Sunday, 21 April 2013

It has been cold at night

Nothing much new to report. I heard from Peter this morning, via texts, that the night had been quite cold and he has to rethink how he keeps his feet warm because of it. When you are trying to keep what you carry to a minimum, you do things like make your quilts short and then they don't cover your feet. Maybe Peter can stuff a jacket around his feet at night, but I guess not if he is wearing everything he owns! I am sure he will work it all out.

This morning, it was 34F (1C) at 6 a.m. The wind shifted 180 degrees during the night and was blowing up the slope where he was hanging and right into his hammock. He got up and rejigged the tarp but was limited in how he could fix it. The insulation he was wearing for the night got damp (I guess from the wind?) and he was not sure if it would dry out as he started walking.

As he lay there, too cold to get up, he contemplated packing quickly and heading up the trail to cook breakfast and dry out in sun. He wasn't sure if there would be a sunny space where the other tenters were, where he could cook and dry out. They were all about 60 yards away from where he spent the night.

After he got up, he checked and his weather App said the winds were at 35 mph, which he knew was true based on his hammock being buffeted by winds, making if difficult to peck out letters on his iPhone keyboard! He figures there was a wind chill below freezing this morning.

Here he is "camelling up" as he says, at a water stop. Water on the trail comes in the form of natural streams and springs. You have to filter or treat the water before you drink it. Peter got a filter system, rather than chemical treatment system. It works pretty fast too, so what he does is put the dirty water into a container and filter it into the drinking container. Then, while another batch is being filtered, he drinks the first batch, so he is super-hydrated for a while until he has to pee it out. He fills all his water bottles at each water stop, and "carries" as much water as he can in his stomach too!

That blue blaze on the tree in the photo means the water was on a side trail. The main Appalachian Trail is marked in white blazes.

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