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Re: [pct-l] Weight lose on a thruhiike

Hi Joanne -- I am finally able to get back on the net after helping Mom 
through some problems at the Nursing HOme. We had some entertaining to do 
and I have a short repreive before the next crunch starts! We've enjoyed 
your discussions on the net, you are really bringing up some great thought 
proviking and helpful points about thruhiking, getting the rest of us 
thinking in the right directions -- thanks.

I wish that in '97 instead of being satisfied with being heavy at the start 
of our hike I had lost weight instead.  Each of your comments about weight 
hit the mark.  Being lighter weight to begin will certainly help not getting 
as many blisters and sore muscles.  Since your comments are so relevant and 
important I am listing them again:  

>I would feel better starting my thruhike in April.(I feel lighter,it is 
easier on the joints and tendons, I take the heat better, and proportion -
ately get more oxygen to my muscles without having to carry and feed extra 
fat ).  I am trying to be scrupulous about every ounce I put into my pack, 
it seems to be counterproductive to start out carrying an extra 10 pounds on 
my body.>   This is so very important and will help to insure a better 
beginning to your hike and make it a more successful one because you are 
avoiding problems at the start of your hike so they don't haunt you 
throughout the adventure and make is more enjoyable!!!

>What are the women's experiences?>  I didn't start losing any noticable 
weight for 4-5 weeks, eventhough I wasn't hungry!  My summation is that I 
was losing fat and building muscle.  In the desert areas the heat dulled my 
appetite and I was always so tired my stomach rebelled at food, but I made 
sure never to feel thirsty so I drank an great deal of water -- that 
probably had a part in my never feeling hungry.  The theory about drinking 
lots of water is that when you do feel dehydrated, you already are.  Walt 
and I carried soda bottles and Nagalene bottles in '97 but have since gone 
to Platypus containers -- so much lighter and more compact for the pack.  
You can carry extras and send extras to yourself so much easier because they 
roll up and are very light.  We still carry Gatorade bottles to mix our 
Carnation Breakfasts in for our early morning get away (we mixed them up the 
night before). Since these bottles are disposable, they get replaced at 
every town with gatorade when we re-supply.  I suffered greatly with leg 
muscle cramps and needed gatorade throughout the day.  My doctor told me to 
keep the mixture to 1/3 powered gatorade to 2/3 water -- less if needed. 
Adding too much gatorade causes it to build up in your body and can cause 
naseua and other problems. I have since gotten a prescription for quinnine 
and take it at bedtime -- this really helps keep the cramps at bay.
>If there is a large weight lose, how much was it and when on the thru hike 
did it peak;(at Sonora Pass I had lost 15 - 18 lbs) when did the weight lose 
start to taper off? I still lost weight even after I got off the trail 
(another 5-6 lbs -- but not for long!!  Bad thing was I was in that "Feeding 
Frenzy" mode for at least a month and would find myself coming out of a 
store eating those wonderful 3-6 candy bars, a monstrus coke, ice cream -- 
you name it, I ate it. I don't even remember picking it up, buying it  -- 
much less eating it sooo --I gained 20 pounds in less than 3 months and was 
almost back to my BEFORE hike weight!!!.

I can't stress theis enough, more than your breakfast, lunch or dinner, 
snacks become your main food and get eaten all day long while hiking --they  
provide your energy on a continuing basis.  I still love Baby Ruths and 
Almond Joys and can't wait to get back on the trail so I can have them to my 
hearts content! That is how important SNACKS were on the trail. 

Walt and I wished we hadn't mailed ANY food boxes to ourselves until Kennedy 
Meadows in '97 (except Warner Springs -- no close stores but you can hitch 
to one out of town) and we won't this year.  Notice I didn't say not to mail 
gear if you want to.  Another draw back is the day of the week that you get 
into town to pick up these boxes-- Saturdays and Sundays are the pits making 
mandatory layovers if you miss getting to the Post Office when they are open 
on Satuday  -- don't forget those holidays either!!  There are PLENTY of 
places in Southern California for food and lots of small stops at stores to 
resupply for snacks.  You will make better time too, we hated having to 
gauge our days miles on the Post Office being open -- it caused us lots of 
unhappy hours when we could have taken our time and enjoyed the scenary!  We 
will probably not use our stove until Mt. Laguna or Warner Springs either 
and will send our stove ahead.  You can buy food in Campo to last until Mt. 
Laguna -- you save carrying the extra weight and can therefore carry more 
water if needed. Remember to walk just past the campgrounds at Lake Moraine 
(take advantage of their great free showers at the camp) and stop at the 
Malt Shop for food!

If you are starting our in early April Joanne, you might check to see if the 
campground and shop will be open -- it maybe too early for them.  If so, you 
may want to carry your stove.

Looking forward to seeing you somewhere on the PCT.  

Happy Trails -- Granny Gear (Pat) 

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