Backpacking/Hiking Preparations Have Begun

I have finally started preparing for our backpacking/hiking trip to Zion, Bryce and surrounding areas. Besides physically training for this sort of adventure there is a lot more that can make a trip like this much more enjoyable. Precisely, planning your meals ahead of time, taking what you can with you, and preparing for the heat that this area experiences. Two years ago I could have never written a post like this because on our first trip here I really had no clue what we were in for. I had an idea but we were taught so much from our guides that this time I am confident we can do this on our own and be very successful.

Let’s take a look at what we are bringing for backpacking food we plan to eat on the trails.

  • Nuts/almonds
  • electrolyte powder
  • Clif bars/Luna bars
  • turkey jerky
  • turkey snack sticks
  • dried friut
  • cookies
  • crackers (not pictured)
  • Clif Shot Bloks(for emergency blood sugar issues anyone may have)
  • candy (not pictured)
  • water,water and more water

Some of the more important supplies we will be bringing are.

  • sunscreen
  • ziplocks
  • blister supplies
  • bandanas
  • friction stick
  • Tide pods
  • Granite Gear Zipp Sack
  • spray water bottle (#1 tip from our guides last time for cooling off on the trail)
  • sock liners
  • trekking poles

IMG_1818Obviously, there are many more things we will be packing but this is the list of things we feel would really make our trip successful. Our first visit to the area I found out there are very few places to purchase most of this food and the prices are outrageous. My thought is since we all need to check a bag anyhow I plan to take whatever we can fit with us from home.

We have researched our chosen trails, confirmed our lodge accommodations, and are working on our distance walking as much as possible. This last one has proven to be quite a battle but at least we are in the right frame of mind. Before the back injury that has left my husband with nerve issues in one leg and foot we could walk for miles. Now we find ourselves needing to sit and rest when he starts to feel heat and numbness in his foot. This typically happens around mile 3 or so.  IMG_1798

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At first I think it was discouraging for him, since we have walked for many, many years without taking breaks. That being said, we have come to enjoy these breaks along the trail. We watch birds, have a snack, he does some stretching or we just sit and chat for a bit until the feelings subsides and he feels ready to continue.  IMG_1840

IMG_1843His doctor said in time this will get better and thankfully he has already seen improvement but waiting is sometimes the hardest part of healing.  IMG_1823

Either way, we know that whether hiking takes us all day or just a few hours, our destination is so amazingly beautiful that we will enjoy ourselves without a doubt.

Have you ever been to the Zion and Bryce area?

Do you have any suggestions of trails, places, restaurants, activities we should check out?

 

 

Physical Therapy At Home…..It Is Possible

Let’s discuss something that can be quite controversial…..physical therapy. Do you need a professional?

During the last month my husband has seen many, many medical professionals and one of them happened to be a physical therapist. Now, I am not saying all physical therapist are the same or have the same approach with all their patients but after discussing with his neurologist the progression of therapy my husband was receiving he came home and asked me what my opinion was on continuing to keep his therapy appointments twice a week. These appointments had him doing very little and they took up 1 1/2 hours of his day. After discussing what they did, the outlook his pt person had for future appointments, and our normal activity level with the doctor he stated that maybe it would be more beneficial to continue doing everything we have been doing at our pace which would all benefit him greatly. Which then made me say let’s cancel pt all together and we can plan our daily routine around what we know is the best form of therapy for his condition and save us a lot of time and money. So we did.

Now, we are pretty lucky since we already had almost everything we needed that he would benefit from right at home from our years of physical activity. If you are not so lucky and don’t want to invest in some items that are recommended for your condition then you are probably best to still seek the skills of a physical therapist as directed by your doctor.

I would like to share his first week of at home physical therapy exercises. (Please remember that this routine is specific for his condition, so this may not be a routine for everyone and all conditions.)

Monday: hamstring stretch 2x’s day, 30 minutes on the stationary bike IMG_1753Tuesday: hamstring stretch 2x’s day, 3 mile walk, TENS therapy 30 minutes IMG_1701Wednesday: hamstring stretch 2x’s day, 2 mile trail walk, resistance bands foot/ankle IMG_0981 Thursday: 1 hour pool therapy, hamstring stretch 2x’s day IMG_1741

Friday: hamstring stretch 2x’s day, decompression/inversion table 15 minutes IMG_1749

Saturday: hamstring stretch 2x’s day, 30 minutes on the stationary bike

Sunday: hamstring stretch 2x’s day and a hike just short of 5 miles

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If you follow along you all know that the one thing about us is that we are a very active couple. This routine was by far a challenge to endure, but for some individuals it may be considered grueling. We went into this with no plan what so ever. We did what felt right for that particular day. You can see on Thursday, for instance, we ended up in a city pool for open swim time after dinner. He had a very long, hot and uncomfortable day as far as pain is considered at work and water has been our go to ever since it all started. We did not feel like traveling to our normal spot to swim in the bay of Green Bay so we drove and paid $6 for an hour of pool time.

If you are not a normal active person and you need that push of a physical therapist and a set time and place then I would suggest you go this route. We, however, do not need a set time and place to be active. We have figured out a way to just change up our normal active routine and adjust it to what he needs to work on to improve his condition. Making it fun, not in a medical facility, and including your family and children will make the actual process of doing whatever your doctor has suggested not so bad. Even my daycare children have started assisting him in ways he never thought he would be stretched.  IMG_1729

If you are suffering and physical therapy is part of your treatment plan, don’t feel like you have no options. For a few hundred dollars in supplies and some help from family and friends in some instances, it is possible to achieve results on your own. Just don’t push too hard and remember to rest when you need to rest. Sometimes that is the hardest part of healing. Your brain says you can do this and your body is telling you no it can’t.