Introduction to Wilderness First Aids (Chinese Version Only)

圖/文:Phylix
日期:2017年12月2日
——在Facebook上分享讚好,或對這篇文章發表你的看法

注意:本文章純屬作者個人見解,並不反映香港野外訓練中心或其他相關機構的立場或意見。

相信大家對急救都有多少的認識, 但在野外環境我們有的物資有限, 人手有限, 遠離醫療設備如救護車有可能長達一小時或以上。試想想, 如果有一天你的同伴在長咀一處大約5米高的崖邊墜地, 雖然有呼吸脈搏但一直昏迷, 在沒有電話訊號的情況下你並未能作出求救, 那時候你可以怎樣幫到他呢?

(A) 現場評估 (Scene Assessment)
– 安全 (Safety), 作為急救員, 首要考慮的是自身及同行者的安全, 傷者已傷, 切勿讓自己及同行者成為另一位傷者。此外, 在接觸傷者前配戴手套亦是保障自己及傷者的安全。
– 受傷原因 (Mechanism of Injury), 一個大概的印象傷者是如何受傷的, 以避免再有人同樣受傷, 例如你留意到傷者旁邊有些碎石疑似從高處落下, 或是雷電交加, 你便要考慮將成個急救程序移至安全環境進行。
– 人數 (Number), 檢視一下同行者的人數與傷者的人數, 作出適當的人手安排。

過往亦有數宗事件是同行者救人心切, 而令自己身陷險境, 更需要救援人員緊急協助。筆者自己在數天前在石澗受到教訓, 遇到個小小的意外, 因為想急於幫人而令自己滑倒, 腳部受傷需要到急症室治療, 因此, 筆者學會了冷靜的應對是急救員首要的任務。

(B) 初步評估 (Primary Assessment)
接近傷者時, 第一時間是要檢查身體最重要的三個系統運作與否, 例如沒有呼吸脈搏的話, 我們須立即為傷者進行CPR。

– 血液循環系統 (Circulatory System), 一般我們會檢查傷者的頸靜脈有沒有脈搏, 並留意傷者有沒有大量出血。
– 呼吸系統 (Respiratory System), 檢查傷者氣道是否暢通並有沒有呼吸。除了將耳朵放近傷者的鼻孔, 我們亦可以將手放在傷者的胸腔上觀察有沒有起伏。
– 神經系統 (Nervous System), 首先要評估傷者的清醒程度 (AVPU), 傷者是否清醒並對答自如 (Alert), 對聲音有反應, 疲倦渴睡, 但仍可回答簡單問題 (Responsive to Vocal Stimuli), 只是對痛楚有反應, 未必能有語言反應, 可能是身體反應 (Responsive to Painful Stimuli) 或者最差的情況, 全無反應 (Unresponsive)。我們亦可留意傷者有否受到撞擊導致頸椎或脊椎受損, 如有任何懷疑, 應立即替傷者固定頭部並減少移動。

整個初步評估應在半分鐘內完成, 如果傷者有呼吸脈搏, 我們便可開始進行次級評估 (Secondary Assessment)。

(C) 次級評估 (Secondary Assessment)
次級評估的目的是要找出受傷的問題所在, 找出傷者是因為外在環境 (天氣, 地形, 創傷)或是因為健康問題而受傷。
– 詳細身體檢查 (Head-to-toe exam), 首先為傷者由頭到腳趾進行檢查, 有否疼痛, 出血, 腫脹, 骨骼是否變型, 骨折, 皮膚有否變色, 遠端手指腳指有沒有感覺或血液回流。
– 生命表徵 (Vital Signs), 為傷者定時5-15分鐘量度清醒程度 (AVPU), 呼吸 (Respiratory Rate), 脈搏 (Pulse Rate), 體溫 (Temperature), 皮膚顏色及濕度 (Skin Color & Moisture)。這些數據幫助顯示傷者的情況是轉好, 穩定或轉差。有空不防花數分鐘量度一下自己或者身邊朋友的Vital Signs, 比較一下。
– 病歷紀錄 (SAMPLE History), 多方面評估傷者有沒有機會因為病歷影響而受傷。
Signs and symptoms (病徵/病狀): 傷者有任何地方感痛楚, 頭痛, 麻痺, 想嘔吐, 從而得知有冇受傷地方並未發現。
Allergy (敏感): 傷者有否對食物, 藥物, 花粉, 昆蟲敏感。若然你看到傷者的皮膚有紅點或紅腫, 痕癢, 呼吸吞嚥困難, 你可以調查傷者是否對過敏源有反應或者更嚴重的是致命的過敏性反應。
Medication (服食的藥物): 傷者是否需要服用藥物或者有沒有隨身的藥物, 是否需要急救員協助下服用藥物?
Pertinent History – 病歷: 傷者是否曾經有類似情況出現, 或者有冇沒長期病患。
Last-in/out – 上一次進食/排出: 除了詢問傷者的飲食狀況, 還要知道傷者的排出是否正常, 顏色是否正常。
Events – 受傷原因: 紀錄詳細的受傷, 以便讓救援人員得知意外經過。

(D) 登山意外求救書
處理傷者時, 急救員可利用登山意外求救書 (按此下載) 或者其他機構發行的S.O.A.P. Note 可以幫助整理所有受傷資訊, 避免有遺漏的資料沒有作紀錄及評估。但注意, 求救書需要一式兩份, 讓求救小隊往外尋求救援時亦可詳細交代傷者的狀況, 以派備合適的器材。

參考資料:
1. American Red Cross (2014). Wilderness and Remote First Aid: Emergency Reference Guide. Retrieved September 20, 2017 from https://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m49440095_WRFA_ERG_9781584806295.pdf

2. CHKMCU (2017). 登山事故處理步驟. Retrieved September 23, 2017 from http://www.hkmu.org.hk/images/stories/101/hiking_2017_05.pdf

3. CHKMCU (2017). 嚴重過敏及哮喘病發的認識及處理. Retrieved September 23, 2017 from http://www.hkmu.org.hk/images/stories/101/anaphylaxis%20and%20asthma_2017_2.pdf

4. Cox, S. M. & Fulsaas, K. (2007). Mountaineering: The Freedom of the Hills. Seattle, WA, USA: The Mountaineers Books.

5. Morrissey, J. & Johnson, D. (2017). The Field Guide of Wilderness & Rescue Medicine, United States: Wilderness Medical Associates.

6. National Association of Emergency Medical Technicians Us (naemt) & (2014). PHTLS: Prehospital Trauma Life Support. Sudbury, PA, USA: Jones and Bartlett Publishers, Inc.

 

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Think You're Having a Heat Stroke? That's Heat Exhaustion! (Chinese Version Only)

圖/文:Him
日期:2017年10月15日
——在Facebook上分享讚好,或對這篇文章發表你的看法

注意:本文章純屬作者個人見解,並不反映香港野外訓練中心或其他相關機構的立場或意見。

不少遠足人士都會認為香港的夏天係四季入面最靚。夏天個海同天特別清特別藍,連影張呃like相都零舍靚。隨着行山文化普及,夏天上山的朋友越來越多,同時有關懷疑中暑的個案亦接二連三發生。「中暑」兩個字其實好得人驚,平時如果你有留意新聞報導都應該知道嚴重中暑可以導致死亡。大部份人對中暑的認識仍然停留在「頭暈暈、作嘔、體力不支」等症狀,但原來中暑之前還有一個階段叫熱衰竭,而且同樣會令人「頭暈暈、作嘔、體力不支」。究竟點樣去分辨兩者呢?遇上熱衰竭或者中暑時又應該點做呢?今回HKWTC會同大家探討一下中暑與熱衰竭這兩個熱疾病、如何去即時處理以及一些預防熱疾病的措施。

我地每人都有一個「恆溫器」

人體本身有一套完整的恆溫機制去穩定和調節正常體溫 (約攝氏36.5 – 37.5度),呢個機制可分為2大部份:行為調節與生理調節

行為調節:身體會因應處於不同環境的感覺,下意識去作出一些行為令自己處於較舒適的狀態。例如天氣凍我地會拎多件衫着或者匿埋係室內環境取暖;天氣熱我地會盡量着少啲衫,甚至開冷氣去降低周圍的環境溫度。

生理調節:身體內部會因應不同環境去作出一些調整。身體感到熱時會透過血液活動(血液會帶著體內熱力由核心流向身體各處接近皮膚)同流汗 (身體水份通過汗腺分泌出體外蒸發)去散熱;身體感到凍時會透過血液活動(血液從遠端回流到核心的器官群集中熱量)同肌肉動作(例如打冷顫去增加代謝速率從而產生熱量)去提升體溫。

乜野係熱衰竭?

上文提及,人體散熱時血液會流向皮膚,這個時候皮膚下的血管會擴張好讓更多血液能進入。如果血管過度擴張而血液量並沒增多便代表血液回流到心臟的速度減緩,這會令心輸出不足以應付整個循環系統,加上身體於大量流汗時流失過多水份及鹽份(而且未能及時補充),令身體出現虛脱 (例如頭暈暈、四肢軟弱無力等) 的情況。這個於夏天很常見的情況便是熱衰竭。不當或延遲處理熱衰竭有機會使情況惡化,進而釀成中暑。

即時處理方法:
• 將傷病者移到陰涼的地方
• 適量脫去衣服
• 扇涼,並用冷水抹身或灑身
• 將沾上冷水的毛巾或冰袋放於頸部、腋下或大腿內側等主動脈位置
• 如傷病者神志清醒,並沒有嘔吐情況,可以每15分鐘飲半杯水或電解質飲料
• 如傷病者情況轉差或神志不清,必須報警求助並送院治理

中暑熱衰竭徵狀找不同

熱衰竭 中暑
皮膚濕冷蒼白 皮膚乾燥潮紅 (密不透風的環境)
蒼白有汗 (異常酷熱的戶外環境)
體溫略高 體溫升至攝氏40度或以上
脈搏微弱、頻率高 脈搏強烈、頻率高
頭痛、暈眩、抽筋及噁心
  嚴重者會神智不清,
甚至人事不省

咁點先為之中暑?

中暑和嚴重的熱衰竭的徵狀可以好相似,患者同樣會頭暈暈同作嘔。甚至一般急救課程所指中暑患者會皮膚泛紅發熱但無汗出也不完全正確。於酷熱的戶外環境,中暑患者很大機會是汗流浹背且面色蒼白的。那我們如何辨別中暑?

中暑最明顯的特點有2個:
1)患者核心體溫已達攝氏40度或以上
2)患者的中樞神經系統功能受到障礙,導致神志不清或昏迷。

由於環境因素令身體散熱功能受阻 (天氣非常炎熱潮濕或處於密不透風的環境) 或是身體未能適應劇烈運動於體內所產生的熱,中暑患者身體已不能如常地散熱 (身體恆溫系統失調),體內的熱力無法散出導致體溫急升。這個體內過熱的情況會令腦部、心臟、腎臟等器官的溫度過高,形同器官群被火燒一樣。情況嚴重者器官會失調,衰竭,最後死亡。所以,中暑屬於嚴重危害生命的熱疾病,必須把握在短時間內作出適當處理。

即時處理方法:
• 第一時間報警求助 (中暑屬嚴重病患,必須送院治理)
• 降溫措施與熱衰竭相同
• 重複所有降溫措施,直至體溫降至約攝氏38度為止
• 切勿給予傷病者任何飲食,因傷病者有可能會處於人事不省的狀態

「預防」措施

看到這裡,相信你也許會發覺其實我們是不可能完全「預防」熱衰竭及中暑,因為它們形成的因素除了環境外,還取決於身體對熱的適應能力。當然,我們還是有很多方法去減低這些熱疾病發生的機會:

• 帶足夠的飲料 (視乎天氣、運動量、個人需要等因素)
• 補充水份要及時,不要覺得「好口乾」才喝水
• 進行戶外活動時宜循序漸進,時刻留意自己的身體狀況,切忌「頂硬上」
• 穿著輕便及通爽透氣衣物,有助身體散熱
• 規劃行程時可選擇避免在正午時分進行戶外運動
• 出發前有充足的休息及能量吸收
• 慢慢使自己習慣在熱的環境活動,使身體有更強的熱適應能力

結語

熱衰竭惡化至中暑的時間可長可短,視乎環境因素及個人身體狀況而定。及時察覺熱衰竭及中暑的早期徵狀,把握急救時機,分分鐘可以救回一命。了解清楚關於熱衰竭及中暑的資料,大家都可以盡情享受夏天行山的樂趣。

參考資料

[1] 明報 (2016) 注意熱衰竭 把握急救時機 中暑﹕先狂冒汗 後無汗:http://news.mingpao.com/pns/dailynews/web_tc/article/20160725/s00005/1469383239873

[2] 醫療輔助隊 (2011) 實用急救手冊

[3] PHTLS 到院前創傷生命救援 (第七版

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圖/文:Peter
日期:2017年9月26日
——在Facebook上分享讚好,或對這篇文章發表你的看法

注意:本文章純屬作者個人見解,並不反映香港野外訓練中心或其他相關機構的立場或意見。

A君:今個星期六我哋去行大城石澗好唔好呀?
B君:Err….. 大城石澗幾多星架….?
A君:某某網站話條澗1星咋喎~
B君:……..

行得山多,你有無試過同人有過類似嘅討論?如果你都問過人哋呢啲問題、或者畀人問過呢啲問題,你有無發現其實呢啲問題都有問題?
例如:
(a)嗰啲代表“難度”嘅星星,係邊個訂出嚟嘅呢?同埋係畀邊個人睇?要過一條斑馬線對於一個成年人嚟講係完全無難度,一粒星都畀多佢;但對於一個三歲小朋友嚟講,要自己過馬路又唔畀車撞死,呢個已經係一個“5星級”嘅task… 行山徑嘅呢啲星星,係畀新手睇定係高手睇架呢?
(b) 石澗又有1-5星嘅路線,郊遊徑又有1-5星嘅路線;咁一條1星嘅石澗嘅難度,係咪等於一條1星山徑嘅難度?如果係,咁咪即係行嗰條石澗同行一條石屎路無分別?如果唔係,咁1星嘅石澗嘅難度等於幾多星嘅山徑?有無方程式可以做換算?
(c) 假設呢條行山徑有3星,咁即係我要帶幾多水、帶幾多嘢食?我要預行幾耐?一條3公里嘅行山徑佢又話係3星,一條30公里嘅行山徑佢又話係3星… 究竟呢啲“星星”係點訂出嚟架?

如果你都有思考過呢啲問題,你就會發現,其實最根本嗰個問題係:呢啲雜誌、網站所制定嘅“星星”難度指標,係根據咩嘢標準去畀分?唔好以為幫路線嘅難度畀分係兒戲嘅事,自己“feel like”條路線有幾難就比幾多分——咁兒戲嘅話,一嚟因為你嘅評分無根據任何客觀標準,人哋睇左其實都唔知條山徑係咩樣,有評分等於無評分;二嚟如果有人真係信晒你嘅評分,結果行咗一條你覺得好易,但原來對攀登者技巧有好高要求嘅路線,佢無準備好,就會出意外,到時就累死人。
認真地講,求其做,呢啲“星星”評分只係一啲喺網絡上譁眾取寵嘅伎倆,隨時害人不淺;但如果做得好,呢啲難度評分可以向登山者提供有用嘅資訊,等佢哋做好充足嘅準備,減少意外發生嘅機會。

你以為淨係得某某雜誌先識得幫山徑難度評分?其實為登山線路嘅難度評級呢個做法由來已久,由世界上第一本guide book出現開始,登山界已經不斷為唔同嘅攀登線路制定難度評級,因此發展出好多唔同嘅評級系統。呢啲系統表達嘅模式同時下好多網絡雜誌嘅所謂評分好似,都不過係幫一條線路打個分數姐;但好唔同嘅係,人哋呢啲評分系統係真係“有base”、有客觀標準,熟悉呢啲系統嘅人,係真係可以根據呢啲分數去推測某條路線嘅難度架!

全世界唔同國家嘅政府,都會為自己管轄範圍內嘅登山路線做難度評分(香港漁農自然護理署都唔例外)。“如何為登山徑難度評分”甚至係某啲大學教授嘅研究題目嚟添。所以其實登山路線評級大有學問,今日,就等我哋一齊睇下,釐定登山路線嘅難度,有幾多種方法!

喺2007年,時任Project Officier嘅Alvaro Arias,幫澳洲政府嘅Department of Sustainability and Environment做咗一個好詳盡嘅概覽,羅列咗澳洲、紐西蘭、美國、英國、加拿大、南非同愛爾蘭呢幾個國家嘅政府,喺自己國家公園入面實施嘅山徑難度評級系統。嗰篇報告嘅題目叫《Overview of Existing Walking Trail Classification Systems》——如果你淨係識得睇完某網頁嘅評分,然後就同人哋講嚟緊星期六要行嗰條山路有幾多星,但當人哋問你3星即係有幾難你又答唔出嘅話,咁就真係應該上網搵呢份報告嚟睇下,開下眼界。舉個例子,澳洲政府將行山徑難度分做6級,頭3個級別嘅意思如下(係呀,人哋啲級別係真係有意思架):

一級路線:
簡介:給予大量遊客行走的機會,當中包括行動不便人士。設施充足;遊客有大量機會學習自然知識(包括告示牌及傳單)。在路上會經常遇上其他遊客。
路況:堅硬而開闊的路面(闊度1.2米或以上),適合輪椅使用者。保養良好,極少破壞。
斜度:平坦至微斜,有樓梯的地方會有斜板可供行走。
路標:用作指路或公園管理的指示牌會大量出現;交叉路口會有箭嘴指示。
建築物:有觀景台、椅子、欄杆等設施;山徑旁一般不准露營。
山勢:登山人士無須任何經驗。
天氣:不適用

二級路線:
簡介:給予大量遊客行走的機會。設施充足;遊客有中等至頗多學習自然知識的機會。在路上不時會遇上其他遊客。
路況:一般都是人工的硬地;闊度最少有0.9米。保養良好,極少破壞。
斜度:斜度一般不超過1:10,只有極少量樓梯。
路標:用作指路或公園管理的指示牌會經常出現;交叉路口通常有箭嘴指示。
建築物: 可能有觀景台、椅子、欄杆等設施;山徑旁一般不准露營。
山勢:登山人士無須任何經驗。
天氣:不適用

三級路線:
簡介:輕微人工化的自然環境,需要一般程度的體能。人工設施、路標等不常見。遊客可以有機會親身感受自然環境(只有少量告示牌和小冊子)。偶然會遇上其他旅客。
路況:一般是稍微經過改造的山徑;部分是硬地。山徑闊度不一,少於1.2米。偶然有少量障礙物。
斜度:某些路段斜度可能超過1:10,但一般來說在1:10以下。有時候可能會出現大量樓梯。
路標:只有少量告示牌;某些地方可能會有指示方向的路牌。
建築物: 除了關乎人身安全或環境保護的情況外,一般不會有人工設施;;山徑旁一般不准露營。
山勢:旅客不需有穿越密林的經驗,但要有基本程度的登山技能。常見的自然災害包括斜坡、不穩定的路面、少量位置需要渡河。
天氣:有風雨的話,登山者定向的能力和安全可能受到影響。

如果想知道澳洲第四至六級路線嘅定義,可以隨時download返份報告落嚟睇睇。你以為澳洲政府將難度評級列到咁詳細,已經係去到好盡?仲未算,喺1999年,南非University of Pretoria嘅 Leon M. Hugo教授,甚至寫咗一份研究報告,講述點樣可以用一條方程式,淨係睇住一張地形圖,就可以計算出行一條山路會消耗一名登山者幾多能量,仲建議用能量值嚟做山徑難度嘅評分添!總括而言,不論係喺大學做研究定係政府管理國家公園,佢哋一般會用以下準則去釐定一條攀登路線嘅難度:
1. 路線嘅長度
2. 路線需時
3. 山徑嘅闊度
4. 路面平唔平坦
5. 斜度
6. 路線有無客觀風險或自然災害
7. 路牌指示嘅多寡
8. 洗手間嘅多寡
9. 遮蔽物(例如涼亭)嘅多寡

想知道一套你用開嘅“星星”系統係咪一套好嘅系統,其中一個方法就係揀一條路線,睇下佢有幾多星,然後試下可唔可以根據星星數量去推測出以上九項指標嘅狀況。舉個例子,如果有個網站同你講,一條“大東山>鳳凰山”嘅路線難度有4星,你可唔可以即刻推斷出條路線有幾長、有幾斜、有幾多路牌、條路平唔平坦….?當然好難有一套完美嘅評級系統,可以畀你一睇就完全知道晒成條路線係咩樣;但如果有一個評級系統,係你攞住佢畀你嘅分數,你仍然對於你要行嘅路線幾乎一無所知,咁嗰套系統,又有乜用呢?

下面畀多個喺香港會有機會用到嘅評分標準畀大家參考下,係漁農署自己為主要行山徑制定難度評級嘅評分系統。希望大家以後可以安全上山,安全落山——

漁農自然護理署“郊野樂行”難度評分
難度值:1-4星
計算方法:

 

1星

2星

3星

4星

長度

< 5公里

5-<11公里

11-<16公里

>=16公里

時間

< 3小時

3-<5小時

5-<7小時

>=7小時

坡度

上落<=100m

101-250m

251-500m

>=500m

路面狀況

平坦易行

有少量梯級

路窄多級

頗多梯級

綜合難度= (長度+時間+坡度+路面狀況)/4

參考資料:

Arias, A. (2007). Overview of Existing Walking Trail Classification Systems: Walking Trails Classification and Improvement Project. Department of Sustainability and Environment, Victoria, U.S.

AFCD (2014d). Trail List: Grading Reference. Retrieved on 27 Aug 2017, from http://hiking.gov.hk/eng/trail_list/Grading_Reference.htm.

Hugo, M. L. (1999). Energy equivalent as a measure of the difficulty rating of hiking trails. Tourism Geographies, 1, 358-373.

 

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Picking Emergency Food (Chinese Only)

圖/文:Sum Tim
日期:2017年9月12日
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注意:本文章純屬作者個人見解,並不反映香港野外訓練中心或其他相關機構的立場或意見。

後備糧食泛指在計劃正常餐單以外的食物,在意外發生後可供緊急使用的食糧。
選擇後備糧食之五大要點:

1. 方便進食
請選擇不用烹煮及處理的食物。因當後備糧食要使用時,應該己是行程的尾聲,燃料的供應會是一個考慮因素。在意外中,還是快的食,快點尋找下山方法。

2. 能量供應
後備糧食需要800卡路里或以上。以一個成年人每日平均需要攝取1,500至2,000卡路里計算,一餐份量的糧食(800卡路里)是最低的要求。

3. 保存時間
一些肉類和易變壞的食物是不適宜作後備糧食。萬一食了變壞的食物,在山上迷路的時侯還要處理腸胃不適的問題會是很危險的。

4. 攜帶輕便
在正常情況下,後備糧食是不會在山上食用的。只有當遇上迷路,計劃的糧食己耗盡,後備糧食才供食用。若然後備糧是又重又大的話,這樣上山的負重會增加和背包的承載量也會減少。

5. 個人口味
後備糧食算是一項登山個人物資,因為沒有人夠你自己清楚你會對什麼食物敏感或是你愛食什麼。同時,太吸引的食物也不建議的,除了怕吸引了野生動物之外,也擔心你也會一早把它殲滅。

一般來說,我通常會預備的後備食物是餅干,穀物能量棒和乾果等。
不論你是短途的遠足旅程,還是長遠的登山之旅,後備糧食都是一項不可或缺的物資。別忘記還有後備食水!

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How to Select Sunscreen?

Written & Illustrated by: Phylix & Peter
Published on: 14 Sep 2015
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Note: This article represents only the personal opinion of the author(s); it does not reflect the views of the HKWTC, or any relevant organizations.

When the sun is out and the sky is blue, staying outdoor in the wilderness is a fun thing to do. However, while you’re enjoying the nature, you should also stay safe, and make sure that you have carried out all the basic safety precautions. On a fine day like this, a bottle of sunscreen is essential for outdoor activities.

Why do We Need Sunscreen?

According to the World Health Organization (WHO, 2015a), long-term exposure to ultraviolet (UV) light can affect the cells of your skin, fibrous tissues, and blood vessels, which can cause premature aging of skin, inflammation, actinic keratoses, and so on, skin cancer may be resulted in serious cases. In addition, studies also found that, long-term exposure to UV light can hinder human’s immune system, making one more susceptible to infectious diseases.

Surely, UV is not all bad. One of its major functions is to provide Vitamin D to the human body. But the WHO (2015b) also pointed out that, exposing one’s hands, face, and arms to the sun in the summer for a few times, each lasting 5 to 15 minutes, is already enough for one to obtain a healthy dose of Vitamin D. There is no need for you to let the sun squander its hot ray all over your body.

According to the Hong Kong Observatory (2014a), the “UN Index” used in Hong Kong is the same system established by the WHO. In this system, the strength of UV in the environment is being categorized into “Low”, “Moderate”, “High”, “Very High”, and “Extreme”. WHO (2015c) recommended that, even when the UV index only shows “moderate”, we should already be applying sunscreen; and when the UV strength has reached “high”, people should be avoiding un-sheltered outdoor activities in mid-day (1200-1400), and the use of sunscreen in this situation is “mandatory”.

So How Do We Select Sunscreen?

Now that you have realized how important sunscreen really is, how would you go about choosing the right one? When you are selecting sunscreen for outdoor activities, there are at least four key factors that you should consider:

  1. The sunscreen’s SPF-value,
  2. Whether or not the sunscreen provides “broad spectrum” protection,
  3. The sunscreen’s water-resistance, and
  4. The sunscreen’s durability.

【1. The Sunscreen’s SPF-Value】

SPF, short for “Sun Protection Factor”, is a piece of information that is printed on the bottle of all the sunscreens you can find in the market. So what does SPF represent?

According to the International Programme on Chemical Safety (n.d.), the standard definition of SPF is “the ratio of the least amount of UV required to produce minimal erythema after application of a standard quantity of the sunscreen to the skin to that required to produce the same erythema without sunscreen application”. Putting this into a formula, it will look something like this:

SPF = [amount of UV required to produce erythema without sunscreen] / [amount of UV required to produce erythema with sunscreen]

So, if a bottle of sunscreen has the marking “SPF15” written on it, it means that, if it takes 10 minutes to give you erythema in natural situation, it will now take 150 minutes if you have applied the sunscreen. Now the question is, with this definition in mind, how big is the difference in effectiveness of a sunscreen with SPF15 and another one with SPF30? Intuitively, one would be tempted to think that the difference is two-fold, but in reality, the difference only amount to [1/15 – 1/30], which means just 3% (Hong Kong Observatory, 2014b)!

Putting this in words that may be more comprehensible for ordinary consumers, according to the numbers revealted by the US Government (EPA, 2006), a sunscreen with SPF15 is already sufficient in blocking 93% of UV; and a sunscreen with SPF30 can block even 97% of the UV. Most governments now propose the use of sunscreens with SPF15 or above.

【2. Whether or Not the Sunscreen Provides “Broad Spectrum” Protection】

Beside checking the SPF figure on the bottle, what else should you look for when selecting sunscreen?

What you may not know is that, there are 3 types of UV lights: UVC (wavelength 100-280nm), UVB (wavelength 280-315nm), and UVA (wavelength 315-400nm). UVC is the one that causes the greatest harm to the human body – however, our Earth’s ozone layer can block out all the UVC, because of which, under normal circumstances UVC from the sun cannot reach the Earth’s surface (Heiting, 2014). Whereas for the other two types of UV, both of them can pass through the ozone layer. Among them, some of the UVB will be blocked by the ozone layer, therefore, 95% of the UV lights reaching the Earth surface are UVA (Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, 2013). Interestingly, most of the past researches have been focusing on the 5%, and concluded that UVB is indeed harmful to the human body, such as causing skin cancer. This is why almost all the sunscreens on the market can protect people from UVB. Only recently have studies started to investigate the impacts of UVA, some of which suggested that UVA is a major factor causing the aging of skin (WHO, 2015b), and the most recent of these researches have also found a link between UVA and cancer (Epstein & Wang, 2015).

Therefore, when selecting sunscreen, you should really be looking for one that can block both UVA and UVB. Look for one of the following tags on the bottle, which signify that the sunscreen carrying them can block both types of harmful UV lights (Epstein & Wang, 2015):
— multi spectrum
— broad spectrum
— UVA/UVB

Often times, these tags are positioned under the SPF values, or embedded in the fine print on the bottle. Next time you purchase a sunscreen, try spare some time to read those tiny words written all over its corner – if you see one of the above tags, it means that you have found the right bottle!

【3. The Sunscreen’s Water-Resistance】

Most of the sunscreen manufacturers will indicate on the bottle the duration of which the effect of its sunscreen can last (see the next Section). But this really only tells you what will happen in “dry” conditions. If, after applying the sunscreen, you are planning to do some aquatic activities, or you are expected to sweat a lot, then what you should check out is the sunscreen’s water/sweat-resistance.

Starting in 2012, the US Government (U.S. Food and Drug Administration, 2012) has prohibited sunscreen manufacturers to claim that their products are “waterproof”, because their tests have shown that, it is impossible to have a bottle of sunscreen that is genuinely waterproof (i.e. can never by washed away by water). From then on, sunscreens sold in the US can only call themselves “water resistance”, and they will also have to specify the duration for which they can resist water – that is, how long can the effect of sunscreen last, once water is applied to it. In the tests conducted by the US Government, a sunscreen that can last for 40 minutes can already claim itself “water resistance”, and a sunscreen that can last longer than 80 minutes can already be considered “very resistance to water”. So, next time you go to the supermarket, you no longer need to be confused by the sunscreens that claim themselves to be “waterproof” or “water resistance”, because no matter the brand, a sunscreen can only “resist” water at best, and there is no such thing as genuine “waterproof” sunscreen. According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (2014) guideline, no matter which sunscreen you use, if you are taking part in water activities, or sweating a lot, it is best if you reapply your sunscreen at least once every 2 hours.

【4. The Sunscreen’s Durability】

There isn’t a single sunscreen out there that can let you put it on in the morning, and then protect you from the harmful UV for the rest of the day. The protection effect of a sunscreen can only last for a given period of time, and the duration of which varies with the brand (or different models produced by the same brand). Most sunscreens can last between 1 to 5 hours, this number is usually marked somewhere in the Specification section on the bottle, which tells you the suggested frequency of reapplication. If you are having a hard time finding this piece of information on the bottle, you may also look it up on the manufacturer’s official website.

Usually, the longer a sunscreen can last, the more expensive it is. Given that, as mentioned above, if you are going swimming, or if you sweat a lot, you would need to reapply the sunscreen every 2 hours anyway. Therefore, to choose the sunscreen with the right amount of durability, you would really have to take into account what type of activities you are doing, and then decide for yourself.

Now that you have understood the functions of sunscreen, and the meanings behind the numbers on the bottles, we hope that you can now find the right bottle for yourself, and safely carry on with your outdoor adventures!

References:
Canadian Centre of Occupational Health and Safety. (2013). Ultraviolet Radiation. Retrieved on 8 Jan 2015, from http:// www.ccohs.ca /oshanswers/ phys_agents/ ultravioletradiation. html.
EPA. (2006). The Burning Facts. Retrieved on 8 Sep 2015, from http:// www.epa.gov/ sunwise/ doc/ sunscreen. pdf.
Epstein, J. H., & Wang, S. Q. (2015). Understanding UVA and UVB. http:// www.skincancer. org/ prevention/ uva-and -uvb/ understanding- uva-and- uvb.
Heiting, G. (2014). Ultraviolet (UV) Radiation and Your Eyes. Retrieved on 8 Jan 2015, from http:// www. allaboutvision. com/ sunglasses/ spf. htm.
Hong Kong Observatory. (2014a). What is UV Index? http:// www. hko. gov. hk/ wxinfo/ uvindex/ chinese/ cwhatisUVI.htm.
Hong Kong Observatory. (2014b) Sunburn and SPF. http:// www.hko.gov. hk/ education/ edu06nature/ ele_spf_c. htm.
International Programme on Chemical Safety. (n.d.). Environmental Health Criteria 160: Ultraviolet Radiation. Retrieved 8 Sep 2015, from http:// www. inchem. org/ documents/ ehc/ ehc/e hc160.htm #SectionNumber: 14.5.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2012). FDA Sheds Light on Sunscreens. http:// www.fda.gov/ downloads/ ForConsumers/ ConsumerUpdates/ UCM258910. pdf.
U.S. Food and Drug Administration. (2014). Questions and Answers: FDA announces new requirements for over-the-counter (OTC) sunscreen products marketed in the U.S. http://www.fda.gov/ Drugs/ ResourcesForYou/ Consumers/ BuyingUsingMedicineSafely/ UnderstandingOve r-the- CounterMedicines/ ucm258468. htm.
World Health Organization. (2015a). Health effects of UV radiation. http:// www. who. int/ uv/ health/ en/.
World Health Organization. (2015b). The known health effects of UV. http:// www.who.int/ uv/ faq/ uvhealtfac/ en/.
World Health Organization. (2015c). UV Index. http://www. who. int/ uv/ intersunprogramme /activities /uv_index /en/ index1.html.

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Beyond Leave No Trace – Minimize the Offsite Impacts of Your Wilderness Activities

Written & Illustrated by: Peter
Published on: 25 Aug 2015
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Note: This article represents only the personal opinion of the author(s); it does not reflect the views of the HKWTC, or any relevant organizations.

The concept of “Leave No Trace” was originated overseas; and gradually, these outdoor ethics have been adopted by outdoorsmen in places like Hong Kong and Taiwan. The 7 Leave No Trace Principles are:
1. Plan ahead and prepare: Make detailed plans about your trip before hand, such as getting rid of unnecessary food packaging when you are still at home, in order to reduce the amount of rubbish you need to handle in the mountains.
2. Travel and camp on durable surfaces: Avoid stepping on plants and grassland, to allow them to prosper naturally.
3. Dispose of waste properly: Pack it in pack it out, do not pollute the natural environment.
4. Leave what you find: Do not take away animals or plants, let them stay at home in the wild.
5. Minimize campfire impacts: Only build fires in designated locations, with designated fuels, to avoid causing unnecessary harm to the environment.
6. Respect wildlife: Allow them to inhabit the wild naturally.
7. Be considerate to other visitors: When you are in the wild, be thoughtful to other visitors, so that everyone can enjoy their adventures in harmony.

From the principles described above, you may have already noticed one thing – the idea of Leave No Trace mainly deal with the “onsite impacts” of our wilderness activities. But what about the “offsite impacts”? To illustrate my point, here is an example: According to the Third Principle of Leave No Trace, we should pack out all our garbage, so that the rubbish produced during our expeditions would not pollute the wild. Now, suppose that I have a whole garbage-bag-full of empty plastic bottles, if I take them all down from the mountains, and discard them all into a rubbish bin at home, does that mean my activity has produced no impact to the environment? Of course not. That’s because these plastic bottles will end up being sent to the landfills – and as anyone who has been paying a little attention to the news in Hong Kong in the past year would know, to increase the amount of rubbish being sent to the landfill can result in severe environmental impacts.

Therefore, to truly reduce the “environmental impacts” of our wilderness activities, we should reduce not only the immediate impacts of what we do in the wild, but the indirect ones as well. How can we go about reducing the offsite impacts of our expeditions? Well, there are many ways to do it, and listed below are just a few of the easy ones –

【1. Finish All the Food You Have Brought With You】
Many hikers, maybe out of inexperience, fail to accurately estimate the amount of food they need to take with them for their trips; because of which, to play safe, they often end up taking more than they need, carrying with them large bags of food into the mountains – a large proportion of which they cannot finish. For those extra food, even if the hikers haven’t left them behind in the wild as garbage (some of them do do that, regrettably), they would be taken back home and thrown into the rubbish bin. By doing this, a hiker has, 1) wasted some good food; and 2) aggravated the “food waste” problem faced by Hong Kong landfills. According to the figures published by the Environmental Protection Department (EPD, 2015), of all solid waste being transported to our landfills, 36% was food waste. Imagine, if everyone finishes his/her food, where would all these food waste come from?

So how do we reduce the amount of food waste generated by our wilderness activities? One way to do it is of course to properly estimate how much food we need for each trip. By taking with us only the amount of food that is just right, there will be no left-behind – but then, to be able to do this, one would probably need to experiment with different amount of food for many times, before knowing exactly how much food one needs for a particular kind of trip. A compromised method would be to take less food that cannot last (e.g. meat and veggies), and instead take on more relatively durable food as back-ups (e.g. cookies and nuts). If you adopt this method, you would be unlikely to leave behind food that will turn bad quickly; and for those durable food you got left after the trip, you can always save them for your enjoyment at home, or, with the right storage, even leave them till the next trip.

The bottom line is, finish all the food you bring with you on a trip – it doesn’t matter whether you do this immediately or after a few weeks, just don’t throw them away.

【2. Use Public Transportation】
The EPD’s (2010) website showed that, Hong Kong is producing 6 tonnes of carbon emission annually; while the desired level of annual carbon emission should be under 2 tonnes. In other words, to achieve sustainability, Hong Kong will have to find a way to cut away 2/3 of its current carbon emission. And one of the ways to do that, as everyone knows, is to take public transportation.

One thing that is unique about Hong Kong’s wilderness, is its proximity to urban areas. Almost every single Country Park entrance is serviced by a bus or a minibus. Taking public transport is surely not as comfortable as driving your own car – you will need to queue, and wait for the bus to arrive, and the bus may not even reach your home directly; but for the sake of the environment, the next time you go hiking or camping, how about checking out the public transportation options first, before considering driving your own car?

To make things easier for you, the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department (AFCD) has already put the Country Park transportation information on its website. And beside AFCD’s website, online databases such as Google Map and hkbus.wikia are all useful tools to help you plan your next trip.

【3. Purchase Durable Gears】
There is an overseas fabric manufacturer called Cordura, on the front page of one of their 2011 leaflets, it said:

Sustainability begins with products that last

Try to think about this: Let’s say there are two companies, Company A and Company B, both of them make hiking pants. And while Company A’s pants can only last for a year, the pants produced by Company B can last for 3 years. Which company’s pants will you purchase? Perhaps the more important question is, which company has the lower impact on the environment? If the trousers you wear break after 1 year, then in every year, you will need to (i) throw away a pair of trousers, and (ii) purchase a new pair of trousers – two different actions that generate two different kinds of impacts to the environment. By throwing away a pair of pants, you are producing rubbish, and increasing the load of the landfills. By purchasing a new pair, your are using up natural resources that are required to manufacture a pair of pants (just think about the impacts produced by resource extractions, transportation, packaging, and so on).

So, the more durable your gears, the smaller the indirect environmental impacts your wilderness activities will produce. Now that we have established this, what gears are more durable?

One of the brands that worth-mentioning is of course Cordura itself. Tests have shown that, the fabrics developed by this company is 30 times more durable than cotton, 3 times more so than polyester, and 2 times more resistance to wear and tear than nylon (Cordura, n.d.). Cordura fabrics are usually sold to other companies, who customize these fabrics into products such as hiking pants and backpacks. The next time you shop for gears, try to check if the product in your hands contains Cordura fabrics.

Another brand that is note-worthy is backpack manufacturer Osprey. Now, there is no test suggesting that backpacks produced by Osprey can last longer than those made by any other brand. However, one thing that gave Osprey an edge is their “All Mighty Guarantee” policy (Osprey, 2015). Under this policy, it doesn’t matter when your backpack is purchased, as long as it is made by Osprey, and it has been damaged to an extent that can affect its functionality, you can always send it back to Osprey, and they will repair it for you, free of charge (this doesn’t include the peeling-off of the pack’s coating, unfortunately). By repairing your backpack, they have lengthened the lifespan of your backpack, reduced the waste that will be generated if the pack is discarded, and also minimize the amount of resources needed for making you a new pack.

【4. Making Good Use of the Secondhand Markets】
Following the same logic, if you have accepted/purchased a secondhand gear, you would have helped the original owner to minimize the amount of waste he would have produced if he threw the gear away; at the same time, you have also saved the resources that would have been needed to produce a brand new gear if you have elected to buy a new one instead.

Nowadays there are many secondhand exchange platforms that are tailor-made for Hong Kong outdoorsmen, which include the Facebook Group Outdoor Gear Market, Go2Nature.Net’s Free Market, and so on. On these platforms, adventure lovers can often find gears at a price that is lower than their current market prices. Sometimes, owners of old gears may even be giving their own gears away for free!

Of course, not all secondhand gears are recommended. One of the things that you wouldn’t want to purchase used ones are the personal protective equipment (PPE), such as climbing ropes, harness, and carabiners. Because the quality of these gears can have life-or-death impacts on you, and because you can never be 100% sure how their original owners have been maintaining them, and neither can you check for some invisible damages in these gears. Therefore, for safety’s sake, for equipment like these, we suggest that you buy new ones from trusted dealers.

But aside from particular gears, the next time you look for new stuffs – even if not for the sake of your wallet, would you at least check out what’s available in the secondhand markets first, for the environment’s sake?

【5. Do Not Purchase Gears for the Sake of Purchasing Them】
As noted above, natural resources are being consumed when manufacturing a gear. A research team from the MIT has conducted a study (Cheah et al., 2013), and found that, for an ordinary pair of sport shoes, counting from the time when natural resources are extracted, to when it was  being processed in the factory, and then transported to the market, being used, and finally being thrown away, the total amount of resources needed was about 14 kg of CO2-equivalent, which equals to the carbon emission of turning on a 100 watt light bulb for one full week non-stop. And since most of these carbon emissions come from the factory processing period, the more complicated the processing procedures are, the more resources it will require to produce the gear.

The next time you go hiking or camping, try and think about this: to produce every single gear you have on you, or inside your backpack, how much natural resources have been consumed? And then, the next time you visit a gear shop, and see a really cool new arrival, try and think about this: Is this new gear really essential to your activity? Do you really need to buy it? To try and be fashionable with climbing gears would produce not just a financial problems for you personally, but also an environmental one for everybody – and for some, it may even be a moral issue.

The stuffs mentioned above are only some of the easy ways to help one reduce the offsite impacts of one’s wilderness activities. Do you happen to have some of your own ways to go about your “green adventures”? Let us know!

References:
Cheah, L., Ciceri, N. D., Olivetti, E., Matsumura, S., Forterre, D., Roth, R. et al. (2013). Manufacturing-focused emissions reductions in footwear production. Journal of Cleaner Production, 44, 18-29.
Cordura.(2011). Introducing a Durable Fabric Made from Recycled Fibers.Retrieved 20 Apr 2015, from http:// www. cordura. com/ documents/ EcoMadeSaleSheet. pdf.
Cordura.(n.d.).Durability at its peak.Retrieved 20 Apr 2015, from http:// www. nilit. com/ fibers/ appfiles/ portfolioofbrands/ cordura-data-sheet. pdf.
Go2nature.net. (2015).Free Market. Retrieved 26 May 2015, from http:// go2nature.net/ forum/ viewforum.php? f=9&sid= 31cd6e4248894db8a a234f51375e062a.
Google Map. http://maps.google.com.
Osprey.(2015). All Mighty Guarantee.Retrieved 10 Apr 2015, from http://www.ospreypacks.com/en/web/all_mighty_guarantee.
Outdoor Gear Market.(2015). Retrieved 26 May 2015, from https://www. facebook.com/ groups/ 623354834403542/.
Environmental Protection Department. (2010). 減碳開步走:簡介. [In Chinese: Let’s Start Reducing Our Carbon Emission: An Introduction]. Retrieved 19 Aug 2015, from http://www. epd.gov.hk/ epd/ climate_ change_cases/ tc_chi/ about/ about2. html.
Environmental Protection Department. (2015). Problems & Solutions: Food Waste Challenge. Retrieved 19 Aug 2015, from http://www. epd.gov.hk/ epd/ tc_chi/ environmentinhk/ waste/ prob_solutions/ food_waste_challenge. html.
Hkbus.Wikia. http://hkbus. wikia.com/ wiki/ %E9%A6%96% E9%A0 %81.
Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. (2015). Transportation Information to Country Parks. Retrieved 19 Aug 2015, from http:// www.afcd.gov.hk/ english/country / cou_lea/ cou_wha_tra. html.

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Bird Pellets & Dog Food – Comparisons of Different Trail Snacks

Written & Illustrated by: Peter
Published on: 21 Jun 2015
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Note: This article represents only the personal opinion of the author(s); it does not reflect the views of the HKWTC, or any relevant organizations.

When planning a day’s trip, a problem that gives a good outdoorsman constant headaches is this one: What shall we have for lunch? When you are preparing for food on a hike, you should consider at least two things:
1. Can the food you bring with you provide you with the energy you need?
2. Can the food you have selected be carried around conveniently? 

Every now and then, when you see the athletes in the outdoors, flashing around packs after packs of “energy bars”, which can cost up to twenty or thirty dollars for each tiny piece, wouldn’t you sometimes wonder: are those the best food for mountain climbing?

This article likely cannot answer every single question you have about having a good meal in the wild; but it is our intention to give you at least some basic information, to help you make up your own mind.

First, let’s make one thing clear: the most important function of the food you bring with you on an adventure is to provide energy. So how do we measure energy? As mandated by the Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) Regulations (Cap 132W), food that is being sold in Hong Kong must carry labels with them to inform consumers about their nutritional contents. Food manufacturers can express the energy contained in their products in one of two units: either as kilo-calories (kcal), or kilo-joules (kJ). When you are selecting food for your next trip, you should read the labels carefully, because the energy levels represented by the two units are quite different. Put simply, 1 kcal equals to approximately 4.18 kJ; in other words, a cookie with 100 kJ only contains a quarter of the energy stored inside a 100-kcal cookie. If you mix up the two, the energy you get from your purchase could differ quite dramatically from what you are expecting to get.

Now, the next question: how much energy do you really need for your trip? To rephrase this question a little: for a day-hike, how much calories will you consume? To answer this question, different studies with different research methodology, have arrived at different figures. For instance, one study (Montoye, 2000) reported that athletes who were cross-country hiking will consume about 6.25 kcal per kg of body weight per hour; which means, for a hiker weighing 50 kg, he would have used up 312.5 kcal in just an hour. Whereas if the person is backpacking, according to the same study, he will need 7.25 kcal per kg of body weight per hour. This shows that, the amount of energy you need depends on your body weight, your level of physical exercise, and the intensity of your sports. You would have to figure out a number for yourself for each individual trip.

Since the primary concern for choosing trail food is “energy”, therefore, in the following comparisons, we are comparing food “per 100 kcal” – for example, “how much does 100 kcal of those cookies weigh?”, “how much does 100 kcal of cookies cost?”
To ask only how much a particular food cost is pointless. A big roll of digestives may cost $20, so does a small piece of energy bar. But that doesn’t mean that which food to purchase makes no different. Because if you choose the digestives, you will likely be getting more energy out of the same amount of money. Following the same logic, even though a 100 g banana weighs the same as a 100 g Chiffon cake, as a Chiffon cake packs much more calories into each gram of its ingredients, if we consider purely the energy-weigh ratio, a Chiffon cake will be a better buy compared to a banana.

Another thing that you may also want to know is that, when a person is exercising, the energy being “burned” comes mainly from the breaking down of carbohydrates (Fahey, Insel, & Roth, 2011). Because of this, when selecting your trail food, besides checking out how much calories a product contains, you should also try and figure out how much of that energy comes from carbohydrate. That’s why, in the following comparisons, we will also list out how many grams of carbohydrates per 100 kcal is contained in each type of food.

Okay, now that we have gone through energy and nutrients, what else do we consider when choosing trail food? Well, let’s think about how will the food be carried into the wild. For instance, if a chocolate bar is being put in the backpack for a mid-summer hike, is it going to melt? Cookies are of course delicious treats, but when your backpack is already tightly-packed, wouldn’t squeezing the cookies in make them crumble? In addition, when choosing trail food, usually we would also take into consideration factors such as their weights and sizes – if two types of snacks contain the same amount of calories, then we will of course choose the one that is smaller and lighter for our trip. Because of this, in the following comparisons, we will also compare the food in terms of their weights, sizes, heat-resistance, and compressibility

But then of course, when you are deciding what trial food to bring along for your weekend trip, one HUGE factor to consider would be what tastes the best. Now since “taste” is something so subjective and personal, forgive us for not comparing the food items here in this term

In the following table, we have summarized for you the characteristics of several dry food products that is commonly found in Hong Kong markets, basing on what is written on the respective ingredient labels, and our personal experiences with them. The order of appearance follow an ascending order of “dollars per 100 kcal”, which means, the cheapest food item (giving you the most bang-for-the-buck) will be placed on the top, and the most expensive one will be at the bottom.

Note: Price information of the following food was retrieved on-site in a few major supermarkets and hiking gear shops in Hong Kong. Prices of the same type of food at different stores, and at different times, could vary. In addition, even for the same food product made by the same manufacturer, but of different models, could have different calories levels (for instance, have you ever noticed that a chocolate Chiffon cake carries more energy than a lemon Chiffon cake?). Because of this, the following information is for reference only. You should check the actual prices and nutrition information before making any purchases.

– And if you want to download an Excel spreadsheet for the following comparison, please click here.

1. Hellema Forre Vanilla

DSC_0211

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 0.97
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 20.28
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 15.11
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Small
[Compressibility]: 3 (5 = most compressible, 1 = least)
[Heat Resistance]: 5 (5 = most resistant, 1 = least)

2. Whole-wheat Mcvities Digestive
400g package

DSC_0004

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 1.20
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 21.10
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 13.27
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Small
[Compressibility]: 3
[Heat Resistance]: 5

3. Banana

DSC_0003

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 1.36
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 116.28
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 21.86
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Big
[Compressibility]: 1
[Heat Resistance]: 3

4. Whole-wheat Chocolate Milk Mcvities
Digestive 300g package

DSC_0217

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 1.77
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 20.45
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 12.76
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Small
[Compressibility]: 3
[Heat Resistance]: 4

5. Garden Chocolate Cream Bun

DSC_0213

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 1.82
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 29.76
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 13.10
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Medium
[Compressibility]: 1
[Heat Resistance]: 3

6. Quaker Oatmeal Squares

DSC_0232

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 1.94
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 26.67
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 20.95
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Medium
[Compressibility]: 1
[Heat Resistance]: 5

7. Chips Ahoy Original 12 packs

DSC_0225

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 2.26
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 20.45
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 12.35
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Small
[Compressibility]: 3
[Heat Resistance]: 3

8. Garden Chocolate Chiffon Cake

DSC_0208

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 2.63
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 27.70
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 14.18
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Medium
[Compressibility]: 1
[Heat Resistance]: 3

9. Garden Chocolate Mini Swiss Roll

DSC_0205

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 2.80
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 26.60
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 13.19
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Medium
[Compressibility]: 1
[Heat Resistance]: 3

10. Nature Valley Granola Bars 6 packs

DSC_0223

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 2.89
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 22.11
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 13.42
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Small
[Compressibility]: 3
[Heat Resistance]: 5

11. TWIX Chocolate Bar

DSC_0201

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 3.15
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 20.24
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 13.42
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Small
[Compressibility]: 2
[Heat Resistance]: 1

12. Fast Choice Baked Almonds 400g

DSC_0229

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 3.17
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 18.15
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 5.66
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Small
[Compressibility]: 5
[Heat Resistance]: 5

13. Snickers

DSC_0198

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 3.19
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 20.62
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 12.02
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Small
[Compressibility]: 2
[Heat Resistance]: 1

14. PICNIC

DSC_0196

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 3.27
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 19.02
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 10.09
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Small
[Compressibility]: 2
[Heat Resistance]: 1

15. Winner Sausage

DSC_0236

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 6.67
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 61.11
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 8.89
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Big
[Compressibility]: 1
[Heat Resistance]: 3

16. CLIFF Bar Energy Bar

DSC_0273

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 8.00
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 27.20
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 16.80
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Medium
[Compressibility]: 2
[Heat Resistance]: 5

17. PowerBar Harvest Energy Bar

DSC_0278

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 8.40
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 26.00
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 16.80
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Medium
[Compressibility]: 4
[Heat Resistance]: 5

18. PowerBar Performance Energy Bar

DSC_0241

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 8.75
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 27.08
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 18.75
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Medium
[Compressibility]: 4
[Heat Resistance]: 5

19. PowerGel

DSC_0282

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 17.82
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 38.46
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 25.00
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Medium
[Compressibility]: 2
[Heat Resistance]: 5

20. Honey Stinger Organic Energy Gel

DSC_0276

[Price] HKD/100kcal: 19.00
[Weight] g/100 kcal: 32.00
[Carbohydrate] g/100kcal: 24.00
[Size] Big, Medium or Small per 100kcal:Medium
[Compressibility]: 2
[Heat Resistance]: 5

References:

Food and Drugs (Composition and Labelling) Regulations (Cap 132W): http://www. legislation.gov.hk /blis_pdf.nsf /6799165 D2FEE3FA 94825755 E0033E532 /42F9D064EB7F23 F7482575EE0042C3C4 ?OpenDocument&bt=0
Unit Juggler. (2014). Convert Energy from kcal to kJ. https:// www. unitjuggler. com / convert- energy- from- kcal- to- kJ. html
Montoye, H. J. (2000). Energy costs of exercise and sport. In Maughan, R. J. (Ed.). Nutrition in Sport (pp. 53-72). Oxford, UK: Blackwell Science.
Fahey, T. D., Insel, P. M., & Roth, W. T. (2011). Fit and Well (9th Ed.). The McGraw Hill Companies.

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How to Interpret the Waterproof Indices of Waterproof Clothes?

Written & Illustrated by: Peter
Published on: 01 Jun 2015
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Note: This article represents only the personal opinion of the author(s); it does not reflect the views of the HKWTC, or any relevant organizations.

Most waterproof clothing manufacturers express the waterproof indices of their products in one of two units: millimeters (mm), or pound per square inch (psi).

The most common unit you can find in the market is mm. The way to derive the indices is through what is known as a hydraulic head test (EN20811:1992; Fuller & Taylor, 2012). Put simply, how this test works is like this: a tester would place a narrow tube with 1″ x 1″ cross-sectional area vertically on a piece of cloth, and then continuously add water into the tube, to see how high the water level is, when the water pressure is finally big enough to allow the water to penetrate the tested cloth (evo.com, 2015). For instance, a jacket with waterproof index of 5000mm means that, water couldn’t penetrate it, until water is added up to 5000mm.

In the outdoor industry, a minimum standard for a piece of cloth to claim itself “waterproof” is 1000mm. But having a shell with 1000mm doesn’t necessarily mean that you won’t get wet – the pressure generated from a guy sitting on his pants alone is already bigger than 1000mm, big enough to push water into the pants (Fuller & Taylor, 2012). So, how many mm should we be looking for when we buy waterproof gears? Evo.com (2015) provided the following table for our reference:

Waterproof index (mm) Can Withstand
1,000-5,000 mm Drizzle, dry snow, without additional pressure
6,000-10,000 mm Drizzle, ordinary snow, little additional pressure
11,000-15,000 mm Moderate rain, ordinary snow, little additional pressure
16,000-20,000 mm Heavy rain, wet snow, with additional pressure
20,000 mm or above Heavy rain, wet snow, high additional pressure

Whereas for the less-commonly used psi, it basically means the same thing as mm. The only difference is that it expresses the weight of the water pressure directly (represented as how many pounds a inch cube of water weighs). All you need to know is that 1 psi equals to about 703-704mm (The Engineering ToolBox, 2015Wood, 2014), and you can do your own unit-transformation. To give you an example, a jacket with an index of 25psi would approximately have the same degree of waterproofness as a jacket with an index of 17,500mm.

References:
evo.com. (2015). Waterproof Ratings and Breathability Guide. Retrieved on 8 Jan 2015, from http:// www.evo.com/ waterproof- ratings- and- breathability- guide. aspx.
Engineering ToolBox. (2015). Pressure Units Online Converter. Data retrieved on 8 Jan 2015, from http:// www.engineeringtoolbox.com/ pressure- units- converter- d_569.html.
Fuller, M., & Taylor, M. (2012). Waterproof Breathable Fabric – Explained. Retrieved on 8 Jan 2015, from http:// www.ukclimbing.com/ articles/ page.php?id= 4556.
Wood, T. D. (2014). Rainwear: How It Works. Retrieved on 8 Jan 2015, from http:// www.rei.com/ learn/ expert-advice/ rainwear- how- it- works.html.

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6 Reasons Why One Shouldn’t Feed the Wildlife

Written & Illustrated by: Peter
Published on: 01 Jun 2015
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Note: This article represents only the personal opinion of the author(s); it does not reflect the views of the HKWTC, or any relevant organizations.

One of the 7 Leave No Trace Principles is to “Respect Wildlife”. It means keeping an appropriate distance from the wild animals, controlling your pets when they visit the wilderness, and avoid feeding the wildlife.

In the case of Hong Kong, according to Section 17C of the Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Cap 170), feeding of wild animals is prohibited in the locations  specified in the Prohibition of Feeding of Wild Animals Notice 1999 (Cap 170B). These locations included “Lion Rock Country Park, Kam Shan Country Park, Shing Mun Country Park and Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve, the area comprising that part of Tai Mo Shan Country Park which adjoins Shing Mun Country Park and Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve, the area to the northeast of Kowloon Reservoir, the area to the south of Kowloon Byewash Reservoir, the area to the south of Shing Mun Country Park, the area to the northeast of Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve known as Tsung Tsai Yuen and two areas which do not form part of but are completely enclosed by Tai Po Kau Nature Reserve”.
These locations are mainly specified for the protection of wild macaques inhabiting in these areas. But this rule of not feeding wildlife should really be applied to all wild environments. Do you know why?

In 2002, Prof. Mark B. Orams from New Zealand published an article in the journal Tourist Management, in which, he proposed 6 key reasons why visitors should not feel wild animals –

Reason No. 1: Artificial Feeding Changes the Normal Behaviors and Movement Patterns of Wildlife.
The abundance of food is a major factor that shapes the daily lives of wild animals. When extra food is provided by tourists, the animals can spend less time searching for food in the wild, and therefore have more time for behaviors such as mating and straying. And because they no longer need to get out there to look for food, the sizes of the ranges within which they normally move around will shrink; at the same time, the density of individuals living in the same area may rise. Other than this, a study has also found that, artificial feeding made birds lay their eggs sooner than normal. The result of which was that the baby birds hatched before the arrival of the optimal time, which is the time when food is the most abundant in the nature (usually during spring and summer). If artificial feeding ceased or decreased for whatever reasons, some of these young birds may die of starvation.

Reason No. 2: Artificial Feeding Changes the Structures of the Animal Population
When people are feeding the animals, the animals’ way of obtaining food would change from “looking for things to eat in the wild” to “waiting to be fed”, and probably also to “fighting off other animals when being fed”. As a result, in an animal population that is being artificially fed, individuals with larger physical sizes, or those that are more aggressive, tend to have a higher chance of getting food; and if this trend continues, over a few year’s time, more and more animals from that population will become big and aggressive. So, in the case of Hong Kong, if people keep on feeding those macaques in Kam Shan Country Park, very soon all that is left in there would be the fat, big, and combative ones – while being “fat”, “big” and “combative” might not have been desirable characteristics for macaques living in the wild without human interference.

Reason No. 3: Long-Term Feeding will Make the Animals Human-Dependent.
For many animals, the ability to search for food in the wild in not something that they are born with; they need to learn the skills in order to survive the wilderness. If a group of animals have been continuously fed by human over a long period of time, the whole group may lose their food-search capability permanently, and need to rely solely on artificial feeding to survive. Even worst, for many animals (macaques included), the skills needed to look for food in the wild are being passed down from adults to their offsprings; if an entire generation has lost their ability to find food in the nature, the skills will also be lost in their future generations.

Reason No. 4: Animals being Fed Lose the Appropriate Degree of Fear for Human
Most of the animals out there are born to be afraid of human. But if they are being fed by us repeatedly, they may become habituated to human’s presence. Some of them may even deliberately seek out places with more people, in order to get a higher chance of being fed; these places include barbecue areas, campsites, and so on. The problem is, not all human are friendly. In Hong Kong, we often hear on the news that some macaques have been captured and tortured by men.  When you heard this, have you ever asked the question: Why would these macaques, which are born to be so afraid of human, be captured by people so easily – if someone hasn’t been feeding them in the first place?

Reason No. 5: Animals being Fed are More Likely to Attack People
Overseas studies have observed that, for many animal species, artificial feeding will make them more aggressive and combative; although the mechanism behind is not well-understood at the moment. The animals that are used to being fed may sometimes encounter someone who is carrying food with him, but is unwilling to share; or that someone deliberately take the food away from the animal just to tease it – all these could have resulted in an animal-attack incident. Moreover, when the habituated wild animals is getting so close to people, someone may be attacked simply because he has made a sudden move, or made a noise, that have excited animals. If people haven’t been feeding these animals in the first place, most of these animals would have stayed far away from people, and these attacks wouldn’t have happened.

Reason No. 6: Artificial Feeding May Cause Health Problems in Wild Animals:
Studies have reported a higher mortality rate for wildlife that is being fed by people, compared to those that have not been artificially fed. Some suspected that this is because people have been feeding animals with unnatural food; and wild animals shouldn’t be eating processed food anyway. In addition, pathogens on the human bodies can also be transferred to some animals (particularly mammals), when the animals are being fed.

To conclude, artificial feeding can cause grave impacts on wildlife. When you are out there enjoy the nature, please respect the animals who call that place their home. Having a chance to interact with wild animals is always exciting, but for their sake, please only observe at a distance, and do not attempt to disturb them, or give them food.

References
[1] 7 Leave No Trace Principles: https:// lnt.org/ about/ use-logo-seven-principles-and-more.
[2] Wild Animals Protection Ordinance (Cap 170):http:// www.legislation.gov.hk /blis_pdf.nsf/ 6799165D2FEE 3FA94825755E0033 E532/ 927CB8EAE335330 9482575E E004915CB ?OpenDocument&bt=0.
[3] Prohibition of Feeding of Wild Animals Notice 1999 (Cap 170B): http:// www.legislation.gov.hk /blis_pdf.nsf/ CurEngSub/ A49ADABF4363 71C4482575EE 00492486? OpenDocument.
[4] Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department. The Feeding Ban: http:// www.afcd.gov.hk /english/ conservation/ con_fau/ con_fau_mon/ con_fau_mon_the/ con_fau_mon_ the.html.
[5] Orams, M. B. (2002). Feeding wildlife as a tourism attraction: A review of issues and impacts. Tourism Management, 23, 281-293. http:// www.sciencedirect.com/ science/ article/ pii/ S0261517701000802.
[6] Robb, G. N., McDonald, R. A., Chamberian, D. E., & Bearhop, S. (2008). Food for thought: Supplementary feeding as a driver of ecological change in avian populations. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 6, 476-484. http:// www.esajournals.org/ doi/ abs/ 10.1890/ 060152.

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The 7 Leave No Trace Principles

Written & Illustrated by: Billy
Published on: 02 May 2015
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Note: This article represents only the personal opinion of the author(s); it does not reflect the views of the HKWTC, or any relevant organizations.

The concept of Leave No Trace has originated overseas, and has gradually been recognized and upheld by outdoorsmen in Hong Kong. In its essence, Leave No Trace is neither a law or a regulation; instead, it serves as an ethical principle a mountaineer embraces when he or she is in the mountains, in a way to show respect to the nature. Remember, in the wild, we are only visitors.

Leave No Trace’s 7 Principles include:

1) PLAN AHEAD AND PREPARE
Itinerary: Plan your trips properly, make good use of the itinerary form, to reduce the likelihood for accidents to happen, and in turn reduce the environmental impacts of a search-and-rescue mission.
Prepare the Right Gears: Evaluate whether each and everyone of the gear you take with you is necessary for that trip. The more things you take with you, the more likely that you will leave some behind, which will become rubbish.
Reduce Packaging: Remove unnecessary packaging before hand (such as food packaging), so that you wouldn’t need to deal with the rubbish when you are in the mountains.
Eat Right: Prepare the amount of food that is just right for you, to reduce food waste and pollution.
Leave No Trace: Learn how to navigate with maps and compass, avoid using trail markers (e.g. tying ribbons to branches).

2) TRAVEL AND CAMP ON DURABLE SURFACES
Take the “Hard” line: When traveling in the mountains, walk on established footpaths, boulders, gravels, sand, dried grass, or snow. Don’t walk off-trail, to avoid destroying the natural environment.
Home is Where You “Should” Pitch It: Camp only in designated campsites, and try to erect your tents on bare ground. If you have to pitch a tent on a grassland over a long period of time, it is recommended that you move your tent every three days, to give the plants a period of recovery.

3) DISPOSE OF WASTE PROPERLY
Reduce Packaging: Remove unnecessary packaging before hand (such as food packaging), so that you wouldn’t need to deal with the rubbish when you are in the mountains.
Treat Waste Water Properly: Dirty water produced during camping should be discarded in designated cat holes. If there isn’t one, please discard of dirty water on sand/soil that is at least 60 meters away from any water source.
Keep It Clean: When cleaning your dining ware, you may use hot water to make it easier for you to scrub things off, instead of running them with excessive amount of water; please also avoid using non-biodegradable cleaners in the wild. Food waste should be appropriately packed and taken away from the mountains.
Help the Others, Too: If possible, please take away the rubbish left behind by other visitors as well.
The Call of Nature: Please defecate on sand or soil that is away from footpaths, and at least 60 meters away from any water source. Also, avoid defecating on plants.
Pack It In, Pack It Out: Take with you all the rubbish your expedition has generated, only discard of them after you are back to urban areas.

4) LEAVE WHAT YOU FIND
Earth to Earth, Dust to Dust: Whatever belongs to the nature belongs to the nature, don’t take them away; whatever does not belong to the nature does not belong to the nature, do not introduce exotic species to the wild.
Looking but No Touching: Protect the cultural heritages you encounter in the wild, admire their beauty with your eyes, but don’t attempt to touch them, to prevent any unintentional damages. Please do not leave marks or graffiti on them.

5) MINIMIZE CAMPFIRE IMPACTS
Prevent Hill fires:  Hill fires can have long-lasting effects on the mountains. When you cook, please use the appropriate gears; and avoid smoking, to reduce the chances of starting a hill fire.
Use Fire Legally:  If you have to make a camp fire, do it in the designated places. Only firewood that has already fallen to the ground, and is narrow enough to be breakable by hand, should be collected. If you need to start a fire on the ground, please pick a site that is bare of plants, and start the fire on a thick pile of soil or sand. After you have your fun, please make sure that all the fuels that you have put in have already been burned to ashes, before killing the fire with water. Spread the wet ashes widely.

6) RESPECT WILDLIFE
No Feeding: Don’t feed the wild animals, to avoid changing their eating habits. In addition, unnatural food may also damage the health of the wild animals.
Let the Animals Stay: Don’t take the animals home with you. Nature is their home. Taking them away may cause them their lives, if they could not adapt to the new environment.
Respect Life: Don’t harm the wildlife, respect their rights to live.
Pack Nicely: Pack away food and rubbish with care, this can protect both the wild animals seeking for food, and also yourself.

7) BE CONSIDERATE OF OTHER VISITORS
Close Encounters: When encountering fellow visitors on narrow trails, those with lighter packs should give ways to those with heavier ones.
A Little Personal Space: When possible, pitch your tents away from that of the others, so that everyone can enjoy their own piece of nature.
The Sound of Silence: People going into the wild over the the weekend are mostly trying to stay away from the noisy and stressful urban environment, and to enjoy the sounds of nature. So please, when you are out there, be thoughtful, and lower your voice – don’t shout, and keep the noise of your radio down. Do respect other people’s rights to nature’s quietness.

References:
[1] Leave No Trace Official Website: https:// lnt.org
[2] The Seven Leave No Trace Principles https:// lnt.org/learn/ 7-principles

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