What Does Adventure Mean?

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There is a lot of hype these days on getting your stoke on in the nature world. The more extreme, the better it seems. You see this on Instagram accounts and rescue teams will account for the extreme culture we are currently in. Save the shot and be smart when in the natural world.

Extreme in the Alps is not always wise with the potential to land you in a great deal of trouble. Before venturing out on any trail or adventure, here are a few tips to ensure success.

1. Know and check the weather forecasts. This is imperative in the Alps, especially since weather can change frequently and it does.

2. Check passes if a pass is part of your route. Passes can be dangerous especially after a heavy snow season, bad weather or extreme rain. Make sure the pass is clear before starting your journey.

3. Be prepared with a first aid kit. You never know when you may need medical supplies while on the trail.

4. Be aware of rock falls, avalanches and the elements, which all posses potential dangers.

5. Chair lift operators, tourist offices and hotel staff are great resources to ask whenever you may be in doubt.

6. Never rely on cell reception in the mountains. Instead, go old school and carry a map, know your route and follow trail markers.

7. Carry what you need with you, which includes layers for changing weather, a hat, sunglasses, plenty of water and of course, some snacks.

8. Dodge the photo and don’t put yourself at risk. Sure you might get lots of likes on Instagram, but perching yourself in a precarious pose in a dangerous location simply isn’t worth it.

9. Have fun! Switzerland is gorgeous beyond belief, so soak it all in, make the most of good weather and get out there!

 

Gear – The Humble Wind Shirt

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Okay, laugh all you want, but this family of four sports wind shirts and yes, they are a thing. You know, those super thin, ultra-light, easy to pack shirt- jackets that are getting their fair share of use this summer. We love them.

Whether on boat rides to protect against the wind, on chilly lake walks, or early mountain mornings, those thin as Kleenex shirts are awesome and ever so handy! They are also awesome for layers too!

If you are looking for a shirt that’s not really a shirt, but more of a jacket to offer wind protection, sun protection, bug protection and the slightest touch of warmth, look no further!

Three Hiking Essentials

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There are a few items we never leave home without when we hike. Whether on local or alpine trails, these three items can always be found in our backpack (among other things).

1. Baby Wipes – Those wipes have saved us on more than one occasion. From dirty hands, to messy bottoms, to wiping up spills, baby wipes are key whenever hiking.

2. A First-Aid Kit – Whether a splinter, a skinned knee or a bee sting, we always carry a well stocked first-aid kit. Tip, if you use something in your first-aid kit while on the trail, don’t forget to restock the moment you get home to avoid not having what you need in an emergency.

3. Water – Hydration is key and despite Switzerland’s incredible fountains that dot not only the city landscapes, but some alpine trails as well, never rely on water being available when hiking. Pack enough water to hydrate each person in your group!

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Hiking Confession

My mother would never label me as overly sentimental, in fact, she often thinks I am unvarnished by life’s situations, but honestly that couldn’t be further from the truth.  Last night, while sitting around my family table that once sat my own father, mother, and brother, I told my husband how I donated my old hiking boots.  As I said this, I felt tears form in my eyes.  I have always had a hard time passing along my old hiking boots.  That moment of placing them in a bag, handing them over to someone else, or donating them, always fills me with a pang of sadness, for those boots have hiked miles, either solo or with my family by my side.  My boots have seen the best and the worst of me, they have covered terrain that has tested me and my boots have supported me as I felt overcome with emotion whenever I witness a sunset, spot an animal in the distance, arrive at a turquoise lake, or reach a summit.  Those boots are infused with memories, miles and mud.

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I have never been one to cherish things, and there are few objects in this world that capture me ( I prefer to regard people and experiences over things), but those boots, oh, they are ever so hard to leave behind.  Do you feel the same?  Our boots are rich with history, right?

Hiking Tip

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After a long day, when your dogs are barking big time, there is nothing better than slipping off those sticky, smelly socks and removing the boots and gliding your feet into flip flops.  Oh, my, gosh…the air on the toes, the freedom to move the feet around and the lack of confinement are all simply incredible.

Seriously people, if you don’t believe me, or if this is not one of your hiking practices already, get into this habit real fast and make your next hiking journey a total A+ experience.

The joy of flip flops, is a simple wonder that fills the heart with utter glee…trust us on this one; even our kids adore flip flops after long hikes!

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*OK, the first sentence is a partial truth, there are loads of things that are and do feel incredible after a long hike, but this is one worth noting.  More awesome post hiking tips to come!