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Podcast: Journey on the Wild Coast - Maintaining Health and Preventing Injury

Erin and Hig discuss their minimal first aid kit and strategies for staying alive and well throughout a year of wilderness trekking.

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by Carol Crooker | 2008-11-11 00:05:00-07

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Mighty tasty and packing a mighty whallop of calories per ounce, the Buttery Goodness (4 pounds salted butter, 2 pounds regular oats, 1.5 pounds brown sugar, and a half jar of cinnamon) helped fuel Hig and Erin.

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Ibex Performs
Ibex is crafted with the finest quality wool, allowing it to adapt to every condition. Stay cool when it's warm, stay warm when it's cool. You're always comfortable, whether you're hiking the trail or settling in for a night under the stars.

Overview

Near the end of their nearly thirteen-month journey from Seattle to the Aleutian Islands, Hig Higman and Erin McKittrick talk about how they have managed to stay healthy, surviving a year of mostly trail-less trekking and packrafting without illness or major injury from accident or overuse. A well stocked first aid kit is not part of their ten essentials; they cite duct tape, alcohol, a needle and thread, and a bandana as potentially useful for first aid, but the only items they carry solely for the purpose of first aid are anti-inflammatory tablets. Keeping pack weight low is part of their strategy for preventing injury, but an item weighing half a pound is part of their emergency kit. They have carried it for seven years and nearly 7000 miles and have yet to use it, but don’t plan on leaving it at home.

They talk of using imagination as a tool to visualize potentially life threatening hazards, then developing strategies to combat any such death scenarios. Hig discusses the only time they came up against a dangerous situation they had not imagined. His analysis is that being well fed at the time gave them the extra stamina needed to save themselves.

Erin and Hig both have a talent for being able to sleep through anything, which they confirm may be their biggest asset to staying well and whole under circumstances most modern people will never find themselves in. They stress the importance of listening to and responding to their bodies’ subtle messages (such as for extra sleep or more butter) - another key to their continued well being.

Although most of us won’t be hiking 4000 miles next year, many of the strategies Erin and Hig have developed to stay healthy on the trail can be applied to combat the stresses we all face in our daily lives. Consuming pounds of the Buttery Goodness is not recommended, however!


Citation

"Podcast: Journey on the Wild Coast - Maintaining Health and Preventing Injury," by Carol Crooker. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/podcast_journey_wild_coast_health.html, 2008-11-11 00:05:00-07.

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Podcast: Journey on the Wild Coast - Maintaining Health and Preventing Injury during Months of Outdoor Living and Travel
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Podcast: Journey on the Wild Coast - Maintaining Health and Preventing Injury during Months of Outdoor Living and Travel on 11/11/2008 14:18:16 MST Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Podcast: Journey on the Wild Coast - Maintaining Health and Preventing Injury during Months of Outdoor Living and Travel

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Podcast-Wild Coast on 11/12/2008 12:44:08 MST Print View

Interesting report, many lessons to be learned and use your #1 item in your First-Aid Kit your BRAIN.

Edited by Creachen on 11/12/2008 14:15:36 MST.

Chad Miller
(chadnsc)

Locale: Duluth, Minnesota
Relyance on others on 11/12/2008 14:08:14 MST Print View

and a RESCUE LOCATOR.

Jerry Cagle
(xclimber) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Good 'un on 11/12/2008 19:08:15 MST Print View

This was a good show. Much better than the "newlywed game". Carol you are a wonderful moderator, however, I am beginning to think that Hig and Erin are the only thing happening in the world of lightweight backpacking. Thanks to Ibex for sponsoring.

Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
More podcasts... on 11/13/2008 09:14:22 MST Print View

Well, there's packrafting too...

Stay tuned - we've got podcasts scheduled through April!

Tyeen Taylor
(TyMaz) - F

Locale: Alaska
Dissatisfied on 11/14/2008 00:20:34 MST Print View

I'm sorry, but I was not impressed AT ALL by the interviewer's style or the content she decided to focus on! These people are obviously on a highly adventurous trip, and yet the interviewer seemed to be scared by their endeavors most of the time! I strongly feel that Backpacking Light should think more carefully about the strength of the content they put out (even if it is free!). The quality of the written content in the magazine is of a much higher caliber. The questions that the interviewer posed really didn't lead to interesting or relevant information for people planning similar trips - I mean, who cares what kind of toothpaste they took or how often they floss?!!! Here are some things I would have liked to know: details of their nutrition and hydration systems, and how to keep them light, and efficient, perhaps any first aid qualifications and experience either of them has...

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Podcast Wild Coast on 11/14/2008 00:33:16 MST Print View

Well said!!! Now what?