Archives for December 2015

Hiking Equipment

An old bootA hike of 5 to 10- hour a day can make for an adventure. Be it a trek for a few weeks or an excursion for a single day you will find unexpected things happen while on a hike. So many different experiences await you on a particular day so slow down and enjoy it.

Having the right hiking equipment can be as important as the air you breathe, and this post is to help you prepare for the many situations that can arise during a hike.

Here are some must-have hiking equipment for you to take during your next hike:

Backpack and Rain Cover

You certainly should not forget to get a backpack. This pack will contain everything you will need on your hike. A rain cover keeps your pack and all contained in it dry. This can be the difference between life and death in certain weather conditions.

You may ask “Why get out at all if it is raining?” If you hike long you will find that rainy days are inevitable.  I love hiking in the rain and you may too. Rain happens so you better get equipped for rain for your day hike as well.

Food

Is it required to pack food during the journey?

It is always good to pack some food with you when you plan to go for day hike. Although your hike is supposed to end in 2 hours, any side trail you may interested to go may make you end up wandering in the wild  for more than 5 hours or so. You may get hungry and not have any food available near by. So it is definitely better to add some food to your list of hiking equipment.

Boots

One of the important points to note down while selecting boots is that, every pound of boot is equivalent to 5 pounds of weight at your back. This is how the body works; you will definitely feel it. Your boots should suit the nature of the trail you are planning to hike. While a pair of sneakers is enough for some trails, others really need heavy hiking boots designed for it.

Gaiters

If at all you would like to get accustomed to rains, these are essential. These are same as rain cover. The purpose of gaiters is to avoid water running along your legs and entering your boot tops.

It is a waste of time to waterproof your boots If you don’t bother to seal the big opening of your boots through which your legs fit into, duh.

Socks

I recommend you pack two pairs of socks. A sock having an outer wool and an inner polypropylene combination is my recommendation in order to keep your feet warm and dry. Test out different socks to figure out what works best for your feet.

Hiking preperation

hiking-598203_640You need proper preparation for hiking. Safety is important on your hike so you need to ensure that you are prepared for the unexpected. If proper preparation is done before hand, then you can avoid  dangerous situations that may arise.

The basic idea when packing for hiking is always  is to minimize weight of your backpack. Plan ahead and think of the risks and possible hazards of your trip and pack accordingly.

Packing sounds easy but it is actually harder than it sounds. Some naive hikers overestimate what activities they will do while on their hike, so generally they will pack more items than they have to. Because of this, the weight of their backpack makes hiking on the trail quite slow.

Follow these tips for packing for your trip.

Duration of the Trip

Before the trip, identify the length of your trip and pack only enough for your trip.

Food and water.

How many days food and water will you need?

For most people water is an issue, as it is quite difficult to survive without water and an average hiker will require at least 3-4 liters of water a day.

Next is food, you need to plan your menu ahead of time. Provide enough food for each person o the hike and the number of days.

Shelter

The third concern is the shelter. Plan for shelter but be prepared if you don’t make it to your destination. This means  having tents in your gear. So take the lightest weight compact tent, that you can find that will accommodate all the folks on your hike.

Weather conditions

Consider the weather and pack the right kind of cloths. However be sure you bring some insurance cloths, by this I mean a fleece sweater and a rain shell. I never go hiking with out a fleece and a shell. This protects me from a wind and water which could cause hypothermia even in what seems to be a warm day.

Be prepared.

Hiking Boots

Is there anything peculiar about hiking boots? Apart from the fact of being expensive, are they really needed in your hiking trip, especially when you are a beginner in the field?

The answer of this question is “Yes.”

Hiking boots, more or less, is the most important thing that you cannot do without in the entire hiking gear. It is a foot that is used more than any other organ of your body during hiking, and this is the reason why you have to give them ample protection. Sturdily constructed hiking boots are capable of giving protection to your feet from harsh trails.

Following is a list of guidelines to be followed while choosing to buy your hiking boots:

That “Solid” Feeling

This ought to be the prime quality of hiking boots. The good-quality boots provide us with a solid feeling at the bottom, which prevents the feet from feeling rocks and stones through their soles. What is the immediate result? You may soon have the possibility of getting hurt after traveling for miles, and certainly that is not good, especially when you have to further travel for a few more miles before breaking your camp.

Test for the solidity before you buy a pair of boots. Press your thumb against its sole at the bottom. These boots would not be able to give your feet the required protection if they are soft. You can also test them by twisting the soles of the boots. These boots, if they are soft enough to be twisted, are also not fit for hiking.

You have to keep in mind that the trails may not be as smooth as the pavement ahead your home. More often they would be rocky, and if your feet are not given adequate protection using good hiking boots, they can even exert huge pain.

Side Protection

It is not only the bottom part of the hiking boots that is important. Good boots should also be capable of providing protection to the sides of your feet. In fact, the reason for their being called “heavy” is that these boots are given extra padding in order to protect your feet from rocks, stones, and branches of trees , which you may place your feet on and which could pierce into the sides of your boot.

If at all you have decided to buy fabric boots, you have to get those boots with protective “welts.” Welts are fixed at about 1/2 inch or more up above the soles in order to give additional protection.

Ankle Support

It was obvious that Achilles did not know anything about boots, so he was not able to give protection when his ankle was hit with an arrow by Paris. You need not follow Achilles’ footsteps. Good support for ankles is a must for hiking boots.

Follow these when you pick them:

Take hold of the top side of the boot.

Try bending it sideways.

It is not likely to give the ample level of protection required by you on the trail if the boots are to bend easily.

The top part of the boot ought to be firm enough in order to hold the ankle in position. These are the criteria to choose a pair of hiking boots with good quality and support.

Don’t Let the Water In

A wet foot is the cause of blisters. Blisters are certainly painful. They are evil too. You have to prevent their occurrence at any cost. A solution is to get hiking boots with waterproofing ability. Even if your hiking boots are not waterproof, see that they could at least be waterproofed. One way of getting fabric boots waterproofed is to use special waterproofing solutions, like liquid silicone. However, such solutions are not capable of waterproofing them enough as to make them useful.

Hiking Clubs

One of the best methods to get into hiking is to join a hiking club, where there will be several scheduled hikes, by which you can get the benefits of the experience of other people.

The other members of the club will help you learn a lot of things. They can give information about the local areas and tell you noteworthy points. You may even make friends with similar  interests who are adventurous and want to join you for your hiking expeditions.

Clubs can have different personalities and characteristics. Choose a club that you most relate to and match your desired frequency and personality.

All around the America you can see about a few clubs who will arrange hiking vacation

Fairbanks Area Hiking Club

This is an associate which is situated in the interior region of Alaska and the residents here enjoy the crevices of beautiful Alaska. They research these areas by wearing snowshoe, ski, bare foot or wearing boots. These journeys will take you from Denali National park throughout to the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) as well as through the White Mountains and along the rivers of the Tanana and Chena.

Alabama Hiking Trail Society

This is the prominent hiking club in the state of Alabama to promote, save, develop, maintain and support a comprehensive trail system covering the entire state. If you love hiking and if you are near and around Alabama, you can go from Huntsville to Mobile with the Alabama Hiking Trail society.

One of the benefits of becoming a part of these clubs is that all the activities you participate in is brought under the Group liability Insurance policy.

Off the Beaten Trail

This have both social and hiking club. You can participate in which ever you want .It was first created by the Lorie and Ward who together began running this club in summer 2002 .Now the club has become so popular that over 300 members have joined this club. This hiking group mainly involves people who are single and those who inhabit the metropolitan area of AZ and phoenix.

Desert Trails Hiking Club

The Desert Trail hiking club is well known and they conduct different types of hikes and you can choose whichever you want. There easy, moderate as well as highly stressful and strenuous hikes. You can enroll yourself to go for the Coachella valley hike and beyond the valley while enjoying the comradeship and friendliness of the club.

Trailblazers Hiking Club

The outdoor activities of the Trailblazers hiking club is in the Mountain regions of eastern Oklahoma and west side of  Arkansas. The hiking club offers a variety of hikes like short, long, difficult and relaxed and they will be held on different schedules. These hikes are scheduled nearly every weekend from autumn to spring .You can go through the events section on the website to choose the event that you would like.

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