Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Bagging Your Water Ration

Essentials for Wilderness Survival, Part 4: Drink and pass it on.

The story so far: Water is essential. Urination is more than just an obscure country. You need water for drinking and you need urination to make hiking bearable.

Without urination, you would have no excuse to stop your constant hiking motion and take a break every now and then. You'd be stuck doing nothing but walking. Take it from me — you don't really want to try that.

If you need an iron-clad excuse for screeching to a halt, bleeding your lizard is a sure bet. Then, once stopped, you can catch your breath and cool dem feets. This is important. It maintains an even strain and keeps a satisfied smile on your mug.

Because I want to keep hydrated and get in my full quota of breaks, I recently bought a camel back. I've heard that this is the way to go, but I found out that this item is really hard to get, and way expensive.

I had to mail order mine from a place called Sammy's Saheli Deli in East Armpit, NY. They specialize in Camel Humps, Lumps, & Bumps, (according to their ad anyway), and their prices are lower than any of the other exotic meat shops, but still sky-high. Don't even ask me about freight charges.

Then when my camel back finally did arrive, the ice had all melted out, and the whole thing had gone bad. All of it. And it weighed almost 200 kg. (440 pounds), which is a lot more than I expected. Needless to say, this is not the kind of item that an ultralight backpacker can use in most circumstances.

They don't mention that in their ads. Not even once.

There were no instructions either, so I couldn't even figure out how to put the water into it, as if that mattered, since it was already too heavy to move without a forklift. And there was more. Flies.

Lots of flies. Lots and lots of flies — black clouds of flies. They wouldn't go away either, even after I went out that night and heaved the whole dripping mess over the fence into the next yard. My neighbor's dog was out there arfing like crazy at the smell, so let him eat it, I thought, but when the thing thudded to the ground on his side of the fence, well he just screamed off somewhere like his butt was on fire, and howled for the rest of the night. Like demons were all over him. Maybe they were, though it might have been the flies.

Then the police came. My neighbor must have called them. Somebody did — it wasn't the dog. He was off wailing about doom and destruction when the police showed up. Just. Would. Not. Quit. I think they had to send him away because it's been two months now and there's been no trace of him at all since that night.

At least it's quiet again.

Well, the short version is I have to appear in court next week for the trial, so overall, I'd say Don't. If you're leaning toward buying one of these camel backs, think about it first. Really think about it. Ask around. Your best bet is check with someone you know. Someone who already bought one. Don't rush in like I did. It could be an expensive, fly-blown mistake.