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Water, water, freakin' water

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Offline satstrat

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Water, water, freakin' water
« on: March 13, 2007, 01:20:24 PM »
Hey, I'm sure a lot of people have thought of and done this, but I thought I'd solicit advice.

I'm going to do a 2 night out and back on the Dodson and Elephant Tusk trails with my 12 yr old son (starting at Homer Wilson's). Having mostly been a non-desert hiker to this point, I'm less than excited by the prospects of 50 to 60 (maybe 70?) lb pack full of water.

My question is why not cache water along the way to lighten the load and then pick it up on the return. Is this done? Is this cool? Do small animals sneak up and drink your water when you're not looking? How do you make sure you can find it again? Will one of you guys steal it?

Any advice is welcome - even if you call me stupid.....

thx
SS

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Offline RichardM

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Water, water, freakin' water
« Reply #1 on: March 13, 2007, 01:52:17 PM »
I moved your post over here to the "Hiking the Desert" forum.

The usual water and food cache spots for the Dodson are the bear box just above the Homer Wilson Ranch and at the Juniper Canyon and Dodson intersection.  That doesn't do you much good if you're heading down to Elephant Tusk.  There's no easy way to get out there to cache water.  I suppose if you had 4x4, you could go down Black Gap Road and cache water where it intersects Fresno Creek.  TheWildWestGuy and others can probably recommend numerous spots to find water out there, but I haven't heard of anyone caching water out that way.

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Offline jeffblaylock

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Water, water, freakin' water
« Reply #2 on: March 13, 2007, 02:09:07 PM »
The Dodson Trail crosses Fresno Creek at a point where the creek is typically flowing, even in low rain periods. Folks who have been out there more recently can comment on its flow, but it is the best bet for finding water along your route.
Jeff Blaylock
Austin, Texas

"We'll be back, someday soon. We will return, someday, and when we do the gritty
splendor and the complicated grandeur of Big Bend will still be here. Waiting for us."--Ed Abbey

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Offline Picacho

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Water, water, freakin' water
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2007, 02:15:13 PM »
You'll need about 4 gallons of water, 2 for you and 2 for your son.  That's about 36 lbs.  If there is water in Fresno Creek, take about half that and bring a water filter like a Pur or something like that.  Half way through your trip though, you'll be down to 18 lbs.  :-)

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Offline trtlrock

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Water, water, freakin' water
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2007, 02:49:00 PM »
We hiked the Dodson in late-February; Fresno Ck had lots of water right where the trail crossed; no need to follow it downstream.

I would recommend the Aquamira water treatment; these drops work quickly & easily, weigh a lot less than a pump, and don't get clogged.  Also, you won't enjoy your breaks as much if you spend them endlessly pumping.  FYI we used to use a PUR pump/filter...
John & Tess

"...and I'll face each day with a smile, for the time that I've been given's such a little while..." - Arthur Lee

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Offline satstrat

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Water, water, freakin' water
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2007, 04:11:20 PM »
I think you guys are missing the concept of what I am proposing -

Start off with all the water we will need, but half way out, or so, stash some of it out in the desert somewhere to be picked up on the return trip.

Has anyone tried that? Are there resons not to do that?

Appreciate the advice on Fresno Creek - have a filter so that would be no problem...

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Online Al

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Water, water, freakin' water
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2007, 04:28:11 PM »
That shouldn't be a problem.  Just don't forget where you cach it.  I'm not aware of anyone wandering around the back country looking for hidden water caches to mess with.

Al

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Offline RichardM

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Water, water, freakin' water
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2007, 04:54:35 PM »
Quote from: "satstrat"
I think you guys are missing the concept of what I am proposing -

Start off with all the water we will need, but half way out, or so, stash some of it out in the desert somewhere to be picked up on the return trip.

Has anyone tried that? Are there resons not to do that?

Appreciate the advice on Fresno Creek - have a filter so that would be no problem...

You're right, I think we did miss it.  That shouldn't be a problem.  As long as it's just water, it should be safe from critters.  Be sure and leave a note stating your name and date with it in case some hiker does stumble across it.  The usual method is to hide it off the trail, preferably in a spot you can easily find but that is out of sight of hikers.

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Offline TheWildWestGuy

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Water, water, freakin' water
« Reply #8 on: March 13, 2007, 06:08:39 PM »
You didn't say when you are going but assuming you go in March, April, or May (or it rains some more) you will find water in several reliable sources along your route:
1- Fresno Creek - always reliable even during drought, best pool is about 200 yards downstream from the trail crossing in the small canyon where the volcanic dike crosses the drainage.
2- Springs in the Fresno Creek Drainage further down where the trail to Elephant Tusk crosses it and climbs up and over a low divide to get into the E Tusk drainage.   Again always reliable.
3- Springs closer to the Tusk itself, one spring about 3/4 mile North of the Tusk on the trail the other near the base of the tusk on the NE side also along the trail.  Very reliable but bring a filter.

More free advice:   This is a great out-and-back hike from Homer Wilson Ranch House.   You will climb up and over a couple of steep passes but be rewarded by some of the best backcountry campsites and views of the South Rim from below.   It's 5 miles ~3 hours hike to Fresno Creek and another 3-5 mile hike to E. Tusk so if you get an early start and keep moving you can make it all the way to E. Tusk for the first nights campsite.  I recommend the campsite near the "table rock" which is above the spring about 3/4 mile north of the Tusk.  This is a great view campsite and centrally located.   Don't try to camp closer to the tusk because your views will be restricted and the sites are not as good.
If you want a closer campsite you could either camp at Fresno Creek where the Dodson crosses it or closer to the tusk where the trail crosses a small rise before entering the ET drainage (see Parent's book).   There is an excellent campsite at the crest of this small rise that has great views and is only ~1/2 mile from the springs in lower Fresno.
A great 2-4 hour sidetrip is to go further down Fresno into Fresno Canyon or go updip instead and follow the meandering arroyo through several sceanic and partially-wooded sub canyons... TWWG

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Offline aggiehiker

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Water, water, freakin' water
« Reply #9 on: March 20, 2007, 04:26:59 PM »
Do small animals sneak up and drink your water when you're not looking?


Just don't make any mad and maybe they'll leave your water alone. Step on one and you never know what his friends/family will do-kind of like a waiter when you make him mad.

 


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