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Re: [pct-l] Introduction and Comments

The points you make here are certainly true, and were considered.  However,
there are many ways to insulate yourself on the ground.  One important
point to make here is that insulation uses basically the same principles as
general clothing.  Layers will make a huge difference.  A pad can make for
an above avg. layer, but is usually only used for sleeping time.  Other
types of layers can have a higher utility.  I have used pack covers and
clothing to make nice layers.  We have a tarp and tent floor, instead of
Ray Jardine's method of having a ground cloth and pad.  Wind will take its
toll when you use a tarp tent, so maybe it is more important for him.
Also, the ground doesn't actually "suck" the heat out of you.  I just acts
as a conductor of heat so that the heat radiated from your body doesn't
stay next to your body, but gets conducted away.  This is vary common on
high density materials like rock, but certain ground types can actually act
as an insulator.  Anyone who has slept on peat can attest to that, however
uncommon that may be on the PCT.  I have found that a pine needle or leaf
bed is also a great way to insulate yourself from the ground.  It is more
than soft, it holds the air in place.

On Thu, 6 Apr 2000 14:12:04 -0400 PDietrich@checkfree.com writes:
> Pads are a personal issue of comfort level.  I have extensive hiking
> experience w/o a pad and am quite used to it.  So, why take the
> extra weight?

True, but not entirely so - it's also a matter of physics.  Specifically,
reduction of the heat transfer rate between your body and the ground.  If
it's cold, the ground will just suck body heat out of you.  One of the
problems of a thruhike is not being able to carry enough food to balance
the energy expenditure.  Adding extra energy losses in the form of
conductive heat transfer while sleeping isn't something I'd do.
Conductive heat transfer is an unforgiving bitch.  For the short term it
might not make too much differnece if you've gotten used to sleeping
without a pad, especially in the desert.  But if you're a 'typical' male
you'll lose weight on the trail and then you may find that your
metabolism has changed in ways you hadn't anticipated.  Like getting cold
much faster

And if you're cold or uncomfortable you simply won't sleep as well.  A
thruhike is hard enough without adding the burden of not sleeping as well
as possible.

> However, Katrina may still decide to take one.  Each of us must
> determine what level of comfort we would like to have and pack
> accordingly.  (The mylar umbrella and pads were difficult decisions for

I draw lines here too - if I wanted comfort I'd carry a Thermarest but I
don't, in part because it's too heavy and in part because the Ridgerest
does what I need.  What I want  is insulation vs comfort.

In any case, have a good hike - maybe we'll see you out there.

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