I always carry a cell phone when I hike, and I sometimes carry a GPS -- but I usually make it a point to leave technology as far behind as I can. That's due in no small part to the fact that when I am indoors, I'm usually staring at a computer screen and typing something (like this post). But it's also because I think we all spend far too much time starting at computers instead of experiencing and learning from the world around us. Read More...
This Reuters article makes a good, quick read for anyone worried about sudden cardiac death when hiking at high altitudes. Taking the time to acclimatize to high altitudes is pretty standard advice, but a reminder never hurts.
It's some of the statistics that really caught my attention, Read More...
Some bright individual recently started a Facebook group for Anchorage locals interested in tracking trail conditions. Bravo! This is much more effective than posting to forums about trail conditions, because we're all on Facebook so much of the time anyway -- or is that just me?
Do you have a similar group in your area? If not, it might be time to start one!
Years ago, I was able to take off for a hike pretty much any time I wanted. Nowadays, I'm lucky to get out more than once a week. I realize I'm still pretty spoiled by some standards. So I'm curious: How often do you manage to hit the trail?
Waterproof hiking boots and shoes are a mixed bag -- they do great until the waterproof membrane tears, or maybe you step into a puddle that's deeper than the boot is high. Bam, you've got a boot full of water -- which that membrane is just as good at keeping in as it usually is at keeping the stuff out.
Still, when it comes to tromping through slush or mud or low water levels, waterproof boots are where it's at. If you don't happen to have waterproof boots hanging around when you reach a wet obstacle, you can always improvise with plastic bags instead. They're free, and they fold down to almost nothing in your pack.
Photo © Lisa Maloney: Now is that a stylin' trail look or what?
There comes a point when it's tempting to just whip your hiking shoes (or sandals) off and romp through a mud patch or jump in a stream -- but spring usually isn't that time. With that in mind, here are my favorite tips for keeping your feet dry when you run into the inevitable spring slush, mud, or plain old water: Read More...
Attention hikers: The Grand Canyon's north rim is scheduled to open on the morning of May 15. Look for concessions and ranger-led programs to be available until October 15, and NPS amenities (bookstore, etc.) until October 31. (The Grand Canyon's south rim is open year-round.)
Road conditions allowing, day-use parking and gasoline will be available at the north rim through November, and walk-in camping will be allowed at the North Rim Campground and Yurt (make sure you get a backcountry permit from the South Rim Backcountry Information Center or the Pipe Spring National Monument in Fredonia).
I love Deuter packs, and here's one reason why: They sport directions for signaling for a wilderness rescue tucked underneath the top flap.
Having those instructions written down might seem kind of like overkill -- waving your hands overhead for rescue's a no-brainer, right? The thing is that if you're cold, wet, lost, miserable or otherwise under stress, it becomes very easy -- shockingly easy -- to forget that sort of simple thing.
So bravo, Deuter! And if you don't have a Deuter pack (or even if you do), you can always review how to signal for a wilderness rescue in an excellent article from survival writer Traci Macnamara.
Photo © Lisa Maloney
I've always been a fan of earth tones, and that's pretty much the color palette for hiking clothes -- hiking pants, anyway. So I didn't think twice when I purchased a khaki-green pair of nylon hiking pants. Those pants are still with me, converted into well-worn hiking shorts because the leg zips no longer work. But their khaki green color had an unintended consequence -- every time I wore them hiking, somebody thought I was a park ranger. Read More...