7:15 PM and already 42F (down from 51), and it will definitely cool off more throughout the night. nnI’m sorta in “Fantasy Hiking Land” here at my apartment – wanting to go out and hike, wanting to get in exercise, be in the woods, etc. – but, I am stuck indoors (or at least not *walking* anywhere) due to the bum leg. So, on the rare occasion that something like this happens, I feel like I need to be watching, reading about, keeping up with *others* who are out there in the backwoods, camping, hiking, etc. It’s not *just* vicarious living, but gives me something to look forward to when I heal up (eventually). nnI read a book some years back called “The Green Beret Survival Handbook” by Myke Hawke (who used to do a couple of shows on Discovery), and in it, he talks about how no matter what trip you plan – canoeing, hiking, backpacking, thru-hiking, you name it – that one should *always* have their ducks in order at “Fort Living Room” *first*, and then when everything is prepared and well thought-out, THEN it is smart to head out on the trip. In other words, don’t just do “big” things on the fly, because that is when mistakes happen, people get lost, injuries occur, etc.nnSo, I tend to think of this “downtime” as time spent just recuperating (or at least recovering) at “Fort Living Room”, and thinking of what camping trips I may go on in the future (e.g. Washington State Park), and what gear I may need, how to be even *more* cautious so as to not find myself in a pickle – being smart, basically.nnFor instance, when I am out hiking (be it Fall, Spring, Winter), I need to:nn- drink plenty of water. Even if I don’t *feel* like I need it and am not sweating, less water means more strained muscles. More water means everything will remain “fluid”.nn- DON’T drink coffee before a hike. At all. Nor bring any with me on a hike. It dehydrates the hell out of me, and again, causes muscles issues.nn- stretch before (or even *during*) a hike. Especially when it is cold out.nn- no “sprints” or short jogs when I am out and about. They *always* cause some sort of leg pain (with me).nn- always have my phone with me. I used to head out WITHOUT my phone (because I didn’t need it for a short hiking trip), but now, in case of injury or emergency, I will *always* have it on my person.nn- no more “uber ultralight” trips to a hiking trail. Always have my backpack with me, incl: hat, rain jacket, First Aid Kit, gloves, small hygiene/medicine kit, mini multi-tool, small blade, compass, extra water, etc.nnAnd that’s all I’ve come up with so far. Just some general safety rules I am setting for myself, that I am sure many other people already know/follow when they go hiking. I was being fast and loose and cavalier about the whole thing, but not anymore. Safety comes first! :)nnBack laternnnnn

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