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Hiking in Rouge National Park, Canada



The Wonders of Hiking Alone with Nature

Hiking alone is a liberating way of being with yourself, your thoughts and with nature. This is not my first time, I've done a few hikes on my own and I love it. I went to Rouge National Park as it accessible by bus here in Toronto, Canada. Here are a few things that fascinates me about hiking:

Alone with my thoughts
Some people wouldn't want to be alone when they're troubled. I on the other hand is a weirdo, I want to be alone. Others can't handle the feeling of being with their thoughts. It's difficult but therapeutic in a way. I get a clearer picture, I don't really think about the problem and how to solve it. It's just like a PowerPoint presentation in my mind during my hike. 

It's not a diversion activity
Whatever you do, your problem will still be there. It's plastered on your mind and soul. However, it gives you a break from all your worries. It's like going for a gas station before getting back on the road again. 


Invigorate the mind
Hiking with nature definitely invigorates my mind. It jumpstarts my brain cells from passing out due to thinking too much. I feel like I came from a battle between myself, I'm exhausted and sad. And being with nature is like my elixir, it's one way of healing me and getting my mind back on the game of life.

Appreciate nature more
I love nature; I love it even more when I don't feel good about myself. For some people, they have their dogs to make feel good. I rely on my mother to make me feel good; Mother Nature has its own healing powers. 

Seeing more wonders
When you're alone hiking in the woods there's this magical feeling in the air. Maybe it's the silence, the light, the wind, the earth or the dancing trees. You begin to notice everything around you. The birds softly chirping, the swaying the branches, leaves on the ground , rolling stones on your shoes and even the soil as it crunch along with your step. It makes me think of the "Flash”, an awesome faster-than-lightning superhero in comic books. Every time he rans, time slows by, all things seemed to float in space as he observes and hears even the tiniest drop of water that fell to the ground. 


No pressure
Nature does not push people to do this and that. It works along with people. It wants you to be just there, see, hear and feel. You can do whatever you want, run, laugh or even cry. It doesn't judge your motives. I love how it makes me feel secured, at the same satisfied and happy. It's an unconditional love I have with nature. It's amazing and powerful. 

Gratitude
I feel grateful when I'm with nature. It allows me to see how blessed I am with my life. It's an "emo "kind of feeling in a good way. We all need that pat in the back that means you're still lucky among all people. Even thou when you're troubled you only care about yourself and your emotion. 


Calms you down
Sometimes we are too emotional that our actions and words don't make sense anymore. We hurt people without knowing it which only makes the situation even worst. Hiking alone lets you lose; you can walk fast and still feel calm. I'm one of those people who don’t say much when they're angry, I keep all that I'm feeling locked within my chest. People like me are prone to heart attack, like seriously, so we should take a break from all the chaos to preserve our life. 



Your safety is your responsibility
If you're hiking alone it does not mean suicide or dying in the woods. Keep your head on the ground and don't die alone. Some people are just reckless and foolish. Spank yourself; keep your head in the game. Make sure you equip yourself with safety gears, food and everything else that will keep you alive during and after your hike. 

I always make sure I tell someone where I'm going, I get a map from the visitor centre if there's one or I research the trail ahead of time. It's also smart to bring food and beverage. Bring along a first aid kit, you might not use it for yourself but maybe along the way a hiker might need your help. I try to watch out for other hikers, I know the feeling of being alone and helpless, knowing that feeling I always bring along my first aid kit with me. Bring a flashlight and a whistle too; beg for mercy that you will never need to use it during your hike. It's a hiker must-have emergency tool which you can use in case of emergencies like: getting lost, looking for help and finding your way back to civilization. 

Winter Trek Checklist

Precaution
Wear hiking boots! Save yourself. Watch out for frozen ice, if it looks slippery it is slippery, if it's bright and shiny avoid stepping on it. If you're just curious how slippery it is then step on the side and make yourself nervous. Afterwards , take it easy and simply laugh at your childish ways. 

When you find wooden bridges or stairs along your hike, step on the dry part closer to the handrail, never make your way down without holding the sidebar. Wear your gloves at the same time, wooden bridges have rough edges, this simply protects your hands from splinters and gives you a better grip if you slip. 

Don't forget to layer your clothes, don't wear cotton and wear a light down jacket. A scarf is always a must have as it covers and protects your face. Four more essential things I have with me, sunscreen for my beautiful face, lotion to keep bugs away, a sports watch and my sunglasses. A change of clothes will come in handy it's not just for summer hikes; some will have wet socks and smelly armpits too. 

Lastly, something that hikers tend to forget during winter hikes is to hydrate with water and take breaks. Keep yourself hydrated; our body seemed to forget that we need fluids in winter. Give yourself sips of water along the way and a few minutes break to check whether you're in the right path. 

Here's my Winter Trek Checklist:
1. Winter or Hiking Boots. Pair it up with some winter socks or hiking socks
2. Winter Jacket with Fleece
3. Waterproof Pants
4. Heatech/Thermal Top and Bottom
5. Waterproof gloves
6. Bonnet or Ear Muffler
7. Neck Warmer or Scarf
8. Poncho. The weather is unpredictable in the mountains.
9. Lip Balm 
10. Moisturizer (petroleum jelly) and apply Sunblock
11. Snacks (energy bars,cookies)
12. Water 
13. First Aid Kid
14. Whistle 
15. Flashlight
16. Don't forget your Camera. Place a separate silica gel pack inside your camera bag. 
17. Extra clothing: socks
18. Photocopy of your passport in case emergency and contact numbers. 
19. Inform your guestthouse/hostel that you're climbing a mountain that day.
20. Everything pack inside a zip-lock bag. Place small packs of silica gel inside the bags to absorb moisture.

Enjoy the hike
The most important of all things, enjoy your hike. Don't expect too much from it instead just let loose and enjoy your hike with nature. I enjoy the time alone: I love the smell of nothing, I like how the sun rays pierce through the trees, I love touching the barks, and I like looking closer to the patterns of different leaves, even seeing the mixture of soil, leaves and pebbles on the ground. I make things easy and simple for me so I can have an enjoyable hike. 


Rouge National Park, Canada
Address: Zoo Rd, Toronto, ON M1B 5W8
How to get there: Take Bus 85 from Don Mills Station in Toronto and alight at Meadowvale Road at Zoo Road. Just walk a few minutes to get to the visitor centre.

Have fun and be safe ^__^



Itinerary Reminders:

1. Flight Details
Make sure to write down your booking reference number, be at the airport two hours before your flight and allocate time for your travel to the airport.

2. Accommodation Details
Write down your hotel/motel/resort/bnb booking number. Contact your place to inform them around when you'll be arriving — it really does help.  Also, ask if your accommodation has any discounted activities.  You'd be surprised!

3a. Transportation
List possible times your bus/train/boat arrives and leaves so you don't miss an activity.  Always give yourself an extra 30-45 minutes in case you get lost, get stuck in traffic, or are looking for parking.  Better early than late.  Of utmost importance: check for the last trip and fares!  So you still have time and money to get back.

3b. Car Rentals
Take note of your pick-up address and time allotted.  Our last car rental told us to bring the car back by a certain time with a certain amount of gas.  Allot money for fuel and parking.

4. Budgeting
Set aside a minimum and maximum spending amount for: meals, transportation, entrance fees, activities, souvenirs and emergencies.  3 meals a day + snacks adds up quickly, so keep track!  As well as tips for restaurants and activities.

5. Activities
Call to confirm your booking(s) a day or so beforehand.  Set alarms and/or calendar reminders for things you plan to do (i.e- bungee-jumping, river-rafting, or even city / food tours).


Do you want more adventure?
If you still have one more day to spare why not go around and Explore the vibrant city of Toronto, Canada.

Where am I going next?

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