Preparing for the Narrow Hikes

zion national park, the narrow, hikes, preparedness, paradigm life

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I recently had an amazing experience. I have the luxury of living in Utah, home to some amazing national parks, including my favorite, Zion National Park. Zion is known for its amazing vistas and hikes to suit all experience levels. One of the most popular hikes in Zion is the Narrows. From the bottom up, you walk through the river, around boulders and other hikers, as far up the river as you choose, then you turn around and head back to the starting point.

However, one particular time, a friend had secured several permits to hike from the top down. The Narrows is a 16-mile hike, predominantly through the river, parts of which require swimming for 10-15 yards at a time.

We were a group of seven hikers, three of us in our late-30s and four in their mid-20s. Those of us in our 30s took the time to research the hike and the equipment we would need. We know not to wear cotton when hiking in wet conditions, so we prepared with quick-dry clothing and wool socks. However, we decided to go a step further, renting neoprene socks and canyoneering shoes. The shoes are for protection and support; the socks work like a wet suit, keeping your feet warm.

As we gathered our equipment, we found that none of the twenty-somethings had walking sticks. We had brought extras, so everyone had at least one. As we rode in the shuttle to the trailhead, we were told two of the twenty-somethings had cotton socks. We had extra wool socks, so we shared. However, as we were walking through the river, early in the hike, I noticed one of the other twenty-somethings had what looked suspiciously like cotton socks. She was walking fine, but it was early in the day, so I thought I would offer my last pair of wool socks. When we stopped to take a short break, she gladly took my socks, as her feet were already starting to show signs of wear.

About five hours into our hike, we stopped for lunch. We found that two of them had not planned adequately for what kind of energy they would need to replenish. They only had half a sandwich and a few chips each. Although they are much younger, and in all honesty, in much better shape, we feared the lack of sustenance would not allow them to complete the grueling hours ahead of us. I had extra beef jerky, protein bars, and trail mix, with which they filled up, and were ready to keep going. Two more times I went into my supplies to share snacks for a boost of energy.

After more than 10 hours, we finally finished.

As I contemplated the hike and my experience, I found that I was drawn to what we do at Paradigm Life. All too common people come to us wholly unprepared for what life has instore for them. However, the Perpetual Wealth Strategy can help them prepare for the unexpected adventures life has up its sleeve. It’s never too late to start something, but the sooner you get started, the better prepared you will be.

I recently spoke with a couple of clients in Houston, who have been hit hard by Hurricane Harvey. They were extremely relieved they had reserves to keep life going while they rebuild from the damage.

We will all have unexpected and undesirable issues arise in our lives, whether it is flooding from a storm, an unfortunate diagnosis, a death in the family, etc. Having a proper foundation will help you fight through and finish the hike. The journey is amazing and beautiful, don’t get stuck thinking about chafing socks, or lack of energy. Enjoy the vistas life has to offer.


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