A few more Thoughts on Death Valley

posted Mar 10, 2016, 6:25 AM by Paul Wagner
Looking back down Jayhawker. We'd heard there were petroglyphs up in this area.... ©http://backpackthesierra.com
ne thing we noticed when we camped at Death Valley and cooked our usual backpacking dinners: water seemed to boil more quickly (because of the denser air?) and it boiled at a full 212 degrees.  Which meant that our food was hotter, and stayed hotter, than it does at 10,000 feet.  After a few burned lips and tongues, we began to get the message, and adapted accordingly...

Of course, this also means that the dinners we ate were actually cooked the way they were intended to be cooked---we didn't have to calculate the differences and add waiting time for elevation.  That part was nice.  We used this trip to try a few different meals and styles, with an eye to this summer's extended backpacking trips.  We found some good things!

And Death Valley is dry.  Sure, it was only in the mid-80s during the day there, and it never got below about 55 at night, but we still found ourselves drinking a LOT of water.  The humidity is so low that you don't even notice you are sweating...until you check your shirt for salt stains. 

The NPS recommends a gallon a day, and we probably drank more than that on some days
. Then again, we were hiking more than most people.