|Water-logged bloodroot bent after the storm.|
Second, I also learned just how quickly mild hypothermia sets in. After I saw rain had reached my underquilt and the end of my hammock, I quickly stashed all my gear in waterproof bags so everything stayed dry, including the "sleep clothes" and shoes I was wearing. Wearing only my poncho in the storm, it wasn't long before I got cold while I adjusting the tarp. I felt scared, shivering while the lightening crashed around me, feeling the effects of the hypothermia as my brain got more sluggish. I did go over to my friend's tent and tell her I was having problems and was shivering-- not that she could do anything, but it felt safer to let them know I was having trouble. After getting reassurance and my friend's spare tarp just in case, I returned to my hammock, wiped the mud off my bare skin and changed into my dry clothes to get warm. I was glad I choose to keep my clothes dry while I was out working in the rain, so I'd have something to change into and wet clothes would have kept me colder anyway.
Third, I still stayed warm with some of my gear wet. My hammock was wet on the part under my torso, but my sit pad above it keep me insulated. My pack insulated my legs, and I shook most of the water off my underquilt and it still held some heat. I was very lucky it didn't get very cold that night. I fell asleep quickly, and slept like a rock through the night, waking up well-rested.
Since the trip, I have been trying to decide if I should buy new gear, like a new tarp with doors. I'm reluctant to spend the time researching new gear and then going through the learning curve of a new tarp, a process I find draining. All I want to do this time of year is be outside, and everything else seems like a waste of time. The wonderful people at hammock forums also told me how to use my poncho as an improvised door, which would have been really helpful the way the wind was blowing. Hope I get some good rain this next weekend so I can test that technique out!
|Drying out the hammock the next day on Sassafras Mtn., SC|