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Re: [at-l] Buffington's thru-hike prep / Paring down clothing

>>> <ATnavi@aol.com> 03/08/00 06:54PM >>>
They're headed for Springer in SIX DAYS!!!!

As I recall, the clothing line-up went something like PuffBall jacket, Expedition pants, light long johns, heavy long johns, and shorts. {and I'm assuming wind-type hat and/or thermal-type hat, gloves or foreknowledge of using socks as mittens, etc.....} I'll assume the shorts weigh nothing and take up no space; otherwise, I'd leave them home till Hot Springs, and live with the occasional overwarm day till then.

Acknowledging that sneaux can appear on Springer through mid-April {at least to a frosting degree}, and that farther north, the higher climes {stemming from longer climbs} of the Smokies, Balds, and Mt. Rogers can tap Jack Frost through late May (6-8inches Memorial Day weekend for me, after I'd sent pants and pile home from Damascus...), AND acknowledging that each of us varies in personal metabolic output — and corresponding insulation requirements, even from hour to hour, I'd guess at what your *median*wearing* temperature would be, guess at what the *worst* temperature would be, and go halfway between them clothing-wise. Thus, if you were not going to even get out of your sleeping bag at less than 20*, then don't dress warmer than 20* — hang loose in your bag and brew some more tea. Although it seems quite balmy right now, the southern Appalachians could see a blizzard next week, and if you're planning on not letting temps of 25-35 degrees phase you, then I'd dress well enough so that I'm not profoundly cold on that (to be expected) 20-30 degree morning. 

Concretely, 'cause I'm such a weather-wimp, (Here comes another "Hey, Chicken Legs!" Just watch.), I'd bring the heavy longjohns, leaving the light at home. My reasoning is that 1) I personally would need the puffball/expedition/heavy longjohn combo to be comfy below freezing, and 2) if I have wet gear in the evening, I'd want to wear it to bed, so that I'm assured dry (and thereby effective) gear in the morning. Thus, no reason to hold the light longjohns in reserve. Plus, I don't have to even *consider* changing clothes evening and then morning to go from one to the other. (Brrrrr!!!!) PLUS, the heavy longjohns can do double duty for the light longjohns, BUT the light longjohns CANNOT do double duty for the heavy. Carry the heavy, save the weight of the light.

But if I'm not going to be ABSOLUTELY MISERABLE (as well as, perhaps, dangerous to myself via hypothermia) on a windy triple point morning, with my metabolism at a low ebb from a heavy miles the previous day, I've got to eat dinner like a carbo-blasting pig, AND dress warmly, such that I can shuffle around camp and not die. Mittens, major-warm hat, puffball/parkashell, and, without apology, the heavy longjohns. That's probably not news to yous guys, but maybe that's ok......


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