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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I had the bright idea to go to Nakum Guatemala in the driest part of the year. Turns out to be the hottest part of the year also. 105 tomorrow, low in the 70s.

Permethrin washes out after 6 washings, my Grayl filter seems to clog much more quickly at 100 than it does at 50. Honestly, I do not know what tires are good on the road and in mud.

Say you need to ride 60 km on the road turn down a gravel road that deteriortes into a mud road in the rain forest. You get to choose from brown river water or rain water in a plastic storage tank.

Insects, do they make powdered permethrin so you can take it on the plane and soak your clothes again as needed?

The reward.
Napping on a 2,800 year old pyramid. If you like to take star photos with a ruin in them, you might catch the caretaker with the queens tomb open late one night. So few gringos have ever been in there. Maybe no one else cares, proving to the director in charge of a national park that a lunar calander exists in his park, well, means something. Not my first visit.

Dealing with the heat and the bugs, not my field of expertise.

 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Asking questions, looking for answers. Planning ahead for next time.
This time it is not the ride, but what waits at the end of the trail.
 

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I travelled and hiked in ache and also on malay/thai border. In a million years it would never occur to me to have a bicycle.

Main thing in both places were all the leaches, keep your neck and sleeves buttoned tight, pants into socks. For bugs i drenched myself in deet and try to sleep at higher elevations.

I dont think i could keep a bike running, nor would i want to push and carry it so much. Roads and trails were very difficult.

Deet worked great though. I had a bug net on a stick that i wrapped myself in for sleep. Stifling and claustrophobic but better than the bugs and other night things.

Water: On ridges there were springs you could dig for in the clay. Turned out to be safe to drink but tasted strongly of sulpher, was totally opaque like yellow milk so no filter or treatment. Man i was sure dumb to go to back part of ache. There was military stuff and local drug stuff. A german went out alone on the road at dusk and was killed and partly eaten by a tiger. Locals all said stick with them, they were accomodating and had compassion for the clueless aliens.
 

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Bugs:
You can send clothes away to Insect Shield to get them professionally baked with permethrin. That claims to last 70 launderings. It isn't too expensive per item, but it starts to add up if you need to to a lot of clothing. Given that you are posting in the bikepacking forum I'd assume you are packing light, so you wouldn't have too many garments that need it.

For sleeping, a hammock will be cooler, and if you get one with a separate bug net (not just sewed into the top, but hanging around the whole thing) you should be able to get a good night sleep. Check on the size of the biting bugs though. Some places have noseeums and such that can sneak through traditional bug nets.

Grayl:
Alas, as far as I can tell, that thing is mostly a gimmick. It really doesn't filter enough water to be worth it, and MAN it is expensive. Get a filter that you can back-flush to clear out, and be sure to pre-filter your water through a handkerchief or something to keep the sediment out.

Tires:
Bigger is always better. By mileage, you may have more road, but almost always the "offroad" portion actually takes a higher percentage of your time.
 

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Yep, that's the link. When I got tired of refreshing my permethrin every few weeks I sent them a few pairs of extra tall socks for summer tick protection. Now I keep them stored in a plastic bag in a cool dark place whenever they aren't in use, but I'm not sure any of those precautions are necessary.
 

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The best time to be in the lowlands like the Peten is December through March.
Nov. might be OK if the rainy season has ended. I can't even imagine being in the lowlands of Mexico or Guatemala (desert or jungle) in the summer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
I did not know 40 was a temperature. I did know that April is the driest month. And I do recall that I had to carry my old canti brake bike 3 or so kilometers on my shoulder, last spring, because the canti studs collected more mud than I could pedal through. This year only 12 hours of rain, not enough to destroy the road.

Dry hot April has 1,000,000 less mosquitos than December, thats per square inch

The best time to be in the lowlands like the Peten is December through March.
Nov. might be OK if the rainy season has ended. I can't even imagine being in the lowlands of Mexico or Guatemala (desert or jungle) in the summer.
 
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