27 January 2011

What we should know!

A good night's sleep can be the difference between a fun and safe day and a fatigued and dangerous day in the backcountry. Backcountry sleeping has its challenges, including uneven and rocky ground, pesky insects, changing temperatures and weather, and the inconvenience of having to get up to go to the bathroom. Knowing a few tricks that outdoor professionals and enthusiasts use will stack the deck in favor of a good night's sleep.

Read more at Trails.com: Ways to Sleep Better in the Backcountry | Trails.com http://www.trails.com/list_39857_ways-sleep-better-backcountry.html#ixzz1CEhXHwrR

Bottles and Snacks

If your trip takes you into the heart of winter or cold and extreme temperatures, such as in high altitude climbing, prepare for sleep by placing snacks and water next to you. Cold temperatures and high altitudes cause the body to burn calories at a faster rate, which makes you hungry and contributes to your getting cold faster. Just before climbing into your sleeping bag, melt some snow or heat some water and place the heated water into an old-style Nalgene bottle. Slip the heated water bottle deep into the sleeping bag to warm it. Your body heat will also prevent the water from freezing if you need to drink it.

Keep an extra bottle empty next to your sleeping bag so when nature calls in the wee hours, you simply urinate into the bottle.

Because of the extremely strenuous nature of backpacking, skiing or mountaineering in cold temperatures, you feel hunger frequently. Keep a bag of high calorie trail mix or snacks next to your head in the tent. When you awaken, hungry and with stomach growling, lean over and grab a quick handful or two of the snack mix. This will ease your hunger, allow you to fall back asleep and provide calories to keep your core producing heat.

Even Ground

One factor that causes interrupted and unproductive sleep in the backcountry is trying to camp on uneven or rocky and snarled ground. When you pitch your tent, look for the flattest and most level site available. Clear the area of any debris, rocks and sediment. Use your sleeping pads to level out the sleeping surface as much as possible. Try stuffing articles of clothing on sloping areas to achieve as close to level ground as possible. If you still have uneven terrain, sleep with your head on the upslope rather than the downslope. Lying with your head below your feet causes blood to move to the head, which may cause headaches and interrupted sleep.

Flexibility and Group Sleeping

If you have more than one person in your tent, try distributing the people head/toe. Have one person sleep with his head next to the other's feet (in sleeping bags of course). If one person is a snorer, the other's face and head will not be directly next to the snoring. 

Flexibility is important when we sleep, because most of us move and change positions throughout the night. When you select a sleeping bag, buy one that allows you to move easily without giving up the bag's thermal qualities. The bag should move with you as you turn and twist but not be so big that you move inside it. Extra space on the inside of the bag is extra space your body has to heat to maintain the thermal qualities of the bag.

Article Written By Eric Cedric

A former Alaskan of 20 years, Eric Cedric now resides in California. He's published in "Outside" and "Backpacker" and has written a book on life in small-town Alaska, "North by Southeast." Eric was a professional mountain guide and backcountry expedition leader for 18 years. He worked in Russia, Iceland, Greece, Turkey and Belize. Cedric attended Syracuse University and is a private pilot.
Read more at Trails.com: Ways to Sleep Better in the Backcountry | Trails.com http://www.trails.com/list_39857_ways-sleep-better-backcountry.html#ixzz1CEhfLBnd

22 January 2011

Dream 'WHO'S COUNTING': Worm Guts

The group of us traversed a long trail along a cliff-side type environment. Twas a humid damp day, yet not very cloudy. Water had merely peppered the grass and foliage and there was almost a fog from the altitude/temperature change. We had similar backgrounds and even knew people through connections yet it was without pattern. Most of them were people in my everyday routines and even some as far back as the military.
The rock wall came. It was almost sewn together with brown and green vines; VERY jungle-like. Amongst the webbing there were berries and fruits. We walked and talked as we picked off the edibles. Sometimes I would pick off what I called an "unripe", which was literally a tiny vial-like glass bottle full of red liquid that very much resembled blood. The glass itself was definitely organic because like the fruit, some bottles weren't "ripe" either.  One of them that I pulled out was perfectly rounded off. It lacked sharp edges, and was just missing the bottom half of itself; a clean cut. 
The bottles ranged from cracked to just little shards jutting out and were often rust brown and dirty. They would make the sound of glass-against-concrete as they broke free and slid out from their circular cadavers. Was like nails on a chalkboard or a high pitch screech from a tiny inhuman mouth. I remember mentioning to whom I had been talking to and connected with the most, that the idea of red liquid really made me sick. I remember thinking that it was disgusting to think that we were essentially eating these things because everything else grew from the same environment. It reminded me of squashed worm guts. One of them that I pulled, spilled and leaked out. It ran out into a tiny puddle of water that had probably formed from the rain in a concave at my feet. It was a deep red that showed it's cloudiness as it swirled and mixed with the water. It would "smoke up" and then settle and become more translucent. The chewing of glass and reminiscing is probably the reason I woke up today with a headache.

18 January 2011


This has got to be the coolest music video i've ever seen. GREAT idea(s), GREAT song, and GREAT waytogohome.