Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : April 13th 2014 Contents | GREEN CORNER |
EASTER VACATION is here, and if
your kids are anything like mine, they
probably announced they were bored
4 ½ seconds after the last school bell
rang. You're getting a little antsy your-
self, what with the Carnival excite-
ment being just a distant memory and
all the major "summer" events still far
So why not go on a hike? The weather
is perfect for it: warm, dry and balmy.
A nice outdoor ramble is a lovely way
to get some exercise, and bond with
your family and friends. Best of all, you
get that wonderful thrill of achieve-
ment that comes with literally con-
quering a mountain.
If you haven't been on a trail for a
while, here are a few pointers to help
you get the best out of the experience.
You are a woman going on a hike, not
a high-end model in designer duds on
her way to a photo shoot where she
will pretend to be going on a hike. Your
clothes don't have to be fancy. They
don't even have to match.
They do, however, have to be cool,
comfortable, and loose enough to
allow easy movement. Shorts are fine,
but if the sensation of leaves brushing
against your calves gives you the
willies, maybe something longer, or at
least some tall socks, would be in
The one thing that needs to be top
notch is your shoes. Don't use the oc-
casion to break in new ones, or you
just might discover how painful a blis-
ter can get. No slippers or sandals.
Nothing with a heel, please . . . the rest
of your posse doesn't have time to
carry you back out after you wreck
your ankle. Wear something solid, sup-
portive, and reliable.
Oh, and strong perfumes are known to
attract insects, including the ones that
sting. Just throwing that out there.
Don't take on anything beyond your
capabilities. Most hiking trails are
ranked by difficulty, according to how
long they take to traverse and how
much effort you have to expend. The
ranking goes something like this:
• Class 1 -- Easy. A five-year-old could
probably beat you to the end of this
trail. Go brave.
• Class 2 -- Easy/Moderate. Did you
play Mas this year? Did you survive?
Then you can do this one.
• Class 3 -- Moderate. This one is a bit
of a pull. If you're in good physical
condition, and have been playing
other sports, you'll probably do fine.
If this is your first time pulling on hik-
ing boots in a few years, take it down
a level, girlfriend.
• Class 4 -- Moderate/Difficult. Eu-
phemistically known in the hiking
world as a "challenge". Expect lots of
climbing, groaning, panting, and curs-
ing. And that's just from the experts.
• Class 5 -- Difficult. Trails that experi-
enced hikers consider "difficult" are
better known to us lesser mortals as
"suicide". Your best bet is to stand at
the trailhead and wave them good-
bye, assuring them that when they
get back you'll be there to greet
them with cold drinks and hot food.
Water is essential; pack slightly more
than you think you'll need. Food is
good, as long as it's light and high-en-
ergy. If you're lucky enough to have a
body of water waiting on you at the
end, pack what you need to swim and
dry off. Remember insect repellent,
sunscreen, bandages. Random junk
like lip gloss? Honey, please.
Respect your mother
Mother Nature, that is. Do not inter-
fere with her children. Do not steal her
plants. Do not go poking into holes in
the ground to "see what's in there".
Creatures that live in holes in the
ground are unlikely to be amused by
your intrusion. Do not entertain her
and her minions with your loud music.
She will not be impressed. Instead,
allow her minions to entertain you
And for the love of Gaia, haul out your
Follow the leader
Obey the instructions of your trail
leader to the letter. This is no time to
prove how smart you are. Your MBA
probably didn't include a module on
how to un-lose yourself in the forest,
so stay close to your group, and do as
Fresh air, bird songs, rustling grass,
chirping cicada and a good, honest
sweat. Fun and laughter with your
friends and family. You couldn't get all
this in the most expensive gym in the
land. And it's all free! Make the most
By Roslyn Carrington
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