Ever found yourself at the crossroads of fear, adventure, and a wild expanse of nature, questioning how you can brave the great outdoors? What if you had the knowledge, confidence, and the right gear to navigate the wilderness fearlessly? Our episode today is a treasure trove for the adventurers at heart. We're sitting down with Bethany Taylor, the empowering force behind Iron Soul Trailblazers, all the way from Japan. With her, we unravel her extraordinary journey from being a Virginia girl to a professional long distance flyer, living in Japan, and inspiring women to conquer the outdoors.
Bethany reveals her transformative journey into the world of the outdoors, starting with trail running, that kindled her love for hiking, backpacking, and other adventures. We peel back the layers on how she's using her platform to forge paths for other women, equipping them with the skills and confidence they need to take on their own solo outdoor escapades. The conversation then takes a turn towards a topic close to Bethany's heart – everyday safety and emergency preparedness. With her roots in a military and law enforcement family, she shares invaluable insights into the importance of being situationally aware and having a go-bag at the ready for any unforeseen circumstances.
We venture further into the wilderness of emergency preparedness, diving into the ten essentials for any outdoor activity, the worth of a wilderness first aid class, and the significance of researching local wildlife and natural disasters. And it doesn't end there. Bethany guides us through the labyrinth of wilderness survival with pets and the need to educate children about emergency preparedness. Wrapping up our enlightening discourse, we address the elephant in the room - striking a balance between fear and adventure. Bethany encourages embracing fear as a part of the journey, letting it exist but not control the adventure, and the power of preparation and self-belief. Get ready to be riveted and inspired as we traverse the captivating outdoors with Bethany Taylor.
Iron Soul Trailblazers (website): https://www.ironsoultrailblazers.com/
The Trailblazers Community (Instagram): https://www.instagram.com/thetrailblazerscommunity (@thetrailblazercommunity)
Building a Basic Go-Bag: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cv16PCLhJjc/
Preparedness Tip: https://www.instagram.com/p/Crkhzc8Bt7T/
Gather Your Important Documents: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cr-Ua7ShEVo/
Parking Safety: https://www.instagram.com/p/CurVIbGhrcU/
Solo Hiking Safety Tip: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cv-8gZvBxt7/
Solo Hiking Safety Tip: https://www.instagram.com/p/CtzcxsXAEvP/
Solo Traveling Safety Tip: https://www.instagram.com/p/Cu8xChxhCwi/
Walking + Situational Awareness: https://www.instagram.com/p/CuCD2XdhL4O/
Improving Situational Awareness: https://www.instagram.com/p/CtOeRezBggQ/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chrisandsara_ | @chrisandsara_
Call or text us a question or comment: +1 (423) 825-9572
Get inspired by world travelers Chris and Sara with "What No One Tells You," their conversational podcast. Each episode is a fun chat with friends sharing personal experiences, insider tips, and riveting stories. The show is elevated by amazing guests from Youtubers, ultra marathoners, bloggers, and adventurers who bring their unique energy and perspectives to the table. With Chris and Sara, you're sure to feel a part of the group, ready to embark on a new adventure. Explore the world one story at a time and join the conversation today.
Hey y'all! We're Chris + Sara (or as you know us, Let’s Be Us), a husband and wife digital nomad travel duo currently working and traveling full time with our pup, Kramer. We've always dreamed of traveling full time, and in May of 2018 we took the leap and made it happen! Today we're balancing work and fun everywhere between the Pacific and Atlantic. From hiking and cycling to tacos and coffee, we're trying to see and experience as much of this world as we can! While our home is currently on wheels in our DIY Sprinter van, our travels take us all around the world.Be sure to hit subscribe here on Youtube and follow along on Instagram for more daily fun! Oh, and be sure to say hi while you're here. :)
NOTE: There were 3 speakers identified in this transcript. Speaker separation errors can arise when multiple speakers speak simultaneously.
0:00:00 - Sara
So today's episode guest is coming to us from Japan. All the way in Japan.
0:00:06 - Chris
That's crazy because currently, right now, we are sitting in the Olympic National Park visitor parking lot, and so there's this whole Pacific Ocean between us and our guest, but with amazing technology, we're able to have her here inside our truck with us. So it's pretty cool.
0:00:25 - Sara
Yeah, I'm really excited. This is someone that we have not met in person, but we've followed and talked to you for the last couple of years and are consistently impressed by her content Specifically. It's just crazy helpful. Her name is Bethany Cora Taylor that's her handle on Instagram but she does a lot of outdoor ventures. She has a lot of trail running and hiking, specifically with solo females, encouraging women to get outdoors, but also she does a lot of content on emergency preparedness. We've wanted to have her on for a long time and then, with everything that happened with Maui and with it being a wildfire season wildfires are going crazy in Canada and the US right now and there's a hurricane coming. It's just hurricane season. It never hurts to have a little bit of emergency preparedness, and she does such a great job of sharing practical tips online, and so we're having her on to talk about getting outdoors, being safe, developing that confidence and then also just being prepared for whatever life throws at you.
0:01:25 - Chris
This is going to be a great episode, full of really practical tips and fun stories. So, without further ado, let's just get into our conversation with Bethany. Bethany, thanks so much for being in our truck. I mean, technically you're in Japan right now, but right, you are our first guest here in our truck and it's so. I'm so happy that you're here, because we have a lot of questions for you. We want to just dive right in, but thanks for being here.
0:01:55 - Bethany Taylor
I am honored that I am the first person. We were talking about this before. We recorded is like I'm in Japan and you guys are in your rig in on the. Can I say where you're at?
0:02:06 - Chris
Yeah, yeah, we're going to be gone by the time this airs.
0:02:09 - Bethany Taylor
Okay, we're not going to be gone by the time this airs, so I don't know if people are going to be able to hear about that. So it's just cool how technology allows us to connect. When I'm like living in the future, it's Saturday here. I'm 14 hours ahead of you and you guys are just like sitting in your little mobile home and we're going to hang out and talk about some fun topics, some serious topics and kind of everything in between.
0:02:28 - Sara
Yes, I'm so excited. Okay, we have to. Let's just start with who you are. Where are you? What do you do? Just give us the lowdown on, like who you are.
0:02:38 - Bethany Taylor
I've done a lot of podcast interviews and I'm really bad about explaining, like who I am, like I know who I am, but I'll do my best. So I'm Bethany Taylor. I'm the founder of Iron Soul Trailblazers and my goal is to help more women get outside confidently, fiercely, whether that's through meetups or trips or resources or content through Instagram. So that's kind of like my primary and I host all women adventure trips. That's how we got connected and I just try and open up a space for to just kind of lower that barrier to help more women get outdoors confidently and do all the things that they want to do Dream big, play big, make sure they're fueling themselves properly. And then also I kind of have this new side of things of which we'll get into, of that just being prepared for emergencies, being prepared for natural disasters, being prepared for everyday life, because we never know what's going to happen, whether that's the safety side of things or having a go bag ready, which again we'll get into. So that's kind of what I do in a nutshell. I guess you could say and I'm currently in Japan If you didn't pick up on that from the cues we were giving but we got over here, my husband's in the military. So we got orders over here about a year ago and we love it. We weren't supposed to be here. This was a hot fill order is what it's called. So he was pretty much like next on the list to choose where we're going to go next. And this set of orders came up and they're like hey, you're going to Japan. We're like, excuse me, where it wasn't on our list, we didn't choose this.
So the initial like gut drop of we have to move overseas, like we have a dog, all of that, and then we kind of like just kept going through life, like okay, well, this is the destiny of where we're going and this is awesome we get to live in. We have the privilege of living overseas in a different country, in Japan, for three years. Hell yeah, like let's take advantage of it. So we, it's normal, we gave ourselves that permission to be like this is hard, this is different. Like where do we start? Like how do you move overseas? I don't know. I've I mean, I've traveled overseas before, but nothing like moving your entire life. So it was a learning process for both of us, because we were just like we didn't have the resources until we started reaching out.
I started doing my own research and like, asking people, and then we moved and we got over here and we're stoked to be here. It's beautiful, we're big into hiking, backpacking, mountain biking, fly fishing all of that Like, and they have that here, which is really cool. And I obviously work remote, which is awesome, so I can still do my job while I'm over here. And then obviously traveling is a little bit more cumbersome From Japan to, like, peru. I went there in April and then I'm flying back to the States for all of my trips, so I'm a professional long distance flyer at this point, which I never thought I would say, because a 14 hour flight, 14 hour flights and like cool whatever, like let's roll, like let's go, I have to take them to get away from Japan.
So, yeah, that's, yeah, that's kind of what I got going on.
0:06:05 - Sara
That's okay. There's so many things I want to touch on there. First off, one of the first things we connected on is that you moved to Japan from Tennessee. Is that correct?
0:06:13 - Bethany Taylor
Yes, so I grew up in Virginia Beach. I lived there pretty much, and in fact I was born in Japan which is ironic yeah on the same hospital that I go to now. I know.
0:06:26 - Sara
My dad was trippy.
0:06:28 - Bethany Taylor
My dad was a federal agent for 25 years, so we lived over here. I was, they popped me out when I was over here and then, 31 years later, we back, which is again life happens how it's supposed to and like I think we were supposed to come here. But, yeah, so a group of Virginia Beach, pretty much of a whole life college, high school, all my jobs and then I met my husband, Bryce, in, obviously, military. We're going to move. So we moved to Tennessee in 2020, which was awesome Because we spent a lot of time in Arkansas, which we really got into, like fly fishing, mountain biking, like the Ozarks, bentonville all these just awesome places in Arkansas.
I don't want Arkansas to blow up, but it is one of the most underrated states you will ever visit. Just fun fact for everybody, arkansas is awesome. So we lived there. We're supposed to be there for three years and they're like you're going to Japan. So we only lived there for a year and a half, so we moved again to Japan. So it was Virginia, tennessee, japan. So that's how I got here. So a lot of people don't necessarily know the ins and outs of that, but that's how we got to where we are. So yeah, we were in Tennessee for a very short amount of time. We loved Chattanooga. We try and just. Our weekends are spent like where can we get dirt underneath our feet? How can we get outside? How can we get on our bikes? How can we go? We had a camper. We had a 21 foot toy hauler. When we were statesides We'd rip around with that bring the dogs, leave them in air conditioning, we'd go play, come back, cook food. I mean you guys know that's like the coolest life ever. It's so much fun.
0:08:09 - Sara
We love it. Tennessee definitely has some dirt. I knew we had connected with Tennessee. That was like because we met in that in a trove of a trip you were leading your tours with girls Listen how we were leading our Iceland trip and we were introduced and we're like oh, tennessee, tennessee, cool.
0:08:24 - Bethany Taylor
That's like before Japan. Yeah, I think I was like I want to be friends with them, follow, and then we just like, connected us, like these people seem really cool yeah.
0:08:35 - Sara
We have loved your content because I mean it's like a whole other side of things, like I mean especially the stuff that you've been leaning into into lately with like the emergency preparedness, like that's just been like a super practical tip and we can lean into that. I don't know if we want to start by going that direction. If we want to talk more about like the getting outside first, maybe let's start there, like the getting outside.
0:08:55 - Chris
How did you start getting outside?
0:08:57 - Sara
Have you always been outdoorsy? I mean, what made you interested in helping other women get outdoorsy and did you see a need for that?
0:09:05 - Bethany Taylor
I guess so that's a great question. I didn't necessarily grow out in the typical outdoorsy realm. I guess you say you look at my like Instagram now and you look at my life like, oh, she's been playing outside since she like popped out of the womb type thing. That is the hardest thing from the truth. I grew up playing like sports. I played soccer from four to like age like 25. So every weekend with my brother, sister, my parents, we were at soccer tournaments. We were always like outside. I was always been like active. And we again grew up in Virginia Beach so like we would pull our pop up camper and we'd like go down to Hatteras and like camp on the beach type thing. But it was never like we're going to national parks or we're going out like camping in tents, which is fine. That was just like how I grew up.
And then I met my husband, bryce, and we've been together seven years, so 2016. I met him and he worked at an adventure center in college, so he's always kind of been outdoorsy. He's been mountain biking for 20 years. That's how I got Vaughn told into learning to mountain bike because of my husband. He's like you want to be a tailor, you got to learn to mountain bike. I was like cool, so I did it. It was great and I love it. He's like you're an athlete.
You're a vlog. He was just one role in its fall up hill. That was like our ongoing jokes, Like if you're going to fall, just fall up hill which you can't always do because you don't want to fall down hill but it's like our ongoing joke he's like you got to eat shit, like each uphill it's a little slower, yeah, a little slower.
So yeah, when I started meeting him like he would be tubing down the James River and kind of go camping, so he introduced me to some things, but it was never full blown outdoorsy until 2022 hit and I fell into this trail running world. I was never a runner, I ran around the soccer field but I was never like, oh, let me go run a mile type thing. I was like, yeah, this is not for me. And then I found trail running in 2022 through my friend, my very good friend Alyssa now, and that was it.
That was the first domino. I got a trail running. I ran my first half and then I ran three ultras after that and that kind of opened me up into hiking, doing more like 14ers and doing backpacking and really, like I said, that was the first domino of falling into. There's a whole world out here I don't know about and I have a love hate relationship with social media. I could talk about that forever, but it allowed me to see this whole world that was out there.
I didn't know about trail running or ultra running or about packs or anything of that nature, and then I found this Instagram and then the algorithm crushed it Because it's like oh, here's all these cool things you need to know about the outdoors. I was like great, and there still was, I feel like, this standard set of, yes, cool, everyone ultras, but I'm just a regular person. I pay taxes, I go to bed, I hang out with my dog. I'm just this normal person. And I think there was a standard set for you have to be a specific tier of fitness level to go hiking, or you have to have this certain pack or whatever, and that lowered or hired the barrier for a lot of people Because I can't spend $400 on a new pack. Yeah, maybe down the road you will, but to start they're like a chance for a backpack on and there are some snacks in there and some water and get out there.
So my goal with content was that outdoorsy focused content. It was the thing I wish I had more of. I got opened up to this social media world but it still felt really hard to obtain. So I was like I want to create content that makes it easier, it's more digestible, like hey, here are the things that you probably put in your day pack and great, just so the regular average person can go out and hike and be safe. And it's evolved. Obviously, probably my content has evolved to more like safety aspect and gear and stuff like that. So I don't really know if that answered any of your questions, but it just felt good, exactly, yeah, no.
0:13:16 - Sara
0:13:18 - Chris
You are such an infectious person I feel like you post online. I mean even talking to you right now. You're like, I'm like OK, I hate trail running, I hate it, but I'll do it with you.
0:13:31 - Bethany Taylor
Like this is awesome.
0:13:32 - Chris
So let's just go, and so do you find that you are inviting women and other people and experiencing this new world, Like what is the? Is it a? How difficult is it for you to connect to other people, to get them to be excited about the outdoors?
0:13:53 - Sara
Can I add one thing here? Sure, we're having this conversation like what a week after you just led a trip to Banff and Alaska so you're just connected with like tons of women, so I want to add that in there.
0:14:03 - Bethany Taylor
Yeah, so I it's tough on, so I'll get to this trip. So it's tough on social media because I do put out all this content and I feel like it's super digestible and relatable and you don't know a ton of feedback because no one's like, not everyone's like, oh, this was so great, you help me do this. You get like likes and views and everything. I'm like cool and I'm going to continue to put this content out because I'll get those one-off messages that were like hey, thanks to you, I was able to get on trail with my kid, I bought them a pack and like we went out and did a two mile hike. Or I send up for my first 5k. I'm like hell yeah, like I love it. I want people to send me those messages. I'm going to keep giving and giving this content. But it does feel good when someone's like hey, because of your content, I did this and it starts with a lot of little pebbles. I'm just dropping all these little pebbles on the road and other people will start coming like, oh, I sent it for race, or I'm a big hybrid athlete, so I lift and I run. Alyssa Olenek, like I said, my dear friend kind of helped me get into that realm. I've always been a lifter, but then I added in trail running I was like, hey, how can we combine these two forces? If you are lifting in your regular day to day, you're going to be a stronger trail runner, you're going to be able to climb up hills faster, you're all more confident descending. So yeah, I'm putting out content and I'm hoping that it is being absorbed by people and that they are taking it and going out and doing something maybe scary for the first time or new for the first time. And that's also why I created the trips working through Troveit trip, because most of the time going on a trip to Banff for seven days, people wouldn't even know where to start planning, and that's OK, you don't have to know how to do that. So by hosting the trips it helps lower that barrier so they can show up with some of their gear.
Everyone gets packing lists, everyone gets training programs that I write them so that they feel really strong, starting on the hikes that we're doing, and then they show up and they just get to experience the line along the way. No-transcript 15 to 20 new friends and we're friends we got to meet in real life and then also they're stoked to keep adventuring and I hope that's a springboard for some of these women. So they're like oh wow, I can camp, I am capable to that, I know how to set up a tent, I know how to go to the bathroom in the woods, I know how to pack my pack, I know how much water I need to bring with me. So I'm hoping that they learn all of these things in with the support and comfort of me, the guides that were with and all the other women, so that they can go on and keep doing all these things with their life and living these just big stoke filled lives, because this one trip trip helped them see that they're able to do that that they may not have otherwise if they didn't have the support or encouragement in this, this little tight-knit community that we have on the trip. So it's a privilege to be able to host these trips.
Like selfishly, I get to go to. These are really rad places that I've never been, like I've never been to Alaska or BAMP or Jasper, and I just went to these two places. I'm gonna meet all of these new friends and now they get to go off and like hold these memories with them close and like fill their soul and then, hopefully, they like go play in a meet-up with one of the friends that they met on the trip, or they go start solo adventuring, which I'm a huge advocate for. So yeah, it's. It's super cool, as you guys. Now.
0:17:33 - Sara
I love that. I I think we both kind of had similar backgrounds as you growing up, where we we spent some time outdoors. My feeling had a pop-up camper too, and then I grew up on a farm so I was like always outside but I never really grew up doing like hikes.
And we may have hiked a few times, but we weren't like big hikers and we weren't you know hugely outdoorsy, and so I think there's always been that like I don't want to say imposter syndrome, cuz I don't know if that's the right term but you definitely feel a little bit like the shadow water, like am I doing this right? How much do I really need like go into REI? And it's incredibly daunting, like everybody's, like you know your head's kind of thing.
I've loved your content cuz, like I'm one of those people who I get a little board hiking I do. It's a little slow, but like trail running, I'm like, oh, I'm not a trail runner, I'm not that fast. But then I see like you're obviously faster than me, but like I see you and I'm like she makes it like the point of entry, like you can just start, like you just started somewhere, and I'm like, okay, maybe one day I'll be a trail runner too. So I love seeing your content doing that. Do you see women coming off your trip feeling more empowered to take on like solo trips of their own? Do you get to follow them along like is that something you've seen?
0:18:38 - Bethany Taylor
yeah. So a lot of them will meet up with trip people who went on the trip so they'll plan like another national park trip somewhere, which is really cool because we're in a telegram group so everyone's like can connect and you have phone numbers and Instagrams. After that. And I have had some gals who were like yeah, I went on my first solo backpacking trip, overnight trip, or I rented a camper and I pulled a camper for the first time, like hell, yeah, like that's awesome. So I have seen that and kind of circling back about like what you're just saying about that imposter syndrome. So like, just so you guys know everybody the internet. Like one of my first hikes, like I wore boots, like military hiking boots that were not, they didn't fit me. I wore cotton socks, a cotton sweatshirt, victoria's Secret yoga pants brought like one snack and like a water bottle. Like the epitome of like not good you crushed it.
Yeah, yeah, only go up exactly you got literally have to start somewhere and I think with a lot of the resources nowadays, you're probably gonna be starting off a little higher than that just because there is so much resources out there. But it's not gonna be perfect. Your gears gonna evolve over time. You don't go out and buy all this expensive gear until you're like oh, I love this. This is something I want to do and like with trail running too. I there's.
You see all these badass trail runners on Instagram like running the Tahoe 200 and that's cool. But like we're over here like just walking, power hiking up hills, and like stopping and eating snacks and like that's what I love, true, like I rode around too because I can't always get on the trail. I love trail running because you don't really think about time. You just get out there like, cool, I'm gonna go run three miles. Your pace is probably gonna be like a 15 to 20 minute mile. If there's hills like you're new to trail running like you're gonna fall. You're probably gonna cry at some point on the trail. It's gonna be harder than road running, but you're allowed to walk. You're allowed to power hike up hills. You're allowed to stop.
Like I love taking pictures of mushrooms and wildflowers. I love eating gummy bears in beautiful places and like I think trail running is just so fun because it's less serious than road running. Like, if you compare trail running races to road races, they are vastly different. In trail running people are just like stoked to be there and like you're just out there getting dirty and like again eating snacks. Like some aid stations have like fireball shots If people are in that and there's like applesauce, is it? Yeah, trail running races are so awesome in the like the camaraderie is so fun, so yeah, too long.
Just start. It doesn't have to be long, doesn't have to be fat, you don't have. There's no requirement to be fast trail running. That is written. Yeah, there's no commandment that says you have to be fast. Just get out there, put some comfy shoes on, make sure you. Make sure you let somebody know where you're going, if you're going by yourself, make sure you have plenty of snacks and water, make sure you know the trail, have a map downloaded, you have an idea and then just go out, rip around and like, be really proud of yourself and then keep going from there.
0:21:49 - Sara
I love that. I'm like, yes, I got this, I'm going to go run today.
0:21:52 - Chris
We're going to hop off this call right now.
0:21:55 - Sara
So you are kind of leading into a huge topic that we want to talk with you about, which is being prepared safety.
So, specifically, like I saw you start sharing like safety in everyday life, like you know, try to park backwards and like reverse into parking spaces and like these basic tips of like make sure you always tell somebody where you're going, like make sure you make eye contact, like these little tips I've seen. I'm like, oh, that's really smart, like, and I've tried to incorporate into my own life. And then I've also seen you kind of carry that on and do emergency preparedness, and we especially want to talk about that in light of, you know, the Maui fires that happened about a week and a half ago now, and now there's fires all over Canada. It's just wild fire season all over the US and Canada and there's hurricanes coming. I mean it's just a crazy time of year and personally I've been through two tornadoes now and in both moments I'm like I don't know what to grab, like I've never been prepared.
So I don't do we want to. Let's start with basic safety and then maybe lead into, like, the larger emergency preparedness. I'm just going to let you take that and run and do it, do what you will with it, but give us like and that's a loaded question.
0:23:06 - Bethany Taylor
Where should I start? I'll figure it out. Let's just, I'm going to talk, okay.
0:23:13 - Sara
0:23:14 - Bethany Taylor
So my safety I grew up let's talk about safety and like everyday life. So I'm very fortunate I grew up with a law enforcement family so it's always kind of been a thing for us is just safety and everyday life being situational, situationally aware of what is going on around us. Obviously husband's military girlfriend, military town, huge military presence. So it's always kind of been there for me of not to not an overly like anxious person, like when we're in situations, but it's just like hey, where are the exits? Who's in the restaurant with us Just being walking. You're like, okay, just do a quick scan, like just so you have an idea of what's going on. You can maybe sense if something doesn't feel right or somebody looks kind of weird, and just making sure that like your head's kind of on a swivel. And again, I don't say this to scare people or to instill fear, but there are some things that can be prevented if our heads are up in our eyes or up we're not looking at our phones, we're not walking texting.
I love, like the little thing you said. I love backing in a parking spots because it allows me to sit. Do a scan of the parking lot that I'm in and I can get out the door and be facing where I'm going, because if I open the door and I pulled into a parking spot, my back is to everything and I can't see everything and I do almost everything alone just because my husband is gone a lot and I'm kind of like the solo sheep. I just kind of like do my own thing. So I spend a lot of time alone. So I'm always just like making sure like I have my own back. So, yeah, just like little stuff like that and just paying attention. It's a very like, just a simple thing of like, when we're on walks, pay attention to like how are people outside, like who lives where, so that if something happens and you're like man, this, this person hasn't been outside every they're usually outside this time every single day or their cars gone, or note the newspapers are stacking up in their driveway. Like, just little things like that can actually help that person. Maybe just not our own safety, but the safety of someone else. So just being vigilant Again, I learned this from just growing up.
So a lot of people there's no fault to them don't necessarily think about this type of thing. They just kind of go through their life and like are just cruising through life and aren't really paying attention to like who's parked next to me or if I'm in a campground, like who's around me, or just noticing like weird people maybe just like watching me or whatever it may be, whether you're with a family member or with your spouse or whatever. So just being aware of your surroundings can really go a long way. So, yeah, I talk to talk about like everyday safety things and then, because I think it's important and I think it's not I don't really know any Instagram pages or content of some that like talk about this, but I think it's such an under talked about subject of like our everyday safety and then, yeah, so it started kind of posting about that and then it really started moving over to I've always kind of been prepared for like natural disasters, but I never talked about it.
I just didn't know how. Like I didn't think people would grab onto it. Because you're like, oh, you're talking about like making a go bag, like people go to like the big preppers world of like people being prepared for the end of the world. Like we're not preppers People may think we are just because, like you look at our gear closet like, oh, y'all are like I want to come be ready?
Yeah, yeah, but it's more of like we I would rather be, rather be, so hope is it. Hope is never a course of action, so I always hope that nothing would happen, but hope doesn't allow us to be prepared for potentially one of the worst days of our lives, whether it's a fire, a typhoon. We live in Japan Hello typhoons. So I think when we moved here, it really clicked to me that I'm home by myself with my dog in a foreign country and we are in a we're in a tsunami season, a typhoon season. Like how can I make sure I'm prepared with my dog, all of my important documents and everything if we need to go, like if we got to get out of here, whether it's on foot or whether I need to drive my car to base or to an evac point? So I think for me it really clicked. I was like I need to start sharing this with people, because there are so many people that probably don't have fire extinguishers in their houses, who don't have flashlights, who don't have even like extra water, just little small stuff that you probably already have in your house. Like you probably have a flashlight. Are there batteries in it? Do your smoke detectors work in your house? Do you have just a little bit of extra water and some non-perishable food available. The biggest one for me is where are all of your important documents? This one, it kind of like blew my mind because I had a lot of people message me to like dude, I don't know where my passport is. I don't know where my birth certificate is.
One of my biggest things like if you could do anything from this podcast whoever's listening today go in your house and gather all of your important documents social security cards, passports, medical documents, all of your dog's records as well, anything you have. Like we're military, so we have specific paperwork we need in order to live over here, like legally. So have all of that, any vaccination records that you have. Put all of that together. Because if you need to leave your house in five minutes and you got to go, the last thing you're going to be thinking about is like, oh, I need to grab my passport. What if you live overseas and you have to fly somewhere else? What if you like? Getting back a social security card, all of your important documents, medical information, just birth certificates is a lot, and so if you can have that somewhere that you can just grab and go, mine's in my go bag, so I just grab your friends. Sorry, people are always like. Waving at her like you're like, yeah, I'm sorry, keep going that was such a serious.
0:29:47 - Sara
I didn't want to get distracted, but he was not going away. You're like oh he's going.
0:29:54 - Bethany Taylor
So, yeah, important documents. That's one that I think if you wanted to start somewhere, start there, getting all of that together, putting in a waterproof like folder binder so if there is a fire in your home and you can grab that really fast, or if you need to evacuate within five to ten minutes because you know wildfires happen fast and there are things that you're just you think aren't gonna happen until they do. So that is just one thing. It's like getting all your important documents together and, yeah, like my, my goal was like, with, like sharing all these things is like, what are these basic things we can have in our home so that if that day, like we want to put ourselves in the best position possible in case things get weird, and not to be to be that's my dog, not to be like fear led, but it's more how can we be prepared, especially people with families and kids, when something happens? You're like you get that emergency notification, your phone, like you have ten minutes to evacuate your home. What do I do? You're worried about your children? Do they have closed with? Like, the go the?
The purpose of a go bag that I keep talking about is essentially a three-day supply of your basic necessities that allow you to stay alive and be okay and safe. If you need to evacuate your house, whether that's on foot, on going through your vehicle, going to a different city or town, going to an emergency shelter, because you don't know what the next three days are gonna look like for you, you may be flying out of a country, flying out of the state, going to somebody else's house, going to a red cross shelter you don't know. So that bag allows you to have important documents lighting, warmth, food, water what else? Cash that's another big one. We don't think about no power how you gonna pay for gas food? How can we have cash on hand, which I know is like an ancient art nowadays of like having, yeah, sanitation kits, having make sure you're staying sanitized too, because you don't have running water. How you gonna wash your hands, use the restroom, that type of thing. So I may, I just made a post on how to build a go bag, which I'm sure you guys will link in the in the show notes, but yeah, yeah so I'm just trying to bring light to a topic that a lot of people don't think about until something like that
happens in Maui. We're like they're all on an island surrounded by water. They're the last people that would have ever thought that they would be just in complete devastation, and it's it makes me so. It makes me so sad. Yeah, there's just. People's lives are are completely changed and that's the worst day of their life. And how many of them were able to get out their important documents or to get out safely? You know, obviously, your, your body and your, your animals and your children those are take priority. But if we had a bag available, we maybe thought to prepare that we can take that with us and have just what we need for at least like three days until we can get help.
0:32:53 - Sara
I mean, you don't realize things can happen so quickly. I mean, like I said, I've been through a couple tornadoes and, like my house hasn't been hit, but we've been hit within like a mile each time, these massive tornadoes that have like been like EF4 tornadoes and you just think the first time it comes here it's like wow, that was like a once in a lifetime three thing. And then you know, seven years later it comes through again. It's like, well, maybe I should really get serious about this. Like this could happen third time and like you just never know it's.
It is crazy, and I mean so especially like for us, because we travel a lot, like very much like you, but we travel in, often a camper, sometimes we're flying, it just depends. But we always try to be like acutely aware of our surroundings, like you were saying, like always kind of noticing like, oh, something off. But a step further would be like emergency preparedness for, like wilderness survival. Is that something you've done? Is that, because that's something that we want to do before we go international, for overlanding is like make sure that we know how to care for ourselves in the middle of Patagonia, something goes wrong and there's no hospital around. Have you taken some of these emergency things into the wilderness?
0:33:56 - Bethany Taylor
so I actually think a lot of them kind of go like hand-in-hand. Like all of my go bag everyday life emergency preparedness gear is stuff I use on the trail. So if you're a camper or hiker, you probably have everything you need in your house. How can we maybe centralize it and keep it all together so it's easy to grab and go? Yeah, so taking a lot of this to like and again, I think they go pretty well hand-in-hand I always recommend taking a wilderness first aid class for anyone who spends time outside.
I took one through NOLS and it was like 200 bucks and Chattanooga. It was two days. I drove from. I drove from Memphis and I went and I want to get my wolf first. So my wilderness first responder, but it expires after two years and I can't get it while I'm here, so I'm gonna wait till I get back.
But I think even just having basic knowledge is helpful so that if you do have some sort of enablement, you're like okay, I have to wait for emergency responders to get here. I either have to hike out, I have to wait for a hella back to come, I have to wait for a SAR team to get to me, so what can I have on my person to help keep me warm, fed, safe or whatever it may be, until emergency services can get here. I think just even having a basic understanding of first aid of if something happens, okay, what can I do to help maintain life if it's life threatening, or how can I stop the bleed or make sure we don't get some someone gets an infection while we're waiting for somebody to get out there so I think that's extremely valuable. There are a ton of resources online, too, that are free. I recommend going to an actual place and learning from an instructor, if you're able to, and then also having I am like kind of a snob about being overly prepared when going out into hiking, backcountry, camping, overlanding, all of that, because you are all you have when you're out there. If it's just you and somebody else or your solo, whatever is on your back is all you have to survive if things get weird. So the ten essentials you can literally watch a YouTube video or Google this.
Having the ten essentials with you is so important because it's the things that will help keep you alive if you have to stay out there overnight or if a thunderstorm or light and storm rolls in, or if you get hurt and you're having to stay in one place and the temperatures are dropping and you pull out your emergency blanket, your baby, to keep you warm. Do you have enough food to help you get through that night? Had you have a water filter in case you run out of water? Is there a water source even there? So, like again, I have like a ton of resources to on this on my Instagram and people want to read through them. But how can we go out there and I always go out hiking, camping, whatever, backpacking of like I have enough on me to be out there for another day. Yeah, you're gonna be living kind of like minimally and you're not in like this. You don't have a sleeping bag with you for going hiking, but I have something to keep me warm if necessary.
So, yeah, again, a lot of this gear that we bring, yeah, on trail is what we can use in our homes to doing research on the trail is really important. So these kind of go hand-in-hand too. So if in regular day, everyday emergency situations, it's important for us to know what natural disasters can happen in the state that we live in. So if you're living in like I don't know Maine, you're probably not gonna have typhoons there, you know, but like what big winter storms can come. So knowing, doing your research of where you're living and what seasons can potentially bring specific natural disasters is really important so you can prep for that season.
And also, when you're out on trail, how can we do research on the trail to know exactly where we're going?
Do we have maps downloaded? Do we let someone know where we're going when we're supposed to be back? Did you tell them what you're wearing in case you need to be identified if you're lost? What are the trail conditions look like? Is there specific part of the trail where people get always get lost because, like it may be the bush whack a little bit, you don't know if you're going left or right. So wildlife, that's another one too. What's gonna be out there?
So, like, I always encourage people to do like as much research as possible before getting on trail so that if things got weird, you would be like cool, we're good, let's take a quick breath, let's breathe, let's do, let's, let's do an audit of like where we're at, how we're feeling. Do we need to turn around? I one of the most like highest financial investments. I think I know another expensive to invest in. If someone does anything where there's no service or your by yourself is a satellite thumb, something like a garment in reach. I had the garment in reach many. That thing stays on it all yep.
0:38:44 - Sara
I'm well. I knew you're gonna say that yep, yeah, you're like. I know you're right there yep always. I knew it's where you're going.
0:38:50 - Bethany Taylor
Yep, it is not cheap, it's like 350. But if you don't drink your Starbucks drink every single week for X amount of weeks you can take that $6 and put it in a fund to buy a garment in reach. So that, oh, like, I've listened to a lot of podcasts about people who have like the out alive podcast or whatever, and they're like yeah, so if I had a satellite phone I could have SOS. Or I didn't think about buying a satellite phone or bringing one, and they're like, I wish I had it, because they could have called emergency services. Because they were on a trail, they were on a trip, a five-day trip. Something happened on day two. No one's gonna check on with them for three more days because they're supposed they're supposed to be out in the wilderness of Alaska or the Yukon or whatever.
So having a satellite phone allows you to communicate with people back home. You can say, hey at camp, all good, you can drop waypoints, you can download maps, you can hit SOS. If, like, you're in a situation where you need a medical intervention, you can hit the SOS button. So and that's great. Like for everyday life too, it's like cell towers go down and you're trying to like communicate with somebody. You have your chat phone so high dollar piece of gear, but it could honestly be the thing that saved your life.
0:40:06 - Sara
So that's absolutely. I mean I carry it with me. I have this little tech pouch that I always keep in my backpack and I always this may be like crazy, but I always carry my headlamp and my garment in reach because, like, partially the headlamp just for, like, packing up for traveling, but the garment in reach, like even like road trips internationally, I'm like I don't know where we're going.
Like I don't know if my phone's gonna work In our case scenario like I can struggle on being like letting the fear and anxiety take control over me more than like let's do this. So, like, how do you balance? I'm sorry, I'm asking you a little question.
0:40:35 - Chris
You wanna ask me a question? No, you're, I'm, you know what I do. I do have a question. I do have a question, but before you get to that, because I know where you're going. But I wanna go back to the go bag. Really quick, the go bag.
0:40:46 - Bethany Taylor
Oh, yeah, I love it.
0:40:47 - Chris
So you put all of your like papers, your important papers, in this pack and then all the supplies and everything, and then where do you put that in the house? And then are you worried about it being stolen. And you know somebody like has just a bag of somewhat cash and all your important documents Like how do you go about, like, taking care of that?
0:41:07 - Bethany Taylor
That's a great question. So I have no fear of it being stolen here in Japan because the crime rate is so stupid low. It's obviously still there. And even living in Japan, I keep my normal like guard up because when I get back to the States, like it's important for me to kind of keep it where it's at. So great question. Yes, I have all of my. I actually have like an extra. I have a lot of bags because I do this for a living. So it's a 70 liter backpacking pack and it has all of the gear in it. It has water, food, three days worth of food for chance food for me. I just made it for myself because my husband's gone so he don't need nothing in there right now. And so this actually lives downstairs in a closet and it's kind of like pushed back. You can't like. You can't really see it Like. It just looks like a bag around, like toilet paper and everything. Somebody goes in the closet. No one's gonna really like look for it.
0:42:08 - Chris
Yeah, like, so you don't have a sign that says go pack or anything like that Go back.
0:42:12 - Sara
This way, all my documents there's $100 in here.
0:42:16 - Bethany Taylor
Yeah, exactly, yeah. So you want it to be in a place that is pretty, like, relatively accessible. I keep it downstairs because I always usually have to go downstairs to go outside. Like, I don't keep it upstairs because of something happened upstairs, like a fire or something. I'm like cool, I have to go. Normally I have to go downstairs to grab it.
0:42:39 - Sara
0:42:40 - Bethany Taylor
So that answered the first question about like where it's located.
0:42:44 - Sara
Yeah, just be.
0:42:45 - Bethany Taylor
Don't like, probably don't put it by the front door, because if people come in they're like oh, this sweet bag and it can be in any type of bag. I won't take this, thank you. You can put it in a duffel bag, you can. I like backpacks because if we need to leave on foot I don't want to carry a duffel bag with me. And if you have kids too I didn't mention this make them their own little backpacks so you're not carrying everyone's stuff. All the kids have their own little thing with all of the things that they need and maybe like their favorite toy or a coloring book to keep them kind of occupied. So just have those in a place you know where they're at, but aren't like blatantly like in the way. Does that make sense?
0:43:24 - Sara
0:43:24 - Bethany Taylor
That's smart, yeah, that's great.
0:43:27 - Sara
I love that you're giving tips for families too. Yeah, I mean, that's something that we often forget to do just cause we don't have kids. We don't think like that.
0:43:33 - Bethany Taylor
but it's good Cause we do have a lot of families listening. No offense, we don't have kids. We're not a not a kid family. I'm like I can tell you about what to do with your dog, because we're not family.
0:43:42 - Chris
I was gonna ask you about the dog yeah.
0:43:44 - Bethany Taylor
Chance is good that dude is set. If we need to go, he's fit. We can go miles if we need to. So yeah, I try and remember. A lot of my audience does have small children, so I try and remember to like throw things in there with like kids. So I'm glad you noticed that I've been actively trying to remember to talk about kiddos. No offense to kids out there.
0:44:08 - Sara
Can we talk about the dog?
0:44:09 - Bethany Taylor
Yeah, I'm like I'm gonna he's got his own go bag. He's ready.
0:44:12 - Sara
Yeah, this is off the topic. We'll probably get this out, but I'm really impressed that you got Chance to Japan, which is like something I'll probably talk to you about eventually, cause we travel with our dog and I know that it is a lot of work, a lot of money and it's not fun. So, anyway, we'll talk about that another time.
0:44:27 - Bethany Taylor
Yeah, and you can totally leave that in there, because people have to come overseas with dogs and paperwork, ask a lot of questions, have a savings account for that process and have more paperwork in a spreadsheet. Cause, that's what I did. And I was like come hell or high water. I'm getting my dog over here with the least amount of anxiety as possible, so that's a real thing.
0:44:51 - Sara
Japan is yeah, if people don't know Japan's probably the hardest, besides maybe Australia. It gets really hard.
0:44:58 - Bethany Taylor
Yes, it's a rabies free country, so he has to have a very strict schedule of rabies shots with blood work that can only be sent to two labs in the United States. That has to get mailed out. You get it back. You have to let Japan know you're coming 40 days ahead of time. And then there's more paperwork. Everything has to be in black ink. I can't be blue ink, it has to be black ink. I'm pretty seeing that yeah.
That's a real thing and yeah, it was. Yeah, the crate has to be a specific size. You can't use plastic pieces on the crates. It has to be replaced with metal. You can only fly in specific months because of the heat. Yeah, it was kind of. We joke about. Speaking of kids, it's harder to get a dog to Japan than to get children to Japan.
0:45:50 - Chris
Oh, 100% yeah.
0:45:52 - Bethany Taylor
I was like and it was more expensive to get him over here. I'm like dude you need a job Right. He's a freeloader.
0:45:59 - Chris
Yeah, he's a freeloader.
0:46:00 - Sara
Yeah, he's got to get his own brand deals and make him pull some weight around there.
0:46:03 - Bethany Taylor
I'm about to make him an Instagram so he can get paid for it.
0:46:06 - Sara
Chance in Japan.
0:46:08 - Bethany Taylor
Everybody loves him, everybody does Love it.
0:46:13 - Sara
I don't want to take up too much of your time because I know it's a Saturday morning there, but I do want to kind of ask one. We'll go with two more questions. One the one I was going to ask is I tend to be a fearful or anxious person. That's just my. I love going out there and doing it. I'm like, yeah, let's go have that adventure. But also there's always that like, okay, I need to have plan A, b and C. In case A and B fall through, I still have C kind of thing. How do you keep, how do you adventure without letting those fears run you? Or how do you find that balance between, like, being prepared without letting it keep you off the trail or keep you from doing what you love?
0:46:49 - Bethany Taylor
It's a great question, cause there is this harmony that you want to find between the two. I don't like the word balance, like the word harmony, because it's I don't think it's ever going to be in perfect balance, so it's finding the flux between the two. I think fear is important because it keeps us vigilant, it keeps us prepared, it keeps us on our toes. It's a very natural thing for us to have. It allows us to trust our instincts and our gut if something's wrong, like oh, there's fear here that's not made up Like sure, we may have these like formulated things in our brains, but fear keeps us alert and keeps us ready. So we never want to live this fear led life. We want fear to be a part of it, because we have to understand things can happen. The likelihood is pretty low until something does happen or you meet someone and you're like, yeah, this happened to me. You're like, oh, wow, you're a regular everyday person on the same trail as I am and this happened to you, so it can. Fear can be really. A lot of people do tell me they're like I'm afraid to go out so low, and that's okay, you're allowed to be afraid to do that.
It's not something that I was really good at right away, like it took reps, it took time, it took me believing in myself and my capabilities and learning, making sure I have the proper gear. And it's important to like start small. So great, you want to go solo hiking for the first time? Okay, so the first time you do it, actually do it with a friend. So you know the trail, you know the route, you know where you're going and then the next time go by yourself. So you now have that confidence and you built that next little brick of cool.
I know where the trail is. I'm going to go up by myself and then, okay, I'm going to go a little bit further. So I do an overnight backpacking trip. Great, we need to make sure we let everybody know where we're going, where we're camping, communications there, have all of our gear, all of our food, and you're probably going to be scared the first night. You sleep out and attend by yourself. I was, it was. It was just nerve wracking and I was an idiot and I did like a 14 mile day just cause I thought I could. I did.
0:48:55 - Chris
Oh, my gosh yeah Again, but I told you guys, I was wearing cotton, Like my first hiking.
0:49:00 - Bethany Taylor
I was wearing cotton Victoria's Seeker pants, military Rocky boots. It was the chill. So when did you go?
0:49:07 - Sara
Can I ask you weren't like in Grizzly country or something, were you?
0:49:10 - Bethany Taylor
No, no, For I did three ridges in George Washington National Park. Yeah. So you probably you get some of the Appalachian trail like friends there.
0:49:22 - Chris
Yeah, yeah, this is a great idea.
0:49:24 - Bethany Taylor
I mean I did it. But yeah, I had everything, but again, that's a lot. I had like 40 pounds of gear for one night. And again, you like have to learn, but I did it and I was like, okay, what did I learn from that? What would I do differently Now? I had the confidence that I can get to a trailhead. I slept in my car that night, I can set my own tent up, I can hike this trail, I can do all these things. So, like it's, these small bricks that you stack of, like mini, micro adventures help you build confidence to those bigger adventures and to doing more things solo and like just bigger outdoor pursuits that require more gear or more planning. And you have to do these small ones first to be able to do the big ones. And like believing yourself to do those and fear again.
I don't think fear should be completely null and void, because it keeps us on our toes, it keeps us understanding that things could happen. But I have everything to prevent that from happening, and a lot of what does happen sometimes happens because we weren't doing those preventative measures. We didn't take a quick second to check the weather before we went out and did the thing. There are obviously some things that happen that are totally out of our control. But do we have the experience after we've been doing this for a while to help us get through whatever had happened. So fear is allowed to be there Again. We don't necessarily want it to be everything, but we can't just like wipe fear off the table. We lessen our fear and it becomes more like hey, I'm prepared by doing the thing. That kind of scares us a little bit.
0:51:02 - Sara
That's so good, that's good, that's like. I feel like that's a really good place to close here. Do you agree? Okay, so, before we no, like.
0:51:09 - Chris
I don't want to cut you out. I can talk forever about like Japan and like, yeah, no, no, no, okay, that's crazy. No.
0:51:15 - Sara
I do. That was so good. I'm like okay, like it's kind of funny, like the last couple episodes of our podcast have all had a common like takeaway, which is like find that point of entry. Have you noticed that in the last three, two, three episodes and like in very different places, of travel and adventure. But I always say you've got to find that entry point of like what's comfortable for you and then build those little stats from.
0:51:34 - Chris
0:51:35 - Sara
I love that we're ending on that, but I do want to ask you we're going to link everything down below, but could you tell us your resources that are available, the trips you're leading next year, all that kind of thing? Cause I feel like people are going to hear this and be like I want to go, I want to travel with her.
0:51:50 - Chris
Yeah, people are going to listen and be like yeah, I want to travel with her.
0:51:55 - Bethany Taylor
Well, I hate all things social media. I'm just kidding. I don't hate all things social media. I'm on one platform, and it's Instagram, because I can't handle anything. I can't handle anything Good for you, so I know which is not.
But yeah, instagram is my primary. I'm on my stories a lot. I have a ton of resources saved in my guides. You'll see a ton of content on there. That's how you can reach me for like questions. I have my website, which I'll link to trip wise. So I'm going to Patagonia in about two months, so that's exciting.
0:52:26 - Chris
Oh my gosh.
0:52:27 - Bethany Taylor
There were some spots left, but it closes in like 10 days. So it's kind of like a quick turnaround if you didn't want to come. Next year I'll be doing Yellowstone in July and then I'll be having another trip I'm planning. So next year is kind of up in the air for us with like life things. So I can't plan a lot because we don't know where we're going to be. Let's just say that. So I just have one trip next year. And then I have my online outdoor community called the Trailblazers community. So it's an all women online community of resources. We do giveaways, educational content. I do webinars. I just gave one on like water filtration. I've given it on solo safety in the outdoor realm. So those are kind of like where to find me.
0:53:15 - Sara
Perfect and, like I said, we'll link everything down below and definitely this podcast will be coming out on Monday, so this is actually a quick turnaround. We usually record part of it. So if you're listening to this, the week that comes out the. Patagonia trip is open.
0:53:28 - Chris
There's still room.
0:53:29 - Sara
There's still room you still have seven days, eight days. Yeah, come hang out.
0:53:34 - Chris
0:53:35 - Sara
Yes, I'm so jealous of that one yeah.
0:53:38 - Chris
Bethany, thank you so much for like joining us and like giving all these like words of wisdom, like I know that we could go on forever, but thanks for being here.
0:53:46 - Bethany Taylor
Yeah, absolutely, it was a pleasure. And yeah, come follow me on Instagram and enjoy the ride in Japan. Sounds good.
0:53:57 - Sara
We'll talk to you soon.
0:53:57 - Bethany Taylor
I'll see All right bye.
0:54:00 - Sara
Thanks for listening to What No One Tells You. With Chris and Sarah, you have a comment or question that you want answered on the air? Be sure to send us a message to hello at christensaracom, or you can call or text our phone number at 423-825-9572. Thanks for listening.
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