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Trail Snacks Are Not Optional!
February 22, 2015

February 2015: A Note From Diane

Wow! Has it really been a month already?

How's that "daily walk" challenge I tossed your way last month been working for you?

I hope your walks have been filled with hiking daydreams, and that you've got at least a tentative plan scratched out on paper for some great hikes in 2015.

I've got lots to share with you, so without further ado, here's what's been on my mind this month:

*a new source of trail snacks;

*a new way to get ready for the trail without much effort;

*and a testimonial for why we really need trail time.

Ready? Let's go!

Trail Snacks Bonanza

There are a few things I'm obsessive about.

Finding new trail snacks is one of them (the rest shall remain nameless, at least for now).

As spring hiking approaches (or fall, depending on where you are!), trail food is on my mind.

I've grown a little bored with the same old stuff I throw into the lunch sack, but I don't really have time to haunt new food stores in search of something different.

So here's what I've decided to try:

Nature Box Snacks.

I'm not on commission, so don't think I've been talked into this stuff. No, it just makes sense: numerous trail snack options shipped right to your waiting lunch sack, a free trial so you can get a feel for the company, options for dietary restrictions or preferences - what's not to love?

And I don't think the price is out of line for the rewards of finding new trail worthy snacks, considering that shipping is rolled into one set price of $19.95/month (caveat: $2 shipping fee outside of US or $7.95 shipping to Canada at the time I write this).

Prepaying for several months brings the price down even further.

I'll let you know how it goes! My free trial box is on its way...

And if you've got an opinion about this company, or this approach to trying new snacks, I'd love to hear it! My contact information is at the bottom of this newsletter.

Even better: other ideas for trail snacks. I promise to share!

Get Trail Ready At Your Desk

I've been noticing that my back feels a little creaky for the first half hour of my recent hikes (no snow in the Pacific NW, so no snowshoeing - just trail dirt).

A coworker solved my problem for me, without even realizing it! I noticed a new chair in her office, one of those "balance ball" things but in a lightweight frame for stability.

When I looked into the company, and that particular chair, I realized that I could be strengthening my core spinal muscles without any effort while seated at my desk, simply by changing my chair.

So I ordered one, and I've gotta tell you - I love it! My posture has improved after 3 weeks of weekday usage. And my back twinges have disappeared.

The chair gently forces me to sit up straight, feet on the floor. I was shocked to discover how much I cross my legs, and hunch forward, while I read or do computer work. Sitting up straight also took away some neck strain that I had written off as "just the way it is".

Again, I'm not on commission, so you can take this testimonial as simply my opinion. But if your back has been "talkin' to you" lately, look into this chair from Gaiam.

Drop me a line if you'd like a run down of the pros and cons I've discovered after using this chair. It's already made a big difference in my trail performance, and it might be helpful for you, too.

If you already own one, I'd love to compare notes!

Testimonial: Hiker Motivation

OK, enough with parting you from your money! I sound like a telemarketer - sorry about that! But when I find something that works, why keep it to myself?

Let's turn to some heartfelt words of hiking wisdom I received in a lovely email recently. I'm hoping they will be meaningful for you as well.

Giuliana writes:

"I haven't conquered majestic famous summits or covered long distance strenuous terrain like the PCT or AT (yes a few are on my bucket list!) but I have learned during my solo hikes along the trails to enjoy and appreciate the beauty and serenity of nature through the journey rather than the destination. I stop and "smell the roses", take off my boots and socks and refresh my sore feet in the cool stream or creek, listen to the birds, sit quietly to observe my surroundings."

"And yes, sometimes I get melancholic and reflect on my personal struggles, shed a few tears in silence, but at the end I return back to civilization recharged and at peace with myself."

"You wonder why I am sharing this, well just for the same reasons you share your stories with the rest of us; for motivation, self improvement, exchange ideas and experiences and perhaps learn something new from others."

"Happy steps!"

So if you're hesitating over investing time and energy into a hiking life, follow Giuliana's sage advice for taking your own "happy steps".

I am bursting with more news, but that's all for now. I know how important your time is, and I'm grateful that you take some of it to read this little newsletter.

Maybe I should send this out more often! Or is that a really bad idea?

Til next time, know that I'm on the prowl for more great stuff to share with you. Please send along your hiking questions and ambitions - I'm here to help you get out on the trail more often, strong and happy and filled with great hiking snacks.

And if you've been walking every day since the last newsletter, virtual high five for you!

From me to you,

Happy Trails always.

Diane a.k.a. Happy Hiker

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