30 Days of Running – Day 6…

Day six was a very busy day!  Saturday was spent all day traveling to Tahoe.  By the time we made it up to South Lake, we were both exhausted and I really wanted to spend a night getting used to the elevation change.  So instead of going for a late run, we decided to walk to dinner.  It wasn’t a run, but it was something…

South Lake Tahoe

Today’s Run…

Left the hotel at 7:30PM.

The weather in Tahoe last night was AMAZING!  Nice, clear, cool, slight breeze…perfect.  Walk (mostly) on pavement.

Total run was 4.2 miles.

My left foot is a mess since I got here.  I don’t know what is going on with it this time, but it really sore.  The walk helped.

30 Days of Running – Day 5…

Today’s run started late and I was a little worried about the heat, but it turned out to be pretty nice.  After the shorter run yesterday, my legs and feet felt great and the run finally felt easier.  I kept an easy pace that didn’t feel too sluggish, my breathing was pretty controlled and it didn’t feel like a struggle.

At about 20 minutes in I decided to push a little harder and up the pace some.  Still not breaking any records, but my time is improving.

Neighborhood Running on pavement

Today’s Run…

Left the house at 8:40AM.

Weather was a sunny 78 degrees with a clear sky.  Ran on pavement.

Total run was 3.25 miles in 29 minutes 45 seconds.  Felt good and finished strong.

I’ve still got some random twitchy thing going on in left leg above the ankle.  The bottoms of both feet are sore and tender too, but I am chalking that up to the trail run.

Followed the run with a dip in the pool and a protein shake with banana and peanut butter.

30 Days of Running – Day 4…

I treated today as a rest day.  I was still feeling the effects from the trail run in my ankles this morning and felt like I could benefit from something a little different.  So I did a much shorter run today and focused on trying to open up a little bit and run faster.  I think this proves I still have a long way to go to get back even to where I was before Summer.

Pavement Running...

Today’s Run…

Left the house at 7:50AM.

Weather was a sunny 77 degrees with a clear sky.  Ran on pavement.

Total run was 1.5 miles in 12 minutes 30 seconds.  Felt slow at first but I finished strong.

Left ankle and foot are sore but muscles feel good.  I’ve got some weird twitchiness the tendons just above the ankle joint, not sure what to do with that.

Followed the run with a cup of coffee and water.

30 Days of Running – Day 3…

When my buddy sent me a message last night asking if I was up for a hike/trail run in the morning I was excited at the opportunity to get off the pavement!  I prefer trail running over pavement running any day of the week.

I got up earlier than usual to make sure we could hit the trail before 7AM.  The weather was amazing this morning and the trail wasn’t very crowded at all.  I strapped on the GeigerRig 500 and we hit the trail.

View from the summit of Thunderbird Mountain

Today’s Run…

Left the house at 6:30AM and was on the trail by 7AM exactly.

Weather was a nice 74 degrees with a clear sky.  Ran/hiked Thunderbird Mountain trail.

Total trail was 3.6 miles and we probably ran close to 3 miles of it.  Total time on the trail was 51 minutes.

Run was slow, but felt good.  My legs were not as sore or tired as I expected them to be.  My left ankle felt weak but I’m sure that’s due to running pavement and will improve with more trail running.

Followed the run with a protein shake with peanut butter and banana.

30 Days of Running – Day 2…

I did not feel like running this morning. I was still sore from yesterday’s run. Even when I was running pretty regularly, it wasn’t every day so I am not used to this yet.  But I GOT THE RUN IN.

Today’s run

Left the house at 7:20AM

Weather was a sunny 77 degrees with a clear sky.  Ran on pavement.

I ran 3.25 miles in 31.5 minutes.

Ran slow, sore and slow.  Feeling soreness in my hips and groin from yesterday’s run.  Slight muscle pain in left glute.

Followed the run with a quick dip in the pool (awesome!), and a protein shake with banana.

30 Days of Running – Day 1…

Thanks to some of the new treatment I’ve been getting from the Body Tune-up Shop here in Scottsdale I am feeling good enough to start running again.  Dave has done amazing things in a just a few short sessions to make me feel stronger, lighter and pain free.  The type of work that he does is all about restoring the body’s natural alignment, core strength and postural correction.  The difference is pretty impressive.

So, with my body feeling better and the weather getting much nicer out here in the desert, I want to renew my running routine.  I’ve been reading a new book called Running the Edge by Tim Catalano and Olympic runner Adam Goucher.  Even though I’ve been super busy I’ve been voraciously reading this book every chance I get and it has me excited about running again.

I plan to run every day for the next 30 days and log each day here, like a running journal.  By the end of 30 days I hope I will have developed a running habit and will either create another challenge for myself or just keep running because I want to.  But these 30 days I will try to get back in to running and will make getting the run in a priority.  They won’t be long runs, and I’m sure they won’t be fast runs (not yet) but I will get something in every day.

That said, I am getting married and going on my honeymoon next month so, I will have to be flexible and adjust as needed.  But the intent is there…run every day.

If anyone wants to share any tips, advice or encouragement….comment below!

Today’s run

Left the house at 7:10AM

Weather was a beautiful 75 degrees with a cloudy sky.  Ran on pavement.

I ran (if you could call it that) 3.25 miles in 31 minutes.

The run felt slow and awkward since I haven’t run much all summer.  I am also not a huge fan of running early in the morning but this morning was nice and I wanted to get it in.

Followed the run with a quick dip in the pool (felt great), and a protein shake with banana.

Hydration Summit – Week 3…

Hydration Summit

Week 3 of the Hydration Summit has come to a close and we’ve got some great new material!  Last week we got in to some great discussions about how hydration needs change as you get old and tips for keeping your kids hydrated.  We also some new perspectives on the hydration systems themselves.  If you are just discovering the Hydration Summit, check out my round-ups of Week 1 and Week 2 then get involved!

June 18th –

Tiffany looks at the GeigerRig pressurized hydration engine from a new angle…what does it offer as a camp tool?  How many jobs would be easier at camp with a little water pressure?  From sharing water, to cleaning, to putting out fires…a good spray of water can be very useful.  Check out her article and chime in with your thoughts on how you would use a pressurized system at camp.

We also got a nice review from Melissa, looking at the GeigerRig as a Family Friendly hydration system.  She looks at how effective the spray technology is in sharing and caring for the entire family on the trail.

June 19th –

Ever the Boy Scout, Adam takes a look at the history and importance of hydration in the Boy Scouts of America.  He takes us back to his early days in the Scouts when old surplus canteens were all the rage.  Now, with hydration system technology so easily acquired, keeping the Scouts hydrated is a less daunting task for Scout Leaders and parents.

Ryan offers us a nice breakdown of the hydration systems and compares them by taste.  Those of you have have been using hydration systems for a while are very familiar with the odd, plastic-y chemical flavor your water absorbs in the reservoir…especially after sloshing around all afternoon.  Adding flavored, sugar drinks like GatorAid also can leave a residual flavor and odor in the reservoir. Ryan takes a look at which brands are the least offensive and gives some tips on how to reduce the offensive flavoring…hint: keep it clean!

June 20th –

We are seeing a huge increase in the over-50 set exploring and enjoying the outdoors.  On my hike up to Kendrick Peak, I would say that the large majority of the people I saw on the trail that day were well over 50.  Many of us have learned to enjoy the outdoors from our parents and quite a few of us still get to enjoy their company on our adventures.  The importance of hydration is amplified for those more experienced explorers and adventurers.  The body’s ability to recover and deal with outside stressers, like dehydration, is diminished with age.  Erika covers this topic well in her article on Hydration for Adventurers over Fifty.

Brian takes his GeigerRig 1600 for a spin and has a chance to test out the main advantages of having a pressurized system.  He walks us through using the GeigerRig to irrigate a wound, wash dishes at camp and share with his awesome trail pal, Coco.

June 21st –

We bounce from worrying about our parents’ hydration needs to considering the hydration of our children in Melissa’s article.  She discusses the factors, besides heat, that can cause dehydration in children then discusses ways to monitor your child and make sure they stay sufficiently watered down.

Katie’s review is a no-nonsense look at whether or not the pressurized system is really all that necessary.  For those of us who have used the traditional systems and the pressurized systems, it’s obvious that there are some benefits…but does it really become a necessity?  Go read Katie’s article for yourself and let us know what you think.


Week four is kicked off with another 4-system comparison, this time by Whitney.  Be sure to check out Whitney’s video review of the four different hydration systems.  I agree with her criticism of the Osprey’s tube attachment…I really wish it was a quick-release tube like the others.  About 5 1/2 minutes in she discusses the GeigerRig’s in-line filter and demonstrates it’s use.  (about 12:15 into the video Whitney admits to being a “weirdo”….her words, not mine! hehe)

Go check out the Hydration Summit and keep checking back since new content is being added every day!  Make sure you register and join in the conversation for a chance to win a GeigerRig Hydration System of your own.


Hydration Summit – Week 2…

Hydration Summit

The Hydration Summit has wrapped up Week 2 of some dynamic conversation about the health, science and gear revolving around the subject of hydration.  Last week I did a wrap up of all the articles from Week 1, so this week will get the same treatment!  I hope you guys have been following along, if not…what are you waiting for??

June 11th –

I kicked off Week 2 with an article describing the signs and symptoms of waterborne illness and discuss the importance of staying hydrated.  Check out the article for some tips to mitigate the symptoms and an easy Oral Rehydration Solution.

June 12th –

Amy delves in to the question of whether or not a pressurized hydration system is all it’s cracked up to be.  She discusses the pros and cons of dealing with a pressurized system in the field.  It certainly has some benefits, the ability to spray water under pressure can be useful.  But is it really easier, or better, when you just want a drink?

Brian also posted his article comparing filtering techniques.  He offers up the question: Would you rather drink water from the source or pump your water and carry it?  The technology exists to carry a small, direct use filter that would allow you to stop at any spring, stream or river for a quick drink without having to lug all that water around.  But what about those of us that don’t usually have the opportunity to hike near reliable water sources?  Check out Brian’s article  and make sure you read the discussion that follows.

June 13th –

The famous Katie Boué had the opportunity to discuss hydration with one of the leading experts in the field.  She interviews John Seifert of Montana State University who has been studying hydration and it’s related fields for nearly 3 decades.  Katie talks with John about hydration and how it effects bodily processes.  It seems like such a simple thing, but it’s amazing how much water (or the lack of water) governs how our body and mind functions.

June 14th –

Our resident Camp Mom, Tiffany, posted her review of the GEIGERRIG Hydration packs and talks about teaching kids to share using a pressurized system.  She talks about using the spray-system with her kids to wash cuts, cool down, clean up and hydrate.

Gumption Ryan made a good showing as well with a huge comparison of hydration enhancing supplements.  He touches on the importance of hydration and what dehydration can do to you.  Then we get a candid discussion of many of the gels, liquids, powders and tablets available to make hydrating easier and more flavorful.  See which products he personally believes has the Gumption to get the job done.

June 15th –

Jake drops another awesome 4-system comparison on us, this time with a cool video review.  Jake takes a look at the different hydration systems using specific criteria:

  1. Ease of filling (water, ice cubes, powder, etc)
  2. Ease of filling on the go (from little trickles of streams, with filters, etc)
  3. Water accessibility
  4. Ease of cleaning
  5. Use in high aerobic activities

Week 3 opened up today with another great post from Tiffany discussing using hydration packs at camp.  We also get another GEIGERRIG review from Melissa looking at the system from a family friendly point of view.

More great stuff to come this week so keep watching!  And don’t forget to register and get involved in the discussion for your chance to win a GEIGERRIG Hydration System of your own!


Wilderness Dave is contributing to the Hydration Summit…

Hydration Summit graphicWildernessDave.com  is teaming up with 15 outdoor bloggers to discuss Hydration on the trail. We hope that you will join us on Hydration Summit, starting June 4th, as we discuss and review hydration practices, safety and technology.

This 5-week discussion summit will be taking a very in depth look at every aspect of hydration. Some of the topics explored by our team of bloggers will include filtration, gear, proper use and cleaning of gear, health risks and so much more.

We are also looking for your stories of how you stay hydrated on the trails. Please come and join the conversation by Registering at Hydration Summit and share your personal story. Registered members will have chances to win gear, receive special discounts and offers and discuss all of the topics.

For more information please visit the Hydration Summit website.

Rescue Situation in Prescott…

After breakfast I left my buddy Bryan to get ready for the race and milled around Whiskey Row in the crisp morning air watching the mountain bikers warm up.  Saturday was the 50 Proof Pro Race followed by the 25 Proof Amateur Race of the 9th Annual Whiskey Off-Road Mountain Bike Event.  Bryan and his team were competing in the 25 Proof.  I had come up to Prescott for the weekend to help cheer Bryan on, take pictures and offer support.  Bryan’s wife, Amanda, and I were to drive up Thumb Butte Road to the overlook where the riders would be trudging up a steep grade before making a sharp turn on to a single-track trail that would lead them back down the mountain.

Amanda and I waited until Bryan’s Race was kicked off in true Prescott style…two crusty old locals dressed in 19th century western wear shooting their revolvers into the air signal the start of the race.  After a brief stop at an outdoor retailer for local trail maps, we were headed up Thumb Butte Road to the overlook to wait for Bryan.

The road to the overlook wasn’t too bad.  It was a worn, twisty dirt road up the mountain but it had clearly seen regular use.  It was very narrow, at points not wide enough for two cars to pass.  Cut in to the mountainside, the road had a steep rock wall on one side and a nearly sheer drop down the mountain on the other side and the shoulder at the drop off was very soft in places.  Near the top, Forest Service Personnel was guiding traffic and helping people park along the shoulder.  He had us park close enough to the edge to force Amanda to climb through the cab and get out of my truck on the driver’s side.

The overlook where everyone was staged to greet the racers was only a couple hundred yards away.  We reached the top and I took photos of the riders and spectators as we waited for Bryan.  Once Bryan had come through, our work was done and we headed back to the truck.  My plan was to get Amanda back in to town to wait for Bryan, and I would head out for an afternoon hike and meet up with everyone later for the concert that night.  As we started toward where the truck was parked, a guy in a Toyota Forerunner was pulling out to head back down the mountain road.  He paused next to use to say hi and asked if we needed a ride.  There was a gorgeous white Husky-Mix dog in the backseat and while we fawned over the friendly puppy we explained that our vehicle was very close and we were happy to walk.  He insisted it was no trouble and we politely declined again.  He waved good-bye as he pulled away and Amanda and I chatted about what a beautiful dog he had.

As we reached my truck, movement caught my eye on the mountainside and I looked up to see a vehicle tumbling down the steep, rocky grade.  It took a second for me grasp the reality of what I was seeing and all I could say was “OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT OH SHIT!”  Then, instinctually, I stripped off my camera and Camelbak, threw them in the back of my truck and took off down the road toward the accident as fast as my legs would move.  I could hear Amanda running behind me, asking if that was the truck with the dog.  I knew it was but did not want to admit it out-loud.

photo by Julian Gonzalez

The truck had stopped, inexplicably, less than halfway down the mountainside.  I could see it clearly from the road once I reached a point directly above the mangled wreck.  Not knowing what I would find, I knew time was not on my side.  I pulled my phone, keys and wallet out of my pocket and tossed it to Amanda and telling her to call 9-1-1.  Then I bolted down the slope, sliding, scrambling and hopping through the boulders and brush.

I quickly found the dog.  She had been ejected from the vehicle, seemingly early in the roll, and seemed to be OK.  I grabbed her leash as she approached me and did a quick check to make sure she wasn’t bleeding or showing any obvious injuries.  She looked OK enough and anxious to get to safety, so I yelled for Amanda to call her and sent her up the slope.  Then I continued my quick descent toward the vehicle to find the driver.

As I got closer, I could see the Forerunner had caught up on a rock outcropping and had just barely avoided tumbling the remaining 300+ yards down the mountainside.  I could hear the motor still running as I approached and that’s when I saw the driver.  He had also been ejected from the vehicle only about 30 ft from where the Toyota precariously hung to the rock.  I could see he was propped up against a rock and sitting up (good signs) and I quickly worked my way to him, calling down to let him know I was on my way and not to move.

Anatomy of a Crisis

Survey the situation

  • Am I in danger?
  • Is the victim OK? What is the Mechanism of Injury?


  • Speak to the injured person, even before you get to them…don’t sneak up on them.
  • Try to communicate, talking is the fastest and easiest way to asses the mental condition of the injured person.


  • Make sure the scene is safe, people are safe and everyone has a job.


  • Designate one or two people to approach the victim while being careful not to cause further injury or create further danger.

Initial Impression

  • What is the condition of the injured person?  
  • Are they in a safe location, can they be moved to a safer location?


  • Primary Survey
  • Secondary Survey
  • Collect Vital Data (SOAPnote)
  • Formulate a Rescue Plan

Assign and Delegate

  • In a group, give everyone a job and delegate responsibilities


  • On-going assessment
  • Rescue Plan

I quickly looked him over as I approached and, though he was scratched and bleeding from head to toe, none of the lacerations were deep enough to need immediate attention.  So when I got to him my focus was on assessing his mental state, then I could work on assessing physical injuries.  I asked how he was doing.  It may sound like a ridiculous question to ask an accident victim but their answer can tell you a great deal about their mental state.  He answered calmly, saying that he thought he was OK.  I introduced myself and asked his name, which he quickly was able to give.  So far so good.  I then asked him if it was alright if I touched him so I could check him out for some basic injuries and he answered in the affirmative.

Patient Assessment: The Primary Survey

Find out what happened, find any life-threatening injuries, treat life-threatening injuries, prevent further injury from occurring.

Central Nervous System

  • What was the Mechanism of Injury (MOI)?
  • Are they complaining of neck or back pain?
  • Do they have sensation or movement in all four extremities?


  • Are there any obvious deformities?
  • What is their chief complaint? Where does it hurt?
  • Do all the “chunks” feel normal?


  • Where are they?
  • Are they complaining of being cold, hot or wet?
  • Do they feel hot, cold or damp?

I continued asking him questions as I checked him for injuries, trying to determine his Level of Consciousness (LOC) while also determining the level of his physical injuries.  I asked if he knew where he was, what day it was, why he was here.  All of his answers were clear and positive.  I also asked if he remembered what happened, and could give me any details of the accident.  He relayed the story to me in enough detail for me to be confident he had not been knocked unconscious and had probably not suffered a major concussion.

“If an individual receives a heavy blow to the head or face, he may suffer a brain concussion, which is an injury to the brain that involves a temporary loss of some or all of the brain’s ability to function. For example, the casualty may not breathe properly for a short period of time, or he may become confused and stagger when he attempts to walk. A concussion may only last for a short period of time. However,if a casualty is suspected of having suffered a concussion, he must be seen by a physician as soon as conditions permit.Remember to suspect any casualty who has a severe head injury or who is unconscious as possibly having a broken neck or a spinal cord injury! It is better to treat conservatively and assume that the neck/spinal cord is injured rather than to chance further injuring the casualty.” – WildernessManuals.com – Head Injuries and General First Aid Measures

The physical check was encouraging as well.  He had some bruising and lacerations from head to toe, but no obvious deformities.  He had sensation in all extremities, good circulation and respiration.  His right shoulder seemed to sag a little and I asked about pain there, which he confirmed.  He had also scraped his head on the right side bad enough to have pulled the skin away from part of his right ear.  The surface injury was superficial enough that the bleeding had already stopped on it’s own.  There is always the worry of a possible head injury, so I continued to encourage him to stay as still as possible and not move his head.  I performed a quick cervical check and nothing felt out of place, nor did he complain of any sensitivity or pain.  Everything seemed to check out on the initial assessment and he was very lucky.

photo by Julian Gonzalez

He explained that he had lost traction on the road and began to drift on the loose dirt.  Before he could regain control, the vehicle hit the mountainside and then careened across the road and off the edge.  He recalled the drop and his experience in the vehicle as it rolled stating, undoubtedly, it was the scariest thing he’s ever experienced.  He also recalled being ejected from the vehicle and assured me he hadn’t moved a single step from where he had landed.  He then asked about the dog and I let him know the dog was found in good shape.

Symptoms of Dehydration in Adults

The signs and symptoms of dehydration range from minor to severe and include:

  • Increased thirst
  • Dry mouth and swollen tongue
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness
  • Palpitations (feeling that the heart is jumping or pounding)
  • Confusion
  • Sluggishness fainting
  • Fainting
  • Inability to sweat
  • Decreased urine output

All of these symptoms can not only be the underlying cause of many backcountry medical emergencies, but will also make rescue and medical aid that much more difficult to administer.  Assessing a patient’s level of dehydration is important and in extended rescue situations, keeping the injured person hydrated (if possible) is a primary concern.

I made sure he was comfortable and we began our wait for professional rescue.  Dehydration can complicate any medical situation, so I asked if he was thirsty.  I told him I had seen some water bottles up-slope and could get him one.  I worked my way up to where much of the debris from the crash had spilled (it was a yard sale all the way down the mountain).  I found two water bottles and spotted a larger water container that might have some water in it for later.  He drank the first water bottle pretty quick and I used part of the second to wash some of the dirt and blood from his face.  He also asked if he could have his ball cap because the sun was in his eyes, so I found that and brought it to him.

It took a while before anyone came down to us.  The first person to join us was a Forest Service guy, also with Wilderness First Responder training.  I had kept the victim engaged and talking while making sure he didn’t move around.  I was beginning my second assessment when the FS Responder arrived and I let him do the assessment.  He confirmed all of the conclusions I had reached on my initial assessment, making me feel better to have a second opinion confirm my own.

Patient Assessment: The Secondary Survey

Measuring and recording vital signs helps you understand how much Oxygen the brain is getting and sets a baseline for later assessments.

Respiratory Assessment

  • Respiratory Rate: Count the number of breaths per minute (10-20/min)
  • Respiratory Effort: Observe the ease or difficulty with which they breathe.
  • Ask if they feel shortness of breath or are having a hard time breathing.

Circulatory Assessment

  • Heart Rate: Find the pulse and count for one minute (50-100 bets/min)
  • Effort: Blood Pressure Cuff is ideal, but you can also check the pulse at different locations for strength of pulse.
  • If you have trouble locating a pulse at the extremities it may be a sign of low blood-pressure.

Central Nervous System

  • Establish the Level of Consciousness (LOC)
  • AWAKE: Conscious and Alert (how alert and aware are they?)
  • VERBAL: Unconscious, but responds to sound
  • PAINFUL: Unconscious, but responds to pain
  • UNRESPONSIVE: Unconscious, comatose

Integumentary System (Skin)

  • Skin color: Is there perfusion of blood to the skin?
  • Skin temperature/moisture: Are they hot or cold to the touch? Are they wet, dry or sweaty?
Vital signs should be continually monitored.  Repeat the Secondary Examination every 15 minutes or so and note changes in the patient’s condition.

As more rescue personnel arrived on scene and better equipped medical service was available, we got him patched up and stabilized.  They were able to get a cervical collar on him to protect his spine, we got his right arm in a sling to stabilize that shoulder and I continued to make sure he had water.

photo by Julian Gonzalez

Eventually, full rescue was on site and in the cramped space available to us, we got him strapped into a rope extraction rescue stretcher and the pro-crew hauled him up the slope while I collected their gear and helped haul it out.

All together, the rescue operation took almost 3 hours and the Forest Service had to clear-cut a 10ft wide direct path from the road to where we were.  The response crews did a good job of handling the situation safely, quickly and efficiently.  If I have any complaint at all, it is that many rescue personal are more apt to treat the situation more-so than the patient.  At one point he was actually asking for more water and no one was listening until I made them give him water.

The whole time, the truck was still running and all of us were concerned that it would catch fire and complicate our rescue effort.  But it never did.  Once the road was cleared of emergency personnel and vehicles, a large crane truck and wrecker came in to extract the mangled Toyota.

I believe I did everything I could and I followed the procedures as I had been trained to.  Later I visited the hospital and talked with the wife of the guy we’d rescued.  She was shaken up, but glad he was not hurt worse.  This was not the first accident I have witnessed, nor the first one where I was the First Responder.  It has reminded me of the importance of Wilderness First Aid and First Responder training for all of us who spend time in the backcountry.  If you can find a certification course near you, it is well worth the time, money and effort to go through the training.  You never know when it will be YOU in this situation.

I would like to hear your stories.  Have any of you been in a first responder situation?  How did you handle it?  What did you learn from it?  How did it change your perspective on safety and preparedness in the outdoors?