Friday, February 05, 2016

How Easy It Is to Quit on the Trail

How Easy it is to Quit


I have hiked in all kinds of weather. Snow, sleet, thunderstorms, rain. And I know how tempting it is to walk away from the hiking trip you’ve planned for weeks or even months, only to see yourself calling up a friend to take you home. It’s not easy when even your first day in the woods is spent in heavy rain and wind that soaks you. Or your muscles are crying out for relief. The terrain is battering your flesh to a pulp. Or this wave comes over you of – “What am I doing out here!” Yes, I have been through all of it and more.


Some reasons why hikers may quit their hike and some solutions:

1.       Heavy pack weight. You are carrying everything you can think of, and normally that means you are carrying way too much to make the hike comfortable. Take out needless ounces that add up to pounds. Take only what you will use. See if there are weight-saving alternatives, like a headlamp vs. a heavy flashlight. A small knife rather than a big one. Chemical treatment for water vs. a pump. A titanium pot vs. a heavy aluminum one. Also, hikers tend to carry too much food. I blog on food choices. There are lightweight choices out there, too. Even dried peanut butter. Just be sure you are also packing good nutrition. If you are out for only a weekend  or even a week, you won't yet have the hiker appetite of long distance hiking.  

2.       Long miles. Okay, so some buff hikers breeze by you on their way to a 15 mile day, and you think you should do that too. The next day you can barely move. Not a good idea. Slow miles at first until you acclimate. Give yourself a chance out there. It’s not a race. Or a competition. Take ti easy and enjoy the journey.

3.       Unreasonable expectations. It can go along with the above but you have some grandiose idea what the hike will be like, only to find it is not meeting your expectations of fun. Fun can be defined in many ways. It does not mean it will be pain free. But surely it is better than being stuck at home or behind a desk in the office. Shift your mental aspects to finding some positive things about the experience. A great sunset. A spider web dotted with dew. A flowing stream. The companionship of fellow hikers you meet along the way. The good feeling at meeting a goal, however small or large it is.

4.       Bad Weather.  Yes, a nasty rain can suck the life out of a hike. Things get wet. You get wet. Be sure you are protecting yourself and your gear. Invest in good raingear. A pack cover and a pack liner (I am liking Zpacks pack liner more and more after being through some nasty storms). Bag your sleeping bag and clothes in waterproof bags so if your pack gets wet, your core clothing and sleeping bag is dry. Most of all, realize the sun WILL come out and you WILL be able to dry out.



5.       You’re hurt. Not necessarily an injury (which is a different scenario that may require you to temporarily get off), but you are suffering aches, pains blisters. Well, you are putting your body through things it’s not used to. Realize the pain will not last either, so long as you are wearing the right shoes, the right socks, and carrying the pack that fits you properly. Reducing pack weight will help minimize the aches. Cut your mileage to begin. Dry out your feet whenever you stop. I think gaiters keep your feet pretty hot in warm weather, so I don’t wear them. The little aches and pains will diminish. Take frequent rest breaks. Drink plenty of water. If you can tolerate it, taking some Tylenol will help with the pain. Usually after a few days those pains begin to diminish. If they do not, then you may need to reassess your gear to find out what’s up. Or if there are physical limitations that need to be addressed.


The next time you are thinking of quitting, check out the reasons above and see if you can make some changes. Guaranteed with some minor adjustments, the idea of quitting a hike will become a thing of the past. 

Related Blogs:

Mental Aspects of Long Distance Hiking Explored
Rain...Part of a Hiker's Life
When Injury Sidelines You

Friday, January 29, 2016

Gear List from an Appalachian Trail 2015 Thru Hiker

Our guest blog is a list of gear from a 2015 AT thru hiker Chase and what worked and didn't work on his hike. His start was in February, but keep in mind that winter conditions can persist on the trail all throughout the spring.


A couple of people have asked for a gear list from my Thru Hike Feb 1st.  The first couple of weeks were very pleasant. Then we had several days of snow and ice with temperatures below zero long
Triumphant finish.
about the Smokies.
Here is a summary:

I am using a well worn ULA Catalyst back pack. When I no longer need winter cloths I would switch to the smaller ULA Circuit pack. I bought a new ULA Catalyst when I got to Damascus. The old one served me well for thousands of miles. I never did use it this hike since I switched to my ULA Circuit pack for the rest of the trip to Katahdin
Western Mountaineering 20* ultra light down bag less than two pounds

Xped Neo Air regular sleep pad 16 oz - this pad worked out great. At twice the insulation value of a Z Rest. In the past I have carried a Neo and a Z Rest in winter or a Ridgerest and a z rest. This pad did the job at half the weight. A generous seat pad offers some backup protection.
Ready to go for the 2105 thru hike
Mont Bell bivi 9 oz
Jet Boil titanium SOL stove, I think its’ about 11 oz long handled Sea to Summit aluminum spoon
Flash hoody down jacket
Flash down pants
Mont bell 6 oz down jacket
Fleece jacket 200 weight
Golight tights
Patagonia silk weight top and bottom
EMS zippered v neck top
2 pair Darn Tough socks I will be wearing one pair of these socks and some other items depending on daytime weather
Running shorts, worn over tights or capilene as needed...rain pants are the only pants I carry
2 stocking hats one much thicker than the other
wind bloc pro balaclava
a couple of buff hats
touch screen light gloves, fingerless army wool gloves, thick thinsulate gloves
Rain wear: Marmot Super Mica jacket, REI elements rain pants, Rocky Goretex socks, Mountain Laurel rain mittens
Water: Sawyer filter, a couple of Gatorade bottles and a couple of Smart Water bottles, one pint size Nalgene serves as coffee cup or emergency hot water bottle. I did not use my Sawyer filter until the Smokies at a shelter with mostly ground water and no privy. Next time I plan to use Aquamaira during weather where the Sawyer filter might freeze and ruin. It’s a pain to try and keep the Sawyer from freezing so it just makes since to carry Aquamira until the weather warms up then switch to a Sawyer original not the mini.
Leki hiking poles, three folds of a Zrest pad for a generous sit pad. 
Suunto altimeter watch, whistle.

ELECTRONICS
Galaxy S5 phone amazing battery life in black and white mode, Anker 16000 mah E5 brick battery at 10 oz its as heavy as a brick but this is a luxury cruise, 5.5 volt 2 amp charger, headlight. I sent the Anker battery brick home with its fast charger. Instead I just carried 3 extra batteries for my phone @ about 1 ounce each. I found that I didn't care to play with my phone as much as I expected as it distracted from my immersion in nature. The spare batteries were more than enough for pictures, Guthook trail maps and an occasional movie the day before town.
Guthooks AT Hiker apps, I love electronic gadgets, 2015 Data Book this is what I hike with when I take a break I jot the time down next to my position in the Data Book this makes it easy to judge location, travel time/miles. For town planning and additional water spots I use both AWOL and ALDHA Companion and I have both in pdf format also. 
FOOD
I have packed 6.5 ‪#‎s food for 4 days the last day being mostly Ramen. Mostly I am eating Mountain House freeze dried food and Lipton sides that has been repackaged into ziplock freezer bags. I do not care for the Liptons by themselves without doctoring them up. Last year I got to liking 1/2 a freeze dried meal and 1/2 a lipton noodle and rice side mixed together. Boiling water is poured into the ziplock bag with the food after about 15 min I eat from the bag, no cleanup and little trash and no food smell in my stove. No stirring while cooking KISS keep it simple stupid makes for a happy Thru hiker.
This year I did not care much for the Liptons mixed with Mountain House. They are so so if you have a can of meat to add and maybe a handful of raisins. I gradually moved to not having a hot breakfast, just coffee and a honey bun or something similar. Just in the last month I finally started liking oatmeal, well Quaker super grains blend with at least a quarter cup of nuts and berries. So I expect I’ll eat that some for breakfast next trip.
I do not like Starbucks very much but I often use the Via's on trail for a good dose of caffeine. Lunch is about a pound of candy bars, peanut butter crackers, nuts, beef sticks, cheese, cookies that sort of stuff. Mostly I eat one of those items every hour and sit down for a few minutes. This trip I abandoned my Jardean method of eating every hour with a 5 min break. Instead we did a more conventional longer break every couple of hours.

WEATHER CONSIDERATIONS

While in town I evaluate expected weather etc for the next section hike to the next town. At NOC (Nantahala Outdoor Center)  with -10* below zero weather approaching, I purchased a second pint Nalgene and an extra 7 oz can of fuel beyond what I expected to use. The extra Nalgene and fuel where great luxury items and I enjoyed many hot beverages and hot water bottles.
My brother and I held up at Fontana Resort a few days for the worst of the below zero weather and precipitation. The Smokies was officially closed, all trails and roads. Luckily they lifted the ban on hiking trails and we were able to cautiously continue our hike. Sure its only 35 miles to Newfound Gap and I have made that in two days of good weather. But if Newfound Gap road is still closed then its another 15 miles to Gatlinburg for resupply. On my 2012 SOBO I narrowly missed 6 foot of snow around Newfound/ Cingmans Dome from a predicted major storm, sometimes referred to as the Sandy Hook storm. There were lots of unprepared sobo hikers with no gloves, warm clothes or rain gear braving windy temperatures in the teens. They foolishly listened to Thru hikers from 2011 a very warm dry year. Luckily I have never had one of those years where there is a cold rain for six weeks straight but it happens. So we headed into the Smokies with a few days extra supplies and about twice the fuel that we expected to need. Moving shelter to shelter with additional snow each day. Yea Newfound Gap road was open.
Weather can be expected to be anywhere form 65* to - 10* day or night, rain, snow, ice, packed snow can all happen. Oh yea I have a pair of Yaktrax Pro for additional traction if needed. The Yaktrak Pro's have served me ok in the past and are definitely better than nothing. With hard ice (daytime highs in single digits) and off camber trail they offered only a little grip. We switched to Hillsounds brand light crampon and wore them for 90 miles including the Smokies. They worked great. You can pretty much count on the Smoky mountains to be a sheet of ice until spring. April before last it warmed up to 4* before I reached Newfound gap it was awesomely beautiful. I walked the road down from Clingmans Dome because the road was closed and I knew the views were much better than from the trail.


All that and 20 oz of water leaves me with a 30# pack.

Remember take all advice with a grain of salt or maybe a shot of whiskey 


Chase Davidson is a long time distance hiker starting in 1982 with over 19,000 lifetime miles including: IMT-87, AT-99, GG-99, ALT-00, HATT-00, LT-01, TT-01, ART-02, BMT-04, AT-06, JMT-11,
AT-12, FHT-13, Big-O-13. FT-14, AT-2015.

Related Blogs:

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Product Review – Greens on the Go by It Works

You must admit, backpackers DO NOT eat the kinds of things they should while on the trail. Snickers and Ramen tend to be the foods of choice, with empty calories and little in food value for the energy used in hiking.  With my upcoming long distance hike planned, I was on the look-out for some kind of nutrition that would boost overall heath and energy level while optimizing
performance.  Just at this time, I was asked to be a part of a study by Thompson Nutrition (by a fellow thru hiker of the Appalachian Trail) to try Greens on the Go by It Works during my thru hike of the Allegheny Trail in West Virginia.

I was a bit skeptical of the claim of this product but anxious as well to try it. I went ahead and signed up for the three month trial. I ordered the Berry on the Go flavor (it is the best so I was told) so I could add it to a bottle of water in the AM to have with my breakfast. After about 45 minutes I could sense the difference in my energy level on the trail which lasted several hours. Not only that, but I felt I had good recovery with it as well. The other systems in my body worked better too with the probiotic support it gives.

The individual packets are convenient to mail to yourself on a long distance hike and carries well. I took an extra plastic water bottle to use as my drink bottle for it. I loved having something different with my breakfast instead of plain water, and knew it was good for me too. Yes, it is green in color, but I had no issue with that. The taste was very good. Now I use it at home. I don’t want to be without it. 

While nothing can replace the actual consumption of raw foods in one’s diet, this is a good substitute for hikers looking for better and convenient trail nutrition to accomplish that trail.

Product info:
Alkalize, energize, and detoxify wherever you go with Greens on the Go™ in a new sweet berry flavor. This convenient, single serving packet of Greens is now powered by an even better pH-balancing blend, supercharged with an acidity-fighting combination of magnesium and potassium for even more alkalizing properties. The addition of a cutting-edge probiotic helps you maintain that healthy balance by keeping your digestive system regular and toxins flowing out. With multiple servings of fruits and vegetables and a blend of 38 herbs and nutrient-rich superfoods, Greens provides naturally occurring, bioavailable vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, phytonutrients, and enzymes to give your already well-balanced diet a nutritional boost.
Just mix, shake, and take your Greens on the Go!   
·         Detoxify, alkalize, and promote pH balance within the body
·         Acidity-fighting magnesium and potassium blend
·         Cutting-edge probiotic support for digestive health
·         38 herbs and nutrient-rich superfoods
·         Multiple servings of fruits and vegetables in every packet
·         Free radical-fighting antioxidants
·         Great-tasting berry flavor


Marketed by Thru Hiker Ragamuffin SOBO AT ‘10
Website  

Email for information: thompsonnutritionitworks(at)gmail(dot)com 




Friday, January 22, 2016

Winter Hiking Blues…Can’t Hike. 7 Things You Can Do Instead



Ok, if you are like me right now, watching snow coming down in piles, wondering when you will be able to hike again, here’s some things you might do to lessen the hiking winter blues. 

1. Get outside anyway. Even if it’s to shovel the snow (take care though), walk the dog or walk yourself (don’t forget traction devices), get out. Also, taking Vitamin D 3 can lessen that moodiness we can get from the lack of sunshine.

2. Take the time now to do a gear inventory. Start sorting out your gear closet to give away or sell. There are many used gear places to sell gear on the Web and on Facebook. Some require you to sign up.
Give away used gear in good condition to needy local scout troops or other youth groups in the area. 


3. Throw out gear that is not useable. Expired food, medicines. Other unnecessary items. Make a list of what you may need in the coming months for your trip.Take time to scan the Internet for updates to your gear. Check out hiking forums for what’s good and what’s not.

4. Take out some maps and books and decide where you want to venture. See what time you have this year for a hike. Start nurturing those hiking dreams. And then scan for social sites that will talk about your dream. I blogged on deciding where to go on your hiking adventure a few weeks back.

5. If you have a dehydrator, its fine to start dehydrating some foods and creating recipes. They can safely be stored in your freezer until you are ready to go. Check out forums for backpacking recipes.

6. Check out some interesting hiking movies out there. Some out there right now are Walk in the Woods, The Way, Wild, etc. And the movie Everest just came out too. Check out what a Backpacker Magazine Poll says about fav and not so fav hiker movies. 

7. Be a part of online hiking forums and in social media. There are many new faces out there who want to learn from those who have been there. Use your experiences to help others discover the treasure of hiking.


The nice thing is, the trail will still be there as will some great hiking when the opportunity comes again. And it will.

BONUS way to combat those blues? - Sign up to come to our all day Backpacking Workshop on March 12, minutes to Shenandoah National Park! Taught by a two time AT hiker and Ridgerunner. For Novices as well as experienced Backpackers alike.  INFO

Monday, January 11, 2016

Don't Forget Your Permits for Your 2016 Hikes!

Don't Forget!

The Wonderland Trail circles Mt Rainier
In several places in the western states permits are required for popular backpacking ventures and are done by lottery or are first come, first served. And some backcountry use / camping reservations in the east are also required. Other trails, usually within national parks, require backcountry camping permits and are obtainable when you arrive at the park. Always abide by park regulations and have your backcountry permit.

Be sure to take advantage also of the Appalachian Trail thru hiker registry.

Be sure you check your timetable for your hike and when you need to submit for certain hiking permits. Some are also by lottery and close by certain dates. Don't miss out!


Western Trails


Wonderland Trail Permit


Mt Whitney Permit - By lottery. Applications accepted Feb 1 until March 15th.


PCT (Pacific Crest Trail) - different permits depending on whether you are doing a short section or a thru hike, begin early Feb.


John Muir Trail Permit (via Yosemite National Park) - up to 24 weeks in advance


The Cables of Half Dome - Yosemite National Park (day hike) - Preseason lottery in March and 2 Day advance in he regular season


Zion National Park - The Narrows, three months in advance


Enchantment Permit Area - In the Cascades of Washington State, lottery opens Feb. 15th.


Na Pali Coast - Hawaii


Eastern Trails

Appalachian Trail

AT Thru Hiker Registry - a volunteer registry to spread out hikers

Paid reservations for backcountry sites in Great Smoky Mountains National Park (online only, within thirty days of your planned stay, need a printed permit. Includes thru hikers of the Appalachian Trail. **Also if you plan to do the BMT - Benton MacKaye Trail - through the park or on other trails you need a permit.

Shenandoah National Park Free Backcountry Permits - you must have a permit to backcountry camp in the park

If you are hiking Katahdin in Maine via the Appalachian Trail or are southbounding, you need reservations to camp in Baxter State Park (unless you began your hike at least 100 miles south of the park. Then you can stay at The Birches hiking campground if sites are available. Register for those sites at the kiosk upon entering the park).






Thursday, January 07, 2016

Where Should I Go? 6 Areas to Consider When Determining Your Hiking Goals This Year

There are so many places. So many trails. So many adventures waiting to be had this year.

Lots of trails. Lots of choices. 

What to do? Where to go? 

First, take a deep breath. Yes there are lots of places to explore. Maybe this is not the year though to do the big trails. The shorter trails, even trails in your own state, can bring great satisfaction and unique experiences than just the big trails we always hear about. No one heard of the Allegheny Trail in West Virginia which I thru hiked this past fall. It doesn't get the major press and hoopla. But wow, did I learn a lot by doing it. And grew in my hiking knowledge that I can now share with others and use as I go forward in my hiking experiences. That trail was for me!

If you are planning a big one – like a multi-day backpacking trip, take a few things into consideration in planning. Some say you can just drop everything and go. Not wise. By taking the time to think things through that maybe you hadn’t yet considered, you will be steered towards that perfect trip meant for you! And without the distractions misplanning can cause.

1.       Time. Do you have the time to do the trip you are considering? Will you need to take vacation time from work? Or a leave of absence for a major hike? Take into consideration how long the trip will take. You won’t be able to do 20 mile days. A 50 mile trip may take you five days. Plan accordingly.

2.       Money. It takes money to do a trip. Money for gear. For traveling to and from your destination. For expenses on the hike. For paying the bills or other needs on the homefront if you will be gone an extended period of time. Be sure there are the finances to do this. Don’t think – oh, I will earn money on the way. Or I can skimp on things along the way. Or raid hiker boxes, etc. More often than not it never works out the way you think it will in the comfort of your home. Always plan for more money than you will need. Save up and be self-sufficient.

3.       Physical State. How are you physically? It is important to know if you are able to hike safely the trip you have planned. Even weekend getaways. Carrying a backpack is not the same as walking or running. It uses muscles differently, especially bearing a full load. For instance, if you are having knee issues, it’s doubtful they will suddenly go away on a hike! So take care to get checked out by the Dr. Get fixed what needs fixing so you don’t exacerbate a condition. If you need to change shoes do so. Work on physical strengthening, etc., do it. And make sure you have the proper gear and you are not burdening yourself with lots of extra weight that can rapidly turn a trip into a grueling experience. Learn from others on what to bring and what not to bring.

4.       Social Aspects. Are you going on this hike with others or going alone? Both need planning. For instance if going with a buddy, do you both hike roughly the same pace? Can you live with that person for an extended time? If the buddy must leave the trail on a long distance trek, can you go on alone? Decide who carries what gear or if you should carry your own (which is a better idea). If you are going solo, prepare with your safety in mind. Maps, a cell phone, a guidebook, knowledge, even some personal safety devices like a SPOT etc. Are you also ready mentally to spend days and nights alone? Much of this can decide the kind of trip you want to do.

5.       Gear. Do you have the gear for the season and area you plan to hike? Research ahead of time what you are going to need to accomplish your adventure. Adequate footwear, clothing, outerwear, sleep and cookwear. The backpack. All important. But remember, gear first, backpack last. Make sure you know weather conditions ahead of time and prepare accordingly for whatever you might face.

6.       The Mental Aspects. Are you accomplishing a hike to chip off sections on the AT? Doing a thru hike of the John Muir Trail? Or going on your first expedition? Are you seeking waterfalls or a great view? Or maybe the hiking challenge this year of 52 hikes? Whatever it is, be sure your heart and mind are into it. The mental aspects of a hike is the number one thing that can kill it altogether if you are not ready and eager to get out there and experience the lows as well as the highs. The good and the bad. All of it is a learning experience. Stay positive even in the hard stuff. Limit expectations and take it one day at a time.

By looking at these different aspects of a hiking journey, you can better prepare for the perfect trip to fulfill your hiking dream this year. 


***Want to learn hands-on how to get ready for your big trip? Come to the All Day Backpacker’s Workshop March 12th near Shenandoah National Park! For the novice to the experienced, you will learn it all. Registration now open! Limited seating. Details Here.



Thursday, December 31, 2015

A Blissful Hiking Adventure in Review



As 2015 closes and a new year of hiking adventures begins, I like to take the time to review the past year of hiking and lessons learned.

Finish of the Massanutten Trail
Mid-winter saw me on a few days jaunt along the Appalachian Trail as I endeavor to complete yet another trek of this famed footpath over the course of many sections. The winter travel proved a bit dicey at times as I had regretfully left my traction devices at home. A good lesson learned – be prepared for winter conditions with the right gear. See my blog on Lessons Learned Winter Backpacking.  On my return home I also finished the Massanutten Trail in Virginia.

April saw me heading back to my ridgerunning job, first in Maryland where I had the opportunity to set up the caretaker site at Annapolis Rocks (my first real job at rigging tarps) as well as help the trail and hikers. In early May I celebrated with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy its first Flip Flop Hiker send-off as a panel guest and helping hikers reduce weight in several shake-downs.



The remainder of the summer I spent as a ridgerunner in Shenandoah National Park. While I’ve had many encounters with bears over my work the last three years, this past summer saw my first close up encounter as a bear decided to take a snack break on my unoccupied tent at Pass Mt Hut. Thankfully I had no gear in it but the tent needed replacing.


The fall saw my thru hike of West Virginia’s long trail – the Allegheny Trail, which I hiked from mid Sept and completed in early October (have any other women done a thru of this trail? I don’t really know). There were some casualties and tough times, with my leg suffering a major injury from a branch (the scar remains) and then afterwards when I developed an SI joint separation from the tough terrain (requiring a several week hiatus from hiking). But I learned much on the journey on how to cope with difficulties (like poor blazing, unmaintained trails, long road walks, solitary wandering) and also how much maintainers do to help the trails when you hike in areas that are unmaintained (like a quarter mile of thick thorns).



The finish at the AT / Allegheny Junction


I hope 2016 is a great year of adventures in hiking. And don’t forget our upcoming one day backpacker’s workshop in March – for new as well as old – where I bring all my many years of hiking to one dull day of learning and activities. Registration is now open!

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Staying Warm at Night While Backpacking




Winter is upon us. But you can still get a good night's sleep with a little planning. 

Here are some tips to staying warm at  night while out in the wild.



  1. Sleep in a tent rather than an open shelter, lean-to, or “cowboy” camping. A tent can increase the temperature and provide more warmth.
  2. Choose your tent site wisely. Avoid camping near bodies of water and open spaces such as grass that invite condensation (which can turn to frost inside your tent on a cold night), dampness and a chillier night's sleep.  Seek out areas out of wind and under what foliage there is (like pines or rhododendron for example). 
  3. Make sure you have a good sleeping bag. Not all bags and their ratings are equal. Check the fill of the bag and the bag’s reviews with regards to how well it’s insulating properties matches the temperature rating it gives. Choose a brand name sleeping bag with a good track record. Don’t skimp on a good quality bag. Take along  a sleeping liner also to better the sleeping bag’s rating, such a silk liner (which weighs little but can extend upwards of nine degrees to the sleeping bag rating – thus a 20 degree bag can work better in temps in the high teens)
  4. I have used a hand warmer in the past inside a sleeping bag to help, but they must be used with care as they can get quite hot and could cause discomfort and sometimes even burns if used improperly. Others suggest a platypus bottle filled with hot water to warm a sleeping bag, but I hesitate having liquid in a bag on the chance something could leak - then you'd be in trouble. 
  5. Use a good sleeping pad. The R-value of the pad is important.  Taken from the REI web site – “Insulation is measured according to its capacity to resist (that's the "R") heat flow. The higher a pad's R-value, the better you can expect it to insulate you from cold surfaces.”  
  6. Be sure you eat a warm snack before bed and keep up your fluid intake. This adds more fuel to the fire in your body, so to speak, and will keep you warmer. 
  7. Wear a good insulating layer to bed such as a merino wool baselayer (but don’t overdress!) and wear a hat to bed. 
  8. Also, if you carry electronics and battery-operated devices, be sure the batteries and electronics “go to bed” with you. They will stay charged a lot longer if kept warm. I have been known also to sleep with my headlamp.