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#15000 - 04/15/03 03:29 AM Re: ATough Survival Test.


I hadn't thought about the salt. I don't know how quickly your body looses salt (perhaps some of the medical types can help us out here), or even how much you need to replenish. Given that they make salt tablets its obviously important. That being said, I don't recall ever reading about putting salt in your survival kit(?).

Other than that, I can only say I think that you're right and that you make a good point. I guess I'd get me some salt packets in that condiment bag. It would be nice to have a rule of thumb as to how much you should have with a gallon of water. I might mix a rudimentary saline solution if I knew.

Of course if I were already in the 7/11 and someone reminded me about this (I freely admit I wouldn't have thought of it), I would probably go pick up a bottle of Gatorade and look at the "nutritional facts" to see how much sodium it contained per bottle. From there I'd do a little math and plan for the right amount of salt.

#15001 - 04/15/03 03:34 AM Re: ATough Survival Test.

Actually, the shelter solution is usually rather simple. Seek out natural stream banks, overhangs, and gullies. They are surprisingly common throughout much of the Sonoran area, although there is considerable variation from locality to locality.

Certainly if I came across something like that, I would avail myself of it.

I might still try to see if I could dig in even further though... couldn't hurt.

Your comments about the desert sound are quite interesting... thanks!

#15002 - 04/15/03 03:49 AM Re: ATough Survival Test.

Good to finally hear the voice of experience on this thread. Is there anything else you can contribute to this exercise from the standpoint of your experience?

Given the need for shelter, what could be had at a 7-11 convenience store that might help. Is a dark garbage bag usefull or a large used cardboard box? Which might be better?

anything else?

#15003 - 04/15/03 04:54 AM Re: ATough Survival Test.- mad dogs and englishmen
Chris Kavanaugh Offline
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 02/09/01
Posts: 3824
Some Bedu ( beduin) came upon the ruins of an ancient city. Entering a large room the shiek asked what smells they could discover. One by one, the men described faint traces of frankincense, exotic coffees and many other treasures. The shiek made his way to a large window and took a deep breath. That is the most precious and wonderfull smell of all, the purity and freedom of the desert! Why is it we assume the wild places are these horribly inhospitable,lifeless expanses? I can think of few places on earth not inhabitated by people who wouldn't dream of leaving;from indians of the Grand Desierto who simply huddled en mas at night for warmth to Neolithic Scots who partied on lake crannogs. I would rather take my chances in Death Valley than certain Los Angeles Nieghborhoods. Books on the desert? Van Dyke's The Desert, The late and missed David Alloway's book on desert skills, Edward Abbey's Desert Solitaire, Travels in Arabia Deserta by Douhety, The Travels Of Marco Polo, Trip to Medina and Mecca by Sir Richard Burton and the observations of Snoopy's cousin Spike are a start. First rule of desert survival is to look at the stars, say THANKYOU for this opportunity and then take a celsestial bearing <img src="images/graemlins/grin.gif" alt="" />

#15004 - 04/15/03 08:13 AM Re: ATough Survival Test.
zpo2 Offline

Registered: 01/10/02
Posts: 23
Just happen to have one here, 20 oz bottle has 110 mg of sodium.

#15005 - 04/15/03 08:24 AM Re: ATough Survival Test.
johnbaker Offline
old hand

Registered: 01/17/02
Posts: 384
Loc: USA
The reference to planting a rose bush reminded me of a recent camping trip in the Mojave Desert. We had trouble staking our tents (a necessity given the windiness of the area). The very hard rocky soil precluded driving a half dozen stakes more than 2-3" deep. The stakes were essentially heavy 10" spikes. I was using an engineer's hammer with a 4 lb. head. It was very hard ground! We eventually used other staking expedients. Some areas several miles away were considerably softer. However I did not have any serious concerns about our 4x4 truck becoming stuck.

I did see a game warden go off a dirt road and dig his truck into the sand. Naturally I stopped to offer to help him with the extraction. He politely declined, and then immediately checked my hunting license, tag, and gun. <img src="images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> Oh, well...

In contrast, in the SW Arizona desert, we have been stuck in the often loose, soft sand several times. Nevertheless, we had no major difficulty in traversing the desert dirt roads (mostly in a 4x4).

In short, the desert's soil conditions are as variable and disparate as Don said.


#15006 - 04/15/03 01:23 PM Re: ATough Survival Test.

Well then, since salt is Sodium-Chloride (NaCl) and these two elements have roughly the same atomic weight, I would put in 220 mg of salt per 20 oz of water... or 11 mg / oz.

That's how I'd approach it, not knowing any more than I do currently.

#15007 - 04/15/03 01:52 PM Re: ATough Survival Test.- mad dogs and englishmen


But the original question was about $10 and a 50 mile trek. I would spend my $10 for supplies regardless of what terrain I was in... even if it was the Garden of Eden. On top of that, I would still choose to bring a certain amount of water with me. I certainly would plan for more in the desert scenario, but I would have some regardless.

#15008 - 04/15/03 03:18 PM Re: ATough Survival Test.

If we take the current season, we are taking on the Sonoran Desert at its friendliest time. I grabbed the paper today and temps for Needles, Phoenix, and Tucson collectively ranged from a high of 84 to a low of 60, very tight for the desert and probably reflective of a storm front which is dumping copious rain - watch out for flooding washes, althoug the flash floods of legend are more properly assoicated with summer thunderstorms. But at any rate, Sonoran survival right now is a piece of cake - this is the time of year to drive the Jornada del Muerto along the Mexican border and smell the flowers. There will be water in minor washes and in ephemeral potholes.

Now, June will be a different story. I would leave the 7/11 with mostly water and Gatorade (it is more effective if diluted) and get the best map I could - supplemented with directions, if possible. I wouldn't bother with a compass if I have a decent map ( I have NEVER had to use a compass in the desert -occasionally in the high mountains - but only occasionally). Travel during the night is the best strategy. Clouds and rain will be nonexistent during June and you can see quite well even with no moon - I would wait until after dark to start (until I could feel the cool coming on) and hike past dawn until about 8 AM or so, or wherever good shelter could be found. In the desert the time from first light to the beginning of the heating period is the absolutely optimum time to be moving. I would be sure I had a full wide brimmed hat, probably cotton, to wear in the sun, and I would find/improvise a hiking staff. It aids stability immensely and serves as forward warning for snakes who will move away as long as they know of your presence.

Finally, I would hope to be acclimated to conditions. Right now, sitting near the beach in California, I know I am not. This will make a tremendous difference in capability.

#15009 - 04/15/03 06:39 PM Re: ATough Survival Test.- mad dogs and englishmen

drink a lot of water before you leave from the toilet tap

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