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Re: Help a GA>ME first timer!

>     What boots did you use? Hope they're not Raichle Spirits! (what I'm
>     using). I'm hoping to use just 2 pairs.

I was using Vasque Sundowners.  Supposedly Vasque had a bad batch of
glue that year and a lot of people were having problems with them.  In
any case, Vasque replaced my boots.   A lot of people do make it on 2 pairs.

>     Also, is Shoo Goo the
>     best emergency bonder to bring along? I've heard something called
>     'Barge Cement' recommended.

Shoe Goo and Barge Cement are probably equivalent.  I've used them both
and haven't noticed any real difference.

>> I kept a pair of lightweight thermals and a fleece pullover through the
>> mid-Atlantic states.  It gets cool in the mountains at night - even in
>> midsummer.   It can get down in the 40's in June in the Shenandoah.
>      It can even hit the 30s. I'm just keeping lightweight top and bottom
>      polypro, wind/rainpants, and a shell and light sweater or jacket,
>      plus liners and a light hat after Damascus or Pearisburg.

Good point about the hat - I carried a lightweight balaclava after Pearisburg.
Wouldn't recommend sending the winter gear home at Damascus, though.
We had 14" of snow on Mt Rogers on May 9, 1992.  A lot of people get
caught by Mt Rogers - they figure that being in Virginia should guarantee
them warm weather.   But Mt Rogers can be COLD.

>      BTW - I went backpacking in Shenendoah last Memorial Day weekend.
>      On Sunday the DAYTIME temps were in the mid-40's, raining hard,
>      and windchills were down in the teens in exposed areas. We were
>      underprepared and had to keep moving to stay warm. Happily,
>      Skyland was nearby.

I'll second that - we were there too.  We went through Panorama going
south on Sunday and it was cold and wet.

>       bring some alternitive
>      to shelters that you can live with. They fill up quite a bit.
>      What did the guy above do if the next shelter was 10 or 12 miles away?
>      And what if IT was full?

Very good point - and a lot of them may be full, especially in the south.

>     One question of my own, under what conditions is it safe to NOT
>     hang food from a tree? Or is it safe to keep in your tent with you
>     (if ever)? Etc.

This is a dilemma - if you hang your food in a shelter, the bears won't
usually mess with it, but the mice will.  If you keep it in the tent, it's a
crapshoot - will the bear come in after it or will the mice chew a hole
in the tent to get it (both have happened) or maybe neither.  If you hang
it in a tree the mice won't bother it, but if the bear is smart enough
he/she CAN get it.

The good part is that there aren't many active bears on the AT.  Generally,
thruhikers go through the Smokies too early for the bears to be active
at high elevation (unless you start in May).   I don't know of any serious
bear problems in SNP.  There was a problem bear at Lehigh Gap but we
got lucky and he was someplace else that night.  And another at Sunfish
pond in NJ, but we blew out of DWG on a 24 mile day and left her far behind.
The next one was at Ethan Pond in NH - he got our food.  And it was hung
cause I didn't care to sleep with him.   Bears smell too bad to sleep with.

Anyway, we slept with the food in the tent a lot, but hung it when there
was any real chance of an animal problem.  Definitely hang it in SNP.  There
are some bears, but there are also mice, skunks and racoons around -
especially at the campgrounds.  And they ALL like your food.

Reminds me of something else - some of the shelters in the south have skunks.
They like your food, too.

Enuff - have to go.

Have a good day,