By Kathy Cano-Murillo
American Latino Expedition
Here we are on our last day of our @American_Latino Expedition! We toured Antelope Canyon and it was amazing! That’s a whole other blog post, but for now, I thought I’d share a list of tips for newbies that I learned.
1. If you’ve never experienced an outdoor adventure, I really suggest you do. I never had any desire to hike or swim in a lake, etc. I didn’t know what I was missing. It really does clear your mind and makes you appreciate your body and nature in general. Connect with some friends and find local places with nice scenery and at least go for a walk. Better yet, visit your local REI store to see what hiking trails they are featuring! They also have lessons and workshops you can attend.
2. Dress correctly. Even if you are doing heavy hiking or walking, wear good foot support. Can you believe on the last day, I wore my flip flops? Monique scolded me! “Kathy, go put on your sneakers, we’re going through a canyon!” Now I know, lol! And if you have new sneakers, break them in, wear comfy socks.
3. Bring lots of water. Drink lots of water. Don’t wait until you are thirsty to drink, that means you are already dehydrated!
4. Take a couple of cotton bandanas. Wet them down and wear one around your neck or on your head to cool you down.
5. Research the place you are visiting. It’s one thing to see the beauty, but it is even better to know the history! ALSO – be aware of the terrain, the temperature, look online for tips from other people who hiked the trail.
6. Put your cellphone on airplane mode while hiking. This will help prolong your battery. Chances are you won’t get recpetion anyway.
7. Use sunscreen on every exposed part of your body! I had to keep getting reminded to do this. Don’t forget lip balm.
8. Wear a hat to shield your face from the sun.
9. Stay with your group, don’t go off trail.
10. If going around water, put your phone in a ziplock bag. Denise and I both spent $79 on a waterproof case that we weren’t impressed with. Monique used this bag. Brilliant!
11. Don’t rush while hiking. Take time to stop and catch your breath, find shade.
12. Don’t get heat exhaustion! Use a spray bottle of water to keep you cool, it feels so nice and refreshing!
13. If you’re hiking steep terrain, take a walking stick. When we hiked at Rainbow Bridge, our guide, Park Ranger Cindy, lent me her walking stick. It came in handy more than you know!
14. Bring a mini care package of band-aids, wipies, energy bars, lip balm.
15. Have fun! Allow yourself to fully absorb the surroundings, surrender to the dirt as my friend, Cindy says. And while it’s great to take pictures, remember, some things are best for your eyes only, savor the moment!