When we’re not busy hitting you with hard-hitting news stories and engagingly introspective blog posts, there’s a good chance we’re giggling about something slightly moronic but enticingly funny in the digital suite (key word: suite) here at North Country Public Radio. (The web guys love us, we know it!) We’re a group of hard-working, strong, independent women, all soon-to-be college seniors and all aspiring writers.
But a few weeks ago, after we had heard Kelly complain one too many times about the blaring AC conveniently located above her head, we decided we needed to break away from the shackles that keep us confined to our intern corner. Together, we decided, what better way to get to know one another than to go on a hike!
So we told our bosses that we were going to “work” on a Saturday. We were going to complete the hike, all the while taking pictures, collecting audio and writing about our experience. We could have just texted/instagrammed/tweeted each other, but we’re coworkers and we need bonding activities.
Not that any of us were “experts,” I mean sure, we thought we knew what we were doing. But the higher we climbed, the more tips we picked up on. Here’s what we learned:
Do: Try to leave early in the morning. The sooner you get there, the better your chances of finding a parking spot. On weekends, parking spaces are hard to come by.
Do: Make sure you have killer tunes to play in the car…this is how you get pumped!
Don’t: Wear new hiking boots on an epic hike. You will literally tear your heels apart.
Do: Bring band-aids, just in case you DO wear new hiking boots and end up with blisters.
Don’t: Leave your hiking boots on after your hike. Give your feet a break and bring your Birkenstocks. Your feet deserve a chance to breathe!
Do: Be friendly and say hello to your fellow hikers—after all, you are sharing the space.
Don’t: Disrupt the environment around you. These aren’t your woods, so be respectful.
Do: Bring Duct Tape. It’s waterproof and can fix a water bottle, a tent, almost anything.
Don’t: Be like Aron Ralston (the guy who had to amputate his own arm) and not tell anyone where you’re going. Sign in at the trailhead and check yourself out when you’re done.
Don’t: Sprint. A long hike is about endurance.
Do: Drink lots of water and eat snacks. Snacks keep you well-nourished and energized on a long hike.
Don’t: Get discouraged: hiking isn’t always about making it to the top…getting there is half the fun!
Do: Take your time and enjoy where you are. A car can’t take you to a lot of the places in the Adirondack Park. So when you get to the summit, relax: you earned that view.
Do: Bring extra clothes. No one wants to smell like that on the way home.
Don’t: Forget to pace yourself!!! You might be feeling energized and ready to scale a wall at the beginning of your hike, but remember: for a while you’re merely walking towards the mountain, not up it. Set a pace you know you can maintain for hours on either steep or flat terrain.
We weren’t the most experienced hikers on the trail that day, but it didn’t matter. We were taking it all in—the good, the bad, and the ugly. But all jokes aside, If you want to get to know someone, go on a hike with them. Hiking can take someone out of their comfort zone, which is the perfect time to see what someone is really about. You’ll most likely hear them complain, but you’ll also watch them experience something beautiful.
These were the lessons we learned while we were out in the woods, but we definitely didn’t touch on all of them. Do you have an tips to add? Any advice? Did anything we said spark a memory, a funny story? Share them with us–we’d love to hear from you!