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RE: [at-l] Beginner's 2nd Test Run and Pack Shake Down

Thanks for the story.  That's a perfect example of dehydration - it does
tend to sneak up on you.  I get it too if I forget to drink enough even
though I might feel okay at the time.

In my hiking prior to this trip I adopted the sayings:

Drink before you are thirsty;
Eat before you are hungry;
Rest before you are tired.

They pop into my head now when I think about *postponing* doing what I need
to do - I seem to last a lot longer if I live by these guidelines.

I hope your story reminds someone to drink their water - especially
important when we don't feel like it.


>Good luck with it. Just for reference, I've hiked all of the AT from
>Springer Mtn GA to Erwin Tenn; about 380 miles or so and have never
>experienced a shortage of water. Water has always been plentiful when I kept
>my eye on the guidebook and planned accordingly. I also started out carrying
>a lot of water and then reduced it as I gained confidence. I now carry a
>single quart nalgene bottle on my belt which is full. Then I carry a large
>platypus bottle in my pack. I usually put a 1/2 quart or so into it as a
>I've experienced dehydration on the trail once and it was not fun. It
>happened on the 3rd day of a 5 day trip and was not due to water shortage
>but due to just not drinking enough. In this way I learned to drink more
>than I think I want. The symptoms were complete and total lack of energy and
>extreme nausua. I had hiked 5 miles by lunch (2 hours hiking) when I
>suddenly got really tired. I just couldn't go on. I laid down and took a 30
>minute nap which did not help. It then took me till 5PM to get the next 3
>miles to a shelter. I laid up in my tent thinking I had drank bad water and
>had giardia. I was sure I was going to vomit. I didn't want to eat or drink
>AT ALL! Finally another hiker arrived and came over to talk. He convinced me
>to get up and move around. Then he insisted I drink and eat which I did even
>though I didn't want. I sat down and forced 2 quarts of water down and ate
>half a pot of food (he kindly ate the leftovers :-). He was right - I felt
>much better. By the next morning I was good as new and able to hike all day
>at my regular pace. After this I learned to pay attention to my sweating and
>the temperature and drink accordingly even if I don't feel like it. You live
>and learn.
>Sounds like your playing it safe as you learn. Good idea.
>Jim McBride
>> ----------
>> From: 	Delita Wright[SMTP:delita@mindspring.com]
>> Sent: 	Monday, August 09, 1999 3:51 PM
>> To: 	McBride, James
>> Cc: 	'ATL Mailing List'
>> Subject: 	RE: [at-l] Beginner's 2nd Test Run and Pack Shake Down
>> >Delita,
>> >
>> >Why so much water? I would never carry more that 2 or 3 quarts in GA
>> where
>> >water is almost always easy enough to find. I usually only carry 1.5
>> quarts
>> >but might increase that to 2.5 or 3 this time of year.
>> >
>> >Jim McBride
>> My muscles don't seem to completely hydrate with the water I drink.  If I
>> don't drink extra water I don't function.  This is why we did the test run
>> - to see how much water I drank to hike 5 miles.  I drank 8 liters and my
>> son drank 1.5 liters on that hike.  It was very interesting to hike with
>> someone *normal* for a change and to see just how great the differences.
>> If I don't get the water I need, I get heat exhaustion (and just generally
>> exhausted) very early on.  I am working on the biochemistry issues with my
>> doctor and nutritionist, and we are making progress.  Apparently the
>> changes I have made in my diet are making a difference.
>> Actually, on this trip I tried something new.  At risk of assigning one
>> case of anecdotal evidence the credit for my hike, I did function better
>> than - as my son said - either one of us had any right to hope.
>> I used a product called E-mergen-C.  This is a powder that comes in a
>> packet (I bought them in my whole foods grocery) which is slightly
>> effervescent and adds mineral ascorbates to the water - kinda like sports
>> drinks, only I bought the one without the added sugar (another condition:
>> I
>> can't do sugar).
>> From one hike there is no way to tell how much this helped.  But it
>> *seemed* to help and I needed less water than I was expecting.  So maybe
>> it
>> did help with the absorbtion problem.  I am convinced enough that I want
>> to
>> continue to use the product daily (when not hiking) at the recommended
>> dose
>> of 1-2 packs a day.
>> And I SURE want to have it with me on my hikes.  If nothing else it makes
>> the water much more palatable and seems to boost my energy level better
>> than plain water.
>> I also found that I was SOOOOO paranoid about running out of water that I
>> did carry more than I needed.  I was simply more willing to carry it than
>> to risk not finding it.  I suspect that as I get more experienced and more
>> confident about my ability to find water, I will be able to cut back on
>> what I carry, just like I will be able to trust more distance on less food
>> as I become more sure of myself and my ability to get to the next section.
>> And, like I said, I am needing less of both these days.
>> It is looking like hiking may be the best thing I can do to *re-set* my
>> biochemistry.  This feels GREAT after a lifetime of medicine having
>> virtually no solutions for me.
>> Life's an adventure...
>> Delita

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