Wanted to share a cool idea that we’ve come up with for trail marking that I haven’t seen being used out there yet. We’ll call them “trailies”. This is a take off of the words that the idea originated from- “throwies” and “glowies“.
I just learned about “throwies”about a week and a half ago and started on the idea late, so we won’t be able to have too many of them (about 100) on the course. Thus far, the idea is going so well that it seems possible and quite economical to do all night time markings using “trailies” in the future. We’ll have the standard fare of reflective tape and glow sticks this year since the materials have already been purchased and distributed to trail markers and we want to try it out first. The lights and batteries I ordered got here 5 days ago and my test subjects have been lit constantly for 5 days now and are still burning pretty bright.
Cost breakdown of a throwie: 5mm LED light= $0.16, CR2032 battery= $0.20, Clothespin= $0.04, and 3″ of electrical tape= $0.01. That puts the total at around 40 cents per marker, half of which can be re-used for next year. Seems very reasonable to mark an entire course well with LED lights spaced at 50-100 yds, significantly reducing the # of runners going off course.
Add a 17″ outdoor balloon and rent a helium tank and you’ve got some “glowies”. We’ll have a different color of glowies marking each aid station through the night, hopefully you’ll be able to see them from afar as you’re trekking through the desert towards your destination. If there’s wind we won’t be able to float them up very high, but on a calm night they’ll be floating over 100 ft. in the air. Apple Valley might get some UFO sightings Friday night 🙂
The light in this balloon has been going for 5 days now. The 17″ balloon (about $0.25 each) stopped floating after about 15 hours, plenty of time to get through the night! (FYI- If you buy a pre-made “glowie” you’ll pay about $2 each and they only glow for 3-4 hrs. and get a smaller, poor quality balloon that only floats for about that long).
Here are the ingredients we picked up at the local health food store to make a big batch of vegan broth for the aid stations. Abe and I have been busy making electrolyte snow cones and we’ve got some awesome boiled red potatoes marinated in Italian dressing that we’ll be serving at the aid stations.
Many nights spent organizing once the kids are in bed. Our garage and storage unit are filled to the max!