CDT Day 17 Fatique sets in


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4th May

23.4 miles (37.8km)

Pond Canp (279) to Ridgetop Camp (302.4)

On trail alone again this morning. After 6 miles of hiking I bumped into some new hikers. Well, not that new I met them about 10 days ago. PegLeg, Wildernessie and Simone.

I spent a lot of this mornings hiking off trail. There are blazes in the trees every 50 meters or so. They are the only form of trail markings. If I went 100 meters without seeing a blaze I would check the GPS. It wasn’t all bush bashing. There were sections of newly constructed trail.

As the day progressed I was becoming more and more fatigued. In the last two days I’ve cut back on my food intake as I realised I did not have enough food. Crunchmaster and Spontaneous are the same. In fact I’ve given each of them a meal. We are all struggling. I’m haemorrhaging weight. I think I’ve lost several kilograms in just the last 7 days.

By 1pm I’d covered about 15 miles. The water in the Aragon water tank was of questionable quality. Bugs both alive and dead littered the surface. With pond scum on the bottom. A look at the upper water tank was like looking at fluorescent green nuclear waste. I drank 2 liters mixed with protein powder.

As I hike through New Mexico I rely mainly on water tanks used for cattle. Some are better than others. Some are in disrepair. Luckily we have water reports and information on our GPS regarding the availability of water. So far so good. Being stuck out here with no water would not be fun.

I took my shoes off and noticed a new blister. Didn’t even feel it while hiking. That’s my second blister for the trip. I guess that as I didn’t fell it then it won’t be too bad. I’ll have to wait till tomorrow.

Crunchmaster and Spontaneous arrived at the Aragon water tank looking like death warmed up. This trip has been wearing them down. Now it is wearing me down too.

We struggled several more miles into the late afternoon. At 7pm we were all done. We camped on the best flat ground we could find. Crunchmaster is using Verizon, I’m using AT&T for our cell phone networks. Verizon is king of the CDT so far. I haven’t had service for a week.

Are we traveling too many miles too soon? Possibly we are.

Are we eating enough food each day? Probably not. But we will keep going.

following these tree blazes
the wild look
quality water supply
found this bucket hanging in the tree
300 miles of hiking

Next – Day 18 – Disgusting water 

Everything you need to know about hiking the CDT:
Complete Guide to Hiking the Continental Divide Trail
CDT Resupply Guide
CDT Gear List

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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9 thoughts on “CDT Day 17 Fatique sets in”

  1. Fatigue. What a concept! When I take a long Nero or zeros, all the little annoyances come to the surface, and I feel trashed. Once the hiking resumes, it all goes to the background. Somehow that perspective escaped me over the past 2 years of this sport.
    You really have the gift of blogging. Thanks for the inspiration. I’ll be needing it soon.

    • Thanks for the kind words. I kinda prefer neros. After a zero I’m slow, weak and worse than when I arrived in a town. But that is just me.

  2. Regardless of how far you are walking you would be hard pressed to lose that type of weight in a few days, I would say a great deal of it is fluid (probably stored as a result of you hikers and your appalling diets!!!) As a runner I am always shocked by what you chow down on in towns – pizza, ice-cream etc. Why don’t you try an experiment and eat really healthily (yes you can still have large portions) in towns balance protein and carbs and watch your glucose consumption. Ultra marathoners run up to 150kms in a day and do training that is very intense they don’t lose this kind of weight mind you their diets are better (though they are known to have a coke or two during a race). I know it sounds boring but it may kill that fatigue you guys get

    • Most of the weight loss was fluids (I think), as I gained 10 pounds in 24 hours. While burning 4000-7000 calories per day does strange things to cravings. As I write this I’m craving fruit salad, last week it was anything fatty. And if my past hiking history is anything to go by I will be craving salad soon. So I tend to listen to the craving from my stomachs brain to tell me what I need. Most hikers are the same.

  3. Well, that fluorescent green water certainly looks questionable. Yikes! I’m enjoying your posts from the desert, but all the flat land, road-walking, dirt, dust storms, and lack of water must be so tiresome. Every kind of nature has its beauty, but I have to admit that I selfishly can’t wait to read your posts and see photos of the beautiful mountains, forests, and especially the groves of aspen trees ~ my favorite. Hang in there!

    • Yes, the worst water ever. I’m secretly dreading Colorado. The cold, the snow, the high altitude, the mountains. It certainly will be a challenge

  4. Congratulations on making it 300 miles so far on this tough trail! I always love the interesting compositions/perspectives of your photos, but your “calories” pic fooled me at first glance. I thought you all had found the largest bag of M&Ms ever! :)


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