View Full Version : Set up for disaster?

Old Hillwalker
06-17-2014, 06:02
On Sunday I took a lady friend up to Baxter to begin her southbound hike. On the way into the park we encountered a young guy with a humongous pack with a dollar store tarp as a pack cover/rain jacket. He was wearing jeans and work boots. We checked in at the ranger station to borrow a daypack and started up the Hunt trail. After about 20 minutes the guy caught up with us still carrying his big pack and wearing his jeans which by now were soaking wet from the constant drizzle. Turns out that he didn't know about the pack exchange system nor did he have a campsite reservation. He asked my friend to share her campsite and she advised that he check in with the campground ranger since they are very strict about reservations. She was uncomfortable with him asking.

It was sad to see such a young guy so unprepared and uninformed.

He is about 18 years old, long blond hair, and said that he was from Charleston, West Virginia. If anyone knows him, be worried.

06-17-2014, 06:11
Stuff like this happens. He'll either wise up, or not. Hopefully without serious injury or harm to himself. I personally have an awful track record predicting who would make it and who would not. Often times those who I thought would, didn't, those who I thought wouldn't, did.

06-17-2014, 07:36
I had no idea they had a pack exchange program as well. It seems he and I did the exact amount of research.

06-17-2014, 08:12
I had no idea they had a pack exchange program as well. It seems he and I did the exact amount of research.

Nor did I but I knew enough to bring along a cheap day pack for the climb up K, which I then left with some hikers I knew staying at the campground. Maybe the pack exchange didn't exist back then.

Rocket Jones
06-17-2014, 09:51
Seems like he's just about as prepared as Leonard or Gatewood. He'll be fine if he's capable of learning.

06-17-2014, 10:04
When I was middle school age we used to go every weekend. We had no great idea about the benefits of cotton vs synthetic and we mixed them based on what we had available or what we liked. We survived but best of all we had a great time and we had no idea we were suffering ;-)

06-17-2014, 11:25
This reminds me of Jamie Cannon (MEGA 2006) who wrote "In Walking Distance". He started out with brand new boots and a 58 pound backpack. Finished up at Springer with trail runners and a pack around 22 pounds. He learned as he went.

06-17-2014, 11:32
Folks tend to learn as they go. If they are in inclement conditions where their inexperience and knowledge cannot overcome their environment then they tend to bail out faster than if they have more accommodating conditions to learn in. Technically, if you managed yourself well you could wear cotton all day on the trail. But the stars would have to align perfectly for me. And as for the pack, well, comfort reigns supreme. He'll figure that out on the climb up Big K I'm sure.

06-17-2014, 13:10
It's the human condition, he'll be fine...till he's not.

Feral Bill
06-17-2014, 13:42
In the sixties and seventies everyone wore cotton, especially jeans. We didn't die. We also don't wear much cotton anymore, especially jeans. People can learn, usually.

06-17-2014, 13:45
I remember wearing jeans and cotton t shirts in the '80s and '90s. Mostly day hikes while car camping but also some overnight hikes. Either everyone was ignorant or no one knew better because this was what most people seemed to wear. Oh, that and those wooden hiking sticks where you can nail in little metal plaques for each national park you hike.

Not to say that this is a good idea but most likely the young guy will survive and adapt rather than die of hypothermia.

06-17-2014, 14:57
You might be surprised at all the epics that people survive just fine. Probably nothing to worry about here.

06-18-2014, 20:06
Its not what you have, its what you do with it.

Or so I hear.