I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived.
We walk alone in fields, pass through doorways, stand in crowded elevators and wait in lines. Point being – we’re all familiar with our own presence and girth, in a variety of different settings, and generally don’t give it a second thought. However, to stay safe when hiking, some situations mandate a heightened sense of awareness.
In order to get the shot I want when photographing waterfalls, for instance, I sometimes access areas which are inherently dangerous – such as narrow, elevated ledges. Of course, I don’t do so haphazardly – I first closely observe the environment, width, footing, stable handholds within reach, etc.. Perhaps most important, though, is that I remind myself I’m wearing a backpack!
Few scenarios are more startling than attempting to turn around on a ledge, only to have the added bulk of ones backpack bump into a rock face or trees – creating an unbalanced sensation of being pushed forward. It’s difficult to regain ones composure in close spaces when balance is compromised – understand the space you occupy.
Listen To Your Body
After hiking all day, it’s finally time to go home. However, the parking area is miles away, and, being impatience, you decide to walk faster in order to arrive at your car sooner.
I’ve found myself in similar circumstances several times and have come to understand, that, when I observe myself starting to drag my feet, tripping here and there on rocks and tree roots, it’s a good idea to slow down. Though falling on the trail isn’t fatal, ones diminished reaction time due to fatigue makes it more difficult to catch or control any given stumble; thus, more likely to sustain an injury – heads up.
This morning, I visited the web site of a wonderful writer and friend, Lola Garcia de Silva, where she shared this historical quote by a German poet and novelist…
One ought, every day at least, to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.Johann Wolfgang von Goethe