Last week we talked about making sure you bring enough water on camping and hiking trips and ways you can more easily carry that water on your back. However, in the Daily Report, we are asked to conserve water, due to the continuing danger of fires. How can one conserve water, even in an area where water is hard to come by? Let’s look at a couple of useful suggestions.
Where You Store It
Where and how you store water can either help you save water or help you waste it. A tightly sealed container will prevent evaporation from taking some of your supplies, especially in warm or hot weather. Also, water that is kept in several smaller containers will lead to more waste, since you usually can’t help but leave some moisture in the bottom of each bottle. One large container can prevent this.
When Washing and Cooking
Washing your hands or dishes can be the most wasteful activities you’ll do while camping. What can you do to conserve? Pouring water directly from a container onto the ground as if it were an outdoor sink means loosing a lot of water to the ground. The picture to the right is an ingenious idea, which can be found at the Instructables website along with detailed, step-by-step instructions on how to make it. This field sink helps to conserve water while washing, and it doesn’t require any electricity, thanks to the handy foot pump. You can click the link and study the pictures (both in the original post and in the comments) and perhaps make your own design. (Be sure to thank the creator in the comments if it works for you.)
When cooking, water can be wasted when you overboil things. Making coffee in the morning? Nothing wrong with that, but don’t leave the pot over the fire so that half the water comes out as steam. Rememeber, every drop counts!
Why It Is Important
Why should you care about conserving water? Remember that, with fires still burning in parts of Texas, water is a valuable commodity in the area. And if a fire starts in Big Bend Area, the local reserves need to be as full as possible. It’s good to keep in mind, and most of Texas get’s its water from only a couple of water sources. So the water you use from a sink near Big Bend is the same water that’s fighting fires elsewhere.
There are some views you just can't take in all at once. Like a dazzling sunset or breathtaking field of wildflowers—you just can't appreciate such beauty in the moment, a moment that is often over before you realize it, the forms and colors of that marvelous vista already fading in your memory. Perhaps it was with the goal of preserving such scenes that the first camera was invented, a goal that you may still share when you visit a place as beautiful as Big Bend and the surrounding area. Why not take a look through our new and improved photo galleries to see what amazing sights have been preserved by astounded visitors and appreciative locals? When you see the mountains, plains, flora, and fauna displayed in those images, you'll be glad the gallery contributors took their camera along.
Among the many activities available in Big Bend National Park that highlight the region's diversity of wildlife, birding can be enjoyable and promising. Big Bend engulfs a vast area, bounded by the the rushing Rio Grande valley to the south, containing high peaks in the Chisos Mountains, and boasting both desert and forest climates between the two. It embodies the very diversity that makes America great, providing countless opportunities to spot more than 450 birds in one area.
What are your new year's resolutions for 2012? Did you keep your resolutions for 2011? While the top resolutions each year include losing weight, learning something new, traveling, or getting out of debt, here's a new challenge you can take on this year: spot all the bird species in Big Bend National Park.
Big Bend has some of the most spectacular scenery in Texas, if not the entire US. Our big sky country rivals any other state and our night skies are as dark as anywhere for excellent star gazing. The beautiful light and great scenery make for a photographer’s paradise.
There are many things you may love to do in Big Bend National Park in the heat of summer, but running or jogging is probably not one of them. With 90+ degree temperatures, there simply is no such thing as a nice July run in West Texas. With the dry weather we've had this year, you have truly hostile workout conditions. That all changes this time of year, though, as temperatures drop and the sun gives us a break for a few months. What a great time to get out on some trails in Big Bend!