Aquatic Critters in your Drinking Water

Aquatic Critters in your Drinking Water
That cold fast moving clear mountain spring appears pristine to the naked eye, but microscopic organisms are thriving in its water by the millions. If ingested, some of these microorganisms can cause severe gastrointestinal infections resulting in diarrhea and vomiting. Two such common microorganisms you might encounter in wilderness waters are Giardia and Cryptosporidium.  Here we ...

What you need to know about Blacklegged Ticks and Lyme Disease 2

What you need to know about Blacklegged Ticks and Lyme Disease
There are plenty of biting insects out there. Although annoying, most biting insects cause no harm to humans or animals. The exceptions are the blood-feeding pests that can vector many etiological pathogens, such as mosquitoes and ticks. In the U.S., the Black Legged tick, also known as the deer tick, can spread the Lyme disease ...

Why Ginger is an Important Spice for Wilderness Travel

Why Ginger is an Important Spice for Wilderness Travel
Ginger is a pungent rhizome (underground part of the stem) of the tropical herbaceous plant Zingiber officinale botanically related to turmeric. Like turmeric, ginger contains many active beneficial constituents. While ginger is most known for soothing an upset stomach, it is also a mild stimulant that promotes circulation and reduces pain. Ginger also contains blood-thinning actions, which ...

Eliminate Leg Cramps while Hiking 2

Eliminate Leg Cramps while Hiking
Backpacking involves a long and steady aerobic workout with fitness benefits that rival other more intense, higher impact activities. Although backpacking is a non-competitive recreational activity with a low chance of burn-out, the constant climbing and descending can lead to cramping and injury. Besides overuse of the muscles, leg cramping is exacerbated by inadequate eccentric ...

Relief from Poisonous Plants while on the Trail 3

Relief from Poisonous Plants while on the Trail
Your hiking companion didn’t know better when he joined you for a 3-day backpacking trip in the Appalachians. The trails traverse through dense mountainous woodlands and open pastoral landscapes. The hiking looks easy, but it never is. The hiking here is rugged, with the constant ascents and descents, climbing over and under fallen trees, meandering around leafy ...

Motion Sickness – a “handy” remedy 3

Motion Sickness - a
Feeling Queasy Are you planning a trip this summer that requires traveling along twisty roads? Our last trip involved traveling on North Carolina Rt 80, a mountainous road in the Black Mountain region. NC 80 is a lesser traveled road near the iconic Blue Ridge Parkway filled with spectacular scenery. As the passenger, I was frustrated ...