loading Loading... Please wait...

The Littlbug Blog

​Your Outdoor Skills: Self Care in the Backcountry

Posted by Written by Esther Drebelbis of Littlbug Enterprises on

Exploring the backcountry can take a toll on your body. Whether you are on foot, bike, or boat, it takes a lot of effort and puts extra strain on your muscles. From those taking months off to explore to the weekend warriors, we want to make sure you have the best experience in the backcountry and avoid injury. One key element to enjoying any adventure starts with taking care of your personal motor - your body.

Yoga & Stretching

After a long day traveling by foot, pedaling a bike, or paddling a kayak or canoe, your muscles need some extra attention. Basic stretching can loosen sore, overworked muscles which helps prevent injury, decreases muscle soreness, and improves your night of sleep. Focus on the muscles and areas of your body that have worked the hardest during the day.

Yoga progressions can also be very helpful since it mixes movement with stretching. Don’t worry about adding more weight and bringing a yoga mat. A simple camp towel does the trick, or a foam mattress pad that you use for sleeping. Practicing basic, beginning yoga flows at home before heading out on the trail will help you know what's best for your body.

Backpackers might find these stretches helpful, while mountain bikers or road cyclists would be more interested in yoga flows that include these. Paddlers may appreciate yoga flows that incorporate poses like this variety.

Self Massage

While professional massages are helpful when it comes to muscle recovery, they aren’t available while in the wilderness for days or months. However, performing self massage can help your muscles recover after a long day. Hikers can enjoy a foot massage at the end of the day by using their thumbs and fingers to work out any sore spots in your feet. Go easy, your feet may be a little tender after carrying you and your belongings for the day. Bikers might enjoy a fist or forearm into the quads, and paddlers can use their knuckles to massage their arms.

Your equipment can also be used to help you reach places that would otherwise be challenging by yourself. Trekking poles can be used like a rolling pin to roll over larger muscle groups like the quads and calves. A paddle can also be used similarly. The handle of a paddle can also be used to massage sore hands.

If you’re comfortable adding a few ounces, throw in a massage ball or lacrosse ball to use to roll over your shoulders and back. These lightweight, firm balls can even massage the feet and calves for a little extra love.

Teas & Hydration

To further help your muscles recover from strenuous activities like backpacking, paddling, or riding, drinking enough fluids is crucial. Water helps the body repair muscles as well as flush out lactic acid that builds up during exercise. If you have plenty of access to water and natural fuel, consider boiling water as you go to save pounds. Littlbug’s ultralight backpacking wood burning stove, the Junior stove, boils water in little as four minutes, which means you’re also saving time.

Various herbal and green teas help your muscles recover and keep your body healthy and strong for your adventures. End your day with a hot cup of herbal tea. We suggest blends that include turmeric or ginger, or a combination, which are both known to help reduce inflammation. Ginger also helps with digestion to keep you regular while on the trail. Lavender is a calming herb and can help you relax in the evening to improve your night’s sleep.

To start your day, substitute your coffee with green tea, which is also known for its anti-inflammatory characteristics as well as helping your body flush excess toxins and lactic acid, both of which increase muscle soreness and stiffness. Green tea also has naturally occurring caffeine levels similar to coffee to help kick start your day.

Now that you know how to practice self care on the trail, get out and enjoy the wilderness.

Remember: When it comes to outdoor skills the more you bring along, the less you have to carry. Skills don't break and they're never left behind. They don’t leak, tear, and they don’t get wet!

A New Year to Light a Fire in Your Belly

With the start of a new year, endless adventures await your discovery in 2019. To light a fire in your belly and inspire your New Year’s resolutions, we’ve created a list of things to add to your adventure bucket list. Bucket List Thru Hikes The Triple Crown of thru hikes; the Appalachian Trail, [...]

Read More »

The Best Winter Experience

Old Man Winter has returned for another season. He brings with him a blanket of white, colder temperatures, and shorter days. With these conditions comes exciting ways to explore the outdoors. Cross Country SkiingCross country skiing can be enjoyed both on groomed trails and in the backcountry. Groomed trails are a great [...]

Read More »

Gift a Littl, Give a Littl, Get a Lot with Littlbug!

It’s better to give than to receive, but what if you could do both?  We always donate at least 10% of our profits to help care for the Earth and its inhabitants. For the month of December we will be donating 20% of your order payment to charitable organizations.  Our chosen charitable organizations include: Wounded Warrior Project (For [...]

Read More »

Your Outdoor Skills: How to Pack Your Wood Burning Backpacking Stove

You’ve upgraded to a wood burning backpacking stove and you’re ready to head out on your next adventure. Every backpacking stove fits differently in your pack due to size and shape, and this isn’t any different. But don’t worry, to make sure you have the best experience with your wood burning camp stove, we [...]

Read More »

Thanksgiving in the Backcountry

If you find yourself itching to get into the backcountry once more before it’s completely consumed by snow, Thanksgiving weekend can be the perfect weekend to pitch the tent one more time before the snow flies. Whether you're car camping or heading into the wilderness with a pack on your back, you don’t have [...]

Read More »

Hunting Camp Essentials

Hunting season is upon us and many are eager to get into the wilderness and set up camp. Some hunters enjoy getting lost deep in the backcountry. And others enjoy driving around on back roads until they find the perfect roadside camp. For those that enjoy returning to a little extra comfort [...]

Read More »

Safely Enjoy the Outdoors During Fall Hunting Season

Hunting season has arrived! While most are waking up early, climbing into tree stands or walking through fields hunting for wild game, some of us want to squeeze in the last of our fall hiking bucket list or goals or want to ride the trails one last time before the snow falls. We want [...]

Read More »

Behind the Stoves: A Look at Who We Do Business With (Part 2)

Making the Choice  Like our competitors, we had to make a choice.  Should we outsource our manufacturing to China and be able to sell our products for less or do we keep it local?  The competitive pressures to follow the China road are great but there is more to making that decision than just our [...]

Read More »

Your Outdoor Skills: Water Filters

The three basics humans need to feel secure are water, food and shelter. To have the best experience while you’re in the wilderness, it’s important to make sure each of these needs are met. While the body can live without food for some time, water is a different story. Drinking contaminated water may [...]

Read More »

While we add value to your outdoor experience, you are adding value to our planet and all that live here. Littlbug Enterprises donates at least 10% of its profits to help care for the Earth and its inhabitants.