The Bork

Bork: When a cyclist completely cracks while training or racing on one particular stage or day.

Borking is completely avoidable. If you have ever watched a professional cycling race, you will see that the riders are regularly eating and drinking. This keeps energy levels up, core temperature down, and the body's cooling system working. The same can happen while hiking or backpacking.

When I hike, I take food and water every 20 minutes or less. By regularly taking water and food your body will not run empty, and you will be able to cover more ground and elevation.

My pack always has a few vanilla powerbars stashed away for energy and a water bladder for hydration.

YIS, Jeff

Heat Exhaustion

The hottest days of the year are passing by in Seattle and medics are constantly responding to heat related conditions. The most common heat condition is Heat Exhaustion. This is where your body overheats and your cooling system (sweating) is unable to keep up, causing your core temperature to rise.

On Saturday, I suffered from Heat Exhaustion. That was the day the high clouds wouldn't go away and trapped the muggy heat. I went hiking at poo poo point that morning (training for the mountain) and went to an outdoor wedding that afternoon. At around 7pm when I got home, I just did not feel right. I was fully hydrated (my pee was clear) but I was extremely hot, no matter where I went or what position I was in.

The solution was a small bag of ice, moving around my head and stomach. Over about 5 minutes I felt much more alert and comfortable.

The moral of the story... anyone can get heat exhaustion on a hot day. If your body is not feeling well, listen to it.

YIS, Jeff

Mt. St. Helens Packing Your Pack

The gear list entry contains the full list of personal and troop gear to go in your pack. However, that doesn't tell you how to pack it. Here are some tips:

Location, Location, Location:

  • Heavy items should be at the bottom of the pack or close to your back to keep your center of gravity down (water, bag of little stuff, etc).
  • Items that you will need most often should be easy to get to (water, gloves, trail food, map).
  • Hiking poles and other large or odd-shaped items can be strapped to the outside of your pack.
  • Items on the outside of the pack should be secure against the pack so they don't swing as you move and climb.

Pack Fit:

  • The bottom of the pack should come to your waist. This places weight where it is easier for your skeleton to carry it.
  • If your pack has a waist strap, your shoulder straps should not carry the weight of the pack.
  • Clips and straps can damage some fabrics, so don't wear your favorite knit shirt under your pack.
  • The ideal pack separates your back from the fabric of the pack for great cooling airflow

When to pack:

  • PACK EARLY! You might be surprised by what you need to get or how heavy the pack is... you might even want to train with it!

Here are the modern versions of the packs I own and recommend. I change between them based on the conditions and how much gear I need to take along.

YIS, Jeff

Mt. St. Helens Gear List

Mt St Helens is not a typical hike, it is a mountain climb... and this year, the volcano is active! As such, gear for this activity is different than the typical hike. Here is a rundown:

Ten+ Essentials:
- Pocket Knife
- Hiker First Aid Kit (See Below)
- Extra Clothing (See Below)
- Flashlight & Extra Batteries
- Raingear
- Water (2-3 liters)
- Map & Compass [USGS or Green Trails map]
- Matches & Fire Starter
- Polarized Sunglasses with side protection
- Sun Screen
- Hat with visor
- Lip balm with SPF rating
- Trail Food (See Below)

Additional Gear:
- Climbing helmet or hard hat [eBay, McLendon's]
- Respirator Mask, N95 Type [McLendon's]
- A little toilet paper in a plastic bag (for packing it out)
- Swim Goggles
- Emergency blanket
- Signal mirror
- Whistle
- Leather work gloves
- Good, broken-in hiking boots
- Wool socks and liners
- Surveyor "tape"
- Gaiters
- Swimming Goggles

First Aid Kit:
- Allergy Medication
- Other Medication (enough for 2 days)
- Band-Aids
- Latex Gloves
- Antiseptic Ointment
- Hand Cleaner Gell or Wipes
- Triangular Bandage
- Adhesive Tape (Sports Tape)
- Gauze Pads and Gauze Roll

Extra Clothing:
- Light Jacket
- Extra Socks
- Extra Liners
- Extra Shirt (optional)

Unit Gear:
- Troop Flag
- GMRS Radios
- Rope

Other Optional Gear
- Camera
- Hiking Poles (lightweight!)
- Binoculars
- Lightweight pants
- Lunch

Trail Food Options:
- Power bars
- Trial Mix
- Gatorade/PowerAde
- Jerky

A Pack-And-Person inspection will occur at the trailhead. All gear must be accounted for to climb the mountain.

Here are links to the current version of some of the gear I take with me up the mountain. Gear on a mountain is really important since it weighs you down and may serve a lifesaving purpose. Do not buy cheap unless cheap is great quality.

YIS, Jeff