I continue training although the temperatures in southern Arizona are brutal.
This morning at 6:15 am I headed out for a hike that was very usual for me, the normal 6 to 6 ½ miles on hilly dirt country roads with my full pack on my back. After about 2 ½ miles I had to turn around and return home. The temperatures were climbing and although I was rehydrating myself, I was becoming nauseated. Not a good sign; one of the warning signals of heat exhaustion. Living here in the desert it is important to know the signs and to take heed. I was already sweating heavily and felt like I didn’t have my legs and then the nausea. Nope, time to go home to where the air conditioner is running and relax in the cool.
I’m re-checking the contents of my backpack; it is feeling too heavy lately. I need to see what I can eliminate to lighten the load. I need the sleeping bag; do I also need the silk sleeping bag liner? The small down camping pillow doesn’t weigh much; okay, this is a luxury, I know. Yes, the crocs are necessary – they will double as shower shoes as well as après hiking footwear. I do need a towel, but do I need a washcloth? Yes, I will need the long sleeve merino wool shirt and long underwear, definitely the long sleeve lightweight shirt (both for cover up and an additional layer). Absolutely necessary is the rain jacket (can be used for extra warmth if needed) and the rain cover for the backpack. I wish my pack were a bit smaller, it is just over the carry on size. I do need the airport duffle bag for checking the backpack.
A new friend from the Santiago de Compostela Forum has suggested additional batteries and a simple battery charger for the cell phone along with a European receptacle converter. This way I won’t have to worry about my phone being left unattended while it charges. A simple solution, thank you!
I need my hydration pack, which when filled weighs almost 7 pounds. The pack itself is 13 ounces and 3 liters of water is 6 pounds. The beauty of this is it will become lighter as the walking progresses.
Now for the toiletries – once in France, I will be removing everything from the containers they are sold with and place them in individual marked Ziploc bags; I see no need for all that plastic packaging, in fact I’m sure it all adds up in weight. The Advil will be removed from the bottle and put in a Ziploc as will the stick deodorant, stick bug repellant, sunscreen, and everything else that is packaged. I must re-think the necessity of the other toiletries I plan to carry. I wonder if liquid soap weighs less than a bar of soap, another question to answer. Is it necessary to bring more than a few Band-Aids? I’m taking along an Ace Bandage just in case. And then there is the multi-use, most important red duct tape, hey you never know.
I read in the book “To Walk Far, Carry Less” by Jean Christie Ashmore it is beneficial to cut all the tags from clothing and all unnecessary slide closures and straps from your backpack. Stuff Sacks are positively not needed, they just add weight, I need to remove stuff from the sacks. She also suggests breaking off the handles of your brushes, both hair and tooth. I think I should re-read this book, this time noting all her little tips.