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going to death valley soon
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Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
Re: going to death valley soon on 07/22/2008 17:24:08 MDT Print View

A 26 mile hike in Death Valley stretched out over a period of 5 days! Good lord! Do you enjoy hurting yourself or do you just have a death wish?

delun cai
(olivercai) - F
thank you for all reply on 07/22/2008 18:59:41 MDT Print View

thank you for all reply, those informaion is very helpful, and make me more understanding what situation that i am runnign into. i know hike in death valley at august that is a very dangerous idea. but i don`t want to qive up without try. i am going to carry 6 gallon water. my navigaion system is suunto x9i watch. wear fastdry and uv protection clothing, hat, and pants.

delun cai
(olivercai) - F
~ on 07/22/2008 19:00:48 MDT Print View

i am chinses. and i live in los angeles. 22 yesrs old~

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: ~ on 07/22/2008 19:28:05 MDT Print View


I recommend that you change your plans. I would not embark on a 26 mile trip into such conditions without having experience in similar situations for shorter time periods/distances first.

I could give you some more advice about how I would attempt to do this hike, but I think it is foolhardy if you do not already have extensive experience in these conditions.

Would you try multi-day hiking/camping in -50 degree temps without extensive experience first? Extreme heat can be just as dangerous as extreme cold... possibly more so, because we tend to think we can handle the heat just by sweating.

delun cai
(olivercai) - F
~ on 07/22/2008 22:23:15 MDT Print View

my plan is , i will take the one day hike there at the frist day.than, if i feel can't make it. i will give up the 3~5days hike. if i feel good after the one day hike. i think i will do the long hike

Edited by olivercai on 07/22/2008 23:50:33 MDT.

Russell Swanson
(rswanson) - F

Locale: Midatlantic
Re: ~ on 07/23/2008 09:15:03 MDT Print View

Well, at least you'll have the place all to yourself.

OK, I don't know if this has been asked already but I'm going to throw it out there- Why? What is the attraction behind such an extreme plan? Maybe a lot of these posts wouldn't be so negative if we had more insight into your motivation. Then again, maybe not.

Barry Foster
(bazzer) - F

Locale: Redding
You will die.... on 07/23/2008 10:20:55 MDT Print View

You will die, ever read "Into the Wild"?

Ryan Krause

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: going to death valley soon on 07/23/2008 11:11:55 MDT Print View

Considering the lack of provided details, most of us here are assuming you have done little planning and are being very foolish and highly irresponsible in potentially putting a SAR team into a dangerous rescue (or recovery) mission if/when things go wrong.

The idea of if you don't feel good on day 1 you'll scrap the rest of it - this same "plan" has happened in many tragedies in which the person/team got to this same decision point and decided to push on since they didn't want to give up regardless of the odds since they took all this time to get there, get the permits, etc.

You asked for an opinion, and we've given you one based upon the info you've given.

Edited by rmkrause on 07/23/2008 11:15:53 MDT.

David T
(DaveT) - F
. on 07/23/2008 11:13:31 MDT Print View


Edited by DaveT on 01/17/2015 11:29:08 MST.

Eric Noble
(ericnoble) - MLife

Locale: Colorado Rockies
Re: death valley. on 07/23/2008 13:13:13 MDT Print View

If your plan is, I will hike for one day and see how it goes from there, then you DO NOT have a plan. I typically ignore posts like this that show no prior thought before asking for help. If you want to be taken seriously then we need to see a REAL plan with some forethought. We need a sense of your experience level, and a list of the gear you plan to use, and the food and water you plan on taking, and a detailed itinerary. We can then talk about the merits of your plan. Your "plan" wouldn't even allow you to let someone know when to expect you! You may be up to this trip but with the information you have given I have to assume that you are not. Have you ever felt 120° F heat or even hiked all day in temps over 100° F? Ashley's advice it very good. LA is not that far from Death Valley. Work up to this in stages, otherwise you are looking like a potential Darwin Award recipient. I know my post is a touch harsh but I think it needs to be. I don't want you to feel unwelcome on this site because I do welcome you here, and feel you will learn much here.

Jim Ford
(jimford) - F - MLife

Locale: DFW
Re: death valley: hydration vs thermal regulation on 07/23/2008 18:13:23 MDT Print View

Keep in mind that there is a difference between staying hydrated, and keeping your core body temperature manageable (cool).

While water is essential to keep your body hydrated and functioning properly, that 6 gallons ain't gonna help as much as you'd like in keeping your core body temperature at a 'safe' level in such a hot environment if you are exerting yourself.

Consider this: if the air temperature is 120 degrees, how long do you think it is going to take before that water is 120 degrees? And that's assuming you don't do something silly like leave it in the sun in a dark colored pack/container, absorbing heat all day long. If that happens, then when you really need that water, you'll be hot, tired, sweaty, and thirsty - and that 6+ gallons of water you humped around all day is now TOO HOT TO DRINK.

Now, if that water were kept ice-cold (anyone have an ultralight 6 gallon backpacking thermos?), then sure, that water would do wonders at lowering your core body temperature. But if your core body temperature is getting high, drinking hot water is NOT going to bring it back down.

It sounds as if your 'plan' is to hike farther and faster so as to not need to carry as much water. But this will result in you overexerting yourself, raising your core body temperature, and putting you in much more danger from heatstroke. You need to stay hydrated, AND keep your core body temperature manageable.

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: going to death soon on 07/23/2008 21:30:03 MDT Print View

If you won't listen to sage advice, please take along a camcorder to document your short and possibly unsuccessful journey. This will give others who are reckless the chance to learn from the mistakes of others who passed before them.

Mark W Heninger
(heninger) - F

Locale: Pacific Northwest
going to death valley soon on 07/23/2008 22:51:41 MDT Print View

I've actually done this loop in 3 days in May. It was hot as hell then.

The first part of the loop is pretty easy - and there was water at several spots up the canyon. However, once you get out of Cottonwood canyon, its all trail-less and quite difficult to navigate. At the time I didn't have a handheld GPS and I had a day of very difficult navigation (read: I got lost) to find my way out. It was pretty much the toughest experience I've had in the wilderness. A GPS and a really good topo along with very good route-finding skills are necessary for this hike.

From the looks of things, you better stay home...

Art Sandt
(artsandt) - F
Re: going to death valley soon on 07/23/2008 23:17:14 MDT Print View

"From the looks of things, you better stay home..."

Or just do a friendlier hike. For crissakes the Sierras are only a stones throw away. Scaling Mt Whitney (to use an extreme example) would probably be safer to attempt in August than spending 3-5 days in Death Valley.

Stephen Morse
(scmorse1) - MLife

Locale: Bay area
Re: going to death valley soon on 07/23/2008 23:44:52 MDT Print View

This reminds me of the two climbers who died on Mt Hood in December 2006. Too much uneccessary risk.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: hmmmm. on 07/24/2008 00:53:06 MDT Print View

I hope Delun appreciates people's genuine concern for his safety -- and not attempt a trip for which he has little to no experience -- judging from his questions and his so-called "plan".

A much more viable alternative is to go with another person who has appropriate desert hiking experience -- or sign up for a guided group hike.

Edited by ben2world on 07/24/2008 01:01:20 MDT.

Karl Keating
(KarlKeating) - MLife
Go Ahead! on 07/24/2008 21:00:19 MDT Print View


Go ahead and do this Death Valley hike. But I suggest one small change to your plans.

Go in January.

Jason Brinkman
(jbrinkmanboi) - MLife

Locale: Idaho
Re: going to death valley soon on 07/24/2008 23:52:04 MDT Print View

Biting tongue... hard!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: going to death valley soon on 07/25/2008 00:25:10 MDT Print View

Hey, just speak your mind. We did.

Neil Bender
(nebender) - F
Re: ~ on 07/28/2008 15:30:39 MDT Print View

Water alone doesn't cut it.

So let's not forget electrolytes, sunscreen, and proper clothing. But the best recommendation I have is don't do it in that time of year. I've lived and hiked in the desert for 30 years and watched people go from lucid and in control to seriously impaired in a half hour or less, even with doing all the right things. One has to be very in touch with how their body responds to things like heat, cold, altitude, dehydration, etc. and even then experienced people get fooled, distracted, overwhelmed, etc.

There's a reason why they call it Death Valley. Old timers far hardier than most of us moderns learned the hard way.