Click this link for: Outings Calendar
View the Rules and Recommendations for ADK Chapter Outings policy document.
Prior to submission to the newsletter, all proposed outing descriptions should first be sent to Cheryl Peluso email@example.com for review and approval.
DAY HIKING CORNER PAUL M. GANNON
From the hiking staff
Adequate hydration is an important aspect of a successful outdoor adventure. This is especially true while on a strenuous day hike in hot weather. Dehydration can cause headache, weakness, and fatigue, and lead to heat-related illnesses. You need to carry a supply of fluid, and drink freely during the day. The sensation of thirst is a poor guide to adequate fluid intake. You can become seriously dehydrated before feeling thirsty. A better guide is the color of your urine. If you are adequately hydrated, it should be clear rather than yellow.
There is some controversy regarding the choice of fluids during such strenuous exercise. The human body evolved to function while drinking water. With an adequate intake of food containing the required amounts of vitamins and minerals, no other fluid is required. There are individuals who only drink water during exercise and report that they do well without any supplements.
However, some people believe that maintaining that intake is difficult while exercising, and recommend sports drinks containing mineral supplements such as sodium, as well as glucose for added energy. These people are convinced that the sports drinks improve their performance. Critics of these drinks claim that they contain too much sugar, and an excess of salt and other minerals, and are not only unnecessary, but actually harmful. It may be that the sweet taste of the drinks encourage fluid intake, compared to plain water, and that this factor alone accounts for the improved performance that users report.
Whatever your choice of beverage, an adequate intake of fluids is important to maintain health, allow optimal performance, and prevent heat related illnesses.
A simple water bottle is a common means of carrying fluids. Most backpacks have water bottle pockets. However, the need to stop and remove your pack in order to drink can interfere with adequate fluid intake. The bottle can be carried in a pocket or a belt holster. Many people find a large bottle carried that way to be uncomfortable. An effective strategy is to use a smaller bottle, and carry larger ones in your pack to refill it from during rest stops.
Hydration systems are popular. A water reservoir is carried in a pack, often in a pocket designed for that purpose. A drinking hose with a bite valve runs from the reservoir to the outside. This allows you to easily drink while walking. More than one reservoir can be carried, and the hose changed to a full one when the first becomes empty.
Water is heavy, weighing two pounds per quart or liter. When hiking near cities or farms, water in lakes or streams is often contaminated with industrial or agricultural run off, and may not be safe to drink. A hiker needs to carry all the fluid that they need for the day. When hiking in remote country, it is often possible to re-supply from bodies of water. Even then, some means of disinfecting the water is usually required.
Water from natural sources usually contains foreign matter such as leaves, twigs, bugs, sand, and dirt. In addition, it may be contaminated with bacteria, viruses, and cysts such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. There are multiple options for disinfecting water, including filters, chemicals such as iodine or chlorine dioxide, ultraviolet light producing devices, and boiling.
Filters remove suspended debris, bacteria, and cysts. They are not effective against viruses. They can be heavy and bulky, and being mechanical devices, they are prone to malfunctions. Some people carry a chemical disinfectant for use against viruses and as a back up.
When using any of the remaining means, it is desirable to strain out any suspended debris first, with a coffee filter, strainer, or even a bandanna.
Iodine and chlorine dioxide are effective against bacteria and viruses. Chlorine dioxide products also claim to be effective against cysts but may require up to 4 hours of contact time. When using chemicals, you may want to carry two water bottles. You can drink from one while the other is being treated.
Ultraviolet light producing devices are effective against bacteria, viruses, and cysts. They are expensive, require batteries, and like filters, can malfunction.
Boiling is a time-honored way to purify water. It is a useful fall back method when other means fail. It will kill bacteria, viruses, and cysts. However, boiling water is time consuming, and requires a stove or fire, as well as something to boil the water in. Note that a metal water bottle can be placed directly in the fire. If you are boiling water for a meal anyway, you do not need to use another method.
Finally, remember that a large amount of water can be collected in the morning simply by moping up dew with a sponge or bandanna and squeezing it into a container.
Know Your Limit And Stay Within It!
This phrase has been on my mind a lot lately when doing strenuous activity outdoors.
We encourage our members to come out and participate in outings. We would also encourage you to be aware of your own fitness level and experience when deciding whether to an outing is appropriate for you.
I recently read the following on a Wilderness Survival and Safety website. I think it is applicable to our chapter. "... be honest with yourself and the rest of your group (you should be in a group... remember, don't travel alone!). Evaluate your age, fitness, and outdoor experience. Assess if you have the capability not only to complete a proposed trip, but also to enjoy the trip. Look critically at those in the rest of the group.
No one has fun if a hike feels like a suicide march. Even worse, mistakes may be made and injuries can occur when participants are stretched to their limits or beyond."
Stay safe and have a happy, healthy summer.
Biking Corner Ron Dorr
Bicycling Yahoo Group ADK-NFC-BIKING
There is a Yahoo Group setup for our chapter's bicycling activities. Group members receive bike outing reminders and are able to post messages that will be e-mailed to all group members. Members can also access a calendar of all bike outings. Members are able to propose impromptu rides via e-mail and invite other members to join them.
All interested ADK members are welcome to join this group. For privacy and security reasons (spam prevention), membership is restricted and is not open to the public. Your name and e-mail address will not be visible on the group site. You do not need a Yahoo user name to become a member and receive outing reminders and to participate in e-mail communication with group members.
To join, contact Ron Dorr at 716-693-6832 or firstname.lastname@example.org and you will be sent an e-mail invitation to join. If e-mailing Ron, please give your name and ADK membership status. A less convenient way to join is by going to Yahoo Groups, search for ADK-NFC-Biking and click the "Join This Group!" button. Your membership will be approved in several days or less.
Day Hiking Corner Paul M. Gannon
It’s a beautiful fall day, and you are enjoying an afternoon hike through the forest. You pause for a drink of water, and see that you are no longer on the trail. You look around and realize that you don’t recognize anything. Your anxiety level increases as you try to find your way back to familiar ground. After a few minutes, you pause to catch your breath. Your sense of unease begins to grow. You have to fight the urge to panic. You are lost!
Everyone who enjoys spending time in the outdoors is at risk of finding themselves in that situation. However, some simple techniques can reduce the risk, and help you to find your way should you become lost.
First of all, have a basic idea of the lay of the land. Let’s say, for example, that you are hiking through a forest on the east side of a river and north of a main highway. You should have a mental map of these major features and their general direction. This brings up the concept of baselines. A baseline is simply an obvious feature, either man-made or natural, that borders the area. It may be a road, a ridgeline, a body of water, or a power line. If all else fails, you can travel in the direction of the baseline. Eventually you will come across it and know where you are.
Maintain some situational awareness as you hike. Don’t just blindly follow trail markers. Let’s say it’s morning, and you are hiking west on a trail that follows a creek that runs through a valley between two ridgelines. If so, the sun should be at your back, there should be a creek alongside the trail, and there should be a ridgeline on each side of you. If not, then something is wrong.
Carry a map of the area, and a compass. Be competent with their use. Don’t rely solely on a GPS or any other mechanical device. Always have a flashlight or headlamp, and spare batteries, in your pack.
Follow your progress on the map as you go. When you reach a major feature, such as a river crossing or a junction of two trails, check the map and locate your position. Make sure you are still on track.
Periodically stop, turn around, and look back at the direction that you came from. A trail looks very different from the other perspective.
Note features such as large boulders, downed trees, and changes in elevation. Keep a mental narrative of your hike. “After we passed the boulder with the pine tree growing on top, we turned right at the tree stump, went downhill, and crossed the creek by the small waterfall”.
If, at anytime, you are unsure of your location, use the acronym STOP (Stop, Think, Observe, and Plan). Most people who end up being the subject of a search have one thing in common. When they realized that they were lost, they didn’t turn back. They kept on moving ahead.
Turn around and go back in the direction that you came from. Chances are that you simply missed a turn. If you don’t quickly locate the trail, then STOP again. Pick the most likely direction, and walk in a straight line for a certain distance. Mark your way as you go, with broken twigs or rocks. If you don’t find your way, then follow your markers back to the original location. Try another direction, again marking your way. Continue to explore your surroundings in this fashion, like the spokes of a wheel, until you locate the trail. This technique will allow you to search the area without wandering aimlessly.
At some point, you may realize that you are not going to find the way out before nightfall. In that case, stop looking while there is still enough daylight to find shelter and firewood. Prepare to spend the night out, and wait to be found.
Proper care of your feet is essential when day hiking. Begin by making sure that your toenails are properly trimmed. Podiatrists recommend cutting them straight across just beyond the tip of the toe. This helps prevent ingrown toenails. Some people carry a pair of nail clippers with them. You can also rely on the scissors on a multi-tool.
Invest in a good pair of wool hiking socks. You may want to add an inner wicking sock liner. I usually do in winter. The proper footwear is important. See the May newsletter for more details.
Whatever you choose to wear, they must fit well and be broken in. Clean them after each hike. Treat the footwear with a good quality waterproofing product. In the old days, hikers carried spare shoelaces. The modern nylon laces rarely break. If they do, some nylon cord (which you should have in your pack) makes a good substitute. Your feet must be kept dry. Consider wearing a shoe or boot with a waterproof / breathable liner like Gortex. Many hikers carry an extra pair of socks, especially in cooler weather.
The classic "three layer" system. The inner, or wicking, layer is made up of materials that don't absorb water and dry very quickly. They wick the moisture away from your body. This keeps a layer of warm, dry air up against your skin. With this system, cotton is considered a poor choice, because it soaks up moisture and dries very slowly. Indeed, some outdoor experts call it "death cloth". However, in hot weather, a cotton T-shirt can be acceptable. In the desert, some even consider it preferable because it dries so slowly that it helps cool the body. If you choose to wear one, carry a synthetic back up for cool, wet conditions. The middle layer is the insulating one. Except in the winter, this is more important for your head and trunk than your legs. In the winter, you need to wear or carry insulating pants as well. The most common choice for this layer is fleece, although some people use jackets or vests stuffed with down or a synthetic substitute. The outer layer is the wind and water resistant or waterproof/breathable layer. In warm weather, a suitable lightweight choice is a wind shell and nylon pants, perhaps with zip off legs. These garments are wind and water resistant (and also bug resistant) but not water proof. You need to carry a poncho for complete rain protection. In early spring, later fall, or any time above the tree line, there is no substitute for a complete wind and water proof/breathable pair of pants and jacket, made with Gortex or similar coating. My standard three-season hiking wardrobe consists of synthetic briefs and T-shirt, with a pair of nylon pants with the legs either on or zipped off and in my pack, depending on conditions. I add a lightweight synthetic long undershirt with a zip T neck, and usually also carry the matching long under pants. I then add a fleece pullover and hat. What ever I'm not wearing gets shoved into a waterproof nylon stuff sack. Finally, I either carry my Gortex jacket and pants, or a nylon wind shell and poncho. Even on a hot day, I know that I have enough clothing to spend the night out if necessary.
We are advised to carry the 10 Essentials when we hike. What are they, and why are they important? Simply put, they are a list of items that every hiker should have with them. The goal of the list is to keep the hiker safe, and prepare them to deal with an emergency.
Start with clothing. Don't depend on the weather forecast. Wear or carry in your pack enough to keep you warm and dry in any conditions that can reasonably be expected to occur at that time of year. Next, add the items necessary to protect you from the sun, rain, and bugs. Carry food and plenty of water, with a little extra, just in case. Make sure you have what you need to navigate from your car to your destination, and then back again. Always include a flashlight. Pack a small first aid kit, with the day hiker's maladies in mind. If you get caught out overnight, you will need shelter, fire, and signals. Several large trash bags can save your life.
Not counting clothing, and water (which weighs 2 pounds per liter), a carefully selected 10 Essentials kit can be very light. Most of the items will fit in a single quart zip lock bag. It's well worth the weight and effort.
|Last Updated on Sunday, 24 March 2013 09:41|