Take a hike! (But no, please don’t leave!) This summer is your time to take back the trail, because nothing stands in your way (not even mountains). Hit a tough trail that has daunted you and share your story by tagging a picture on Instagram with #BestLifeProject. To inspire adventure we asked three Vegatopians about their favorite hikes, trail snacks (beyond the usual mix), and any tips and tricks they cared to share (not including their favorite secret hike).
Having Fun and Staying Safe
Account Manager Rachael Scala has always loved being outside and grew up hiking around Reno, Nevada. “I love hiking because it’s a good base activity to get you outside without a bunch of extra equipment. Now that I live Colorado—the plethora of hiking—I have so many more opportunities to do everything from day hikes to more remote treks, and of course tackle the 53 14ers (mountains with an elevation of 14,000 feet). Generally hiking for me is to about just getting outside, not as much ambition or pride, but more just enjoyment of nature.
“Before I head out for a hike I always ask myself these questions:
- How much time do I have?
- How far do I have to travel?
- What kind of hike am I looking for? Do I want to summit? Do I want elevation gain? Do I want to make it to lake? Or something else?
“You have to be prepared in nature because resources aren’t as nearby. Besides always going with someone (buddy system!) or at least telling a close friend or family member detailed information about where you are heading, nutrition, hydration, back-up hydration (like iodine tablets or a purifying pump) are incredibly important. There’s nothing worse than planning for 3 hour hike and being out for 8 hours with no resources. Having a GPS app and base knowledge of navigation are essential.Don’t forget layers, Mother Nature is fierce at times and having a variety of wind, rain, snow, and sun protection will make for a more enjoyable day. Make sure your footwear has enough traction and support for the terrain you will travel on as well.
“For fuel I pack high energy, high calorie foods that tastes good and will hold out in your pack: raw trail mix, with golden berries and cacao nibs, pistachios, energy nuggets always make it into my pack. There’s no reason to skimp on calories, especially with all the unknowns. Nutrient-dense veggie wraps, nut butters, sprouted crackers are great options for flavor and energy. For up to 3 hours of hiking I bring my 1.5L CamelBak, with Vega Sport Electrolyte Hydrator to replenish both water and electrolytes. If I’m gone for longer than 3 hours I’ll bring another liter bottle. Know your nutrition and water needs before you leave, and plan on going with more rather than less to stay safe!”
Exploring Beautiful BC
Morgan Dunn, Social Media Coordinator, goes anywhere and everywhere around Vancouver and Whistler to hike. “I love the North Shore, Squamish, and Whistler because there are so many different levels of hikes to explore. There are easy hikes with no incline, but good viewpoints, there are trails that go up and around mountains, day hikes, overnight backpacking routes, anything you could ask for! My favorite hike to take visitors to Vancouver is Lynn Canyon Park. It’s a gorgeous suspension bridge, that leads to a little, hidden, natural pool.
“Whenever I hike I bring Vega Sport Protein Bar and Vega One Meal Bar in my backpack. Depending on the length of hike may also take some Vega Sport Endurance Gels. If it’s a day trip, I’ll bring a packed lunch and fresh fruit. I always wear sweat-wicking materials (I love lululemon), and bring a jacket in case weather rolls in or there’s an injury and I need to keep someone warm.”
Hiking Seriously—Without Going Crazy
Carol Munro, Director of QA and R&D, started seriously hiking in 2007 when prompted by a good friend and has since hiked everywhere from Utah, to Mexico, to Peru, to Tibet. “I’ve always hiked, but just day hikes. My girlfriend had a bucket list of things to do, and one of them was to hike the West Coast Trail. We were both runners, so she convinced me to ‘train’ with her. That’s when I started hiking more seriously, with a full 40+pound pack and overnight trips. It’s a totally different kind of hiking—it’s heavy, you don’t hike normally, and you’re walking 7 to 8 hours on sand, roots, and unstable terrain. You can’t quit because there’s nowhere to go. You go forward, or you head all the way back.
“I currently like trips that are 2-3 nights long. That gives you a couple of days to explore and relax. You have to make sure you’re having fun and you’re doing it not because you have to, but because it’s fun. I’m not a proponent of going all crazy to just prove a point.
“Now I have a bucket list for hikes. Top of the list are hiking Machu Picchu (Peru), Golden Ears (BC, Canada), and Annapurna (Himalayans). I hiked at the base camp of Everest but Annapurna has very different scenery. Everest is desolate, and dry—but can’t complain having Mount Everest in the backdrop. Annapurna has more variety of forests and mountains but is still pretty intense. Altitude sickness is the biggest factor in hiking through these bigger mountains. Training at sea level, nothing compares or prepares you for what to expect.”