This shop has been compensated by Collective Bias, Inc. and its advertiser. All opinions and adventures are mine alone. But you can go on fun adventures too, with #NaturalAmericanGoodness #CollectiveBias and Mountain Valley Spring Water in your ice chest!
You probably know that we are huge water-fans here at WMSB. I grew up a desert rat and didn’t know much about water except that the CA beach was my happy place, and always cut up your six-pack-plastic-holders before you throw them away.
The rules are different when you’re actually honoring nature by hiking, fishing and spending the night out in the wilderness! Over the last three years that I’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest, I’ve discovered the three most important rules to follow to support a passion to protect our water sources.
Rule #1: Leave it the way you found it!
J and I love fresh water and salt water boating, as well as hiking the trails at Mount Rainier. The most important rule of our adventures is making sure to leave nature just the way we found it. If everyone leaves even one piece of garbage behind, it would add up to a trashed trail quicker than you can say, “reduce, reuse, recycle.”
When we camp, we could leave with a couple bags of recyclables and a bag of garbage. It’s a hassle to load that onto the dinghy to put into the boat or onto the truck until we get to a dumpster, but it’s worth the hassle. Even though my hands might get dirty, or a bag might open and leak, I have no problem putting that bag into the proper receptacle when we find one. I also strive to make use of recyclable products for our adventures so that our actual garbage is kept to a minimum.
The good thing about boating is that every marina we’ve been to has had dumpsters for those who are using the launch or mooring for the night. Sometimes when we camp on land, the garbage goes all the way home with us and ends up in our household garbage bin.
But you know what’s worse than carrying around a bag of garbage and then hauling it a couple hundred miles? Going to your favorite watering hole and seeing trash floating along the top of it! Yuck! Not only is it gross, but it makes me so mad that people would treat our most important resource with such disrespect. Speaking of how important water is…
Rule #2: Bring Enough Water!
The second most important rule is to make sure that we’ve packed more than enough water. And I’m a big believer in not just bringing any water along for the ride. Water that has a great pH balance is not only hydrating, but also helps with other health issues. There are certain waters I’ll buy while traveling through airports because of what I’ve learned about pH and the health benefits of paying just a little more for great water.
For this Fourth of July weekend, we packed Mountain Valley Spring Water in our ice chest. It met the above criteria with a 7.8 pH, which means that the naturally high alkalinity helps offset the stress of modern acidic diets. When you’re spending your weekend in the sun, eating hot dogs, and drinking beer, this is great news.
We celebrated America’s Independence by a weekend of boating through the Puget Sound, sleeping anchored out on the boat, a BBQ and fireworks with family, and then a float down the Nisqually river. It was a busy weekend, but full of super awesome discoveries and even a couple of naps.
I was stoked about this weekend’s plans because I also received my new camera in the mail. I resisted for as long as possible before finally ordering a Nikon D3300 DSLR! I feel like the amazing sights in the Pacific Northwest get lost behind an iPhone lens. I hope that our awesome weekend inspires you to get out and explore your nearby trails, rivers, streams and national parks. You should get away from the shopping malls and breathe some fresh, natural air on your next day off!
I also love that our choice of water was festive for this holiday weekend. Mountain Valley’s spring is an invaluable natural resource and is an ancient part of the Ouachita Mountains in Arkansas right here in the US of A!
“The WHAT Mountains?” you ask. I’m glad you asked. The Ouachita Mountains. It’s pronounced:
Say it out loud once or twice. I promise it will put a fun grin on your face!
The Mountain Valley Spring water has been bottled in the WASH-ah-taw mountains since 1871. In fact, the only activity allowed on those mountains has been the bottling water process. Just like our gorgeous national forests in the PNW, The Mountain Valley Spring Water company has kept its home pristine from the effects of city expansion.
Even after traveling 2,200 miles from its home to our camp site, it was as crisp and refreshing as the website promised it would be. The spring water felt smooth and clean, while the sparkling water was a fun alternative when we were ready for a change, but wanted to stay hydrated. Don’t you love drinking water that just feels smooth? You can purchase Mountain Valley Spring Water at your local health food store, like Whole Foods.
If the idea of water flowing through thousands of acres of untouched forest doesn’t make you want a drink of crisp, refreshing, sodium-free and mineral-packed water on a warm day, I don’t know what will!
Rule #3: Don’t waste what nature provides!
The third most important rule we follow while on adventures, is to only take what we need. During crab season, a person with a license can retrieve a certain number of crabs of the appropriate species/size/gender per day. We each have our own crab pot, but this weekend we knew we had a variety of food options available to us, so we only brought one.
On the first day we pulled up the pot after its first soak and there were 12 crabbies in there! Twelve! Even if we took that as our opportunity to max out our daily limit, we would never be able to finish all of those crab. So J threw ten back into the water.
If you’re a seafood lover you might be thinking, “He threw TEN delicious crabs and 40 crab legs back into the water?!” But I assure you, we had our fill and I was even able to share some of my legs with family who was also camping with us. I don’t think we could have eaten our daily limit of 8 if we tried! There’s no reason to waste the natural resources on our water ways, even if they are delicious. The Mountain Valley Spring Water Company doesn’t allow any activities around their spring in Ouachita, Arkansas. This allows them to protect the natural spring source, while also providing a natural, American-made product to those who pick one of their glass bottles up off of the shelf!
Bonus Rule #4: Have fun!
There are so many fun parts about getting off the couch and exploring the outdoors! I spent most of the weekend taking 10 photos of the same thing just to see what kind of difference my camera settings made.
But we also read books, played baseball with sticks and rocks, and checked out shells that were either empty or still had an animal inside of them.
We walked along the shore. We took naps in the sun, after applying sunblock of course. We learned new recipes for camp side cooking. We jumped after getting hit by the spray of a clam under the ground. We ran out of batteries on our electronics and got to know each other better.
And we breathed the fresh air, drank the crisp water, and relaxed. I needed to relax like you guys wouldn’t believe. And the best way I’ve learned to do that is to get out of town and head straight for the forest, the shore, the wilderness, or even just your local park. Whatever it takes to get out side, do it. You won’t regret it!
What did you do for the 4th of July weekend? Did you head to the water or go camping? Did you at least get outside?