Saturday, May 23, 2020

Hiking in a Post Viral World

Episode One - Hiking in a Post Covid World – (Show Notes)

In this inaugural episode, host Lauralee Bliss, trail name Blissful, begins with the uncertainty the Covid health crisis placed upon hikers when trails were closed and plans curtailed. How we respond as hikers to these changes in plans says much about us and what we will accomplish.

Initial response – get angry
Follow up response – get rebellious and hike no matter what the restrictions
Neither generate peace.

How can we look at it differently?

Use the unseen enemy of this virus and its effects to rethink and re-plan hikes.
  • Check out new trails using new guidebooks and maps.
  • Check out online resources like Hiking Upward and All Trails for hikes and make sure those areas have no restrictions in place. National Forests provide many scenic trail opportunities, as does county and state parks. Check out the ones in your area. Enjoy a new trail and embrace a new adventure with new appreciation. I checked out new parks in my county and new trails in George Washington National Forest. And took a longer hike on the Foothills Trail of South Carolina and was amazed.

I found the beauty of wildflowers, waterfalls, views, and most of all, peace from the swirl of issues concerning the unseen enemy. I know I will have a new appreciation for nature and NOT take things for granted.

As trails open and opportunities increase, we should remain vigilant and safe for the safety and health of everyone.

  • Seek out those lesser known trails and avoid popular places. If a parking lot is crowded, find a different trailhead.
  • On the way to the trailhead, be safe in public places. Keep your distance, bring your hand sanitizer and face covering if elderly are present.
  • While on the trails, be sure to talk to folks but keep it at a safe distance. Don’t ignore others just because of social distancing. We need each other, more than ever.
  • Be trail safe. Do not put SAR and other rescue in harms way because of poor decisions. Do not bushwhack, do not take chances in unfamiliar areas, do not scale rocks and waterfalls. Know your limits out there and don’t overdo.
  • Take along the ten essentials including clothing like a hat and fleece, first aid kit, water and water purification, food, headlamp, a space blanket, a full charged cell phone, and navigation.

If you are backpacking:
  • Avoid popular trails like the Appalachian Trail. Check with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy and other trail organizations to see when it is safe to venture to this popular place for hikers. Seek out lesser known trails for your overnight experiences. Now is the time to be a discoverer!
  • DO not stay at shelters or use picnic tables or privies. Carry a tent.
  • Practice Leave No Trace ethics by carrying out all trash and burying waste. Know before you go.
  • Be self-reliant and responsible, and most of all, be safe.

Yes, this is a tough time. We will be changed forever by it, but in a good way as we appreciate nature and each other even more. Safe hiking to you!

Never miss an episode! Be sure to subscribe to the Blissful Hiking Adventures podcast.
Coming soon - Hiking in our National Parks

Also available, the Hiking Adventure series of books on the Appalachian Trail (both north and south) and the Florida Trail:
Barnes and Noble - Florida Trail and Appalachian Trail

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