3rd excerpt from the 4/21/21 Just the Essentials. Almost time to start a new one!
A lot of us have been staying off the trails for a while. I've spoken to several health care providers over the last few months, and they tell me that they are seeing tons of muscle/joint injuries from our collective lack of motion and weight gain. Now that we're feeling more confident about getting out there, please keep in mind that it's a good idea to start slowly and you'll quickly work up to what used to be normal.
In case you've forgotten what you used to throw in the backpack, here are some suggestions:
Depending on the elevation and time of year, the temperature can fluctuate greatly in 15 minutes. Be aware of predictions and dress appropriately and in layers. Our kids are more like siblings than cousins, and they have found a particular shirt that has a particular fabric and texture that it is comfortable over a wide range of temps. It isn't available online, and it's about as easy to find as a unicorn, but the shirt also has a large front pouch/pocket. Very handy for hiking.
|Here they are wearing said shirts while giving me the universal signal for, "Isn't it almost time for you to go home? Stop taking pics, or I swear you'll wear this coffee!"
~Field Guide (or phone app)
I have strong reservations about phone apps. It's important to learn the most useful food and medicinal plants around you. At exactly the moment when we'll most need to be able to find them, most likely power will be out. Depending on anything that requires electricity during a crisis is short-sighted. If you like to use a plant ID phone app, please then go on to learn the plant by sight and memory. We've generally used the Peterson Guides, but there are many others available. Some free phone apps: PlantNet, iNaturalist, or PlantSnap.
While visiting my daughter in CO the autumn before the pandemic, I noticed people using walking sticks out on the trails. They look "adventurous" and "seasoned" instead of old and wobbly (my usual look). My sister and I have some trouble out here walking in the fields because they are uneven and although the land is flat-ish, the sticks are helpful here. On hills, they are even better. The ones I got are easily adjusted for height and have 3 other "feet" for snow, paved surfaces, etc.
I Googled "walking sticks" and found these at Dick's. They were about $25 and may be a great Mother's Day gift idea.
~Water and high energy snacks
Always have hydration available. We need hydration and calories in order to finish that walk that may have gotten a little longer than we expected, and both food and water enable us to think straight as well as keep walking.
|Always with a water bottle. Sunglasses are a good call, too.
Doing research for naming and labeling is one of the yuckiest parts of what we do. Oddly, it is illegal to use the word "repellent" for this type of product, unless it has been through very specific lab testing that nobody smaller than Dow Chemicals can afford. That's a slight exaggeration, but not by much.
Anyhow, that's why we didn't name or label "Git Spritz" using that terminology. People who use Git Spritz will tell you it works. One of our customers wrote while on the trail halfway across the country, asking for a quick shipment! We love it for everything from skeeters and ticks, and even added a specific essential oil to discourage those gnats that like to help garden in the evenings, and seek to get a little drink your eyes, nose, or mouth! The Git Stick is a solid lotion bar making it great to put around the ankles, behind the neck, where it stays and protects longer. There are a lot of good bug sprays out there. This is ours. (Individual items of kit are available separately)
Challenge yourself to leave the trail better than you found it. Leave nothing behind. Take only photos.
Happy Earth Day!