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Exploring the Great Outdoors

The moderate summer, and months of confinement, has contributed to a rise in outdoor enthusiasts in the Barrington area. With lots of great trails in our town, it’s a no brainer to get out, get some exercise and enjoy the outdoors.There are some tips, however, that will ensure that your hike is safe and if you do lose direction you can be more easily found:

  1. “Always make sure they have a phone charger, flashlight, and some sort of alarm.” Nicole Marcin, Simply Stunning Safety
  2. Wear sturdy shoes that are broken in – ending up with a blister halfway through the hike because shoes are new is a painful and crippling experience.
  3. Wear long sleeves and pants with bug spray – it is tick season, and keeping yourself healthy is critical.There are natural remedies as well, just find one that is rated well.
  4. Find a good head covering – keeping cool, and protected is the way to go.
  5. Wear clothes that wick the sweat away – merino wool or a quality synthetic.This keeps moisture away and helps to avoid chafing in more sensitive areas.
  6. Layer your clothes.It’s easier to remove layers when you get overly warm than to find extra clothes in the woods if you get cold.
  7. Pack bug spray, bear mace, sunscreen, lightweight rain gear, protein snacks and extra water in your backpack.
  8. Be aware of the weight of your backpack.A loaded backpack for a day hiking trip should not be more than 10 percent of your body weight.
  9. Bring a partner – you should never hike alone, even the most seasoned hiker can take a misstep and end up injured or lost.
  10. Plan on bringing out what you bring in.Many trails in our area do not have garbage cans, and it’s unfair to rely on local residents to clean up after others using the area.
  11. Let someone else know where you plan on going, and don’t change the plans!
  12. Bring a trail guide, GPS and a good old compass just in case.

If you are new to hiking it’s best to find a trail guide, or seasoned friend to help select your starter trails, go alongside, and teach you about things to look for – poison ivy, animal scat, tracks and trail markers.Start slowly, and work your way up to longer hikes or more challenging hikes.

Hiking is good for the mind, body and spirit.Hiking with friends can allow for social interaction while maintaining social distancing.Get out, enjoy yourself and be safe!