Preparation for Backpacking 2

This article concentrates on taking practical steps to make you better prepared for your backpacking adventure. Planning and specific tools such as a map and compass will be a tremendous asset to you. The knowledge you gain from your planning will help improve the odds in your favor for safety and an overall better experience.…

This article concentrates on taking practical steps to make you better prepared for your backpacking adventure. Planning and specific tools such as a map and compass will be a tremendous asset to you. The knowledge you gain from your planning will help improve the odds in your favor for safety and an overall better experience. These fundamentals will aid you before you hit the trail, on the trail itself, or both.

Put On Your Walking Boots and Start Walking

There's a Countryside Walk Near You One of the good things about the great British countryside, is that there is some countryside near you. Even if you live in the center of a large town or city, you are only a short distance from open space. You can probably walk there! But whether you drive…

There's a Countryside Walk Near You

One of the good things about the great British countryside, is that there is some countryside near you. Even if you live in the center of a large town or city, you are only a short distance from open space. You can probably walk there! But whether you drive or take a bus or train, there is some countryside near you.

It was once the preserve of Sunday afternoon walkers, but with today's flexible work patterns, any day is a good day for enjoying a walk in the countryside. If you live in London, a short train ride of an hour or less will take you to East Sussex or Buckinghamshire. You can stay closer to home and walk along the Regents Canal from Paddington to Limehouse on the River Thames. Alright, so it is not strictly countryside, but you can experience a quiet haven as you walk through 8 miles of one of the most bustling cities in Europe. Anyways this article is not about the countryside so much as to encourage you to put on your walking boots and get walking.

You Can Walk In Any Weather

It does not even matter what season it is, walking in any weather has a way of energising us. Walking lifts our spirits.It is said that all truly great thoughts are conceivable while walking! Walking is also good for our physical health whatever our age. It strengthens our hearts and gets our circulation going. Walking tones up our muscles and leaves us feeling invigorated.

You can walk in any weather but it is still important to wear the correct clothing. Check the forecast. Do you need to carry a sweater in your backpack? maybe a lightweight waterproof jacket if there is a chance of rain? If you are walking in remoter places like the High Peaks in Derbyshire, the weather can change suddenly. So even though you are only 20 miles from Manchester or Sheffield, be prepared.

Carry a thermos flask and some food just it case takes longer than you expected. Wear the correct footwear for the terrain. If you are walking on loose stones and steep inclines your walking boots should be more rigid with good ankle support.

Put On Your Walking Boots

If you decide to walk on various terrains on a regular basis, it is worth investing in the right walking gear and accessories. Waterproof jackets, good walking boots, and a backpack to carry emergency supplies and extra clothing. You can buy all this online or at one of the stores that specialize in the great outdoors.

You may think that you are not fit enough to go walking up mountains. So, choose a walk according to your level of fitness and go forward from there. Walking along country lanes on a summer's day, where you can enjoy the flora and fauna, is a wonderful experience

The important thing is to make a start. Get out of that comfortable armchair and step out to enjoy a new level of fitness for mind and body. Put on your walking boots and get walking!

7 Safety Tips for Your Walking Holiday

Your walking holiday should be fun and exciting, but it can be a dangerous pastime. Here are 7 tips to make your walking holiday safer.

Your walking holiday should be fun and exciting, but it can be a dangerous pastime. Here are 7 tips to make your walking holiday safer.

Does Your Child Want to Travel? $64k Questions That I Get Asked Part 1

When undertaking any change or making any life decision; as a parent I have always to taken into consideration how it would affect my child; his wellbeing and safety is paramount. Deciding to take a child backpacking is obviously not an everyday decision for anyone to make-so if anything, I needed to give extra careful…

When undertaking any change or making any life decision; as a parent I have always to taken into consideration how it would affect my child; his wellbeing and safety is paramount.

Deciding to take a child backpacking is obviously not an everyday decision for anyone to make-so if anything, I needed to give extra careful consideration to what the impact on him would be and be certain that I am doing the right thing for him in the long run. Just because I want to travel, it does not automatically follow suit that any child of mine will, and I think that's something that I needed to be mindful of when making this decision. My ideal goal is to take him traveling for a year and world-school him. But I wanted to ease us both in gently and dip our toes initially, rather than completely submerging.

Points that I pondered were this,

Is he old enough to really enjoy this?

Does he actually want to do this?

Will he remember this as a fantastic life-enhancing experience, or will he just remember having to sit with his bottom stuck to a hot uncomfortable bus seat for hours on end, wishing he could meet his pals in the park?

How will he cope with the language barriers?

Will he moan all the way around Europe that he's too hot and be miserable?

What kid friendly experiences can I find to keep his enthusiasm up?

Will I put him off traveling for life?

Am I doing the right thing or should we just go on a package holiday to Salou …

And so on and so forth.

So I guess the answers to some of those questions will come while we are on the road and I will update as we go along. But I have made an effort to pre-empt the above concerns. I've planned the trip so that we have broken the journeys with fun stopovers and interesting tours. (Ferrari Musuem anyone ?!) I borrowed an Italian language course on CD from the local library and we have been listening and repeating in the car much to our amusement .. (I've actually found that he is better than me!) I have bought him a little travel pillow that clips to his rucksack with a carabiner, and a handheld water spraying fan for any hot whiny moments.

The most important thing here is communication. I have included Jared in every step of the planning. I've talked him through everything, the what's the where's the when's the how's and the why's. I've asked him if he wanted to do this and double, triple, quadruple checked before I was satisfied that he does want to go. I think that by including the child and showing them photos on Google images and a route then this helps prepare them and helps with their expectations.

To some parents this may seem a bit OTT, and that the kids should just do as the parent (s) wants them to do. But I've always included Jared in the planning process of any life-changing decision, and that's just how our little unit works. He has not had the easiest life, so to know that he is happy with anything that I'm planning is really important to me.

The child's personality and experience will also have some bearing on planning a trip. Having grown up in the Lake District with grandparents and uncles that have traveled extensively since he was born, this is all “normal” to him, so he is not phased by it one iota.

He is used to regularly camping, hiking and wild camping. He is always outdoors in general and is very fit and active. He is a boy scout and has trotted off on many weekend camps and even a survival night out in the woods in makeshift shelters by Windermere in 2 degree temperatures, so I am pretty confident in his ability to handle this, and any other backpacking trip that we may do.

I also am very independent and self-reliant and have total faith in my abilities; so I know that I can deal with most things that could potentially come our way. Obviously you can not plan for every event but I'm used to traveling alone with a child on shorter trips, and we spent a month in Spain when he was 3 years old so I have some experience. I've been a single parent for 11 years so you become very resourceful and probably the most serious thing that my son has faith and trust in me to keep him safe so he's completely relaxed about the whole trip.

Hope this post has helped and feel free to comment or ask any questions!

Hiking Tips And Tricks For Success

Hiking is a wonderful hobby for millions of people. It is great exercise and allows you to train yourself in the art of perseverance in the wild. The affect is a healthy mind and body. In order to enjoy hiking, you must be prepared. Going hiking unprepared is an invitation for disaster.

Hiking is a wonderful hobby for millions of people. It is great exercise and allows you to train yourself in the art of perseverance in the wild. The affect is a healthy mind and body. In order to enjoy hiking, you must be prepared. Going hiking unprepared is an invitation for disaster.

Trekking Mysterious Ciudad Perdida, Peru

Ciudad Perdida, which is translated to Lost City in English, is one of the rare places on earth that will make you feel like Indiana Jones. Tucked in the rainforest of Peru's Sierra Nevada de Santa Maria Mountains; Ciudad Perdida is a very intriguing place. It is believed to have been built by the Tayrona…

Ciudad Perdida, which is translated to Lost City in English, is one of the rare places on earth that will make you feel like Indiana Jones. Tucked in the rainforest of Peru's Sierra Nevada de Santa Maria Mountains; Ciudad Perdida is a very intriguing place. It is believed to have been built by the Tayrona Indians between the period AD 500 and 700, about 650 years before the Machu Picchu of Peru was built.

The same group of people had to abandon it during the Spanish invasion. It is not until the 1970s that treasure hunters rediscovered it but they ended up looting the place. Despite this unfortunate event, Ciudad Perdida remains a special historical place. Part of its majesty, is its remoteness. It is not easy to reach the great Lost City and getting to it is part of the travel experience.

It takes approximately 6 days to trek to and from Perdida, which officially belong to the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta and Teyuna Archaelogical Park. This memorable multiple-day trip crosses you through the thick South American jungle, covering about 44 kilometers of difficult terrain. Aside from the destination, the trek will also reveal the beautiful waterfalls and streams sharing your hike. Grab the opportunity to take a refreshing dip into some of them as the temperature in the region is usually humid. If you do not have enough time, it is possible to finish the whole trek in four days. This means that the trekking time during each day is much longer, especially on day four, because you will need to merge two days' worth of hiking into one.

To protect and preserve what remains of Ciudad Perdida, treks to this ancient city can only be made through a guided tour. There are only a few companies that are authorized to guide visitors into the site. Some of the authorized companies include Magictour, Expotur, Turcol and Guias y Baquianos Tour. Make sure to do thorough research before you choose a tour operator. Booking can be done in the city of Santa Marta. Depending on the number of people signing up, tours can leave every day or every few days.

Trekking to Ciudad Perdida is a serious hiking trip, so do not forget to wear appropriate trekking clothing and bring camping essentials like hiking boots, water bottle, flashlight mosquito repellent and snacks. Depending on the arrangement made with your outfitter, you may also need to bring your own sleeping bag. But meals are typically inclusive of the tour fees.

The trek commonly starts from the small village of Machete, where you must drive to. Through the course of the trip, your trekking party will move from one designated campsite to the next. Some of the major camp sites include Mumake and El Paraiso. To get the actual Ciudad Perdida, you need to climb the 1263 stone steps from the riverbank. Once you have done this, you will be greeted by a plethora of plazas and stone paths. It typically takes about two hours to explore the site thoroughly.

Burke-Gilman Trail Seattle Washington – USA

A famous recreational attraction in Seattle, the Burke-Gilman Trail is a fantastic place for runners, hikers, skaters and cyclists. Maintained by both Seattle Parks and Recreation, and the Seattle Department of Transportation, Burke-Gilman unveils some of the best parts of Seattle including its lush parks, lakes and seafront area. After venturing into the charming street…

A famous recreational attraction in Seattle, the Burke-Gilman Trail is a fantastic place for runners, hikers, skaters and cyclists. Maintained by both Seattle Parks and Recreation, and the Seattle Department of Transportation, Burke-Gilman unveils some of the best parts of Seattle including its lush parks, lakes and seafront area. After venturing into the charming street corners and whiffing the healthy sea air, stop over at a lovely neighborhood café, and try some of the local specialties.

Among the activities you can do at Burke-Gilman, sometimes the most popular one is cycling. In fact, cycling aficionados come from different parts of the United States just to experience the amazing trail. Even the city of Seattle has its own organized cycling community that keeps up Burke-Gilman's contagious lively atmosphere. But the popular trail is useful not only to recreationalists and fitness fanatics, it has become a major thoroughfare for those commuting to work and studying at the University of Washington. Since its opening, Burke-Gilman has also been an integral landmark to real estate and businesses.

Commonly called 'the Burke' by the locals, the Burke-Gilman Trail is a full paved pathway that stretches to 43 kilometers or 27 miles. The trail is actually a part of the King County Regional Trail System. It specifically follows the right-of-way of the old Burlington Northern railroad, goes through to the city of Seattle, and stretches all the way to Tracy Owen Station in Kenmore. It has been welcoming outdoor enthusiasts since 1978. In 2009, Burke-Gilman became connected to another trail which goes through Marymoor Park. If you choose this path, you can cycle for 64 kilometers or 40 miles without any interruption.

There are many ways to start the trail, but a number of cyclists typically choose to start at Puget Sound, which is just at the entrance of the Golden Gardens Park. The Wayne Gold Course is typically the chosen end point for the trail. If you want to do something other than cycling 'the Burke', you can look out the Golden Gardens Park and the Sammamish River Trail, which serve as boundaries to the trail.

Other parks you will encounter while cycling this trail include Gasworks Parks, Matthews Beach and Tracy Owen Station. The Burke-Gilman Playground is another spot that is ideal for families tackling the trail. But if you are wishing for some adult fun, why not drop by the Redhook Brewery to taste some of the best local beer varieties.

If you are not a seasoned cyclist, do not worry! Burke-Gilman is easily accessible, reliably flat and is not a very demanding trail in terms of physical fitness. The trail is completely separated from car traffic so you do not have to be worried about being run over. In addition, regular cyclists of the path are known to follow the standard trail etiquette for safety.

If you happen to be visiting Seattle without bringing your own bike, you always have the option to rent one at several locations in the city. There are even businesses who rent out accompanying kiddie trailers. The Dutch Bike Company is one of the rental places located just at the start of the Burke. It also contains a lovely cafe that welcomes those who want a respite from cycling. Just close to the University of Washington in the University District is another rental placed called Recycled Cycles.

Tackling the Artemis Trail in Cyprus

If you love traveling and would like to try a hiking adventure, then the Artemis Trail in Cyprus is a great way to start your love affair with hiking. If the name of the trail seems familiar, it is because it is named after the Greek goddess Artemis, daughter of Zeus and Leto. What makes…

If you love traveling and would like to try a hiking adventure, then the Artemis Trail in Cyprus is a great way to start your love affair with hiking.

If the name of the trail seems familiar, it is because it is named after the Greek goddess Artemis, daughter of Zeus and Leto. What makes the trail more exciting and intriguing is it brings you around the summit of Mt. Olympus, the home to the gods of the Greek Mythology, and locally known as Chionistra. Reaching the summit takes you a little more than 1800 meters above sea level. This means you will be at an excellent vantage point for the spectacular scenery, which include views of iconic villas like Paphos and Limassol.

Linking up to the Atalanti Trail, Artemis Trail is actually a rough circular loop, and covers 7 kilometers. It begins and ends in the small car park just off the summit road of Olympus. The trail leads to shaded areas but also open ones that offer breathtaking views of the mountain. Even though Artemis takes about three hours to complete, the trail is relatively flat, and that is why it is perfect for new hikers with varying fitness levels.

Mount Olympus is not the only highlight to the trail, Artemis also leads to the “Walls of the Old Town” (Teisia tis Palias Choras), which is actually the ruins of an old temporary Venetian fort, believed to have been built during the later 16th century. The fortification was built as the main defense against the invading Ottomans. The trail also features endemic plants, geological formations and black pine forest. A bonus attraction to the trail is the old black pines, which are around 500 years old.

Artemis trail is housed in the Troodos National Forest Park, part of a protected area called NATURA 2000. The trail is marked well, and even has adequate information signs that will give you more information and insights about the forest and the journey. The most suitable period to hike this splendid trail is from March through November. And although Artemis has a lot to offer in the summer, also consider coming in during winter for some serious skiing fun as the trail is located close to a ski lift and club.

Before tackling Artemis trail, do not forget to bring water, hat, and your preferred sun protection. Smoking, eating and making excessive noise are not recommended when you are hiking this nature trail. You can also hike all you want without the worry of being run over as bicycles and motorcycles are prohibited.

If you want to stay overnight around the area, you always have the option to stay at one of the camping areas with facilities. You will also find some hotels and other types of accommodation in the villas located in the Troodos range. The villages have small local restaurants or tavernas where you can grab some traditional Cypriot dishes. If you head out to the Torrodos Square, there is a collection of restaurants, shops, and hotels to choose from. Close to the square is an Environmental Information Center.

Hiking Experience

To have an enjoyable hiking experience, you need to prepare adequately to make sure that you have all you need for your expedition before embarking on it. Furthermore, there are some precautionary measures that you can take to make sure that you are safe all through the hiking duration. It is advisable to hike in…

To have an enjoyable hiking experience, you need to prepare adequately to make sure that you have all you need for your expedition before embarking on it. Furthermore, there are some precautionary measures that you can take to make sure that you are safe all through the hiking duration. It is advisable to hike in a group to make sure that in the case of any incident or accident, you have someone else to help you out. Hiking in groups assists in the passing of knowledge between members of the group.

Also, when you hike in groups, there is the distribution of common group gear loads; since you will not be tired from the overloads. Group hiking allows you to meet new people or deepen your relations and in the case of injuries you are assisted accordingly. Drink enough water to stay hydrated all through the day and have small snacks often to keep your energy levels up for an enjoyable hiking experience.

Carry some surplus food ready for any emergency cases and leave no traces in your trails to maintain the natural feeling for other hikers in the future. For safety purposes, leave your hiking plan with someone at home and if you get off the trail, you can contact them for guidance promptly. Plan a hike suitable for all members of your group and let the slower member to be the pace setter. Also, make sure that your pack is well organized for easy and quick access to any items you need.

To avoid sunburns, carry sunscreen creams and a functional hat and also repackage to reduce weight in your backpack. Before starting a long hike, it is a good idea to lose some of your body weight for easier movement. Carry and use rain gear in case it rains while you are on your hike. Make use of trekking poles to keep your hands elevated a bit to avert any cases of swelling while hiking.

Always make sure that you have a backup plan in case you are lost during your hiking expedition. There is nobody who plans to get lost, but it happens in some cases. Avoid making shortcuts and bushwhacking to reduce opportunities of getting lost. Additionally, as you move along pay attention to trailblazers and landmarks and avoid climbing on waterfalls. In cases of bad weather, it is highly advisable to turn back right away to minimize cases of accidents and other undesirable incidents.

Always dress in layers and avoid cotton clothes. Choose the fabrics that easily and quickly wick moisture, dry quickly in case they are wet, and conserve heat during cold weather conditions. If you are rained on, strive to get warm and dry quickly to avoid hypothermia. Carry a whistle that can be heard from long distances for use in case you become lost. It is universally understood that three short blasts are a sign of distress.

Always wear bright colors so that in case you are lost the search party can easily find you. Each hiker in your group must have a whistle, a small flashlight with extra batteries, water, energy food, a trash bag, a bright colored bandana, and a first aid kit. In case you are lost, do not wander any further, but instead you should make a Shelter to keep you warm and dry.

Make sure that you are visible and hear. In the case of an air search and rescue, get to open spaces and lay flat on the ground so that you may appear larger for the searchers in the air to locate you easily. If you have children hiking, make sure that you teach them the simple strategies to use if they get lost. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. That, be kindly prepared for your hiking expedition to enable you to have a good time while keeping safe all through the journey.

Five Best Places to Go Hiking Near Seattle

You do not have to scale Mount Rainier for your hiking fix. Seattle commands a number of wild refugees located in proximate to the city and these can be hiked through the year. Scenic views, waterfalls, thick forests with ferns – yep you can find them all. The following spots are within 30 minutes from…

You do not have to scale Mount Rainier for your hiking fix. Seattle commands a number of wild refugees located in proximate to the city and these can be hiked through the year. Scenic views, waterfalls, thick forests with ferns – yep you can find them all.

The following spots are within 30 minutes from Seattle and perfectly suited families and dogs.

Cedar River Trail

Located at Renton Maple Valley this hike covers 34 miles. You can run, stroll or hike on this bus accessible and tree-lined trail, which has several access points connecting Maple Valley to Lake Washington. Once a rail road this trail is ideal for long hikes, family outings or workout runs to burn of the pounds.

Evans Creek Preserve

Located in Sammamish, a city just a couple of miles from Seattle – this is an 179 acre old farmstead located off Redmond Fall City Road. The trail for about 2 miles with several loops. Hikers on these volunteer-built trails will get the opportunity to pass through wetlands, forests and meadows including sighting some of the local habitats. The trail is ideal for families or folks walking their dogs. Birdwatchers will find a lot of activities from any of the four canopies and the wetlands run through the middle of the reserve with hikers being able to cross over fourteen small bridges and an impressive long boardwalk.

Soaring Eagle Regional Park

Located on the Issaquah Alps – King County Parks, this hike covers 12 miles and can not be easily accessed by public transportation. Trails run through 500 acres of wetland and forest and is perfectly suited for families, lone hikers and trail runners in exercise. If you are not sure where to start, the wide, flat pipeline trail is the perfect spot. If you feel like exploring, head off on the beat track but keeping your eyes open for wildlife as the park is home to deer, bird species and the black bear.

Poo-Poo Point

Located on the Issaquah Alps- Tiger Mountain, this hike covers a total of 7.4 miles and be easily accessible by public transport although you'll need a mile to walk. A local favorite hiking trail that offers stunning views of Mount Rainier and Lake Sammamish. The hike is pretty long enough to give one's legs a good workout. You can return through the seasons and see the foliage change. Ideal for families and dogs.

Wildside Trail – De Leo Wall

Located on the Issaquah Alps – Cougar Mountain, this 4-mile hike offers excellent views of waterfalls, Mount Rainier and some historical artifacts. The intensive that runs through Cougar Mountain makes this area a great option for hiking enthusiasts. This hike can easily be accessed by public transportation with a mile to walk.