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[ft-l] Cold weather hiking questions



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Ocala in winter? Brrrrr.  I just did three days in Myakka State Park last
weekend with Diane, and we had daytime temps in the 50s, nights in the 30s.
Woke up to frost on the leaves on Sunday morning. So.... here's my two cents.
I miss 80* hiking weather. I'd just gotten used to it.  ;-)

> 1.  Will I need gloves?
It's a personal preference. When you're sitting still, you might wish for
'em. Early in the morning, too. I regretted I didn't have mine along. Those
Leki poles can get mighty cold. Lucky for you, the Ocala National Forest
isn't a wet place, too.  ;-)

2.  Will my water and stuff freeze?
       Unlikely, but not impossible. At 26* on Cumberland Island a couple of
years ago, my water bottle froze. No such problem at 32* last weekend. If
you're worried, keep it in the foot of your sleeping bag.

> 3.  What extra gear should I bring?
Warm outer layers that you can peel as needed. Perhaps thermal underwear too.
Extra fuel for camp stove. Warm stuff to eat.

> 4.  What extra clothing?
See above. Take the fleece jacket. You'll be sorry if you don't.

> 5.  Is it safe to hang my upper body out of the tent and cook breakfast
> while
> the rest of me stays in the tent and toasty in my bag?
I'd be mighty reluctant to do that. See below. Of course, I tend to eat cold
breakfasts.

> 6.  how close is too close to set your tent next to a camp fire?
Don't even try it. Tents are highly flammable. One little spark... and
besides, you don't want critters sniffing around your tent because you cooked
right next to it. ;-)

   7.  What are the warning signs of hypothermia?
       Shivering. Lightheadedness. Cloudy thinking. Bad judgement. See my
trip report regards Hickory Hammock. LOL.

> 8.  Also, since the daytime highs are going to be in the 50's, and I am,
> afterall, hiking, do you think I'll get hot and wish I had on shorts and a
> t-shirt?
       Not in the least. I stripped ONE layer (rain jacket) when hiking at
Myakka. Damn glad to have the rest of the clothes in 50* weather, as my feet
were wet almost the entire trip. THAT will keep you chilled.

I'll be out on the trail too...but in a much warmer clime. And dry. I hope.
;-)

Cheers, Sandy