If 2020 was the year of pausing and reflecting, then let 2021 be the year of exploration, adventure, and discovery.
For the month of June, we asked our community to share their tips, recommendations, and stories in our #maketimetoexplore campaign.
Explore some of our favorite posts, below.
“If I’m an advocate for anything, it’s to move. As far as you can, as much as you can. Across the ocean, or simply across the river. The extent to which you can walk in someone else’s shoes or at least eat their food, it’s a plus for everybody. Open your mind, get up off the couch, move.” – Anthony Bourdain I feel fortunate to have been able to travel to Peru while much of the world is still experiencing travel restrictions. We got to experience this country as some of the only foreigners traveling there, and saw the natural beauty of this land. We engaged in traditions and rituals passed down for generations. We spoke very different languages, but were able to bond and connect in ways I’ve never encountered before. I believe that one thing the pandemic has taught the world is to be empathetic and never to take anything for granted. I hope everyone gets to experience the raw beauty of a corner of the world like we did, for this trip and opportunity was eye opening and unforgettable. Push outside of your comfort zone and existing boundaries and truly live.”
“It’s summer and hiking season is here! I would like to share with you some basic trail etiquette, how to navigate certain situations during your hike, and some beginner hiking tips that you should know. Hopefully these will make your hikes more pleasant and bearable not just for you but for everyone else 🌲
- Right of way to hikers going uphill.
- If mountain bikers are present on trail, they usually yield to hikers but in this case it’ll be easier for hikers to step aside.
- Horses/mules have right of way and remember not to make sudden movement. Step off the trail when you see them.
- Important! Please leave no trace! In national parks and public lands, you must remember these principles of Leave No Trace; to plan ahead and prepare, to travel and camp only on durable surfaces, to dispose of waste properly, to leave what you find and not take them home!, to minimize campfire impacts(not building fire rings and build fire where it’s prohibited), to respect wildlife by viewing them from a safe distance, and to be considerate of other visitors.
- Most National parks don’t allow dogs on trails even on leash. Rules may vary in state parks so always check on the park’s website or brochure for information about bringing pets on trail. If you must hike with your dog, pick after your dog’s poop!
🥾 To mask or not to mask? I’d like to remind everyone that we’re still in the pandemic time so even if you’re out there hiking, carry your mask with you and make sure to wear them in crowded area! 😷👍🏻
🏔 State and national parks in Nevada where I reside no longer require reservations for entry. But due to extreme hot weather and limited parking spaces, try to start early especially on the weekend.
Hiking in hot weather 🥵, remember:
- To HYDRATE 💧Remember to carry enough fluid and to drink it. It’s always good to pack some electrolytes to replace ones you lost through sweating!
- Learn to recognize heat exhaustion and stroke symptoms. Know when to stop and seek for shades.
- Wear proper socks and shoes on your hike.
How to hot spring with the family!
- Instagram search! Search hashtags such as #hotsprings, #naturalhotsprings or hot springs plus your state state like #hotspringsID or hotspringsOR
- Google search, or Google earth
- Buy a good ‘ole fashion book
- Word of mouth: Ask the locals!
When to go:
- If at ALL possible, go on a weekday. Avoid the weekends when there are usually crowds and possibly even waits to get your turn to soak
- If you can’t avoid the weekend, go early – like sunrise early, to beat the rush and have an enjoyable time. Bonus: this is prime picture taking time too!
Tips with kids:
- Like any adventure with kids: bring snacks
- Make sure to hydrate: hot water + hiking can be extra dehydrating
- Try to find pools that aren’t too hot. Kids usually do better in lukewarm pools. It’s always great if the hot springs have pools of all different temps so you can switch if needed.
- Bring small, quick dry towels: they are much easier to pack. We got ours at REI
- Keep a set of clothes in a dry bag to change into when you’re done
- Some hot springs have very rare harmful bacteria in them: Avoid submerging your head under water
- My kids love constructing/deconstructing things at hot springs. Just make sure you leave them how you found them, or better, if you have crafty kids.
Hot spring etiquette:
- Hot springs, especially off the beaten path ones, often attract a certain “free spirited” kind of crowd. AKA: naked hippies. Prepare for this possibility or skip all together if this isn’t something you’re okay with your kids being around
- If it’s an especially busy day, do take your time to enjoy, but understand that others have made the same trek and want to experience the hot springs too. Make room, or get out to let people waiting have a turn after a reasonable amount of time
- Pack it in, pack it out. Many hot springs have been closed due to people leaving trash, human waste, toilet paper, empty beer bottles, etc. behind. Clean up after yourself!
“So excited we were able to travel out to Tucson, AZ! At fist my hubby and I were hesitant to travel via airplane. We didn’t know what to expect and didn’t want our luggage passed through so many hands.
The hubs saw an inexpensive flight to Tucson and we’ve always wanted to visit Saguaro National Park so he booked it! Plus, it would be during his birthday weekend and we wanted to meet some folks who we knew via social media that lives in Tucson.
We decided to only carry a backpack with minimal clothes and our camera equipment, I didn’t think it was doable but, we succeeded!
It was easy to go through TSA, and we were in and out of the plane.
Our backpacks can double as a hiking pack on the trails which is super convenient. Any souvenirs we buy can be easily shipped home.
If you haven’t visited Saguaro NP I highly recommend it! The cactus are beautiful and in June many are blooming which give the the park a pop of color here and there.
We still wear masks when we come into close contact with people on the trail or in buildings.
“I’ve realized over the past couple months that it’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of everyday life and forget about the things that matter most. It’s important that we make the time to serve others, and to do the things that we love to do. That we make time for those we love, go outside, maybe even stay inside. And with all the hustle and bustle of life, sometimes we should just take the time to be still.”
“These pics were taken just before I left to travel all May, and before Salt Lake was experiencing 100°+ temperatures earlier in the year than it ever has before.
Grand Canyon dispatchers received over 200 calls for help over Memorial Day weekend from folks caught unprepared for the extreme heat, even with a heat wave advisory in place. Even though SLC doesn’t get quite that hot (often), preparing for high temps and exposure is still important.
For those newer to hiking, summiting, scrambling, etc., I’m sure you’ve heard it ad nauseam, but take the steps to make sure you’re prepared so you can be self-reliant and have a good time.
- Know where you’re going. Download the area maps on AllTrails, Gaia, etc., and be familiar with it before you go.
- Start early, before sunrise if you’re going big and/or going high. Consider how much/little shade a trail will have and at which times of day.
- If you’re new to hiking, bring more water than you think you’re going to need. It’s better to return with extra water than a headache and mouth as dry as sand.
- Slather on the sunscreen and wear a hat. And floss, too. 😉
- Bring a friend, or at the very least leave a note, especially if you plan to push your limits.
- Oh, and call me before you go because I likely wanna come, too. 😘
Happy hiking, everyone! ⛰🧗🏽♀️
Scar + Tyler
If you’re familiar with the Eastern Sierras, chances are you’ve heard of Big Pine Lakes. Second lake glistens as it sits right in front of monstrous Temple Crag. Big Pine is a popular backpacking destination, but we actually saw more day hikers! Here’s what you need to know for your hike [save for future reference]
Stats to Second Lake:
- Location: Big Pine (about 1 hour south of Mammoth)
- Distance: 10.5 out and back
- Season: May – October
- Difficulty: Strenuous
- Total elevation gain: 3000ft
- Trailhead elevation: 7,644ft
- Hike time (day hike): 6-8 hours
- DOG FRIENDLY! we saw so many furry friends on the trail 🐕
“I typically hide behind the camera.
I typically post photos of the family.
I typically do not share much of myself.
I want the world to look accessible to everyone of every shape and size. Sometimes in the world of social media we lose hope that there is space for us of the curvier sort.
I’m here to tell you though, you can do it.
Get out there. See the world. Experience whatever you want and don’t let the shape of your body stop you.
Get in the photos and post them for the world to see. You just might encourage someone else with your journey!”
“#BlackOutdoorJoy: Being out in nature is one place where I experience the deepest, purest sense of peace, self-love, and joy…add water into the equation (be it in the form of lakes, rivers, waterfalls, or the ocean) and the feeling transcends into the divine. 🧘🏾♀️
Where do you find your most joyful self?
📍 Twana/Skokomish, Coast Salish, and S’Klallam lands
💗 keep Washington beautiful & always practice #leavenotrace“