Hiking Safety

Having made my share of mistakes in the wilderness over the years, I have compiled a list of gotcha’s that can be applied to any outdoor adventure. I urge you to print this out and store with your outdoor gear. Hiking can be a most rewarding distraction from the daily grind, but safety should NEVER be taken for granted!

Preparation

1) Plan your hike. You are more likely to have a safe and happy hike if you “plan your hike, and hike your plan”. To rush out on a big hike w/o proper planning is asking for trouble! ALWAYS notify someone close to you where you will be and how long you will be gone.

2) Know your terrain. Use every resource available to get to know your hiking trail before you set out. This will prepare you for the walking conditions. “Are there streams to ford?, Elevation changes?, Is terrain rocky or smooth?”, Just some of the questions that can be answered BEFORE you set out.

3) Know your climate. Hypothermia is real, dangerous, and misunderstood. Hypothermia can strike in relatively warm environments. Hypothermia plain and simple is a rapid cooling of the body. This can be caused by cold, wet or a combination of both. Hypothermia can easily be prevented with proper preparation.

In The Pack Essentials

1) Potable water. Always have fresh water available, on any excursion. It is also a good idea to bring along purification tablets and/or a filtration device. Having the ability to produce drinking water can be just as important as the water you pack in. I also bring along some protein snacks, just in case.

2) First Aid Kit. Although an obvious choice, it is surprising how many folks go in the wilderness without one. Items as simple as pain relief tablets can be a welcome addition when you are far from civilization. Other items are bandages, tweezers, moleskin, antiseptic, needle and thread (for repairs).

3) Fire and light source. Matches and a lighter are essentials for me. I usually pack along a small piece of commercial starter stick for quick fires in moist environments. I also pack a small conventional flashlight and an LED light, as well.

4) Clothing. It is always wise to pack some extra layers. The weight of these items will be dictated by the environment, err to the side of caution, as temps can fluctuate greatly, especially in mountainous environments. An extra pair of socks can be life savers.

5) Orienteering. Packing along a map and compass has gotten me out of a jam more than once. I also carry a cell phone, even though I may not get reception in most places, in a pinch, I may be able to get a call out.

The single most important item to pack on your next hike is common sense. Making sound decisions while on the trail will keep you out of most troubled situations. If you hike with your family members, especially children or seniors, remember that they may not have the stamina handle the same level hike as you, and you ultimately must make the right decision.

Advertisements

Acne Skin Care 8 Simple Tips To Follow

Commonly affecting the skin condition of people between ages 12 to 24 is a disease called acne. The cause of acne is hard to determine. However, over secretion of the sebaceous glands is pointed as the cause to trigger most acne outbreaks.

Pilosebaceous units are the combination of the hair follicles and oil glands in the skin. Except for the surface of the palms and the soles of the feet, pilosabaceous units are found on the skin tissue throughout the body . They are responsible in secreting the oily substance called sebum. However, due to many factors (e.g. hormonal imbalances, stress and the skin’s natural condition) the oil glands may be induced to produce more sebum than normal. When this happens, the excess oil plugs the skin pores. This process brings about bacterial infection and stimulate the reaction of the immune system. In the end, acne inflammation results.

Acne can strike at any skin type. An oily skin type is most subseptible to acne. Dry skin on the other hand, may not be as susceptible but serious outbreaks may occur during winter. Normal skin is equally susceptible to acne but the level of severity may not be as high.

Presently, acne is not yet totally curable but can be remedied with several acne skin care methods. Many seek the help of topical medications, which are applied on the surface of the skin. However, employing the use of acne skin care products like “pore strip pads” may remove whiteheads and blackheads but they would not have any effect on the excess sebum produced.

Nevertheless, for remedy and prevention, it is best to employ the following 8 simple tips:

1. A healthy, well-balanced diet must be observed. Therefore, your food intake must incorporate all the essential nutrients the body needs for efficient functioning.

2. Drink plenty of fluids like water, juices. Minimize the intake of carbonated drinks.

3. No make up is recommended.

4. Wash your face with mild soap and water. The logic is to not remove the dirt (as the majority of acne-inflicted person perceive) but to remove the plugs on the skin pores, which may be a combination of dead skin cells, bacteria and hardened sebum. Although dirt is not truly the cause of acne, it may contribute to further infection through its interaction with skin debris and particles and extra oil in the skin.

5. Use topical cleansing pads that may contain one or the combination of the following: salicylic acid, sulfur and benzoyl peroxide to remove excess oil. Another way to minimize the presence of extra oil in the skin is to wash the face with the hottest water you can withstand.

6. Minimize the use of harsh cleansers and use acne skin care items that exfoliate mildly. Do not scrub vigorously to the affected areas.

7. If your hands are dirty, refrain from touching your face.

8. If you have long hair, tie up your hair so that it is kept away from the face. This is especially so if the weather is hot and you have been perspiring.

Preventative acne skin care steps are just as important as the treatment of acne itself. With prevention, at least, you know how to ensure that your acne problem does not escalate and spread to a bigger infected area.

Exercise and Asthma

If you suffer from asthma, you probably think that you can’t exercise properly or safely. Contrary to what many think of this subject, there are ways that you can get in shape and exercise, even if you suffer from asthma.

Asthma is a chronic lung disease that is marked by characteristics such as coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath, and chest tightness. Asthma tends to occur with people who are genetically or environmentally presdisposed to the condition.

Some of the triggers that may start or make an attack worse include exposure to allergens, viral respiratory infections, airway irritants, exercise, and exposure to things such as dust mites or cockroaches.

You can prevent asthma attacks by doing the following: 1. Bathe your pets weekly.

2. Don’t smoke or permit smoking in your home.

3. When mold or pollent counts are high, you should stay inside with air conditioning.

4. Wash your bedding and any stuffed toys at least once per week in hot water.

5. Wash your hands every chance you get.

6. Get a flu shot.

7. Wear a scarf over your mouth and nose in the winter months.

8. Be proactive and know your triggers and how you should avoid them.

Now that you know what you know about asthma, you may be wondering where exercise fits in. As most doctors will tell you, you shouldn’t give up on sports or exercise at all. You just have to be smart about how you play and take special pre cautions to avoid attacks.

Almost all doctors agree that the best way to prevent attacks during exercise is to keep your inhaler and medication close by. You should never use the inhaler more than 3 times during a game or exercise session. If you are up the previous night with coughing and wheezing, it’s always best to go light with your exercise the next day.

For something known as IEA (Exercise Induced Asthma), the symptoms are somewhat different, in the fact that they appear after 6 – 10 minutes of exercise and will often be worse in cold or dry air.

If you have IEA, there are several activities that you can enjoy such as swimming, walking, biking, downhill skiing, and team based sports. There are many activities for you to choose from, to ensure you get the exercise you need as well.

Keep in mind that the condition of asthma isn’t “all in your head”, it is a real physiological medical treatment that will require treatment to prevent and treat. Even though your doctor will be your best friend in treating asthma, you are the one who can prevent your symptoms.

Always be smart, take your medication, and be proactive. Don’t let it put you in a life of misery – as you can enjoy exercise just like everyone else.