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Big Bend Conservancy

Over-estimating your experience or under-estimating the terrain in a place like Big Bend can result in serious injury or death. Use the information and advice found here wisely. Climb/Hike/Camp/Drive at your own risk.

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Howdy and planning

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Offline TexasGirl

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Howdy and planning
« on: July 04, 2006, 03:48:28 PM »
Hi.  I've been lurking here for a couple of weeks and finally joined.  Just read the "Hike Friendly" thread, so I want to say, y'all are a "veritable cornucopia of information"--and an interesting bunch of folks.  

BF and I are planning a trip last week of July.  I know, I grew up here; it's gonna be hotter than hell.  He lives east and is in much better shape than I am physically, so I think we can handle a few days in the Basin.  We're planning, at this point, to do the South Rim and spend one or two nights out, maybe one night in the Basin campground and maybe one in the lodge.  He's never been to Big Bend and I've only been once.

Any advice other than WATER WATER WATER?  I've been walking a mile+ on my flat Austin streets with 27 lbs on my back w/ no prob, so maybe I can take some food along with my water.  ;)    

Thanks!
As a matter of fact, I _do_ have an opinion on that....

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SHANEA

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Hills, Stadium, etc.
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2006, 03:56:56 PM »
There are plenty of hills and football stadiums in the Austin area to get some up/down training - it's a major transition under load from flat to hills/mountains.  The more you prepare the better it will be.  Water is HEAVY and you have to carry mucho water.  I train with an extremely heavy pack, heavier than what I'll use on the  trail, seems to make the transition easier.   As I recall from living in Austin about 12 years ago, the GreenBelt area, BullCreek Run, Cap. Texas Highway, etc. offer some great opportunites.  Heck, out out to EROCK and get in some good time.   Our resident Austin Expert and all things UT Mr.
01ACRViper probably has some outstanding suggestions.  8)

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Offline presidio

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Re: Howdy and planning
« Reply #2 on: July 04, 2006, 03:58:10 PM »
Quote from: "TexasGirl"
Any advice other than WATER WATER WATER?


Yes, just one additional --

HAVE FUN

That's very important and I forgot to put that in my post to 646dan a few days ago.
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<  presidio  >
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Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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Offline TexasGirl

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Howdy and planning
« Reply #3 on: July 04, 2006, 04:09:51 PM »
Thanks, guys.  Keep it coming.  

I should've said, 16 of the 27 lbs I've been carrying around is water, so I'm not carrying much else.  Extra pr of socks, sunscreen, flashlight, sleeping bag, first aid kit....  

Guess I should go across MoPac and walk on the hilly streets.  I'm a little leery of the greenbelt alone.  Don't shoot--the Enchanted Rock idea's good...can you believe I've never been there in spite of the fact that my mother grew up in Fredericksburg?  In all the thousands of times I've been in Fbg, I've never gone there.  Pathetic.
As a matter of fact, I _do_ have an opinion on that....

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Offline Bluetex

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Howdy and planning
« Reply #4 on: July 04, 2006, 04:23:49 PM »
Last time I was in BIBE I brought a whistle. With all the bear and lion activity my wife and I thought it was a good idea. However, when we did encounter a lion that stupid little red whistle was the last thing on my mind :shock: . Just don't forget to stop and do nothing, enjoy all the sights and take lots of pictures. Oh yeah, and have fun!! :D
" In the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years."
                                              Abraham Lincoln

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chisos_muse

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Howdy and planning
« Reply #5 on: July 04, 2006, 04:27:50 PM »
Hi Texas Girl! :D

Yeah, you can plan all you want, train and buy all of the right stuff and food and prepare an itinerary.....

But the REAL fun starts when the unexpected happens! 8)

My only advice: never, ever underestimate Mama Desert!

And change your speed to "Terlingua Time"

Doing nothing can be the best in BIBE..... :D

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Offline TexasGirl

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Howdy and planning
« Reply #6 on: July 04, 2006, 04:28:57 PM »
I see y'all looking....Come on in and say hi.
As a matter of fact, I _do_ have an opinion on that....

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SHANEA

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GREAT IDEA!
« Reply #7 on: July 04, 2006, 04:34:15 PM »
Quote from: "Texan4life"
Last time I was in BIBE I brought a whistle.


I too also got one, whistle, for my last visit and kept it on a lanyard around my neck for instant use, didn't seem like it would do much good to say "hey, Mr. Mt. Lion or Mrs. Bear and Cubs" stand still, don't attack, stay right there while I take off my pack and hunt around for the whistle and CAMERA...  Camera is around my neck too - at the ready.

BTW - welcome TexasGirl welcome with open arms.  AND - go to EROCK sometime, it's truly magical.  Very crowded on the weekends, probably not so much at this time of the year.  Reservations are manditory just about anytime...

I don't know if anyone has this or has considered this, I considered it, but didn't want to lug it around - plus it might just really PO a bear.  I wonder what the official NPS BIBE policy is on stuff like this?

http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000&productId=47896123&parent_category_rn=4500520&vcat=REI_SEARCH

Funny...
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Use with extreme caution--if not used properly, it can disable the user, rather than the attacker


Someone told me once that a constant "bell" is better than anything, perhaps one of these would be better than a whistle or anything else.  I think the line of thought is that it's better to "ward off" than confront.  ie. "most" critters would rather "avoid" human contact.
http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?productId=2005&storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000&langId=-1&addon=722005-600276&ext_cat=REI_RELATED_ITEMS_PRODUCT_PAGE&vcat=REI_SEARCH

I kinda like this once since it has a "silencer"
http://www.rei.com/online/store/ProductDisplay?storeId=8000&catalogId=40000008000&productId=47896102&parent_category_rn=4500520&vcat=REI_SEARCH

There is a slew of "bear" products, including Gummi Bears by following http://www.rei.com/online/store/Search?vcat=REI_SEARCH&stat=7889&langId=-1&storeId=8000&query=bear+

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Offline presidio

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Re: GREAT IDEA!
« Reply #8 on: July 04, 2006, 04:58:01 PM »
Quote from: "SHANEA"
I don't know if anyone has this or has considered this, I considered it, but didn't want to lug it around - plus it might just really PO a bear.


Surely, you have all heard how to tell the difference between black bear scat and grizzly bear scat?

Black bear scat has seeds and berries and if you get close enough might even smell fruity!

Grizzly bear scat is full of bells, whistles, hiker parts and smells like pepper spray.

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Someone told me once that a constant "bell" is better than anything, perhaps one of these would be better than a whistle or anything else.


Does a hiker bell sound like a 'dinner bell' to a bear? Food (ahem) for thought.

More seriously, can you imagine hiking someplace where everybody in the backcountry is tinkling like a reindeer harness? That would get pretty old in a hurry and sure would take a lot away from the wilderness experience.
_____________
<  presidio  >
_____________
Wendell (Garret Dillahunt): It's a mess, ain't it, sheriff?
Ed Tom Bell (Tommy Lee Jones): If it ain't, it'll do till the mess gets here.
--No Country for Old Men (2007)

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SHANEA

  • Guest
Re: GREAT IDEA!
« Reply #9 on: July 04, 2006, 05:19:13 PM »
Quote from: "presidio"
More seriously, can you imagine hiking someplace where everybody in the backcountry is tinkling like a reindeer harness? That would get pretty old in a hurry and sure would take a lot away from the wilderness experience.


Ha Ha!  How right you are.  Maybe everyone can get different "Notes/tones" to id each other by - hey, that sounds like Presidio coming up the trail - or is that Casa Grande's "tone" coming down from Laguna Meadow!    Yea, that would get old really really quickly - but, if you were hiking alone and there was no one else hiking around, then it might be "food for thought".  :lol:

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Ray52

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Howdy and planning
« Reply #10 on: July 04, 2006, 09:21:30 PM »
Hi TG.  I think the fact that you're training at all will be a big help, but for vertical training in Austin have you considered the steps up Mt. Bonnel? I recently hiked the Rim and I'm more than a few years past my prime.  My only training was to walk the aisles of the stores looking for something else to stuff in my pack.  I ended up with quite a bit of ballast material, and struggled some on the ascents.  The mileage on this trail isn't so much that you can't take your time to rest and enjoy the journey though and I did plenty of both.  I think if you continue with your present work out schedule and concentrate on packing as light as is practical, you'll be fine and have a trip to remember.

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SHANEA

  • Guest
What a Great Idea...
« Reply #11 on: July 05, 2006, 12:00:01 AM »
Quote from: "Ray52"
you considered the steps up Mt. Bonnel?


What an outstanding idea - get a great view each time you reach the summit.

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Offline TexasGirl

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Howdy and planning
« Reply #12 on: July 05, 2006, 12:10:47 PM »
Mt Bonnell--excellent idea!  Thank you.  It's amazing/shameful what one does not even think of in one's own city.  

What do you guys think of hiking poles?  Do you use them?  I wouldn't bother but I have a knee that "comes and goes".  I was tackled playing frisbee football in high school (cute guy but I didn't even get a date out of it--ha) and my right knee used to go out unexpectedly whenever I was running in HS.  I don't run anymore.  I've suspected it's an unrepaired ACL--this was "BACL"--at least in the popular culture.  I don't wanna look like a dork fresh out of REI but I'm old enough to not worry a lot about what anyone else thinks and I'm also old enough not to want to collapse into a heap any more than necessary.  (Had an elderly friend who had a similar knee that she'd injured in high school--prior to her being a student at Bryn Mawr ahead of Kate Hepburn--and she always walked with a hiking stick she got in Greece in the 1930s.)  

The boots are well broken in at least!
As a matter of fact, I _do_ have an opinion on that....

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Ray52

  • Guest
Howdy and planning
« Reply #13 on: July 05, 2006, 12:32:14 PM »
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What do you guys think of hiking poles?


Highly recommended.  I have one of those knees too.  It's failed to benefit from being scoped twice so I deal with some pain and swelling but it seems to be manageable as long as I don't run.  But I think even with 2 healthy knees a walking staff would be beneficial, and with a suspect knee it becomes essential.  I only use one, but most I know who use a pair make a pretty convincing case for the second.

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Offline RichardM

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Howdy and planning
« Reply #14 on: July 05, 2006, 12:35:22 PM »
Quote from: "TexasGirl"
What do you guys think of hiking poles?  Do you use them?

Hiking poles are highly recommended.  Personally I'm too cheap to buy a good pair so I get by with just a hiking staff.  For the South Rim hike they will be invaluable.  Coming down the Pinnacles Trail without at least a staff is murder on your knees.  Going up without them is pretty tough, too.

 


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