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Use what you know and GO!

Sometimes you have to use what you know and make a decision… don’t give in to fear, keep moving forward. You may not be sure which path will be the:

  • Easiest
  • Direct Route
  • Quickest
  • Best Views

Yet standing on a windswept coastal field going nowhere, will not make you know more than you do right now, nor be more prepared to take the hike.

Here are a few important reminders, or perhaps questions to ask yourself, to help you make the best decision you can, in the moment:

1. What do I know?

Before you mistake what I’m saying for foolhardiness – the first step before doing anything is to take stock of what you know. Have I walked this way before? Do I have a map and compass? What is the difference between the three paths I have in front of me?

In order to use what you know in your decision making you need to have a clear understanding of what information you have and uncover what assumptions you may be making.

2. What don’t I know?

Follow up your inventory of known things with what you don’t know. In the picture, we were unsure which path is the easiest to hike but did know the one with the best views. I had no idea which would be the most direct route to where we were going, nor any clue which one was the quickest way.

Determining what you DON’T know will help you make a decision as much as inventorying what you do!

3. How prepared am I?

The choice we were making in the LYNNSIGHT photo was in 2007. Today I have more hiking experience, but my body is older. As you make decisions on what path to take, it’s critical to decide how prepared we are. We were ready for a day hike but NOT carrying what we’d need to be safe and comfortable for an unexpected overnight.

Be sure to take a deep breath and determine which of your choices you are truly prepared to make.

4. Who’s with me?

I have been on hikes where I needed a guide with me, someone who was familiar with the area and potential dangers ahead. Others, I’ve taken experienced people along who know more than I do, have specific skill sets, or are experts in a field that will be useful. Of course, sometimes my traveling companions are looking to me for guidance.

Before you make a decision, look at the people who will be a resource for you AFTER you decide what’s next – they will make all the difference in the world to your success.

5. Do I have a back-up plan?

On the day of our hike, we were truly looking for a hike with a view and a little bit of adventure. For us, the worst case would be having to backtrack to the car. I’ll admit that’s what we ended up doing as “the loop” we’d heard about either didn’t actually exist or we missed it.

We picked a walk duration for when we were going to make a decision to either keep going or turn back. Plus the three of us made an agreement that if any one of us became uncomfortable we’d use our backup plan. With that, we picked our path and went for our hike.

You’ll be much more comfortable moving forward without fear if you decide not only what your back up plan is – but also when it’s going to be time to enact it!

Adventuring right along with you,

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