On Tuesday evening I attended the First Aid for the Trail clinic at REI Tempe. For the life of me I cannot remember the name of the woman who did the lecture but she looked very much like the actress Gabrielle Anwar and even had some of her mannerisms.
Going off on a completely unintended tangent, I have always wondered if there is some genetic component that even minutely influences ones psychology in relation to physiology. I recall many years ago while visiting a friend, a good number of his friends kept calling me David because I looked like and had the same mannerisms as this other guy named David that they all knew. I know there are always social influences, but how much is hardwired and can be deduced by just looking at someones physical characteristics?
Somewhat related to that, according to a scientific study that correlated specific characteristics of a persons hand structure and athletic abilities, despite my physical disability (which is not hereditary at all) I have all the genetic markers of a superior physical athlete and supercharged sex machine. Maybe a second opinion is needed?
Ok, no more tangents...
I learned a few new things at the First Aid for the Trail clinic, like the multiple stages of hyperthermia and hypothermia. She discussed the various types of shock which has prompted me to want to learn more about it. Not being in the medical field, from just observations I thought shock was a psychosomatic response to physical trauma. Not so. I really must do more reading.
My first aid kits seem to be in order. I have a few different ones depending on where and when I am hiking. My smallest one is just several sizes of band-aids, peroxide spray, antibacterial ointments, latex glove and a compression bandage. It all fits into a poly bag about the size of an index card and it solely for day hikes in areas I know well. I also carry a snake/bug bite kit but all of the professionals I have been talking to lately say that the kits have been pretty proven scientifically to be useless if bitten by a snake. I don't know if that fact applies to bug bites or not. Everything else I need is covered by my massive Swiss army knife.
Last night was the the "Pack Light, Pack Right" clinic and I went there thinking that wouldn't learn much but I was dead wrong. Since the last time I fully outfitted myself, the newer technologies have made just about everything even lighter. It was a backpackers wet dream and I worked hard to hide my serious state of hiker arousal from all. My outdooring is pretty much limited to full day hikes now so I don't need any major gear anymore but it sure was nice to look at and fondle everything with wanton abandon. With what little was discussed about minimalist day hiking, I did at least come away with the knowledge that I have been doing everything right.
Tonight's is the "Intro to Birding" clinic and I plan to go simply because I don't know a damn thing about our local birds other than the fact that roadrunners are really neat. Lately I am finding the overwhelming need to fill myself up with as much knowledge as possible and this is a good opportunity to indulge that need.
It's a beautiful day today so I'm off for a 5.2 mile hike.