Some of our favorite truck camping stories are actually hiking stories. Like the time we stupidly started a hike a 2:00pm in the hot sun of Monument Valley and then proceeded to drop our water bottle spilling its contents before we had a sip.
It’s amazing how the desert can literally suck the water out of you in an incredibly short period of time. Remembering one of my favorite desert films, Lawrence of Arabia, I resorted to putting my shirt on my head to block the sun. Once we got back to our camper, I literally drank a half gallon of water straight from the jug.
On a more positive note, we also met a nice lizard I named Alfred.
But wait, there’s more. During a hike in Joshua Tree National Park, I managed to brush a Cholla cactus. For those who haven’t enjoyed this experience, it feels a bit like playing catch with a loaded pin cushion.
For the better part of an hour, I was pulling out these incredibly fine razor-sharp spines from my hand, and crying a blue streak. Angela likes to tell that story.
Honestly, our hiking stories go on, and on. We found ourselves alone with a pack of running bears less than 50 yards away hiking in Sequoia National Park. We got totally and helplessly turned around lost on a multi-hour wandering in Bisti Wilderness Area in New Mexico.
Take enough hikes in enough places, and stuff happens. It’s magic, life affirming, and sometimes scares the bejesus out of you. We wouldn’t have it any other way.
One thing we quickly learned in our early hiking days was that we were woefully unprepared. As the result of our experiences, we now take a few more items with us on most hikes.
The experience in Monument Valley taught us to never leave without at least two, carefully closed, completely full water bottles.
Seeing the bears in Sequoia National Park showed us that bears really do live in the woods, and it’s a good idea to have bear spray.
Getting completely lost in Bisti Wilderness Area taught us to bring a compass and a flashlight. You may not plan to get lost, but lost happens.
The Cholla cactus taught us to be more vigilant about our surroundings, and to at least have basic medical supplies with us at all times.
This week’s Question of the Week is, “Based on a hiking experience, what do you now bring on a hike, and why?”
To answer this week’s Question, fill out the form below.