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Fish River hike challenge 4066

Sr. Member Posts: 280
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #90 on: August 22, 2016, 04:18:36 PM »
Good luck Gerhard, hope you enjoy it a lot! Take many pictures...

Hans
Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,385
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #91 on: August 22, 2016, 04:24:36 PM »
Good luck GG,  We'll see you when you return.  Don't forget to enjoy the trip. 

Esse Quam Videri
Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 56,925
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #92 on: August 22, 2016, 06:01:28 PM »
My sentiments are echoed in both Brock O Lee and Alohas posts :tu:
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,384 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #93 on: August 22, 2016, 07:32:46 PM »
Is it too late to bring along a Winnebego?

Good luck man- we are all in your corner and waiting for pics when you get back!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,705
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #94 on: August 23, 2016, 06:12:01 AM »
Godspeed buddy!

What? Enablers! Are you serrrrious? Where? I dont see any.
Hold Fast
Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,385
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #95 on: August 28, 2016, 05:41:00 AM »
I sure hope the big guy is getting along out there. 

Cant wait to hear all about it when you return. 

Esse Quam Videri
Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 56,925
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #96 on: August 28, 2016, 06:13:58 AM »
I sure hope the big guy is getting along out there. 

Cant wait to hear all about it when you return. 

+1 :cheers: :cheers: :cheers:

 :like:
No Life Club Posts: 3,619
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #97 on: August 29, 2016, 08:21:16 PM »
 :cheers:

Made it!

Just got home a while ago, it was brutal due to the heat, we hit temps 38-39C......but the experience of a lifetime!

I think I broke a record, went down with 32kg on my back, and came back with most of it......

Photos will follow with a write up and gear eval...... :rofl:




The dangers are real, a lady that went down the same day as us broke her ankle day 2......Thursday, the heli went to pick her up today and her husband will likely need to walk out.....
That same group included some older men, one with a huge gut and #13 shoe like me.......he made it!
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,705
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #98 on: August 29, 2016, 08:25:36 PM »
Glad you had a great time and made it back safe and sound! Look forward to your write up and more photo's.     :tu:     :)

What? Enablers! Are you serrrrious? Where? I dont see any.
Hold Fast
Global Moderator Zombie Apprentice Posts: 19,385
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #99 on: August 29, 2016, 08:29:05 PM »
Whoop whoop  :woohoo:

Esse Quam Videri
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,731
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #100 on: August 29, 2016, 09:51:35 PM »
Awesome!  :tu:

Global Moderator Abandon All Hope Ye Who Enter Here... Posts: 41,912
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #101 on: August 29, 2016, 10:31:38 PM »
 :cheers:
Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 56,925
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #102 on: August 30, 2016, 05:49:19 AM »
Excellent 8) Glad to hear from you GG :tu: Glad you made it and even sounds like you had a great time :cheers:

Hope the woman is OK :-\

Can't wait to read the write-up as well :like:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,731
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #103 on: August 30, 2016, 07:56:59 AM »
 :popcorn:

Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,384 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #104 on: August 30, 2016, 03:10:25 PM »
Glad to hear that you made it safely!  I am sorry to hear about the lady who broke her ankle- having broken both of mine I can certainly sympathize with her!

I am really looking forward to the pictures and write up, but I think we can wait until you recover a bit!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
No Life Club Posts: 3,619
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #105 on: September 02, 2016, 01:41:30 PM »
Okay......  :ahhh

I appreciate the interest, don't know quite where to start  :facepalm:

Considering the site, I guess let's kick off with gear......

Finn wolf was in my pocket the whole way, used it a grand total of twice.

Mora Bushcraft was dead weight, at least not a lot of it, but I would most likely leave it behind next time.

Fire kit........complete waste of a few grams

Paracord.....used about 4cm....once.

My Ray Mears style walking stick at 1.1kg cased a few giggles, but I was complete justified when I walked out with it, and it saved me a few times.  I had a normal walking stick for my left hand and I was glad for it.
Our group had one broken and one bent walking stick.
I saw another group with DIY bamboo walking sticks, 2 of those would be my goal for next time, necessary strength with much less weight.

My stove worked fine, can't judge the amount of gas I had along because under more normal circumstances I would've used much more I guess.
Cookware was too much, next time I would take only the Stanley to boil water in an a small pan of some sort.  With that the Esbit spork, the Esbit collapsible titanium cutlery were unnecessary. 

More than satisfied with my Northridge backpack, and I believe the moonbag I paired it with was a good system.

On the last night before going in we camped at Hobas, it was so chilly I swapped to the -15C sleeping bag, and in the process made sure I was uncomfortable every night.  It's a mummy-style bag, too hot, so I had to open it up which meant I would wake up cold at some point every night.  I'd have saved 500g and slept better with the +3C full size bag.

I'll mention clothes here as well.....

I did surprisingly well on this front, the synthetics turned out to be a good idea, ditto for the long pants on the descent, the only wast was the warm clothing (2 x fleece), but there was no way to know.

The booty type stalkings under my socks seemed to work fine, but in our group the best seemed to be those socks with the individual toes..........problem being you don't get those in #13!

I did have a laugh on the 3rd day when I wanted to swop back to the first shirt, I had lightly washed it, but it somehow got mixed in with old socks.
Soon as I put it on I started gagging from the smell, I waited to get used to it since the other shirt was dirty, but the gagging wouldn't stop and I realised I was close to up-chucking  :rofl:

Merrel boots did the job, but I'm extremely unhappy that the sole already started coming loose on my right heel......
No Life Club Posts: 3,619
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #106 on: September 02, 2016, 03:19:45 PM »
Water get's it's own post.......important stuff.

I'll start by saying I made and consumed at least 7L of water each day, and it wasn't enough I feel.

I've lost a lot of weight, but from past experience I know I need to loose at least 10kg more before my body is better able to handle thermal regulation.

I'm guessing that means I was designed for colder climes.

I had the following
4 x ISOSteel 750ml water bottles (stainless steel)
1L and 1.5L plastic bottles with paracord loops around the necks.
Sawyer mini water filter
Coughlan's Iodine pills
Aqua Salveo drops.

I used the plastic bottles to collect water, and very quickly realised I needed to fill SS bottles to the brim, them fill the syringe and backwash the Sawyer.......each time.  :facepalm:
Added to this 3 drops Aqua Salveo.

My team mates skipped the filtering, added chlorine pills followed by double-dose Aqua Salveo.  The result was much less hassle, but the water often tasted so bad they had to add cool-drink powder.........which is horrible when hot.....

Despite the hassle, I had the best water by far.  I've rinsed the Sawyer repeatedly at home, and there still seems to be smurf coming out......

Next time at the very least I'll take 2 Sawyers, I was sorry at times I took out the Lifestraw because some pools were cool & clear, would've been a quick fix....

Last day I was knackered and used the iodine pills, those are getting chucked for sure.

Aqua Salveo is a winner for water purification, bug bites and a whole lot inbetween     8)

No Life Club Posts: 3,619
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #107 on: September 02, 2016, 03:29:20 PM »
Food  :facepalm:

The eggs were an 800g waste, broke 2 on the descent, boiled 4 the first morning and fed it to a baboon about an hour into day 2 when I realised no way would I eat it.

Breakfast consisted of coffee on the first morning, and never again.  Managed 2 little RaceFood bars before we set off, but that was it.

Managed to get down 1 of 5 200g bags of biltong......

Ate one (of 5) of the mango strips and nuts......

Most of the rolls of energy sweets kept me going when I flagged.

I managed to eat 1.5 of the 3 beautiful sirloin steaks  I took along.

The absolute winner in the food department was foil packs of Tuna, turned out the same for the whole group.

Each took along about 1L of alcohol, all except myself dumped their booze by the 2nd evening.  I took a few swigs, and the only reason I didn't dump mine was it's a pretty expensive bottle of brandy  :facepalm:

I ate 1 of 5 chocolates, that was on the first evening.  After that we were simply never hydrated enough to eat properly again........
No Life Club Posts: 3,619
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #108 on: September 02, 2016, 04:51:47 PM »
I'll make time to post some pics during the weekend, the photo taking kinda dried up in the middle, but still there's a lot, will try for some highlights......honestly haven't even fished most from the Whatsapp folder on my phone  :facepalm:

Firstly, I'm hooked.  I've had few experiences that came with such a sense of achievement.

That said, a much older man with a huge overhanging gut and also a #13 shoe also made it, and 3 petite British girls passed us on the descent, never to be seen again until around the pool at Ai-Ais.
We crossed paths several times with a group led by a man named Frans who'd been down the river 20 times, 7 of which he jogged in a day.  He had his 11 year old son along this time, complete with his slingshot for the baboons  8)

My efforts filtering water were mostly driven by fear of my stomach letting go, and I freely admit I was extremely miserable especially on the last day.  I was convinced my stomach had gone (had some colourful proof), but it turns out it was low bloodsugar and dehydration for the most part.........I was almost completely cured after the 4th beer in 10 minutes  :rofl:


The descent was the hardest part fer me, I had my ridiculous 32kg pack, and you just go down and down and down for 2.5 - 3 hours.
If I'd known what it was like, I doubt I'd have gone since I suffer from vertigo.....
It's pretty bad, the worst parts have .75" pipes cemented into the rocks with chains inbetween to grab on to, but there are several spots where you would fall for a very long time if you lost it......

It was decided on the way there that I needed anger management classes, so after my sweaty palms and hyperventilating descent our group leader told me there was another bad bit right at the end........turns out he was toying with me and it never got worse than an exhausting downward scramble.  :twak:

One if the ladies got heat stroke though, which meant we only covered 5km the first day and never made the beach where we intended to camp.

We had one of THE moments on the first night, by 7pm we were done with the braai, washing, and in the sleeping bags to the last man&woman.
Somewhere during the night I woke up feeling quite refreshed, noticed somebody was up........I said good morning, he was quiet for a moment then said......."it's 11pm"  :rofl:
Next moment almost everybody in the group burst out laughing!  :rofl: :rofl:
We all got up, had a snack and talked some smurf, about 00:30 we all got back in bed and slept till 4am.

Which brings me nicely to the bane of out trip - the heat.  We had the bad luck of hitting max temps of 38C-40C while we were down there.

We realised the first day we'd have to adapt, which meant we started walking as early as the terrain allowed, we rested from 11am to 3pm, and then got as far as we could what felt like walking in hell.....
It was amazing to see the whole group speed up as soon as we hit shade or the sun went down.

Global Moderator He Who Has The Most Nuts, Wins! Posts: 56,925
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #109 on: September 02, 2016, 05:21:42 PM »
Sounds like a great experience and a learning one at that :cheers: At least you will know what to expect next time and more how to pack :tu:
Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 9,705
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #110 on: September 02, 2016, 07:53:43 PM »
Gerhard sounds like a great time. There is no teacher like experience aye! Looking forward to seeing your pics of your hike.    :tu:      :)

What? Enablers! Are you serrrrious? Where? I dont see any.
Hold Fast
Zombie Apprentice Posts: 13,375 Sing, Michael, sing. On the route of the 19 Bus!
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #111 on: September 02, 2016, 08:20:20 PM »
Me too - sounds like an excellent trip!

Absolutely No Life Club Posts: 6,731
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #112 on: September 02, 2016, 10:01:32 PM »
I take hard boiled eggs for the first day or two. No fruit or vegetables?
I sometimes write a list whilst on the trip of things to bring or not bring next time as I haven't yet got it down to a fine art.

Oh and  :worthless:
 :pok: :pok: :pok:

Sr. Member Posts: 280
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #113 on: September 02, 2016, 10:02:22 PM »
Thanks for the feedback Gerhard! Looking forward to the pictures...  :cheers:

Hans
Sr. Member Posts: 280
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #114 on: September 02, 2016, 10:09:59 PM »
Those temperatures would have been my downfall. I always find it difficult to stay hydrated on hot hikes, even if I drink constantly. Did you have access to enough water?

Do you feel that your pre-trip fitness work helped somewhat?
« Last Edit: September 02, 2016, 10:11:37 PM by Brock O Lee »

Hans
No Life Club Posts: 1,222
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #115 on: September 03, 2016, 12:51:01 AM »
This has been a very nice thread to follow and you haven't posted "the goods" (i.e. the pictures) yet! I'm not surprised that the alcohol wasn't drunk but I am surprised that so little of the food was consumed. I guess I'm not used to that sort of exhaustion :ahhh
I'll be certain to revisit this thread for my own (much less demanding) hike that I hope to do next summer to remind me to pack lightly.

I'm also happy to see someone considering the Lifestraw for what it's good for. I see WAY to much of it being hailed as the saviour of Africa by people who seem to have the idea that the whole of Africa is in constant thirst and that the Lifestraw is the solution to that, never mind that you have to be at the source of the water to use it.
Head Turd Polisher Administrator Just Bananas Posts: 61,384 Optimum instrumentum est inter aures
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #116 on: September 03, 2016, 09:40:57 PM »
Me father always asks me why I push myself for longer and heavier kayak trips, and you have summed it up here:

Firstly, I'm hooked.  I've had few experiences that came with such a sense of achievement.


I'm glad that you made it safely, and not just because I'm thrilled to read about it!

Baboons are not too common in Canada and it seems like really such an adventure to hear of your encounters with such exotic animals, although I'm sure you don't quite see them that way!

This has been a great read so far, and I'm looking forward to reading more and seeing the photos!  Take your time though- I know for me a 5 day trip would require at least 8 days of recovery!

Def

Leave the dents as they are- let your belongings show their scars as proudly as you do yours.
No Life Club Posts: 3,619
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #117 on: September 05, 2016, 03:06:34 PM »
Hi Everybody

I had a hobby emergency this weekend, apologies for the pics........soon hopefully  :facepalm:

Grant - I'm sure our (common as grass) baboon population appreciates that somebody finds them exotic  :cheers:


Those temperatures would have been my downfall. I always find it difficult to stay hydrated on hot hikes, even if I drink constantly. Did you have access to enough water?

Do you feel that your pre-trip fitness work helped somewhat?

Despite what we were told there were pools all the way to Ai-Ais......
I think a lot of people expect to drink the water as is, definitely early in the season when the river is still flowing.

I stopped counting but I filtered at least 6L per day, but that clearly wasn't enough.......I need to loose another 10kg, 110kg is the magic number where I stop sweating like a pig.


It never pays to underestimate people, but there were much older and MUCH fatter people in other groups that made it, I could've made it with my dog-walking level of fitness, but it would've been even less pleasant.

My goal is to loose that 10kg and seriously work on my upper leg muscles before the next hike. 
There's a 16km hike close to town that I did in preparation, I figured doing that hike 2 or 3 days in a row followed by a 3 week rest will be part of my game plan for next year.


There's also a lot of pressure, internal and external, to do the Namib Naukluft  hiking trail which is 120km and 8 days, extremely tough by all accounts, but my main concern is it's not recommended for persons who suffer from vertigo.... :facepalm:
No Life Club Posts: 3,619
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #118 on: September 05, 2016, 07:58:50 PM »
Start of the trail at a look-out point







No Life Club Posts: 3,619
Re: Fish River hike challenge
« Reply #119 on: September 05, 2016, 08:12:41 PM »
First chance to take a photo after 2.5 rather horrible hours going down.........especially if 3 British chicks come past you like you're looking for parking....



We found a bit of disappearing shade at the bottom of the descent, rested a bit and moved on way too soon when the next group arrived and things got crowded.....this is where our one group member got heat exhaustion....
My legs were toast by then....



I think this was camp of day one


 

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