Author Topic: Soaked through to the skin  (Read 1765 times)

BuzyG

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Soaked through to the skin
« on: 12:47:02, 05/10/20 »
Well I thought modern kit could keep even the worst of British weather out until yesterday.  4+ hours on the high moor in solid driving rain and I was soaked though to the skin after around 3 hours.  I walked all day Saturday on marshy ground and had bone dry feet. Yesterday, Sunday, I finished with boots full of water simply because it was running down my legs and filling them.  As the afternoon went on my only stops were to put on another layer, then another, as I gradually got colder.  A sobering thought occurred to me as I prepared to descend Yes tor, straight into the gale. If I was injured I had no more layers in my bag, other than my emergency space sac and I was already quite cold.  I finished up with my base layer a woolly fleece, a synthetic fleece with hood, my buff, my winter beanie and finally my ME Gore-Tex jacket over that lot and I was still struggling to maintain my body heat. For comparison I know I generate a lot of heat out walking and often walk in just my base layer even in mid winter. It was the wet that did the damage. Another good lesson on what the UK moors can throw at any of us.   :)

gunwharfman

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Re: Soaked through to the skin
« Reply #1 on: 13:15:36, 05/10/20 »
I can mirror your experience when I walked from Kirk Yetholm to Byrness on the Pennine Way in a very windy and a very wet day a few years ago. I didn't get any respite from the weather at all, by the time I arrived at the hostel I was so very cold and so wet as well.

Although I have a down jacket and I wore it that day (it was sodden) and a down quilt, (safely in its waterproof bag) from then on I only bought synthetic clothing. Although I have 'waterproof' clothing I will never trust it entirely so I always carry a cheap poncho with me as well, just as an emergency throwover to help to keep my waterproof coat waterproof should I need it.

sussamb

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Re: Soaked through to the skin
« Reply #2 on: 13:47:49, 05/10/20 »
I had a similar experience walking Byrness to KY on my first PW, rain and strong wind directly in my face along the whole way until I dropped onto the low level route towards the end to get respite from the wind. I changed into dry clothing at the first hut but was wet and slightly hypothermic at the second, so much so I seriously considered staying there overnight, and on my next trip I planned to take 2 days, and will do so on subsequent ones.


Problem with driving rain is that it gets forced down your neck area and even through waterproof material which is only waterproof up to a certain pressure.  The good news is that it's not the wet that causes the problem but the cold, hence the importance of good layers.


Good to hear you got off safely BuzyG  O0
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ninthace

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Re: Soaked through to the skin
« Reply #3 on: 14:05:45, 05/10/20 »
This morning was one of those walks where the water gets everywhere - wind driven fine drizzle.  It managed to get in through the leg zips of my over-trousers despite the flap over the zips and it worked its way up the sleeves of my jacket too.  Condensation did the rest!
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GinAndPlatonic

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Re: Soaked through to the skin
« Reply #4 on: 14:07:30, 05/10/20 »
I had a lesson taught to me on top of Bal Mawr near Llanthony priory .
I put too much trust in the forecast at the time. Sun was out until half way along the ridge then the heavens opened with driving stinging rain and myself with no over trousers or rain coat . The rain lasted an hour .

 I was very fortunate in that there was another pathway on the leeward side of the ridge , so dropped down to it and wrapped a 6x6 tarp , which I use for sitting on at times , over my head and shoulders .

Trouble with me , even now when I am in the house all snug , I sometimes forget the better safe than sorry rule..
« Last Edit: 14:56:04, 05/10/20 by GinAndPlatonic »
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richardh1905

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Re: Soaked through to the skin
« Reply #5 on: 14:40:20, 05/10/20 »
One tactic that I have learned over the years is to ascend into the wind, so that if I have to turn tail, I have the wind at my back.
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ninthace

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Re: Soaked through to the skin
« Reply #6 on: 15:42:58, 05/10/20 »
One tactic that I have learned over the years is to ascend into the wind, so that if I have to turn tail, I have the wind at my back.
  Our walk today had a choice - downhill into the wind or vice-versa.  I decided if I was going more slowly, I wanted the wind and the rain behind me.  We live on the top of the hill so avoiding it wasn't an option.  Looking out of the window now, the trees at the end of the garden keep disappearing, I am not sure if it is mizzle or if we are in the clouds.  Either way, I ain't going out there again today!
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BuzyG

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Re: Soaked through to the skin
« Reply #7 on: 16:07:50, 05/10/20 »
That is interesting Richard.  I was expecting a storm yesterday and planned the admittedly pretty spontaneous route in my head, based on having the wind pushing me up Branscombe loaf and then up via Black tor to Fordsland ledge and High Willhays.  Of course after the last climb I put on the warmest layer, I had in my sack a synthetic fleece. Problem was there was no place I could find on High Willhays to shelter properly. So it got damp just putting it on.  From there it was 3miles into the gale  and driving rain.


One side note.  The visibility was very poor above 400m and the only viable Nav possible in such wet and windy conditions, as someone who's  only GPS is on their mobile, not a weatherproof unit, was my compass and laminated paper map of the area.  Not sure I would deliberately set out into such conditions so equipped, had I not detailed local knowledge of the area to complement the paper map view.  It's still a learning curve.

pauldawes

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Re: Soaked through to the skin
« Reply #8 on: 16:41:50, 05/10/20 »
Iíve been doing a lot of relatively easy 6 milers this year...but was thinking of doing something just a bit harder this week...a route from Chinley to Edale, roughly 8 miles.


You took a lot more layers than I would have done before reading this thread..so glad I did.


What would you do differently if you were doing a similar walk tomorrow?

BuzyG

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Re: Soaked through to the skin
« Reply #9 on: 19:06:52, 05/10/20 »
That is a very valid question.  There is no simple answer though.


So many small things make up a walk in challenging conditions.  I choose the route and was aware of the conditions before I left the house.  Once on the ground I was just slightly on the back foot all day wrt my core temp. As an ex winter surfer it's something I understand, so it was never going to go badly wrong unless I became incapacitated. So the logical answer is layer up earlier.  There are only so many places you can find shelter in such conditions though and experience tells me that an extra layer too early leads to sweating and a similar out come.  That leaves route selection based on the conditions. Richards post suggest a reverse of my current thinking on wet day. Worth considering next time. 


Ultimately though carry enough gear to deal with the likely conditions. I think I actually did that. Conditions were just subtly different from other wet windy walks in similar places I have recent experience of and nature outwitted my modern kit and feeble attempts to stay dry.


Move things along in a controlled way when it comes to pushing yourself against the elements and the mountains. Every once in a while they will catch you out.  Sounds like you are trying to do that. Enjoy the journey and keep learning.


Edit:  Thinking some more. I should have put my last layer on at Black a tor, where I sheltered briefly to take a bearing and consider the best route up. I also choose to push on past Fordsland ledge without sheltering. That way I would have been warm by the summit at High Willhays,  where as it was, there was no place to shelter property and layer up on the day.  So basically my summit homing instinct won over stopping and layering up early enough.
« Last Edit: 19:39:40, 05/10/20 by BuzyG »

pauldawes

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Re: Soaked through to the skin
« Reply #10 on: 20:20:05, 05/10/20 »
Iíve never tested the theory (I tend to avoid going out in really cold conditions)...but guess something like a Paramo Torres Gilet where you put it on over your waterproof layer...rather than a fleece where you have to take off waterproof layer..maybe getting drenched and cold while doing that.....might be a better solution for walks where you need some extra warm for some sections.

gunwharfman

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Re: Soaked through to the skin
« Reply #11 on: 21:13:23, 05/10/20 »
I accept that in certain rain conditions I will get wet sooner than at other times, it tends to depend on what type of rain, if it's windy and raining at the same time, and in what direction the rain is coming at me. I believe that I am most likely to get wet if the rain is blowing into my face. It's also my experience that eventually rain will seep in around my hood or via my neck area anyway.

When experiencing 'into my face' rain hood design can make a big difference, my Paramo Alta 2 was reasonable, (I've don't use it any more) my £20 cheapo waterproof is better and my Vaude poncho hood is best of all. But none are perfect thats for sure.




BuzyG

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Re: Soaked through to the skin
« Reply #12 on: 21:36:16, 05/10/20 »

[/font]Iíve never tested the theory (I tend to avoid going out in really cold conditions)...but guess something like a Paramo Torres Gilet where you put it on over your waterproof layer...rather than a fleece where you have to take off waterproof layer..maybe getting drenched and cold while doing that.....might be a better solution for walks where you need some extra warm for some sections.
[/font]

Extra gear is always an option.  My first proper foray, after returning to walking, was Ben Nevis via CMD arÍte on a cold damp day in spring 2016.  I took a 65 ltr rucksack I bought in 1982 full to bursting with clothing food and drink. Ice axe the works.  I didn't use much of it and it probably added hours to the day carrying it all.  But the day was a safe resounding success and I was as chuffed and knackered as I had been in 54 years that evening.


I see fell runners a fair way into Dartmoor on occasions carrying very little kit. Never heard of one in trouble, but I bet a few have been caught out and rejigged there risk  balance in favour of another layer.


Somewhere between the two is the perfect kit list for a typical day walk in the UK.


For now more kit might slow you down a little. But you really can't go far wrong carrying one layer more than you need.

archaeoroutes

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Re: Soaked through to the skin
« Reply #13 on: 07:02:54, 06/10/20 »
Iíve never tested the theory (I tend to avoid going out in really cold conditions)...but guess something like a Paramo Torres Gilet where you put it on over your waterproof layer...rather than a fleece where you have to take off waterproof layer..maybe getting drenched and cold while doing that.....might be a better solution for walks where you need some extra warm for some sections.
I can confirm that this is a very good option.
1. It helps protect lower layers from being exposed to the rain on changing.
2. It encourages earlier addition of the extra layer as it is so quick and easy.
3. If your main outer layer is also Paramo it will suck away some of the water in it. Many's the time I've taken my Torres off after a cold hard shower to find my Velez totally dried out.

Which reminds me, the conditions described are where Paramo excels. Goretex keeps you dry up to a point but then you stay cold and wet. Paramo let's the water in earlier, but kicks it back out again quickly.
Then, of course, there's Buffalo which stays warm whatever.
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richardh1905

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Re: Soaked through to the skin
« Reply #14 on: 07:37:00, 06/10/20 »
....
Then, of course, there's Buffalo which stays warm whatever.


I'm quite a fan of fibre pile - I use a buffalo sleeping bag outer outwith winter, and my 'go to' winter mid layer is a heavy fleece/fibre pile jacket. In full winter conditions (spindrift etc), I'll be wearing fibre pile salopettes too.
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