Hazard To Society 

June 23

Day 3
Was worried I carried too little from the last creek. It’s starting to get really hot and I’m very low on water. If anything I should have carried a few liters less from bathtub spring and a liter or two more from the creek.

The terrain for this morning was more unique and interesting then Kaibab style terrain. I’m currently following another Jeep trail. 

Yesterday I posted on the Facebook group that I was heading nobo and left June 21. I wanted to wait until I started in a bit and was more certain. 

I was taken aback by the sheer number of responses. From every possible gamut. Some supportive or wishing me well. Others condemning me and any support of me that I’m not just risking my own life but that of search and rescue. That it’s so hot it’s deadly. That airplanes are grounded because of the heat. That there is no possible way to stay safe so don’t tell him to stay safe. That you have no idea what his experience or heat tolerance is. That I need more sunscreen for my ego. 

I think that if a competent and aware adult wishes to hike midsummer in the desert it’s their right. I don’t think it’s fair to say that this individual is potentially putting other lives at stake. First of all if the search and rescue isn’t heat trained or lacks water then they shouldn’t be out there. And I don’t think it’s fair to not hike a difficult trail just because of the potential hardship that might come should I require help. Furthermore I know precisely where I am on the AZT negating any Search. There won’t be any crew doing grid searches in the heat. The reality of the matter is if something went very wrong SAR likely won’t be notified nor would they be coming. I guess the point I’m making is that this isn’t uneducated and reckless. I don’t think I need to demonstrate ability. In fact I think motivation and desire are more significant towards success than brute force training. It feels like I opened up a huge can of theoretical worms. Some people can be so incredibly soul sucking in their demotivation. 

I’m not hiking at all during the night. It defeats the point of doing it midsummer, plus there’s rattlesnakes that will be very active. In emergency I could potentially hike out at night. Not only that this trail is mileage marked. If I was in a life or death situation due to severe dehydration I would know EXACTLY which mile I was at. Not that it should matter, last year I thru hiked the Hayduke midsummer, which was incredibly remote, required backcountry navigation. I did it with no gps or spot. The only advantage I had was that I spent over a month caching water, as I don’t think I could have done it otherwise. I chose not to share this as it would only aggravate them further. If I’m going to thru hike the AZT it doesn’t not should it be a secret or anonymous. It isn’t egotistical to hike a fucking trail. It takes more ego to leave suburbia or a cubicle. The AZ Trail follows a single track, I know my exact location with no doubt, have the ability to nighttime evacuate, it has extensive water. Aside from the burden of heavy water and heat it is unfair to treat this as reckless endangerment. Other negative comments like:

Are you serious?

Say hello to Mr. Natural Selection.

I’d be surprised if something doesn’t go horribly wrong. 

Some people wishing me well which is motivating. I thanked them for being supportive. Some people being supportive. Very motivating in fact. To have been so down and have people wishing me well. 

I came across a steel tank holding thousands of gallons of water. The next few sources are spread within only ten miles but are murky and or unreliable. So I’m taking over 2 gallons which is excessive weight, in order to hike thru the midday heat, to be able to pour over my cotton clothing (long sleeve t and shemagh), and to be fully hydrated. 

I’ve had to start treating this water and the last, have finished the pure spring water. I’m using AquaTabs which is similar to bleach or AquaMira. I normally reduce dosage and let sit longer, especially clear water. I’m going to start having severe cramps with this much treated water if it’s similar to the liquid form. The tabs appear to be highly acidic; the acidity in this quantity is harmful to enamel. I didn’t want to bring a filter as on the Hayduke it just got clogged from all the sand. The sand isn’t an issue here, I may have been better with the filter. 

So, I just learned that the AZT crosses directly through the city of Pstagonia. I deliberately put in minimal preparation and ZERO caching into this trail. More fuel to the haters. I’ve never hiked a long distance trail that routed straight through a town for some reason I thought it was off route. I’d have carried a couple less lbs. I haven’t been eating much and have extra weight. I was originally planning to avoid what I thought was going to be a potential multi hour trip with hitching. As the trail goes through it I started jettisoning foo weight that I’ll never eat. I’m now at least 3lbs lighter, and all my gear fits inside my backpack, no need to strap the extra pair of shoes to the pack.

The reason I didn’t want to utilize a mail drop for the excess gear is that they only hold it for 30 days, post offices towards the end aren’t reliable, I wasn’t sure yet whether I wanted to hike the GET, only that I wanted to have the option. When I finished he Hayduke I wanted to use my fitness to turn back and hike it as a yoyo, I had already hiked the hardest part, fall was a good season for the trail, but I couldn’t a I lacked the provisions and gear.

It’s only a 3lb disadvantage at most. It doesn’t really make or break anything alone. Together with packs of tuna and more lbs of food it adds up.

At the beginning of a trail, consumables like sunscreen, or spices, don’t weigh that much individually but they add up to a heavier starting weight, especially if not using drop boxes.

Having so much water from that last source I can just hike and sweat through midday. Despite this it feels like I’m hardly covering any miles today. Some writing. Some sorting out gear and food. I’m practically walking all day but feels like slow progress. I’m under 20 miles from Patagonia and don’t want to be there when establishments are closed. 

Been treating .5 liters at a time. Repeating this process countless times. Eventually just treat the entire dromedary. 

There are fire restrictions and bears making it impossible to …

On the Hayduke I was able to set up tent while water boiled, while my metabolism slowed enough to have more appetite. It’s very difficult to eat 5000 calories in the heat, while exerting, but the exertion level keeps decreasing as aperture increases. 

It’s extremely difficult right now to recover enough appetite for a dinner break. It took me 30 minutes to eat a large tuna packet for the protein. 

So many people responded to my Facebook post. Will probably it’s a general comment of thanks for the support. Some people feel like I’m a liability and hazard to society. I can not afford the time to sit this much each day and thru hike this trail. 

I’m aware of the dangers and have adequate experience, this isn’t reckless. In response to endangering Sear and Rescur following a single track and knowing my precise location to a fraction of a mile on it, there would be no need for a search. I’m more afraid of requiring evac due to rattlesnake bite than severe heat exhaustion and or dehydration. Obviously I’m not wantonly carelessly oblivious to the fucking heat. I don’t think I should refrain from using the trail due to possibly inconveniencing SAR. At what pint do you consider SAR fair use versus taking advantage. Why do you make it seem like SAR is right there and ready to drop their life and come save me. I never expected nor wanted them. If my life was in danger I’d leave the trail potentially at night by any of the MYRIAD escape routes. On the Hayduke there were very few and far between. But I’m sure you feel that doing the Hayduke midsummer, even though I spent well over a month burying water, was wrong of me.  

I’m going to sleep on this. 

I don’t have the time to feed the haters and trolls. Soul sucking demotivating demoralizing. 

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