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Happy Trails: Summer is here, where are you?
June 22, 2012

June 2012: A Note From Diane

Greetings to you during one of my favorite times of year: the week of the Summer Solstice.

Longer days mean longer hikes, more ambitious destinations, and perhaps a few more troublesome aches & pains from a heavier pack.

But let's look on the bright side! Mother Nature is putting on a fabulous show for us here in the Northern hemisphere. And it's our solemn duty to get out and enjoy it, right?

It might be tough to find a balance between your desire/itch/need/absolute compulsion to hike AND your obligations and responsibilities in the realms of home, school, work, social circles.

So I'm going to go ahead and give you permission to sneak away for a day hike within the next seven days, just 'cuz it's good for your (fill in the blank with whatever says "health and wellness" to you).

Summer is here, where are you? On a hiking trail, I hope!

By the way, my apologies if you haven't been receiving my ezine. It was brought to my attention that they haven't been going out properly. I think the glitch is fixed, if not, please email me and I'll try a different "fix".

Hiking Ethics

Recently I received an email from a woman who is involved in a research project on hiking ethics at the University of North Alabama.

This topic intrigues me, so I took a closer look at the goals of the project. The researchers are exploring the link between the psychology of religion AND the impact of hikers on the environment.

You start out by giving informed consent, then rating hiking related photos for whether or not you find them pleasant. This is followed by short questionnaires on hiking, environmentalism, and spirituality. Total time investment: around 30 minutes.

Note that I'm not endorsing this research, simply providing you an opportunity to check it out here. (link now disabled)

Hiking Resources

I recently purchased a "sit upon".

Never heard of one?

Then chances are, you didn't have the pleasure of Girl Scouting in your childhood.

Back when the pterodactyls flew, able Girl Scouts stitched together the following contraption: 2 layers of oil cloth (given to us by our moms when it was no longer used as a table cloth), with multiple layers of newspaper in between. Bonus points for careful stitching!

The purpose? To sit upon it during our campfires and story circles!

This new version isn't half as fun, but certainly more functional. I chose the ThermaRest Lite Seat because it's really lightweight (3 ounces) and it squishes down to almost nothing in my pack until I pull it out and watch it self-inflate (hypnotic in an eerie way).

I wish I had bought one years ago! It's great to have a cushion between me and cold rocks while I eat my lunch.

Let me know if you use other brands, I'm always eager to pass on good and bad news on my website.

Barefoot Hiking

Watch for a new web page on barefoot hiking. It makes no sense to me, but I'm willing to attempt to understand why folks do it. I'll let you know what I find out.

And if you're a barefooter, drop me a line and enlighten me about why it's a rational approach to hiking.

GRAB and GO!

Trail time is precious in the summer, so I don't want to take up any more of it. Grab your pack and go have yourself an adventure.

Repeat as necessary to build up a treasure trove of memories to get you through next winter's gloom.

From me to you,

Happy Trails always.

Questions about hiking? Comments about what you just read? Suggestions for future topics? I'd love to hear them!
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