Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Winter Day Hiking

Winter can be a beautiful time to take a hike in the woods, but it can also be dangerous if you are not prepared. Cold weather hiking isn't all that different from hiking in the Summer, just a few tweaks here and there. Here are some tips and tricks to keep you safe, warm, and comfortable when tromping through the snow. Please note how ever that I am not an expert, these are things I have learned by hiking and researched.

When preparing...
First and foremost tell someone where you are going, your route, how long you expect to be gone and any other pertinent information.

Check the weather, an old saying around where I live is if you don't like the weather wait five minutes. This is especially true in the Winter, you never know when a storm will blow in. Also check the DEC website to make sure the area you want to hike is safe.

Check your gear make sure everything is in working order.

Never hike alone. The ideal number for hiking is 3 this means if someone gets hurt one person can go for help and one can stay to tend to whoever is wounded or sick.

Make sure to have the following...
These should already be in your regular hiking gear-

  • Navigation: Not just a GPS but also a compass and topographical map (learn how to use both). If you plan to be out in the woods a lot, a personal locater beacon (plb) might be a good investment.
  • First Aid: This should be a no-brainer. Replace ice packs with hand warmers, let's face it if you out in the cold and need to ice something there's snow everywhere. Toss some in a baggie, ready made ice pack and when it melts drinking water.
  • A knife or multitool: You never know when you'll need to cut something for example firewood or a bag open.
  • Head lamp, flashlight and extra batteries: Yes both days are shorter in the Winter and you might end up out on the trail after dark. Make sure to have extra batteries as the cold will drain them faster. Note-Lithium batteries are cold resistant and will last longer.
  • A lighter or fire starting tool: DK and I, both, carry Bic lighters and fire strikers (usually a small magnesium rod) along with some sort of dry tinder. Survival tip- tampons make great fire starter.
  • Emergency Blankets (at least 2): Maybe over kill but these suckers can be used for a lot of things if you get stranded. If you have at least two you can lay one on the ground or use it as a shelter and the other to cover up with. 
  • Whistle and/or signal mirror: Should you get lost or lose track of your group
  • Sunglasses and sunscreen: If you have ever been out in the snow on a sunny day you get why I'm adding these to the list. Snow Blindness is a real thing. The sun reflecting off all that white is amazingly bright and can cause your eyes damage. It can also burn any exposed skin. 
  • Duct Tape: The handyman's helper, this is awesome to have in your pack should something break or need repair. Also in a pinch it could be used for first aid purposes.
Add for Cold Weather Hiking:
  • Crampons: a pair of these to slip over your boots, will give you traction over those icy spots. All it can take is one slip to sprain, or worst break, an ankle. 
  • Extra Clothing: I'll go into this more below, but having extra layers of clothing is always a good idea. If something gets wet, you can change it out for dry and avoid hypothermia.

Good idea to pack:

  • Hiking pole(s): Not only can these help with getting over tough spots, you can also use them to poke the snow ahead and see how deep it is.
  • Folding shovel: I'm not going to say you have to take one, but I can see where it would be useful. For example to dig yourself out of an avalanche or clear a place for a fire. If you did get stranded, it would be a great tool to have if you wanted to create a snow shelter.

Food and Water:  Eat and drink frequently your body is burning around twice the calories it normally does. Staving off dehydration and having enough calories, can also keep you from becoming hypothermic. If possibly keep a water bottle and few snacks in your pocket between layers, this way your body heat will keep them from freezing. Place extra water bottles in your pack upside down, as water freezes from the top down. Fill all the bottles with warm or hot water as it will take longer to freeze. I don't recommend using hydration tubes as they could freeze, even insulated ones if it is below freezing. Pre-cut your food into bite size pieces, most food will freeze even in your pack and depending on how long you're out if it's insulated. Grazing while walking is best as if you stop for a full meal you could cool off too much. I suggest packing things like trail mix (nuts, seeds, etc) granola bars, energy bars, fruit snacks, crackers, beef jerky and things along this vein. These can be eaten while walking, with gloves on if need be, can be high in calories, and will thaw in your mouth.

Clothing: Wear layers, if you've lived in cold climates you've probably heard this whenever you went out to play in the snow. You're base layer should ideally be something that wicks moisture and is synthetic.
Synthetic and merino wool fabrics work best as they wick perspiration and moisture away from your skin. They also dry quickly so you don't spend time in wet clothing. You're middle layer is for retaining heat and keeping you warm. Fleeces or something like a goose down vest would make ideal mid-layers. Then we have the outer layer, this should be waterproof, windproof and breathable. Proper boots are a must and when traversing deep snow you'll want snowshoes. Consider wool socks and make sure to have extra pair. Of course you should also have gloves, hat, and scarf. When packing make sure to have extra clothes should things get wet. If you start to sweat remove a layer, and when you get cold put it back on.

Cotton is a no-no when hiking because it stays wet and is hard to dry quickly. Being wet in the cold will lead to hypothermia.

When hiking in cold conditions your biggest concerns are...
Hypothermia:  This is the body's temperature decreasing due to exposure to the cold conditions and it can be life threatening.
Symptoms: Shivering, slurred speech, non-communication, and lethargy.
Prevention: Stay warm. Stay dry. Stay hydrated. Eat well.
Remedies: Put on dry clothing. Eat and drink warm foods and fluids. Put the person in a sleeping bag pre-warmed by another person or with another person, a hypothermic person doesn't have enough heat to warm the bag by. Put warm water in bottles and place them in the sleeping bag with the person. In severe cases, careful evacuation to a medical facility is required.

Frostbite:  This is a freezing of the tissues usually on the extremities. It's a result of heat being lost faster than the blood can circulate.
Symptoms: Numbness to an area, loss of sensitivity to touch, tingling that feels like burning, shivering, skin appears red and then white-to-purple.
Prevention: Be aware of your body signals, stay warm and dry.
Remedies: Place the cold/frostbitten appendages against warm skin, for example put your fingers in your armpits.
Don't!: Use fire to thaw area as it could increase the injury. Do not rub as it could damage tissue more.

Dehydration:  Even when the temperature is low, you can still get dehydrated.
Symptoms: Increased heart rate, dry mouth, dizziness, muscle cramps, confusion, and weakness.
Prevention: Drink plenty of water, even if you're not thirsty and drink before you become thirsty. If your thirst you're already dehydrated.
Remedies: DRINK
Note: Water filters do not work in sub-freezing weather, the filter and seals freeze. Chemical water treatments take longer to work in cold water, so allow extra time. Keep in mind that iodine is not effective against cryptosporidium and should not be used.

Living in Northern New York we have had some nasty Winters. Almost every year you hear about a hiker who got lost in the Adirondack High Peak region. The vast majority of these folks get rescued, most without even to have to spend the night in the wild. Being prepared is the best way to survive should something happen when out in the wilderness. I hope this post will help you be better prepared on your next trip.

{Spotlight} When Jack Trumps Ace by Debbie De Louise

Jack Trumps Ace
Debbie De Louise
A Romantic Comedy Jewel Heist Novella

Riordan's in trouble . . .
her jewel-thief father is caught in the middle of a heist, Jackie
makes her getaway to his ex-jail pal’s apartment. a man called Ace,
who lives in an upscale neighborhood of Chicago. What she doesn't
count on is falling in love with him and becoming his partner in
crime. She also doesn't expect to compete with Ace’s old flame or
deal with his cat Roxie who causes her allergy attacks.
bets are off . . .
Jackie discovers clues left by her father which lead her to a
treasure that Ace may have stolen, she contemplates her next move.
Should she trust Ace and believe her father gave him the money, or
head home to her mother, a religious hypocrite who would have no
qualms about ratting out her own daughter to the cops?
that sparkle aren't always Diamonds . . .
Jackie can decide who the good guys really are, she finds herself
atop the Willis Tower carrying her father's ashes in her pocket and
aiding Ace in the largest jewelry heist of his life. Things go
terribly wrong, and Jackie's only choice seems to be to walk away
from Ace or face imprisonment. 

De Louise is an award-winning author and a reference librarian at a
public library on Long Island. She is a member of Sisters-in-Crime,
International Thriller Writers, and the Cat Writer’s Association.
She has a BA in English and an MLS in Library Science from Long
Island University. Her three published novels include Cloudy Rainbow,
A Stone's Throw, and Between a Rock and a Hard Place (Solstice
Publishing, 2016) that has been on the Amazon bestseller list for
cozy mysteries. Debbie has also written articles and short stories
for several anthologies of various genres. She is currently working
on the third Cobble Cove mystery and a psychological thriller. She
lives on Long Island with her husband, daughter, and two cats.

Monday, February 27, 2017

{Spotlight} Walking Out of War by Scott Bury

Out of War
Scott Bury
Historical Adventure, War

1944: After the Soviets burned the Ukrainian city of Ternopyl to the
ground to crush the stubborn Nazi occupiers, they rounded up every
remaining Ukrainian man around for the Red Army’s final push on
Germany. Maurice Bury, Canadian citizen, Ukrainian resistance fighter
and intelligence officer, is thrust once again into the death
struggle between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s USSR.
across the Baltics in the autumn of 1944 is tough and bloody. Then
the Red Army enters Germany, where they’re no longer
liberators—they’re the long-feared Communist horde, bent on
destruction, rape and revenge. The Communists are determined to wipe
Nazism from the face of the earth. And the soldiers want revenge for
Germany's brutal invasion and occupation.
has determined his only way out of this hell is to survive until Nazi
Germany dies, and then move home to Canada. But to do that, he’ll
have to not only walk out of war, but elude Stalin’s dreaded secret

Bury can't stay in one category.
a 20-year career in journalism, he turned to writing fiction. "Sam,
the Strawb Part," a children's story, came out in 2011, with all
the proceeds going to an autism charity. Next was a paranormal short
story for grown-ups, "Dark Clouds."
Bones of the Earth, a historical fantasy, came out in 2012. It was
followed in 2013 with One Shade of Red, an erotic romance.
of Worn Soles, published in 2014, tells the true story of Maurice
Bury, a Canadian drafted into the USSR's Red Army to face the German
invasion of the Soviet Union.
to participate in two Kindle Worlds, he published Torn Roots: A Lei
Crime Kindle World Novella and Jet - Stealth: A Jet Kindle World
Novella. Both came out in July 2015.
between writing books and blog posts, Scott helped found an author's
cooperative publishing venture, Independent Authors International. He
is also President of author's professional association BestSelling

(DIY) No Sew Arm Warmers

The corner where the treadmill is has been cold lately, well until I start running it is then I warm up. I wanted something to keep my arms warm until I got going and then could remove easily. Solution arm warmer, problem to darn expensive for what they are, new solution DIY. 

Now for my magic trick of turning knee high socks into arm warmer, no sewing required. 

What you'll need a pair of knee high socks and scissors. I picked up a couple pairs at our local dollar store for a buck. They actually had some really neat and funky socks. I got this pair, the dotted pair pictured above and a stripped pair. 

Slip the sock over your arm to get an idea of where you want to cut. 

Cut the toe and some of the foot portion off. Where you cut depends on your hand size and how much of your hand you want covered. 

Do the same with the other sock.

So now your socks should look like this. 

Cut the heel out of both socks this is where your thumb will go through.

Tada arm warmer, in less than 5 mins no sewing required. 

Sunday, February 26, 2017

Sunday Cup Of...

Welcome to Sunday Cup of... grab your favorite beverage and visit with me for a bit.
Sunday Cup of... is a combination post featuring, 
The Sunday Post Hosted by Caffeinated Book Reviewer
It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?  Hosted by Book Date
and the Book Blog Hop hosted by Ramblings of a coffee addicted writer.
I share my week, what's going on around the blog, and what books I'm reading or have finished.

Not much going on this week, we did have some warmer weather, which was nice. The kids had the week off and C was sick for most of it. Other than that just a normal week.

ETA: I was so tired when I scheduled this last night that I royally screwed it up.  Ever do that? Your trying to get something done so you can just relax and it blows up in your face. 
Fixed this morning, sorry email people.

This week on the blog...

Monday, February 20, 2017
Motivation Monday

Tuesday, February 21, 2017
{Spotlight} The Girl at the Bar By Nicholas Nash
{Recipe} No Bake Energy Bites

Wednesday, February 22, 2017
{Book Review} Melancholy Ghost (Spirit Chasers #2) by Kat Mayor

Thursday, February 23, 2017
{Review} Rivalus Native Pro 100

Saturday, February 25, 2017
#FitReader Weekly Update
{Unboxing} February JackedPack

All links go to Goodread pages

So I re-bought most of the Ellie Jordan, Ghost Trapper series as audio books so I can listen to them at work. It's kinda weird as I'm reading the newest book in the series and listening to book 4 of the series. 

Watching Season 6

Started watching the new the season.

So that's it for this week, hope you'll stop by next Sunday. Have a great week!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

#FitReader Weekly Update

I'll be sharing on...
Weekly Wrap hosted by HoHo Runs and MissSippiPiddlin
and linking up with Sunday Fitness and Food Linkup hosted by Ilka from Ilka’s Blog and Angela from Marathons & Motivation

Whatever I had it sucked, Sunday I was out of commission with a stomach bug. C caught it and was down most the week. Thankfully I am (knock on wood) feeling better.

I only managed to eat over 2000 calories 1 day this week and that's because we went to Burger King.

February Goals:
Keep up with Marathon training plan: 2/5 
Strength training once a week: 0/7 this week. 
Eat healthier: 6/7 
Hit at least 2000 calories everyday: 1/7
Walking to Mordor: 63.9 /1779 miles

Here's what I did this week...
2/18/17: Ran 3.13 miles in 35:22 mins
2/19/17: Sick
2/20/17: Work
2/21/17: Work
2/22/17: Ran 3.02 miles in 30:16 mins
2/23/17: Work
2/24/17: 1hr grocery shopping. 

{Unboxing} February JackedPack

Disclaimer: I received a JackedPack to review for free.  As always, all opinions are my own.

The February Pack-
Bodylogix Natural Whey Protein
Muscle Research Whey Protein Isolate
Betancourt D-Stunner Alpha
PR Bar Nutrition Bar
ProSupps MyBar
360° Cut Lean
Crave Crush
Prince of Peace 100% Natural Ginger Chews
Prince of Peace Ginger Honey Crystals

So in this box I received four sources of protein a packet of Bodylogix Natural Whey Protein in Natural Vanilla Bean, a packet of Muscle Research Whey Protein Isolate in Vanilla, a PR Bar Nutrition Bar in Iced Brownie, and a ProSupps MyBar in Peanut Butter Crunch. There were two preworkout BPI Best PRE in
Tropical Freeze (I've used this before but not in this flavor) and Betancourt D-Stunner Alpha in Fruit Fusion.
There's a fat loss pill 360° Cut Lean (won't be using). This box also had a packet of something call Crave Crush, which something that keeps you from craving sugar. Lastly there was a couple Prince of Peace 100% Natural Ginger Chews and packets of Prince of Peace Ginger Honey Crystals (these are repeats but they work wonders for upset stomachs so I'm cool with them.)
I'm really happy to see the balance of different types of supplements in the box. It's nice to be able to try new things.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

{Review} Rivalus Native Pro 100

Disclaimer: I received a sample as part of my JackedPack to review for free.  As always, all opinions are my own.

I received two samples of Rivalus Native Pro 100 one in Mixed Berry and one in Banana Cream. This is a whey protein. Rivalus' uses a lower-temp technology that extracts the pure whey protein directly from the milk of pasture-raised, grass-fed cows to preserve more of the naturally-occurring benefits that have been scientifically shown to support muscle performance. It contains 30 grams of Protein and less than 0.1 grams of Lactose.

I tried the mixed berry flavor mixed with water and it was ok, but tasted watered down. I wish I had used milk as I think it would have been alot better. 

The banana cream one was awesome! I mixed it with milk and it tasted just like banana cream pudding. Oh so good, I can't wait to get some more. 
So far the I have like all of the Rivalus Products I have tried. They offer a good amount of protein and taste great. 

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

{Book Review} Melancholy Ghost (Spirit Chasers #2) by Kat Mayor

Melancholy Ghost (Spirit Chasers #2)
by Kat Mayor
Publisher: Self
Release: February 14th 2017
Genre: Fiction- Adult: Paranormal Investigation
How I got it: Received a copy from author

From ghost hunter to ghost, haunted.

Barrett has a plan—help Austin regain his memory, surround him with his friends and loved ones, and lead him into the light. Unfortunately, the tragic investigation of a melancholy ghost derails everything.

As new lead investigator, Thai struggles to maintain the high ratings SCI has always enjoyed. After a few subpar investigations, the network execs demand results, even if it means the team must put their lives on the line for a house more deadly than its dead occupants.

There are worse things than being dead.

Austin knows something is wrong. Most people ignore him, time eludes him, and his hands are basically worthless. If only he could remember what happened, he would have the answers he so desperately seeks. He’s sick of Barrett’s lies and Casey’s deflections. Austin will have to figure this one out on his own. Will the truth set him free, or destroy his soul?

Review: This is the second book in the Spirit Chasers series, you will want to read book one first. This is not a stand alone. Having said that this is a much mellower book than the first. There is a lot less action than the first and I feel that is due to Austin's current state of being. The rest of the group are great characters, but they are way less reckless than Austin was. Also the plot focuses alot on Austin and his predicament. To me it seemed there was a bit less ghost hunting than in the previous book. Although I did like the kid ghosts that tormented the group in the antique shop. They were funny. I wasn't crazy about the self-aware house though it seemed a little to close to Rose Red for my tastes. I did like the imaginative way that Austin and Casey worked around the new development in their relationship.
Ms Mayor is a wonderful writer, and very creative building upon the paranormal foundation we know. She had done a great job with this book and I can't wait for the next one in the series.