HIKE-meetupOn March 25th,  Brooke Artesi, CPO/LPO and owner of Sunshine P&O, will lead an adaptive hike on the Beginner’s Loop of Pyramid Mountain in Montville NJ.   Hiking is a challenging and rewarding sport for everyone – yes, EVERYONE!  There are trails which are adaptive; they may have asphalt paths or boardwalks, low gradients, trained guides – check out these resources to find adaptive trails :  Traillink.comAmericantrails.org, Wheel-life.org  and be sure to RSVP for the Sunshine Adaptive Hike!

Why hike?  It’s a glorious way to see the beauty of nature – lakes, rivers, wildlife, blooms and challenge yourself at the same time.  As Jerry Dunn, Head Basketball Coach, put it,

“Don’t limit your challenges, challenge your limits”

Brooke Artesi - completing the Shawangunk Ridge Trail - 20 mile hike

Brooke Artesi – completing the Shawangunk Ridge Trail – 20 mile hike

Never Hiked Before?

Check with your physician if you feel you are out of shape and start out slowly.  This is the reason Brooke chose the beginner’s loop – it’s perfect for those starting out on this exhilarating sport.

For amputees, it’s also important to check with your prosthetist to make sure your socket is fitting properly.  You certainly don’t want to develop sores.

Make sure you stay hydrated.  Bring water with you.  You also may want sunglasses and a brimmed hat.

If you’ve bought new hiking boots, or walking shoes, make sure you’ve broken them in with short neighborhood walks before you hit the trail.  And wear footwear designed with material to cushion and cradle the foot to absorb shock and increase stability.  Remember your feet expand during the day. You want good arch and ankle support.

Don’t forget the importance of your socks.  You want them to keep your foot dry, blister-free and comfortable.  Prosthetic socks are crucial to cushion the residual limb, prevent pressure sores and adjust to volume change.

Think about using hiking poles for balance and to take some load off of knees and thighs.  You may find one supplied by a tree along the trail or sporting stores have the kind that adjust to height and have springs to absorb shock.  They’ll help with balance (and make you look like a seasoned hiker!)

Using a backpack?  Good idea!  Keep it simple and make sure it has comfortable harnesses. In addition to holding your water, you may also want to carry a first aid kit, tissues, sunscreen, energy food and whatever else you deem necessary.  But don’t overload!

When choosing a hiking trail, take into account your capabilities.  The Sunshine Beginner’s Hike has been designed by Brooke Artesi to introduce you to the fun and benefits of hiking.  Hiking trails have designations of easy, moderate, and difficult.   Brooke’s meetup is the easy trail – short and relatively level.  Moderate trails require some degree of physical conditioning. You should exercise regularly, and be used to the high altitude of the park before attempting one. Difficult trails are steep and/or long, and require good physical conditioning, and, in higher elevations, acclimation to the high altitude in the park.  Work your way up!


Through the years we’ve written about several inspiring hikers – men and women who challenge themselves to go one step more – Brian Reynolds, bilateral BKA since the age of 4, hiking through Yosemite, the Grand Canyon, Inca trails in Peru,  Stacey Kozel, lupus paralyzed her legs but she overcame that potential limitation with the computer controlled Ottobock C-brace and hit the Appalachian trail, Julian Torres, bilateral amputee, wounded warrior who trained on the trails in the California Mountains and then climbed Mt. Kilimanjaro and Reggie Showers, severe burns from hanging power lines caused him to be a BKA at the age of 14 but his fortitude and persistence led him from a successful auto racing career into hiking the grueling 200 mile trek on the migratory path of the African wildebeest for National Geographic’s Mygrations series.

Ready for the challenge?   Inspire yourself!

Download our Beginner’s Hike flyer and join us on March 25th (raindate April 1st).  For more info &/or RSVP email Brooke@sunshinepando.com