Hiking News

How to Prepare for Your First Backpacking Trip

Posted by on Jun 30, 2018 @ 4:50 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

How to Prepare for Your First Backpacking Trip

The thought of backpacking in the outdoors can be scary for some people. The idea of carrying everything you need from water to toilet paper on your back for an extended period of time can be challenging for some to overcome. Especially knowing you have to carry that weight for miles at a time.

Say you wanted to go backpacking but had never actually done anything longer than a day hike. Whether your first backpacking trip is 30 days or 3 days, you should definitely at least try backpacking it. You don’t have to like it when you’re done or ever do it again if you so choose, but you should try it at least once. It may be the best way to get out and explore nature.

Backpacking lets you ditch the crowds both on the trails and in the campgrounds. Backpacking trails are by their very nature longer than typical day trip trails. This means that the amount of people that travel them at any given time is much lower than shorter and consequently more popular trails.

Because backpacking trails are so long and often remote, the trails and areas surrounding them are not developed. This allows you see more of the natural raw state of nature and be able to enjoy all of its beauty with far fewer man-made additions or influences.

Backpacking is, simply put, a lot of fun. There is something both exciting and terrifying about backpacking. Knowing that you are going to go on an adventure to be one with nature, fully engulfed in it, miles away from any signs of civilization can be a magnificent and awe-inspiring experience.

Here are some tips to get you started…

 

How to Prevent and Treat Hiking Blisters

Posted by on Jun 30, 2018 @ 7:01 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How to Prevent and Treat Hiking Blisters

For hikers and backpackers having happy feet means happy trails. There’s nothing worse than painful hiking blisters that get worse with each step and seriously keep you from enjoying your time in the outdoors. The good news is that these annoying injuries can be remedied, but you’re even better off learning how to prevent hiking blisters in the first place.

A blister is formed from damaged skin that is a result of rubbing and friction or is sometimes caused by heat, cold or in rare conditions exposure to harmful chemicals.

When you are hiking or backpacking, the most common way to get a blister is from your sock or shoe rubbing up against the skin of your feet for an extended period. The shoe may either be too loose or too tight, and it’s likely that sweaty or wet feet are the main cause of getting blisters on a hike. Whatever the reason, one thing is for sure, these suckers hurt.

For when you start to feel a hot spot or are dealing with a full-blown blister, a blister kit will help you treat it on the go — besides, it’s always a good idea to be prepared. Make your own hiking blister-care kit that you can stash in your first aid kit and treat any hot spots as soon as you feel them forming.

Learn more here…

 

8 Things to Know Before You Hike the Appalachian Trail

Posted by on Jun 28, 2018 @ 12:32 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

8 Things to Know Before You Hike the Appalachian Trail

Stretching more than 2,190 miles across 14 different states, the Appalachian Trail may be the best long-distance hiking route in the entire world. Each year, 3 million people trek at least a portion of the trail, with just a fraction of those walking its entire length.

Those “thru-hikers” learn a lot during early days of their journey, and most will tell you there is no way to fully prepare for the challenge of walking the AT end-to-end other than just doing it. Still, there are some pearls of wisdom that can prepare you for the challenges ahead.

One of the biggest decisions you’ve got to make is when to start hiking the Appalachian Trail and which direction to go. Those two questions are closely related, as the time of year you begin your hike could dictate whether you travel north to south or vice versa.

Ultralight hiking is all the rage these days, and everyone is looking for ways to cut ounces from their packs. This helps you travel faster and reduces wear and tear on your body over the course of the days and weeks you’ll spend out on the trail.

The Appalachian Trail is no place to test new gear for the very first time. Be sure to give all of your equipment a try before you set out on your hike. If you can, take a weekend backpacking excursion along a local trail to make sure everything performs up to your expectations.

Learn more here…

 

How to Escape a Wildfire When You’re Hiking

Posted by on Jun 28, 2018 @ 6:37 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

How to Escape a Wildfire When You’re Hiking

On Labor Day weekend 2017, Oregon’s backcountry ignited, the night sky glowing red from flames. Peter Ames Carlin, his wife, and their three children were among 176 hikers who were surrounded by a wildfire on the Eagle Creek Trail, a short jaunt from Portland in the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area (NSA). As the blaze blocked a safe exit to the north, to the south, the Indian Creek Fire—which had been smoldering for months—reawakened and threatened to trap the hikers amid steep canyons.

“I was mostly in a stage of intense denial. We were on an easy day hike on a familiar trail we had hiked probably a dozen times over the years,” says Carlin, who lives in Portland. “But it was also a moment of you either walk or die. So you just go.” Smoke choked the air while embers showered down hell upon them, starting spot fires all over the forest. Most people were prepared only for a short day outside, wearing swimsuits or flip-flops and carrying nothing more than a bottle of water.

The ordeal had started just a few hours earlier, when a 15-year-old boy threw a firecracker into a nearby ravine. The dry conditions were ripe for a blaze—the National Weather Service (NWS) had issued a red flag warning for dry, unstable conditions that day. By late afternoon, roughly 200 acres had burned while Carlin and 147 other hikers were stranded near a popular swimming hole at Punch Bowl Falls. The massive group spent the night walking, hoping to make it out alive before flames consumed the footpath.

What to do?

 

The Egyptian Hike That’s Rewriting History

Posted by on Jun 27, 2018 @ 8:26 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Egyptian Hike That’s Rewriting History

The Sinai Trail has been dubbed one of the best new hikes in the world, and was awarded best new tourism initiative. While there are harder, headier walks, none are so rich with history – and none are built upon such unlikely bonds.

Bedouin tribes have long escorted pilgrims from all corners across the Sinai – Muslims en route to Mecca, Christians to St Catherine or Jerusalem – with each tribe handing them to the next at its border. “Then came cars and planes, and people forgot this way,” a guide said. Deprived of guiding work, many Bedouin sought jobs in the city. The Sinai Trail, a fusion of old pilgrimage, trade and smuggling routes, counters that.

The granite peak of Mount Sinai, the trail’s most iconic landmark, is where Moses received the Ten Commandments, according to the Book of Exodus.

The trail launched in 2015, weeks before terrorists downed a Russian airliner over the Sinai, adding to existing woes (the region is still red-lit by most governments). But with the awards came hope – and venturesome Cairenes, their trip photos blazing a virtual trail that’s boosted traffic on the real one.

In early May 2018, the Sinai Trail expanded from 220km to 550km, with five more Bedouin tribes joining the co-op after the founders saw the chance to extend its benefits and do further justice to the Sinai’s legendary sights.

Read full story…

 

The Hiker’s Guide to Trail Etiquette

Posted by on Jun 26, 2018 @ 1:06 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

The Hiker’s Guide to Trail Etiquette

  It might feel like there aren’t any rules out in the great outdoors, but there are certainly guidelines you should follow. Whether you’re new to hiking or always been confused about the do’s and don’ts of the trail, this guide will clear things up.

Hiking uphill is harder than hiking downhill most of the time. And when people hike uphill, they tend to have a smaller field of view because they’re usually looking down at their footing. That’s why it’s important you give hikers on their way up a slope the right of way.

Generally speaking, mountain bikers should yield to all hikers. If there are horses on the trail, everyone should yield to them.

If a trail is narrow (most are), hike single-file. However, if a trail is much wider and you can leave room for people to pass, it’s alright to hike next to each other.

For safety, have the slowest or most inexperienced hiker lead. That way if they have to stop, the whole group can stop together.

People go hiking for exercise, but also to get in touch with nature and it’s many peaceful sounds. Nobody cares what your latest jam is—we want to hear birds, and water, and wind through the trees.

Learn more hiker etiquette here…

 

7 summer hikes near Salt Lake City you won’t want to miss

Posted by on Jun 26, 2018 @ 8:56 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

7 summer hikes near Salt Lake City you won’t want to miss

There’s something about summer that inspires people to head outdoors. And when you’re surrounded by tons of gorgeous mountains, hiking seems like the natural choice. The amount of local hikes to choose from, however, can get overwhelming.

Enter the second edition of “Best Hikes Salt Lake City” by Lori J. Lee. Not only does it contain a comprehensive list of great hikes, but detailed information such as the average time it takes to hike a trail, the level of difficulty, whether or not there’s a fee, if it’s kid- or canine-friendly and much more. There’s also a simple chart which directs you to nearby waterfalls, views or lakes.

The second edition also includes four new hikes, including one of Lee’s new favorites, Catherine Pass and Sunset Peak. Now the total number of hikes is 46. And you can trust Lee’s recommendations — she’s hiked all of these trails multiple times. A longtime lover of outdoor recreation, Lee has been writing for the outdoor recreation industry since 1995.

“I write best when I write about what I’m passionate about, and I’ve always been passionate about outdoor recreation,” Lee told the Deseret News, adding that for her, hiking is a spiritual, mental and physical experience all at once.

The book’s second edition includes National Geographic topographic maps and more full-color photos of the trails. These additions will help readers get a good idea of what a given hike has in store for them.

See her favorites here…

 

Leave No Trace includes your hiking posts on social media

Posted by on Jun 24, 2018 @ 12:45 pm in Conservation, Hiking News | 0 comments

Leave No Trace includes your hiking posts on social media

Social media plays a big role in many people’s lives, and it’s only natural that our love of sharing would extend to the outdoors. As more and more hikers are enjoying trails, it’s important to remember that social media can have an impact on how good hiking behavior is shared in the hiking community.

The national Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics released a set of guidelines with tips on how to promote positive hiking behavior on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to ensure that the trails we all love to hike on will be kept in good condition.

“Social media can inspire more people to get outdoors,” Washington Trails Association’s communications director, Kindra Ramos said. “But inspiration is a first step toward meaningful stewardship.”

If you visit a fragile backcountry environment, consider the implications of leaving an exact geo-targeted location on your social media posts, as that may encourage a larger number of people to visit an area not intended for heavy use.

If you’re on a popular trail, consider showcasing how to treat and navigate well-traveled trails so other hikers can understand the implications of hiking in some of the more popular areas. For example, point out how cutting switchbacks can damage plant life, etc.

The Leave No Trace guidelines include…

 

Hike, Rock Climb, Fish + More in California’s Eastern Sierra

Posted by on Jun 24, 2018 @ 7:21 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Hike, Rock Climb, Fish + More in California’s Eastern Sierra

California’s Eastern Sierra is a fascinating landscape, a land where 14,000-foot summits descend to sage-filled plains, where the oldest trees on earth still stand atop wind scoured ridges, where geothermal springs pepper one of the word’s largest calderas, and where limestone columns rise from an ancient alkaline lake.

Found amongst and within these unique natural features is a region teeming with outdoor recreation opportunities. The Sierra’s steep eastern escarpment is home to Whitney Portal, the gateway to Mount Whitney. A plethora of other trailheads provide direct, albeit steep, access to the High Sierra, including Kings Canyon and Sequoia National Parks.

The Eastern Sierra is home to world-class rock climbing and mountarineering, countless hiking trails, renowned lake and stream trout fishing, and is considered a soaker’s mecca for its abundance of hot springs. Year-round recreation is available here with winter activities plentiful around the mountain resort destinations of Mammoth and June Lakes.

Highway 395 parallels the Eastern Sierra and provides access to this remote part of the Golden State. The highway corridor and its offshoots connect the historic towns and local tourism and recreation communities of Lone Pine, Bishop and Mammoth Lakes with the populated regions of southern California to the south and Reno/Lake Tahoe to the north.

Learn more here…

 

Oil and Gas Fields Leak Far More Methane than EPA Reports

Posted by on Jun 23, 2018 @ 6:36 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Oil and Gas Fields Leak Far More Methane than EPA Reports

The amount of methane leaking from the nation’s oil and gas fields may be 60 percent higher than the official estimates of the Environmental Protection Agency, according to a new study in the journal Science.

The study, led by a group of scientists from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF), presents some of the most compelling evidence to date that switching to gas from dirtier fuels like coal might not be as effective a climate strategy as its proponents suggest unless the gas industry improves how it controls leaks.

The authors estimated, conservatively, that methane equivalent to 2.3 percent of all the natural gas produced in the nation is leaking during the production, processing and transportation of oil and gas every year. That doesn’t count leaks from local delivery lines, another widespread problem.

This much leaked methane would have roughly the same climate impact in the short-term as emissions from all U.S. coal-fired power plants, the authors found.

Another way to put it: This rate of leaking methane is just as bad for the climate in the short term as the carbon dioxide that results from burning natural gas for fuel.

Read full story…

 

19 New National Recreation Trails designated for 2018

Posted by on Jun 22, 2018 @ 7:26 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

19 New National Recreation Trails designated for 2018

The U.S. Department of the Interior announced the designation of 19 new National Recreation Trails in 17 states, adding more than 370 miles to the national recreation trails system of more than 1,000 trails in all 50 states.

“By designating these new national trails, we acknowledge the efforts of local communities to provide outdoor recreational opportunities that can be enjoyed by everyone,” said the Interior Secretary. “Our network of national trails provides easily accessible places to exercise and connect with nature in both urban and rural areas while boosting tourism and supporting economic opportunities across the country.”

“The network of national recreation trails offers expansive opportunities for Americans to explore the great outdoors,” said National Park Service Deputy Director Dan Smith. “As we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the National Trails System, I hope everyone will take advantage of a nearby national trail to hike or bike.”

Both the Secretary of the Interior and the Secretary of Agriculture have the authority to approve designations in response to an application from the trail’s managing agency or organization. The National Recreation Trails Program is jointly administered by the National Park Service and the Forest Service in conjunction with a number of other federal and not-for-profit partners.

See the list of new 2018 trails…

 

UT program planning 652 mile multi-modal trail system along entire Tennessee River

Posted by on Jun 21, 2018 @ 9:26 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

UT program planning 652 mile multi-modal trail system along entire Tennessee River

  A group of University of Tennessee students have been working on a massive project to make the entire Tennessee River more accessible. It’s a multi-modal trail system that will stretch from Knoxville to Paducah, Kentucky.

This is a product of two years of hard work done by students and professors in UT’s School of Landscape Architecture. The vision for the Tennessee River Studio class is to create a trail system that stretches 652 miles long.

“The vision is a multi-modal trail system that you could bike, hike and paddle all the way from Knoxville to Paducah,” UT School of Landscape Architecture Sam Irwin said.

The department is now working to turn the vision to reality. The support is there. “We are assembling a list of partners who can provide additional capacity,” Professor Collett said.

The national Park Service, TVA, Tennessee State Parks and are just three of the groups who are in full support of the trail system and Professor Collett said this group of supporters will help get the word out and encourage others to stand behind the vision.

Cite…

 

Nearly 40 Years After Paul Fugate Disappeared, Effort Renewed To Find Missing Ranger

Posted by on Jun 20, 2018 @ 12:27 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Nearly 40 Years After Paul Fugate Disappeared, Effort Renewed To Find Missing Ranger

Nearly four decades ago, on January 13, 1980, Ranger Paul Fugate took a break from his job at Chiricahua National Monument in southeastern Arizona to take a hike, and vanished.

Now renewed interested in the case has prompted the National Park Service to triple its reward to $60,000 for information that could solve the mystery.

Without providing details, the Park Service’s Investigative Services Branch announced Tuesday that new information has prompted NPS investigators and Cochise County (AZ) Sheriff Mark Dannels to renew their request for the public’s help in solving the 38-year-old mystery.

Ranger Fugate, then age 41, was working in the monument’s visitor center on the day he disappeared. At about 2 p.m. that day, he left the building to hike a park trail and was never seen again. Ranger Fugate was wearing his “green and gray” Park Service uniform, including the official NPS Arrowhead patch on his upper shirtsleeve and a gold-colored ranger badge pinned over his heart.

Although search teams combed the surrounding area extensively multiple times, they found no sign of the missing ranger, a Park Service release said. Investigators suspected foul play early on, and a formal missing-person case remains open.

Read full story…

 

Take the Kids: Hike – Ramble along the Forest Trail at Prairie Ridge Ecostation

Posted by on Jun 20, 2018 @ 6:44 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

Take the Kids: Hike – Ramble along the Forest Trail at Prairie Ridge Ecostation

You’ll find Prairie Ridge Ecostation in west Raleigh, a few miles from the N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh.

The museum’s outdoor learning lab offers all kinds of activities for all ages, including weekly play days and storytimes. You’ll also find short, easy-to-navigate trails for little ones.

The ecostation’s Forest Trail, is a half-mile hike that takes you from a prairie to a pond to a forest and, finally, a nature playground.

The Forest Trail is part of the Kids In Parks TRACK Trail system, a national program that aims to get kids and families outside and exploring nature. The site lists kid-friendly trails in about 10 states across the country, including many in North Carolina. Each TRACK Trail comes with self-guided brochures with details about things you might see along your walk and signs so you don’t get lost. You can find TRACK Trail brochures for the Forest Trail in Prairie Ridge’s nature playground.

According to the ecostation’s website, explorers here reported finding “savannas” in this part of the world as early as 1540. It’s likely they were created by lightning fires or fires set by Native Americans to clear land for planting. Elk and bison might have helped maintain them.

Read full story…

 

These are the most Instagram-worthy waterfall hikes in all 50 states

Posted by on Jun 19, 2018 @ 11:55 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

These are the most Instagram-worthy waterfall hikes in all 50 states

There are times when the treadmill or stairclimber comes in handy, but Mother Nature is really the ultimate gym. Hiking not only provides epic Insta opportunities, but leaves you feeling accomplished, refreshed, and more motivated to conquer whatever life throws your way (including, you know, poison ivy or bears). And nothing makes a hike feel more magical than turning the corner and finding a grand—or secret—waterfall.

Some places are more blessed in the water feature department than others, but no matter where you live, there are views to be had.

Rounded up here are the best waterfall hikes in all 50 states, including need-to-know details like how much of a workout you can expect. (It’s way better to know what you’re getting yourself into before you hit the trail, not five miles in). Keep in mind that everyone’s opinions about best are subjective, so simply accept this as a list of places you may want to go.

Your next fitness adventure begins right here…

 

The 11-Year Quest to Find the Middle of Nowhere

Posted by on Jun 18, 2018 @ 7:32 am in Hiking News | 0 comments

The 11-Year Quest to Find the Middle of Nowhere

  A couple from Florida got sick of trekking into the backcountry only to contend with hordes of other people. So they embarked on a search for the most remote spots in every state.

“I was walking down a very crowded Florida beach on a training hike,” Ryan says, “and I was in my late thirties. Something was welling up inside me. I knew I wanted to do something grandiose that’d never been done, and then I thought, ‘How can I get as far away from this circus as possible? Remote.’ And the word kept reverberating in my head over and over.” He and Rebecca, as wildlife scientists and serial backpackers, decided they would stand at the most remote point in every state and document the wildest parts of our national wildernesses.

“You cannot get more than five miles from a road within the vast majority of America’s wilderness,” says Ryan, an ecologist with the Tallahassee, Florida–based nonprofit Coastal Plains Institute. Less if you count trails and cabins. He and Rebecca, a wildlife biologist also with the institute, are the only people to have stood at the remotest coordinates in almost all of America’s backcountry.

Rebecca, a pro with the graphical information system (GIS) satellite cartography tool, calculated the coordinates in each state farthest from roads and settlements. The Means began hiking to them and recording data, like whether the spot had cell service and visible human impacts. “We’ve been in lightning storms, snowstorms, hailstorms,” Rebecca says. “Extreme cold, extreme heat. We haven’t had a real vacation since 2009.”

Read full story…

 

Best Town For Hiking in Every State

Posted by on Jun 17, 2018 @ 12:27 pm in Hiking News | 0 comments

Best Town For Hiking in Every State

Hiking is one of just a few sports that doesn’t require a gym membership or a pile of expensive gear. That being said, one necessity for an exceptional hike is beautiful scenery. Traversing green forests and taking in breathtaking views along the way makes for an unparalleled experience, and each state has at least one town that’s home to a handful of picturesque trails.

24/7 Wall St. reviewed trail database and online guide Hiking Project, which lists close to 150,000 miles of trails across the country. 24/7 Wall St. ranked the town or town equivalent with the most trails running through it as the best place to hike in each state.

Not surprisingly, a majority of the towns on this list are located near state parks, nature preserves, or central to iconic hikes that pass through a number of states, such as the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail. For example, the longest trail passing through Stehekin, Washington is section L of the Pacific Crest Trail, specifically the part that runs from Rainy Pass mountain in Washington to Manning Park, British Columbia. This 71-mile hike is the final stretch of the 2,650-mile long trail.

Not all states are designed for hiking. Therefore, the best place to hike in one state may not even make the top 50 places in another state. The best place to hike in Nebraska, a state primarily made up of miles of grasslands, is Omaha, where the longest known trail is not even a full mile long. Omaha only has a total of 12 trails running through it, the most of any other place in Nebraska according to the Hiking Project database.

Here’s the list…