Optimize your hike

I spent the past weekend hiking by myself in Leavenworth, WA. My mind and body feel at ease when I am surrounded by mountains, birds chirping, and rushing water. It was so nice to be with nature and focus on my breathe. Nature always reminds me what truly matters.

89B79DB5-66CD-415A-8314-8F8797D9F9AF

Through reading books, personal exploration, and studying, I have learned these 7 hacks when it comes to hiking.

  1. Use AllTrails

I absolutely LOVE this app! It is great for finding hikes, looking at reviews of hikes, and for finding the trail head. The best feature of this app is that it has a map of the hike you are going on and you can record your trail. It has saved me a few times when I have wondered off trail! You can also get awesome stats about the hikes you complete!

D7E7D8AB-7DC0-4B85-B20D-6D870AAFCBC1

2. Nose breathe while you are hiking

After reading the book Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown, I realized the importance of nose breathing. When I hike alone, I really focus on nose breathing as much as possible. Focus on breathing less and slowing the breathe down. I really recommend the book Oxygen Advantage to learn more about how nose breathing improves oxygen uptake. Here is a list of the reasons nose breathing is so beneficial. I practice nose breathing as long as I can while hiking. When I am getting into higher elevations, mouth breathing becomes necessary but it is a good challenge to push myself with controlling my breathe.

3. Ground yourself with the earth

Grounding is such an important thing that many humans are missing in their life. See my detailed blog post on Earthing here. I am so passionate about utilizing Earth’s healing powers. Connecting with the earth will benefit you in so many ways!

8C20F75F-C60D-4013-8796-F7F5FF8274AF
4. Hike with no headphones or music playing

Hiking with headphones in is incredibly dangerous! You cannot hear if anything is coming up behind you, or listen for animals in the trees beside you. Often times, I see large groups playing their speakers really loud along the trail. This can be disrespectful to other people hiking, and this also interferes with natures own sounds. Hike as quiet as possible and really listen to the sounds of nature. Our bodies are influenced by different sound vibrations and hearing the true, raw sounds of the universe will make your body feel amazing.

5. Bring the correct equipment

Depending on how long your hike is you will need to bring different equipment

Less than 1 hour- I would just suggest you have a bottle of water and I also suggest good hiking shoes.

Longer than 1 hour- 10 hours

Water: I suggest having a bag that has a reservoir in it. This means that your bag has a spot to put a water holder in it that can hold 2-3 Liter of water. These are often called hydration packs! It is important to have enough water for your hike. Brands I like are Osprey and Gregory. I suggest a 14 liter bag for shorter day hikes and a 28 liter bag for longer day hikes!

Shoes: Two brands of shoes I like are Oboz and Merrell.

Gear in your backpack: (this is all dependent on how long your hikes are, I carry all of this with me on any hike I do) I suggest always having a flashlight or a headlight. Food for your hike, napkins or kleenex, day pack first aid kit, mace, a small knife, portable phone charger, athletic tape for wrapping ankles, good sandals (in case something happens to your shoes, light to carry), extra layers if the weather is going to be cold and poles if the hike is steep.

6. Enjoy the water on the trail

If there is a lake at your destination, cold plunge into the lake! There are so many benefits of cold water therapy. Wim Hof is a great leader in this practice! If there are streams or creeks on the trail, dont be afraid to touch and play in the water. Do not drink the water unless you have a life straw (something I love). Running your fingers or stepping your feet in the water is so refreshing and has many hidden benefits for you to enjoy.

71FFD6C7-5CB5-4C6E-A5D8-93182A93FA6C

7. Be with someone you trust

I love hiking alone (make sure to tell someone where you are going) but I also love hiking with friends. You always want to make sure that you are all on the same page with every hike you are doing. If it is a challenging hike, it is responsible to make sure everyone has proper gear for the journey. Something can even go wrong on a short 1 mile hike, so it is crucial to trust the people you explore nature with.
8E8FA507-008F-450B-B6B9-40442A17AEEB

Hiking makes me so happy! I am always trying to learn more and climb higher mountains! Reach out if you want any more advice or help with finding gear or a hike near you!

Love hard and stay wild

0BDE7E44-2871-42D5-B612-0EAFF942853B

XOXO

Em

Follow me on so Instagram- @living.wild.with.em

YouTube- https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCf4MFORRTZZ-3hTzFX_2bYw
Check out my podcast- https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/livingwildwithem/id1521550082

 

Earthing from my heart

Walking through the dirt path covered in loosely torn up rocks, stepping over branches and roots of trees that are hundreds of years old, I take a deep breathe of fresh air and feel at ease. The comfort of nature and the world is undeniably present.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_ab5a.jpgUNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_ab61.jpg

The earth has amazing benefits and healing properties for all to utilize. I have been diving deep into research and self-exploration of something I feel true in my heart. Nature is our one healer and going without her is causing harm to our internal beings.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_mini_ab90.jpg

 

The first study I will present on this topic demonstrates the earth’s effects on sleep, pain immune response, and takes a deeper look at the physiology.

In one of the studies discussed, subjects reported poor quality of sleep. They were instructed to sleep on the ground for 8 weeks. Results showed a normalization of cortisol levels, reports of better quality of sleep and decreased stress.

The earth helps optimize the immune system to prevent the onset of illness and fight off inflammation once it has manifested in the individual. Specifically, grounding an organism produces measurable differences in the concentrations of white blood cells (see photo), cytokines, and other molecules involved in the inflammatory response.^1 

Screenshot 2020-04-22 12.17.30

On a more physiological level looking at cell longevity, mobile electrons from the earth enter the body and act as natural antioxidants. In our cells, we want to have antioxidants to protect us from ROS (reactive oxygen species) which create an environment that is not beneficial for cell life. The diagram below is a broad explanation of this concept. 

Screenshot 2020-04-23 11.03.53

The electrons from the earth can maintain an antioxidant environment around an injury which slows or prevents reactive oxygen species from accumulating or surviving.

In one of my favorite books, Energy Medicine by C. Norman Shealy, the earth is discussed as being able to shield away and prevent the build up of electrical stress. The author reiterates something I am very passionate about “…the physical body has specific purposes, these purposes are carried out when the environment is optimal physically, mentally, emotionally, electromagnetically and chemically.”

 

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_af25.jpg

The health and happiness of your body is related to everything and all things in your reality or external stimulus.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_a03b.jpg

Time outside can produce benefits in your life, reduce negative emotions, and also improve cellular functioning.2

Nature and the benefits of earth are free for all who want them. You do not have to give anything to the earth and she gives all of her healing benefits to you.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_ab70.jpg

I feel it in my heart that the earth has healing properties waiting for you to tap into. You can read research and see all the proven benefits, or you can go experience it first hand and see how you feel.

Swaying through the trails engulfed by something so real, I feel alive and free almost like a gust of wind. The chirps and sings of the birds creates a response of joy in my soul. The fresh, pure air, fills my lungs with clean breathe. My hands can absorb how strong and wise the trees are with every touch. Trees are one of the longest living organisms on Earth, we can learn a lot from them. The earth is unbelievably raw and open. You can be open and completely yourself in nature and absorb the light energy to share with others.

 

nlc11fp0SOCkuVg8Is7r%Q_thumb_adbf.jpg

I hope you enjoy earth everyday with respect and love.

 

From deep in my heart to you, I hope you find some happiness in your world.

Embem

1. Oschman, James L et al. “The effects of grounding (earthing) on inflammation, the immune response, wound healing, and prevention and treatment of chronic inflammatory and autoimmune diseases.” Journal of inflammation research vol. 8 83-96. 24 Mar. 2015, doi:10.2147/JIR.S69656

2.Kerr, Jacqueline et al. “The relationship between outdoor activity and health in older adults using GPS.” International journal of environmental research and public health vol. 9,12 (2012): 4615-25. doi:10.3390/ijerph9124615

A new state

Hello!!! I am finally back on my blog. I was extremely busy the past couple of months moving my life to a new place, by myself, again! I recently moved to Redmond, Washington!

IMG_0230

As college came to an end, I was faced with a major decision. Where should I move? Part of me wanted to move back to Colorado (my home state) and part of me wanted a new adventure. I lived in California for four years and while I appreciate everything I learned from that experience, I needed a change.

I made the decision to move to Washington after accepting my dream job at Pro Club. 🙂 YAY!

Pro club

When I moved out here one month ago, I did not know anyone. It was a new solo journey! Obviously I was a little scared, but I also knew it would be good for me and make me grow as a person. I ultimately want to relate and understand as many people as possible. By living in multiple places (Colorado, California and now Washington) I am able to surround myself with different people and new environments!

IMG_0093

 

It has been one month since I moved here and I am very happy! It is so interesting to see how people react to my story of moving out here alone. A lot of people say things like “you’re so brave” or “wow, crazy for a girl to do that all alone” I don’t get it. I feel like you may as well take risks in life in the chance that it will be for the better. To me it is not being brave, it is realizing that life is short and I may as well experience as many things as I can 🙂 

IMG_0380

I have learned both in studying and through personal experience that the environment impacts our health in so many ways! I want to be in the best environment possible to maximize that aspect of my health. I want to create a life in an environment that makes me happy!

IMG_0041

I love being out of my comfort zone and forced to try new things and meet new people. I think everyone should follow their dreams and do whatever is necessary to be happy. So far, I love Washington!

Come visit! XOXO

IMG_0215

Embem ❤

Top 3 hikes in the world

The past couple of years I have been blessed to hike in some of the most beautiful places in the world. Each hike is special to me for a different reason. I enjoy hiking alone because I feel free and connected with the world, however all of my top three hikes were completed with people close to my heart. The first hike that I will always remember was a hike in Sequoia National Park.

Screenshot 2019-09-05 13.07.45.png

This was a long hike but did not seem too challenging because of the amazing landscape. Completing the whole hike you pass by three breathtaking lakes.

IMG_6748.jpeg

I completed this hike with one of my close friends. This hike was so special to me because I was going through a challenging time in my life, it was so refreshing to just be outside with nature and see the beauty this world has to offer.

IMG_6790.jpeg

If you are ever in Sequoia National Park, I highly recommend this hike!

IMG_6763.jpeg

To find more information on the trail search it on All Trails.

The next hike that I put on my top three is in Chamonix, France. The hike is to Lac Blanc.

Screen Shot 2019-09-05 at 1.14.07 PM.png

 

The route I took for this hike was actually 12 miles and 5,000 feet of elevation gain. It was HARD! But, it was so pretty and had unbelievable views of the peaks in Chamonix. I started from the base of the mountain so had to hike through trees before reaching mainly rocks.

IMG_5295.jpeg

Half of the hike was shaded by trees, but I was hot and tired from the steep inclines! After 4 miles of climbing up through the tree line, it was mainly rocky paths to the lake.

IMG_2474.jpeg

I was so exhausted by the time I reached the lakes but the view made it all worth it.

IMG_5323.jpeg

 

The water was freezing so no swimming for me!

xOLlBSiZQ96aUCRP0A3hWQ_thumb_a24b.jpg

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_a26f.jpg

After resting and refueling we hiked the long trek down. We went down a different way than we climbed up and ended up having to go down steep ladders!

IMG_5356.jpeg

I was so scared but it was also really amazing and a good adrenaline rush!

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_a24c.jpg

This hike was pretty challenging and I would recommend having poles, good shoes, and a lot of water and snacks! The views were amazing and the climb was worth it in the end!

The final hike on my list is a 14er in Colorado. This hike was special to me because I completed it with a good friend of mine and it signified the last day of my summer in Colorado. This hike is beautiful and if you complete it early enough, has an amazing sunrise!

Screenshot 2019-09-05 13.29.09.png

We started this hike at 5:30am. When you climb 14ers, you want to start early so that you can get up and down before the afternoon storms hit!

The sunrise hit when we were about halfway through this hike.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_7a2f.jpg

This was one of the most beautiful sites I have ever seen in my life. The world was so quiet and peaceful that this moment was very spiritual for me.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_7a92.jpg

There is a lake below Mt.Evans that you can see from the top that just adds to the beauty. This hike is challenging due to the high elevation of 14,264, however, as far as 14ers go, this is one of the easiest ones I have done.

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_7a7c.jpg

If you venture to Colorado and want to complete a 14er, make sure you have good shoes, warm gear, a lot of water, snacks, and are acclimated to the elevation.

A few of my other favorite hikes are Angels Landing in Zion National Park, Reservoir Canyon in San Luis Obispo, part of Eiger in Grindelwald, Cinque Terre in Italy, and the Dolomites (read my post on that). Every hike I do is special to me and I hope to keep on climbing mountains for the rest of my life!

What is your favorite hike? Let me know so I can go climb it!

XOXO

EM

 

The Dolomites

 

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_9e9a.jpg

Visiting the Dolomites in Italy was such a breathtaking experience for me. These peaks are insane!

The Dolomites are a mountain range located in northeastern Italy. They form a part of the Southern Limestone Alps. 

There are many towns you can stay in to hike the Dolomites, but upon research and word of mouth: we stayed in Madonna Di Campiglio. This town is right in the center of some of the most famous hikes and peaks. It is also a very famous ski town!

The first hike my mom and I conquered was Cinque Laghi. This is a hike to 5 lakes (we ended up doing 2 lakes). We took the gondola up and then began our trek to the first lake. It is very common to take gondolas up to higher parts of the mountain when hiking in Europe.

 

The walk to the first lake was not too challenging. There were signs to the lake and the trail was very maintained. 

IMG_4075.jpegIMG_4078.jpeg

The hike to the next lake was challenging! It was very steep and rocky and had some pretty exposed parts. I was happy I had my poles and a lot of water 😉

IMG_4082.jpeg

It took us an hour to hike to the next lake. The views were incredible and I would highly recommend this hike to anyone hiking in the Dolomites if you are up for a challenge.

IMG_4093.jpegIMG_4106.jpeg

Lago Lambin (Lake Lambin) in Dolomites & Views looking back to part of what we hiked.

After the second lake, we decided to turn back and finish the hike early. We did not have enough time to hike to the other lakes and the return gondola at the end of the fifth lake wasn’t going down! After a good nights sleep, we returned to the mountains the following day to hike Spinale.

IMG_4139.jpeg

IMG_4153.jpeg

The Dolomites shoot up to the sky directly above meadows of green grass and flowers. The contrast is amazing! We hiked on a clearly marked path for the majority of the hike, then hiked straight up a rock field to reach the top!

IMG_4134.jpeg

IMG_4170.jpeg

This was a tough hike but once again the views were more than worth it! If you ever head to the Dolomites I suggest doing these two hikes: Cinque Laghi and Spinale!

Also don’t forget to stop at a mountain chalet at the top and treat yourself to a much deserved glass of wine 🙂

IMG_4185.jpeg

711_3379L-S.jpg

I hope to travel back to the Dolomites to climb more mountains some day. This place made my heart beat faster.

Stay tuned to see my blog posts on hiking in Lugano, Zermatt, Luzern, Grindelwald, Interlaken, and Chamonix!

Get out and enjoy the amazing world we live in!

UNADJUSTEDNONRAW_thumb_9f1a.jpg

XOXO

Em ❤