Saturday, July 14, 2012

Day Hike to Kahana

The other day I went on a hike. Nothing like a WILD/Cheryl Strayed hike... traversing 1100 miles of terrain... but a day hike. A nice hike, the Nakoa Trail, into the beautiful Ko'olau mountain range. Though everyone came out alive (all 40 of us) and safe and were clueless about all the worries I had, I was not pleased with the way the hike was executed. I take responsibility for the ill-conceived hike and promise to do it differently if I am ever in charge of a hike again.

I felt like I was totally prepared for whatever the day would bring in terms of self-preservation. That means, I was prepared to care for myself if something went wrong and we became stuck in the mountains.... well kind of prepared. I had food. I had water. I had a bright colored rain coat that could double as a tarp. I had a towel. I had a jacket for warmth. I had a first aid kit. I had toilet paper. I had a change of clothes.

Looking back, I was definitely missing a bunch of things. Because I had nearly completed reading WILD, I felt like I had to prepare to take stuff but not so much that my pack was too heavy. Definitely on my next hike, the following will be on the preparation shopping list, in order of necessity:

1. Wenger 16388 EvoWood Swiss Army Knife - This little tool has a bunch of different purposes. LOVE IT! Knife, Wood saw, scissors, screwdriver, wire stripper, can opener, nail file, nail cleaner, etc. This features a wooden ergonomic handle!

2. Multi-Purpose Shovel - This five-in-one shovel serves as a shovel, saw, pick, axe, and compass. Now that is worth squawking about!

3. Bear Grylls Fire Starter - Being able to start a fire is crucial! Even in Hawai'i where the temperature rarely dips below 70, one can still suffer hypothermia if wet or in a high mountain range where it's much colder. So having fire to warm up or even cook something to eat is required! I'm taking some weatherproofed matches also.

4. Tent or some form of temporary housing - this is a toss up between two different tents.
* My first choice is the Solitaire Tent :: I like this one because it's very stylish and looks very comfy. It is also  relatively light-weight adding only 2 pounds and 9 ounces to my pack but very pricey.
**My second choice is the Emergency Shelter Tent :: very economic at about $10 in comparison to the Solitaire Tent @ $100. However, it is not as stylish or functional as the tent. Honestly, I'd probably pack both.

5. Water Filter - There are so many options. I would pack two different systems. In the book WILD, Cheryl had a filter as well as iodine tabs. Very smart. I will probably do the same. Although I have concerns about water. I mean, does a carbon filter work to get rid of bacteria in the water. Like here in Hawai'i there is always a concern for leptospirosis. So would it just make more sense to just take iodine tabs? Things that make me go hmmmm....

Well, I just did a google search and found that water filters ARE NOT effective on leptospirosis. In a survival situation a person MUST boil the water or treat it with Iodine tablets.

Ok so let me add to the two forms of water purifiers -- I want a PORTABLE UV STERILIZER. This form of filtering actually works on leptospirosis. You can purify water with it. It's light weight, compact, and very effective.

6. Simple Mess Kit - This would probably be priceless in a survival situation. A cup, a pot, a pan, and a deep dish plate. This might be a luxury but one I would want!

7. Crank Lantern/ Radio - Ok whoever came up with this little contraption is brilliant. According to the specs and reviews on Amazon, three minutes of cranking allows the light to last up to 75 minutes. That is pretty amazing. We don't have to lug batteries around for this which is priceless when packing a hiking bag. However, it does work with three AAA batteries. It also includes a radio, nightlight, compass, hanging loop, 120-decibel siren, etc. AMAZING!

I think that about covers my foray into packing a hiking bag. Maybe I should add to the list some dehydrated food also. As I read WILD by Cheryl Strayed, the thought of having to carry so many items along an 1100 mile journey had me wondering what I would take. So as I packed for my short day hike yesterday, I thought of her and her MONSTER bag. What an awesome adventure she must have had. I probably could not have endured the silence and the loneliness but maybe I could. Solitude is probably the best way to get in touch with things that really matter. Crystal clear perceptions must come as a result of the solitude.

Everyday, I should clear my mind and find the solitude that leads to the peace that I yearn for.

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