New to Desert Hiking... Any Advice?

Perry

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Heading out tomorrow for a week in Torrey looking forward to several day hikes of varying lengths in Capitol Reef NP.

I get carrying plenty of water. What if I get caught needing some what sources should I use? River water, pot holes, etc? In the mountains I usually do AquaMira drops but I figured desert water is going to be less suitable for that. I picked up a Sawyer Squeeze thinking I'll definitely need to filter. Suggestions?

Any other things I need to be aware of/ prepared for?


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WasatchWill

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Sulphur Creek will have a good flow. As will Spring Canyon in a few places. If you're only doing day hikes though, just carry three to four liters of water on you if spending most of the day hiking and camel up before you start. For silty water, I'd filter the water through a bandana as you fill a Sawyer bag before you run it through the Sawyer filter.

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WasatchWill

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Another tip: If you find it uncomfortably hot, soak a bandana and wrap it around your head. You can do another around your neck. It looks like we're going to get a cold front this week though so I think temperatures will be fairly pleasant for you. Start with some shorter hikes on your first day to get a feel for what you'll be comfortable with and so on.

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Perry

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Yeah weather forecast is calling for possible frozen mix on Weds and Thurs... really? LOL. Looking like a variety of weather for sure.


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b.stark

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Get used to carrying lots of water and having your gear saturated with dust and sand. good views, yes, but I'm still partial to mountains myself! some unique stuff to see in the desert though.
 

Nick

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Carrying more or less water isn't so much a matter of desert vs. mountains, it's just a matter of the route you pick. I rarely carry more water in the desert than I would in the mountains because I enjoy staying in canyons where water is present. Those types of routes are often pretty easy because you're not climbing thousands of feet at at time.
 

John Morrow

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Aqua Mira has worked well for me on multi-day trips on the Colorado Plateau and Mojave deserts with potholes, clear springs, perennial water flows.
 

LarryBoy

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I second Aquamira. In the desert it's super easy to encounter a silty source that'll jam up your filter in a matter of minutes. I once took a sawyer filter into the desert, it jammed up on day #3, and I drank untreated water for the rest of the trip. Lesson learned.

Other tip - if it's hot, take a cue from the Spaniards and enjoy a siesta in the afternoon. Get up in the morning and hike into the evening. During the heat of the day, rest under a shady tree or rock overhang, camel up on water, and make yourself a meal.
 
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