I’ve had a few bad experiences throughout my life while hiking in the Pacific Northwest that have led me to be more prepared when I go on hikes here. For example, a few years ago we hiked a popular hike called Lake Twenty Two, which is only 45 minutes from our house. It was in the afternoon and 80 degrees at our house, so I wore shorts. But, when we got to the trailhead, it was 63 degrees, and even colder on the top! I was pretty freezing the whole time but still did the hike anyways. But, ever since then, I’ve been more inclined to wear pants on hikes, even on hot days, and pack along a pair of shorts in case it gets too warm for pants.
Yesterday we had an incident on our hike with our dog Maggie. We went on an evening hike to the Paradise Valley Conservation Area, which is 20 minutes from our house. We didn’t bring a first aid kit, change of clothes or anything because we were only to hike 2 1/2 miles. But, about half way through, as I took this picture of Maggie, I got stung through my shirt by a yellowjacket! It was really painful, and the bee was stuck to me too, so we had to pry it off of me. Then, I had to walk all the way back without first aid. What I did do to help was put hand sanitizer on it to disinfect it, but I didn’t have any benadryl or pain relievers on hand. By the time I got home there was a few inch rash around it. I washed off the area and then put rubbing alcohol on it, and took it easy for the rest of the night. Still, this shows how important it is to bring first aid no matter how short or easy the hike is. So, I bought a mini-first aid kit to bring with us from now on on our hikes and walks.
It’s true, though, that with the bugs in the summer, and changing weather patterns of the Pacific Northwest, that it’s important to be prepared for anything when you hike around here. I’ve learned now that it is even more important to carry what’s called the ten essentials. I’m going to make myself a kit for when we hike from now on.
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