Author Topic: Hiking Preparedness for Beginners  (Read 224 times)

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Offline ccawthon

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Hiking Preparedness for Beginners
« on: November 18, 2019, 05:51:07 PM »

FOR BEGINNING HIKERS

I'm very fortunate to have the highest mountain in Alabama practically at the back door of my cabin. The last few weekends have seen increased foot traffic at Mt. Cheaha State Park and surrounding areas of the Talladega National Forest. There have been a great many hikers and campers this fall.

When planning to go hiking it’s a good idea to carry items that, when at home, we take for granted:

•        32 ounces of water, per person, for every two hours you’re walking plus be sure to start your trip well-hydrated. You’ll need more water on hot days. Also it’s a good idea to sip rather than chug water.
•        Healthful foods containing protein and carbs for energy.
•        Safe hand cleaner which might be as simple as a pocket-sized bottle of Thieves Hand Sanitizer since a source of water may not be available.
•        Dress in loose fitting, non-restricting layers so you can move about with ease. You will be able remove outer layers to tie around your waste or tuck into a backpack when you are too warm. Also keep your head covered in cold weather to prevent heat loss. Mild hypothermia results from the body dropping below our normal 98.6 degree temperature.
•        A walking or hiking stick can be very handy in uneven or slippery terrain.
•        Unless you are an experienced backpacker with plans to camp overnight, don’t start your hike late in the afternoon. A friend our local EMA recently told me that every year a number of hikers are rescued after becoming lost in the dark in the Mt. Cheaha area.
•        It’s a great idea to pack emergency tools including:

 Small, bright flashlight – recommended is 500 lumen with a strobe setting

 A lightweight thermal blanket that can be folded into a small pouch and fit neatly inside your backpack

 Pocket knife

 Bear spray

 Fully charged cell phones including a solar charger for extended camping

 Navigational tools such as GPS or compass

 Natural insect repellent*. I recommend an essential oil based Insect Repellent from Young Living as it contains Citronella, Lemongrass, Rosemary, Geranium, Spearmint, Thyme, and Clove essential oils in a base of sesame seed oil. It has been tested against mosquitoes, ticks, and fleas. I live in a cabin in the woods and can vouch for its effectiveness.

 If you’re looking for a recommendation on a safe and natural sunscreen, contact me.

 A few Band-Aids or package of gauze and tape for open wounds.

 I have found that a safe and natural “medicine” kit for a short hike might include these tiny bottles of essential oils which are super lightweight and easy to pack:

Peppermint Essential Oil – great to massage onto calves after strenuous activity, can be helpful for focus, as well as digestive support

Lavender essential oil for soothing minor skin irritations, such as scrapes, insect bites, and too much sun – it’s also a helpful oil for relaxing at bedtime around the campfire if you have a nervous camper

DiGize Essential Oil blend which contains several oils including Ginger and Fennel. I have found this one a great help in case of upset tummy caused by motion sickness (oh, those winding mountain roads) as well as the occasional overindulgence at mealtime

Oregano Essential Oil which I have found to be a must have in my bug out bag and medicine cabinet when I have a boo boo that needs a little extra help in healing

Myrtle Essential Oil which I’ve found very soothing when applied to the chest for those times when I feel somewhat winded

Lastly, it’s a good idea to hike with friends rather than alone.

There are likely many experienced hikers in GBO and they are invited to add their replies to this post to share experiences.  I would be honored to help you with any of the wellness tools mentioned today. You can find me at www.dropsofcabinlife.com.

*Insect Repellent available in liquid or wipes
Picture from McDill Overlook in the Talladega National Forest 11.16.2019


You are the gatekeeper of your home.
Natural wellness ➳ the simple lifestyle.
Oiled up. Prayed up. Prepared.

Offline Cmason

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Re: Hiking Preparedness for Beginners
« Reply #1 on: November 19, 2019, 01:39:50 AM »
Great post! Thank you!

Offline ccawthon

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Re: Hiking Preparedness for Beginners
« Reply #2 on: November 19, 2019, 06:52:41 PM »
Thank you, Cmason!
You are the gatekeeper of your home.
Natural wellness ➳ the simple lifestyle.
Oiled up. Prayed up. Prepared.