Monday, October 6, 2008

Hikers erecting a haphazard shelter in the krumholtz on Mt. Washington, July 1968

These hikers are "roughing it", using an army surplus tarp as a tent. This was a popular practice when the picture was taken in 1968 as an impromptu but unsafe shelter for use above timberline in the White Mountains where the weather can become nasty quickly. At about the same time, 1968, due to technological innovations brought about by the Apollo Space Program and the Vietnam War there was a revolution starting to happen in new materials (ripstop nylong, nylon taffeta, eventually Goretex, Kevlar, etc), that brought affordable, lightweight, and durable back backs, wind and rain gear, footwear, tents, and sleeping bags that also helped to propel people into the mountains. These two men relied on a campfire for warmth because of the insubstantial shelter provided by the tarp so there net impact on this site was probably more destructive, at least potentially, than the impact made by the hikers with their mountain tent in the photo above.

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