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SwitchbackFisher
Boot buster



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Boot buster
PostSun Dec 08, 2019 5:43 pm 
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Ski wrote:
I've managed to get by just fine without GPS, hiking poles, or headlamp.
It's not too difficult to find sunset and sunrise times online now.

I do have a headlamp now but did not use one for years, I own trekking poles but only use them for snowshoeing. Never have used a GPS when backpacking either and I use an external frame, (great for pack rods when fishing). I am not that old school at 31, but I don't need all that gear to backpack. Most of my weight is in a very good first aid kit and always keeping 3 liters of water full as I can, and extra layers. I think it's all a mentality, some people can't imagine not having a electronic device to look at I think. I love going backpacking and not even turning my phone on for days, as I typically use a camera for my pictures.

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I may not be the smartest, I may not be the strongest, but I don't want to be. I only want to be the best I can be.
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Cyclopath
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Joined: 20 Mar 2012
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PostSun Dec 08, 2019 6:39 pm 
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Anne Elk wrote:
One thing I found about hiking in the old standard type boots (had Raichle Montagnas for years), was that the few times I did have a bad ankle turn, the boot functioned as a good brace, which allowed me to self-evacuate, except the time I severed my achilles tendon, too.

That's why I have (year and a half old) Vicodin in my first aid kit.  Depending on the injury, they could make the difference between working through the pain to get myself out, or waiting overnight to be rescued.  And the weight penalty is negligible.
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Anne Elk
BrontosaurusTheorist



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BrontosaurusTheorist
PostSun Dec 08, 2019 8:38 pm 
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Ski wrote:
When you and I were starting out, we were all carrying Jansport or Kelty external frame packs with 40-60 pound loads in them.

Yep, I did! Not sure the replacement - my now-old Kelty internal frame pack - is much of an improvement except for load balance and comfort.  rolleyes.gif

Ski wrote:
I've carried a pack wearing Tevas, but I prefer something above the ankle - even if it's Chuck Taylors. Lots of people are doing fine with low-top lightweight footwear, but I'd question the wisdom of doing so when carrying a big load.

I've seen the pics in some of your old posts of you in those CT's with a full pack.  Not something I could manage, even on a river trail.  Here's a really good article by my friend Rick of an incident he encountered on a day hike popular with newbs - Hike to Mt Pilchuck leads to Helicopter Rescue. Great pics of the helo extraction, and the ankle injury.  He doesn't say, but I'll bet the injured party - a visiting foreigner - was likely wearing foot gear no better than her daughter's.  Here's a follow up post Rick did on his blog re being prepared for emergencies: Lessons learned from past adventures. I'm sure all of us have headed out on day hikes with less than half of the 10 essentials, but I'm trying to improve - especially when traveling alone.

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"There are yahoos out there.  Itís why we canít have nice things."  - Tom Mahood
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Bernardo
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PostSun Dec 08, 2019 9:00 pm 
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Well, at least the articles are good conversation starters.  Column inches probably limited the author's ability to do a thorough job.

With regard to boots, I like wearing boots, but often I wear a pair of old trail runners and they work just fine for me.  One negative I've noticed is that I need to constantly keep my head down looking where I place my feet, where as with stiff soled boots I can be a little less focused on where I place my foot.  I find this a significant negative.  I did several hikes recently with a ten year old pair that are falling apart.  No one in the shoe business would have condoned their use.  They were fine, however, even though I had to remove small objects that came in through holes.  I really don't understand why folks talk about wearing out trail shoes after several hundred miles.  What would happen if you just keep wearing them?  If you don't need stiff soles and ankle protection, then why do you need to swap out trail runners when the sart to wear down and start conforming to your foot?

Clearly the 10 essentials are a better starting point for preparedness.  Hiking poles are not on the list, but I do think they reduce the risk of injury.
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RumiDude
Marmota olympus



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Marmota olympus
PostTue Dec 10, 2019 12:59 am 
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I think many articles like this overstate the need for certain things. But like Bernardo said, at the very least they are good conversation starters and/or challenges a person to think over their own situation.

With outdoor clubs seemingly on the decline, a beginner often is overwhelmed by articles such as these. They go out and buy stuff without really understanding what is required for safe backcountry travel.

Anyway, I hate stiff high supporting boots and almost never wear them except when I go on WTA work parties where they are required. I don't do the type of mountain scrambling anymore where those boots are needed. I also don't do the winter treks where boots are needed to kick steps. Most regular hiking, even off-trail hiking, boots are overkill. But if a person likes them ...

Rumi

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neek
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PostTue Dec 10, 2019 5:38 am 
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The boot thing is tricky. They are far superior in snow. But IME the longer lever arm due to thicker soles, stiff soles that make balance difficult and reduce tactile feedback, and the reduced opportunity for developing ankle strength over time, increase chances of twisting an ankle. And the extra weight leads to quicker fatigue.
However, the ankle support may reduce the severity of the injury or prevent it outright. So it's a risk/consequence balancing act, highly dependent on terrain, experience, and personal preference. So far my only sprain was while running in low-cut boots, the worst possible combination.

In the second article, the bit about being visible is worth keeping in mind. It can be really hard to see a person from a helicopter, even if they're out in the open.
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Schroder
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PostTue Dec 10, 2019 9:01 am 
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neek wrote:
the bit about being visible is worth keeping in mind. It can be really hard to see a person from a helicopter, even if they're out in the open.

This has always been an issue even to see rescuers on the ground since so much outdoor clothing and gear is produced in colors that blend with the surroundings.
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kvpair
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PostTue Dec 10, 2019 9:20 am 
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Schroder wrote:
This has always been an issue even to see rescuers on the ground since so much outdoor clothing and gear is produced in colors that blend with the surroundings.

+1. I carry an orange safety vest in my daypack as well as backpacking pack - the weight is negligible. I also use it in hunting season so it is amortized.
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RumiDude
Marmota olympus



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Marmota olympus
PostTue Dec 10, 2019 10:35 am 
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For visability and a bit of warmth, I carry a SOL Emergency Bivy. I also tend to take plenty of insullating clothing, rain gear (which I consider as part of my layering system), extra food, and a half-decent FAK, and my 25"x25" blue sit pad.  Sometimes on a day-hike I even take my pot/stove to make a hot drink.  Regardless, I almost always have a lighter on me.

Simply staying aware of the situation mitigates most emergency situations. Be aware that rock may roll, that tree limb used to self belay may break, you might not get good tracktion on that slab, etc. And if in unfamiliar area, check to assure your location.

Rumi

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"This is my Indian summer ... I'm far more dangerous now, because I don't care at all."
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WaState
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PostTue Dec 17, 2019 2:28 pm 
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Almost all day hikers I see are not ready for a overnight, little to no extra gear and  often hiking in winter snow with tennis shoes,  I see this all the time. Most of these people have a cell phone but little else, most often dependent on the trail to navigate.

Often people have pride on how little they carry on a trip, but rescue can long coming --f you can get the word out, and helicopters rarely do rescue in bad weather.

To know enough and carry enough, but not too much is the balancing act. One unprepared night out and  all the items to prevent and mitigate this then become more important

It is nice to have enough to spend a unexpected night out and then hike out or wait for rescue and not that big a strain. Maybe only some shivering, but keep fingers and toes and can effectivly move the next day.
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MtnGoat
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PostTue Dec 17, 2019 2:32 pm 
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I've noticed this too. Day hikers with minimal or even no packs, certainly not large enough for emergency gear or unintended overniter. A water bottle and cell phone is not sufficient.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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Cyclopath
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Faster than light
PostTue Dec 17, 2019 4:21 pm 
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Schroder wrote:
This has always been an issue even to see rescuers on the ground since so much outdoor clothing and gear is produced in colors that blend with the surroundings.

Colorful clothes are good.  I've started carrying a mirror to be able to signal a helicopter after reading about the latest fall on Cannon.

https://www.wenatcheeworld.com/news/he-slid-feet-down-an-icy-slope-fracturing-his-neck/article_fe324656-028f-11ea-b691-7fdc480b6afe.html
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MtnGoat
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PostTue Dec 17, 2019 4:40 pm 
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Well it's true, you don't 'need' emergency gear...until you need it, that is.

I'm just commenting on what I see, it's their life, their risk.

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Diplomacy is the art of saying 'Nice doggie' until you can find a rock. - Will Rogers
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texasbb
Misplaced Texan



Joined: 30 Mar 2009
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Misplaced Texan
PostTue Dec 17, 2019 5:48 pm 
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catsp wrote:
If someone is day hiking Mount Pilchuk or Lake Serene in the summer, do they really "need" more than a water bottle and a phone? Do they really need to be prepared for an overnight?

A broken ankle or <fill in the blank> can leave you sitting on the side of the trail for hours waiting for help.  If those hours stretch into darkness or rain or <fill in the blank>, you darn well need to be able to stay warm and dry.  Sure, some Good Samaritan may give you his jacket and poncho, but then he has to be cold and wet.

This is not hard, either to understand or to do.
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WaState
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PostTue Dec 17, 2019 5:49 pm 
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We all depend on kindness of strangers at times. If someone makes a intelligent choice to carry little, well that is the freedom of choices in a free society.

On the opposite side of carrying too little is carrying too much that is practical. This what I did my last winter hike,  but I did so on purpose to train for pack weight.

For those who are interested that are fairly new to hiking a few things can make a real  difference in a day pack.
Water,food, and electrolytes . (Once, I came across a guy on mt pilchuck his leg cramped up wanting water and a banana.   smile.gif He was a boarder line SAR rescue case, I had enough water and electrolytes to get him going, and youth carried him down! ). Navigation, given the reality of today load a GPS app in the phone and all local maps and a recharger.  Emergency overnight, a small puffy, a blizzard bag, a small foam pad, that is enough to get through a  night in a day pack, cost is little.

Truthfully 99.9% of time carrying extra stuff is a waste of effort on day trips.

The mountain runners are sure taking a chance but if could carry a light blizzard bag that can see them through a broken ankle.
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