Located 30 miles off the pavement to the West of Grand Canyon Village lies South Bass Trailhead. The trail is one of the lesser used trails in the Grand Canyon. South Bass links up to the heavier traveled Tonto Trail and is also one of the starting points for the Royal Arch Loop. On this particular weekend we were headed down to the Colorado River for the evening and then returning out the same trail we descended. The trail drops down through canyon and provides some excellent views of the canyon.
In what seems like an endless quest, we headed to Southern Arizona to take on Arizona Trail Sections 1-3. A long weekend, 53 miles, and lack of reliable water; what could go wrong? The first three sections of the AZT run from the Mexico border through the Huachuca Mountains and ultimately ending in Patagonia. Along the route we would nearly bag a 9,000' peak; pass countless spur trails; pass Parker Lake and pick our way through fields of catclaw. This trip had 'Type Two' written all over it, but somehow I missed that. Or rather I ignored that as this trip had been postponed so many times, due to work life and logistics. None the less, we survived.
When I bought my Salomon running vests they came with Hydrapak 1.5 Liter reservoirs. I had never used any of their products before. In the past my packs have had Camelbak, off-brand, MSR Dromedary/Dromlite, and Blackburn. In Arizona, especially the Phoenix area, hydration is a matter of life and death. Multiple times throughout summer months there are news stories of individuals being rescued, or recovered and often it involves a lack of water. In some places across the county you can get away with just carrying a Nalgene bottle and refilling along the way. The distance between water sources isn't measured by miles in Arizona, but in days. Therefore you have to put a lot of faith in your water reservoir system.