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[ft-l] RE: Going Solo

Teresa- My first solo hike was at Providence Canyon "The
Grande-Canyon of the South" on the Alabama-Georgia border about
six years ago.  It was the middle of summer and it was
hot...real hot.  The red hills almost appeared to be glowing
with the heat of the day as I hiked back the trail.  The bugs
were bad too...being fairly inexperienced I forgot bug spray...I
basically lost about a half liter of blood to the little
I got to the campsite and set up my tent...crawled in to get
some reprieve from the bugs and passed out (I think from heat
exhaustion) at about 4pm.  I woke to the stings of ants...as I
was unaware when I set up my tent that it was directly on top of
an ant pile...fire ants nontheless!! At this point I was pretty
upset...I was hot, my tent had ant-holes in it, and I was
covered in bug bites...yikes...
I got out, moved my tent, killed as many ants as possible and
decided to eat...ramen noodles...hehe...
I used some water, heated it up with my as-yet used stove and
sat back to watch the water boil and my nutrient-dense ramen
I ate and went to sleap at about 7pm...got thirsty aroung
10pm...realized I didn't have any water!  Jeez...that was my
first night-hike too as I was really thirsty and couldn't get
back to sleep.  The stream that was one mile form camp was
empty!!!!  There was no other place to get water on the trail,
I went back to camp and sat down to think.
I decided that I was hungry, eaten alive, had no water, and it
was still about 95 degrees outside. I needed to leave.
Luckily I still had my flashlight so I packed up and started
walking, very slowly.  That seven miles took forever!!  I
arrived back at the entrance at 1am, filled up with water at the
water fountain, went to the bathroom, packed my motorcycle and
went home (Tallahassee, a three hour drive).
I was happy to hit my bed at 4am...I slept till one.
Rules to live by:
*check with the ranger to make sure there is water where it
should be
*bring 2X the water you think you'll need (you don't have
someone to borrow from)
*bring bug-spray or a head net
*wear appropriate clothing to the weather and bugs
*bring nutrient-dense, quality food
*look at the ground before you pitch your tent
*bring enough batteries so that if you have to hike through the
night you can...
a lot more could have gone wrong than what did...I am a very
lucky person.  the next year I joined Outdoor Pursuits here at
the University (FSU) and learned loads.  I am now an LNT
instructor and although I am no longer with OP, I lead trips
with various groups in need of a guide to local sights such as
Leon Sinks and Torreya State Park...not to mention the sea
I always have a story for newbies that I am on trips with...
They laugh, I laugh (in retrospect), and we drink lots of water.
Peace and Friendship!  -Mike-

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