Great, W_D! I remember the days of being out in cotton denim jeans and shirts, and Duofold long underwear which we considered "wool" but actually had a cotton inner layer (so not unbearably itchy) and a mixed wool/cotton outer layer. Synthetics (except rayon) were not yet available for civilian use when we started in 1945. We donned slickers (since we were traveling on horseback) when it started to rain, making sure our body cores stayed dry. Of course, the jeans got wet anyway while we were walking through wet meadows tending to the horses (my job!). (Many days I walked more miles after wandering horses than I rode!) I spent evenings standing by the campfire turning frequently, as though on a spit, to dry my soggy jeans, hopefully without scorching them. Waving cotton socks over the campfire (again in the hopes of drying without scorching them) was another popular evening activity. Believe it or not, we had a lot of fun laughing and joking during these evening drying sessions! Precious memories!

When nylon became available for civilian use after World War II, my parents were very skeptical of it and didn't see any reason to replace the gear they already had (waxed Egyptian cotton tent, waxed cotton-shelled down sleeping bags). Of course because they were horse-packing, there was less need for light weight, and the early nylon stuff was just as heavy, if not heavier, anyway. I remember it impressed me as really clunky!

I do rembember visiting (with my parents) Roy and Alice Holubar in Boulder, CO, in the mid-1950's, when they were still working out of the basement of their home. Roy taught math at the University of Colorado and Alice did all the sewing. This was the vanguard of the gear revolution. I didn't realize that at the time, but in the light of later history, this visit has since become a treasured memory. More info about the Holubars here.

Re eating up the food on Day 1 so no bear can is needed--do you really think the NP rangers would believe that when they found you camping out overnight?

Edited by OregonMouse (01/15/14 02:08 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey