I've been reading Mr. Lee's trail journal about his hike across the United States. In today's post he made the statement "Action cures fear."
Anyone who starts a new activity has some fears. What if I get eaten by bears? What if I get mugged? What's it like to stealth camp? What if I run out of water? What will I eat? How will I survive the cold? What if the cops arrest me? Will people think I'm homeless? Will it cost too much? What would it be like to not own a home for a year? What if I get lost? What if, what if, what if's.
The fears above are mine and they would be fears I'd have to face if I made the hike. Notice I didn't list "What if I get hit by a car?" That's because I've done enough road walking to realize the chances are small as long as I'm careful to pay attention.
All a person has to do to get a list of fears is tell others about what they are planning. The list will get longer with each person told.
As we take action, the false fears get knocked down one by one. As a person gains experience, they learn reality is different than their fantasies. Don't worry, some other real problems will arise to take their place. Most problems have simple solutions and they will disappear, too.
I look at it this way. When I take long trips, I see many dead animals along the road. I've yet to see a dead hiker. Even if I did see one, there have been dead pedestrians in my city. Usually it was drunk people walking at night on the road in dark clothes. In other words, problems are usually the predictable effect of unsafe causes.
Walking in the Heat
On July 6th, I took a four mile hike when the temperature was 98 degrees. I never take water with me on local hikes, and this was no exception. I started to experience early symptoms of heat issues. When I stopped at Loaf 'N Jug, I drank a big glass of water and it wasn't until after drinking three quarts of water at home that I started to feel normal.
Online, I found a table that said if the temperature is 98 degrees on a sunny day, the temperature above the road is about 140 degrees. Now that's a hot walk.
Yesterday, I took the same walk while pushing Wilson. It wasn't until I got home and checked the weather that I realized it was 95 degrees. I didn't notice the heat and I only sipped half a glass of water at the Loaf 'N Jug. It was more because I usually stop there for a break than actually needing it.
What was the difference?
At first, I surmised that I've acclimated to the heat during the summer. That is likely true to some extent, but then I realized I was pushing Wilson.
My theory is that Wilson blocks much of the radiant heat from the blacktop and it also disturbs the hot air just above the surface. I did notice that my lower legs didn't feel the heat like they did the first time.
I'd need to carry a thermometer for a scientific test. If someone wanted to give me a grant, I could put sensors all over my body and hire a group of volunteers. Then I could sell the results to Schwinn so they could sell more carts.
I've seen misters for sale at the State Fair for use in hot weather. They do make a difference in hot weather, but I never go to the State Fair and I haven't seen them for sale anyplace else. I think carrying a spray bottle on local hikes could be useful. On hot days, a person could spray their shirt and a bandana. The bottle wouldn't have to be big. Right now, this is an idea to test. Unfortunately, we don't have many hot days left for testing, so it may be an idea that will have to wait until next year.
I typically end each hike with a cup of coffee or a big glass of water at Loaf 'N Jug. In the morning, many delivery trucks come to the store. They each seem to have a scheduled time so everyone isn't there at once. I call those who work before sunrise "morning people." They contribute more to our lives than many know. I took a picture of a morning person delivering food to the store.
See you down the road,