Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Despondent Buddha

Yesterday I learned what most people probably know instinctively - not to carry electronic equipment in the same bag as water. It was a costly lesson.

I have been carrying lots of liquid, following the good advice of my nutrition and hydration adviser, Jean Gardner in Bermuda. I have been using a water bladder and also another container to replenish the bladder when empty. In the small Deuter rucsack which I recommended earlier in this blog, there is a special compartment to hold the bladder upright, and a little flap for the tube to come out of the top. Recently I have been using a differnt rucsack because, in this hot weather, my back was becoming red and sore because of the constant rubbing in one place - a bit like bedsores, I suppose.

The Berghause rucsack I have switched to has a sort of arch which holds the sack away from the back, leaving a gap for air. This is good, but unfortunately it does not have a compartment for the water bladder, which is fine and upright to begin with but then sags like a despondent Buddha as it empties and its belly creases. It is also presumably jostled by the other contents of the sack.

Which probably explains why yesterday, having just started my walk from Mirepoix, I discovered that it was not raining on the back of my legs but the tube had become loose where it meets the bladder. There were several inches of water in the bottom of the sack. Among the things swimming in this water was not only the deflated Buddha, but my camera, which is now showing no signs of life.

So not only did I wreck the camera but I was left with less than a litre of water for a walk of 32 kms. The resulting wobbliness was a good reminder to get it right next time.

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