Homer's Travels: Should I Freeze My A$$ Off?

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Should I Freeze My A$$ Off?

This week I'm planning to do another segment of the Wabash Trace. This one will be between the small town of Coin, IA to the even smaller town of Bingham, IA (I can't find any information about Bingham but it comes up when you Google Map it). The trail is about 7.5 miles long between the towns (15 miles round trip). There is one potential impediment to my hike - Weather.

The current forecast for Thursday is a high of 29°F. This doesn't sound too bad except I'll be starting the hike around 9:00 AM when the temp will probably be in the single digits or low teens.

On top of my operating temperature, the lower operating temperature ranges of my Camera (32°F) and my GPS (14°F) might be an issue.

To make things a little more complicated, and potentially more fun, is that before Thursday (Tonight, Monday night, and Tuesday) the area is expecting some 6+ inches of snow. With temperatures never passing freezing I would expect most of the snow will still be on the trail. If we get the predicted snow, I may have my first opportunity to try out my snowshoes though I hear you need at least 8 inches of snow for snowshoes to work their best.

I've never hiked in the snow and I've never snowshoed either. I would like to do the whole 15 miles but I would expect snowshoes would slow you down quite a bit as would walking through snow with just boots. Whatever I end up doing will be a learning experience.

One experience I do not want to learn about is frostbite. I plan to bundle up and layer it on pretty thick but I am still concerned a little about my hands. My gloves are good but I don't know how I'll feel after five hours in sub-freezing cold. Glove liners would help and I have them on my Christmas list but that will be too late to help this week.

I think I'll have to give this some thought.


  1. With snowshoeing, it all depends on the quality of the snow. If you're breaking trail through fresh powder, it can go really slowly. If it is a little more solid, you can move pretty fast, though 15 might be a stretch.

    It's raining here today. As you well know, most of L.A. is currently grinding to a halt, and everyone in the office is complaining about how "cold" it is! LOL

  2. If you keep a steady pace, I don't think you'll have any problem with cold. I do believe you'll use trekking poles though, so they should provide some activity for your hands and therefore keep them warm. I agree with GH concerning the distance.