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Fish River hike challenge 4061

No Life Club Posts: 3,613
Fish River hike challenge
« on: June 24, 2016, 12:53:00 PM »
Hi

I got a phone call from a friend recently with a challenge, they're walking the Fish River, dropping in on 22 August and he challenged me to come along.

Have a look: https://www.google.com.na/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&ie=UTF-8#q=namibia%20fish%20river%20canyon%20hike

The hike is 96km over 5 days and pretty rough going, you have to carry everything with you.

I've never done anything like this despite badly wanting to. 

There's some equipment I'll have to buy, and the big issue ATM is shoes.  I wear a UK #13 and availability and choices are severely, prices somewhere between ridiculous and exorbitant.  Other problem being the shoes need to be fully worn in beforehand, and time is running out.

I'm (maybe mistakenly) not that worried about my fitness level, but I've lost 40kg+ over the last 18 months and physically I feel better than I have in years.

I've decided to buy what I can, borrow what I can't, go in the practice hikes we have planned and hope everything works out.


Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 56,811
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #1 on: June 24, 2016, 01:50:52 PM »
Good luck and happy trails GG :cheers: Hope you have a great time :tu: Would love to see pics as well :whistle: :D
Thread Killer 2015 No Life Club Posts: 2,458 Ser Tool the Slinger, The Tool That Rides
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #2 on: June 24, 2016, 02:06:42 PM »
Good on you for giving it a go. :tu:

Keep us posted on how it goes.
Global Moderator Point Of No Return Posts: 37,857
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #3 on: June 24, 2016, 02:19:13 PM »
I'm jelly, looks pretty ripper.   :tu:   :tu:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 7,748
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #4 on: June 24, 2016, 02:32:37 PM »
Good luck!
Looks like fun!

And we want pics! :D

-Knívleysur maður er lívleysur maður.
 "A Knifeless man is a lifeless man" old Faroese proverb.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,376 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #5 on: June 25, 2016, 04:42:40 PM »
If I could still walk I'd be all over that!

Have a great time, and make sure you take lots of photos to make us all jealous of your awesome adventure!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,349
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #6 on: June 25, 2016, 05:07:31 PM »
Sounds like one of those adventure where the memories are totally worth the blisters.  I've read people who do the Pacific Coast Trail use trail runners, not sure those are the best option for that hike  :think:


Esse Quam Videri
Global Moderator Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 41,757
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #7 on: June 25, 2016, 05:56:38 PM »
Bring some moleskin for the blisters and have fun   :cheers:
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,376 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2016, 06:42:52 PM »
Sounds like one of those adventure where the memories are totally worth the blisters.  I've read people who do the Pacific Coast Trail use trail runners, not sure those are the best option for that hike  :think:.

As I understand it, the PCT takes around 3 months to do.  By comparison, 5 days is a skip through the woods!  :P

Mind you this one looks to be more vertically oriented, so that could make it a bit more challenging in a lot of ways.  I'd certainly love to do something like this.

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
No Life Club Posts: 3,613
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #9 on: June 27, 2016, 04:38:09 PM »
There's a bit of a battle raging inside me.........

Scared is not the right word, my one cousin has walked most of the more serious trails, and every time we talk about it I think "some day..."

Many years ago I used get up early on Saturday and Sunday to watch the few fishing show I could on ESPN.......then I had an epiphany and realized it's better to get up early, drive to a dam and go fishing instead of watching other do it......

Same situation here.

So mentally I've flipped the switch, so instead of some very valid excuses (shoes, shoes and shoes) I'm decided to start preparing 100% to go, and if it doesn't work out I'll cry into my beer then.


I walked 7km yesterday with my dogs, that was no real effort and I don't feel it today, but that was level ground.

From what I've been told on the first day you only do 6km, and that's the decent into the valley.....very tough on the knees.

Other considerable obstacles include days where you "walk" by literally stepping from boulder to boulder.......ankle breaking stuff.
Fortunately I have more than a bit of experience with this thanks to tame spent fishing the Orange river, which is BTW where the Fish river empties into.
That also means I'm familiar with the general area and conditions.

Another obstacle of sorts is I always thought if I did one of these hikes, it would be with the cousin I mentioned, and another friend.
The only good way to get rid of that obstacle is undertaking to do it again, next year, with my peeps  8) 
No Life Club Posts: 1,010

JP ca

******
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #10 on: June 27, 2016, 05:48:08 PM »
You should definitely go! Good luck and have fun. Maybe you should do some exercises to strengthen your joints.

Be sure to post pictures of your trip!

Sent from my XT1563 using Tapatalk

Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,349
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2016, 06:34:26 AM »
Descending is rough on the knees.  I suggest a patella brace of some kind.  Moleskin is a must and conditioning your feet with mileage.  I'm never apposed to wearing any brace I feel my body needs.  Ankle brace my also be the right choice on those really uneven sections. 

   

Esse Quam Videri
No Life Club Posts: 3,613
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2016, 12:00:15 PM »
Descending is rough on the knees.  I suggest a patella brace of some kind.  Moleskin is a must and conditioning your feet with mileage.  I'm never apposed to wearing any brace I feel my body needs.  Ankle brace my also be the right choice on those really uneven sections. 
 

Apparently two walking sticks are a must for the descent and boulder hopping days.

The only shop I had real hope for is a bust, #13 HiTechs that don't feel good, and 2 pairs of #12.5 Merrels that are just .5 too small......  :(

I don't know what Moleskin is supposed to do, but doesn't matter because I'm pretty sure it's not available here  :D
Sr. Member Posts: 280
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #13 on: June 28, 2016, 12:29:25 PM »
I'm jealous Gerhard! I had the opportunity a few years ago to join a Fish River hike party, but I never went. With a baby at the time in the house that hike did not happen for me.  :ahhh

I've done quite a few self-sufficient 5-day hikes in the Drakensberg, 1500 m ascends up to the escarpment and down in all different seasons. I agree about the walking sticks, they take much pressure off your knees during the long downhills, and help with balance while rock hopping with a heavy pack on your back. You want to protect your knees, once they seize up you are stuck.

Best advice I have is to lighten your load. Dump the conservative basics you think you might need for the trip on one big pile. Then halve it. :D Seriously.

I was always grateful during any hike for leg strength and endurance work I did before the trip. Don't just rely on everyday fitness. Try to mimic the action's you'll be doing during a hike. One legged squats, with some load on your back, for instance, will help with the downhills. Step-ups with load will help with boulders and climbs etc. And also generous prep miles on your feet and boots for some endurance. If you feel fit and ready you will enjoy it much more.

Enjoy! Looking forward to see the pictures!
« Last Edit: June 28, 2016, 12:54:21 PM by Brock O Lee »

Hans
Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 56,811
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #14 on: June 29, 2016, 05:36:48 AM »
This is one of those things that you don't need to think to hard about :tu: I would prepare but worry as little about it as possible because once you start all the worry will have been for nothing :cheers:

Excited for you and hope you have a great time :cheers:
No Life Club Posts: 3,613
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #15 on: June 29, 2016, 09:51:53 AM »
"Ounces are Pounds and Pounds are pain"

and I've been told.....

"you get fit for the day's hike during the previous day"

 :rofl:

Sr. Member Posts: 280
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #16 on: June 29, 2016, 10:40:01 AM »

"you get fit for the day's hike during the previous day"


LOL, yes... "Wise" words from some "experts"...  :facepalm:

The truth is, the fitter you are, the less you suffer, the more you enjoy your trip. It sucks to be the slowest guy in the group who everyone has to wait for.

It's downright embarrassing if your mates have to split up your pack among themselves because your body simply cracked up on a tough hike because you did nothing to prepare.  :salute: Especially on a remote desert hike like this where there is no outside support once you enter the canyon.

Another way to think about it: you just need to be fitter than the slowest guy in the group...  :D
« Last Edit: June 29, 2016, 10:44:20 AM by Brock O Lee »

Hans
No Life Club Posts: 3,613
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #17 on: June 29, 2016, 11:37:19 AM »
Funny enough, the one part of my body I have no confidence in is my stomach, the engine of my body.....

I'm above-average in size and not exactly cat-like in my movements and balance, but I've spent enough time off the beaten track so I'm not too worried about that.

All the med-evacs I heard of were due to stomach/intestinal distress.

Of course, about two weeks ago a guy died from a heart attack just as they arrived at Ai-Ais.....
No Life Club Posts: 3,613
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #18 on: June 29, 2016, 11:40:23 AM »

Best advice I have is to lighten your load. Dump the conservative basics you think you might need for the trip on one big pile. Then halve it. :D Seriously.


We have a spreadsheet prepared by a guy that's walked the Fish River 14 times.
I know I can survive on that little food, but I'm not looking forward to it!

Also........struggling severely with the thought of only one knife, or at least no proper big knives  :facepalm:

 :rofl:
Sr. Member Posts: 280
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #19 on: June 29, 2016, 12:38:44 PM »

Also........struggling severely with the thought of only one knife, or at least no proper big knives  :facepalm:


Yes I hear you. I did most of my hiking before my knife-hobby days. In those days I used to carry only an improperly sharpened 93 mm SAK like a Farmer on most hikes (stayed in tents, no open fires). It was perfectly sufficient for opening food packages, maybe a can or two. The saw actually worked brilliantly one day when we had to cut down a large area of tall dry grass to make bedding. If you don't need to build shelter and fire, you can get by with just a SAK, or even less if you ask the ultra-light hikers...

Nowadays it would be difficult for me to stick with just a SAK on hikes. It's such a perfect playground, it just doesn't make sense to be forced to leave the toys at home !  :D

Hans
No Life Club Posts: 3,613
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #20 on: June 29, 2016, 04:47:16 PM »
A friend the finished the hike on 10 June wanted to buy the last knife I made for myself, apparently for the hike....

I told him I'm no expert, but I don't think a 40cm+ 5160 chopper is what hikers carry, I would take my Mora Bushcraft Black......

Few weeks later, here's me wondering how I'm going to leave that very same knife at home  :rofl:

Worst is I know, given the area, the only reason to take the chopper would be a zombie attack, definitely not much wood to use it on!  :D
No Life Club Posts: 3,613
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #21 on: July 04, 2016, 02:38:30 PM »
One problem solved, found boots, closed my eyes and swiped the card  :facepalm:

Walked 4km Saturday evening, no problem.....
No Life Club Posts: 3,613
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #22 on: July 04, 2016, 02:41:02 PM »
.....and 4km into an 8km walk yesterday morning......a motherless blister(s)  :rofl:

Thread Killer 2015 No Life Club Posts: 2,458 Ser Tool the Slinger, The Tool That Rides
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #23 on: July 04, 2016, 03:46:53 PM »
:o That is a nasty blister.

Hopefully those boots break in OK. You can use moleskin (or duct tape in a pinch) to pad the rubbing spots until they break in.

Good boots are hard to find and damn expensive when you do.
No Life Club Posts: 3,613
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #24 on: July 04, 2016, 04:19:15 PM »
The only real problem is I'll have to practice with it, can't wait for it to heal, only few more than 40 days before we go.....

As soon as the blister is a bit better I can start wearing the boots to work, should get them worn in by then.

I just destroy shoes in general, so it kind of hurts to know these boots will be stuffed by the end of the hike.

Most people buy Merrels and expect them to last a few years, the Merrel shoes I wear to work are a year old starting to come apart.....
Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 56,811
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #25 on: July 05, 2016, 04:44:36 AM »
The only real problem is I'll have to practice with it, can't wait for it to heal, only few more than 40 days before we go.....

As soon as the blister is a bit better I can start wearing the boots to work, should get them worn in by then.

I just destroy shoes in general, so it kind of hurts to know these boots will be stuffed by the end of the hike.

Most people buy Merrels and expect them to last a few years, the Merrel shoes I wear to work are a year old starting to come apart.....

Need to take care of that blister mate :tu: I know what you mean about boots as well ;) I am lucky to get a year out of a pair of work boots no matter what the brand is :oops: Most of the time I am lucky to get 8-10 months out of a pair :D

I hope the boots break-in good for you and you have an awesome time :cheers:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,724
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #26 on: July 05, 2016, 11:00:25 AM »
DO IT!!!

Apparently two walking sticks are a must for the descent and boulder hopping days.

I agree about the walking sticks, they take much pressure off your knees during the long downhills, and help with balance while rock hopping with a heavy pack on your back.

Yep, walking sticks/poles are great for descents and rock hopping. I only use one and swap it bewteen sides.

I don't really get blisters these days but I have heard that once you start feeling like you may be getting one, STOP and put a plaster on it. Or those things, I think they are called "Second Skin"? "Hiker's wool" is something else I have heard of for blister prevention.

Good luck!

No Life Club Posts: 3,613
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #27 on: July 06, 2016, 12:02:14 PM »
..........But like a minute alter I don't even feel it anymore  :think:

And when I get home it looks like smurf!  :rofl:

I was a bit surprised to find Elastoplast Blister Plasters in the store I go to most days, extremely expensive but I've got one on now....let's see!
Global Moderator Point Of No Return Posts: 37,857
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #28 on: July 06, 2016, 12:16:21 PM »
Get yourself a roll of Mefix tape. You can thank me later. Everyone should have this stuff.
Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 56,811
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #29 on: July 06, 2016, 02:01:29 PM »
 :popcorn:

 

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