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Survivalism & Self Sufficiency Topics => Outdoors Activities => Camping => Topic started by: Josh the Aspie on April 28, 2014, 12:59:40 PM

Title: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Josh the Aspie on April 28, 2014, 12:59:40 PM
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Rangeboss on April 28, 2014, 01:02:25 PM
Sounds like an adventurous camping trip.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Josh the Aspie on April 28, 2014, 01:19:17 PM
Indeed it was, from my perspective.  I'm glad to have had the experience, and to have learned the lessons I learned.  Not quite so glad to be sore.  :P
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Greekman on April 29, 2014, 04:16:35 AM
Quote
If you have a split toe nail you're trying to keep from being an ingrown nail, trim it before the trip.  The split won't survive the trail, and will become worse if you don't.  You may also hold up your group snipping it off so as to be able to put socks back on when changing them.

Josh. my english knowledge really cr**ed out on me with this...

What do you mean with split toe nail and trimming it?
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Josh the Aspie on April 29, 2014, 08:29:16 AM
Greekman: The subject matter is a little obscure as well, so that could be making it harder to understand.

I'll try to break it down, hopefully not to an insulting level, but to a level that helps.

The toe nail is the hard bit on the tops of the ends of your toes, the thing that provides some mild protection against toes being stubbed, and things dropped on them.

But if you stub your toe hard, or drop something on it, or your toe nail gets brittle due to fungus, the part of the nail nearest the end can break, just like when you put a hatchet into the top of a piece of cord-wood, or strike it hard with a hammer and the end cracks, but it hasn't split apart the entire length of the wood.

Once that happens, it's hard to get the nail to grow back out right.  Over time, the parts that are split will be pushed out toward the end of the toe by new toe nail material that hasn't been split.

Unfortunately, when the nail is split near the left edge or the right edge, it has a tendency to twist, and dig down into the side of the toe.  This is one of the ways that ingrown toenails form.

Ideally, you keep both parts of the split toe nail long enough that there is part of the toe nail showing past the end of the toe, and outside of the area that the split section of nail is digging into, even after it's been trimmed.  This keeps the nail from digging in deeper.  Unfortunately, it also makes it more likely for something to snag on that bit of nail, and split the nail further back toward the quick (the part that grows the new nail material).
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Greekman on April 29, 2014, 08:50:18 AM
god i am still ahving chills running down my spine ..it took me 2 parts to read the entire spot.
i ahd my share of ingrown nails but nothing liek that......
torn dow to the root....brrrrrrrrrrrrrr


TNX.....allways good to know such stuff
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Josh the Aspie on April 29, 2014, 09:12:48 AM
Well I've never had it torn all the way to the root.  It's just gotten torn in the direction of the root.  But yeah, the sensation is not at all pleasant.  And now, due to all of the effects of the walking, and getting it seriously snagged on a sock, the split has traveled further back than it was before the trip.

And you're welcome.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: nelson96 on April 29, 2014, 09:19:59 AM
Best thing I ever did was go to the doctor and get my toe nail permanently removed.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Josh the Aspie on April 29, 2014, 09:21:56 AM
I've had some other ingrown fixed, but I'm trying to get this problem fixed without it, just through careful maintenance of the nail.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: nelson96 on April 29, 2014, 09:24:07 AM
I've had some other ingrown fixed, but I'm trying to get this problem fixed without it, just through careful maintenance of the nail.

After realizing how easy it was and a lot less painful than dealing with frequent and/or infrequent ingrown toenails. . . .  I would do it again, no problem. . . .  18 years and pain free, plus one less toenail to clip.  ;D
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: endurance on April 29, 2014, 09:44:41 AM
...and those are only the things you can remember right now.  I've been backpacking for almost three decades now and learn things I'd do different on every single trip.  Yes, it's much more of a science now than it was years ago, but the best thing I ever did was started using a spreadsheet with all my gear on it with the weights of each item and track which items I used, which I didn't and what would be worth while having next time.

And having garbage bags in your car to put muddy gear into, serve as emergency rain gear for large groups, and to serve as seat covers when you're a mess is priceless.  I keep a full roll of 30 bags in my car at all times... and I've given the entire roll away in a single thunderstorm on Vail Pass during the Triple Bipass cycling event.

Some great insights.  Thanks for passing them along.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Josh the Aspie on April 29, 2014, 10:05:20 AM
Thanks for the tip Endurance, and glad you found some of mine helpful.

I actually used an extra heavy duty tall-sized bag for an interior liner for my backpack to help keep my dry gear dry.  I took the first of the 299 day series with me, with the intent to read it.  It came through just fine.

I've remembered a few more lessons learned to share.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: LdMorgan on April 29, 2014, 10:12:30 AM
Just  two comments, one light and one serious.

A can of beer is a loaf of bread suspended in purified water. It's a basic food group, IMO, not just a relaxing beverage. And its tops for a quick rehydration on a hot day.

Ingrown toenails can be a very serious problem. Knew a guy that had a tiny little sliver of split toenail that he pulled out, without a second thought.

That almost microscopic injury got infected and in two days his toe was screaming agony at the slightest touch.

No doctors or antibiotics were to be had, at the time, so hot soaks and a garlic compress had to make do.

Ahhh! Much better in 24 hours!

Stopped the soaks, left off the garlic. The toe was merely dark red tending to purple. No problem.

Fifteen minutes later, the entire toe was one giant yellow-green pus blister.

UG-ly! Truly nauseating to look at, and damn scary, too.

After lancing it, more soaks and garlic.

Eventually, back in civilization, it took a course of antibiotics about two weeks to clear up the lingering infection.

And right up until then, every bump reignited the original infection. They eventually had to remove a little bit of dead tissue that was harboring the bug.

Never underestimate the danger of a sore toe.

And always pack some seriously good last-chance antibiotics.

Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Josh the Aspie on April 29, 2014, 10:39:10 AM
How would I get ahold of some "last chance antibiotics" without a prescription for them?
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: endurance on April 29, 2014, 10:57:50 AM
...
  • Stuff that cooks fast and doesn't need any subtly in cooking is an incredible boon at camp. My group was able to get stir fry with rice cooked, but the rice was a bit too crunchy, and it took way too long.
  • If you are going to cook something that can store out over-night and still be edible, like rice, don't combine it in your pot with things that can't.  If you have leftovers that can keep, munching them in the morning is easier than cooking breakfast.
...
Pasta-Roni (http://www.ricearoni.com/Products/Pasta_Roni/Classic_Favorites/) is friggin' heaven on the trail.  The angel hair pasta dishes, you can just add boiling water in a ziplock bag and in about 6-8 minutes you have your side dish.  If you have dehydrated hamburger, start rehydrating with boiling water about five minutes before you add the water to the pasta dish and then add it to the pasta and you have a meal that is amazing with zero dishes to clean up.  If you need to re-heat it, just put the ziplock into boiling water for about five minutes and it's ready to eat.  The only rice to bring backpacking is rice-a-roni.  Nothing else reconstitutes in a reasonable time like the pre-cooked stuff.  Even so, I still prefer the pasta dishes.

I really try to only cook what I eat at that time.  In my part of the country you don't want the smell of cooked food in your camp.  Ideally,  you cook dinner at about 4pm while hiking, eat, then continue hiking for another half-hour or so before setting up camp.  While that level of caution isn't necessary everywhere, it's far safer than sleeping where you cooked if you have bears around.

For breakfasts and lunches, I try to stick with non-cook food so I can hit the trail while it's still cool outside.  My goal is always to get most of my miles done before noon.  If it turns out that it's a cold and miserable day, I carry spare fuel and chicken bullion cubes with me.  Nothing on earth hits the spot like hot chicken bullion when hiking.  It replaces your electrolytes, warms you from the inside, and tastes amazing without adding significant weight to your pack or changing your meal plan. 
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Josh the Aspie on April 29, 2014, 11:24:58 AM
Camping on my own, those plans sound great.  Camping with a group of people that hike faster than me, based on a plan made by someone else?  Not really doable.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: allofthemonkeys on May 02, 2014, 01:55:00 AM
Thanks, when I took a backpacking class in college it made me rethink a lot of people's BOB philosophy
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Josh the Aspie on May 02, 2014, 09:14:26 AM
Agreed.  Another lesson learned from all of this is some real solid respect for the physicality of backpackers, soldiers, and old mountain men.

I want to continue to improve my fitness level through MA, day hikes, and maybe wind-sprints/weight training.  I'd like to be able to do a marathon with no pack as well.

But I still think that a GHB as large as my backpacking bag would be problematic, even if I was mostly dealing with flat terrain.

Also, from what my teacher was saying, if you keep your sleeping bag stored all bunched up in your bag (be it down or synthetic), you're basically killing the bag's ability to keep you warm.

Going with a space blanket or two, alone, is going to save a lot of weight and space, and may well work better.

I'm curious about trying a hamok and tarp setup.  That should help keep me cool/warm depending on the season (due to not being in contact with the ground), and help keep the bugs off of me more than sleeping on the ground would.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: nelson96 on May 02, 2014, 09:36:03 AM
Another lesson learned from all of this is some real solid respect for the physicality of backpackers, soldiers, and old mountain men.

I don't know if I would call myself a "mountain man", but I've spent a fair amount of time in the woods all my life.  In my younger years I spent the majority of my free time in the woods.  That said, there is something to say for being confident [comfortable & knowledgeable] and sure footed while in the woods, even more so than being in shape.  I would never condone not doing what you could to be in shape, but other attributes could prove more important IMO and experience, short of being forced to follow someone on a trail that is hell bent on simply getting from point A to point B.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Cedar on May 02, 2014, 09:48:11 AM
.... with a group of people that hike faster than me, based on a plan made by someone else? 

It sounds like you did great. You will get there. On one of my 10 milers, I did twice a week, with a 500-600 ft elevation change, 17% inclination on medium rough trail, I came across a woman who was 200-300 pounds overweight. I was REALLY concerned about her going the 10.2 mile full loop. And almost turned around to trail her. I thought she was going to have problems... but I didn't. I kept seeing her every few weeks.. and she did that trail... and after a year, she had lost at least 100 pounds, she was no longer tomato red and she was not breathing like a steam engine. Kudos to her..

and if it make you feel any better, after I was sick, I went on a 2 mile hike with an 84 year old man named Joe, who kicked my posterior going up a local mountain. I had to stop like 5x going up the mountain.. and he did not have to stop once.. and he had a pack on!!! I felt WIMPY!!!

You will get there.. and despite all the little things which you noticed which were bad,... I think you had fun. Keep with it.

Cedar
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Josh the Aspie on May 02, 2014, 10:07:56 AM
Thanks for all of the encouragement guys.  It really helps.  ^_^
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: LdMorgan on May 03, 2014, 01:37:09 AM
How would I get ahold of some "last chance antibiotics" without a prescription for them?

Many physicians will give you a script for a general antibiotic if you tell them you're headed into the boonies and won't have
access to a doctor or hospital. That assumes that you're not a known drug-seeker, and your physician at least knows you a little bit. Ditto if you're starting a round-the-world cruise on your yacht, or some such.

If that's not practical, you can always buy antibiotics from Canada, Mexico, or wherever. Or buy some veterinary antibiotics as a last-chance protection. If you're two weeks away from the nearest paved road and you're appendix gets infected, a horse pill might just keep it in check long enough for you to get back to civilization.

Sure beats dyin'.

Of course, in the absence of doctors & antibiotics, an few hardy souls have been known to take their own appendix out, without surgical experience & without any kind of anesthetic.

Me, I'd rather take the horse pill.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: chezrad on May 03, 2014, 04:53:42 AM
Some very insightful thoughts. Good for you. I'm a mid weight hammock camper. It has been an evolution over time but my pack is generally about 25 lbs. there are a lot of forums out there to help with your endeavors in camping and hammocking.

Another benefit of hiking poles, they keep your hand elevated and prevent them from swelling up like sausages. This is really handy if you have an emergency that requires dexterity. I use a homemade bamboo pole. It was free and as lightweight as a carbon fiber one.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Josh the Aspie on May 03, 2014, 09:09:52 AM
Fair enough.  I've done some moving around and just got access to a doctor again recently, so I'll need to wait to get to know him a bit better for the antibiotics.

And chezrad: Given how sore my hands got after using them as a second pair of feet (through the poles), I'd think that using poles would decrease dexterity.  I'm used to having my hands in a down position just fine, but not so much using them to bear weight for a prolonged period.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: chezrad on May 03, 2014, 11:04:21 AM
What that tells you is that you were seriously fatigued! If your putting that much stress and strain on your hands you might want to work on building up stamina.

I use my pole to keep me occupied, set a rhythm and from time to time help with balance and stability. Let the legs do the work.

Good news is that your learning about yourself. That's a good thing.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: endurance on May 03, 2014, 11:34:33 AM
Training-wise, if you can get out for a 40-90 minute walk 2-3 days a week and then get in at least one that doubles your mid-week hike you will be amazed at where your body is in just a couple months.  I used to love it when TSP was a 40 minute format.  When I'd get home from work late I could listen to one episode on my short loop in my neighborhood and when I had time I could listen to two back to back.  On the weekends I'd do a three hour-plus hike and in no time I was finding myself doing 12-14 mile day hikes, which gave me the inspiration I needed to do my Colorado Trail hike last year.

The key is at least four days a week of activity.  Anything less and you just never make any real progress.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: nelson96 on May 03, 2014, 11:52:58 AM
I stay in hotels a lot so thought I would start using the free gym.  I couldn't believe how much of a difference it made in my weight and stamina using an elliptical for a hard 30 minutes, 4 days every other week.  Not skipping a week (when I am home on the off travel weeks) would be better of course.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Josh the Aspie on May 05, 2014, 10:39:14 AM
Well I've been building to 4 days a week at martial arts practice.  But adding in a walk and listening to a podcast during that time would also be good.

And as far as the hands go, there was a guy on the trip with us who was twice as physically fit as I am, who actually lost all feeling in his hands through the trip.  He puts weight on his hands all the way through the trip as a matter of course.

I use my poles to turn myself from a 2 legged walker into a 4 legged walker.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: nelson96 on May 05, 2014, 11:44:19 AM
Cardio fitness is IMO only part of it.  Knowing how to use your legs, being sure footed, and having ample muscles to support your structure is also key.  Poles should be more of a tool to help with balance.  YMMV

Loss of feeling could be due to circulation issues, which could offer insight in to proving your complete cardio health isn't as good as you think it is.
.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Josh the Aspie on May 05, 2014, 11:53:37 AM
Loss of feeling was not one of my symptoms.  It was reported by one of the people leading the trip, who uses his poles extensively, and who's physical fitness I would in no way question.

I had paused to rub at my hands for a moment, because they were starting to get sore and a bit stiff after several miles of hiking up and down slick wet clay which I literally could not make my way up/down without the ability to dig in with the poles.

Also, my cardio health levels are all well within the acceptable levels any time I'm not sick (with the exception of triglycerides, which I've been getting under control, and are borderline).



Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: nelson96 on May 05, 2014, 12:03:12 PM
Loss of feeling was not one of my symptoms.  It was reported by one of the people leading the trip, who uses his poles extensively, and who's physical fitness I would in no way question.

I was speaking more toward his experience, and I would question his physical fitness if he has circulatory issues.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Greekman on May 05, 2014, 12:17:59 PM
Could it be that hsi apck was adjusted with too much weight on his shoulders than in his hips?
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: nelson96 on May 05, 2014, 12:19:59 PM
Could it be that his pack was adjusted with too much weight on his shoulders than in his hips?

It certainly could.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: inconel710 on May 05, 2014, 12:20:40 PM
Agreed.  Another lesson learned from all of this is some real solid respect for the physicality of backpackers, soldiers, and old mountain men.

I want to continue to improve my fitness level through MA, day hikes, and maybe wind-sprints/weight training.  I'd like to be able to do a marathon with no pack as well.

But I still think that a GHB as large as my backpacking bag would be problematic, even if I was mostly dealing with flat terrain.

Also, from what my teacher was saying, if you keep your sleeping bag stored all bunched up in your bag (be it down or synthetic), you're basically killing the bag's ability to keep you warm.

Going with a space blanket or two, alone, is going to save a lot of weight and space, and may well work better.

I'm curious about trying a hamok and tarp setup.  That should help keep me cool/warm depending on the season (due to not being in contact with the ground), and help keep the bugs off of me more than sleeping on the ground would.

If you're referring to using a space blanket in your GHB, I think you're on the right track (since I'm on the same one).  I plan on clothing being my primary sleep system in that scenario with a Grabbers space blanket for ground cover/shelter.

I'm a novice hammock camper.  I've found it to be generally cooler than sleeping on the ground.  My last night in a hammock (back in April), the temps got down below freezing and I stayed pretty comfortable.  However, I had a USGI poncho liner rigged up as an underquilt, a double layer hammock to cut the wind even further, a GI Gore-Tex bivy bag, a Thermarest foam pad, and the black mummy bag from the military sleep system.  It's a heavy and bulky rig because I'm using mostly cheap milsurplus items.  My tarp is a cheap Sportsmans Guide silnylon tarp.  What really put it over the top was a couple of hand warmers thrown in the bag before I changed clothes for the night.  Hammockforums.com is a great place to learn more (that's where I found the instructions for the poncho liner underquilt or PLUQ as they call it).

I hear you about hand swelling.  I found that using a waist belt, cinched tight, and loosening the shoulder straps helped alot.  The waist belt transfers the pack weight to your hips, reducing the weight on the shoulder straps.  Those can then be loosened until they're just tight enough for comfort.
Title: Re: Lessons Learned on my Recent Camping Trip
Post by: Josh the Aspie on May 05, 2014, 02:34:52 PM
If you're referring to using a space blanket in your GHB, I think you're on the right track (since I'm on the same one).

I was.  I already have a couple in my vehicle's tool kit.