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#153840 - 08/19/11 01:13 PM Midnight call
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
On my 8 day, 80 mile bp trip into Sequoia NP here in CA last week, the first three nights out, I had a urgent need to relieve myself. The first two nights I HAD to get up at around midnight or by 2:00AM, put a vest and shoes on and walk a few feet out and go. Shaking violently after a short bit from the chill. What the heck was going on? I'm almost 58 and age thing now? I hardly ever have to do this. I thought I drank enough water during my hike during the day, was I drinking too much water, or had my kidneys shut down temporarily? I did not drink a ton of water after reaching camp or for dinner, just normal amounts for dinner etc., maybe more water during the day as in the past, it seems I never drink enough. The third night, I did bring my clothes washing bleach bottom bucket into my shelter with me to save getting all the way up.

Duane

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#153844 - 08/19/11 01:59 PM Re: Midnight call [Re: hikerduane]
OregonMouse Online   content
member

Registered: 02/03/06
Posts: 6372
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I always have to "go" several times during the night (this is a female thing common in us old ladies). I have found that using electrolyte powder (Hydralite in my case) in my drinking water during the day seems to help. The electrolyte solution appears to stay in my body and hydrate my tissues instead of just going through from one end to the other as appears to happen with plain water. I feel less thirsty and don't have to "go" as often.

Cranberry extract capsules seem to help me, too, as a preventive for bladder irritation/infection, to which I'm prone.

Nothing scientific here, but it might be worth a try.


Edited by OregonMouse (08/19/11 02:02 PM)
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#153846 - 08/19/11 02:38 PM Re: Midnight call [Re: OregonMouse]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1719
Loc: Napa, CA
It's the toughest decision on any pack trip. Do I get up and go, or do I stay in the bag, try to ignore the need, and make it unitl morning?

There is no good answer.
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#153847 - 08/19/11 02:40 PM Re: Midnight call [Re: hikerduane]
dkramalc Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 1070
Loc: California
Have things been normal since coming back home? If so, it might just have been a temporary thing, or maybe the beginnings of an age thing that's accentuated at altitude, but you might want to keep an eye on it. Was the shaking from the cold unusual for you? Maybe you just meant it was cold, but if that's not your normal reaction to night temps, it could possibly mean something infectious (bladder/kidney infection, prostatitis). If it's anything that worries you, might be best to get a medical exam to set your mind at ease (don't want to mess around with your kidneys!).

Since you only report this the first 3 nights, I'm guessing it might just have been a temporary thing and nothing to worry about. Maybe guys in your age group can weigh in on this...
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#153851 - 08/19/11 02:53 PM Re: Midnight call [Re: hikerduane]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2838
Loc: Portland, OR
What the heck was going on?

My guess? Your metabolism was revving up to adjust to the much higher levels of exercise and your kidneys were working harder to remove increased amounts of metabolic byproducts, like uric acid, that your muscles were producing. By the fourth day out, your systems were all starting to function more smoothly and you were excreting your metabolites more quickly, during the day and evening. Like I say, just my guess.

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#153855 - 08/19/11 07:13 PM Re: Midnight call [Re: aimless]
OttoStover Offline
member

Registered: 08/30/08
Posts: 62
Loc: Norway
I agree with aimless, it could be just stress from the tour. But if the problem continues you should have yourselves checked for diabetes. Both symptoms you have mentioned namely much thirst and frequent need to releave water are both among the typical for diabetes.

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#153858 - 08/19/11 08:07 PM Re: Midnight call [Re: OttoStover]
Glenn Offline
member

Registered: 03/08/06
Posts: 2617
Loc: Ohio
I'll second that - from experience. At 59, I had the same thing happen (on a business trip, not a hiking trip), and was diagnosed with Type II diabetes. (If that is the problem, don't despair - you may be able to control it with diet and exercise, though you may need medication for a while. And it definitely doesn't end your hiking days - you'll have to take more care with diet, but I'm here to tell you it's extremely possible.

OM: if midnight calls are a women's problem, then (to paraphrase a non-PC punch line) bring us girls a bottle of water! smile

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#153867 - 08/19/11 11:45 PM Re: Midnight call [Re: dkramalc]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Debbie, you try standing out in the cold night air at 9,000' with your shoes and underwear on and a down vest, peeing for a couple minutes, trying to hold "it" still while you try to figure out if your long over-filled bladder is empty yet.:) Lows on my trip were 28-46 degrees. I'm not overweight, coming in at around 162-165lbs., 6' tall. I drank around 2 liters of water or a little more a few days during my hiking, hiking an average of 11-12 miles a day, with the last morning an easy out of less than two miles. I drink a quart of water with breakfast and start in again after an hour after I start hiking for the day, trying to drink water every 15 minutes and a quart with lunch. I could not see any performance increase using Gookinaid for a few years, so quit bringing it quite a while back.

I've had one other night a few years ago on a weekend bp trip where I had to get up at midnight to pee, then again at 6. I work out of town and stay with my mom during the week. A few times during the week, I need to get up anywhere from 11PM to 3AM to relieve myself. At home on the weekends, rarely. I blame the water.

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#154049 - 08/26/11 08:11 PM Re: Midnight call [Re: hikerduane]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Duane...

If your kidneys had shut down you would have retained water. That would be a bad thing.

There are a large number of reasons why our kidneys decide to to either retain or eliminate water differently than "normal" and it usually has to do with the body's perception of blood volume. It could have been as simple as not being acclimatized to the cold and as your peripheral blood vessels clamped down your body thought you had too much blood in the system so it eliminated what it thought was excess fluid. It could have something to do with electrolyte balances (usually the case for me). Your hiking altered your body's demand for the different electrolytes and perhaps it just took a couple of days to get it all regulated. Maybe you had too much or not enough sugar/starch at dinner. When you exercise your body uses what you put into it to fuel your muscles. Perhaps your body is experiencing some lag when you transition from more activity to less. It is hard to say. I agree with the suggestions of ruling out diabetes. I'd rule out blood pressure issues as well.

MNS
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#154056 - 08/26/11 11:04 PM Re: Midnight call [Re: midnightsun03]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
mns,
I had pasta based dinners every night, no excess sugar, dried papaya piece after dinner. I settled down eating lunch after a few days, did not really care for trail mix, cheese, jerky/peanut butter crackers, but ate that later to lighten the canister the first few days. I quit bringing Gookinaid, did not feel it did much for me. My blood pressure is still low, around 114 over 72, has gone up a tiny bit the last few years and my cholesterol over all is good, but the bad is about 10% higher than it should be. I'm sure many 20 somethings wish they were that good.
Duane

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#154059 - 08/27/11 01:58 AM Re: Midnight call [Re: hikerduane]
TomD Offline
Moderator

Registered: 10/30/03
Posts: 4963
Loc: Marina del Rey,CA
Duane, I try to cut back on what I drink in the evening, but usually wind up getting up anyway. Not a fun thing in winter with snow on the ground, even with down booties. But better than laying in the bag, debating what to do. I just get up and get it over with then back to sleep.

One tip, unrelated to that-I keep an energy bar at hand (I have a little net pocket above my head and off to the side) and if I wake up cold, I eat about half of one and I'm good for the rest of the night with some more fuel in the furnace. Amazing what a difference, just a few calories makes.
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Don't get me started, you know how I get.

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#154066 - 08/27/11 10:54 AM Re: Midnight call [Re: hikerduane]
midnightsun03 Offline
member

Registered: 08/06/03
Posts: 2936
Loc: Alaska
Duane...

Sounds like a fairly normal physiological response to increased activity, significantly (?) increased fluid intake, altitude (9,000' is significant if you normally reside around sea level or relative low altitude), and cold. By the 4th day it sounds like you had acclimatized. Our bodies do alter their responses to stimuli as we age.

I would suggest adding some electrolytes back into your diet. With that much fluid intake and lack of salty snack intake you're probably overwhelming your body with fluid causing an electrolyte imbalance. This will tell your body to shift fluids out. You may not have noticed a "performance" improvement with gookinaid, but I'm sure there were more subtle benefits from using it on hikes. I second the recommendation of Emergen-C as it is lightweight and easy to carry. You don't need to add it to all your water, but add it in periodically all day, even if you just mete out one pack throughout the whole day. Sodium Chloride is not the only electrolyte we need to keep in balance; calcium and magnesium are also essential, in addition to potassium (which is easier to obtain from food sources, like potatoes).

MNS

P.S. Your BP is definitely enviable. Most people don't really understand the value of maintaining a low BP. Your organs will definitely thank you!
_________________________
YMMV. Viewer discretion is advised.

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#154069 - 08/27/11 03:58 PM Re: Midnight call [Re: hikerduane]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
at 9,000 feet your body should be trying to cut back on cellular water content. Peeing more at altitude is normal and desireable, otherwise, as someone pointed out, you would be holding fluids (Adema) which is a bad thing that leads up to altitude sickness.
Jim
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#154075 - 08/27/11 08:40 PM Re: Midnight call [Re: midnightsun03]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Thank you mns. Like Jim, I live at 4,000'. For years, I never drank enough water, even when I knew I should drink more. This year I really concentrated on drinking some an hour after I started hiking and then every 15 minutes, with the same procedure if still hiking after lunch. I tried to stop drinking an hour before I thought I would be stopping for the day later in my hike, of course by then I might have adjusted to the trip.
I was shaking at night when I walked out of my tent because it was cold, made for poor working conditions.:) The temps the first few mornings got down to 28-30 F.

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#154076 - 08/27/11 08:48 PM Re: Midnight call [Re: TomD]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Tom, I try to not drink much just before going to bed. If you gotta go, it's hard to get back to sleep rationalizing you can make it until morning. On a trip a few years ago with Eric from HighSierraTopix, the first night not only did I get up at midnight, I had to do it again at 6AM. That trip, the first day going in, I didn't have enough water going in, so tried to make up for it at camp. Wrong approach. Standing outside in my shorts in the cool temps, got me shaking something fierce. Plus, my silk sleeping bag liner somehow got stuck in my shoes, so it got drug outside while I peed, when I turned around, I was wondering what in the heck it was.:)
Duane

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#154088 - 08/28/11 11:58 AM Re: Midnight call [Re: hikerduane]
balzaccom Offline
member

Registered: 04/06/09
Posts: 1719
Loc: Napa, CA
Now THAT's a funny image!
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check out our website and blog: http://www.backpackthesierra.com/home

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#154123 - 08/29/11 01:55 PM Re: Midnight call [Re: hikerduane]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Quote:
I drink a quart of water with breakfast and start in again after an hour after I start hiking for the day, trying to drink water every 15 minutes and a quart with lunch.


Over a gallon of water by lunch time?

For me, that would be a LOT of water. I can certainly "feel it" when I drink too much water. I did that a few weeks ago while working in extreme heat and not eating enough (nothing at all). By around 2 pm I knew I had to eat before drinking anymore even though I was sweating buckets. As soon as I ate the "feeling" went away and I was back to drinking water again, but still, no where near as much as you've described. You're a bit bigger than me, so I can see where you'd need more than I would, but that still seems like a lot to me.

So my guess (and that's all that it is) is that you just drank more than you needed to. I know if I forced down a quart of water first thing in the morning I'd get that "feeling" I'm talking about right away, no doubt about it.

Personally, I don't adhere to the concept of drinking a prescribed amount of water. I'll slowly down a half liter before hitting the trail, and then drink when I'm thirsty, but only as much as I feel the need to. I never force myself to drink more than that. That said, I'd say I feel the need about every 15 minutes or so when I'm hiking with my pack on, but I usually only drink about 250 ml at a time and I drink it while stopping for a short rest, and don't gulp it down.

I'll also second the "Emergen-C" packets. My wife and I do two of them every morning. I take mine after my morning coffee and before I eat. I mix both packets in about a half cup of room temp water, mix it until it completely quits fizzing, and drink it slowly. Within a minute or two I can feel it. It's not like "Wow! I can dance", but I can feel it, and I feel it even more if I don't take it.

_________________________
--

"You want to go where?"



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#154144 - 08/29/11 07:45 PM Re: Midnight call [Re: billstephenson]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Thanks Bill. I felt a little water logged a few times on my trip. My reason for drinking a quart of water with breakfast is I feel my body may need to get hydrated before I take off and to help my breakfast get absorbed. I try to drink some while packing up then while I eat to get some of that stuff down. I have never heard when one should start in drinking again after starting the days hike. It's been awhile since I brought some Emer Gen C packets, I'll have to remember next hard bp trip. I'm going on a weekend trip in Yosemite with some of the younger, fit crowd in a month, something to get ready for. The leader is in shape, I gotta hustle to keep up with them if who I think is going is coming along. Three days? I'll get my butt kicked, but they better watch over their shoulder if not ahead of them. I bp like I ran in High School, competitively.
Duane

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#154161 - 08/30/11 12:16 AM Re: Midnight call [Re: hikerduane]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3938
Loc: Bend, Oregon
I drink a quart of coffee at breakfast

Duane - I'm thawing out some elk to cook Wednesday.

If ya don't get up in the night you don't see the stars, miss the shooting stars, and stand a chance of missing a flying saucer.
Jim smile
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#154171 - 08/30/11 10:58 AM Re: Midnight call [Re: Jimshaw]
hikerduane Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/03
Posts: 2123
Loc: Meadow Valley, CA
Yum! Cowboy camping, looking forward to it. Is the night vision stuff to see the lion on the boulder or in the trees during the midnight call?:)
Duane

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#154216 - 08/31/11 09:35 PM Re: Midnight call [Re: hikerduane]
Steadman Offline
member

Registered: 09/17/09
Posts: 510
Loc: Virginia
As a cure for the shakes due to cold, my Marine friends recommend a wide mouthed gatorade bottle in the bag.

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#154316 - 09/05/11 05:22 PM Re: Midnight call [Re: hikerduane]
JPete Offline
member

Registered: 05/28/09
Posts: 304
Loc: Eastern Ontario
Duane, Don't know your age, but I hate to tell you this, but age is a factor. I'm at the point where I'm up a couple of times most nights. And when I'm on the trail, it's an awful nuisance. I tend to use a poncho/tarp and to be alone. I have been known to walk on my knees to the edge of the shelter and aim out. Getting back into the sleeping bag is always difficult for me. It was easy when I went to beb. Never have understood. Best, jcp

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#154320 - 09/05/11 06:35 PM Re: Midnight call [Re: Steadman]
billstephenson Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/07/07
Posts: 3865
Loc: Ozark Mountains in SW Missouri
Originally Posted By Steadman
As a cure for the shakes due to cold, my Marine friends recommend a wide mouthed gatorade bottle in the bag.


I must be getting old too, it took me a few times to figure that one out. blush

Now that I have, I can see where it'd work, but I'm not sure I'd want to try it laugh
_________________________
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"You want to go where?"



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#154324 - 09/05/11 07:32 PM Re: Midnight call [Re: billstephenson]
aimless Offline
Moderator

Registered: 02/05/03
Posts: 2838
Loc: Portland, OR
For those who tent rather than bivy the wide-mouth gatorade bottle trick does not have to be confined to "in the bag", but in the tent or tarp-tent, where at least you can avoid being windswept while having some room to manuever.

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