Saturday, December 27, 2014

Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park/ Appalachian Trail Rain Gear

Van Duzen River: Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park
I took a hike in and around Grizzly Creek Redwoods State Park earlier this week after work. The redwoods were awesome as usual. There was a crazy pacific storm that blew in with heavy winds and rain. The forest fluctuated with light, to heavy rain. Lighting seemed to change by the minute. The forest  would grow really dark, then gradually light up with a yellowish/greenish hue, and then dark again.

I decided to bring an old school rain poncho along. It's the same one that I let my neighbor Jefferson borrow on our hike in Prairie Creek last week. It's been sitting in my plastic tub of camping gear unused for quite some time.

Effective rain gear seems to have eluded me on all of my hikes. I can't seem to figure it out for the life of me. The last couple of long trails, I just wore a regular rain jacket. When it would rain, I would wear the jacket and keep on hiking. The jacket always gets soaked, as well as my shirt below it from sweat, as well as from the jacket itself. It's pretty much been useless in my opinion. On rainy days, I usually would just keep hiking as long as possible, until I became too tired, or the signs of early hypothermia would start creeping in. Then it would be time to set up camp and get under my tarp and into my warm sleeping bag. Then have a wet rain jacket to contend with that evening or the next morning.

I was pretty amazed how dry the poncho kept me during my hike in Grizzly Creek this week. Other than my shins and feet, the rest of my body was 100% dry. Of course I wasn't really hiking, just slow walking. Regardless, I think I'm going to go back to using an old school poncho for my rain gear for my AT thru hike this upcoming year. The AT is going to have a lot more rain to deal with than the PCT or CDT. Hopefully it will keep my upper body as dry as it did this week, and act as a pack cover at the same time. Also, I won't have to buy another piece of gear, and it doesn't seem to weigh that much.

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