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Hey Friends. I have been pretty MIA lately due to a busy life, a growing non-profit and an active social life. All of which wouldn’t be possible with my awesome jpouch. I put it to the ultimate test a few weeks ago though when I went on a 3 day, 4 night hiking trip at Big Bend National Park in Texas. I hiked 30 miles in 3 days and only had to shit outside once, which was a real fear of mine. In order to prep for our day long hikes, I would start my day with 2 Imodium and something to thicken the stool like a banana. I wanted to start the mornings out as thick as possible as A) I don’t like to shit outside as I am not a bear, and B) because I never knew when we were going to find a regular bathroom. Now venturing into the desert with a jpouch had me so pumped and so nervous, but I got to tell you, it wasn’t so bad. In fact it wasn’t really bad at all. I made sure that the food we packed for before, during, and after the hikes were all jpouch friendly. I made sure not to introduce anything new into the mix, and not to eat anything that would be questionable.
I made sure that my hiking partner was well aware of my food restrictions and limitations so that there weren’t any surprises or potential for disappointment. Luckily my hiking buddy knew all about my butt and the issues that it brings so this was easy to avoid. In fact I spend a fair amount of time before the trip playing the “what if” game, because I was really nervous that something would come up, or go wrong and my body wouldn’t be able to make the hike happen. I just wanted to make sure we were on the same page.
Water was a big concern as we were hiking in desert and water supplies are scarce out on the trails. So I bought a hydration back pack that held 3 liters of water, which was heavy but necessary. I also bought hydration salts from REI in case of dehydration but luckily I didn’t have to use those. The temperature was perfect. Sunny and 65 during the day, but at night it was so cold! We were tent camping in 20 degree temperatures so I made sure to wear lots of layers. 2 nights we camped were at a camp ground so there were toilets available and close but fortunately I didn’t have to use them during the night. However, the third night we camped was at a remote primitive site with no bathrooms. When I was told this I kinda of had a mini mental breakdown about all the “what ifs” because as if shitting outside isn’t bad enough, shitting outside in the dark would be much much worse. I can only imagine. So before we posted up for camp that night we stopped at a ranger station to use the bathroom and again fortunately I didn’t have to use it during that night. Probably due to all the thick foods I had eaten during the day.
Big Bend has a natural hot spring that runs right along the Rio Grande! The water there runs to about 105 degrees! It was a nice rest after our long day hiking and to help heal the cuts from everything that has thorns. And in Texas EVERYTHING has thorns.
Over all the trip was pretty amazing. I had never been hiking before so I panicked a lot before we left but in reality just about everything was fine. I think my OCD about planning helped and also made anticipating what my body would need a lot easier. Doing a hike like this was no joke. It was long, difficult at times, and strenuous on the body. It proved to me that I’m crazy out of shape and that its time to get my big ol’ diseased ass back into the gym. But more importantly what it really proved to me was that I could do it. So far, every physical feat that I have set for myself I’ve been able to accomplish which feels pretty damn good.