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  1. #1
    Registered User Hennessy's Avatar
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    Default How do YOU deal with your wet gear?

    The other night I went out backpacking, set up my hammock about thirty feet away from a stream, and slept like a rock. When I woke up the next morning, my fly and hammock were coated with a thin frost, and the sun didn't seem to do much for it. Ready to get back on the trail, I shook my hammock and fly out best I could, packed them, and moved along. When I got home the next day I hung them to dry.

    What I worry about are conditions that are often wet (like they are much of the time on the AT), and not having many good chances to dry things out. What do you do when you're on the trail for a few days and have to pack wet gear? Or do you know a way to avoid it? Or do you even worry about it?

  2. #2
    MuddyWaters's Avatar
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    You pack wet gear.

    Camping near water is generally more humid and leads to more condensation. You should camp a little uphill from it if possible.

    You can drape your sleeping bag and shelter side-side across your pack to dry while you hike, or set it out to dry in the sun at lunch, etc if the weather clears up.

    Just be careful not to damage then by snagging on things if trail is tight.

    After that, you head to town to dry out for a day when you complete that section. Most towns have laundromats with dryers.

  3. #3

    Default How do YOU deal with your wet gear?

    Pack wet gear. Stop at a shelter if it is raining. Eat lunch and shake out some. Repeat.

  4. #4

    Default

    I use waterproof compression sacks for my tent (obviously stakes and poles separate), sleeping bag and clothes. First I put the fly into the compression sack. Next I put the tent into the bag for the tent to keep the dirty tent bottom away from the fly. That then goes into the compression sack and I tighten it all down. The waterproof sack with the wet tent keeps my pack and other contents dry. I mark each bag so that the same stuff goes into the same bag each morning. wet or dirty clothes get hung on pack or in a garbage bag if I will be in a town the next day. Never had anything get wet that wasn't supposed to. Take lunch breaks where you can spread gear out (pack it on top so you don't have to empty the pack).
    Priorities for me while hiking were keeping feet and crotch as dry as possible to prevent blisters or chafing. Rain, I keep wringing out socks and change when rain stops. I usually take 2 min at every shelter/privy and clean up a bit. If you stop at shelters, keep in mind that people will be sleeping there later, try to keep it as dry as possible.

    chris
    Chris "Flash" Gordon
    LT -1987, 2012; West Highland Way & Cape Wrath Trail, Scotland - 2008; AT - 2009

  5. #5

    Default

    It's no big deal to pack wet gear. What hurts it is to keep it packed while wet; even if it doesn't dry the sunlight will keep micro-organisms under control, even on cloudy days and under a forest canopy. Always unpack wet items when you get to camp, even things you don't need.

  6. #6
    Registered User Lyle's Avatar
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    Default

    Pack your wet gear, but keep it isolated via plastic bags from your "must stay dry gear". You will get used to (or at least learn to accept) that tomorrow, you will put on your still wet clothes. You will then either wear them dry when you are lucky, or add to their wetness if it's still raining.

    Good luck and HAVE FUN!!!!

  7. #7
    Registered User Papa D's Avatar
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    Default

    I use waterproof stuff sacks inside my backpack and a pack cover on top. I keep my rain jacket on when it's raining. Still, things do sometimes get damp. One key is not to open your pack up when it's pouring rain - try to wait - setting up a tent in the pouring rain is probably the hardest trick. Invariably some stuff gets wet. I buy dark colored smart-wool socks, ring them out and put them in the footbox of my sleeping bag - this drys them out (go figure) - when the sun comes out, dark colors dry better because they absorb more heat. If you wear trail runners vs boots, your footwear will dry quicker too. The only thing that really gets wet after these items is your tent-fly - after a rainy night, I try to shake it really really good and then just stuff it with the tent body - after a few days of this it does get wet and the interior occasionally needs drying with a pack towel or maybe your fleece sweater. I strongly advise AGAINST this, but you can run a stove in your tent by sitting in the vestibule - if one is exceedingly careful (and have the fuel to spare) this could be done - but again, I would officially advise against it because you could kill yourself this way. When the sun finally comes out (and it will) find a hot rock and "yard sale" everything out, dry out, and start fresh.

  8. #8
    Working on Forestry Grad schol
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    Default

    not camping by streams helps

  9. #9

    Default

    Another reason to get an early start on the day it allows for laundry and such in the afternon hours when the sun is at its warmest.

  10. #10
    Registered User swjohnsey's Avatar
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    Default

    Your gear will be wet, 'specially if you like to get an early start. When you stop for a break and the sun is out let it dry. Keep your sleeping bag in a dry sack. Wet gear is heavy gear.

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