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PostIcon Posted on: May 14 2013, 11:10 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If you were taking someone on their first multi-day backpacking trip, would you go under the following conditions?  I realize this is typical of spring/summer conditions in the mountains but I don't want to spend 4 days soaking wet with a newbie.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 14 2013, 11:20 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Where? T-storms are usually an every afternoon occurrence in the Rockies.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 14 2013, 11:21 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes, I'd take them.  The thing about isolated storms is...they're isolated.  I've rarely had it actually rain on me with a forecast like that, and when it does it's short lived.  Of course, it probably depends on where you are.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 14 2013, 11:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Would I? No. I'd leave the newbie home and go by myself...

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PostIcon Posted on: May 14 2013, 11:24 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Montanalonewolf @ May 14 2013, 11:20 pm)
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Where? T-storms are usually an every afternoon occurrence in the Rockies.

I wish we were going to the Rockies :( . No, this is a little closer to home along the AT in VA.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 14 2013, 11:28 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(texasbb @ May 14 2013, 11:21 pm)
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Yes, I'd take them.  The thing about isolated storms is...they're isolated.  I've rarely had it actually rain on me with a forecast like that, and when it does it's short lived.  Of course, it probably depends on where you are.

That's what I was thinking when it said "isolated".  A shower or two I can deal with but 4 continuous days of rain would probably drive me insane.  I'd rather get pounded by ice and snow then rain.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 14 2013, 11:31 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I don't see anything in that forecast that would necessarily make me postpone the trip. But there are a lot of variables not included.

Prolonged rain or half-day drizzles could make the trip much more sloppy than a daytime thunderstorm that drops its rain and then goes away. I'll delay pitching tent and sit out the storm in my rain parka and pack cover if I expect the sunshine to return before nightfall. I think an inexperienced backpacker could deal with passing thunderstorms more easily than prolonged rain.

But whether the soil is sandy or prone to be muddy could change my plans. You know your area. I don't. But I wouldn't expect someone new to handle pitching tent in mud very well at all. If the soil is well drained, the sun returns before nightfall, and the new person has some good common sense, I don't see a need to cancel or postpone the trip.

It really has as much to do with the person and the area as it does with the weather forecast. That is not an unusual forecast for this time of year in my area. But I'd also go to the National Weather Service spot-forecast pages and get an idea of what times of day or night have the stronger probability of rain. You can get a better forecast with more detail from the NWS.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2013, 12:13 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A soaked hike may completely turn off the novice hiker. Arguments could be made that it would be best to go ahead and let the newbie experience the not-so-fun side of multi-day backpacking. Then you could impress him/her with your technique and gear for handling a rainy trip.

I'd say go for it.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2013, 2:15 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If I would go in backpacking trip with rookie definitely it shouldn't be on stormy days. For, it is dangerous for both of us.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2013, 2:35 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(heating24 @ May 14 2013, 11:15 pm)
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If I would go in backpacking trip with rookie definitely it shouldn't be on stormy days. For, it is dangerous for both of us.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2013, 6:38 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Im not a rookie.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2013, 6:50 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Oh heck, jcb can handle a little rain on the AT. Rain gear and a tarp to throw up if you have to sit it out for a while. It should be in the 80s here this weekend so you should dry out quickly. Have fun!
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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2013, 7:10 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Acrtually, in the rockies, a 30% chance or rain translates into a 100% chance of rain up high.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2013, 8:01 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2013, 8:58 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

30% chance of rain means there's a 70% chance that it won't rain at all...

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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2013, 9:03 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

FWIW, in my area (NE Kansas), 30% is the approximate chance of rain on any given spring day. I suspect it's about the same in your area. So all they're really saying is, "typical spring day."
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(TigerFan @ May 15 2013, 6:58 am)
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30% chance of rain means there's a 70% chance that it won't rain at all...

Actually, there is a 79% chance that it will rain at least once during the trip

cumulative probability

1-(1-0.4)(1-0.3)(1-0.3)(1-0.3)=.7942
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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2013, 10:09 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I think you should both get a room instead.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2013, 10:24 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Cloudwalker @ May 14 2013, 11:24 pm)
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I wish we were going to the Rockies :( . No, this is a little closer to home along the AT in VA.

If they are talking about the possibility of an afternoon pop-up thunderstorm - which are common here in the mid-Atlantic - then go. If it is an all day event, stay home.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2013, 1:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If it was someone you might like to occasionally backpack with again in the future who is not yet committed to getting serious about the activity, one would be wise to consider whether or not exposing them to an unpleasant trip might sour them to ever do so again.   For some active outdoor individuals, say those who already enjoy hiking, camping, fishing, etc, a bit of rain each day might not be much of a deterent. Obviously you ought to advise them on what gear they will need to cope with wet weather else they may not consider you a reliable partner.

However for someone that is not very outdoor oriented, every unpleasantness we take for granted may tip the balance of their interest away from ever trying it again.  That is why especially when guys are taking their non-outdoor oriented wife or gal friend out for the first time, I always advise them to make certain the trip will be as pleasant as they can make it with few annoyances and unpleasantries.   And that includes an expectation that the trip will cancel if weather forecasts are poor instead will switch to a motel based trip.


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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2013, 3:40 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If these thunderstorms are from the leading edge of a cold front meeting a warm front I would probably not go.  Those storms, isolated or not, can be deadly.  I would look for more detail from my local weather guru.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2013, 5:19 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I'd go.  That's normal warm weather.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2013, 5:25 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I guess it also depends on how invested you are in this person's experience. If, say, it's a significant other or otherwise someone that you expect could be a long-term hiking partner, then maybe you'd want to put more of a priority on everything being perfect for this trip.

But if the stakes aren't that high, then I'd say just go.

I only changed significant trip plans for the weather once: I delayed a major solo trip in the North Cascades by a day because of a late September blizzard. It was a good decision: I still got some bad weather the first two days, but I missed the worst of it. (And the logistics were such that I couldn't delay any longer--it was a one-way trip with complicated transportation involved.)
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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2013, 8:44 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Thanks for the input guys.  The newbie in question is my son James.  He's car camped since he was about 5 years old and has done several long day hikes in places such as the Smokies and Shenandoah but nothing with a pack on.  I was making plans for an upcoming trip and out of the blue he asked me if he could go (he's 16 by the way).  Of course I said YES!  My daughter has gone on 4 trips with me so far and never complained except for the time she had the flu and I didn't know it ???

Anyway, April has 2 weeks of school left and I wanted to get away before it get's too hot so she won't be able to make this trip.

Once again, thanks for the input. :)


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(jcb @ May 15 2013, 6:38 am)
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Im not a rookie.

Meet me at the Punchbowl shelter tomorrow about noon and prove it! :p

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PostIcon Posted on: May 15 2013, 9:10 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As a fellow VA hiker, and being it is your son, I'd say go, but with a wary eye on the sky of course!
If there is any way you can select several potential campsites, you'd have someplace to bail if the weather starts to turn.  What do you do when a storm threatens? spend the time teaching him what to do. That might turn an encounter with a thunderstorm into a 'really cool experience' rather than chase him a way from any future trips.
Some time ago I took a couple of friends (both adults) to Dolly Sods with a forecast of afternoon storms. I planned the route hoping to be out of exposed areas by afternoon when I expected the weather to turn. Sure enough we were overtaken by some really big boomers just as I was leading them to a place to camp. It was a well sheltered spot, we got set up as the rain started, and then we really got a spanking! We had an ear splitting lightshow for about 2 hours before it rumbled off eastward. Dinner was spent watching the backside of the lightning filled storm clouds as it lingered over DC in the dark. They still talk about that event, and we've made several trips since.
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PostIcon Posted on: May 17 2013, 9:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

We're back. :(   Yes, we got slammed last night.  Sideways rain, close lightning and 30 mph winds, it was great.  The reason we came back after only doing an over-nighter, my air mattress developed a leak in the wee hours of the morning.  Ended up sleeping on the hard ground most of the night.

On a positive note, James loved the time we spent together and the trip overall.  He now has bragging rights to sleeping in a tent in a nasty storm at 3,500 feet. :D


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PostIcon Posted on: May 17 2013, 10:04 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Dude, you really need to take a closed cell mattress to go with that air mattress!  Best thing I ever did.  It's super comfy and if the air mattress develops a leak, well, it's not cold hard ground I'm sleeping on.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 17 2013, 10:59 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Cloudwalker @ May 17 2013, 7:52 pm)
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. . . On a positive note, James loved the time we spent together and the trip overall.  He now has bragging rights to sleeping in a tent in a nasty storm at 3,500 feet. :D

There you go. Let those adventures get into his blood, and he'll keep going back. Good work.

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PostIcon Posted on: May 18 2013, 2:00 am Skip to the previous post in this topic.  Ignore posts   QUOTE

So sorry to hear of your pad leaking. Your son will  have stories to tell about the trip for a long time to come. Let him plan the next trip. It sounds like he wants to go
back out soon. Great job Dad.
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