Waterbury, VT: Have you ever had an EPIC because you accidentally took the baby shark trail and left your first rest stop without a quick gear check, leaving yourself camera-less after doing the jig to catch your awe-mazing moment?
To be sure this doesn’t happen to you, here are a few key terms, ideas, and philosophies to remember this summer while getting ready to hit the trails:
AN EPIC: This is what happens when you forget a few essentials while planning and preparing—often ending with picker filled limbs, stubbed toes, and fresh pack tears. Not a single step went as planned and zero goals for the adventure were accomplished. You feel lucky to have survived.
BABY SHARKS: A well-maintained trail, with either man-placed or natural rocks, that are just big enough, and just sharp enough to attack you through the soles of your shoes.
GEAR CHECK: You will learn this one fast—whenever you leave your picnic site, camp, or rest area, stare down the area like Chuck Norris stares down his opponents—check for crumbs, micro-trash, or your precious gear.
DOIN’ THE JIG: That thing you do to catch sunset at the vista point. Somewhere between a jog, skip, and a waddle—imagine the “potty” dance in a forward motion.
AWE-MAZING: That moment when the jig paid off and the true meaning of awesome and amazing come to light. Go be awe-mazed.
Not only is this the latest and greatest lingo-on-trail, but it proves several solid points on how to have successful adventures in the out-of-doors. Be sure to plan ahead and prepare by knowing the distance and the terrain of your intended route and wearing/bringing appropriate gear. Remember, sometimes durable surfaces include baby sharks and sloppy puddles—find out beforehand so you do not end up with bruised, soggy feet. Debating on letting your crumbs run free? Take the extra seconds to check your resting areas; not only will the little critters will thank you for helping them fight their addiction to human food and for steering them off the road of habituation, but you will also lose less gear.
Stay safe on the trails this summer and be sure to share your adventures, your AWE-mazing moments.
Katelyn and Blake
Leave No Trace’s Katelyn Stutterheim and Blake Jackson are part of the 2015 Subaru/Leave No Trace Traveling Trainer Program that provides free, mobile education to communities across the country. Proud partners of this program include Subaru of America, Deuter, Hi-Cone, REI, Smartwool, The North Face, and Yakima.