reasoning is like someone saying her vehicle does not need seatbelts because she has never been in an accident.
    First off, your arrogance is quite stunning. My system is more than adequate for me. Exactly how do you know, what I have been through anyway?

  15. #45
    Senior Member Mike P.'s Avatar
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    Having taken a two day WFA Course, certified and run really more for High Adventure Scout outings, the first thing is to assess the scene to make sure it's safe or you could be the next victim. The course is certified by one of the groups that BSA accepts and taught by a DR. and Scout Leader. Granted, it's run as you are providing first aid to others or worst case, walking others through the steps to treat you if you're the victim and conscious. This wasn't a NOLS course.

    The best gear is the gear between your ears. The decision to winter solo hiking would be a red X for safe wilderness travel. (Yes, I do it and a bunch of us do it too, we justify it by repeatedly making it back home. Better lucky than good, both is really nice, knowing the area like the back of your hand helps also.)

    We've also discussed whether there is any real wilderness in the East, again this is relative, if your off trail in winter & it's cold it certainly feels like wilderness and we all agree that when the weather is bad and in winter, the line between safe and unsafe and how many bad decisions you can get away with becomes thin and few. Alaskan mountaineers would say there is no wilderness here. If you die off trail in NH, no one will begrudge you, "He died in the Wilderness" on your headstone.

    A piece of pad is a good idea, besides sitting on it, (you could sit on your pack if needed but we usually don't) it can be part of a DIY splint if you suffer a leg injury you can treat with a splint (Or treat someone you come upon) If you are carrying a large bag for the winter gear that you should have, you probably can get your feet and lower legs into it if it opens up properly up top. (Anyone try doing that in a store when trying out packs? Store, F&^@, I'm old) Having some type of small bag is a good idea, I agree few likely do it, likely more hear as the Choir.

    My now 70 year BIL is a member in the PVHC in MA and they are active all year in Western MA. His biggest injury, a compound fx of his ankle, where, at his mailbox out by the road in the winter, had my SIL not been home, he had a difficult crawl or hobble to the house, he didn;t dress for a long period of time out that night. (it's 140-160 ft from the house at the end of cul-de-sac, the neighbor or another car wan't coming by) Injuries can happen anywhere, we justify what we bring when we solo to make ourselves feel better so we can tell loved ones, we will be okay. No, it's risky, it's probably not adequate unless you've hobbled out of the Andean Wilderness with a shattered knee cap. Typical ankle & knee injuries I've hiked on but no torn MCL or ACL, just too many chip fractures and avulsions. BTW, I will keep hiking solo too.

    Testing your gear is always a good idea, just like on occasion you'll find a Denali or Rainier hiker getting ready in the Presidentials, People should look at trying stuff out at places that mimic conditions they may find. Monadnock and Cardigan have that above treeline like exposure. Greylock has about 1700 feet of vertical, just a few 100 feet short of Pierce with similar grades, just sort of open on the top. We've seen minus 5-10 in NW NLC in CT every couple of years. While I'm skeptical of DT's -35 For what I looked up on the Internet for officially measured record lows in Woodstock, -12 in Feb 2016 and January's record is -13. I have no idea where that is taken in Woodstock so I could see a valley somewhere being a little colder. It's still cold if you are just sitting doing nothing.

    The other thing we were often told in WFA was to call for help also ASAP. If you have cell service, is that Wilderness? Soloists, guilty as charge, ignore the guideline that winter groups should be at least four people so if someone gets hurt, one person stays with the victim, the other two go for help is their is no cell service just in case one of them get hurt.
    Last edited by Mike P.; 02-26-2021 at 12:47 PM.
    Have fun & be safe
    Mike P.

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