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Re: Rain and Drying Strategy

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  • pottertax
    My strategy is to expect summer storms no matter what every day starting at about 1:30 pm. Thus, get up at 4:30 and pack up and eat with your headlamp. Hike
    Message 1 of 34 , Jun 23 10:18 PM
      My strategy is to expect summer storms no matter what every day starting at about 1:30 pm. Thus, get up at 4:30 and pack up and eat with your headlamp. Hike and miss the storms. Also, don't use a tarp, use a freestanding pole version tent to keep off the hail. On three separate trips in three separate years I experienced every day storms in kings canyon JMT area. Three more things are also a must, ultralight rain jacket and rain pants and a pack cover. The problem here is that the hot valley air hits the Sierra colder air, creates these super cells over the Sierras that I see every day from my home in sacramento ca. Yes, the forecast will say 20% chance of storms, but its obvious to me many miles away (where I can see a super cell forming in the mountains) that somewhere is 100% getting pounded. Another problem here is that in a storm a minor creek crossing can be impassable. One August day in northern kings canyon it hailed so hard that it looked liked it snowed, all of the "normal" camp sites were completely flooded. Had to spend the night literally on a slope. After that experience I vowed never to take a tarp tent into the sierras again, but only a free standing tent - I specifically purchased the big Agnes fly creek UL 2 that I share with my daughter to ride out the storms. In sum, expect the storms, be prepared to hike in them, and take equipment that can handle them. Also, take a water proof bag for your down sleeping bag - dont rely 100% on your pack cover as water can pool sometimes, even with a decent pack cover. FYI, this is also where waterproof hiking shoes come in handy, as your feet will get very wet on the trail in the rain. On the drying strategy, pray for it to stop raining and bring some cord for a clothesline if you can't hang those wet socks from your pack. You can hike in the rain, I have. It's miserable though when you're hot and your gortext rainwear is not gortexting as well as you want. You should stop when you can't make a water crossing safely or when you are on an exposed ridge and it's lightening (get lower). I suspect a pro PCT hiker may completely disagree with my equipment strategy and recommendation. But I'm not a pro and can't make due with an umbrella and open air tarp in theses situations.
      --- In johnmuirtrail@the recommended strategy for dealing with rain, hail and storms on the JMT?
      > I just got back from the Enchantments (via Aasgard Pass) and in a five day period I experienced light rain, heavy rain, hail, snow and windstorms. The result was tha a lot of my equipment, clothing and backpack got wet. This seemed to increase the load I was carrying by 50%. If also made for treacherous scrambling because the momentum of the pack affected my center of gravity. On the fourth day I laid out all the contents in my backpack on boulders halfway up the mountain which fortunately dried them out, even though the sun was not shining.
      > The first part of tmy question is when do I say it is OK to carry on hiking in the rain, when do I stop and put up my tarp, and when do I say that I'm staying put in my tent until the storm is over? The second part of the question is how do I manage to dry things out so I am not carrying the extra weight or discomfort of wet clothing and equipment?
      > Many Thanks,
      > Darryl
      >
    • Robert
      +1 to that. I like your open mind on hiking techniques Darryl.
      Message 34 of 34 , Jun 25 8:32 PM
        +1 to that. I like your open mind on hiking techniques Darryl.

        --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "woodyrtt" <rod.tayler@...> wrote:
        >
        > You started another great thread, Darryl. Thank you very much. Rod
        >
        > --- In johnmuirtrail@yahoogroups.com, "Darryl" <dabrahms@> wrote:
        > >
        > > What is the recommended strategy for dealing with rain, hail and storms on the JMT?
        > > I just got back from the Enchantments (via Aasgard Pass) and in a five day period I experienced light rain, heavy rain, hail, snow and windstorms. The result was tha a lot of my equipment, clothing and backpack got wet. This seemed to increase the load I was carrying by 50%. If also made for treacherous scrambling because the momentum of the pack affected my center of gravity. On the fourth day I laid out all the contents in my backpack on boulders halfway up the mountain which fortunately dried them out, even though the sun was not shining.
        > > The first part of tmy question is when do I say it is OK to carry on hiking in the rain, when do I stop and put up my tarp, and when do I say that I'm staying put in my tent until the storm is over? The second part of the question is how do I manage to dry things out so I am not carrying the extra weight or discomfort of wet clothing and equipment?
        > > Many Thanks,
        > > Darryl
        > >
        >
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