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#88556 - 01/31/08 02:43 PM Desert Backpacking
grinagog Offline
member

Registered: 11/21/04
Posts: 22
Loc: Seattle
I've done most of my backpacking in the Northwest and Rocky Mountains, but I'm planning to go south for my spring break this year, and do some hiking in Arizona. Besides the obvious desert differences, what advice do you have for me? How do you store food when there aren't trees to hang from, etc. Thanks for your help.

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#88557 - 01/31/08 03:33 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: grinagog]
mockturtle Offline
member

Registered: 06/06/07
Posts: 251
Loc: WA
Not sure which 'obvious differences' you are referring to, but water is the most obvious one. It is impossible to pack enough water to sustain you for more than a day or two so you will need to know of water sources where you are going.

Most desert areas get quite cold at night, so you will need warm clothes and sleeping bag.

Cactus are very pesky.

You don't need to hang your food, as there aren't any bears. But you will need to watch out for rattlers.

Wind is not usually your friend, especially when it's blowing sand in your face, your food and your clothing.

Storms bring very fast flash flooding. Stay out of washes.

I'm probably forgetting a few things, but that's all I can come up with for now. Enjoy! If you're going in the spring, the wildflowers should be great this year because of the rain.

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#88558 - 01/31/08 04:27 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: grinagog]
Trailrunner Offline
member

Registered: 01/05/02
Posts: 1835
Loc: Los Angeles
The #1 issue in desert camping, at least for me, is water. It's heavy and bulky. And it's hard to predict exactly how much you'll need so I usually carry too much just to be safe. Drink lots at the trailhead so you start fully hydrated. Cache it ahead if possible.

Plan your meals so no water is wasted. Cooking pasta in a pot is out. So are meals that require lots of dishes. You can't drink dishwater.

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#88559 - 01/31/08 05:17 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: grinagog]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Water. Plan all hikes with at least a 1/3 reserve of more that you think you'll need.
Springs/creeks are unreliable and you need a reserve just in case. Plan on carrying ALL your water, and don't push your luck. Depending on the weather, dress light and loose. I wear an old long sleeve, white, floppy, cotton poly blend dress shirt and a wide brimmed hat. I like convertible pants...light material. Umbrellas are wonderful portable shade...make yourself a ultralight umbrella. I like trail runners instead of boots, don't kick a horse crippler (armour piercing cactus).
Plan your equipment to handle wide temperature swings, but keep it as light weight as possible. Crazy hot in daylight, cool/cold at night, with dry high winds in between.
Never had a problem with food storage in the desert. It stays in the pack, near me unless I know of critters in the area. In the mountains, there are usually trees to hang from. Many national parks now have bear boxes for storage in each campsite. If you are going to a park, by all means pick the brain of the desk ranger.
Oh, and plan on returning over and over again....deserts are wonderful!
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#88560 - 01/31/08 05:24 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: grinagog]
Pika Offline
member

Registered: 12/08/05
Posts: 1813
Loc: Rural Southeast Arizona
March and April can be windy months here in Arizona. If you are planning on camping you may want to consider some sort of a tent to protect you from a lot of the wind-blown sand that moves along in the foot above the soil surface. If you plan on tarp camping, you could wind up with a lot of sand in your sleeping bag. Also, it can get pretty darn cold at night even though the days are warm and pleasant. Prepare for cold and windy nights. Take plenty of water; at least 4 liters a day until you acclimatize. Unless it is really warm, you shouldn't have to worry about rattlesnakes that early in the year and if they are out, it will only be during the day. One last thing, just about everything in the Arizona desert has thorns, sharp edges, teeth, thorns, stingers, spines, is poisonous and/or has sharp points. Beware of everything! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/laugh.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
May I walk in beauty.

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#88561 - 01/31/08 07:00 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: grinagog]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
Water in the desert is highly seasonal, and also varies from year to year, depending upon the amounts of rainfall in any given year. Right now Arizona seems to be getting adequate amounts of rainfall.

I have hiked in the Superstitions when there was a trickling brook every quarter mile, and I did a winter trip in the Gila Bend Gunnery Range (by vehicle) where the roadway was a very decent stream for miles on end. This is one of the hottest and driest areas in the continent. I have also humped gallons of water and needed every drop, ending up fiercely dehydrated at the end of the trip. In the desert timing is everything.

Spring is a fine time to hike in Arizona. Get expert local knowledge on the water sources and don't hesitate to pack extra. You will be surprised at the number of trees (defined as plants with limbs high enough and strong enough to hang your food from) in nearly every part of the desert. Think palo verde, saguaro, mesquite, etc. Food storage isn't much of an issue unless you are in a heavily used campground.

You will have a great time.

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#88562 - 02/01/08 07:06 AM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: mockturtle]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
Quote:

Wind is not usually your friend, especially when it's blowing sand in your face, your food and your clothing.


Since I am not a lurker, I can post here. I hate sand. After a year in sand, I have determined that my kids will have to do without a sand box. Man, I hate sand. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#88563 - 02/02/08 04:35 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: finallyME]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
That and it sticks to sillynylon <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> Oh, and you can leave the 'food weight' behind, 'cause yer' gonna need all of it for water <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#88564 - 02/05/08 04:08 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: grinagog]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Grinagog, Bring all the water you'll need, plus about 1/3 more. And take the time to learn how to build a solar still using your cup or water bottle, a UL thin piece of plastic sheeting, desert plants, and a hole in the ground. Could save your life if you loose your water supply. Brum
_________________________



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#88565 - 02/05/08 04:23 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Brumfield]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
And might I add gary, a piece of small diameter tubing 5ft long to leave in that cup with the end up top sticking out from under the plastic edge wieghted down with a rock. You can leave your 'still' undisturbed this way, and drink all you want <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#88566 - 02/05/08 06:57 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: finallyME]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Yeah! It's hard to keep the sand in the box. It ends up in everything in the house or tent. I built my daughter a sand box but I never put any sand in it. She asked me about it once. I just kinda never got around to it. So I guess she just had a dirt box all these years.
_________________________
Enjoy your next trip...

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#88567 - 02/06/08 07:51 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Earthling]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Quote:
And might I add gary, a piece of small diameter tubing 5ft long to leave in that cup with the end up top sticking out from under the plastic edge wieghted down with a rock. You can leave your 'still' undisturbed this way, and drink all you want <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />


Yes,, thank you, oh wise one of the desert rats <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" />... that is the correct way, I forgot to mention a tube. Guess I should have drawn little stick people pictures too... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> Brum

_________________________



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#88568 - 02/06/08 11:28 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: grinagog]
300winmag Offline
member

Registered: 02/28/06
Posts: 1342
Loc: Nevada, USA
To all of these sage comments I'd add a few:

Water in a hydration bag with the tube covered in a light colored neoprene sleeve to keep the water in the drink tube below "boiling" temp.

Stay away feom cholla cacti !! FAR away - and never camp anywhere near them Their spines are maddeningly painful. Don't ask me how I know.

Protect your skin. Rely more on specific UV barrier clothing than sunscreen. Do like the cowboys downhere do, wear a long sleeved shirt and a wide brimmed hat and TOUGH pants like denim or, my fav, "5.11" brand nylon canvas tactical pants.They turn sharp growth...and every plant in the desert is some kind of sharp or nasty.Check out the 5.11 website.

Eric
_________________________
"There are no comfortable backpacks. Some are just less uncomfortable than others."

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#88569 - 02/07/08 09:45 AM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Brumfield]
chaz Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/07
Posts: 1149
Loc: Tennessee
Looking at the picture of the hole you have to dig to get water, it appears that it needs to be about 6 or 7 feet deep if the people standing near it are to any kind of scale. I think if I were in the desert trying to dig a hole with my little shovel I would die of thirst before I could complete the hole and wait for water to drip into the cup. Besides the fact that I may be out of physical energy to suck the water up the long tube. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
Enjoy your next trip...

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#88570 - 02/07/08 11:19 AM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Brumfield]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Quote:
Quote:
And might I add gary, a piece of small diameter tubing 5ft long to leave in that cup with the end up top sticking out from under the plastic edge wieghted down with a rock. You can leave your 'still' undisturbed this way, and drink all you want <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />


Yes,, thank you, oh wise one of the desert rats <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/ooo.gif" alt="" />... that is the correct way, I forgot to mention a tube. Guess I should have drawn little stick people pictures too... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> Brum



Yes, one must bring their OWN tube to the drinking hole, 'lest they scuz up mine with desert dust mouth <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Great Picture Barry <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

But Eric, those 'teddy bear' cholla are so fuzzy interestingly cute...come closer <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> Yikes! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> been there, pulled that out <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#88571 - 02/07/08 11:42 AM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: 300winmag]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
I didn't know that 5.11 made nylon pants. I thought they were all 100% cotton, or a cotton blend.

As far as cactus, never play capture the flag at night when there are a lot of prickly pears around. Don't ask how I know that one either. By the way, this took several times to learn, not just once. What can I say, sometimes it takes a while to sink in (pun intended). <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#88572 - 02/07/08 05:36 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: chaz]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Quote:
Looking at the picture of the hole you have to dig to get water, it appears that it needs to be about 6 or 7 feet deep if the people standing near it are to any kind of scale. I think if I were in the desert trying to dig a hole with my little shovel I would die of thirst before I could complete the hole and wait for water to drip into the cup. Besides the fact that I may be out of physical energy to suck the water up the long tube. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />


FORGET IT!!! I am not redrawing that hole to be true to scale.. If you'll note the people have no eyes either.. and they are one dimensional, and their heads are too big for their bodies, so... I suck at graphics. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Brum

Crap., I forgot to add chopped up, moisture producing, desert plants in the bottom of the hole too! That's why I can never get water out of those things.... I can't get a job drawing either...
_________________________



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#88573 - 02/08/08 07:12 AM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: grinagog]
tinaanderson Offline
member

Registered: 02/04/08
Posts: 18
I would love to do some desert backpacking, but I have never been out in those parts of the country. I'm from Michigan and my family only gets to visit other parts of the country in the summer, but we usually head east and south.
_________________________
Virginia Hiking

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#88574 - 02/08/08 04:11 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: 300winmag]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Quote:
To all of these sage comments I'd add a few:

Water in a hydration bag with the tube covered in a light colored neoprene sleeve to keep the water in the drink tube below "boiling" temp.

Stay away feom cholla cacti !! FAR away - and never camp anywhere near them Their spines are maddeningly painful. Don't ask me how I know.

Protect your skin. Rely more on specific UV barrier clothing than sunscreen. Do like the cowboys downhere do, wear a long sleeved shirt and a wide brimmed hat and TOUGH pants like denim or, my fav, "5.11" brand nylon canvas tactical pants.They turn sharp growth...and every plant in the desert is some kind of sharp or nasty.Check out the 5.11 website.

Eric


300 Winchester Magnum, Excellent advice. Glad to see that at least one of us can be useful here.. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> Brum
_________________________



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#88575 - 02/08/08 04:33 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: grinagog]
grinagog Offline
member

Registered: 11/21/04
Posts: 22
Loc: Seattle
thank you, everyone, for the advice.

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#88576 - 02/08/08 07:20 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Brumfield]
Jimshaw Offline
member

Registered: 10/22/03
Posts: 3967
Loc: Bend, Oregon
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="" />
_________________________
These are my own opinions based on wisdom earned through many wrong decisions. Your mileage may vary.

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#88577 - 02/08/08 07:39 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: grinagog]
Arizona Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 122
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
There are bears in Arizona, lots of them depending on where you are.

Those stills don't work well enough to fuss with. Try one before you rely on it. We did some in depth tests along with others and had shovels. We placed them in several locations, it was a sunny day and the ground was damp from recent rains. You will loose far more water through sweat when building them than you will get back.

Not all of Arizona is sand. LOL

There are many zones here so it depends on where you are going to be. There are places we go where we will carry 2 to 3 gallons of water per person. Water is the serious issue depending on the conditions, time of year and reliable springs. People have died within sight of interstate highways here for lack of water and heat related problems.

Where exactly do you want to go?

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#88578 - 02/09/08 06:16 AM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Brumfield]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
Brum, if you dug a solar still at 'scale' to your sketch, one would need an
ultra-light backhoe. Nice pic, just the same.
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


The thing about solar stills anywhere, is that they are very slow to make a useful quantity of water and require a huge amount of effort to dig a pit big enough to get the surface area needed. This is one of those "practice at home" things before you let your life depend on it. I've been in 'heat and water' trouble in the desert and digging a pit was the last thing on our minds. If we'd hung around to do it, we'd be dead from exposure. We were on bicycles and the only ground around for miles was loose gravel, with ocotillo and creosote. So, best bring enough water, with electrolytes, with 1/3rd reserve, AND PORTABLE SHADE!!! (like a poncho shelter or a couple mylar space blankets). When you run into trouble out there, the question becomes..."do I spend my time trying to summon help" ...or..."take the chance and trudge on", or "hunker down into survival mode". It's a tricky thought process to go through when you are under heat stress. Problems arrise VERY quickly and you're in trouble before you realize it. All desert survival water techniques take time and effort. "Bagging" creosote bushes sometimes works too, but you'll be spending the night out there to harvest a few drops of water in the morning. Expect to be disapointed, and really uncomfortable. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

I'd also suggest that 'desert newbies' pick up some reading material about desert hiking and survival and get acquainted with how to "read the desert". Big Bend Ntl. Park offers a survival course, which I've never taken, but plan to someday. It's pricy but I understand it's good.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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#88579 - 02/09/08 06:31 AM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Dryer]
Arizona Offline
member

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

I recommend Desert Survival Skills by David Alloway.


Edited by BoyNhisDog (02/09/08 06:31 AM)

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#88580 - 02/09/08 07:06 AM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: Arizona]
Dryer Offline
Moderator

Registered: 12/05/02
Posts: 3591
Loc: Texas
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.




Yup...its not the lack of water that gets you.....it's the heat and sun exposure. There's a body temperature point where all the water in the world won't help you. Your body just won't process it. The biggest hiking lessons I've learned in the last 15 years is "white floppy dress shirt", "big hat", and "hike with an umbrella". You can hike in complete comfort out on the desert floor, if you are in perpetual shade.
_________________________
paul, texas KD5IVP

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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="" />
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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.
_________________________
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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
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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.
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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
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#88606 - 02/11/08 03:50 PM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: Dryer]
Arizona Offline
member

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


<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/shocked.gif" alt="" />

I'm, staying home! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

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#88607 - 02/11/08 07:06 PM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: Arizona]
oldranger Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 1735
Loc: California (southern)
My girlfriend can out dig your girlfriend! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

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#88608 - 02/11/08 07:10 PM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: oldranger]
6brnorma Offline
member

Registered: 05/11/05
Posts: 252
Loc: Arizona
Quote:
My girlfriend can out dig your girlfriend! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />


May we please see photographic evidence to that effect??? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />

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#88609 - 02/11/08 10:16 PM Re: Desert Backpacking [Re: grinagog]
SAMYADAMS Offline
member

Registered: 02/23/07
Posts: 36
Loc: Pacific Coast, Ca, USA
Thinking about doing something out by Death Valley before the heat rises... <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/cool.gif" alt="" />
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#88610 - 02/12/08 05:43 AM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: oldranger]
Arizona Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 122
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
Quote:
My girlfriend can out dig your girlfriend! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />


We will see about that. Bring your own umbrella and we might go in on an ice chest of cold beverages as it is hard work watching them dig.

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#88611 - 02/12/08 06:06 AM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: Arizona]
phat Offline
Moderator

Registered: 06/24/07
Posts: 4107
Loc: Alberta, Canada
Quote:
Quote:
My girlfriend can out dig your girlfriend! <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />


We will see about that. Bring your own umbrella and we might go in on an ice chest of cold beverages as it is hard work watching them dig.


Something tells me if they saw this conversation, It wouldn't be the two of you sitting on the cooler drinking cold ones <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/wink.gif" alt="" />
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#88612 - 02/12/08 01:51 PM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: Arizona]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
That is not me, I use a silver umbrella. Brum
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#88613 - 02/12/08 01:57 PM Re: Desert Backpacking- Hey, where's Grinagog??? [Re: grinagog]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Quote:
I've done most of my backpacking in the Northwest and Rocky Mountains, but I'm planning to go south for my spring break this year, and do some hiking in Arizona. Besides the obvious desert differences, what advice do you have for me? How do you store food when there aren't trees to hang from, etc. Thanks for your help.


With all this foolishness going on, has anyone checked to see if Grinagog is ok? <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" /> He could be somewhere digging a hole in the desert thanks to me!

Grinagog! , You ok out there? !! Brum <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" />
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#88614 - 02/12/08 02:15 PM Re: Desert Backpacking- Hey, where's Grinagog??? [Re: Brumfield]
grinagog Offline
member

Registered: 11/21/04
Posts: 22
Loc: Seattle
I'm a girl, and I'm just fine. I'm planning on going in March, which shouldn't be too crazy-hot, and the response to my questions was more than I expected, and very nice. Now I just have to find an inexpensive way to get from Montana to Arizona...yeah right.

Thanks, again.

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#88615 - 02/12/08 02:22 PM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: Arizona]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
Quote:
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="" />


What I see is a VERY smart man <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> I agree, the often 'hyped' desert solar still is a LAST resort that may kill you quicker than the lack of water itself out there <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> I always carry an umbrella when hiking in hot weather where I think I'll have no forest cover. If nothing else it can shade me while watching someone else dig for Fool's Gold <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
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#88616 - 02/12/08 03:43 PM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: Earthling]
Arizona Offline
member

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


What I see is a VERY smart man <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" /> I agree, the often 'hyped' desert solar still is a LAST resort that may kill you quicker than the lack of water itself out there <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" /> I always carry an umbrella when hiking in hot weather where I think I'll have no forest cover. If nothing else it can shade me while watching someone else dig for Fool's Gold <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


I don't know how smart it was. About 5 minutes after finished the hole, she laid that shovel up the side of my head. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif" alt="" />

and lest anyone might think I was not doing my part, I went out and found the little rock you put in the middle of the plastic sheet to form the inverted cone for the moisture to run down to the receptacle. I carried it all the way back and put it in place all by myself.

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#88617 - 02/13/08 01:21 PM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: Arizona]
Earthling Offline
member

Registered: 02/22/03
Posts: 3228
Loc: USA
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Like I said a Smart Man N his dog <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

"Ouch! that's gonna leave a mark", he said as he went lookin' fer the wee center stone <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

Acutually it's a pretty good hands on lesson to teach the 'book learners' IMO <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
PEPPER SPRAY AIN'T BRAINS IN A CAN!

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#88618 - 02/13/08 02:41 PM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: Earthling]
Arizona Offline
member

Registered: 02/26/02
Posts: 122
Loc: The Southwestern Deserts
Quote:
<img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" /> Like I said a Smart Man N his dog <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smirk.gif" alt="" />

"Ouch! that's gonna leave a mark", he said as he went lookin' fer the wee center stone <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif" alt="" />

Acutually it's a pretty good hands on lesson to teach the 'book learners' IMO <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />


She only hit me after I told her she would have to dig five more holes if we were to get enough water to make tea for two in five hours. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

and yes, books are good sources but thinking one can go from reading a technique to actually using it successfully with no prior practice is a stretch. Practice and exploring a technique in your own part of the world is essential. About once every year I like to make a friction fire with desert materials, yucca stalks are very good. If one does not practice but only reads of a technique, it may not work in the wild as well as one might build up their mind. There is the very useful and then there is the useless. I have yet to find a person out there who finds that the solar still is a viable option out of the very experienced desert rats I know from the Sonoran to the Mohave deserts. One fellow is 70 years old and he can do just about anything technique wise and still practices in the deserts. I have learned a lot from him over the years as well.

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#88619 - 02/13/08 06:13 PM Re: Desert Backpacking- Hey, where's Grinagog??? [Re: grinagog]
Brumfield Offline
member

Registered: 12/23/07
Posts: 255
Loc: Expat from New Orleans, now in...
Quote:
I'm a girl, and I'm just fine. I'm planning on going in March, which shouldn't be too crazy-hot, and the response to my questions was more than I expected, and very nice. Now I just have to find an inexpensive way to get from Montana to Arizona...yeah right.

Thanks, again.


OOPS! Sorry, Allie! Glad to know you're ok, and not waist deep in a hole somewhere. Keep us posted on your plans. We sometimes get a little carried away here, but I can assure you we'll all pitch in and help if you need it. After all is said and done, water is your main concern in the desert. That and not getting lost.

By the way, please allow me to suggest that you not be too specific on here as to your dates and locations of travel, too many lurkers with ulterior motives on the net. Email some of the regulars and ask specifics about locations and dates. I wish you a good and safe trip. Bring back pictures for us to see. May God bless and keep you in all of your going out and coming in. Brum
_________________________



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#88620 - 02/14/08 11:40 AM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: Arizona]
finallyME Offline
member

Registered: 09/24/07
Posts: 2710
Loc: Utah
And I thought the Peligres were bad enough. When I was doing military stuff between El Paso and White Sands, there were all these signs that read "Warning, Peligre". Those Peigres were pretty scary, but nothing like that graboid. <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />
_________________________
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.

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#88621 - 05/04/08 08:40 PM Re: solar still: forget'em [Re: finallyME]
Amphib Offline
member

Registered: 09/19/03
Posts: 65
Loc: Sonora Desert
BoyNhisDog, I recognize you from where I used to work! I'll just say, this guy knows about the desert, trust me! (well so do I) I grew up here.

Yeah, maybe take some water, jolly ranchers, sunglasses, eye-drops, forms of shade, knife or multo tool so you can snack on local fruits, camera, sunblock/lip block, ziplock, tweasers, duck tape, flip flops..I can go on.


Edited by Amphib (05/04/08 08:52 PM)

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