Tag Archives: backpacking

The Sawyer Squeeze

“Drinking water is like washing out your insides. The water will cleanse the system, fill you up, decrease your caloric load and improve the function of all your tissues.”
-Kevin R. Stone

With the many developments that have occurred with water filtration over the last several years, I decided it would probably be a good idea to do some research before I decided on what kind of water filtration system to buy. If you have read my last few posts, you know that I recently had some serious health issues due to being dehydrated. Now I will preach the importance of drinking water every chance you get!

Although it is probably very unusual, I am now planning on carrying my water filtration system with me even on day hikes. We are lucky enough in this part of NY to have many, many hikes that are near decent untreated water sources such as lakes and streams. Am I now going to be paranoid about the amount of water I am carrying even on short hikes? You better believe it!

Soooo….after some serious consideration I decided on the:

Sawyer Products PointOne Squeeze Water Filter System

51SJ5lM+hyL

For $40 on Amazon, I think that the sawyer has to be one of the better water filtration products out there. On the first day of my backpacking trip last week I put the Sawyer to the test and it performed incredibly well. I would say that I filtered between 18 and 20 liters of water quickly and efficiently. Even though the directions on its use are clearly written on the box, I went to You Tube and watched some videos to make sure I was doing it right. The best thing about this system? It’s very easy to use.

I got this information off of Amazon:

  • Made in USA
  • Lightweight, easily portable 0.1 absolute micron hollow fiber membrane inline water filter
  • Highest level of filtration on market — removes greater than 99.99999% of all bacteria and 99.9999% of all protozoa
  • Built-in and removable push/pull cap; spray water straight into mouth or bottle from included pouch; attach to standard threaded water bottles
  • Comes with three BPA-free collapsible pouches (16-, 32-, and 64-ounce) that roll up tightly for easy packing; can be resued hundreds of times
  • Backed by manufacturer’s lifetime limited warranty (Independent Testing Laboratory Hydreion, LLC.; Microbiological Report S05-03)

If anyone out there has any experience with other systems, please leave me that information in the comments section.

Happy Hiking!!!

I Learned My Lesson The Hard Way…

hiker-girl-drinking-water-woman-tourist-backpack-nature-young-tourist-woman-outdoor-forest-77470488

I learned the hard way last week the importance of staying hydrated while you are hiking. At the age of 53, I have been hiking for over 40 years and you would have thought that with that much experience out in the woods, I would have known enough to stay adequately hydrated.

Before my backpacking trip began last Wednesday, I went on a couple of short conditioning hikes on Monday and Tuesday just to keep my legs loose for what I knew was going to be three pretty strenuous days of hiking.

Thinking back now, I remember that the days weren’t that hot, and since I knew the hikes were not that long, I didn’t drink that much water. Feeling fine on Wednesday morning, I drank several Nalgene bottles of water and a bottle of Gatorade before I even left the house.

Since it was so hot and humid, I knew that I would be sweating heavily and would have to take appropriate measures from becoming dehydrated. Although I did drink several bottles of water over the course of the day, it wasn’t enough.

Ok. Why am I telling you this? As expected Day One was very warm and humid. I know that I did not drink enough water during the day to replenish the fluids that I had lost. I was exhausted when we reached the shelter for the evening and set about getting more water. That night it did rain quite heavily and we were lucky enough to trap enough water off of the roof to keep three hikers satiated for the day (and more).

As I found out later, however, in my case the damage had already been done. Despite having consumed 128 ounces of water prior to starting Day Two, I knew something was up as soon as I began hiking. I was dizzy and I had some difficulty at times maintaining my balance. Unfortunately, I attributed this to my being tired as well as the weight of my pack.

Approximately one mile into the hike, disaster struck. I hit a wet spot on a glacial rock, lost my balance and slid into a v-shaped rock, snapping my left ankle. Immediately I became dizzy and incoherent, Even the most simple tasks proved to be impossible. Knowing that I wasn’t walking out of the woods, my friends called 911 and we waited.

While we waited for the Park Rangers, I tried to drink water and couldn’t keep it down. I vomited several times and actually lost consciousness. When I finally got to the hospital they ran blood tests and it was determined that I was in Renal Failure.

Luckily, after 5 days of IV’s and copious amounts of water, my kidney functioning returned to normal and I was able to have surgery.

What is the moral of my story?? Even if you think you  have consumed enough water on a hike or if you are on an extended trip, drink some more. As I look back now, my kidneys were already starting to fail even before I began my three day backpacking trip. Drink, drink and drink!

To supplement my tale of woe, I am including the links to three articles that directly deal with the subject of staying hydrated.

https://www.rei.com/learn/expert-advice/hydrate.html

https://northcountrytrail.org/7-tips-to-stay-hydrated-while-hiking/

https://www.thehikinglife.com/health-safety/hydration/

Happy Hiking and Happy Reading!!!

Day Two-Trouble Ahead!

Knowing that water may be hard to come by for the nine mile hike on day two, my hiking partners rigged up a pretty simple water containment system to catch as much water as possible. Over night we did have several hours pouring rain and thunderstorms which made capturing the water that much easier.

When all was said and done, we collected and purified around 5 gallons of nice cold water!

IMG_6646_edited

Collecting water at the Bald Rocks Shelter.

Now the fun begins! Leaving the shelter at around 10 am, we got back on the Ramapo Dunderberg trail and began our day! The terrain in this part of Harriman is just spectacular. Geologists believe that millions of years ago this area of New York may have been part of South America. It always amazes me that rocks end up where they do and stay there!

IMG_6650_edited

Beautiful scenery a half mile into the hike.

IMG_6651_edited

A couple of tenths of a mile from disaster!

IMG_6652_edited

Although the rocks shown in these pictures are dry, when you got the end of one and it turned back into trail, the rock proved to be very slippery.  As I was coming down off of the rock in the third picture from the top, I began sliding and I lost my balance. My left foot became wedged between two rocks as I stopped, my forward momentum kept me moving.

End result? A fractured left ankle and a subsequent surgery to repair it.

Happy Hiking!!!

Hike #21-.9-117.85

Ramapo-Dunderberg Day One

The start of the my short shakedown hike (6/27) was as humid as you would expect for the end of June in New York. Temperatures in the mid 80’s with humidity almost equally as high guaranteed an early soaking. Since my son had a job interview that morning, we had him drop us off at the Tuxedo RR station at 6:30 am.  Starting early would also put us ahead of the heat and the humidity. The station marks the start of the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail.

IMG_6603_edited

The view after the first climb.

The plan for the day was a simple one. Hike just a little over six miles and then spend the night at the Bald Rocks Shelter. Even though it was only six miles, I hadn’t hiked with a full pack in awhile and coupled with difficult terrain and weather, it was a long day. According to our GPS, we gained just about 1500 feet of elevation! Obviously the views were great.

IMG_6612_edited

IMG_6613_edited

IMG_6616_edited

The Bald Rocks Shelter is an interesting one.  This blurb was taken from MyHarriman.com:

  • Bald Rocks (Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail).  Massive local granite stones make up his walls, with a nice fireplace inside and a firepit outside.  The surrounding area is grassy, with trees close enough to allow hammocking, but not too tight to make you feel like you’re in the woods.  Because you’re not — you’re in a lovely grassy field on top of a hill. Great views, too!  The trails you’ll use to get to Bald Rocks are some of the best in the park, too, and you’ll be camping near some of Harriman’s coolest sights: Bowling Rocks, Ship Rock and the spine of Hogencamp Mountain.  Nice.
IMG_6622_edited

The Bald Rocks Shelter

IMG_6633_edited

Inside the shelter

IMG_6642_edited

The fireplace inside the shelter.

 

Happy Hiking!!!

Hike #20-6.25-116.95

Keeping It Light Until The Time Is Right

“Hike more, worry less,”

-Anonymous

Today was the first hike of the summer break!!! I am going to keep the distance short today and tomorrow since I will be out backpacking Wednesday, Thursday and Friday on the Ramapo-Dunderberg Trail. Twenty three miles of fun on the trail!

With that said, this morning it was pretty humid and you could tell that the thunderstorms that rolled through last night had dumped a ton of rain on the trails.

Even with the humidity it was still nice to get out and get a hike in. I’m looking forward to our trip to Harriman!

Here are some photos from this mornings hike:

IMG_6589_edited

A stretch of the Leatherman’s Loop that was especially beautiful today.

IMG_6590_edited

A stream that runs underneath the trail.

 

IMG_6591_edited

Same stream as above.

IMG_6592_edited

A connector trail just before the Red Trail.

Happy Hiking!!!

Hike #18-4.7-106.6

Thinking About The Summer

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

– Jawaharial Nehru

 “One’s destination is never a place, but a new way of seeing things.”

-Henry Miller

After a lengthy cold spell, within the last week temperatures have actually made it up into the high forties to the mid fifties. I have to admit, feeling the (relatively) warm air made me think of spring days and being out in the woods. Looking over my maps of Harriman State Park and Bear Mt., I decided that just after the school year ends in June, I’ll backpack the Ramapo-Dunderberg trail.

Starting at the Tuxedo Rail Station, the trail runs through Harriman state park into Bear Mt. where it ends on route 9W right next to the Hudson river. At just about 22 miles, the current plan is to split it up into three days and two nights of what some web sites have said is relatively difficult hiking. Although the trail does have two lean to shelters along the way, I am bringing a tent just in case I show up at one and it has already been occupied by too many fellow hikers. With that saud, I am not thinking that this is going to be an issue because I am planning on doing this hike from a Tuesday to a Thursday so I will miss the weekend folks. More on that later.

So what am I doing now? I spent some time on the internet looking for a checklist that would help me get the stuff together that I will need for this short adventure. The decision to find a list was an easy one. I have backpacked before and gotten to my destination only to find out that I forgot to pack things. Here is the REI checklist that I am using:

001

As I continue to plan for this excursion, I will post updates with some gear info, planned route and other stuff.

Happy Hiking!!!