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4193Re: [Hammock Camping] Re: Winter Thinking

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  • Robert Moore
    Dec 18, 2003
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      Implying that one could be held up for sleeping in a Ponderosa...well what about my Versalite? Personally, if I was going to rob someone it would be for a nice pair of down pants but Santa should remove that temptation :_)
      A couple of good points being made in the overall gist of this thread, foremost testing before wilding which leads to an important question to the most learned of the group-I guess that is you Ed and Risk....a hammock repair kit-what would be in it for each type of hammock????
      See I was thinking I have several systems now that are functional and comfortable, but if in the middle of the night the belly of my HH or Crib blew out then I would be in trouble, then wondered what would I have on hand to repair.....what got me thinking about this was a pipe lesson I was giving this afternoon, my young student asked what happens if the bag busts- I told her that if the bag busts the show is over...............
      Also some thoughts on the gun thing....I have been held at gunpoint on the AT, while doing the Big Bald section....that was probably my third time from Sam's GAp to Spivey Gap, and the lunatic wanted my stuff. I told him he could take my stuff and I would die (it was a balmy 12 degrees on Big Bald that day) or he could shoot me and I would die, I told him to choose, turned around and walked down the trail....I have since done that section 14 more times (I am destined to section hike the AT over and over and over), do I own a gun? yes, many. Do I carry while hiking? no, too damned heavy! My thinking is this-33 years of AT hiking and only one encounter with a freek lunatic, what are the odds of it happening again.....now when sea kayaking in Florida and S.Carolina you can be assured at the minimum will be a Pony Pocketlite under the spray skirt if not a big bore Glock....
      p.s. Still

      Coy <starnescr@...> wrote:
      Thanks Rick, I enjoyed the philosofical(sp?) instead of scientific
      approach. 

      I remember a night year before last thinking along similar lines. 
      Not qute that crazy though LOL.  I do remember thinking,  "You are
      an idiot,  you could be at home in a warm bed snuggled next to your
      wife but no your out here in 16 deg weather freezing your butt
      off".  Oh, and if you are in a Ponderosa,  the gun might not be a
      bad idea. Wink.

      Coy Boy

      --- In hammockcamping@yahoogroups.com, ra1@i... wrote:
      > Winter Thinking
      >
      > The long nights of winter and hammock experiments allow me a great
      deal of
      > thinking time. Some of that time is very productive, and some of
      it is purely
      > emotional in a primordial way. I have sometimes been challenged to
      write a
      > little more about my feelings than my findings. As a
      scientist/engineer that is
      > not always easy. However, that is what this post is all about.
      >
      > The thought of going out into the cold and sleeping in a hammock
      can be quite
      > daunting. Yes, I reassure my son, I know it is completely safe. If
      I begin to
      > shiver I will come in. I will escape to the warmth provided by a
      big warm house.
      > And those words reassure me too.
      >
      > Somewhere in my primitive defense mechanisms, words of warning
      scream though the
      > rational thought pattern. "You are going to die in the cold," my
      brain whispers
      > to me. "You are going to get sleepy and never wake up." So, in
      response, I pick
      > up the hammock, the quilt, and some additional insulation into my
      arms. I step
      > into the frosty world of swirling wind, crunchy snow underfoot and
      realize the
      > little hairs inside my nose are freezing to one another with each
      breath. In
      > this environment I will spend a night, trusting the materials I
      have put
      > together with my own hands to keep me safe, even if not
      comfortable.
      >
      > Why? Well, it all started when a friend who would be going with me
      to the
      > Boundary Waters Canoe Area asked me to make sure the hammock stuff
      would work
      > well on our mid-summer's trip. I recognized the look in his eyes.
      I have had the
      > same look when considering a trip to the wilderness with a
      friend. "Is he going
      > to drag me down? Is he going to be begging for extra food? Is he
      going to be
      > miserable and even beg to go home early because he has not thought
      through the
      > implications of his choice of gear?" The thought went something
      like this: If I
      > can spend comfortable nights across the worst of Ohio's April with
      the gear, I
      > should be able to do anything the border lakes can throw at me in
      August.
      >
      > Exactly how this snowballed (sorry for the pun) into sleep systems
      for Ohio's
      > January, I really don't know. Maybe a few too many testosterone
      molecules got
      > lodged in some wacky part of my primitive brainstem... But last
      year I started
      > seeing how cold I could go. Whenever I think rationally about it,
      the devotion
      > to this cold problem in a hammock seems quite un-rational. Too
      bad! It, like the
      > figurative mountain, is there and begs to be climbed. The
      realization that no
      > one else has ever been this path before is part of the adventure.
      The
      > realization that there is a reason no one has been this path
      before is just
      > something I stick in the TravelPod as extra insulation...it is
      like a bunch of
      > dry leaves.
      >
      > The result finds me, again, swinging between two trees in a 15 mph
      wind, with an
      > air temperature hovering around 20. I feel quite snug, even smug,
      lying there
      > looking into the sky through the little slit in the Travel Pod.
      >
      > Some nights, the sky is as clear as interstellar space. I again
      look to my
      > childhood friend, Orion, and name his stars. Up and to the left is
      the beautiful
      > red tinted Beetle Juice (I use the phonetic spellings here just
      for fun) and her
      > cold blue twin Rigel down and to the right. How a single
      constellation ended up
      > with so many beautiful objects has always amazed me and is a
      powerful reminder
      > that random groups are not homogeneous. Random distributions, in
      fact, are often
      > wonderfully complex with beautiful clumpings of splendor. Back to
      the upper
      > right of Orion is that Amazon Woman named Bellatrix. How I again
      thank God that
      > my wife is not like her! To the lower right is the misnamed Saiph
      or sword.
      > Between Beetle Juice (Betelgeuse) and Bellatrix is the fainter
      Meissa, easy to
      > overlook when the sky is obscured by moon glow. The beautiful
      stars of the belt
      > are there: Alnitac, Alnilam, and Mintaka. I use my last name
      (Allnutt) to
      > remember the beginning of the first two. The suffixes come to be
      because there
      > once was a great Air Force command called the Tactical Air Command
      (TAC) and
      > because my sheep in the back yard each began as a winter born
      lamb. I look at
      > the structure of M42 in the sword and judge the clarity of the sky
      by how much
      > of the cloud I can see with my bespeckled glasses.
      >
      > Other nights, the moon shines partly obscured by clouds through
      the waving
      > branches of the trees over my head. I try to concentrate on the
      movement of the
      > limbs, thinking about how much of the motion is due to my swinging
      and how much
      > is due to the limbs moving in the air. In the cold, the limbs
      sometimes crack as
      > the water in their thin skins freeze and then the ice breaks with
      a sudden
      > movement of the limb in the wind. I worry a little about them
      coming down and
      > spearing my abdomen, my life ending in a pool of coagulating and
      freezing blood,
      > alone. It begins a singsong washing back and forth between the
      melancholy
      > sterility of the emotions of winter and the logical improbability
      of any such
      > event. I know I probably will not die this way. It is much more
      likely I would
      > simply be badly wounded and crawl bleeding into the house. Small
      comfort as I
      > look up again at the cold moon through the branches.
      >
      > Then there is the thought that this pod around the hammock will be
      my shroud.
      > When will I wake with ice infesting the whole zipper? Will I be
      able to push the
      > zipper through the ice, or will I have to resort to pulling the
      cloth apart at
      > the seams. How well did I build the seams? Will I be able to get
      enough grip to
      > break the threads? Should I have carried a knife to be with me so
      I can slit my
      > way out? What about a gun, as has been suggested? Will some
      demented creature,
      > man or beast, decide on this improbable cold night to attack me
      for warmth, or
      > food, or out of meanness? Maybe it will be for my warm down quilt
      that they will
      > sacrifice me on the cold black altar of death.
      >
      > With pleasant thoughts as these, I drift off to sleep. Dreams of
      cold caves and
      > trees and warm lakes and summer breezes run through the dreams.
      Getting up to do
      > the necessary at midnight and again at 2 or 3 AM, I wonder that I
      am so warm;
      > and that I get cold as fast as I do. Back in the protective covers
      I warm up
      > again and feel kinship with my kind that have been able to survive
      winter for
      > these many generations. I wonder how many of them tried to do so
      in a hammock
      > and how many of them would have thought me daft for trying. So
      great a cloud of
      > witnesses debate about the merits of my thinking as I drift off to
      sleep again...
      >
      > And so it goes. Sometimes with only a few interruptions to turn on
      a different
      > side, and sometimes with even hours of lying partly awake
      wondering when sleep
      > will ever come and if the night will ever end.
      >
      > This is what it is like for me when I sleep in a hammock in the
      middle of the
      > winter.
      >
      > All in all, it is a wonderful way spend a portion of the hours of
      life given to
      > me. It is a wonderful way to live.
      >
      > Risk



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