Start early! The summer months will make this hike intense. The strategy is to beat the sun and stay in the shade. Just fifteen minutes in direct sun will change your behavior and focus. Expect to go through at least four liters of water by the time you reach the village. We started from the hill top at 5:30am. With breaks around every two hours for about fifteen minutes we managed to get to camp in six hours.
Our stay was planned for four nights. The average weight of the packs were pushing fifty pounds. When we finally arrived at camp we were experiencing some dizziness and dry mouth. Fortunately, all we needed was some minimal calories and a liter of water to be back to normal operation. One of our friends suffered mild dehydration which was quickly recovered with electrolytes, water, and a cold pack.
Once we settled in the experience was of a dream. The quietness wrapped your senses allowing them to wake up. You immediately have a connection of peace as you gaze around. Going into the river for a dip was the perfect answer for the high temperatures. The water was set alive by the distant waterfall you can hear. The limestone coated the river floor giving the water the appearance of a clear swimming pool. There was something about walking down to the river half asleep for a morning bath to start your day.
We can say the most memorable part of the adventure was Mooney Falls. The climb down was 200 feet and consisted of ladders and chains bolted to the side of the mountain. It was definitely a test and trust in one's self.
Water. Always keep track of your water intake. We would easily consume four liters a day. You should be especially concerned when swimming and hiking. It is very easy to forget. Look for signs of dry or sticky mouth and dry lips. Remember, if you are thinking thirsty you are already pass due on hydration. So fill up quick!
First Aid Kit. Accidents happen in various forms. On the hike someone suffered a fall straight to the knee with full gear on. Infection in the wilderness can ruin your trip. We soaked the wound with spray antibiotic, wiped it clean with antibiotic wipes, and sealed it with with spray liquid bandage. This was a quick fix with minimal need of bare hands infecting the area. Electrolyte pills or salty snacks aid in dehydration when you are pumping water back into your system. If the First Aid Kit doesn't have bug spray and sun block be sure to add it.
Dehydrated food. On this trip we decided to make our own menu that did not include dehydrated items. The problem was that because our food was not dehydrated we had 25 pounds of food for five days. We strongly recommend buying dehydrated food or dehydrate your own food to save weight. Your joints and muscles will thank you. Be sure you pack an extra day of food for you or someone else who may need it.
They may seem like the cutest camp buddies but rest assured they are just waiting for the right moment to eat your food. We are talking about the squirrels. Theses little dudes are known to chew through backpacks and jump into hammocks just to get to your food supply. The trick is to tie paracord or rope of any sort from tree to tree. Have it pulled tight and about eye level. Then connect your pack or bag of food with a carabiner around the center and you should be good to go. When night comes and its time to sleep for the night be sure to not leave any food out as well. We thought someone was rummaging through are stuff and it ended up being a pack of raccoons! As always, don't feed or try to pet any wildlife.
There is a beautiful world out there. A world waiting to be discovered and to naturally capture your senses. Remove yourself from the routine and explorer more. WITHDRAW INTO THE WILDERNESS often. Safe travels!
TRAIL FORTY | WITHDRAW INTO THE WILDERNESS | Luke 5:16 | TRAILFORTY.com