There is one serious hiking issue that is unique to two people hiking together. This is the accidental passing. You think the other person is ahead when he/she is really behind. Your attempts to catch up only worsen the problem. I have seen this happen once to another couple in Europe, and on the isolated environs of the PCT it is much more serious.
We are serious about safety and attempt to be prepared for any weather that might come up. However, our gear is split. The two of us together have everything we need, but neither carries enough to get through a night on their own without problems. About all we each have is a space blanket and a sleeping bag.
Consequently, we are quite careful not to get accidentally separated. If the person ahead is out of sight of the other, and has to go off the trail, they either leave their poles or their backpack on the trail, so they can't be accidentally passed. Believe me, in my hiking head-down mode, I can miss something two feet off the trail.
This is great for the person trying to catch up. They know they are going the right direction when they see mark A. One more thing we do is when the follower sees a mark, they cross it off, like in B, so if the person ahead ever has to go back looking for the behind person, they will know if that person has been on the trail or not. We do this, but so far, never needed it.
In addition, we set some rules on how far to walk ahead, and how long to wait there, before starting back.You need to be careful not to get separated when it might be too dark to get back together in case of a problem.
Friday, September 24, 2010
Tuesday, September 21, 2010
Tuesday, September 14, 2010
One is that Washington weather is different, particularly northern Washington. If I lived up there I would have to rethink my gear for wet conditions. We had rain and snow, which we've experienced before, but never with days on end with no sun or wind to dry things out. Our waterproof socks made things comfortable as long as we could start the day with dry liners, but by the end of five days, all socks were wet, tent was wet, fleece was a little damp, down bag a little damp and we were a little weather stressed. If I were to repeat this section, I'd have a couple more pairs of socks, more turkey bags to keep things dry, and I would be more careful about keeping things dry. In general, our rain gear worked well. We had Marmot rain pants, a rain parka, and also a packa - a poncho with sleeves and a hump. With those and the waterproof socks we could walk through the soaking wet vegetation and still stay warm and dry. Making and breaking camp in the rain required the most care to keep dry.