Well, last weekend was a good one. Not only because I celebrated Independence Day, it was also my Mother’s birthday (she turned 65), but I was able to get out and do a little camping too. It was a hot and long one as well… It was more of a maintenance weekend than a full on fun games camping weekend. Since we have a camp site on private property, we needed to get up there, clean up the property, cut chop and haul wood back to the camp site, etc.
I realized something I already knew. Water is your all important friend, and in the heat, (85 – 95 degrees) cutting, chopping, hauling, and stacking wood is a helluva lot of work. For a good four or five hours of work, I bet I burned close to 3000 calories (maybe more) and probably perspired a good liter or two of water. I estimate a liter or two because I think I drank two liters of water post work and drank at least a liter while working, and was still thirsty. What happened later proved that I burned a large number of calories. I began to get tired. Now anyone would be tired after four or five hours of cutting and stacking wood, however, it felt different. Like I was drained of energy. I immediately knew I had to eat something. It had been all day since I had breakfast, and now it was getting close to dinner with just a little home made beef jerky in between to satisfy hunger cravings. With dinner, a couple of beers, more water, I was feeling much better and much more normal. Less the slight ache in my lower back, knees, chest, and arms from throwing wood around. Proof that going to the gym doesn’t work your entire muscular structure.
I also got to thinking. I only carry two 1.5 liter bottles of water in my truck as emergency water. I would have gone through that in less than a day with no more water to wash or clean up. Truth be told there is a stream behind our camp site, but if there were not, I would have had to resort to other methods of gathering water. But to my point, I would have not been able to cook, clean, or drink anything else, and would have had to ration the water. Hygiene is important to me when on the trail. Psychologically it makes me feel refreshed and ready to take on what is ahead of me. So I like to wash myself up a couple times a day at the least while on the trail. This got me thinking that I should carry a more substantial load of water with me whether I am driving to Philadelphia or going camping for three days in the woods.
Fast forward to Sunday afternoon… Camping is over, my Mother’s Birthday party is in the afternoon and I make a quick stop at the local Walmart. I pick up a few items and head over to the outdoor/camping section when I come across a water container form Reliance Products. I picked it up, played with it, and decided to buy it. It is a hard plastic, has a hidden built in spigot, and holds seven gallons of water. I am going to fill it, add a half a teaspoon and a few drops of Clorox bleach to help the water stay potable for about a year, and put it in the back of my SUV for emergency use. Seven gallons should last me seven days in temperate situations. It is not a small container, as you can see here. I paid just under $11.00 for it, and thought it was worth the price. However, it seemed rugged enough for me to beat around in the back of my truck if it had stuff thrown on top of it, etc. I chose not to go with one of the collapsible plastic five gallon containers because I didn’t want to accidentally poke a hole in it, as it is clearly not as durable as the Reliance Products seven gallon container.
My advise going forward on water. Keep at least one gallon per person in your vehicle. Make sure you have something portable to pour it into like a canteen or water bottles that you can use as canteens if you have to leave your car and hoof it to safety. I know it would have been a big help for me this past weekend.
I guess the moral of the story is don’t under estimate yourself in any situation.
Everything I do is a learning experience when it comes to being more prepared and more self reliant. I just purchased a new Gerber knife (seems I am taking a liking to knives) in addition to my Gerber Para Frame I, II, III’s, Swedish Mora, Leatherman(s), and my Ka-Bar. But more on those later, as I may post a blog about all of them and what I feel their uses are for me. And, I just picked up a small bank of non-hybrid seeds off of E-bay. I will showcase those in a post when they arrive as well.