Inherent Mountain Advantages

Aside from being fitness-inclined, I’ve noticed a few traits I have that make it easier for me to climb a mountain. I believe each one of us is different and we all have traits that make us more adapted to particular sets of activities. Here, I try to explain the inherent adaptations I have and how they prove to be useful in hiking.

1. Sandal-Tulog

Catching some Zs
Catching some Zs

Literally meaning “lean-sleep,” this is a term describing people who can literally sleep anywhere as long as they get into a slightly comfortable position.

There are no beds or mattresses in the mountains, and unless you bring your own sleeping bag or pad, it’s going to be hard to find comfort akin to your bedroom. I climb mostly dayhike-able mountains, but even so, I can still find a good place to catch a nap anywhere.

I’ve fallen asleep on top of rocks and beside trees, but my favorite has to be on the grass and under the sun. Weirdly, I find falling asleep in the mountains easier than in my bed. My climbing companions can vouch for how easily I can get a quick snooze on our climbs.

Pros: Conserves energy for other parts of the climbs
Cons: Not much time for socials because once you get comfortable, you’re fast asleep

2. Long limbs

I climb first so I can get some solo shots before the others join me hehe
I climb first so I can get some solo shots before the others join me hehe

Being tall has its perks in hiking as well. Walking along flat terrain is considerably faster because my strides are a bit longer than average. Companions would sometimes tell me to slow down my normal pace so they don’t trail too far back.

Steps along the trail become easier to climb and even on the ascents/descents, I don’t have to raise/lower my body too far just to get up/down.

But long limbs are most useful in mountains where rock scrambling is needed. Being able to stretch your body to reach ledges or overhangs and pull yourself up is much easier. Paired with adequate calisthenic strength, this can make climbing trees, rocks and other obstacles easier and quicker.

Pros: Easier climbing
Cons: Cannot fit in caves or tents, and always bumps head on branches

3. Iron Stomach (Most of the time)

One of my strict ruless is to never reach a full stomach in the mountains
One of my strict rules is to never reach a full stomach in the mountains unless I want a poopy hike

When hiking, I can go for a lot of time with just a small energy source. I also prefer to eat along the trail instead of stopping for a whole meal. This is why most of my companions notice that I don’t eat a lot when climbing.

This is how I cope with my weird stomach that likes to poop at the most inconvenient times. By timing my food intake, I don’t get that bloated feeling that makes me wanna answer the call of nature.

Also, my stomach doesn’t get sick from drinking “criminal” water (water from the mountain’s natural sources, as opposed to mineral water), and that’s helped me lots of times on my climbs where I’ve run out of hydration.

Pros: Energy conservation is taken to the maximum
Cons: When it fails, I get poopy the whole climb

These are some of the things I’ve noticed that help me have better climbs, and I’m glad I developed these traits. How about you? Have you noticed an adaptation you have that makes climbing and traveling easier for you?

-jgzn

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