A Hike Up Spencer’s Butte

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Feeling in a rut?  Roommates got you down?  Too much studying and need to get away?   Spencer’s Butte is a favorite destination for students, couples, even families to recharge and reconnect with nature. You’ve probably seen it if you’ve spent any time at all in downtown Eugene… it’s kind of hard to miss, after all.

You’ll be hard pressed to find a better spot to spend a day. Trust us, we’ve looked. You can typically expect to spend anywhere from 1-6 hours to reach Spencer Butte’s summit depending on which trail and pace you wish to take.

The Main Trail is a 700 foot climb over 1.08 miles, whereas the West Route is a 700 foot climb over 0.6 miles. How you decide to head up is up to you. Mountain bikes are not permitted but dogs are so bring your furry buddy with you just as long as you keep them on a leash.

If you’re thinking of taking up the trail consider these tips:

Don’t Leave Valuables in Your Car

Unless you’re in the market for a broken car window and a stolen iPhone avoid leaving valuables in the car.

Wear Hiking Boots

Sneakers won’t cut it, you need boots with a proper traction for hiking. Trails could be rendered slick by the weather and you’ll want the grip hiking boots provide.

Wear a Hat

After an hour or two in the sun you’ll be kicking yourself if you don’t bring a hat with you. Shade’s always welcome when trekking uphill.

Wear Sunblock

Always. Wear. Sunblock. Even if it’s overcast. Nothing worse than coming home peeling and raw from a big day out.

Use The Bathroom Before Heading Up the Trail

Yeah… nobody wants to have to deal with that halfway up the trail.

Bring Snakebite/Itchiness Kit

Pack a snakebite kit should the absolute worst happen, as well as something to deal with itchiness. And while we’re on the subject of itchiness…

Leaves of Three? Leave it Be

Be aware of the presence of Poison Oak throughout the hiking trail. We probably don’t need to say it but… don’t touch ’em.

Stay Hydrated

Bring a refillable bottle of water with you to stay hydrated on the trail.

Hike In a Group

Not only is it more fun, it’s safer too! Help each other out and avoid perilous situations.

Leave The Area Better Than You Found It

Toss your trash in a bin! If you see someone else’s trash littered why not pick it up and toss it too? And of course do not damage the natural elements of the hike: trees, boulders, flowers, etc.

Take Pictures

We mean it, the view up on Spencer Butte’s one of a kind. Take some pictures to brag the next time someone asks you how you spent your weekend.

 

photo credit: David and his new D5000 via photopin (license)

10 Wellness Tips for Students

Exercise

Being a student is difficult enough without having to deal with illness and exhaustion.  In this cold season it’s more important than ever to take proper care of yourself.

1) Always Wash Your Hands

Make sure to wash your hands often, especially during cold and flu season. A simple cleaning can help minimize your exposure to disease.

2) Drink 2 Liters of Water a Day

Drinking enough water is the corner stone of living a healthy lifestyle. The current recommendation is that the average person should drink at least 2 liters of water a day, so make sure you bring a bottle with you when you head out to class.

3) Get 7-9 Hours Sleep

Too often a full night’s sleep is put aside in favor of homework, socializing, or browsing the internet. Aim to get 7-9 hours of sleep and you’ll immediately feel the effects in the morning. It goes without saying that you should avoid all nighters whenever possible, or you’ll be feeling like a zombie the next day.

4) Don’t Eat or Drink Right Before Bed

Eating and drinking (caffeine, alcohol) will affect your internal clock and leave you with a not-so-restful sleep.  Leave at least a few hours between meals and heading to bed.

5) Find Time to Exercise

Exercise doesn’t have to mean going to the gym to work out (although it’s great if you can). Walk or bike to class instead of driving to add some easy exercise to your life. You can also play a sport on the weekend with friends or through your school’s teams.

6) Eat Three Meals a Day

The benefits of eating three meals a day for your immune system and energy levels are huge. Always start the day with a good breakfast. If you don’t have time for a sit down lunch or dinner, bring a packed meal with you so you can have something to eat throughout the day.

7) If You’re Sick, Stay Home

We know there’s pressure to go to class even if you’re unwell, but the truth is you’re doing yourself and your classmates no favors by going to class sick. You’ll end up feeling worse and potentially pass the disease onto your colleagues.

8) Get a Flu Shot

A flu shot can be the very thing that prevents weeks of discomfort and illness. Check with the University Health Center on the U of O Campus.

9) Take A Break

Stress is a huge factor in fatigue and illness, so give yourself a break now and then! Take some time to see friends, play a video game, or read.

10) When In Doubt, See a Doctor

If you’re feeling unwell and your symptoms are not improving then no one can help quite as much as a doctor can. Your campus clinic or your personal doctor will be able to give you a checkup and suggest the necessary steps towards a full recovery.