How Much is Too Much Water

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Camp below Mt. Lyell by John P. DeGrazio

By John P. DeGrazio

What’s more important to you on a hike, saving weight or time?  This is currently one of the biggest debates raging on the trail circuit and the question every Half Dome hiker asks themselves at the advent of their 16 mile journey. To say that hikers in higher altitude need to stay hydrated is an understatement, but the real question is how much is too much water. How much water you need differs from person to person. It depends on many factors including body mass, physical activity levels, conditioning, and climate. The general rule is to drink a liter an hour during high levels of activity, but it would be absurd to think a hiker should carry close to 3 gallons of water for a typical 12 hour Half Dome hike. You would like to stay a little closer to that model on a backpacking trip when you can easily update your water supply at nearby streams and lakes.

On a normal day hike, I tend to consume about 10-12 ounces per hour of hiking so I bring 40 oz. on a 4 hour hiker and 100 oz. on a typical 10 hour hike. It’s always important to bring a little extra because you never know exactly how long a hike will take. If you don’t know how long it will take, you can estimate hiking about 3 mph on flat ground, 2.5 mph with some hills and closer to 1.5 mph with steep elevation gains.

Backpacking is a different ballgame. You should always use maps to find where water supplies are on your route and prepare accordingly. It’s never a good idea to drink untreated water in the wilderness so I carry a Katadyn Hiker water filter and 1-3 Platypus 2 liter water bottles depending on the size of the group I am leading.

Back to the Half Dome hike. We typically recommend carrying 120-140 oz. of water on this hike. Some people will say that is too heavy because the trail follows the Merced River, and there are a few ideal spots to treat water; but I like to save that valuable time to reach the summit. Pumping water is a time consuming process. It’s my opinion that time is better spent reaching the summit. I always carry my filter and can always pump in an emergency. A good alternative is to wait until the return trip where it can be beneficial to cool sore feet in the river before making the final descent to Yosemite Valley. Another important way to prepare for this and any other Yosemite adventure is to pre-hydrate. I like to drink about a gallon of water the day before the hike and about a liter in the morning before I hit the trail.

Other things to consider in terms of hydration are salty foods and electrolytes. Many of my snacks for any trip will contain salts which are valuable to replenish electrolytes in your body, and I also ingest electrolyte capsules. I used to recommend sports drinks but feel they add too many sugars and sugar substitutes as well as unnecessary dyes.

Every person is different and comfort factors will help determine which method works for you. But as I state to everyone who attempts Half Dome or other strenuous summit attempts with YExplore, you will have to move outside your comfort zone on these strenuous challenge so it’s ok to sacrifice a little comfort to add that extra layer of preparedness.

YExplore Gear Guide Disclaimer

Feed from YExplore Adventure Blog: http://yexplore.com/adventure-blog/.

Yosemite Instagram Week(s) in Review: Photos From an iPhone 6.16-7.6.13

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Taft Point, El Capitan, and Yosemite Valley from the Fissures by John P. DeGrazio

Yosemite and a Trip North to Shasta

By John P. DeGrazio

courtesy of http://instagram.com/yexplore 

All photos taken on an iPhone 5

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Mt. Shasta, just below summit

A post shared by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

Photographing with a camera phone was once frowned upon as a lazy way out of making an image. With advancing technology, these phones are becoming more integral in everyday “outdoor” life. I am currently using the iPhone 5 with an 8 megapixel camera, and will share the world of Yosemite through my phone.

Feed from YExplore Adventure Blog: http://yexplore.com/adventure-blog/.

Majestic May Lake: Yosemite Photo Update 6.27.13

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Above May Lake by John P> DeGrazio

By John P. DeGrazio

We’ve made a few trips up to May Lake recently on guided Yosemite hikes and have been impressed with the trail augmentations just above the lake that offers some stunning new vistas. We braved the mosquitoes and made a couple of images that really highlight the lake. Here are two photos from that trip. The second panorama photograph also includes the false summit of Mt. Hoffman.

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May Lake Panorama by John P. DeGrazio

Feed from YExplore Adventure Blog: http://yexplore.com/adventure-blog/.

Sentinel Dome: Yosemite Panoramas 6.21.13

Best Bang for Your Buck

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Sentinel Dome Panorama by John P. DeGrazio

By John P. DeGrazio

I recently hiked with some fun folks to the top of Half Dome. As magnificent a “bucket list” hike that was, we began to discuss several other “bucket list” type hikes so I immediately mentioned Clouds Rest and Mt. Hoffman. The conversation quickly turned to Sentinel Dome which sits 8122 feet above sea level and a little more than 800 feet below Half Dome with an almost identical view and about 12 less miles of hiking. And that’s if you continue over to Taft Point for another unique vantage point. We quickly called it the best bang for your buck in Yosemite. I guess the secret is out. See you on Sentinel Dome!

 

Yosemite Instagram Week in Review: Photos From an iPhone 6.2-6.15.13

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Paintbrush and Yosemite Falls by John P. DeGrazio

Wildflowers and Dancing Clouds

By John P. DeGrazio

courtesy of http://instagram.com/yexplore 

All photos taken on an iPhone 5

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Yosemite Fall and Ceonothus

A post shared by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

Photographing with a camera phone was once frowned upon as a lazy way out of making an image. With advancing technology, these phones are becoming more integral in everyday “outdoor” life. I am currently using the iPhone 5 with an 8 megapixel camera, and will share the world of Yosemite through my phone.

Feed from YExplore Adventure Blog: http://yexplore.com/adventure-blog/.

YExplore Gear Guide Update: Nature’s Treats

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Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar on the Summit of Half Dome in Yosemite

By John P. DeGrazio

YExplore has a new partner! Nature’s Bakery, a company that makes an energy snack called Fig Bars, has agreed to provide these tasty treats to our clients for our Yosemite Tours. I am now officially an ambassador for Nature’s Bakery and you can follow my blog for them here. I have been bringing the Fig Bars on my trips for the past few months, and I really do enjoy them. Many of our clients agree and have stated that they are hearty and not nearly as sweet as other brands. They are all natural, and there are several different flavors. My favorite is Vanilla Raspberry. My children also love them which is an important reason I decided to enter into this agreement. It’s very difficult to find suitable snacks for kids in a market flooded with high fructose corn syrup and artificial ingredients.

Last week I took some Fig Bars up to the summit of Half Dome, and they provided us with some good energy for the long day. In retrospect, maybe I should have offered a bar to the tired hiker behind me in this photo.

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John DeGrazio enjoying Nature’s Bakery Fig Bar on Half Dome Summit in front of a tired hiker.

YExplore Gear Guide Disclaimer

 

 

YExplore Gear Guide: What’s in My Pack (Disclaimer)

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Campsite Below Mt. Lyell by John P. DeGrazio

We are excited to introduce this new gear review feature for all our readers. From time to time, we will review products we feel are helpful on hikes and backpacking trips. Many of the reviews will be of products we purchase on our own, but some will be from companies who sponsor us. Either way, we will be providing you with information we hope will be useful when preparing for your next trip to Yosemite or any other global adventure. Please also refer to our Gear Guide which provides specific information for how to prepare for your outdoor excursions.

Be Adventurous,

John

Gear Guide Disclaimer
I often receive a lot of questions about what gear is required on certain hikes or what I bring along on my treks. I have decided to review some products to provide assistance for travelers preparing for a hike in Yosemite or anywhere else they may be. Whether you are a recreational hiker or a seasoned backpacker, I will try to provide insightful information to help you choose your gear. I am making this initial post as a disclaimer for any companies who wish to have us review their products.

Product Review Disclaimer:

YExplore will not under any circumstances review any products for any company without an agreement to the policies and procedures stated within this disclaimer.

YExplore will accept items from companies for review without prior notice. YExplore will not pay for any item that a company asked to be reviewed. The Company is responsible for all shipping and product costs necessary for YExplore to receive the item. YExplore will also accept items from companies for review with prior notice. An email letting us know you wish to send a product to review will be adequate. No product reviewed by YExplore will be returned under any circumstances.

For all readers, YExplore does not receive any monetary compensation for the reviews written. All reviews are from products paid for by staff of YExplore or sent free of charge and with no incentive to offer a favorable review. The only compensation received is the use of the product reviewed if not purchased. This is to offer a reading audience an objective review, so you can make an informed decision before buying.

YExplore offers a wide array of blog readers related to outdoor gear. YExplore will not under any circumstance provide a list of names, address and email addresses of my subscribers due to privacy issues.

Please acknowledge this disclaimer that you have read and understood all the terms. You can email or send the agreement with your product for review.

Thank you,

John P. DeGrazio

YExplore Global Adventures

Backpacker Backstories: Yosemite Weekly Photos 6.05.13

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Backpacking Through a Burnt Out Forest in Yosemite by John P. DeGrazio

A Week in the Woods

By John P. DeGrazio

Reaching the solitude of Yosemite’s wilderness is often the cure to life’s doldrums. We often share this magical place with many who sometimes feel worn down when they meet us and amazingly feel refreshed after hiking a 20+ miles in 3 days. Isn’t it funny how that works? You’d be surprised with what you can accomplish with such a rejuvenated spirit. Each of the last 2 groups I led into Yosemite’s Backcountry had members who shocked themselves by reaching new heights they thought they’d never achieve. I love capturing these moments with images. It’s fun to have our explorers pose for fun photos, but it’s even more rewarding when I can capture some of the essence of our trips without them even knowing.

2 of these images were taken from a Half Dome Backpack trip. We currently have some limited availability for 2 upcoming Half Dome Backpack Tours June 18-19 and July 1-2. We don’t anticipate them being available much longer but please feel free to contact us if you are interested.

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Gazing at Half Dome by John P. DeGrazio

 

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Reflection of a Yosemite Backpacker by John P. DeGrazio
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Catching some Refreshing Mist from Vernal Fall

Feed from YExplore Adventure Blog: http://yexplore.com/adventure-blog/.

Yosemite Instagram Week in Review: Photos From an iPhone 5.26-6.01.13

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Early Morning at Hetch Hetchy by John P. DeGrazio

By John P. DeGrazio

courtesy of http://instagram.com/yexplore 

All photos taken on an iPhone 5

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Palo Alto wildlife #koipond

A post shared by YExplore Yosemite Adventures (@yexplore) on

Photographing with a camera phone was once frowned upon as a lazy way out of making an image. With advancing technology, these phones are becoming more integral in everyday “outdoor” life. I am currently using the iPhone 5 with an 8 megapixel camera, and will share the world of Yosemite through my phone.

Feed from YExplore Adventure Blog: http://yexplore.com/adventure-blog/.