So, the other day I was on a planned 5 day camp out in the Huachuca Mountains of Arizona, I had ample food and made a decent water cache prior to coming out so I had plenty of provisions and my usual minimal gear on hand.
As you may recall in a previous post I had an encounter with a bear that was trying to steal all of my food. Typical of bears, and my fault for putting temptation in his way, but I managed to drive him off a couple of times using my sling shot and pine pitch ammo. I just fired at his ears and butt, seemed to work and he lit a shuck for other parts, until....
I went out on Saturday and Mr. Bear showed up again on Sunday afternoon. Once again, I chased him off. That night though, he showed up in camp and got into my trash that was hanging in a separate tree from my food. Rascal!
Mr. Bear tore up the trash pretty good, I cleaned it up and rehung it the next night with my foods higher in a ponderosa pine. Monday Night ol' “Yogi” showed up again and managed to figure out how to get to my food 25 feet up in a tree.
This time he ate all of my organic foods , olive oil, sardines, Vienna sausages and a can of bean less chilli. He managed to tear open those cans and lick them clean as a whistle.
So, there I was, no food, except some MRE coffee packets “Yogi” didn't eat. Now, you might ask why I didnt just eat some wild foods – Simple – there is not much out there this time of year, just ask “Yogi”.
Anyhoo, I decided to spend another night , then hike the 12 miles into town to resupply at my friend Matts house in Sierra Vista. I packed up early the next AM, and according to my pocket thermometer it was a cool 45degrees Fahrenheit. I downed 1 liter of water, then shouldered my pack and set out. It was pleasant to hike in the cool mountains, my camp was around 8000 feet and the decent was steep. It didn't take long for it to get hot! Around 9 AM the temps were in the mid 80'. the intensity of the sun is what gets to me in Arizona, even more then the aridity.
By the time I had left the mountains and headed out on the “Flats” as I call them, the temps were soaring, I was feeling the lack of carbohydrates in my diet over the past 2 weeks. I packed along 4 liters of water so I was drinking freely as I hiked, but my lack of energy was forcing me to work hard and I was sucking in lungs-full of the hot desert air. I was down to around 4000 feet in elevation for about the last ½ of the hike, it was hot, I was tired, and musing to myself about the odd things you think about while hiking or surviving under austere conditions.
Under cooler conditions I have never stopped for a break en route to town while doing this hike before, but this time I took a total of 5 breaks. The longest break being about ½ an hour under the sparse shade of a non native Mesquite tree. Oddly it was only less then a mile from Matts house but my energy level was non existent, I was dizzy, and my pocket thermometer read 102 degrees Fahrenheit, I began to wonder if I would make it.....There is a first time for everything I suppose.
After a while , I got tired of sitting there in my crazy creek chair, sipping hot water from a plastic bottle. Standing up, I fought off the nausea and dizziness, shouldered my pack and started out on the last leg of the hike. I made it to Matts house in due time but it was difficult – Ill admit it.
I don't know for sure but the bad way I felt was probably due to a combination of things ; heat, dehydration, lack of carbs in my system, distance, weight of my pack, cross country travel (as opposed to on a road).
All in all, it was a good experience and a reminder that I'm not as young as I use to be. But conversely, it is also good to know that I still possess the “drive on” attitude and endurance I have had over my entire life.
See you on the trail!
Tomahawk – Scouts Out!