scouts-l Mail Archive for September of 2000: Re: Pitching and taking-An experience from the past
Alexandria Lone Scout (scouts_alex@HOTMAIL.COM
Tue Sep 05 2000 - 08:30:32 CDT
When I was a senior scout troop in 1965 we did a week backpacking in the
Sierra Nevada every summer. We almost all went. Everyone from 11 to 72.
Usually the summers were fairly dry. Well, not the summer of 1965. I did
this six summers between 1961 and 1967. We ran into rain the third day out.
It rained, then it hailed, then it froze in early August. It even snowed on
the summit of Mt. Whitney before turning into a freezing rain. Regardless of
what we did we got wet. Between the incessant rain and sweat we were soaked
for 4 days. The tents we used were GI ponchos snapped together in groups of
4-6-8 or sometimes ten. This was before YPG so we did what we could to get
everyone under cover. The floors were made from our waterproof ground
cloths. I don't recommend this because one poncho weighed more than a modern
tent with floor, fly, sack and stakes but they did work.
Since this was also in the days when wood was still burnable, drying socks
became an artform. One sight that I remember all to well was watching a
buddy put his heavy nylon socks on a stick over a fire to try to get them at
least warm, if not dry. Nylon stinks when it melts and falls into a fire.
For those of you that know we hiked from near Guitar Lake to Whitney Portal
via the peak in one day. It was pouring on the peak mixed with snow and
sleet. To the east was the Owens Valley looking warm and dry. When we
reached the appointed camp for that night we simply stopped to cook dinner,
sent the drivers out ahead while we cleaned, saddled up and stopped walking
at the trailhead just in time to meet the returning drivers. We rolled down
the hill and found a public camp and tumbled into bed. the next day was
drying out time.
Ah the memories.
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