Preparation for Backpacking, Climbing, Hiking and Hunting Before Purchasing Tents and Gear

When beginning your decision process on going backpacking you would think that your tent and other gear is most important. However, there is something that is more imperative that you do first. You can look at gear and different weights of tents, but if you are not physically fit then the weight of your tent…

When beginning your decision process on going backpacking you would think that your tent and other gear is most important. However, there is something that is more imperative that you do first. You can look at gear and different weights of tents, but if you are not physically fit then the weight of your tent is going to be irrelevant. For this reason instead of starting out with selecting tastes, the different fabrics, etc. I have decided to begin with preparing for the hike. In future articles you will find information on maps, fabrics, and other essential information. It would be great to say go out, buy a tent and go backpacking. However that would leave out the preparation stage. It would be like building a building without a blueprint. Let me provide you with some of the ground work.

One of the greatest ways to be prepared is to get physically fit and stay in shape. Physically fit includes getting a clean bill of health from your doctor including but not limited to the condition of your heart. This is vital because once out in the wilderness there will not be an option to call 911. Do not think that you can strengthen yourself physically on the day of your hike, because you will be very disappointed finding out you can not end the hike. Whether you are a beginner or are experienced in conditioning make sure you have stretching as part of your routine to avoid injuries when exercising. For those of you who are not in shape, begin slowly by creating a routine for exercise. Walking, swimming, cardiovascular, and weights are a great place to start. For all backpackers do not lose sight of the importance of your preparation for the hike.

This includes the comfort of the backpack you will be carrying. Insure that the backpack you are purchasing will be a good fit. Start off by making your backpack five pounds heavier than what you expect to carry on the hike. Now put the pack on your back and walk for several miles, maybe around your neighborhood to see the comfort level. Once satisfied repeat the same exercise again, but this time by going for a day hike on a trail and see if you get the same satisfaction.

Take further precautionary measures in your training for possible adversities that you may encounter out in the back country. Observe how you lift because improper lifting can cause injury, always lift with your legs. Your backpack is a piece of equipment you will lift often. Slinging it onto your back can cause injury. Instead, try having your companion hold the pack while you slide your arms into the shoulder straps. If you are going solo then find a place to set your pack down, for example on a stump. Then squat down, put your arms through the shoulder straps and then stand using your legs. Our next article will contain essential information and first aid tips while on the trail.

Spirituality on a Cliff

The minute I got out of my car I wondered if I should’ve stayed back at the hotel. I like travelling and discovering new places but I also like sleeping till ten in the morning. I wondered if my sister and mother had the same thought.

The minute I got out of my car I wondered if I should’ve stayed back at the hotel. I like travelling and discovering new places but I also like sleeping till ten in the morning. I wondered if my sister and mother had the same thought.

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.

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!

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.

10 Items You Should Leave Behind to Make Your Pack Lighter

1 – Leave Water Behind Water is essential to all life, but just one gallon weighs 8 pounds. If we plan to head out into the wild, we do not have to bring that store bought bottled water with us. Where do you think that clean crisp bottled water comes from? It comes from wild…

1 – Leave Water Behind

Water is essential to all life, but just one gallon weighs 8 pounds. If we plan to head out into the wild, we do not have to bring that store bought bottled water with us. Where do you think that clean crisp bottled water comes from? It comes from wild springs and clean mountain creeks. If we are in an area with plenty of fresh water, we can ditch that bottled water and save several pounds. Maybe you are not sure if the water is drinkable in the area you're hiking, but you know there is water in the area. Bring a water pump or water purifier you can easily pick up at your local outdoor store, and it weighs much less than a gallon of water. Using snow for water is another easy technique. You can collect snow in your cooking stove and melt it to make drinkable water. If you are going to use this technique, you need to make sure you have just enough water to coat the bottom of your cooking stove or it will burn the snow and the stove.

2 – Leave Food Behind

Another essential to life is food! Once again, a good understanding of the area you are in will make all the difference. Every time I go out, I pack in a few meals and plan to catch or harvest a few on trail. Packing in Mountain House meals can also add up very quickly. One mountain house can weigh nearly 6 ounces. If you eat three meals a day over a weekend camping trip, that can add up to almost 3 pounds of food! Catching fish, trapping wildlife, or harvesting berries / nuts can go a long way. Study your map for good fishing locations. A simple 30 dollar pole and reel can catch more than enough fish to sustain your appetite. Study the local plants in the area and determine which ones areible and which ones are in season. Eating what mother nature provides, makes us feel amazing, and one with nature.

3 – Leave Shelter Behind

The last of the BIG 3 essentials for sustaining life is a shelter. Depending on the quality and material of the tent you own, it could weigh as much as 5 pounds! I've personally seen people hike in 8, 6, and 4 person tents and only sleep 1 or 2 people in the tent. All that extra tent is just pounds for you to carry. Maybe you have some 600 dollar, state of the art, one person tent that weighs two pounds right? Start thinking of some options to ditch that expensive tent. An item like a Bivy Sack, is a good alternative to tents and still gives us shelter but for almost no weight. If you are really getting adventurous, bring a tarp or hammock to string up from tree to tree. If we want to harness our inner Mick Dodge, and the area permits, we can make our own forest shelter. This can be really fun if you have kids, they will really get into making a fort / shelter for the night. But remember to rip it down after, in order to Leave No Trace.

4 – Leave the cooking stove Behind

A cooking stove is one item I love to bring, but it can be completely obsolete if you are allowed to have fires. First you need to check the area in which we are camping. We may need a stove to cook our fish or boil water, if camp fires are not permitted. Some people do not care about a hot meal before bed, and living off trail mix and beef jerky for a weekend should be an easy alternative. For most of us the camping stove is a major part of making the outdoors comfortable. If you're like me, and you need that warm meal before the lights go out, start practicing cooking over an open flame. Making an adequate cooking fire and hiking a simple cooking pan in can make all the difference. The pan you bring may not weigh much more than a camp stove, but may be lighter than multiple fuel cans. Place your items on a scale and see what works best for you. Since I do not mind packing in a little extra weight, my camping stove always comes along. Most of the time I cook my main meal (fish, meat) over the fire and cook a side dish (rice, veggies) in my stove at the same time. Decide and practice whatever works best for you.

5 – Leave the sleeping bag Behind

Without it's consistently hot day and night where you're camping, you're probably not going to leave your sleeping bag at home. Sleeping bags can weigh from 3-5 pounds depending on the design of the bag. You can buy a very light sleeping bag adequate for the area in which you're camping. If you're in the desert, where its 90 degrees during the day and 40 at night, a good ground pad, goose down pants and jacket may be good enough to act as a sleeping bag. Taking a thin sheet could also be plenty enough to keep you warm and very easy to fold up and pack. I highly recommend studying the night time temperatures religiously before you leave your sleeping bag at home.

6 – Leave the ground pad Behind

The ground pad keeps us warm, clean and comfortable on those long camp nights, but it also is not necessary. Gathering leaves, moss or finding soft ground can be more comfortable than the most expensive ground pad on the market. Every time I set my tent or ground pad up, I add some cushion underneath my ground pad.

7 – Leave the trekking poles behind

I do not recommend leaving behind trekking poles if the hike is long, gains extreme elevation, or you're not a very skilled hiker. Trekking poles can prevent injury and allow a hiker to maintain stamina on the trial. If it is a short weekend hike or you feel strong enough, leave the poles behind.

8 – Leave the Bear Canister Behind:

Some areas may require you to have a bear canister, and in that case we are out of luck if we want to leave it behind. Other areas may allow you to set up a counter balance. In most cases, just carrying in a bear canister is easier than trying to set up a counter balance 15 feet high and 10 feet from the tree. This item is not at the top of my list of items I would leave behind.

9 – Leave the batteries behind

We may not have to leave all of our batteries behind, but you can leave most of them. Too many times I've watched someone pull a fresh, unopened pack of ten batteries out of their bag. It is just unnecessary useless weight. Why not just bring 2-4 extra batteries for the trip. If it is a long trip, using a solar panel will also help us get rid of battery weight.

10 – Leave the Clothes Behind

I'm not saying to become a nudist and hip off into the wild, but I'm trying to make you think about what unnecessary clothes and boots you may pack into camp. Most places in the summer months do not require heavy jackets or pants. Study the weather conditions, and elevation to determine what you need to bring. Get rid of those old heavy hiking boots and try hiking in lighter more agile trail running shoes. You're legs and back will thank you later.

Conclusion

Now, some of you may disagree with my list of essential items, but that is good. Remember this is only a guideline to help all of us get outside more often, and with a lighter pack. If our pack is lighter and the hike is more enjoyable, then we are more likely to go back. Take this guideline, and make one of your own. No one but yourself, can tell you what you can and can not bring comfortably. We can bring it all if it makes us happy!

6 Ways Why Hiking Is Better Than Going to the Gym

Gyms spur on people to work out to get in shape. As a matter of fact, health clubs and gyms do a great job helping millions of people get rid of those extra pounds and live their lives to the fullest. All of the activities, such as aerobic classes, aerobic exercises and treadmills happen inside…

Gyms spur on people to work out to get in shape. As a matter of fact, health clubs and gyms do a great job helping millions of people get rid of those extra pounds and live their lives to the fullest. All of the activities, such as aerobic classes, aerobic exercises and treadmills happen inside a building that can be a club or gym. But is there any activity that is more stimulating? Yes, it may be hiking. Let's know more about it.

According to experts, for mountain sports lovers, hiking is on the list of one of the best aerobic activities. The beauty of hiking is that you do not need to pay any fee and it can be done outdoors. While working out in a gym can help you burn the unwanted fat and get in shape, I think, gyms still leave a gap. Although working out in a gym has its benefits, we can not deny the fact that hiking has a number of advantages over it. Let's take a look at them.

· When hiking, you take in fresh air, which is something you can not do in a gym where there is a smell of sweat and noise of machines.

· In a way, hiking breaths new life into your body.

· Hiking improves the function of your brain

· In a gym, there are a lot of people working out. It's like you're on a busy road. But while hiking you are on your own with atmosphere full of peace.

· Hiking is almost costless. All you need is a pair of hiking shoes and you are good to go.

· You do not have to spend time waiting for the weights or machines.

Here are the results of a research study conducted in 2004. The research was done to find out how hiking can affect the amount of sugar in the body of hikers. The research involved many members divided in two groups. The research was done in the Alps. One group was asked to hike uphill for 60 days. The other group was sent to the top through a cable car. After 60 days, the group was asked to switch their relative programs, doing the experiment again.

According to the findings, hiking offers a lot of health benefits. Climbing up and down brings the “bad” cholesterol levels down. As a matter of fact, downhill hiking does a better job of reducing blood sugar levels and enhancing glucose tolerance. This is what this simple activity can do for you.

You see that the study showed that hiking is good for health. In fact, I always believed that hiking had tremendous health benefits, but this study proved it very well. The study was done by the researchers at a well known institute. Indeed, hiking is a great activity if you want to improve your fitness level and stay healthy for as long as you are alive.

So, if you want to go for hiking, now is the time to do it. You can go for it with your friends or family members if you want to.

Essentials for a Hike

When on a hike, safety is your biggest concern. You could get injured or even lose your way. Sports watches with GPS help to navigate yourself back home. Similarly, with that, here is a short list of essentials to pack light, smart and be prepared for a safe and pleasant hiking journey. A good breakfast.…

When on a hike, safety is your biggest concern. You could get injured or even lose your way. Sports watches with GPS help to navigate yourself back home. Similarly, with that, here is a short list of essentials to pack light, smart and be prepared for a safe and pleasant hiking journey.

A good breakfast. You must have already heard that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Yes, it is true. Your morning meal before a hike should include a cereal (oats or wheat), which will give you the necessary carbohydrates for energy. Your energy level can be kept on track throughout the day by sipping on water as well as munching onto fruits and nuts.

Inform someone about your plans. Never take off without informing your family or a friend that you are planning to hike and which direction you intend to go. In case you are not back in time, rescuers will have an idea where to find you. You could also use your GPS enabled watch to navigate back. Never post your itinerary anywhere on your car as this can attract thieves.

Weather update. Be informed about the weather conditions within your trail. Accordingly you should be clothing yourself to keep you warm and dry. If the weather turns out to be worse than expected, always choose to return home. Do not risk your life for anything. The mountains are always going to be there on the same trail.

Hiking equipment. A compass is a very valuable tool but you could also carry a sports watch with GPS instead because those come with inbuilt compass as well as additional navigation tools. A map and a guidebook will also be helpful.

Light source. Headlamp or a flashlight is extremely essential even if you do not intend on staying out till dark. Twist your ankle or take a wrong turn and your hike will take much longer than expected.

First aid kit. Just basic stuff such as bandages, adhesive tape, antibiotic ointment, gauze and pain relief tablets should be sufficient.

Lots of water. You need more than the normal daily intake of water required because you are exercising. Not only do you feel better with water, your body also functions better when you stay hydrated.

Duct tape. This should be your secret weapon. Wind it around your water bottle to make sure it stays close at hand. A tear in your tent or a hole in your canoe can be saved with duct tape.

5 Best Places to Go Hiking Near Portland, Oregon

Have you visited Portland before? Or are you looking for hiking locations in Portland? Few urban cities in America have fairly green spaces, giving sightseers views that are remote and quiet within the city. We have put together a list of hiking trails that'll leave your legs burning and provide loads of fun along the…

Have you visited Portland before? Or are you looking for hiking locations in Portland? Few urban cities in America have fairly green spaces, giving sightseers views that are remote and quiet within the city. We have put together a list of hiking trails that'll leave your legs burning and provide loads of fun along the trail:

1) Oxblow Regional Park

Be sure to go there with your fishing rod for a fun day of hike and fishing. This hiking park is well-known for fishing and is close to Oregon camping. This park is near Gresham and offers a 3.3-mile loop that includes long stretches. One of the fascinating features of the recreation center is the “ancient forest” which is composed of large, hundred-year-old trees that rise above the trail, and the river.

2) Washington Park

Beautiful deep woods and a mountain view makes this gem one of the best hikes within Portland. The Wildwood Trail begins and ends at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial where signs for Wildwood Trail is posted throughout the hike to ensure safety and prevent health hazards.

3) Tryon Creek State Park

Tryon Creek State Park is a state park that can be found inside one of the major metropolitan areas, just minutes from downtown Portland if driving. Tyron Creek State Park provides several activities within its boundaries such as a 659-acre park with several good hiking trails to follow. If you are experiencing health challenges that will hinder your foot from long trips, come along with a bike, bicycle or a horse as there is a trail that guarantees fun if you decide to go by those options.

It is a good idea for the whole family to be fit in order to view the entire 2.7-mile loop. Starting at the visitor's center, follow Old Main Trail, then the Red Fox Trail Cedar Trail to the loop.

4) Mount Tabor

This park takes you through a 2-mile hike from the 60th Avenue Trailhead that brings you to the summit of a dormant volcano with amazing views of downtown Portland and Mount Hood.

Various routes can be taken to complete the hike with many things to admire such as picnic areas, playgrounds statues.

5) Pittock Mansion

There is parking space for your bikes, cars, bikes and bicycles at the Lower Macleay Park. After packing, begin by walking under the Thurman Street Bridge. There are various trail options to choose from, but focusing on the Wildwood Trail you are guaranteed to reach your destination.

At the top, you will find beautiful views of downtown Portland and Mount Hood as Well as the Historical Pittock Mansion, which is always open for tours from 11 am to 4 pm every day.

The 5 Best Places To Hike Near San Francisco, California

If you live in the Bay area of ​​California or are just visiting, there is an endless supply of beautiful outdoor recreational areas to hike. Hiking in the San Francisco area is not only a great way to get in some great exercise to improve your health, it's a wonderful way to see some of…

If you live in the Bay area of ​​California or are just visiting, there is an endless supply of beautiful outdoor recreational areas to hike. Hiking in the San Francisco area is not only a great way to get in some great exercise to improve your health, it's a wonderful way to see some of the most beautiful natural landscapes throughout the area.

There are lots of great areas for hiking or taking a nice long walk to clear the mind and stretch those legs. Here are five of the best places to go hiking in the San Francisco area. Situated among the beauty of the coast line, San Francisco has a small community feel with a big city attitude.

Strawberry Hill, hidden within San Francisco's Golden State Park covers and entire island in the middle of Stow Lake. At a height of 430 feet tall, it is the highest point in the whole park. This is a gorgeous place to take a two plus mile hike and take in the views of Downtown San Francisco, Marin and the Golden Gate Bridge. You'll not only take in some really gorgeous views, but have some fun getting fit at the same time.

Those who have hiked Lands' End have said it's probably the most perfect hiking area for those looking for a great workout, and best part – if you get tired you can stop and take in the view of the Golden Gate Bridge. It's a three and half mile round trip and if you are looking for an even more extensive 'workout' simply follow the signs that will take you to Mile Rock Beach were you can visit Eagle Point Labyrinth or hike down to the beach and back. You'll find yourself getting fit in no time, or even discover if you do not fit as you thought you were. Either way it's a great hiking experience.

The Bayside trail is less than a mile each way but you will get a bit of a workout because of the substantial amount of stairs. Do not let the stairs scare you out of hiking this great trail though, because it's well worth the beautiful views of the Bay, the Marin Headlands and the Golden Gate Bridge. In case you have not notice almost every great hiking area gives you a view of the Golden Gate and the Bay itself. The Bayside trail also gives hikers a history lesson along the way on the gun batteries.

If you love hiking along the lake-shore on sandy trails then head over to Fort Funston for some fun. Fort Funston is in Southwest of the city and is a part of the 'Golden Gate National Recreation Area The park's trails present extensive views of the ocean for those who enjoy seeing the natural beauty of the coast.

What could be better than hiking in the forest? Well hiking in the forest in the city of course. Mount Sutro Out & Back is amazingly beautiful filled with green ivy, forget-me-not flowers, ferns all set among the giant eucalyptus and various other plant life. It's like being transported into a fantasy kingdom are you walk into the fog and mist suspended in the treetops. Of course like the other great hiking areas, you will get the glimpse of the Golden Gate Bridge.

Regardless of what kind of outdoor recreation you want, and whether or not you are hiking for health, fun or get fit, there is no better place around than the San Francisco area for some awesome hiking experiences.