Going on an adventure in the Pacific Northwest is unlike any other place in the world. From the rustic, natural beauty of the San Juan Islands to the Olympic National Park, full of luscious rainforest and shimmering mountains, it really is a place of wonder. And this is why I always recommend to people to get out and see it on foot. It’s the only way to experience the place in all its glory. The best way to see the PNW is to start hiking and camping. There are many seasoned professionals in camping and hiking, and then there are some that need a little guidance. Here are some essentials you will need to get an amazing experience up in the mountains.
Get A Map
If you are going hiking in a region you’ve never been in before and you’re not able to rely on your smartphone, mainly because there will be no signal, you will need to get a topographic map of the area. Before you start off, study the route. Be sure to keep it safe in your backpack, preferably in a zip lock that is waterproof. You can get some good maps for PNW trails, like Green Trails Maps.
If you are planning on spending the night in a camping area or off the trail, then you need to be packing the correct camping equipment. The rainy weather conditions mean you will need to pack waterproof clothing, preferably wool and many layers; and buy sturdy footwear with good grips on the sole. You can look at http://tentsandcampgear.com/ for inspiration on camping gear and what items you will need to pack. The best method is to pack light but with the essentials. You will likely need extra food if you are really pushing yourself, so pack easy to eat items like energy bars and nuts that you can grab a handful of as you go.
First Aid Supplies
This is a must! You can buy a hiker first aid kit or put your own together if you would rather. Being out in the elements means you could be hit with anything, bee stings, migraines, or twisted ankles being just a few examples. If you use medication, take it with you as it could mean a difference between safety and injury if you are up a high mountain without your meds.
The PNW has so much fresh water, but you need to purify it before drinking because of the risk of getting sick from giardia, which is an infection caused by contaminated water. As well as carrying extra water, pack some purification tablets or a water filter with you. A good water filter will last you years.
A Swiss Army Knife
The great multi-purpose tool for getting around in the backcountry! Where would we be without it? Get yourself a multi-purpose tool, and it can be used to repair your gear, clip your bandages, or slice some cheese! Just be sure to keep it on your person, folded away, and clean in between each use.
The pain of losing a loved one is something that takes time to heal. Whether a close friend has passed away or your marriage has broken down, if you are experiencing heartache then you will be feeling horrendous, alone and unable to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
If your sadness is linked to the breakdown of a marriage then there are going to be some very hard decisions to make ahead of you. You shouldn’t rush the process. If you were not the instigator of the break up then you need time to allow your emotions to settle. You may find you are experiencing shock, guilt, anger or denial. Whilst these are all normal stages of the healing process and you should allow yourself to go through each one, you do need to ensure you aren’t stuck in one particular stage. Reflection is great, but too much may change the way you see things.
Some people will seek advice from a psychic phone line, whilst this could give you a little hope try to remember that you can’t just sit and wait for the earth to heal you, you need to be proactive. There will also be large landmark moments such as what to do with your wedding ring. Some will feel there is bad luck attached to it, but may want to keep the ring. Crystal healing may offer you some help.
Talking is always the best remedy in these situations. If you didn’t have the opportunity to get answers from your partner then you may find the healing process takes longer. Talk to your friends but also, try to find someone who isn’t emotionally attached to you or your spouse. Someone who can help offer a little clarity without any judgement or opinion.
If the death of a loved one is the root cause of your heartache then you may find comfort in surrounding yourself with family and friends. Try to focus on all the happy memories and wonderful traits of the person you have lost. If their death was sudden or unexpected the trauma can have a huge impact on your daily life, so get some bereavement counselling to help you through the early stages.
You must allow yourself time to process all the emotions, often there are not answers to the question of why. Life can just take tragic and unexpected turns. You need to set your mind on small tasks everyday and not try to block out your pain. Live with the sadness, it’s ok as long as you aren’t consumed by it. Crying can be a wonderful release so don’t be too proud to let it happen, never hold back the tears.
You may find comfort in alternative therapies such as aromatherapy or meditation. Oils such as sandalwood, cedar and lavender can help you through these times and taking lots of calm moments to clear your mind of all the questions, fears and worries that sudden loss can bring. Look after yourself by ensuring you eat, you may not want to but it is surprising how much comfort can be found at the bottom of a bowl of soup.
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