Appetite and Stomach issues while Long Distance Backpacking

Have you ever worked so hard that you encountered a loss of appetite, rather than an increase?

Similar conditions are present in long-distance backpacking and thru-hiking, especially during the first couple of hundreds of miles. Also, stomach upset and added fatigue from physical exertion can cause your body to not feel hungry which compounds the problem when one radically alters their dietary habits.

"I figured if I could do this, I could do anything..."
- Anonymous A.T. tru-hiker.

Thru-hiking can be relentless, and if you are the type to test your own limits, thru-hiking will be your personal dream come true. The elevation gain and loss of hiking the entire Appalachian Trail is the equivalent of climbing Mount Everest 16 times -- the elevation change hikers traverse along the A.T. totals up to an approximate 464,464 feet!

With this understanding, it is important to give your body enough recovery time: a zero-day during the week, or three nero-days every other week.

High-carb foods are supposed to help with altitude adjustment. It's also important to keep very well hydrated, especially at higher altitudes. An electrolyte drink mix in your water may help; it does for me.

Soupy foods on the trail are surprisingly effective; there is an excellent article on this topic here.

For different people, it's going to be different things, and often it will be different combinations of things. Keeping these elements in mind, you kind of have to design a plan that works for you. It took me a lot of experimenting to find a diet that works well for me and to confirm that if I'm going at high intensity for full days, I'm not really going to feel very hungry for the first week and a half or two of backpacking.

One of the greatest of the Greek mysteries

One of the greatest of the Greek mysteries surrounds the written form of the Iliad. I am not talking about whether Homer wrote the Iliad, or if his granddaughter wrote the Odyssey, those are mysteries, too, but something just as cryptic, if not more so: How were such perfect works as the Iliad and Odyssey written at all?

Around the mid-1100s B.CE, the Greek dark-age was very, very dark, indeed. Prior to this period the written form of the Mycenaean Greeks -- Homer refers the Mycenaeans in a myriad of names -- was Linear B. Around the time of the mysterious 'Sea People', the so-called Greek Dark Age began, and whereupon mainland Greece was depopulated up to 80%. Virtually all of the rich culture of the Mycenaean civilization was lost, including the written Linear-B as a written language.

Note: To help put this chronology into perspective, the Torah was written down around 1272 B.CE. -- the Trojan War itself is often attributed to the year 1280 B.CE.

Coming out of the Greek Dark Age, the first glimmer of a new Greek written script was in the area of Ionia -- naturally, some disagree with the geography -- and some believe this area is where the Iliad was written down, which only makes sense.

Keep in mind the Iliad was written in a relatively new language, fresh out of the Greek Dark Age; this being said, during most any era artistic pursuits of any kind go through roughly three phases: crude form, refinement, and a final refined form. This is not the case with Iliad: BOOM THERE IT IS, in all its glory. It was as though the goddess Athena stepped out of the head of Zeus, in full armor, a second time!

GoLite reincarnated as MyTrailCo.

GoLite was a legendary outdoor gear and clothing manufacturer based in Boulder, Colorado. The company was founded in the late 90s by the Coupounas family. They designed and manufactured light and ultra-light clothing, footwear, backpacks, tents, sleeping bags, hydration packs, and accessories. GoLite products are used for backpacking, hiking, thru-hiking, adventure racing, trail running, mountaineering, snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, and alpinism.

They sponsored an Eco-Challenge team, and by 2008 had created an astonishing product line which emphasized the use of dyneema -- a fiber known for extremely high strength and low weight.

From my observations in the 2000s, they changed their business model to a direct-sales philosophy and omitted the middle retailer, giving them better pricing control. Having said that, their prices undercut many far more seasoned manufacturers, and given that fact, the quality control, too, was astonishing.

Golite brand Retail stores started to enter the mix, and with the rise of the brick and mortar stores, Golite's website (presumably the main source of revenue) began to flounder.

During this era, it was common to see "Out of Stock" on a vast amount of the most sought after items, including the legendary 'Golite Jam 70' pack, which could be out of stock online for months at a time.

However, this negation wasn't limited to the "gear" it was the clothing items as well, which must have been a massive hit to their revenue stream, and, because of this, on Oct. 13 of 2014 the company that operated as Golite filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

BizWest: "Despite retail failure, GoLite founder hoping for comeback..."

Case and point

Today, "Golite" is on the comeback trail as "MyTrailCo," and while it shadows its former self, some solid gear-systems are shipping.

Like a Time Lord from Gallifrey regenerates a new "incarnation," MyTrailCo might look a bit different, but the framework of Golite continues (just a bit slimmer and leaner).

The first thing I noticed was a slightly re-tooled "Jam Pack," which was one of their biggest hits from the previous incarnation;  ranging from $149-$179 these packs are still reasonable, especially considering the quality. The new Pyramid Shelter, too, looks suspiciously like the older Hex-3, which was a great 4-season tent.

Though MyTrailCo is just starting back up with a meager few products, it looks to a promising future.

Trees in Australia with Email Addresses?

Trees can get email in Australia. In 2013, trees were assigned email addresses by the city of Melbourne  so its citizens could report potential problems, but people ended up writing thousands of love letters to their favorite trees instead. (Source)

Upcoming space events: The Jupiter Near-polar Orbiter (Arrival July 4)

National Aeronautics and Space Administration
The Jupiter Near-polar Orbiter is a NASA New Frontiers mission currently en route to the planet Jupiter. Juno was launched from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station on August 5, 2011 and will arrive on July 4, 2016. Juno will be inserted into a polar orbit around the giant planet on or around July 4, 2016. From this orbit the spacecraft will study Jupiter’s atmosphere and magnetic field. Juno will remain in orbit until October 2017, when the spacecraft will be de-orbited to crash into Jupiter.

The spacecraft's name comes from Greco-Roman mythology. The god Jupiter drew a veil of clouds around himself to hide his mischief, but his wife, the goddess Juno, was able to peer through the clouds and see Jupiter's true nature.

Marvel's Daredevil Season 3 Could be a Long Wait?

I started watching Daredevil an episode prior to season two; like many, I read Frank Castle (aka "The Punisher") would be played by Jon Bernthal of "The Walking Dead" fame. By the time season two started, I was engrossed by the character quality and gritty noir-esque elements within the series.

Bernthal really gave a good showing as  the punisher, making it his own roll. Yet, after a grand season two, I was left wanting more -- which hasn't occured for me with a new series in some time. And I am not alone.

It only took one episode to fully entice me, then went back to flesh-out my season one viewing.  I didn't complete season one fully when two started, and I was copiously engaged in the second season's plotline.

The latest season of Marvel's Daredevil Netflix series has been met with tremendous acclaim by fans. It's certainly dominating everyone's binge watching schedule at the moment. But the big question is when we'll get to see Daredevil Season 3.

Charlie Cox told ScreenRant that he has "no idea if there's going to be a third season." He does, however, know who he wants to see if it does happen. "I can’t imagine doing a run of Daredevil where Bullseye doesn’t show up at some point," Cox said. He did admit he would love to see more of the Kingpin, too. "It’d be great if at some point Vincent D’Onofrio would come back for a season. There’s so much Daredevil-Wilson Fisk left untold." (Den of Geek)

Marvel is trying to keep their Netflix shows on a roughly six month schedule. So after the first season of Daredevil in April of 2015, we got Jessica Jones six months later in November. The gap was a little less before this current season of Daredevil, and now Luke Cage is on the schedule for September 30th, 2016. Iron Fist will begin production this summer, so we'll probably see that around this time in 2017...unless of course Daredevil Season 3 gets fast-tracked. (Den of Geek)

Wyrd Blogger's Backpacking Gear List

Friends, I like to go light when possible, though by no means am I a minimalist. I thought it would be fun to share this general guide to what I, more or less, take on the trail. This is by no means advice on what you should take, but if you pick up some ideas that would be excellent. 

A Third of Milky Way Stars have Changed Orbit

Researchers have created a new map of the Milky Way which shows that nearly a third of the stars have dramatically changed their orbits.

Quintuplet cluster

The discovery, by a team of scientists with the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), brings a new understanding of how stars are formed, and how they travel throughout our galaxy.

“In our modern world, many people move far away from their birthplaces, sometimes halfway around the world,” said Michael Hayden, New Mexico State University (NMSU) astronomy graduate student and lead author of the new study.

Read More

Cop Slams Handcuffed Teen Girl Face on Ground and Loses Teeth

Warning: This Video is Brutal!

Video has emerged of yet another police officer violently slamming a handcuffed suspect face-first, a teenage girl, into the ground.

Colorado Springs police officer brutally trowed a handcuffed 18-year-old girl to the hospital floor, smashing her face against the floor. She was thrown so hard that it knocked her teeth out.

I understand an officers job is stressful, but is the modern iteration of the "peace officer" psychologically qualified to handle the duty? Episodes that acutely parallel (at least reminiscent of) Soviet-era Gulag behavior seems to be increasing.

Vladimir Putin wants to reinstate the Romanov Dynasty

Vladimir Putin has made the unlikely move of expressing “his desire” to reinstate the Russian royal family, leading commentators to suggest that Putin wants a Russian version of Kate Middleton, whose star quality and mass appeal he can exploit for his own Machiavellian means.

The Express reports that Putin’s lawmaker, Vladimir Petrov, has written directly to heirs of the Romanov dynasty, who lorded over Russia for 200 years.

The Romanov’s rule came to an end when Tsar Nicholas was forced to abdicate due to years of injustice and the mounting pressures of World War I.

I suppose that whole 80 years Russian Revolution was just a hiccup -- bygones be will be bygones, even for former KGB agents of the far removed Soviet Union? Time to dust off the Romanov Dynasty...

Is American Culture a 'Culture of Cruelty?'

According to Dr. Henry Giroux life is now a war zone, and as such, the number of people considered disposable has grown exponentially, and this includes low income whites, poor minorities, immigrants, the unemployed, the homeless, and a range of people who are viewed as a liability to capital and its endless predatory quest for power and profits. He conveys that not only does neoliberalism undermine both civic education and public values and confuse education with training, it also treats knowledge as a product, promoting a neoliberal logic that views schools as malls, students as consumers, and faculty as entrepreneurs.

Three Creepypasta to enjoy while Night Hiking

(3) "Candle Cove"

This story starts off with a forum thread that talks about an old children’s show from the ’70s, which was about a little girl who imagined herself to be friends with pirates. As memories of the show were shared back and forth between the commenters on the thread, it became clear that beneath the show’s “cute” and low-budget appearance, there was something dark and disturbing.

(2) "The Russian Sleep Experiment"

Russian researchers in the late 1940s kept five people awake for fifteen days using an experimental gas based stimulant. They were kept in a sealed environment to carefully monitor their oxygen intake so the gas didn't kill them, since it was toxic in high concentrations. This was before closed circuit cameras so they had only microphones and 5 inch thick glass porthole sized windows into the chamber to monitor them. The chamber was stocked with books, cots to sleep on but no bedding, running water and toilet, and enough dried food to last all five for over a month.
The test subjects were political prisoners deemed enemies of the state during World War II.

Everything was fine for the first five days; the subjects hardly complained having been promised (falsely) that they would be freed if they submitted to the test and did not sleep for 30 days. Their conversations and activities were monitored and it was noted that they continued to talk about increasingly traumatic incidents in their past, and the general tone of their conversations took on a darker aspect after the 4 day mark.

(1) "The Harbinger Experiment"

"The world we live in is full of things we don’t understand. Being the curious humans that we are, we naturally try and seek these things out. Doing so has lead us to remarkable discoveries and inventions that we never could have imagined a hundred years ago. We have defeated disease, built to the sky itself and even created machines that could take us beyond the clouds and into the stars. If our ancestors could see us and what we have created, I’m sure many of them would see us as gods.
Our innate curiosity and lust for knowledge has not always led us to greatness, however. True evil and darkness have also been uncovered in humanities conquest of knowledge. And in the end, I fear this evil will be our doom."

Three Movies that Can Help you Beat "The Walking Dead" Hiatus

The Good: 

'The Twilight Samurai'

In 1860s Japan, samurai Seibei lives in a rural village with his mother and daughters, where he is stuck working as a bookkeeper rather than a warrior. Disillusioned by his position in society and the death of his wife, Seibei finally is stirred from his malaise by the arrival of Tomoe, a woman he loved as a child. His feelings for her are still strong, but the burdens of family, career and social standings could keep Seibei from following his desires. (Trailer 1) (Trailer 2)

Budget Friendly Gear: The Light My Fire Titanium Spork

There is something almost comforting about the excellent balance of The Light My Fire Spork. It can twirl pasta and hold soup, but its brittle materials makes it somewhat less than desirable. I have used a number of other options on the trail, but invariably return to the LMF Spork.

The standard LMF Spork is made from Tritan, a type of copolyester, and eventually has the tendency to break, generally when you're mauling an 40 oz jar of peanut butter 180 miles into a hiking trek.

Now, thankfully, Light My Fire has another option: They, too, have gone titanium. Like many others, I cringe at the word titanium and expect to see x$$$ mount, but literally the LMF titanium Spork is only a few dollars more than its "plastic" cousin. This is an especially good value considering the Earth's Sun will probably go red giant before the spork wears out.

While the standard LMF Spork runs about $3-$8 dollars, the titanium model can be found for about $11, which with all things considered is an excellent value.