WAmbassador Blog: WA Life Hacks

By Wilderness Adventures May 18, 2022

Hello WA community! My name is Bea Hardacre (she/her/hers) and I am a rising junior in Cleveland, Ohio. I have been on three Wilderness Adventures trips: Yellowstone Explorer, Oregon Cascades, & High Sierra! This summer, I will be heading off to Alaska for the Alaska High Trails program. Given my history with not only WA but the outdoors in itself, I would like to offer 5 of my ‘WA Life Hacks’ for your upcoming trip!

  1. Sacred Socks – I learned about sacred socks on my first ever WA trip, and ever since then they have been a life-saver! Sacred socks are a pair of hiking socks that live in your sleeping back and NEVER leave your sleeping bag (unless it is necessary). Having a warm, clean pair of socks to sleep in after a long day of backpacking can be life-changing!
  2. Blisters – Having taken MANY backpacking trips & getting thousands of blisters, I take pride in being known as the ‘Blister Master.’ Trust me, you DO NOT want to have blisters while backpacking and these tips are one step to ensuring you have no painful sores.

a. First, BREAK IN YOUR BOOTS! This is possibly one of the most important things you can do to prepare for your first WA trip. Wear them to school, on a walk, or whenever, just make sure your boots are accustomed to your feet!

b. Second, moleskin is a necessity in preventing blisters from getting worse & from irritation while hiking. The simplest way to apply moleskin is outlined in the steps below.

Step 1: Cut 2 rectangular pieces of moleskin to fit the blister, making one slightly larger than the other.

Step 2: Make an inverse donut out of one of the pieces of moleskin, and place it on the skin surrounding the blister. 

Step 3: Place the larger rectangular shape of moleskin over the inverse donut-shaped piece on the skin, this extra layer prevents any irritation of the sore. 

Step 4: cover with tape/bandage to secure in place! Happy hiking! 

Moleskin application demonstration

3. Journal – Some of you may be thinking, what will I do in my free time on a WA trip? Trust me, there is PLENTY to keep you not only occupied but extremely optimistic. One of my favorite ways to spend my time on a WA trip is to journal. On my WA trips, I write a daily snippet of what the day was like in my travel journal, and it is awesome to read in the future when I am missing the nights under the stars. Journals are also nice to write poetry or draw in, or even play games like tic-tac-toe! 

4. Organization – One of the most important things to remember while on a WA trip is to keep organized! Organize stuff sacks & your backpack in a way that suits your needs, but MAKE SURE to always put everything back where it was originally! Trust me, I am not the most organized person, but keeping tidy is a necessity when I am backpacking to keep sane & enjoy the trip! 

a. Accessibility – Accessibility is key, especially when backpacking. It all ties back to organization – make sure you know where everything is so you can find it easily if necessary! For example, make sure that sunscreen, a hat, sunglasses, water, snacks, rain gear, a camera, etc. are accessible to ensure a fun & efficient trip! 

5. Live in the Moment! –  Living in the moment isn’t only a hack for a WA trip, but for life. At any given moment, the mountain you were supposed to summit could catch on fire (yes, this did happen to me!). Though it can be sad, to say I had the best trip ever is an understatement. If you take anything from this blog, make sure it is to soak up every special second of a WA trip, because those memories will live with you forever!. WA is such a special community, and I am sure you will have great experiences just like I have for the past four years. 

Thank you all so much for taking the time to read my take on ‘WA Life Hacks’! Adventure awaits; go make some memories & live it up with WA!

Best, Bea 🙂

group backpacking