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Learnt an very important Lesson on Hydration and Salts
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Yes 1000
Learnt a very important Lesson on Hydration and Salts on 11/18/2012 19:14:48 MST Print View

The story is:

Went on a hike called Elk Mountain - King Mountain loop on the Oregon coast yesterday. The weather was shitty as usual with rain and in mid 40 F. This hike is known to be very challenging and I was prepared.

I was wearing, Pata Cap 1 silk weight, Pata R1 Hoody, Pata Torrent shell rain jacket for tops and REI mid weight Polartec bottoms and Pata torrent shell pants.

The guy going in the front was hiking really fast and we all managed to keep pace with him. Finally we reach a point where we have to gain ~2000 ft in 1.2 miles and I realized I was sweating way too much and my R1 was soaked. We started the scramble and half way through bam!!!! my entire leg including the toes started cramping. I pushed on and finally while taking a leap on a scree my left calf and gave up. I crashed to the ground in pain and immediately my toes locked up bent and couldnt even get up. Later I pumped a lot of salts and Gu gel but the damaged was done and I didn't get back to the form and finished the 3/4th of the hike with small steps and carefully not injuring myself.

Lessons learnt.

1. Manage your pace.
2. Hydrate and make sure you have enough salts in your body at least 2 days before you go on a difficult hike.
3. Don't drink 2-3 beers the night before the hike.

Edited by mamamia on 11/18/2012 19:44:38 MST.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Learnt an very important Lesson on Hydration and Salts on 11/18/2012 19:18:39 MST Print View

4. R1 is probably too big to hike in.


Yes 1000
R1 really? on 11/18/2012 19:37:18 MST Print View

I thought R1 was made for wet and 40F conditions.

Hiking Malto
(gg-man) - F
How far on 11/18/2012 19:41:22 MST Print View

Did you go before this happened?

Edited by gg-man on 11/18/2012 19:42:49 MST.

Yes 1000
Go where? on 11/18/2012 19:44:02 MST Print View

Go where? total trip length was 12-13 miles loop.

Eugene Smith
(Eugeneius) - MLife

Locale: Nuevo Mexico
Re: Learnt an very important Lesson on Hydration and Salts on 11/18/2012 19:46:44 MST Print View

The onset of cramps may have been from a lack of salt, electrolyte imbalance, etc., all those things that gooey sports drink bottles and sticky gel packages espouse, but don't rule out how much your own physical conditioning, or lack, plays into cramping and muscle fatigue.

Beer before a day of hiking is always ok, post hike is even better. Leave beer out of this. ;-)

Yes 1000
Blame it on Beer... on 11/18/2012 19:51:46 MST Print View


I'm pretty fit and have done similar day hikes with ~5000ft elevation gain. Don't know why I dunked on this trail, once the onset of cramps, I pretty much stopped enjoying the hike and was feeling miserable enough to finish the hike and get back to the car. I'm a very conscious salt consumer ( always make sure my food has less salt) I think with lack of electrolytes and water loss in form of sweat did it to me.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: R1 really? on 11/18/2012 20:27:39 MST Print View

40* hanging out- not doing a hard hike at a good pace. I mean... you were soaked, right?

Hk Newman
(hknewman) - MLife

Locale: Western US
Re:... a very important Lesson on Hydration and Salts on 11/18/2012 20:33:34 MST Print View

There's been anecdotal accounts written about of wicking base-layers working too well and speeding dehydration, so maybe you were a little too warm and comfortable starting up that hill (=exertion).

Yes 1000
Re: Re: R1 really? on 11/18/2012 20:34:47 MST Print View

Yes soaked completely, never had used R1 on any hikes.

My decision to use R1 and not another synth layer like some Nike shirt or Cap 3 was because, the weather was in 40's and there was some wet snow fall when we reached the summit. I didn't carry any insulating layer and wore R1 from beginning to end.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Re: Re: R1 really? on 11/18/2012 20:40:41 MST Print View

Ya... PNW'll getcha.
I've begun to carry a Thermawrap Pro every time I go out. (at least from the 40*s and below) I probably take too much for most folks but I am cold usually so I just carry more and be comfy.

I bet you coulda bagged the R1 after you warmed up your shell.

Edited by WoodenWizard on 11/18/2012 20:41:47 MST.

Mike M
(mtwarden) - MLife

Locale: Montana
electrolytes on 11/18/2012 20:42:50 MST Print View

I never paid much attention to electrolytes until I started running, now I pay attention :)

in regards to the R1, I've hiked in mine, but temps were 0-20F- I run to the hot side, I know I would overload the R1 at 40 degrees hiking hard

Yes 1000
Time on 11/18/2012 20:49:02 MST Print View


We hardly had any rest stops, except the 10 min lunch break, we were hiking from morning 9AM to 3.30-45PM. I can add another 20-30 delay the team had to tolerate due to my cramps, many thanked me later that they got a chance to slow down since I was already pretty slow.

So either we should start early and manage the pace or don't go on very difficult hikes this one when the day light is short. I have a EB Serrano jacket with 60gms of Primaloft insulation but to be honest I'm sure I wouldn't have had a chance to wear it even for 20 mins.

Like one of the above post, I can understand my physical capacity, while I'm not a super human when I hiked Mt.Defiance ~5000ft elevation gain in peak summer, I did extremely well and managed to help my slow team members.

My question to you is, when your breaks are less than 2-3 minutes when do you get a chance to put on the jacket and remove it later.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: Time on 11/18/2012 21:02:50 MST Print View

If I only stop for 2-3 minutes I wouldnt take it out of my pack. I'd just carry it.

I guess I would have worn your base and the R1 and the shell. Then as I got pretty warm I would take off the R1 and bag it. I would have hiked in my base and shell zipping it up or down as needed. (personally I carry a beanie, neck gaiter, sometime light gloves to dial it in)

If I was cold even with the shell zipped up going up hill (knowing that that trail is very up and down) I would have put the R1 back on and dealt with the wetness, knowing that the hike was a dayhike. At least be warm...

If you had been on a easier trail and exerting less, maybe you could have hiked in the base and the shell with it zipped up, or if that is cold, put on the R1 and vent the shell.

Anthony Weston
(anthonyweston) - MLife

Locale: Southern CA
long hike on 11/18/2012 21:06:16 MST Print View

It's just a matter of pace. If you are walking at a faster pace than you are comfortable with then you burn out and cramp. There is a product called sportslegs that I buy on amazon that you take before a long hike and it really does work.
But let em go on ahead and stick to your own pace.

Yes 1000
Hmm on 11/18/2012 21:16:47 MST Print View was an humbling experience for me, I was literally on the ground not able to get up since my toes were crammped and bent while the whole group was looking.

I have never taken any OTC meds after the hike till now (including backpacking trips), but yesterday I broke my cardinal rule and took an Aleve. :-/

Raquel Rascal

Locale: Rocky Mtn. West
not your clothes? on 11/18/2012 21:17:17 MST Print View

I actually don't think the problem was your clothes, but the group you hiked with. Sounds like the group etiquette wasn't a good fit for you. There should have been some time for people to shed or shod layers without anyone feeling guilty.

Jeffs Eleven
(WoodenWizard) - F

Locale: Greater Mt Tabor
Re: long hike on 11/18/2012 21:17:50 MST Print View

Your exertion level (pace on a given terrain) vs. your shells ability do deal with your sweat.

Too much work or not breathable enough= wet layers.

Too little work (read: downhill in cold) or too breathable (fleece) = cold

there is a balance in there and its up to you to pay attention to it and get nerdy about venting, shedding/ adding layers, and accessories. ... IF you wanna worry about it that much. ... I guess there's a balance in there as well. :)

Yeah: +1 to the group being dbags. "get up, you sissy!" WTF man!?!

Edited by WoodenWizard on 11/18/2012 21:19:31 MST.

Yes 1000
hmm on 11/18/2012 21:26:53 MST Print View


You make a good point, what I saw on the trail was either the others were super humans or I was the wimp. I'm not a experience hiker and try to follow what I learn from BPL, but most of my team members aren't even aware of BPL, all they do is they just hike. But still they helped me with Gu gel (has never heard about it before) and spare water.

jeffrey armbruster
(book) - M

Locale: Northern California
"Learnt an very important Lesson on Hydration and on 11/18/2012 21:28:22 MST Print View

+1 on Anthony's comments about pace. Some time's it's just not your day. Maybe you didn't sleep all that well the night before; maybe you're coming down with the flu/cold and haven't realized it yet; maybe you've had an argument with your wife. Etc.

LeBron James has off nights; he doesn't always see it coming and can't always account for it. Recognizing that your body's off and requires a slower pace on any given day is just part of sport.

Gee, if only I could learn to follow my own advice!

I'm not sure that salts and a different base layer are always the answer. But then again, who knows? It's an ongoing science experiment out there.