Health, and When it Becomes Dangerous to Hike

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Aside from the normal dangers of hiking, including twisted ankles, flash flooding and various critters you may stumble upon, hiking can be dangerous and even deadly, if you are not in the right state of health.
America is full of warnings, cautions and disclaimers, but one we usually pass up is “consult your physician before exercising or using this equipment”. We think, “sure, I am healthy enough to exercise, no problem eh?”

I’ve been doing surprisingly well in my healthy endeavors. I have managed to stick to my strict diet since being back in the States, and have even managed to eliminate most added sugars, processed meats and citric acid.
3 mile, 6 mile, 10 mile hikes with no problems except a wee bit of stiffness the next day, as to be expected.

Then something changed. I started to struggle to get up a short 0.3 mile incline to a waterfall. It became difficult to chew almonds. I became extremely fatigued and sleepy, taking frequent naps. And at the peak of it, I started to become disoriented. I was reading a book outside my tent and didn’t know if it was morning or evening, I wasn’t sure what state I was in, and I felt like I had blacked out.
This is when hiking can become dangerous. I was going to head out for a hike this morning and the rain came out of nowhere so I chose a campground instead. I set up camp and was about to head out to hike and a bit of rain stopped me and drove me in for a nap. Mother Nature was driving me away from getting lost in the woods. (Much thanks Mother Nature)

I usually get the urge to hike every day. That urge has either settled in by the time I get to the trail head, or wears off before I even leave bed. There are some days where I even make it to the trail head and something drives me to leave before hiking. These are the days when I usually have the worst symptoms.
I’ve learned to trust my gut in more ways than one.
Plan Ahead. Be Prepared. And Listen to Your Gut.

This Week I Visited:

Delaware Water Gap

Washington DC

Shenandoah National Park

Great Smoky Mountains

2 Replies to “Health, and When it Becomes Dangerous to Hike”

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