Thursday, March 20, 2014

DISABLED HIKER Eps-2 Video Library


Eps-2, Part-1. – THE HIKE IN.

* Filming the second episode became increasingly difficult as the colder months closed in on me. I had dealt with several health issues over the preceding summer months that seemed determined to put me out of action until the following year. However with a little extra cold weather gear I was able to pull it off.
In hindsight I would say I had everything I needed except for one thing. Something I left behind in order to save a little weight in my pack. But that item will become apparent in part -8 of eps-2.
For now just sit back and enjoy part-1. The Hike In, with the same assumptions I had at the time..... ie; I had everything I needed with me.


Eps-2, Part-2. – WHY A TENT?

* This part of episode 2 dives into some of the little things to look for when looking for the proper campsite. Especially when you have back problems. Simply doubling up on the sleeping pads you carry can really enhance the experience. As well part two also touches on why one would prefer a tent over a hammock especially in cooler temperatures. This one's for you chronic pain sufferers as there is not one among us that does not suffer at the hands of the cold icy dagger-like grip that comes along with being slightly hyperthermic. Often I think because of the pain I've become acutely sensitive to the cold. So staying warm is essential if I intend to enjoy myself out there.



* Strangely enough the word Atlatl was the most accurate term I could find to describe the ball throwing device. The Atlatl was a prehistoric spear throwing lever that enabled prehistoric man to bring down things as large as mastodons and mammoths. And just calling it a ball throwing who–jiggy–ma–whatsit just didn't sound right to me. However considering the modifications I had to make sticking with it's store-bought name wasn't such a hot idea either in my mind. Just imagine a world where when you saw a need for something useful you simply created it. Yup, that's where I live.
When it comes to hanging a bear bag just when I think I've seen it all someone comes along and proves to me that I can still be surprised from time to time. Such as the group of young folks I saw who preferred to hang their bear bag directly over their tent while boldly stating, "There! If the bear wants my food he's going to have to stand on me to get it." ..... I don't know what made this gentleman think that a bear would not be more than happy to stand on him to get to his food. But these are the people I like to camp far far away from. Especially after losing so much mobility. There's an old joke about two men standing in the woods. One turns to the other and says, "If a bear attacks remember, I don't have to worry about out running the bear. I just have to worry about out running you." I always remember that joke when I see a bear. And then looking back at my hiking dog I start to wonder. Hmmm. Did he hear this joke before too?



* THE SHIYO WILDERNESS DOG RUN is one I experimented with for many years. Even though S'iyo was never much for running off. Their were plenty of times where I needed to know that he was not going beyond his boundaries. Such as while I was setting up camp and he tended to be a little underfoot. Which as you can imagine is something that gets a little interesting for me. It also comes in handy In the wee morning hours when your hiking partner wants to go find that special tree that needs watering out there somewhere, and you don't exactly feel like climbing out of your nice warm sleeping bag to go watch the selection process.


Eps-2, Part-5. – * A PAIN IN THE WOODS.

                         * THE HOOK.

                         * THE REAL WORLD.

* A PAIN IN THE WOODS. Most of us who have survived 15 years or more on heavy pain meds have stories about overdoing it. Striving so hard to achieve that pain free feeling once so familiar to you comes at a heavy cost. At one time I thought that cost was a necessary evil of my situation. I seem to constantly be hiding the amount of pain I was in from my supervisors at work and even from my family. But, just as all bad ideas do. It led to some serious consequences. And so although I may say I wish the drugs were stronger. I know the consequences of that as well and today I'm content to just keep on wishing.

* THE HOOK I had originally designed after becoming frustrated when attempting to throw my knives as I had once done in order to get some much needed exercise. However my skills had diminished over time and the constant bending and squatting to pick up missed blades quickly took its toll. Soon after I started I would be in pain. The whole idea was to take something I used to love and use it to get some amount of exercise. But this wasn't working at all. At first I tried one of those store-bought grabber devices. However the blades proved to be too heavy for the jaws to maintain a grip on them. Then it occurred to me that almost every blade had at least some whole and the handle and that perhaps something as simple as an L shaped hook was all I really needed. I soon found myself lasting a full 10 min. at a time throwing my knives. Twice as long as before considering before creating this little gem I would have spent most of that time adding to my pain making any exercise I got from it counterproductive and frustrating. This little invention really blossomed though as soon as I took it hiking with me. I keep it close in case I drop a walking stick or other gear while wearing my pack. I've even found myself tying little loops of string on many of my things so they can be more easily retrieved by The Hook should I drop them.

* As for THE REAL WORLD? ...... it's real and it's out there, so get out there and enjoy it.


Eps-2, Part-6. – *THE BIG FALL.

* After years of hiking Pennsylvania trails I can honestly say that falling today does not scare me anymore or any less than falling when I was completely healthy. To be honest, it scares the crap out of you just as much. Often when falling the only thing there to catch you is a pile of rocks. All pointing upwards sharply of course. If you're lucky you can turn and land on your pack. Sadly and more often than not you come down on your knees adding catastrophe to injury. Even the healthiest of hikers can be taken out by a single and seemingly innocent fall. I guess that's why, as the old saying goes. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Early in my disabled hiking days I decided it's just better to be prepared then to be put out of action. And part six has everything you need to be ready for, The Big Fall.

* Even though he is not in the frame most of the time my dog S'iyo was a very big part of filming this segment. As I laid there recording he stood constant and silent watch over me standing just a few feet off the right. In fact he always made me feel well protected out there. It is for this reason that at the end of part six you will notice a short remembrance of my protector and friend S'iyo S'unka. There is no love so deep as that of a faithful dog.


Eps-2, Part-7. –  D.H. EQUIPMENT REVIEW.


* My daughter Jamie bought this for me for Christmas a few years back when I was in the process of trying to find lighter gear. These candle lanterns are the lightest and from what I've found they are also very well made. Sadly however I cannot say the same about the tea light candles manufactured to put into them. Even the more expensive ones seem to have this common flaw to their design. Part seven goes over how you can turn the cheapest of tea light candles into a Tea Light Powerhouse for your lantern.


Eps-2, Part-8. – * NIGHT VISITOR.

               *EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED.

* Encounters with wildlife, the land and water. Even the elements. That's one of the biggest reasons I still love to go out there. "Surprise me Mother Nature!" Let's just say that this night however, was just full of surprises.


Eps-2, Part-9. – *PACKING AIDS.

* Often packing and unpacking can be a tiring chore in itself. Part nine sheds light on a few methods I've come to really appreciate over the years. Used in conjunction with The Hook (featured in part 5.) I can easily pack everything myself as well is put my own pack on without adding to my pain and discomfort.... Well, most of the time anyway.


Eps-2, Part-10. – * TIME TO GO HOME.

* As a footnote to part 10. Please be careful when attempting to get out there again. Take every precaution. Never hike alone. Always carry bear spray, a whistle, and a cell phone. Don't overdo it by expecting too much of yourself. And most of all and at the top of your list above all the others, Have Fun out There. It's your world too. And you deserve your piece of it and place in it.
Mitakuye Oyasi
(we are all related.)
Terry Craig ~the Disabled Hiker


Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Disabled Hiker: Tas'unka's Trail

:"Hi my name is Tas'unka  and I'm Terry's new hiking partner. I came to Terry through the Save Our Saint's, St. Bernard ..."

 Check out the full story at 

The Disabled Hiker. Tas'unka's Trail

Friday, March 7, 2014

 The Disabled Hiker, eps-1, Video Library


Greetings Disabled hikers and Innovative Thinkers.

After my hiking dog S'iyo (She-yo) was diagnosed with a terminal heart condition. I felt it necessary to take a hiatus to care for my faithful hiking companion. Sadly he lost his battle with his condition 
this past January 13, 2014. 
S'iyo played a big part in allowing me access to the wilderness as both protector and companion. Knowing how much he loved our hikes together I could not imagine hanging up my hiking equipment for good. No sir. He never would have wanted that for sure.
Therefore in the spirit of remembering the good times past as well is anticipating the ones yet to come. I've begun the process of reediting episodes 1 and 2 (ie; the S'iyo episodes) into shorter clips creating a video library so that the information can be more easily accessed.

Episode 1 and 2 can still be found in their entirety at the following links.
The Disabled Hiker (eps. 1.)
 The Disabled Hiker (eps. 2.)

And now here for your viewing pleasure and In honor of fallen companions.
Episode 1 of
The Disabled Hiker, parts 1 thru 7 

The Disabled Hiker, shorts from eps-1, part-1. * Intro to Disabled Hiking.
is just a short introduction to not only my dog and myself but also gives a bit of insight into my packing list and the weight each item adds to my pack. Keeping it light is essential.


The Disabled Hiker, shorts from eps-1, part-2* Rules for the Disabled Hiker
touches on a few of the basic considerations when planning your outing. It's important to be safe out there yet at the same time not leave loved ones behind worrying about where you got to or when you'd be back.


The Disabled Hiker, short eps-1, part-3,  
* The Rock Cairn Fireplace & * A few words on Bear Spray.
* The Rock Cairn Fire Place is a method of using flat rocks to not only protect the environment from the fire spreading but also protects the fire from wind and rain. It also promotes a more responsible fuel consumption by using a smaller amount of wood and allowing the heated rocks to do most of the work. oh yea, and of course by simply scattering the ashes and putting the extra rocks back in this method also protects the environment from those big ugly and over used fire pits found in almost every prime camp site across the land. (except the ones we keep secret that is aye.)
* A Few Words On Using Bear Spray gives a little insight into some info you might not find just hanging around the trails and hiking sites.
Be careful out there but for Pete sake get out there and enjoy the wild places.


The Disabled Hiker, short eps-1, part-4
* Pain management, *Hiking Companions, *Trail Safety & Comfort.
*Pain Management is a very difficult subject for me. On all fronts. So i would like the present video to speak for me on this subject. And to simply tell anyone seeking "pain management" for extreme long-term pain that I wish you luck in your search.
*Hiking Partners covers the main reason why you should never hike alone. Anything can happen. Just by taking your dog with you it is adding a level of alertness to you on the trail as when you are worried about the next step you are taking. The last thing you want to worry about is walking unknowingly right up to a bear or worse down a steep hill. Think your "mutt" wont be smart enough? Think again. Even if they aren't Lassie or  RinTinTin you'll be amazed at their ability's
*Hiking Safety and Comfort covers some tricks I've learned over the years for both man and dog aimed at letting wildlife from as large as a bear to as small as a snake know you are near. Allowing them plenty of time to get out of the way cause your coming threw. - It also covers ways to keep your dog comfortable while hiking. Especially in the cooler months or when hiking with an older dog.


The Disabled Hiker, short eps-1, part-5 
* Bear Encounter #963 & the Birds That Laugh At You.
Shortly before dark a large black bear came right up to the edge of our camp before he noticed S'iyo and I were sitting there. He surprised us just as much as I only herd his last few footsteps at the edge of camp. For their size bear are incredibly stealthy. In fact some Indigenous tribes here used to call them ghosts because they were famous for seemingly appearing out of nowhere.


The Disabled Hiker, short. eps-1, part-6
*S'iyo's Sleeping Bag.  *My Hammock Pros & Cons.
*S'iyo's sleeping bag became a necessity after seeing S'iyo shivering on our second hike together. It was an unusually cold summer with night teps that went down into the high 40's. At the time I opened up my bag and used it to blanket the both of us. But as usual my experiences get my mind going and the next thing you know, you have S'iyo's Sleeping Bag.
*My Hammock Pros & Cons focuses on one particular experience I had when using a hammock without putting up a tarp over it. Allowing wildlife to get a little closer than I would have liked.


The Disabled Hiker, short. eps-1, part-7 * My Home Made Stove & Cooking Set.
As my last installment in episode 1 I've had decades to "mess" with this one folks. (Pun fully intended. Ha-ha) But when it comes down to it, I don't like to cook out there any more than I like to cook at home. So why would I take my misery with me aye?
That's when I stared taking foods with me that I did not need to cook and even some I'd found that I could eat both raw or simply roasted over a flame. This cook set also allowed enough hot water capacity to heat 2 cups of water for those dehydrated meals you can purchase (Some have asked about that second tin cup..) But you will need another heat source to heat the second cup synonymously.