Your Guide has a lot to do and think about in the field to manage the safety and comfort of the entire group. Since you’re an adult, there are certain things that are going to be your responsibility on the trip:
You are responsible for your own prescription and over-the-counter medications. Have enough, have them with you. If they’re really critical, have a back up plan. Keep them in your carry-on luggage. Please list all medications on your Health Form that you return to us.
A backcountry adventure in Alaska is not the time to change your prescription or go off your usual medications.
Let us know about any allergies. You may be exposed to all sorts of things that your body is not accustomed to. If there’s a problem, your Guide will be trying to figure out what’s going on. Some food allergies can be accommodated, others cannot. See further details below.
An anaphylactic reaction in the backcountry could result in serious breathing difficulty or death. If you’re anaphylactic to something you may already know it, and so you are the best person to manage this issue. You have several important responsibilities:
Let us know! Provide complete details on your Health Form.
Bring epinephrine. Not just one, but two doses. We do not guarantee that we will have epinephrine on the trip. If you have an anaphylactic reaction in the backcountry and do not have epinephrine you will die.
Talk to your doctor about what you should bring with you and follow his advice.
If you have an anaphylactic reaction to peanuts you cannot join our trip.
Sorry, but all of the food that we provide must be assumed to be contaminated with peanuts or peanut dust. Our food is packed and stored in a big room full of snacks, most of which have some ties to peanuts.
On this trip you may be more active than usual, or exposed to new experiences, stress, or other triggers for asthma. Even if you have not had an asthma attack recently, bring an inhaler and any other medications that your doctor recommends. Asthma can be very serious in the backcountry.
If you’re very sensitive to bug bites, come prepared. We don’t like using a lot of bug spray or other repellents because if it’s strong enough to actually work, then we don’t want it on our skin day after day. But if you have a big reaction feel free to bring something along. We provide head nets though they are seldom needed.
Some people are more sensitive than others. Keep that in mind and bring some sunscreen, chapstick with SPF, or clothes to protect your face and arms. A couple of smaller bottles will probably be fine and will be easier to pack away in backpacks, dry bags, or pockets for easy use. Most days the sun isn’t very intense but when we are kayaking or on the glacier, the sun can be intensified by the water and ice and it can become easy to get burned.
While men can also get a UTI, it’s more commonly an issue for women. Rather than go into a lot of detail here, there’s some great information on prevention of UTIs and some other women-specific topics at: https://andrewskurka.com/2013/female-hygiene-guide-tips/
Getting in Shape:
While we don’t expect anyone to be able to climb Denali when coming on an Exposure trip, we do expect everyone to work out a little before their trip. Our trips are designed in a way to have you select the type of challenge you wish to have on your vacation, and our guides are pretty good at selecting terrain that will match the challenge of the trip as well as challenge you a little. In order for everyone to really enjoy their trip and to get the most out of it, we expect everyone to get their bodies ready for a weeklong physical trip. This not only will allow you to go that extra mile at the end of the day but will keep your body from having injuries with strained muscles. We understand it will be hard to train specifically for each activity since most people don’t live close to water to kayak or live in mountainous terrain to backpack.
There are some things though that you can do even at home to help build some of that core muscle and leg muscle:
- Push Ups- A great way to build lots of different muscles at once and you won’t regret all those push ups on the kayaking part of your trip! Even if you can only do one, you have to start somewhere.
- Crunches- Again a great way to build core muscle and you will thank yourself on the trip.
- Leg squats- Try out lunging, standing in place and going up and down, or sitting in a imaginary chair against the wall. Then you can try holding weights or putting a heavy backpack on. If you’d rather be moving, go up and down the stairs with a pack or water jugs.
Try doing reps of pushups, crunches, and leg squats to give each muscle group a rest in-between each activity. The last thing to remember is stretching! Sign up for a yoga class or watch YouTube, either way it’s important to stay flexible and practice that balance. There are a million books and websites on how to get in shape, just find something that fits your schedule and stick to it, or find a friend to do it with, just do it! Start right now if you want to…really…drop down and give me 20…game time.