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Done in a Day
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Done in a Day on 08/26/2008 21:28:39 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Done in a Day

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: Done in a Day on 08/27/2008 06:19:10 MDT Print View

Great article Kevin. Jim Baily and I did exactly this last weekend. We headed up to the Whites on Friday night after work, made camp a mile into the woods and pulled off a sizeable day on Sat. My gear setup was probably the most compact and simple it has ever been and it was wonderful. For the 9-5 Mon-Fri working crowd this is an awesome way to get out, feel accomplished but still have time to mow the lawn on Sunday :)

jim bailey
(florigen) - F - M

Locale: South East
short trips with big miles on 08/27/2008 07:15:10 MDT Print View

Great job Kevin!

Many helpful tips here, Johnathan and I found out this past weekend that getting out and doing this type of trip works great with all that you mentioned.

Thanks for providing the great content that keeps us coming back.

Jim

Jeremy Greene
(tippymcstagger) - F

Locale: North Texas
nice method for weekend warriors on 08/27/2008 07:32:41 MDT Print View

Kevin,

The systems in this article are clear and concise. They present a good goal for the adventurer with limited time and money. Or for smaller nearby parks. I hope to emulate this method someday and get the most out of my weekend.

Two things leave me with questions:
1. how does the adventure racer bottle attachment work? and who makes bike bottles that don't leak?
2. was fuel available for the cigarette lighter mentioned in the second to last paragraph?

Jonathan Ryan
(Jkrew81) - F - M

Locale: White Mtns
Re: nice method for weekend warriors on 08/27/2008 07:38:12 MDT Print View

Hey Jeremy,
I used front holsters for my water bottles this weekend and it worked really well. I was able to carry a total of 80 oz of water but only have 34 of it on my back. The ones in the pic below are made by Ron Bell of MLD.

bottles

Robert Burrell
(Buzz) - F - M
Good on 08/27/2008 08:31:34 MDT Print View

Good job. While I am quite familiar with the style, I had never heard of some of the equipment/gear mentioned, so thanks much.
Note: although never mentioned by BPL or anyone else, BY FAR the lightest piece of gear is the credit card! Compare it's 1/5 of an ounce weight to your entire sleeping/shelter system, cooking system, most of your food and some of your clothes. You just have to be quick enough to make it to a motel every night. :-)

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Don't forget on 08/27/2008 08:40:59 MDT Print View

While sodium is an important thing to watch, potassium consumption can be even more important - reason to watch the food you consume on harder trips. When drinking electrolyte mixes make sure they are balanced with many items added. Potassium regulates sodium in our bodies - don't have enough and your kidneys will have a harder time if you consume too much sodium. It also helps prevent cramps, nausea and more.
:-)

Christopher Holden
(back2basics) - F - MLife

Locale: Southeast USA
Re: Don't forget on 08/27/2008 08:44:12 MDT Print View

Hooray for pomegranate juice and dehydrated banana chips!

Jeremy Greene
(tippymcstagger) - F

Locale: North Texas
Re: Re: Don't forget on 08/27/2008 08:54:14 MDT Print View

Prunes.

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: nice method for weekend warriors on 08/27/2008 12:08:36 MDT Print View

[Two things leave me with questions:
1. how does the adventure racer bottle attachment work? and who makes bike bottles that don't leak?
2. was fuel available for the cigarette lighter mentioned in the second to last paragraph?]

The racer bottles are attached with either two elastic straps with cord locks attached (and the upper strap needs to be fairly stout) OR you can substitute velcro for the upper strap. The velcro should overlap behind your strap and be long enough that it fits behind the 1/2" webbing strap on the top of your shoulder straps. (The velcro can overlap through the webbing so that it stays put.)

Bike bottles that don't leak can be difficult to find--you just need to tighten them and see if they leak air while in the store. You can usually find a couple that don't leak from most brands.

You saw the lava and no "stuff" growing huh? You are correct, above around 9000' there was no plant material for a fire, but lower on Mauna Loa there was enough scrub to get a fire going if needed. Higher on the mountain I would have been limited to "large muscle aerobics" to keep warm had I needed to spend the night.

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: Good on 08/27/2008 12:11:04 MDT Print View

[Note: although never mentioned by BPL or anyone else, BY FAR the lightest piece of gear is the credit card! Compare it's 1/5 of an ounce weight to your entire sleeping/shelter system, cooking system, most of your food and some of your clothes. You just have to be quick enough to make it to a motel every night. :-)]

A bit of cash held in one hand makes the hitchhiking thumb much more effective and helps you get to the motel of your choice should you wish to avoid a miserable night out. I usually carry a $20 and a couple of $5 bills with me. My credit card also has a pre-purchased minute phone number on the back so I can get payphone access.

Edited by ksawchuk on 08/27/2008 12:28:53 MDT.

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Hitchhiking on 08/27/2008 13:35:29 MDT Print View

Bring a lady with you ;-) You will always get picked up.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Don't forget on 08/27/2008 14:40:41 MDT Print View

Potassium-rich foods include meats, beans, fruits, and potatoes. The average American diet has an excess of potassium. In the normal healthy hiker, inadequate intake as a cause of low potassium would be very rare. The most common cause of low potassium is increased excretion mostly due to medications such as a diuretic for high blood pressure. Inadequate intake of potassium is usually seen with eating disorders, dental problems and the poor.

Mildly low potassium is usually gonna cause weakness and fatigue, with muscle cramping being seen in more severely low potassium. In other words, the muscle cramping you get on a hike is way more likely to be due to muscle fatigue from overexertion than it will ever be from low potassium (in the normal healthy hiker). By the time you get to the low potassium levels needed to cause muscle cramping, you may be flat on your back needing evacuation.

The mechanisms involved in the usual case of low sodium or low potassium in a hiker are different. It is important for all electrolytes to be at normal levels, but potassium does not really regulate sodium levels. Sodium levels are regulated by the nervous system, kidneys and blood vessel receptors. That doesn't mean some electrolytes can't cause problems with other electrolytes, such as low magnesium causing problems in trying to correct low potassium. That is a whole other chapter in the complexity of electrolytes.

Hikers that are on prescription medications should always consult their physician about their diet while hiking so they don't run into problems on the trail. So, the thing to watch is not your potassium consumption but the prescription medications you are taking.

John

==============
Sarah said:
While sodium is an important thing to watch, potassium consumption can be even more important - reason to watch the food you consume on harder trips. When drinking electrolyte mixes make sure they are balanced with many items added. Potassium regulates sodium in our bodies - don't have enough and your kidneys will have a harder time if you consume too much sodium. It also helps prevent cramps, nausea and more.

Edited by jshann on 08/27/2008 14:43:59 MDT.

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Don't forget on 08/27/2008 14:52:49 MDT Print View

I agree with John--Potassium (K+)has very important functions and deficiency can cause major problems but very little of it is lost in normal people even when they sweat heavily. Those taking diuretics are at higher risk for K+ loss but are likely on supplements. Sweat is primarily water, sodium (Na+) and chloride (Cl-). Training in heat results in less sweat that is lower in Na+. Na+ is the primary electrolyte that needs to be supplemented in heavy exercise/sweating.

[I'll try to add the reference from Timothy Noakes, MD from "Lore of Running" an excellent and comprehensive reference for long distance runners. I will also add that I am a MD to give some weight to my assertions above.]

Sarah Kirkconnell
(sarbar) - F

Locale: In the shadow of Mt. Rainier
Re: Don't forget on 08/27/2008 15:04:11 MDT Print View

I would not go as far as saying Americans have potassium rich diets. Few do, even fewer eat enough fresh vegetables/fruit and beans to get it. Many Americans eat a typical US diet of fast food and fast prepared food - that is excessively high in sodium and fat yet low in fiber and vitamins and minerals.

It is a REAL issue and should not be discounted.

I can say this - in the past I would often have horrendous leg cramps at night. Once I watched my diet better.....they went away. For me it is a big issue - if I want to pork out on bit more salt I always have a high potassium item with it (OJ, apricots, potatoes, etc). Everything in moderation!

I am not a Dr and don't pretend to be one. I do know that I have been to many Dr's over the years and every single one told me to keep my potassium levels up, eat healthier and to lower my consumption of sodium - and most of all - to not change this while hiking and backpacking. I follow those rules as much as I can and don't feel run down as I did before.

As always: eat a steady diet full of whole foods and you will get what you need in most cases. Eat a diet of junk and well, you get what you eat.

And for those knocking low potassium, that it doesn't exist? I went through that about 2 years ago. It wasn't funny. I could barely get out of bed, I couldn't mentally function, think clearly and had an erratic heart rate. The good thing is I knew something was wrong and it got caught fast. You don't want that 50 miles out due to a lousy diet and over extending yourself.

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: Re: Don't forget on 08/27/2008 15:30:20 MDT Print View

Sarah,

Don't get me wrong. There are clearly differences between people for reasons other than medications they are on. Some may excreet K+ at a higher rate than others and have a lower "set point" for their level. I don't discount your experiences and I'm glad you've found a fix. Others with similar problems may want to try supplemental K+.

American diets are very poor with excess fat and Na+ and often low nutritional value (trace minerals/vitamins/"other stuff"). The advice is relevant and valuable.

However specifically from an exercise/heavy sweating perspective Na+ is the primary salt lost that needs replacement during exercise. Noakes described the K+ needs of an ultramarathoner as "minimal" and didn't feel K+ supplements were needed during even a hot 100 mile ultra for most athletes.

Jeremy Cleaveland
(jeremy11) - F

Locale: Exploring San Juan talus
Done in a Day on 08/27/2008 16:08:58 MDT Print View

Great Article!
The San Juan Solstice/Lake City 50 (50 mile Ultramarathon in Colorado) is right in my backyard, so this summer I swept most of it, and am planning on running it next summer, thanks for the inspiration for fast mountain days! Hopefully I'll get the chance this fall to put in some long days here. I also enjoy the slower days too, though, depending on the day and how tired I am!
Anyone tried high mileage days in minimalist style on purpose?
Another trick I've read but not tried is to hike/run through the night and nap during the day as needed, so no sleeping gear is needed (I'd still bring the trash bag or emergency blanket and firestarting kit!)

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
A question for the Doc's on 08/27/2008 17:01:02 MDT Print View

HI Kevin,
Great article! My question is: Sodium and potassium seem to have been adequately addressed, but how about calcium and magnesium? How extensively are they excreted? And is it prudent to preemptively replace them when enaged in endurance activities?

Kevin Sawchuk
(ksawchuk) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Northern California
Re: A question for the Doc's on 08/27/2008 17:13:31 MDT Print View

Neither Ca++ or Mg++ are significantly depleted in sweat. Some people who have had cramps have been helped with one or the other.

Tom Kirchner
(ouzel) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest/Sierra
Re: Re: A question for the Doc's on 08/27/2008 17:18:35 MDT Print View

Kevin,
A follow up question: Are they eliminated via the kidneys in any significant amount? For years I experienced muscle cramps while engaged in distance running, alpine climbing, and backpacking. I experimented with oral rehydration salts diluted to half strength and that seemed to help, but only a little. More recently I have been using a sports drink that supplies Ca++ at 100 mg, Mg++ at 150 mg, Na+ at 270 mg, and K+ at 160 mg/32 gr serving, mixed in 12 oz of water, along with 24 gr of carbohydrate. Voila, no cramps! I've got to think it was either the Ca++ or Mg++, since I had already tried Na+ and K+ in the rehydration salts. This leads to my question of how I am losing the Ca++ and Mg++ in the first place. If not by sweating, what is the mechanism? I take a daily mineral supplement that provides 100% of the RDV for both Ca++ and Mg++, along with a diet rich in nuts, low fat dairy, and vegetables, so I doubt I would be deficient going into endurance exercise. I'd sure appreciate your, and John's view on this one.
Many thanks.
Tom

Edited by ouzel on 08/27/2008 17:51:18 MDT.