I’m sure you’re all thinking: “How was Vegas?! How was the strip?!”

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The real answer: we drove down the strip…once. And it was magnificent. So why did I go to Vegas? To surprise my bff, that’s why!

When my friend, Ron, moved to Nevada about 6 months ago I knew I had to make a surprise visit. So you better believe I was in cahoots with her older brother to set up my arrival without her knowing. And it was EPIC! Although, I have to admit, surprises give me crazy anxiety. But it was an amazing couple of days out west. And contrary to what you might believe it actually does get chilly in Vegas. It actually snowed while I was there!

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I figured this was a good time to chat with you about some hiking tips & tricks.

I am still a newbie but there’s no hurt in handing you all some of the lessons I’ve learned:

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  • Always bring water. And whatever you think it enough…double it. Getting dehydrated while hiking is no joke. When you’re tackling a hike with large increases in elevation you will need fluids to make it to the top!

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  • Invest in some solid hiking boots. When Dave and I took our first trip to Rocky Mountain National Park in June we figured we would be safe from the snow. And we were so wrong. Hiking boots are absolutely necessary in any terrain. They protect your feet, ankles and allow you to get a stronger grip on the ground. My favorite hiking boots are Merrell brand that I purchased at Cabela’s. 

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  • Download the AllTrails app on your phone! It is a lifesaver and helped me to find new trails in the Cuyahoga Valley National Park here in Ohio. We’ve also used this in RMNP, Canmore, Banff and Vegas. It not only gives you a trail route but allows for past hikers to give feedback, photos, elevation changes and ratings for trail maintenance. 10/10 recommend.

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  • Share your location. If you are hiking alone share your trail location with a friend or family member on your iPhone or cell phone. It’s better to be safe than sorry.

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  • Keep your eyes up while hiking. You may need to look down to keep track of choppy terrain so you don’t trip. But! You also need to be aware of your surroundings, location and the people around you.

  • If you are hiking in area with wildlife that can potentially be dangerous, make noise. Keep the chatter up with your companions on the trail. I’ve heard that bear bells are not super effective. However, making trail games to play that allow for constant talking can always help. Dave and I also made an effort to play music on our phones when we were out of breath and unable to chat on our hike up Ha Ling in Canmore.

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  • Bring a trash bag. Have you ever heard of the 11th Essential? If not, read more about it HERE Picking up trash on the trail is a way to say ‘thank you’ to the parks that give us so much. Bring back the trash to the trail head and properly dispose of it.

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  • Read up on Leave No Trace and follow their recommendations. Hands down the most important thing you can do.

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  • Pack snacks. Keep the trash on your person. Enjoy the view.

Now I’m off to plan for my next big trip to….YOSEMITE! We will be in California this May to trek the trails in this beautiful park. Stay tuned for a little review after we get back.

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