Answers about Camping and Hiking!

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Where to Go Camping Series – Blue Springs State Park

BLUE SPRINGS STATE PARK

Ozark, Alabama (334)397-4875

 

If you live in Alabama, southern Alabama is even better. Blue Springs State Park is a great place to take the family to swim and camp. This park has picnic tables, grills, playground and a spring fed swimming hole. Well worth a visit. Plan you visit in the summer so you can enjoy the spring swimming. The temperature of the water is 68 degrees year round.  The spring is crystal clear with a sandy bottom and swimming is allowed at your own risk, no lifeguard is on duty.

Location:

Located six miles east of Clio in southeast Alabama.

From Montgomery, take Highway 231 South to Troy, then to Brundidge, follow the signs.

What to do:

Primitive and Modern campsites are available for overnight camping.

Swimming in a beautiful crystal clear underground spring.

Fishing.

Picnic areas and Playground

 blueSprings   Blue S- natural springs 104_0445

Shutdown My Camping Trip

Smoky Mountains ClosedThe government shutdown has closed all the National Parks and if you are already camping in a National they have asked you to leave. The parks will be closed until the government finalizes the spending and funding issues. Bummer. I am just letting you know so you don’t go and find yourself with know where to camp.

 

Save the World and Charge your Phone!

Biolite Campstove

I love discovering new gadgets. This feeds both my geek and outdoor passions.

BioLite CampStove Demo & Story from BioLite on Vimeo.

Another way to teach kids how to tie their shoes.

OK some kids learn different than others so here is another method. This method is slow and pretty straight forward so it may be easier for some kids. Tell me which method you like better in the comments please.

Shoe laces vid photo

Easier way to Tie Shoe Laces

With school starting your kids teachers and PE coaches will really appreciate your child knowing how to tie their shoes. So here is an easy way to teach how to tie your shoes.

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Snake on the Trail.

Be aware of snakes. I was hiking early in the morning in Virginia when I came up on a large Eastern Ratsnake in the middle of the trail. He did not move so I took my hiking stick and threw him as far into the woods as I could. The funny thing is that the trail had a switchback and I had thrown the snake right on the trail where it switch-backed so I had to move him again. This time I didn’t have to throw him.

 

Eastern Ratsnake

Eastern Ratsnake

The warm weather brings the snakes out to soak up the sun. Be sure to look over large logs and such before stepping over them while hiking. Wear boots and thick socks. If you are bit, stay calm and slow down. If you get excited it will make your heart beat faster and that makes the poison in your blood move faster to your heart and/or brain which is bad. Seek medical attention and know that the odds are in your favor. Most snake bite victims live. Still gonna hurt but you have a good chance of living through it so slow down and proceed calmly. Yeah,I know easier said than done.

So the real point here is to just keep you eyes open and aware of the danger.  OK now to the Moms out there. I can hear you saying “Yep, that’s it I am not letting my kids go out there in the woods with those dangerous snakes.” The reality is that the snakes don’t want to have anything to do with humans. If you see a snake it is likely that it will be high-tailing it away from you. Snakes do not see you as food so they are not looking to bite you. The snake bites that do occur are usually where the hiker steps on the snake or is somehow in-crouching on the snake’s space. Don’t let it keep you from hiking or enjoying the amazing outdoors.

Nelson County Trail Daze 2013

This looks like it could be fun.

Nelson County trail Daze

FREE for 2013 Thru-hikers.  http://nelsoncountytraildaze.com

Where:

Devils Backbone Brewing Company grounds-

200 Mosbys Run

Roseland, VA 22967

When:

Saturday, June 1st, 8am-7pm

Cost:

2013 Thru-Hikers – Free camping and addmission

$10 in Advance/$15 at the Gate – Children 12 & Under are FREE
Nelson County Residents:  $5 in advance/$10 at the Gate
Tickets FREE when you register for 5k or Mountain Bike Events

 

Go Hiking Local

I livepinecone_small__48231__16213__79925__63418__47762__34292__36788.1312234364.1280.1280 in Birmingham Alabama so I am going to talk about local Birmingham. The challenge for you is to find a local hike that I haven’t done. I am looking for the hidden hike. I love them.

For example: There is an awesome place at Mt.Ruffner that you hike a ways then go up a steep climb right off the marked trail. Then you go through a 20 foot cave and com out in a circular canyon. The only way in and out of this small canyon is the cave. It feels like a hide out for cowboy outlaws from the old west. Very cool.

ruffner

Must Have Tips for AT Thru-hikers.

Here are some quick tips for planning a long distance backpacking trip.katahdin

  • There are no right ways. There are many ways to things so do them the way you prefer and don’t worry about the how as much as the result.
  • Be self-sufficient don’t depend on someone mailing stuff (food) to you. Get your food as you go if at all possible. I found that being adaptable in this regard really makes the trip more enjoyable because you can change things like not having to eat oatmeal for breakfast for 6 months ( I don’t know what I was thinking…duh!)
  • Go light! this means going without some of the creature comforts, but your feet will thank you. Just be sure you use every single thing you carry everyday and/ make things do double duty when possible. Example: hiking pole used also as the main pole in your tent.
  • Don’t over do it too soon. You will need to break in you body to the stress of backpacking so don’t plan to hike too many miles early on in the trip. Work up to the larger mile days.  Take time to enjoy your hike.
  • Take care of hot spots. Stop and deal with it before it gets worse. It could be a blister on your feet, blister on your hands from hiking stick, hot spot on your shoulder or hips from your backpack. It is that simple, stop and deal with it. It will not get better without some well. Even if you just stop and rest for a day this could let your body recoup enough and build a callus or muscles to help you grow into the miles.
  • Duct Tape, wind pants and jacket, and mid weight fleece jacket. These are musts. (More about these later)
  • Set short mileage goals for a long days hike. Work in goals like mountain tops and breaks to read or listen to music or some other luxury.

O.K. I will stop here. If you are getting ready to hike a long trail feel free to email me. I love to answer questions about this subject.

 

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