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First time Big Bend and OML trip

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: First time Big Bend and OML trip
« Reply #15 on: December 24, 2016, 01:02:05 AM »
Compadre, it doesn't get much better than that. You may have had the best first trip to Big Bend possible. And none in the future may match it. But that shouldn't keep you from trying! Welcome to the Bend.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Keepa

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Re: First time Big Bend and OML trip
« Reply #16 on: December 24, 2016, 08:29:04 AM »
On the subject of the lost hikers, I say this in case some of the lesser experienced hikers don't know it. If you are in a life-threatening situation because of dehydration you should drink unfiltered water if that is your only option. You cannot survive dehydration but you can survive drinking unfiltered water with nothing but a stomach ache until you get to safety and a doctor.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: First time Big Bend and OML trip
« Reply #17 on: December 24, 2016, 11:24:40 AM »
I mostly agree with Keepa. Better to drink than die of thirst. In an area like Big Bend, where serious viruses are mostly not to be feared, it's probably okay to go ahead and drink unfiltered water. If you get giardia, symptoms won't appear until a couple days later at the soonest, by which time you'll probably be back in civilization and can get treatment.  On the other hand, it is possible to acquire some pretty spooky infections like, say, the parasite Baylisascaris procyonis, which is found in almost all raccoon feces. Raccoon don't generally poop into water, but rain could wash it down into a stream, spring, or tinaja. One thing to keep in mind about dehydration is the wide range separating mild dehydration ("I'm thirsty!", or even "I'm REALLY thirsty!") and severe dehydration ("my body is shutting down; I'm going to die"). There's a long way between the two. If a person is healthy, without any compromising underlying conditions, you'd be surprised at just how long they can go without water, even in Big Bend. So, weigh your odds before drinking unfiltered water.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Robert

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Re: First time Big Bend and OML trip
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2016, 11:47:05 AM »
On the subject of the lost hikers, I say this in case some of the lesser experienced hikers don't know it. If you are in a life-threatening situation because of dehydration you should drink unfiltered water if that is your only option. You cannot survive dehydration but you can survive drinking unfiltered water with nothing but a stomach ache until you get to safety and a doctor.

I've seen at least one other report of people with no water treatment and they don't consider just drinking the unfiltered water.  Also, people don't normally think about it but if they have a stove they can boil water.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: First time Big Bend and OML trip
« Reply #19 on: December 24, 2016, 12:12:12 PM »
+1 on the boiling, Robert. On my recent cross-park hike I met a newbie mother and daughter doing the OML while I was taking a break at Fresno Creek. They were almost out of water.  I'd just used the last of my pills, and my Sawyer MINI was a one-man straw, not much help in filling water bottles for the trail. But among their extraordinarily large kit was an excess of canister fuel. I suggested they boil some of the abundant creek water. We used my DIY prefilter to strain the water, and then they boiled up a few quarts. They hit the trail again with heavier packs but much lighter hearts.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Keepa

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Re: First time Big Bend and OML trip
« Reply #20 on: December 24, 2016, 04:18:14 PM »
One thing to keep in mind about dehydration is the wide range separating mild dehydration ("I'm thirsty!", or even "I'm REALLY thirsty!") and severe dehydration ("my body is shutting down; I'm going to die"). There's a long way between the two.

About three days is most you can go without water, the window between discomfort and death is not that big.

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Offline House Made of Dawn

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Re: First time Big Bend and OML trip
« Reply #21 on: December 24, 2016, 05:04:05 PM »
One thing to keep in mind about dehydration is the wide range separating mild dehydration ("I'm thirsty!", or even "I'm REALLY thirsty!") and severe dehydration ("my body is shutting down; I'm going to die"). There's a long way between the two.

About three days is most you can go without water, the window between discomfort and death is not that big.

I beg to differ. Have you read my recent trip report? Round the Bend in 14 Days? Personal experience argues otherwise.
"The trick, William Potter, is not minding that it hurts."

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Offline Keepa

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Re: First time Big Bend and OML trip
« Reply #22 on: December 24, 2016, 05:51:00 PM »
One thing to keep in mind about dehydration is the wide range separating mild dehydration ("I'm thirsty!", or even "I'm REALLY thirsty!") and severe dehydration ("my body is shutting down; I'm going to die"). There's a long way between the two.

About three days is most you can go without water, the window between discomfort and death is not that big.

I beg to differ. Have you read my recent trip report? Round the Bend in 14 Days? Personal experience argues otherwise.

I just read it quickly. It appears you did not go without any water for three days. Correct me if I am wrong.

Going without water is not a linear degradation, it's geometric. The first day you are basically OK, the second day you are 10 times worse, and the third day you are 100 times worse.

It is possible to survive longer than three days without water -- perhaps 5 or so -- if you sit in the shade in cool temperatures and engage in no activity what-so-ever. But in a hiking situation that is a death sentence, because in a hiking situation you need to find water. But as you hike to find water you will use your reserves, and three days without water is about the limit. You will cease to function after that.

Even in a controlled environment three days without water is unbelievably difficult. I have done it once, as a religious fast, and I was home for those three days. It was not easy. Your mental and physical functions are degraded -- even more so if you are hiking.

Here's a quote from an article http://www.medicaldaily.com/drink-water-health-what-would-happen-your-body-if-you-didnt-guzzle-h2o-every-day-272268:

"With one to two days of no fluids, we stop peeing altogether, have trouble swallowing, suffer from muscle spasms, and are more likely to experience nausea. The attention to digestion does not become a priority as victims become delirious and begin to suffer from severe brain function. Blood flow stops flowing to the skin, reduces heat loss, increases cork body temperature, and then gives us a bluish tint. Within three to five days, say Moffit and Brown, our organs and brain shut down."

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Offline Keepa

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Re: First time Big Bend and OML trip
« Reply #23 on: December 24, 2016, 06:39:22 PM »
On boiling water, that is my secondary backup method for water purification. My primary method is the Steripen Adventurer. My first backup is the Sawyer Mini Filter, and my second backup is the wood burning option (1.7 oz) of the Ti Tri stove, which gives me an unlimited amount of fuel for purifying water.

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Offline nuggetf5

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Re: First time Big Bend and OML trip
« Reply #24 on: December 25, 2016, 01:01:16 PM »
That's some scary stuff to read, actually running out of water. Boiling of course is always a simple option. I always carry water purification tablets because they weigh nothing, but also a Lifestraw  - http://lifestraw.com/ - which I've not seen mentioned but is light enough that it's pretty much like another water container and you can probably drink out of the Rio Grande with one, though I probably wouldn't. I fill containers then transfer them to the Lifestraw as drinking requires. Boy, don't know about the rest of you but if I'm not peeing clear at least once an hour I start drinking more. Hiking is all about water no matter where you're doing it, and by the time you get in trouble, takes a long time to recover.
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