Tag Archives: hydration

The Sawyer Squeeze-Part 2

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Paranoidunreasonably or obsessively anxious, suspicious, or mistrustful. 

These are the very words that describe my current condition as it relates to hiking. Why should I be paranoid? What do I have to be anxious about when I am in my comfort zone? According to the definition, is there truly a need to be suspicious or mistrustful of the one activity that brings me to my absolute happy place.

Earlier in the year and prior to my fall, I wrote a review on the water treatment system that I would bring with me on my backpacking trip to ensure that the water I collected would be safe to drink. Overall, it worked well and the water that was filtered was delicious.

Just in terms of a little background, prior to the end of June and on day hikes, I would carry two 48 ounce Nalgene water bottles. For most day hikes this would be a sufficient amount of water for most hikes. Longer hikes and days that are more hot and humid of course require more water. Unfortunately, in the past, there have been situations where I have run out of water.

At this point, however, I have decided that I am going to carry the Sawyer Squeeze with me even on day hikes.

This raises many questions. The biggest one being the availability of water while I am hiking. Obviously some times of the year have more water flowing in streams or in ponds than others. Most of the areas that I hike in and around have lakes, which makes the situation that much more easy.

Beyond that, I think that carrying the Sawyer Squeeze will bring me a peace of mind that I think I need as I work on getting permanently back on the trail.

Am I crazy? I don’t think so. I think that I have earned the right to be just a little paranoid.

HAPPY HIKING!!!

I Learned My Lesson The Hard Way…

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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!!!

It’s Finally August!!! (23)

“What business have I in the woods, if I am thinking of something out of the woods?” 

Henry David Thoreau

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Compare this picture to the one taken a few days ago. You can feel the humidity sitting on you just looking at it!

Since I didn’t get out yesterday, I knew that I had to do a hike today. Since the forecast today is for a high of 84 degrees with a real feel of 93, it was important to get out early since I tend to sweat profusely on days when it is in the mid 20’s! Starting out at 5:50 am, the temperature was already 72 degrees with the humidity hovering at 94 percent. Needless to say, it didn’t take long for the water to start running off of me.

I don’t think that I need to state the obvious but I will anyway. It’s days like these that remind me of the importance of making sure that you stay hydrated when you are out in the woods. Before I even left my house I made sure that I drank 48 ounces water. I then brought another 96 ounces for the hike.  Since I knew that I was going to be hiking between 6 and 6 1/2 miles, I knew that making periodic water stops would be crucial.

With heat index already in the 80’s  (remember, the sun hasn’t even risen yet!) making sure that you drink enough water and not running out of water can be a delicate balancing act. This is why when I plan a hike I try my best to factor everything (weather, terrain, difficulty) into how much water I will need to bring.

Today I ended up doing the Red Trail again at Ward Pound Ridge Reservation as well as a little extra. Since I have already done this hike, I won’t bother to write it up again except to say, IT WAS HUMID!!!!!

Happy Hiking!!!

Summer 2017 Mileage:

8/19/17-6.4-119.12