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A JULY! OML trip report from Reddit

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Re: A JULY! OML trip report from Reddit
« Reply #45 on: July 17, 2019, 08:49:08 PM »
A friend and I are planning to hike the OML next week [that's the timeframe available to us]. We've done our research, are already hot-weather folks, already both been hiking at BB before, and feel reasonably confident we can complete it ....  We understand the risks, and are not embarking upon this in a naive manner or unprepared.

I've done all or parts of the OML several times, and I don't recommend it during summer to anyone. There is no escape from the heat. Much of the hike in the desert is in washes and the broad ridges between them. Almost no trees. Extremely little shade. Long stretches between them. And not a whole lot of options for abandoning it once you're down on the Dodson Trail. So, unless you get extremely lucky with the weather (A cold front with rain that holds temperatures in the 70s/low 80s), you're likely going to face desert surface temperatures (100º-120º F) similar to those of asphalt parking lots or astroturf football fields in Texas in summer. While wearing a heavy pack. And you'll be alone on the trail.

Desert hiking is doable in summer, but I only recommend it if you're already halfway to where you're going by sunrise and able to return to your vehicle no later than noon.

I would have given this same answer (and I have) prior to RichardM's death in the park earlier this month, on another desert trail. That loss reminds us all that "Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death." You say you're "reasonably confident" and I have no reason to doubt it. My question to you is, "Is that enough?"

I also want to echo mule ears: Welcome to BBC. We look forward to hearing all about your trip, which I sincerely hope is a wonderful two-night backpack in the high Chisos Mountains, where there's plenty of shade, some water and people around who can help if something goes wrong.
Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

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splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: A JULY! OML trip report from Reddit
« Reply #46 on: July 17, 2019, 09:16:12 PM »
So my first question is why the hell do you want to do it in July?  I know it's when you have time but it will be a horrible experience.  Every year we get folks who want to do such a thing and most of them give it up, never try it or bail early.  This guy (RedditLowLife) hit a lucky weather window and was moving fast.  The only other person I know who has tried it is one of the most experienced desert hikers and he said it was on the edge of a near death experience.  There is a reason that there are no trip reports for this time of year because it is basic insanity.

You do know that the moderator hear just died on the Marufo Vega trail two weeks ago when it was 106 degrees and he was a very experienced Bender.

Okay, all that said, what is your plan?  Where are you going to start?  What is your water plan?  How many days?  Where do you plan to camp?  I assume you know you have to start before first light and try to find some shade mid day (essentially none on the Dodson).  You say that you have hiked in BB, what have you done?  What does being a hot weather folks mean?  We have had Afghanistan veterans bail on such an attempt.


BTW welcome to BBC!.

All of this.

My sister & her husband once did the OML in May, and (frankly) are only alive because they got really lucky after some poor decisions in the planning & implementation stages resulted in them running out of water while heading up the Blue Creek trail, and getting 'lost' on the Dodson several times.

I have a feeling you're a better planner than that -- but the thing you need to realize is that you are literally flirting with death to do this trail at this time.

It doesn't even have to be 'your' mistake that causes the tragedy -- maybe something just happens that's out of your control, despite your skills and confidence and experience...

...but afterwards the consensus will be that it actually was your mistake, as you shouldn't have been out there in the first place at that time of year.

So -- Is it worth it? Why?

And yes -- a genuine welcome to BBC. Don't misinterpret our collective disapproval of your idea -- we're all hurting right now.

But what we say is the truth.

There are prominent large placards on the Boquillas Canyon trailhead, and the Marufa Vega too. They show a fatality being removed by a litter team. The top line says (iirc) EXTREME HIKER RISK! In red. The 1st bullet-point underneath says "BE BACK WELL BEFORE NOON". I don't know if these placards are also on the Dodson trailheads -- if they aren't, they should be.

Best of luck if you choose to press on with this...idea.
John & Tess

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Re: A JULY! OML trip report from Reddit
« Reply #47 on: July 17, 2019, 10:24:19 PM »
I've done it.  My advice is don't.  I'll PM you tonight.


This is the god's honest truth:


The thing you need to realize is that you are literally flirting with death to do this trail at this time.

It doesn't even have to be 'your' mistake that causes the tragedy -- maybe something just happens that's out of your control, despite your skills and confidence and experience...

"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline DesertRatShorty

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Re: A JULY! OML trip report from Reddit
« Reply #48 on: July 18, 2019, 08:43:56 AM »
I keep thinking back to this warning from the park's press release on Richard's death: "Under these conditions, a hiker will lose more moisture to sweat and evaporation than can be replenished by drinking". In other words you may have water constantly in your belly but the body simply can't absorb it fast enough. It's not just about your comfort level in extreme heat.
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Offline nuggetf5

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Re: A JULY! OML trip report from Reddit
« Reply #49 on: July 18, 2019, 10:17:11 AM »
Quote
Just my opinion but he couldn't have posted a hike like that on a more appropriate site. Not a fan of what goes on there.

REALLY curious what this means, lol.  Are you not a fan of people lightening their pack?  Supporting each other to achieve bigger and better things?  Maybe you are not a fan of HYOH?
I’m also a paid member at BPL, am I good enough for you now - or do you not like “them” for some reason either?
I thought he meant Reddit. Hopefully he'll drop in and clarify. After all, we wouldn't want to jump to conclusions. ;)

Welcome to the board and thanks for having tough skin!

That would be me.

Haven't posted or visited in awhile but I've done the OML a couple of times solo, documented here over the years, and a few other hikes in the park so a pretty good idea of the extreme heat and bitter cold that can occur--all within the same day. Just back from finishing up the last half of the Coast to Coast hike in England. Just not a fan of Reddit in the larger scheme of what they will allow--about anything--and nothing else.

People out here know what they're talking about. Some of them are a bunch of wily old cusses (even older than me, a feat in itself!) that don't mince words. I like that. If you're looking to hear what you'd like to hear, this isn't the place. The advice is always solid and if it isn't it gets called out.
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Offline steelfrog

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Re: A JULY! OML trip report from Reddit
« Reply #50 on: July 18, 2019, 11:15:03 AM »
You've gotten enough of the warnings--yes it's dangerous but do-able if u r smart.

Did it last August as a dayhike; also, don't know what your forecast is but in July, Aug the forecast can still be quite favorable depending on the monsoons etc.  It was 21 degrees hotter in Dallas a couple days ago than Panther Junction.  Dayhiked it in 2018, 2x in March, once in April (solo), August and October.  Did it once earlier this year (March I think)

I will probbaly day hike it this August again, if reasonable temps are forecast.  Can't rule out July just schedule is hectic right now.

Biggest thing for me is not temps so much as dewpoint.

To me, you've got to get across the Dodson completely at night, which is pretty easy to do; it's only 11 miles or so.  And, moreover, the Dodson at night is a magical place.  The stars.  Night-blooming flowers, night birds, animals active, snakes and scorpions everywhere.  My guess is you see A LOT more wildlife at night on the Dodson than you ever would during the day.

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Offline webnotions

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Re: A JULY! OML trip report from Reddit
« Reply #51 on: July 18, 2019, 02:59:09 PM »
These are all the exact kinds of questions that are most constructive, so thank you. :)

Y'all should know upfront that we just invested $4500 into a couple of portable air-conditioning units that attach to the top of the backpacks and dump cold air on us every 10 minutes.

Just kidding. :P

So my first question is why the hell do you want to do it in July?  I know it's when you have time but it will be a horrible experience.

Yes, this is the best window of time for us to try it, and we've been wanting to do the OML for a long time. My friend has already hiked it in August several years ago, and I've hiked several days w/ packs in summer in south texas over the last several years, some w/ elevation and some w/o. I grew up in South San Antonio and worked outside in the heat a lot. Yes, triple digit heat is not pleasant, but that doesn't necessarily make the experience too horrible to not even try. We like the challenge of not only the physical push but the planning and prep as well.

Every year we get folks who want to do such a thing and most of them give it up, never try it or bail early. 
Challenging situations tend to have that effect. That's what makes the attempt "worth it" as trtlrock asked.
I won't cry if we have to give up or bail early.

This guy (RedditLowLife) hit a lucky weather window and was moving fast.  The only other person I know who has tried it is one of the most experienced desert hikers and he said it was on the edge of a near death experience.  There is a reason that there are no trip reports for this time of year because it is basic insanity.

I've heard that before on other projects we've tackled. Psych report will accompany trip report. :)

You do know that the moderator here just died on the Marufo Vega trail two weeks ago when it was 106 degrees and he was a very experienced Bender.

That sucks. Glad people aren't dying on the trail more often.  I was looking through the DEATH ON THE TRAIL Big Bend book the other day reviewing those incidents and their circumstances.

Okay, all that said, what is your plan? 

Considering a counter-clockwise circuit.
Plan A is to cache water at HWR sunday and roadtrip out to hit the hot spring, then camp at Chisos Basin, heading out LM early Monday morning. Driving up from way south Texas so our start day is flexible too.
We don't really WANT to try to rush it, because REST is key to hydration being effective and letting your body recover helps a lot. DesertRatShorty nailed it -- your perceived comfort isn't enough to make it through. Resting when you don't think you need to is critical.
The NPS itinerary is a 3-day/2 night plan, and we will probably do a 4-day/ 3 night plan.
Will speak w/ the Rangers when we get there for any advice and suggestions on switching stuff up.

What is your water plan? 
caching at HWR will allow us to carry less water on our first day thru LM/ BC. We figure that will be a decent test run to decide at HWR whether to continue through Dodson or just head back.  If we are wiped and need to just stop and camp at midway then we'll have enough water for a 2-day hike to HWR, and plenty cached to rest then make it back to the car. We do have a dozen collapsible water pouches, other containers, life straw, and lightweight backpacking water filtration system. Lots of electrolyte powder packages too. It would be nice to cache at JC but we are not driving a suitable vehicle to try that (Dodge Caravan). We were actually thinking that some enterprising teen w/ a proper vehicle should offer to cache water there for visitors for a fee, lol.

Speaking w/ Rangers on site about what the NOAA weather reports are showing vs what they are actually seeing out there around the springs and assessing the water availability and our situation on the trail will determine how we proceed. Current reports show scattered showers out there this week and early next.  That's a plus for collecting water at the various springs. Fresno along the dodson seems to be a good bet, even in the summer, and will certainly help as a place to rest and cool off. Not counting on it tho.

How many days?  Where do you plan to camp? 
Packing enough shelf-stable food for 4 days. Don't like to cook on the trail. If we are handling the trek better than expected, will do it in 3. But I'd prefer not to rush.
We are carrying a tent [more for bugs and shade] and are still tweaking camping plan. Trying to remain very flexible tho.  We aren't too picky, so any advice there is great.

I assume you know you have to start before first light and try to find some shade mid day (essentially none on the Dodson). 
Yes. bringing our own shade and planning substantial siestas mid day. Will have restocked our water and dumped a day's worth of food by the time we hit Dodson. Reviewing other videos and pics of the trails to help w/ familiarization.

You say that you have hiked in BB, what have you done? 
*I* have only done Emory Peak twice in BB (the second time we hiked 5 kids ages 3-12 up), which was child's play in the grand scheme of things and not what I'd consider prep for the OML, just . My friend has done the OML in August w/ a small group a few years ago. Both of us have hiked a lot of west/ south texas, both on marked trails and just out n about.

What does being a hot weather folks mean?
Both of us grew up in hot weather [west texas/ south texas]-- doing physically demanding work in blistering outdoor sun and heat for days in a row is something we are used to. That's what I'm gauging the most in this scenario. Hiking is the easy part. The physically exhausting work in triple digit temps is a whole different thing that a lot of hikers don't seem to be able to handle. Again-- back to the concept of REST in heat like this. It's no coincidence that the siesta is a huge southern tradition. Neither of us are interested in dying from exhaustion -- heat or otherwise.

We have had Afghanistan veterans bail on such an attempt.
That's unfortunate. And duly noted.

We do have a general rule around here that if folks want to try such a thing we know we will not dissuade them so we might as well try and give the as much info as possible.
I understand wanting to dissuade people from doing something that people have literally died from doing. But there's a lot of information on this trail, plenty of preparedness tactics, strategies, and gear to mitigate the risks, and we are taking satellite comms in case one or both of us falls and breaks our dang neck, bleeds out on the rocks or has a compound leg fracture or whatnot. A bad fall is of more concern to me than the heat, and that is something that can happen year-round. I twisted my ankle stepping off a freakin CURB wearing hiking shoes last year. Nasty swelling and bruising. Just a weird freak accident that someone else mentioned as a happens-TO-you problem. Took a couple months to recover sufficiently. Risks abound. I'm not interested in insisting on dying yet. ;)

BTW welcome to BBC!.

Thank you :)
Will be happy to let y'all know if we bail and how far we made it.
Unless we die.
Have the Rangers get the pics off my phone if that happens. And delete my browser history, please.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 12:27:12 PM by mule ears »
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Offline webnotions

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Re: A JULY! OML trip report from Reddit
« Reply #52 on: July 18, 2019, 03:30:00 PM »


To me, you've got to get across the Dodson completely at night, which is pretty easy to do; it's only 11 miles or so.  And, moreover, the Dodson at night is a magical place.  The stars.  Night-blooming flowers, night birds, animals active, snakes and scorpions everywhere.  My guess is you see A LOT more wildlife at night on the Dodson than you ever would during the day.

I'd be more worried about getting lost -- missing markers in the day seems difficult enough-- but I suspect that checking gps coordinates every 15-30 minutes or so might help.
If we make it through LM/BS to HWR at a decent pace, taking a late nap and heading out at midnight could be interesting.
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Offline steelfrog

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Re: A JULY! OML trip report from Reddit
« Reply #53 on: July 18, 2019, 10:51:37 PM »
temps looking good this weekend 63/84. About 20 degrees hotter in Dallas

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Re: A JULY! OML trip report from Reddit
« Reply #54 on: July 19, 2019, 01:17:40 AM »
temps looking good this weekend 63/84. About 20 degrees hotter in Dallas

Steelfrog, are you using a NOAA/NWS point forecast?  Mine shows the Dodson to be averaging about 5 degrees warmer for this Saturday and Sunday. Still, MUCH cooler than Dallas.
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Offline VivaTerlingua

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Re: A JULY! OML trip report from Reddit
« Reply #55 on: July 19, 2019, 07:13:35 AM »

What is your water plan? 
caching at HWR will allow us to carry less water on our first day thru LM/ BC. We figure that will be a decent test run to decide at HWR whether to continue through Dodson or just head back.  If we are wiped and need to just stop and camp at midway then we'll have enough water for a 2-day hike to HWR, and plenty cached to rest then make it back to the car. We do have a dozen collapsible water pouches, other containers, life straw, and lightweight backpacking water filtration system. Lots of electrolyte powder packages too. It would be nice to cache at JC but we are not driving a suitable vehicle to try that (Dodge Caravan). We were actually thinking that some enterprising teen w/ a proper vehicle should offer to cache water there for visitors for a fee, lol.


I've driven to the JC trailhead a couple of times in a Dodge Caravan without any problems.

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Offline mule ears

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Re: A JULY! OML trip report from Reddit
« Reply #56 on: July 19, 2019, 12:23:34 PM »
temps looking good this weekend 63/84. About 20 degrees hotter in Dallas

Steelfrog, are you using a NOAA/NWS point forecast?  Mine shows the Dodson to be averaging about 5 degrees warmer for this Saturday and Sunday. Still, MUCH cooler than Dallas.

Steelfrog is trippin'.  Here is the NOAA forecast for PJ and it is always hotter on the south side of the Chisos along the Dodson.
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
http://40yearsofwalking.wordpress.com/

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Offline trtlrock

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Re: A JULY! OML trip report from Reddit
« Reply #57 on: July 19, 2019, 12:41:27 PM »
temps looking good this weekend 63/84. About 20 degrees hotter in Dallas

Steelfrog, are you using a NOAA/NWS point forecast?  Mine shows the Dodson to be averaging about 5 degrees warmer for this Saturday and Sunday. Still, MUCH cooler than Dallas.

Steelfrog is trippin'.  Here is the NOAA forecast for PJ and it is always hotter on the south side of the Chisos along the Dodson.

Advisability of the idea aside, I more or less dropped a pin on the Dodson, and was surprised to see NOAA's low-temps forecast. Their algorithms seems to be pretty darn accurate with lots of other pin-drops down there that I've been able to verify with feet on the ground.: 

https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-103.30530166625974&lat=29.20814496261083

John & Tess

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Offline Flash

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Re: A JULY! OML trip report from Reddit
« Reply #58 on: July 19, 2019, 01:04:11 PM »
temps looking good this weekend 63/84. About 20 degrees hotter in Dallas

Steelfrog, are you using a NOAA/NWS point forecast?  Mine shows the Dodson to be averaging about 5 degrees warmer for this Saturday and Sunday. Still, MUCH cooler than Dallas.

Steelfrog is trippin'.  Here is the NOAA forecast for PJ and it is always hotter on the south side of the Chisos along the Dodson.

Advisability of the idea aside, I more or less dropped a pin on the Dodson, and was surprised to see NOAA's low-temps forecast. Their algorithms seems to be pretty darn accurate with lots of other pin-drops down there that I've been able to verify with feet on the ground.: 

https://forecast.weather.gov/MapClick.php?lon=-103.30530166625974&lat=29.20814496261083

In any case, with regard to forecasted high and low temps, the weather appears to moderate some Tuesday and following due to the arrival of a front.   :eusa_think:
« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 01:26:12 PM by Flash »

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Offline mule ears

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Re: A JULY! OML trip report from Reddit
« Reply #59 on: July 19, 2019, 01:14:15 PM »
These are all the exact kinds of questions that are most constructive, so thank you. :)

Y'all should know upfront that we just invested $4500 into a couple of portable air-conditioning units that attach to the top of the backpacks and dump cold air on us every 10 minutes.

Just kidding. :P

So my first question is why the hell do you want to do it in July?  I know it's when you have time but it will be a horrible experience.

Yes, this is the best window of time for us to try it, and we've been wanting to do the OML for a long time. My friend has already hiked it in August several years ago, and I've hiked several days w/ packs in summer in south texas over the last several years, some w/ elevation and some w/o. I grew up in South San Antonio and worked outside in the heat a lot. Yes, triple digit heat is not pleasant, but that doesn't necessarily make the experience too horrible to not even try. We like the challenge of not only the physical push but the planning and prep as well.

Every year we get folks who want to do such a thing and most of them give it up, never try it or bail early. 
Challenging situations tend to have that effect. That's what makes the attempt "worth it" as trtlrock asked.
I won't cry if we have to give up or bail early.

This guy (RedditLowLife) hit a lucky weather window and was moving fast.  The only other person I know who has tried it is one of the most experienced desert hikers and he said it was on the edge of a near death experience.  There is a reason that there are no trip reports for this time of year because it is basic insanity.

I've heard that before on other projects we've tackled. Psych report will accompany trip report. :)

You do know that the moderator here just died on the Marufo Vega trail two weeks ago when it was 106 degrees and he was a very experienced Bender.

That sucks. Glad people aren't dying on the trail more often.  I was looking through the DEATH ON THE TRAIL Big Bend book the other day reviewing those incidents and their circumstances.

Okay, all that said, what is your plan? 

Considering a counter-clockwise circuit.
Plan A is to cache water at HWR sunday and roadtrip out to hit the hot spring, then camp at Chisos Basin, heading out LM early Monday morning. Driving up from way south Texas so our start day is flexible too.
We don't really WANT to try to rush it, because REST is key to hydration being effective and letting your body recover helps a lot. DesertRatShorty nailed it -- your perceived comfort isn't enough to make it through. Resting when you don't think you need to is critical.
The NPS itinerary is a 3-day/2 night plan, and we will probably do a 4-day/ 3 night plan.
Will speak w/ the Rangers when we get there for any advice and suggestions on switching stuff up.

What is your water plan? 
caching at HWR will allow us to carry less water on our first day thru LM/ BC. We figure that will be a decent test run to decide at HWR whether to continue through Dodson or just head back.  If we are wiped and need to just stop and camp at midway then we'll have enough water for a 2-day hike to HWR, and plenty cached to rest then make it back to the car. We do have a dozen collapsible water pouches, other containers, life straw, and lightweight backpacking water filtration system. Lots of electrolyte powder packages too. It would be nice to cache at JC but we are not driving a suitable vehicle to try that (Dodge Caravan). We were actually thinking that some enterprising teen w/ a proper vehicle should offer to cache water there for visitors for a fee, lol.

Speaking w/ Rangers on site about what the NOAA weather reports are showing vs what they are actually seeing out there around the springs and assessing the water availability and our situation on the trail will determine how we proceed. Current reports show scattered showers out there this week and early next.  That's a plus for collecting water at the various springs. Fresno along the dodson seems to be a good bet, even in the summer, and will certainly help as a place to rest and cool off. Not counting on it tho.

How many days?  Where do you plan to camp? 
Packing enough shelf-stable food for 4 days. Don't like to cook on the trail. If we are handling the trek better than expected, will do it in 3. But I'd prefer not to rush.
We are carrying a tent [more for bugs and shade] and are still tweaking camping plan. Trying to remain very flexible tho.  We aren't too picky, so any advice there is great.

I assume you know you have to start before first light and try to find some shade mid day (essentially none on the Dodson). 
Yes. bringing our own shade and planning substantial siestas mid day. Will have restocked our water and dumped a day's worth of food by the time we hit Dodson. Reviewing other videos and pics of the trails to help w/ familiarization.

You say that you have hiked in BB, what have you done? 
*I* have only done Emory Peak twice in BB (the second time we hiked 5 kids ages 3-12 up), which was child's play in the grand scheme of things and not what I'd consider prep for the OML, just . My friend has done the OML in August w/ a small group a few years ago. Both of us have hiked a lot of west/ south texas, both on marked trails and just out n about.

What does being a hot weather folks mean?
Both of us grew up in hot weather [west texas/ south texas]-- doing physically demanding work in blistering outdoor sun and heat for days in a row is something we are used to. That's what I'm gauging the most in this scenario. Hiking is the easy part. The physically exhausting work in triple digit temps is a whole different thing that a lot of hikers don't seem to be able to handle. Again-- back to the concept of REST in heat like this. It's no coincidence that the siesta is a huge southern tradition. Neither of us are interested in dying from exhaustion -- heat or otherwise.

We have had Afghanistan veterans bail on such an attempt.
That's unfortunate. And duly noted.

We do have a general rule around here that if folks want to try such a thing we know we will not dissuade them so we might as well try and give the as much info as possible.
I understand wanting to dissuade people from doing something that people have literally died from doing. But there's a lot of information on this trail, plenty of preparedness tactics, strategies, and gear to mitigate the risks, and we are taking satellite comms in case one or both of us falls and breaks our dang neck, bleeds out on the rocks or has a compound leg fracture or whatnot. A bad fall is of more concern to me than the heat, and that is something that can happen year-round. I twisted my ankle stepping off a freakin CURB wearing hiking shoes last year. Nasty swelling and bruising. Just a weird freak accident that someone else mentioned as a happens-TO-you problem. Took a couple months to recover sufficiently. Risks abound. I'm not interested in insisting on dying yet. ;)

BTW welcome to BBC!.

Thank you :)
Will be happy to let y'all know if we bail and how far we made it.
Unless we die.
Have the Rangers get the pics off my phone if that happens. And delete my browser history, please.

Good thorough answers but from those answers I still think you don't have the experience to pull this off, especially desert backpacking experience.  Even if you manage to make it it will be a totally uncomfortable death march.  It is so hot that even with shade you will not get any good rest or sleep in the lower desert. 

Your plan sounds mostly solid especially the counter clockwise start so that you can evaluate before heading across the Dodson.  Get to the Homer Wilson house and rest in the cool shade of the porch until nearly dark and then go on out the Dodson just around the backside of Carousel Mtn. where there should be some shade and a campsite just before the big climb.  Next morning walking before light and you should get to Fresno in about 3 hours where you can rest in the shade in the little canyon below the trail and get water.  If you head on across there might be a little shade around the Dodson place and then in some of the south flowing drainages up against the cutbanks.  You will want to find shade by noon and stay there until 6 or so before heading back out.

Once you get near the eastern end of the Dodson there is NO shade and the first part of the Juniper Canyon trail is the same until 6 p.m. or later.  Lots of campsites in the first parts of the Juniper Canyon trail.  Climb Juniper in the cool of the morning, stopping to get water and shade at Upper Juniper Spring.  You will be in the sun almost the whole way up other than the tree shade in places and near the top.  Water up in Boot Canyon and camp on the rim to celebrate that you are still alive and lucky to be so.

Forget the tent, no bugs and it will be lousy, hot shade.  Bring a tarp but mostly just a ground sheet to cowboy camp.  Bring a closed cell pad to insulate yourself from the hot ground, inflatable pads suck in the heat.  The lightest possible sleeping bag or quilt or sheet.  Definitely go no cook and don't bring any extra clothing short of a light rain jacket for warmth, if needed, and spare socks.  Consider an umbrella, many people swear by them for wide open, hot desert hiking.  Sturdy trail runners, not heavy hot hiking boots.  Light, long sleeves and pants and wide brimmed hat.  Definitely electrolyte mixes, I am a fan of Nunn tablets.  Cut everything you can to accommodate the water load and exertion.  You will need upwards of 10 liters a day, especially across the Dodson, here is a discussion of how much water one might need.

Again, I wouldn't do it if for no other reason that it will be a totally miserable experience, wait and do it when the weather is better and enjoy the walk and everything around you.

BTW it is Death in Big Bend not Death on the Trail.
« Last Edit: July 19, 2019, 03:17:41 PM by mule ears »
temperatures exceed 100 degrees F
minimum 1 gallon water per person/day
no shade, no water
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