It's another Trail Tuesday and here is our 4th interview with a Ladies Get Outside ambassador! Last week I took a break from this series, so I am excited to share another LGO girl with you today. We will be hearing from Tiffany, who usually seems to be on some awesome adventure over on the east coast, please check out her instagram feed and give her a follow!
Along with this LGO interview series, I wrote a guest post for them on my experiences in New Zealand plus a few tips on how to maintain a healthy diet while traveling and backpacking! I would love for all of you to read it, find it on the LGO website here.
How does spending time outdoors contribute to your overall sense of well-being?
Spending time outdoors is how I cope with almost anything happening in my life. I celebrate by summiting mountains, and I grieve by summiting mountains. This past weekend, after losing someone close to me, I decided a day in the wild was exactly what I needed to soothe my soul. I thought I was ok with the whole situation, but the higher I climbed, the more upset and difficult it became to pull myself up the mountain. A rush of emotions and memories filled my head. A full blown panic attack set in; difficulty breathing, nausea, even my legs stopped moving at one point. "Maybe I should go back and try to save what I'd lost.", "Maybe I should just give up and go home." Were thoughts rushing through my head. But I didn't quit. I pushed on. Through the hardest section of the climb, I told myself "This is the absolute hardest part. The view from the top will be worth all of these tears." This was, what I didn't realize at the time, a metaphor for what I'd been dealing with in real life. I stopped for a break about 10 minutes from summit and took out a snack. I nestled down in a hole in the earth that the wind had created, and I sucked all of the energy that I could from the sun and the earth. When I was ready to continue, I could have just gone back down. No one was forcing me to finish my walk. I could have admitted defeat, just like I could have ran back to my unhealthy relationship. But I didn't. I pushed on. I reached the top of the mountain, which coincidentally boasted the most remarkable view I've seen from a summit to date.
Spending time outdoors sets me free.
How does spending time in nature influence your perspective on taking care of the environment and living sustainably?
Living sustainably is incredibly important to me. If I spot garbage on the trails, I pack it out. I encourage everyone to do that as well. Being point blank with nature takes me back to my roots. I don't mean my family roots, but the roots we're all made from. We are all a part of nature. I want our rivers to stay clear, our trees to grow tall, and our air to stay clean. The only way to do that is to pack out whatever you pack in, and leave everything as it lies.
What are your favorite healthy snacks and/or meals to take with you on your adventures?
I don't go up a mountain without a package of Honey Stingers. I am Hypoglycemic, and when my dizzy spells kick in, they're a perfect jolt of sugar that I need to push me through until a lunch break or to finish the descent. I also always have a Almond Fudge Clif Bar in my pack. I eat these when I don't have an appetite, but know that I need nutrients and energy. In my opinion though, the ultimate snack is a nice big home made sandwich, and the best part is, you're being active! So load it up with whatever you want! Cream cheese! Swiss! All the veggies you can fit, and double the protein, because your legs are going to need it!
What are your top safety tips for being a female outdoor adventurer?
Bear spray. Bear spray. Bear spray. Take a first aid kit. Have blister tape. Always pack a second layer. Absolutely do not carry bear bells - to avid hikers, these are referred to as dinner bells, as they attract a lot more than they deter. Check the weather reports and pay attention to things other than rain and sun. Check wind, humidity and smoke/air quality ratings as well. The last thing you want is to be stuck on a mountain when the wind changes directions and blows something gnarly your way.
What is the #1 thing you can’t go without when you’re on the trail?
My Keens. I should note - I am in no way endorsed to talk about Keen hiking shoes, but I have the hiking sandals and the hiking boots as well. Nothing grips better, keeps my feet dryer, or keeps me comfy like my keen hikers. 10/10 would recommend any beginner hiker invest in a pair, because ultimately, it's not your pack, or you bladder, or your cute tights that will save your life out there. It's a really good solid pair of boots.
What advice can you give to those of us who are trying to balance school or work with a desire to experience adventure?
I went to university full time for 5 years, while working part time at our local sportsplex and also worked part time as a yoga teacher. I had basically zero spare time. Balance is all about choices, and what is important to you. If it's important to you, you will make time for it. I'd get up at 5 am. Bang out a quick hike, and be home in time to teach at noon. I'd wake up at 4 am, head out to the ski hill, ski all day and be home in time to work the hockey game that evening. The reality of it is, if it's important for you to be outside, you will make it a priority. No advice needed.
Follow Delaney @stufftiffdoes