Guestpost by Loral Pepoon
Today I (Loral) would like to share some tips for ladies who are just starting on outdoor adventures, for those who want to get out there but haven’t yet, or for those of you who really don’t want to go on the trail at all—but your man does.
Guys, you may want to read as well. You might find some points that resonate with you too.
I knew when my Hiker and I met that he loved being on the trail. He was definitely more adventuresome than I was. However, I also knew that I loved hiking and seeing God’s beautiful creation, so I believed that a compromise could be found and that we could create something wonderful together.
When I chose to marry my Hiker, I knew that he was a man of give and take. And, I saw when we were dating that he knew what he liked and expressed his opinions freely to me in a respectful way. I also know that I am a woman who does her best to exemplify those two characteristics as well. Therefore, my Hiker and I have had those healthy relationship patterns established since early on in our relationship.
I attribute the formation of these heathy patterns to us both submitting to God and His direction, and to both of us undergoing significant personal counseling to deal with the “junk in our trunk” prior to us meeting. If you have some of these healthy relationship foundations established, coming up with an adventure that you both enjoy isn’t as difficult.
If you are still navigating, establishing or recreating healthy relating patterns, don’t be discouraged from getting out on the trail. Just know that outdoor adventures can escalate underlying issues if you aren’t aware of them.
My Hiker and I have found that the beauty of the outdoors has really helped us find “our way” as we continue to improve our issues. Don’t let our mostly smiley pictures fool you, though—we are very much still a work in progress.
All that being said, here are 16 useful tips to help Honeys enjoy the trail:
- Know that any journey will be a work in progress. If hiking/outdoor adventures are new to you, you will need to try a few times to work out the kinks.
- Be grateful for anything your Hiker does for you. Whether he researches a good place, helps you carry some of your stuff, or whatever he does, reward him. Say “thank you” and appreciate his efforts to help you have a good time. Show him with affectionate words and actions.
- Share what you would like to see on the trail, as your man may not know to ask or have ever dreamed your ideal adventure up. I told my Hiker that I love to see flowers, waterfalls and beaches. Then I asked him if we could fashion adventures to see those elements—and we have :)!
- Encourage open communication by stating your desires in a loving and respectful way. Don’t be upset if he didn’t automatically know or sense them. Similarly, if he expects you to know something in his head, but you had no idea, gently tell him that you can’t read his mind, but that you want to support him.
- Try bite-sized adventures first—this point is sooo important.
- Volunteer to do a short hike that meets your physical ability. Maybe go walking on local paths first and realistically assess where you are at.
- Try one night of camping first, and go in with your best attitude. Know that it’s only one night, and that you will improve each time. Go with people who own equipment or borrow some before you invest in your own.
- Don’t combine an epic hike and camping the first couple of times. If you do a long hike, maybe see if it fits in your budget to stay in a cabin. If it’s your first time camping, schedule a short hike. Once you get overly tired, you are likely a mess.
- Watch the weather and the temperature, and be flexible to go in ideal conditions at first. This strategy helps you get used to being outside and having fun. I recommend early fall hikes before it gets too cold and spring hikes when it is dry to start with. Summer heat and winter cold take a bit more gear, physical preparation and having a better understanding of your limits.
- Schedule your first few times of hiking/camping during the better two weeks of your monthly cycle. I know that I can act like a bear at certain times of the month…and bears aren’t desirable on the trail.
- Wear thin pants and a light shirt, with a layered windbreaker type jacket that you can tie around your waist if you don’t need it. Being more covered in clothing is the best way to avoid bugs and cuts.
- Make sure that your Hiker and you are prepared with bug spray, sunscreen and a hat or bandana (both of these help with heat regulation and bugs). My man preferred cold weather hiking, so he didn’t always have those items as part of his routine in the beginning! He does now though!
- Take a small first aid kit with you.
- Start on a trail that is rated “easy” where you can where tennis shoes. After you know that you like hiking and are willing to go on a more regular basis, you and your Hiker can talk about investing in hiking shoes. I love my Ahnus. They were specifically made to be non-slip shoes—I’m naturally not sure-footed and prone to trip—and they have definitely helped my confidence!
- Kick hunger and thirst to the curb. Carry some snacks. Nuts and dried fruit work great for your first few times. Drink enough water. Try 16 ounces of water before you get out there. Then drink about 8 ounces an hour after that. This tip applies to all weather conditions. You may not feel as thirsty when it’s not as warm, but your body still needs water! If you decide you want to have these adventures regularly, take endurance products and rehydration products. We are distributors of a wonderful product line called Amp. You can learn more about it at http://HikingWithYourHoney.isagenix.com.
- Smile often and remember how lucky you are to have your man with you. After not meeting my man until I was 41, I definitely remember how I longed for a permanent companion.
After your adventure, reward yourself with some down time just for you! Try a bath, a wonderful cup of tea, get out some candles, do a home spa treatment, or anything else you might do to relax. When you are through recharging, you might want to show your Hiker your appreciation by loving on Him too. Within a couple of days, debrief about your trip so that you can make the next one even better.
If you would like to learn about how to share your life experiences with others through a blog, article or book, but don’t know where to start, please visit Cowriterpro.com and contact me. I’ve been helping corporations, authors and small businesses get their messages out there for nearly 20 years—and I’d love to help you, too!