View Full Version : Hiking, Water, Layers, Oh My!

09-29-2012, 07:42
Hey gang,

I'm looking to do a couple of days in VA in early October from White Top Mtn to Hurricane Campground. Anybody hike that area recently? If so, how's the water supply?

Also, just curious, in fall weather, it starts getting pretty cold and I always struggle with figuring out layers. Sometimes I just wear a lot of layers (moisture wicking shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweat jacket, then fall jacket over all of that) and sometimes I bring my big fat winter coat. Usually I regret the big winter coat, but am always worried I'll get too cold at the upper elevations. Anyway, what do you all do?

dp (alphapig)

kayak karl
09-29-2012, 08:15
only you know your comfort level with clothes. if you are the type that likes to camp and will be hanging out til mid-night just bring something extra (extra layer) for those hours.
[moisture wicking shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweat jacket, then fall jacket over all of that] i would sweat to death in all this even in January. wicking shirt and long sleeve is all i would be hiking in.

09-29-2012, 09:13
The water should be everywhere it's supposed to be. The one exception may be Trimpi shelter, they have a pipe that goes dry frequently at that time of year unless we get some good rain. I have hiked it in a cool October and again in a cold April and usually start the day in a hoodie and take it off to just a hiking shirt by the time the sum gets up. I try to stay in or near Thomas Knob shelter for the view, it's one of the best situated shelters on the trail. I also avoid going into Troutdale Va because the little cafe and outfitter is closed and they don't even have a gas station or business of any kind. (They do have a church hostel)

10-01-2012, 06:12
I tend to overthink these things and get paranoid. And yeah, I almost always end up taking off layers because I'm sweating. I think I'll leave the heavy coat behind for sure.

Thanks for the heads up about Trimpi, but I'll be getting off before there. I guess I was looking for a more general look at if there are plenty of water opportunities. Was just looking through the book and map and it looks like there are.

Thanks for the inputs, fingers crossed for no rain :)

10-01-2012, 07:16
I usually carry too many clothes. There are not many things that can get you killed when backpacking on a typical trail, but hypothermia is certainly one and it becomes a real risk as we head into the cool, rainy season. As a result, I probably carry more clothes than I need, but it strikes me as being only a slightly irrational response to a risk that will almost certainly be present. :eek:

On the other hand, as long as there's some source of water every 10 miles or so, I can manage that.

Tipi Walter
10-01-2012, 07:55
I've done that route several times in the last couple years and the Trimpi water warning by Moldy is probably right---but as with most things you could follow the dry wash down several hundred yards to see if there's a pool somewhere.

In October around Mt Rogers I would bring my full winter kit except for the down booties. I use merino tops and bottoms, Icebreaker in fact, and these can serve as hiking layers if starting out cold. I use 2 Icebreaker zip neck tops sandwiched together.

A good rain jacket is critical and will save your butt in October during sleet storms when you're hiking and you need to conserve your core temp and avoid hypothermia. My fancy rain jacket isn't used all the time but when it's needed it has saved my butt.

For Mt Rogers and high ground security and comfort while in camp I recommend getting a pair of goose down pants (WM Flight) and a good down jacket or parka (WM Meltdown jacket or the beefy Feathered Friends Icefall parka). These items will give you that extra edge in camp if things get frigid.

Beyond all this you will need a high Rvalue sleeping pad or pad combo---gotta get the R value up to a minimum of 5. Exped downmats go to R 8 which is plenty warm for winter. On a trip like you're planning I'd take a Thermarest Prolite Plus or their 40th Anniversary pad which is around 4R.

10-01-2012, 21:43
Doing a week in similar area, similar time (PM me if interested in hooking up). Just found the Mountain-Forecast.com link on another thread, check this out:
v=http://www.mountain-forecast.com/peaks/Mount-Rogers/forecasts/1746. Looks like it will be cold and wet Sat night, maybe I'll will shuttle into Damascus that night:), I'll be re-checking the forecast as the week goes by.