Saturday 10 July 2010

Salar de Uyuni - Challenges (Part 2)


Single file nowImage by Jessie Reeder via Flickr
There are no sources of water in the Salar de Uyuni so I will have to carry all my water with me. I am assuming I will need 8 liters per day. I will need to find containers that will not burst when the water freezes in them. The weight of the water (and the rest of the stuff) means that I will not be able to carry everything on my back, so I am going to need some other means of...


I will need some sort of cart to put everything in. I will then be pulling the cart by way of a harness/attachment system. There are two options:
  • Get it from the UK and carry it to Bolivia
  • Get it built while in Bolivia before the expedition.
A cycle trolley will have to be modified to be used for walking.
Licancabur ReflectionImage by magnusvk via Flickr

The problem with buying one from here is that it might not be large enough or strong enough to take what I need to carry: the volume and weight of which is impossible to determine with accuracy before my departure.

Getting the trolley built there has obvious drawbacks: I may not be able to find the people  and equipment to help me build one.

Hard Ground

The salt on the Salar is so hard  it will be impossible to use normal tent pegs. Securing the tent will be very important due to the high winds that blow across the Salar.

One solution would be to stake the tent out with bottles of water. The issue with that is of course that bottles will gradually empty and after a few days they will not be heavy enough to hold the tent.
The Uyuni Salt flat is made of of various laye...Image via Wikipedia

The solution I am going for is to use very strong tent pegs and a hammer to drive them into the salt each night.

I plan to carry the pegs with me but I intend to buy the hammer in Bolivia.

What might happen of course is that once driven in the pegs will be very difficult to pull out. It is of course impossible to determine if thi is the case unless I go thre and try. The other thing that is impossible to determine beforehand is whether the salt will break and crumble when the peg is hammered in.

Different Kinds of Tent Pegs
 The photo on the right shows (from left to right):

  1. A normal low quality tent peg 
  2. A high-quality low-weight Hilleberg peg made from aluminium
  3. A snow tent peg 
  4. A hard ground tent peg  - basically a massive nail.

Hard Ground Pro Tent Pegs

Hard Ground Peg Close Up

I haven't tried these "Hard ground pro" tent pegs before so I will post a review when I come back from the Salar. They are certainly quite heavy so you wouldn't want to use them unless the ground was really hard and there were no other means of securing your tent.
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