ON HIKING AND THE OUTDOORS WITH JEREMY

jeremy

I met Jeremy when I was hiking the Chickenfoot Lake trail in the Sierra Nevada region in California with my husband and a group of friends. After meeting him on the trail, he hiked with us the rest of the way to Chickenfoot Lake and we all enjoyed some snacks and a chat together. Jeremy was telling us how he was planning on staying in the area for a couple of weeks, and needless to say my interest in his journey and what he loves about hiking led me to asking him if he would share his experiences on my blog. Fortunately he agreed and here you will find some great tips on hiking and be inspired to get outdoors yourself.

Chickenfoot Lake is such a beautiful part of the world.  What brought you up here and how long are you planning to stay in the area?

A) I wanted to find a place where I can think (or meditate) on my life, where it may be going, and practical choices that need to be made for my future – in a quiet and secluded area.

B) The Sierra Nevada Mt range and Chickenfoot Lake has been a spot (and area) where my family has visited many times in my upbringing – it was familiar and quiet.

C) I wanted to stay for 12 days in that whole area near Chickenfoot.

Hiking is an activity a lot of people grow up with and keep doing it for the entire life.  Did you hike growing up or did you fall into it another way?

For me, hiking has been something I have grown up with, and the desire  to return has often come back. To relish in new ways all that is experienced when hiking.

How often to you get into the outdoors?  Is it something you crave, and make sure it happens regularly?

There are seasons that I crave getting outdoors (hiking or not hiking), and often find time to do so.  I may hike, drive, sit at a lookout, or read near a river, etc. It doesn’t happen regularly, nor do I make sure that it does; but when the desires hit, I respond.  I would say, getting outdoors happens 1-4 times a month.

Where are your favourite hikes that you have been on?

There are a few favourite hikes experienced in my lifetime:

  1. Many places in the Sierra Nevada’s, such as Chickenfoot Lake area, Duck Pass Trail, Saddlebag Lake, and so many
  2. The Prairie Creek trail in Northern California is another example – which takes you through a misty canyon where water drips all around you on the walls
  3. The Mist Trail – Vernal and Nevada Falls in Yosemite Valley.

For hikes that are for longer than a day, what advice can you give for other people who may not be as experienced with multi-day hikes?

Any time a hiker is “going out in the woods” for longer than a day – “Overnight Backpacking” – then you will need an entirely different set up equipment, mindsets, and preparations.

 

A) Do NOT go unprepared (unless you enjoy risk of death)

B) Temperatures drop dramatically at night in mountains and near water

C) Visit an outdoor store near you (like REI or Anaconda) and get help, familiarity, and introduced to what you’ll need outdoors.  {Food, tent, sleeping bag, clothes are a start – all of which must fit the kind of Overnight Backpacking you’ll be doing}

D) Generally, tell at least one person what trail you’ll be on, and even the area you think you’ll stay  – in case you don’t return

E) And there’s more to think about, as you have fun experiencing more…

The outdoors can be amazing but can also be challenging.  Have you had any close calls in your time, either coming across bears or breaking any bones?

In my limited backpacking experience I haven’t had any life-threatening situations.

Speaking of bears, what advice do you have for people like me who are scared of them?  How do you try to avoid them from coming near your campsite!?

Hehe,  Probably 3 basic things to Remember with Bears:

A) Sloth Bears and Brown Bears are the more “aggressive” types (not Black Bears) – but even they are more timid than many of our Fears believe

B) 2 things make any bear more “aggressive”: Fear of their loved ones’ (children’s) safety, and surprise/fear of something coming too close at an unexpected time

C) 2 other things may bring a bear closer to you, or make them fired up: food and pets. 1)  Don’t keep food in your tent 2) Don’t cook too close to your tent 3) Keep a close eye on your pets as you hike.

What goes into your pack on your hikes?

For Me, in my Pack were these:

  • Tent
  • Sleeping bag
  • (Rollup) Mat
  • Stove (GasContainer&Stove pieces)
  • Lighters(2)
  • Pans
  • CookingUtensils(like a Sphork)
  • Nalgine Water Bottle
  • UV”Steri-Pen” stick
  • Camal Pack (water container)
  • Pocket Knife
  • Headlamp(2)
  • Batteries(for Headlamp AND Steri-Pen)
  • Rope(300ft)
  • Toilet paper
  • Soap
  • Small towel
  • Insect repellant
  • Duck tape
  • Ziploc bags
  • Trash bags
  • Extra straps(to attach to Pack)
  • Map
  • Compass
  • License(miscellaneous)
  • CAMERA! 🙂
  • BearCan (or FoodContainer, like pillow case)

Whatever FOOD you like best out there and sunscreen. Bears like anything with a scent (sunscreen, lotion, etc)  And…. socks, shirt, long johns, beanie, jacket.

AND I WAS WEARING: boots, pants(jeans) wool socks, underdacks, shirt, hat (with visor).

How do you keep fit to make sure you can do such long hikes?

I don’t keep fit at all. Hikes are difficult, I ache, and complain afterward. But it’s worth it!! (but simply walking, jogging, push ups, and ESPECIALLY leg exercises can help. Strong cardio will help you in all altitudes).

What do you love most about hiking?

When hiking, especially alone, noise can finally slow, and slow, and slow …down.

 

Silence “is the space between all things.” Only in Silence can we truly Listen or “know” our soul…. (in many ways it seems). So far, it seems that few of us know how to “read the soul,” much less feel the truth that it is not simply our bodies, feelings, thoughts, hearts, or even intuition: but something far larger still. “Hiking” or at least being somewhat removed, helps a lot in this … direction (I guess).

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