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

yu8When 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 tents, the different fabrics, etc. I have decided to begin with preparing for the hike. In future articles you will find information on tents, 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 constructing 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 greatly disappointed finding out you cannot endure 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.

Put On Your Walking Boots and Start Walking

099There’s a Countryside Walk Near You

One of the good things about the great British countryside, is that there is some countryside near you. Even if you live in the centre of a large town or city, you are only a short distance from open space. You can probably walk there! But whether you drive or take a bus or train, there is some countryside near you.

It was once the preserve of Sunday afternoon walkers, but with today’s flexible work patterns, any day is a good day for enjoying a walk in the countryside. If you live in London, a short train ride of an hour or less will take you to East Sussex or Buckinghamshire. You can stay closer to home and walk along the Regents Canal from Paddington to Limehouse on the River Thames. Alright, so it is not strictly countryside, but you can experience a quiet haven as you walk through 8 miles of one of the most bustling cities in Europe. Anyway this article is not about the countryside so much as to encourage you to put on your walking boots and get walking.

You Can Walk In Any Weather

It doesn’t even matter what season it is, walking in any weather has a way of energising us. Walking lifts our spirits.It is said that all truly great thoughts are conceived while walking! Walking is also good for our physical health whatever our age. It strengthens our hearts and gets our circulation going. Walking tones up our muscles and leaves us feeling invigorated.

You can walk in any weather but it is still important to wear the correct clothing. Check the forecast. Do you need to carry a sweater in your backpack? perhaps a lightweight waterproof jacket if there is a chance of rain? If you are walking in remoter places like the High Peaks in Derbyshire, the weather can change suddenly. So even though you are only 20 miles from Manchester or Sheffield, be prepared.

Carry a thermos flask and some food just it case it takes longer than you expected. Wear the correct footwear for the terrain. If you are walking on loose stones and steep inclines your walking boots should be more rigid with good ankle support.

Put On Your Walking Boots

If you decide to walk on various terrains on a regular basis, it is worthwhile investing in the right walking gear and accessories. Waterproof jackets, good walking boots, and a backpack to carry emergency supplies and extra clothing. You can buy all this online or at one of the stores that specialise in the great outdoors.

You may think that you are not fit enough to go walking up mountains. So, choose a walk according to your level of fitness and go forward from there. Walking along country lanes on a summer’s day, where you can enjoy the flora and fauna, is a wonderful experience

The important thing is to make a start. Get out of that comfortable armchair and step out to enjoy a new level of fitness for mind and body. Put on your walking boots and get walking!

Backpacking First Aid Tips

33Today’s focal point will be on a few first aid tips. This is by no means a complete list of the possible emergency situations you may face. This is why bringing a first aid kit and handbook are vital part of your backpacking gear.

Two possible difficulties that are very serious are hyperthermia and hypothermia. When your core temperature drops below normal this is known as hypothermia. Symptoms that you may observe are shivering, chills, and lack of coordination. The other adversity you may face is hyperthermia which is when you overheat because your internal body heat cannot be released fast enough. Hyperthermia occurs mainly in the summer time and signs consist of nausea, vomiting, dizziness, muscle cramps, fatigue, headaches, and weakness. Some other circumstances that can cause you misery are blisters. Deterring blisters actually begins with the purchasing of the correct footwear. One more thing to remember when choosing your footwear is making sure you try them on with the same socks you will be hiking in.

While you are hiking it is essential to keep the right posture because it will help in reducing strain to your muscles. Your walk should be with your head up, shoulders back, relaxed, and swinging your arms. One more meaningful tip is to set yourself up with a good walking pace. Just begin your walk with what feels natural to you. Setting your pace is easy when you are by yourself, but becomes much more challenging when hiking with a partner or a group. The reason for this difficulty is because with a partner or group your pace must be that of the person who has the slowest pace. Trying to set a faster pace could result in an injury of the person who is trying to keep up. Also you may find those hikers becoming annoyed and distressed. This is not how you have fun when you are backpacking. Remember that safety should always come first. Keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings and where you are walking. Trails will not always be smooth, but there will be ruts, holes, and other hazards that can trip you up.

Other basic first aid suggestions consists of protecting yourself from sunburn. To do this wear sunblock and a hat with a wide brim to protect your face. For your neck and ears I would suggest you wearing some type of veil which will cover these two areas. Next have insect repellant available at all times because there is no way of escaping those annoying mosquitoes and other insects. One more option you can choose for defending off the insects is to invest in bug clothing. You can find this clothing for just your head or to cover your whole body. Make sure that while you are on this backpacking adventure that you keep yourself well fed, hydrated, and rested. Finally, make sure that those items like clothing, bug spray, or anything else you will need to use for the next day’s hike is readily available. This will save time and aggravation from having to dig around in your pack try to find something.

Backpacking Tent Features

gffWhen considering buying a backpacking tent today it can be overwhelming with all the choices that are available. To complicate matters there are features that may give you a headache trying to figure out which is better. So today my aim is to give you some clarification on features to aid you in your choice. Let’s begin by looking at whether you need a three or four season tent.

The three season tent is good for summer, spring, fall, and is the normal choice for these seasons. However, if backpacking year-round and in the snow is your desire then a four season tent will be necessary. Next decide whether you want a freestanding or non-freestanding tent. The difference in these two is that the free-standing tent can stand on its own and does not need to be staked down. The free-standing tent is also easier to set up and move around if necessary. However, if windy conditions exist it is recommended that you stake your tent down so it does not blow away. Another advantage of the freestanding-tent is when it comes time to break down camp. You can point your tent opening toward the ground, shake and all the loose debris will fall right out of your tent.

Next you would determine whether you would like a single or double wall tent. In looking at a double wall tent you will find that it consists of a body and fly to cover it. Advantages of the double wall is they are usually less expensive, better ventilation, and drier in the wet conditions. In comparison the single wall tent does not have the luxury of an inner body. The benefits are easier set up and lighter to carry. However, the down fall to the single wall tent is poor ventilation which can cause a buildup of condensation which can become a problem. Finally, we turn our attention to the design of these walls and floor of the tent.

On the two wall tents a portion of the inner body is made out of mesh. This is the reason that the circulation is so much better. You can find a partial or substantial amount of mesh on your tent body. If you enjoy gazing at the stars then all you have to do is pull back your fly and experience it from the comforts of your tent. If it is rainy then pull the fly back over for full protection from the weather. It is worth mentioning that you can have a no-see-um mesh for your tent. Very small two-winged flies found all over the world are known as biting midges, this includes no-see-um, sand flies, and other tiny bugs. This mesh was made to keep them out and has approximately six hundred holes per inch. Now in regards to the floor of your tent make sure that the seam is factory sealed and waterproofed. In fact you should make sure of this for all the seams of your tent. Another floor to check out is called a bath tub floor. There is no seam on this floor because the floor is one piece, carries up a few inches on the side wall and is attached there. Last important tip, do your homework before shopping. Anything you are not sure of can be found on the internet. I hope this has given you some insight on the selection of a backpacking tent.

Burke-Gilman Trail Seattle Washington

tyyA famous recreational attraction in Seattle, the Burke-Gilman Trail is a fantastic place for runners, hikers, skaters and cyclists. Maintained by both Seattle Parks and Recreation, and the Seattle Department of Transportation, Burke-Gilman unveils some of the best parts of Seattle including its lush parks, lakes and seafront area. After venturing into the charming street corners and whiffing the healthy sea air, stop over at a lovely neighborhood café, and try some of the local specialties.

Among the activities you can do at Burke-Gilman, perhaps the most popular one is cycling. In fact, cycling aficionados come from different parts of the United States just to experience the amazing trail. Even the city of Seattle has its own organized cycling community that keeps up Burke-Gilman’s contagious lively atmosphere. But the popular trail is useful not only to recreationalists and fitness fanatics, it has become a major thoroughfare for those commuting to work and studying at the University of Washington. Since its opening, Burke-Gilman has also been an integral landmark to real estate and businesses.

Commonly called ‘the Burke’ by the locals, the Burke-Gilman Trail is a full paved pathway that stretches to 43 kilometers or 27 miles. The trail is actually a part of the King County Regional Trail System. It specifically follows the right-of-way of the old Burlington Northern railroad, goes through to the city of Seattle, and stretches all the way to Tracy Owen Station in Kenmore. It has been welcoming outdoor enthusiasts since 1978. In 2009, Burke-Gilman became connected to another trail which goes through Marymoor Park. If you choose this path, you can cycle for 64 kilometers or 40 miles without any interruption.

There are many ways to start the trail, but a number of cyclists usually choose to start at Puget Sound, which is just at the entrance of the Golden Gardens Park. The Wayne Gold Course is typically the chosen end point for the trail. If you want to do something other than cycling ‘the Burke’, you can check out the Golden Gardens Park and the Sammamish River Trail, which serve as boundaries to the trail.

Other parks you will encounter while cycling this trail include Gasworks Parks, Matthews Beach and Tracy Owen Station. The Burke-Gilman Playground is another spot that is ideal for families tackling the trail. But if you are wishing for some adult fun, why not drop by the Redhook Brewery to taste some of the best local beer varieties.

If you are not a seasoned cyclist, do not worry! Burke-Gilman is easily accessible, relatively flat and is not a very demanding trail in terms of physical fitness. The trail is completely separated from car traffic so you don’t have to be worried about being run over. In addition, regular cyclists of the path are known to follow the standard trail etiquette for safety.

If you happen to be visiting Seattle without bringing your own bike, you always have the option to rent one at several locations in the city. There are even businesses who rent out accompanying kiddie trailers. The Dutch Bike Company is one of the rental places located just at the start of the Burke. It also maintains a lovely cafe that welcomes those who want a respite from cycling. Just close to the University of Washington in the University District is another rental placed called Recycled Cycles.

Osceola State Park

jlOsceola State Park is the oldest, but smallest of all of the National Parks in Florida. The location of this park is between Jacksonville and Lake City Florida. While this park may be little in size, its historical history is just the opposite.

To find the factual history of Osceola you must look deep in the past. On February 20, 1864 the Battle of Olustee took place. It begins with the largest Civil War battle in Florida near the town of Olustee. The battle between the Confederate and Union Army’s lasted for five hours. It is on this day that ten thousand Union forces attacked the Confederate soldiers. The Confederates were forced to defend their post near the town of Olustee when the Union forces attacked. The reason this campaign was launched into Florida by the Union was to occupy Jacksonville. The place where this battle took place latter became known as the Osceola State Park. The goal of the Union was to disrupt the transportation channels of the Confederates. The purpose of this action was not just to seize cotton, timber, and turpentine, but also secure african american recruits and deprive the Confederates of food. However, the campaign failed when the Confederates successfully defended their post. The remaining Union forces were forced back to Jacksonville. At Osceola Park you can find historical facts and artifacts to further educate yourself. One of the hiking trails named after the Battle of Olustee at Osceola Park actually takes you on a history hike. The Olustee Battlefield Trail loops you through the actual places of events that took place leading up to the battle. This information includes the tactics that were used during the battle and the aftermath. This historical information was gathered from several sources including letters from soldiers who fought in the conflict, diaries, and personal accounts. While this is great history there is another way to give you an idea of what the battle may have looked like. Every President’s Day weekend the park has a reenactment of the battle. At this reproduction you will see artillery and cavalry units and of course, bearing the brunt of the fighting, the infantry.

Now the name of the park Osceola has its own history. The 1800’s is where this park was given its name. It has to do with the resistance by the Seminole people of being relocated. This began years earlier and included the first Seminole war in 1817-1818. In 1830 at the urging of President Andrew Jackson, Congress passed the Indian Removal Act of 1830. To pass this act it was necessary for Congress to disregard the treaty guarantees given to the Seminole’s. The act actually opened up the door for abuse by many militias across several states who drove the Indian’s by force across the Mississippi. At Payne’s landing another meeting took place between the Seminole’s and the Federal Government. It became known as the treaty at Payne’s landing and it was here that Osceola, the Seminole chief, refused to sign the treaty. A resistance to the removal of the Seminole people was born and Osceola led the way. Osceola was never a chief by birth, but was recognized as one for his leadership skills and became a well-known leader among the Seminoles.

My name is LJ and I am the owner of LJ Enterprises and my store can be found at [http://www.yourbackpackingtents.com/]. Backpacking can be a lot of fun if done correctly. Our site was made for those who enjoy camping, hiking, and backpacking. So come on over to our store, sit down, and read about our 1, 2, 3, & 4 person backpacking tents. Other items in the store are larger family tents, camping hammocks, Bivvy sacks, a variety of backpacks, & hiking gear.

The Majestic Ometepe Island, Nicaragua

xgPicturesque Ometepe Island lies in Lake Nicaragua (Lago de Nicaragua), and is one of the main attractions in the country. The island is geologically quite fascinating as it is composed of two volcanoes joined by a thin flat isthmus. Blessed with natural attractions and rich in history, Ometepe has become a popular remote getaway and outdoor destination.

Concepcion is the one of Ometepe’s volcanos rising proudly on the northern half of the island. It is well admired for its majestic appearance marked by a perfectly shaped cone. On the southern half of the island lies Maderas, an extinct volcano adorned with an enchanting cloud forest and a lagoon in the crater.

Ometepe offers a number of hiking routes but perhaps, the most prominent hiking destinations are the volcanoes. But climbing the peaks is not a walk in the park. If you feel you still want to take on the challenge, you will need to start early in the morning. Visitors who wish to hike the volcanoes is required by law to hire a guide for safety reasons, mainly due to the paths not being well-marked.

Hiking to the top of Concepcion can be completed in about 8 hours, and there are a couple of trails to choose from. Ascending its slopes gives you the opportunity to watch howler and white face monkeys in the wild. Maderas Volcano, on the other hand, is less strenuous and can be completed in 6 hours. Aside from being mesmerized by the crater lake, your journey to Maderas can also include a stop at a beautiful 35-meter waterfall on the southern side of the volcano. But if mountain climbing is not your cup of tea, there are definitely other activities that will keep you busy like horseback riding, bicycle riding, fishing, and kayaking on lakes and rivers.

Interestingly, The island’s history goes back to the Mayan and pre-Columbia time. Artifacts created during these periods can still be found all over the island. Ometepe is also home to several stone idols and petroglyphs carved into basalt boulders. Slowly, Ometepe is becoming more open to mass tourism, but it is very much a backpacking destination at heart. This makes the island an affordable place to visit. There are several budget accommodation options to choose from, including ‘village-hotel’ services offered by islanders, however, if you desire luxury, there are also a few of hotels and lodges here.

Moyogalpa is the island’s main port, where ferry and boat services travel back and forth many times during the day, connecting it to San Jorge, the nearest town on the mainland. Moyogalpa is a small and laidback town which has the most tourist infrastructure on the island. This is where you can find cozy hotels, restaurants that serve international and local cuisine, car rentals, pharmacies, bars, internet cafes and a health centre.

The city is also the favored gateway to Concepcion volcano. From Moyogalpa, you can easily make your way to Punta Jesús María, a narrow tip situated on the western portion of the island. Punta Jesus Maria has become a prominent tourist spot as it overlooks the water and makes an amazing vantage point for sunsets. If you want to enjoy the scenery longer, camping here is absolutely possible!

The Magnificent Asbyrgi Canyon Iceland

hyAsbyrgi Canyon is one of the really magnificent geological wonders you can find in northeast Iceland. This tranquil horseshoe-canyon, which stretches 3.5 kilometers and measures 1.1 km across; will not only enchant with its ethereal physical features; but it will also captivate your imagination due to the myths and legends that surround its existence.

The canyon is split in half by a gigantic cliff, where adventurous visitors can climb to get amazing views of the landscape. This distinct rock formation is known as Eyjan, which means island. Below the cliff, the canyon is adorned with woodland, composed of trees like willow, birch and mountain ash.

According to a legend, which locals still strongly believe, Ásbyrgi came to be when Sleipnir, Odin’s horse touched one of its eight hooves on the ground. Other myths points to the canyon as the ‘capital’ or main dwelling of the huldufolk or hidden people. These magical creatures who look like people are believed to stay within the cliffs. Whether you believe the myths or not, there is no doubt that Ásbyrgi Canyon is truly a spectacular site worth exploring. And the best way to do it, is to go for a hiking adventure that takes you through the different fascinating sections of the landscape.

One of the hiking paths in the canyon leads you to a body of water called Botnstjörn pond. This relatively easy trail starts from the innermost car park in Ásbyrgi, and takes you to a group of stone steps that descend to a platform next to the pond. From the platform, you can follow another set of stone steps that brings you to a small hill.

From the hill, you will get lovely panoramas of Ásbyrgi. If you welcome an even longer yet still easy hiking path, then set out for the Eyjan Hill trail, which covers a total distance of 4.5 kilometers (back and forth). This particular trail begins at the parking lot of the campsite. After conquering the Eyjan Hill, you may consider venturing through the woods of Ásbyrgi. This trail starts at the Visitor Center, and is much longer, making you walk around 4 kilometers one way. Aside from conquering this path on foot, you also have the option to cycle the route.

it is possible to stay overnight at Asbyrgi’s campsite. The canyon is also equipped with golf course for those who would like to play a few rounds amidst an amazing geological backdrop! Asbyrgi Canyon’s Visitor Center also offers an exhibition that showcases the nature and history of the canyon. But don’t expect to see a ultra-modern office. The center is actually a renovated old barn!

During summer, park rangers offer a variety of guided tours and activities for visitors. If hiking the trails around the canyon is not your cup of tea, another faster alternative of exploring the area it is to take a local driving tour. Asbyrgi is located within the grounds of Jökulsárgljúfur National Park in the northern part of the country. The city of Husavik is the main gateway to the canyon. It is easy to rent a car here and drive 45 minutes to the canyon.

Essentials for a Hike

sfWhen 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 don’t 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.

6 Ways Why Hiking Is Better Than Going to the Gym

cxxGyms 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 don’t 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’t 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’t do in a gym where there is smell of sweat and noise of machines.

· In a way, hiking breathes 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 are 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 don’t 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.