Monday, May 1, 2017

Hiking the AT With Joshua Tree

Written by Natalie Burr, Women's Technical Employee

Before I left for the southern terminus of the Appalachian Trail less than two weeks ago, I picked up a couple last minute items at the Bivouac. These were mostly small things that I hadn't put much thought into, unlike the months of planning that I took for most of my gear and my itinerary. Among the little things I picked up were the Joshua Tree climbing salve and SPF lip balm, two additions to my gear that have proved essential so far. I started using the lip balm right away, and the difference was instantly noticeable. Going from the cold and dry Michigan weather to a humid Georgia winter should have made my lips get chapped and crack easily, but they actually felt softer compared to the previous lip balm I used.

My first night on Springer Mountain, the temperature dipped below freezing. Still, I woke up able to smile and talk with the other hikers I met without splitting a lip or even feeling like my lips were chapped! That first morning was also when I tried the climbing salve for the first time. In the store, I was enticed by the climbing salve's mild but herbal scent and by the short list of easily recognizable natural ingredients (all of the Joshua Tree products are all organic, and the headquarters recently relocated to Michigan so you're buying local - as if I need another reason to love these products!). Trying out the climbing salve didn't disappoint. The company recommends using the salve to moisturize and soften calluses, typically for rock climbing, but that didn't stop me from covering my hands with the salve where my trekking poles were giving me hot spots. In the coming days, I used the salve for the chafing around my hips from the belt on my 30+ pound pack, and of course, to give my feet some TLC while they toughened up. Despite the small size of the salve, I have yet to run out - a little dab of it goes a long way. Joshua Tree Skin Care also offers a huge variety of salves targeted to different activities, so you can choose from cycling, gymnastics, music, water sports; they even have salves tailored specifically to paddling activities and for pets! Check out the variety here:

Using the climbing salve and the mountain mint SPF 15 lip balm has made the past two weeks that much easier, making skin care a big category to add to the list of things that I don't have to worry about on the trail! I've gotten several other hikers hooked on the climbing salve, too, and when I run out of mine, I can't wait to start trying all the different Joshua Tree Skin Care products available at the Bivouac! The selection of Joshua Tree products on the website can be found here:

Happy Trails!

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