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#88581 - 02/09/08 08:26 AM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Dryer]
mockturtle Offline
member

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 251
Loc: WA
Good advice, but an umbrella will be of doubtful value when the wind is whipping you at 40+ mph.

Since my desert hiking has been limited to fall and winter, heat has been the lesser issue compared to water. Even when it's cool, evaporation is swift in the desert. You know it's happening when you seem to never have to pee! And the wind seems to increase it.


Edited by mockturtle (02/09/08 08:31 AM)

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#88582 - 02/09/08 09:24 AM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: mockturtle]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Quote:
Good advice, but an umbrella will be of doubtful value when the wind is whipping you at 40+ mph.



That's fer dang sure! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> The umbrella comes out on those hot desert floor or arroyo following treks. About 15 mph wind is the limit. As far as the time of year goes, the time I almost became part of the desert floor was in March. Started the ride in 70 deg. and found ourselves in 107 deg. by two o'clock. The desert can turn on you at any time. Some of the coolest, most beautiful, lightening/thunder storms I've ever seen popped right out of nowhere in the desert.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#88583 - 02/09/08 09:55 AM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Dryer]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
My experience has been that around 106 (shade temp) things get murderous. Stop and rest in the shade.

Desert travelers tend to become nocturnal, especially during the summer. HIke during the night or at least start early in the morning (4 AM). Slow down or stop when it gets hot.

Years ago I worked on a dig near the suspension bridge in Grand Canyon. We started work at 4:30 Am, knocked off at noon, and returned after dinner when the site was in shade. When I hiked to the site, I started down the Kaibab trail at 2 AM.

And yes, a full brimmed, floppy hat with a dark brim is optimum. Cotton works because you can soak it in water and the evaporation will keep you cool (for a bit!)

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#88584 - 02/09/08 11:59 AM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Arizona]
grinagog Offline
member

Registered: 11/21/04
Posts: 22
Loc: Seattle
Superstition Wilderness, for a short trip--three or four nights. If people have hiked trails in this area that they loved, let me know, I'm still looking for the right route.

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#88585 - 02/09/08 01:57 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: grinagog]
Arizona Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 122
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
Lots of good info coming up. Good observations Old Ranger. We donít hike in the intense heat out here much. Either get out very early before sun up and be back in the shade by mid morning or go in late fall, winter and early spring in the lower desert like the Supes. The Supes will be murder in summer. This time of year, there are folks who do some pretty extreme hikes and backpacks. Me, I donít go near the Phoenix valley. LOL summer is the time for the Sky Islands or other high country. It can get hot up there as well but not the oppressive valley heat.

As for sun shelter, I take my poncho and rig up some shade in the mid-day hours in early spring or late fall;



We go out from base camp to hike and photograph in the early or late hours.

We always dress in light supplex that will keep the sun off, hats and sun gloves as well. I like Rail Rider Weather pants as they resist abrasions from rocks and hooked thorns. I almost didnít make it here. Donít let this happen to you. My buddy brought me some water and revived me. She is a good friend to have out in the desert lands.



Paul, I see you are out in Texas. David Alloway, someone you may have heard of did a lot of his travel and his survival workshop in the Big Bend area I believe. It is good info for any desert.

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#88586 - 02/09/08 03:14 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Jimshaw]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Quote:
Hey Brum
Get it right if yer gonna post a sketch eh?
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />Jim <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />


Jim, I just noticed I forgot to give the stick people hands too! I give up. You know of course, we are useless when we get like this on here. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Brum
_________________________



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#88587 - 02/09/08 03:50 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Arizona]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Nice photos B N His dog' <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> I always carried an umbrella back when I lived in the desert SW backpacking. Folks looked at me like what's he doing carrying an umbrella in the middle of nowhere <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> Now most folks are doing it, go figure <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> I used one when I lived in Hawaii too, just waiting for a bus there you could get heatstroke <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> Portable shade was a no brainer for me, and should be for anyone venturing in high Sun backpacking areas or at altitudes IME. The long sleeves/long pants were always my clothing of choice as is a wide brimmed hat <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> (see photo on Earthling cd with donkey friends <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />...No, i'm the one wearin' the hat!..geeze...some folks' <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" />)

Unfortunately, too many tv shows, spreading mis information about how to handle the special weather areas, is going to create more SAR problems in the future IMO <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> Best to 'practice' a few days in a campground before you sally forth inot the wild blue yonder IME <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#88588 - 02/09/08 04:10 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Earthling]
Arizona Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 122
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
Well said Earthling.

I wish I could carry an umbrella but in this rough terrain where we mostly go off trail, we both use poles for the 4-legged support and the better to climb through the ups and downs in the terrain. Good for checking for snakes in the obscure steps too. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> Good for setting up shade shelters where there are no trees too.

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#88589 - 02/09/08 05:11 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Arizona]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
B N His dog, I use poles too where needed along the trail. Securing the umbrella, a Golite, to my packs over the years, has been problematic to say the least; so it takes a free hand to carry it. In places with overhead 'debris' I tend to just wear my hat and pack the 'brella.

have you ever had any luck pitching a true cheapo emergency space type blanket, you know, the flimsy kind, without it tearing to pieces? Just curious as the cheap type is the often 'recommended carry type, when in fact the 11 oz or so Space Brand blanket is MUCH more durable and trustworthy IME. I use one as a groundsheet/heat reflector in Winter with good results. It's a bit stiff for use under a hammock IME but works if it's not trully windy.
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#88590 - 02/09/08 05:20 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: grinagog]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Years ago, I did an overnighter up Fish Creek. I remember it as well watered at this time of year and very interesting- lots of archaeological sites.

I cannot find my old trail maps but there should be lots of trips of the length you prefer. The Superstitions have a pretty good trail network, but my experience there is dated.

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#88591 - 02/09/08 05:27 PM Re: Desert equip [Re: grinagog]
Ecrow Offline
member

Registered: 02/02/08
Posts: 85
Loc: N. New Mexico
I've climbed 3 sides of Devil's Canyon near Supeior and the one thing that I really needed was GAITORS! There was outrageous foxtail and it ruined my hightop light hikers and socks. Talus pant are probably great if they draw closed to protect your shoes.

all i know.
Ecrow
_________________________
Ecrow
Live to tell.

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#88592 - 02/09/08 05:31 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Earthling]
Arizona Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 122
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
Quote:


have you ever had any luck pitching a true cheapo emergency space type blanket, you know, the flimsy kind, without it tearing to pieces? Just curious as the cheap type is the often 'recommended carry type, when in fact the 11 oz or so Space Brand blanket is MUCH more durable and trustworthy IME. I use one as a groundsheet/heat reflector in Winter with good results. It's a bit stiff for use under a hammock IME but works if it's not trully windy.


I have not used a space blanket but I know someone who has made a practice overnight shelter with a light version but not the lightest. It has either tie outs or grommets, I forget which. I'll try to find the brand. I do know that other people have had problematic results from some of the light type blankets in wind. they became shredded. These days I carry a Sea to Summit nylon poncho. It is not the silnylon version that they make as they are too translucent and let sun rays through. It works well and it just a little bit heavier than the sil stuff. It keeps most of the rays out. As mock turtle said, the dryness causes rapid evaporation so when a summer rain comes or worse a winter rain, the temps can drop 40 degrees (in summer) just like that. We keep them in the pack for multiple protection all the time. If one is stuck out overnight, they can roll up in it to stay protected, very versatile piece of gear.

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#88593 - 02/09/08 07:43 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Earthling]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Quote:
have you ever had any luck pitching a true cheapo emergency space type blanket, you know, the flimsy kind, without it tearing to pieces?


I carry a couple of the $1 walmart mylar 'blankets' with me and have used them to sling under my hammock as well as provide shade in a pinch. You can tie the corners to a bush easy enough or tie on some string using a sheet bend knot to guy it out. Yeah, they are fragile and eventually shred, but it's more of an emergency thing. If you can get one pitched without nicking it, they'll last at least a day.
My silnylon poncho/shelter does the trick as something more durable.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#88594 - 02/11/08 05:56 AM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Dryer]
bulrush Offline
member

Registered: 04/19/07
Posts: 132
Loc: Michigan
All that water won't help you if you don't replenish those electrolytes. I have took a trip to the jungle in Belize and hydration salts are real important. And I don't mean table salt. Get some hydration salts from the internet, I hear they are not sold in US stores.

Mix with your favorite drink and you're all set. Though your drink will have a slightly salty taste, like Gatorade.

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#88595 - 02/11/08 07:20 AM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: grinagog]
coyotemaster Offline
member

Registered: 03/07/06
Posts: 294
Loc: Arizona
It can't be emphasized enough to forget the solar still idea. You'll sweat a quart trying to get 1/2 a cup, digging a hole like that.

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#88596 - 02/11/08 07:58 AM Re: Not all rattlers are created equal [Re: grinagog]
coyotemaster Offline
member

Registered: 03/07/06
Posts: 294
Loc: Arizona
Widely considered most toxic rattlesnake in U.S.

onset of serious signs and symptoms can ...ity of the bite

Firstaid depends on which kind bit you. Seek some info.
They have a hemotoxin & neurotoxin venom mix. It is the neurotoxin which is different & wicked.

Like most dangerous critters, you'll be lucky to see one, however, they like to rest on hiking trails (clear & smooth), they don't retreat nor do they rattle as much as other rattler species.

considered 10 times more toxic than othe... United States.

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#88597 - 02/11/08 09:30 AM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: coyotemaster]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Quote:
It can't be emphasized enough to forget the solar still idea. You'll sweat a quart trying to get 1/2 a cup, digging a hole like that.


Coyote, I don't draw well, it was shown only half as deep as it should have been. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Brum
_________________________



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#88598 - 02/11/08 09:43 AM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Earthling]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Quote:
Nice photos B N His dog' <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> I always carried an umbrella back when I lived in the desert SW backpacking. Folks looked at me like what's he doing carrying an umbrella in the middle of nowhere <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />


Right on, Earthling, an umbrella is the way to go. The only strange looks I get are in the local markets when I'm shopping for a new one and start weighing the 44 in. diameter umbrellas with a gram scale. I buy the cheapest and lightest (but functional) umbrella I can buy, cause they get so torn up on the trails, no matter how hard I try to be careful with them here. An umbrella is much quicker and easier for those rain showers that pop up and only last a few minutes. And they are a true life saver in the sun.

I've stood at desert highway bus stops and had as many as four of the local people under my umbrella with me getting out of the sun. Needless to say, I give away a lot of umbrellas. Brum
_________________________



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#88599 - 02/11/08 10:01 AM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Dryer]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Quote:
Quote:
Portable shade, very wise advice. You would be very surprised at how much longer a person can last without water in the shade as compared to the sun.


The biggest hiking lessons I've learned in the last 15 years is "white floppy dress shirt", "big hat", and "hike with an umbrella".


Paul, I wear this same outfit you've described here to stay cool and out of the sun. I've found that it also works to keep the Mexican police from harassing me as much when I'm out on the roads or passing through a town. When I wear my usual night camouflage nylon military pants tucked into my black Asolo boots, a black T-shirt, and my BMW motorcycle cap, with dark shades, and machete hanging from my pack, I get stopped often.

The white long sleeve shirt, floppy hat, and umbrella tends to make the cops shy away from me. Not sure why... although I've begun to notice that they tend to wink at me in that outfit... that is, till they spot the machete.. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> Brum
_________________________



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#88600 - 02/11/08 10:05 AM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: Brumfield]
6brnorma Offline
member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Arizona
Quote:
Quote:
It can't be emphasized enough to forget the solar still idea. You'll sweat a quart trying to get 1/2 a cup, digging a hole like that.


Coyote, I don't draw well, it was shown only half as deep as it should have been. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Brum


I have to concur with Coyote on this one...forget the 'solar still' (non-scale drawing or not). The tools and supplies you would have too carry to build one would add considerable weight that would be better served by simply carrying water instead. Much of Arizona has caliche (hardpan) just below the surface that requires picks, roto-hammers and dynamite to penetrate. You'll sweat a great deal more fluids than you'll gain.

Pick a route that has dependable water (there are many), carry extra water, put some planning into your trip, use good judgement (don't go in June, July or Aug.) and have a great time.

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#88601 - 02/11/08 01:18 PM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: 6brnorma]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
It can't be emphasized enough to forget the solar still idea. You'll sweat a quart trying to get 1/2 a cup, digging a hole like that.


Coyote, I don't draw well, it was shown only half as deep as it should have been. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Brum


I have to concur with Coyote on this one...forget the 'solar still' (non-scale drawing or not). The tools and supplies you would have too carry to build one would add considerable weight that would be better served by simply carrying water instead. Much of Arizona has caliche (hardpan) just below the surface that requires picks, roto-hammers and dynamite to penetrate. You'll sweat a great deal more fluids than you'll gain.

Pick a route that has dependable water (there are many), carry extra water, put some planning into your trip, use good judgement (don't go in June, July or Aug.) and have a great time.


Maybe I didn't mention it.. but a solar still is not part of my every day water supply, nor was I suggesting that it be used as such. Having the knowledge of how to build and use a solar still is a good thing to invest in. As well as capturing water from a cloud forest or night due, drinking from cactus, and other desert plants, and in the jungles knowing how to drink from freshly chopped banana trees or bamboo, or even recycling your own urine using a solar still, and on and on. I think I mentioned that the still could save your life if "you lost your water supply". I now realize that I should not have been so foolish with my drawings, this is a serious subject. When made and handled properly, solar stills do work, but you cannot survive on the output of one indefinitely.. And yes, the holes are much more shallow than my drawing suggested. Brum
_________________________



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#88602 - 02/11/08 02:12 PM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: Brumfield]
6brnorma Offline
member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Arizona
I'm not picking on you Brum....it's just that I was born, raised and still work daily in this desert. When I was younger, we were all taught the concept of the 'solar still' and I, like most of my peers thought it was the answer to survival in the desert. I reflect back on those who taught us this concept and am certain that none of them had in fact ever made one themselves under 'real world' conditions. I have done it....drank several gallons of water in the process and than waited half a day for the 1/2 cup of liquid that it produced.

Got to thinking though...the dynamite might not be such a bad idea. Light weight and multi-functional;
1) create hole for 'solar still'
2) find the correct spot in a wash...create a 'well'
3) good for fishing
4) will definitely stop a charging bear
5) will dig a 'cat-hole' in solid rock
6) will aid SAR pilots if you get lost
7) use as tent stake.....come on....the list could be endless. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#88603 - 02/11/08 02:56 PM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: 6brnorma]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Quote:


Got to thinking though...the dynamite might not be such a bad idea. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


I would instead suggest packing in a Caterpillar back hoe and drink the water out of the radiator while waiting on the half a cup of still water to drip down..

Sorry, there I go again.. just can't be serious for even a minute. I was just thinking of drawing a guy drinking from a Caterpillar radiator with a tube and changed my mind...

I know you're not picking on me. Been picked on before and it's different. I respond differently too. Brum <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________



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#88604 - 02/11/08 03:04 PM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: 6brnorma]
Arizona Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 122
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
Quote:
I'm not picking on you Brum....it's just that I was born, raised and still work daily in this desert. When I was younger, we were all taught the concept of the 'solar still' and I, like most of my peers thought it was the answer to survival in the desert. I reflect back on those who taught us this concept and am certain that none of them had in fact ever made one themselves under 'real world' conditions. I have done it....drank several gallons of water in the process and than waited half a day for the 1/2 cup of liquid that it produced.


I completely concur. You will have to make that hole while sweating buckets and you will get about 1/2 cup of water after 5 hours on a perfect day with damp ground. One is not likely to find damp ground in the desert on most occasions. It simply is not worth it. I am baffled at all the "survival" books that tout this method. Clearly, they are puppeting the previous books to fill space and have not taken the trouble to try this method for themselves in the desert. We have taken full sized shovels, something one will never have while hiking, and have made solar stills in various locations to the letter of the book tutorials in the most perfect sunny weather on hot days. One will be much better served by a shade shelter, taking enough water in their pack, knowing how to navigate so as not to become lost and knowing where to look for water.

Here we are in one location during the construction stage. Now I have heard that one will sweat gallons while digging the hole. I was not hot at all so I don't really know what they are talking about. Girlfriend was huffing and puffing though. YMMV. Come on girl, dig. That hole has to be a lot deeper and it isn't going to dig itself! You see Earthing, I occasionally take my umbrella. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />




Out here on the perimeter, the uppland Sonoran desert, one must be aware the stark reality of a harsh landscape. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#88605 - 02/11/08 03:27 PM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: Arizona]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Ya know, BoyNhisDog, solar stills have another desert danger not yet mentioned in this thread. Worse than lions, tigers, or chupacabras. Digging a hole like that attracts "graboids". That gal could get sucked down into that hole and chomped up without warning, and drag you right along with her. Not pretty.
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/blush.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

www.answers.com/topic/big-fat-graboid-jpg-1
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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