Staying Dry on the Mountain
AAI debunks the myth, "Once your
gear gets wet, it stays wet!"
From the November 2005 edition of AAI's
Few things are worse than
crawling into wet clothes on a multi-day trip in the backcountry.
When keeping everything dry is not possible and bringing three of
everything doesn't work either, here are tips to help you revive
your wet gear and get by with less.
To dry wet socks, gloves, and other
clothing on overnight trips, pack them around your chest and upper
arms while sleeping since this area of the body generates the most
heat. Place the items between your long underwear and your next
layer, as close as possible to the body but not directly touching
the skin. Hopefully, you'll wake up with dry, toasty items for next
day's adventure. Or, pile your damp clothing on top of Nalgene
bottles filled with hot water and place them inside an empty
sleeping bag. Your gear should dry while you're off doing something
else. For maximum results put gear on top of water bottles since
heat rises. Be sure lids are screwed on tightly ( ! ), and be
careful about putting overly wet items in down sleeping bags.
Bonus tip: To quickly warm cold fingers, simply place them
on the back of your neck for a few minutes. Never blow on your
fingers or into your gloves. This deposits moisture inside your
gloves and can make warming even more difficult and, in extreme
circumstances, can contribute to evaporative cooling and eventual
frost nip or frostbite.