Protest against trail closure – Bump and Grind

 

The Department of Fish and Game (DFG) closed down the Bump and Grind Trail in Palm Desert California on June 27, 2011. According to the DFG, the closure is necessary for  necessary to encourage endangered peninsular bighorn sheep to return and raise their young.

The Bump and Grind Trail is one of the Coachella Valley’s most popular trails and is known by several different names including Desert Drive Trail, Patton Trail, Desert Mirage Trail and Dog Poop Trail.

More than 200 people use the trail daily and according to the DFG, “human presence is disturbing groups of ewes that are caring for their young nearby.”

“We understand why (the hikers) are unhappy about this (closure), but we’re not going to take any proactive action,” said Andrew Hughan, a spokesman for the DFG in Sacramento. Anyone caught in the closed section of the trail could be cited and could face a misdemeanor and up to a year in jail.

I support the hikers because I don’t believe a handful of hikers are a threat to the sheep. It is more likely due to the hillside development that has made a lot of people very wealthy.

Stephen Thewlis, a hiker who is organizing the protest, said, “Hikers have some rights too. Until they can really show that the high mortality of new-born lambs is due to people rather than disease and predators, until that is made absolutely scientifically clear then the rights of the people should prevail,”

Photo credit: Jessica E. Davis

via PalmDesertPatch

Jetman flies over Grand Canyon

If you thought wing-suit base-jumping was cool, wait till you see the stunt by Swiss aerial daredevil Yves Rossy.

With a jet-powered pack strapped on his back, the dashing Jetman jumped from a helicopter and flew across the Grand Canyon, a feat more dangerous than his previous adventures with the backpack.

The jet pack does not have any controls except for a grip throttle and the only instrument on it is an audible altimeter. Rossy is the only man alive who can control it.

Adidas reports promising growth in the outdoor industry and plans to expand

Adidas outdoor

Adidas renewed its commitment to the outdoor industry just about 3 years ago. Now the world’s second-largest sporting goods maker is getting excited about outdoor gear.

According to Rolf Reinschmidt, the senior vice president and head of global outdoor unit, outdoor gear “has bee on of the fastest growing categories within the Adidas group in 2010 and that trend is clearly expected to continue.

They’ve not even entered the US market yet which is expected to be $10 billion of annual sales.

Imagine Adidas sleeping bags, sleeping pads, tents and backpacking packs. The market will likely have high expectations for Adidas.

Beards improve performance at high altitudes

Men with beards used to be a common sight. Today there are few men who let their beards grow even among those whose religion forbid them from shaving it.

If you’re a mountaineer, there’s a good reason to have some hair on your chin. A study done by Scientists from Winconsin Institute of Physiological Performance Science revealed that the beard could give you a significant advantage over clean shaven men at high altitudes. In fact the study showed that it could be the difference between life and death on the Everest.

Here’s how the study went. The scientists strapped on some lightweight high tech gear that measures the Oxygen Repiratory Index (ORI) on climbers of the Yeti Everest expedition. Half of the climbers were encouraged to let their beards grow while the other half were clean shaven. Both groups had comparable ORI at basecamp but what happened as the team advanced up the mountain makes it hard to dismiss the results as mere coincidence.

At 7,500 metres, the bearded group showed a 7.3% rise in ORI compared to the other group; by 8,000 metres the gap increased to 10.7%; at the summit it rose again to 15%. In Everest’s harsh climate, this could be the difference between life and death.

According to Dr Wayne Gillete of the institute that performed the study, the longer the beard growth, the better is the increase in performance.

No wonder some of the best mountaineers have such impressive beards.

How much water do you need for hiking?

The amount of water you need for hiking depends on many things; your level of fitness, humidity, temperature, how much you exert yourself and more.

You need to replace the amount of water you lost through sweat and respiration or you risk dehydration which may result in muscle cramps, tiredness and loss of strength. Prolonged dehydration may cause dizziness, nausea and worse, heatstroke.

In general, a person can lose up to 1.5 litres of water in 2 or 3 hours. You can lose more than 5 litres more water after 7 hours. A bottle of water is hardly ever going to be enough. You need to carry at least four bottles if you’re going to be hiking that long.

A hydration pack can be useful because it allows you to drink handsfree and you don’t have to worry about empty bottles. There are usually outer pockets that you can use to keep your keys, wallet, phone, snacks and other small stuff.

How much water do you carry on a day hike?

Have You Tried Running on Water Yet?

It was a marketing stunt by the shoe company Hi-Tec that gave them a lot of attention after the video was launched. This of course is a good thing (for them) even though the company later had to admit that it was all a hoax – a well intended one. Here’s part of the press release that attempted an explanation to what they were trying to do:

“We wanted to create a piece of entertainment around our hydrophobic footwear and get people talking and thinking about the brand differently.  The idea was to take a traditional form of marketing and totally turn it around on its head, in the process of capturing the fun spirited side of our brand.  The reaction to the viral has surpassed all expectations; with people all over the world debating whether this could indeed be possible or not and even trying to do their own Liquid Mountaineering.  We’ve seen a number of entertaining attempts appear on YouTube and other places on the Web.

“After the initial buzz and well over 4 million views on YouTube to date, we thought it was finally time to come clean and unveil to the world that Hi-Tec were behind the viral.  Whilst our shoes have some amazing liquid repellency features, even we still can’t walk on water…it was all a well intended hoax.”

Here’s the video which has now attracted more than 8 million views on YouTube:

Here’s a great compliment to the video above (they call it hydro-sprinting instead – pretty hilarious):

UK’s 2nd Most Famous Mountaineer on Tour

Doug Scott, arguably the UK’s second most famous mountaineer after Chris Bonington, is on tour in Scotland over the next few days. His illustrated talks, Himalaya Alpine Style and Life and Hard Times, can be heard at venues such as Portree and Livingston, and he will also be in Edinburgh and Glasgow as part of a Greater Ranges supergroup along with Peter Habeler, Tom Hornbein, Hamish MacInnes and Paul “Tut” Braithwaite.

More info at Caledonian Mercury

$10,000 Scholarship for Innovative Backpack Chair

Backpack chairs have been around for quite a while but not like this one. Two students created a backpack chair that you don’t have to take off your back to sit on it.

David Hirsch and Brendan Isbell will share the $10,000 scholarship awarded by the national 2010 Innova Awards which recognizes outstanding imagination, innovation and learning in science, technology, engineering and math.

More info at Gazette.com

Advice for the Beginner Outdoor Enthusiast

Getting into an outdoor sport on your own can be extremely difficult and sometimes dangerous, even for low risk activities like backpacking and fly-fishing. You almost always need someone to introduce you to an outdoor activity and there’s an unwritten etiquette that needs to be followed by the beginner so that they won’t make their first a trip a bad one for everyone.

Here are some of them:

  • Always be kind and courteous
  • If in doubt, ask
  • Don’t just stand around watching; Ask with smile on your face what you can do to help
  • Take a stance of humility
  • Don’t butt others out
  • Be enthusiastic or try very hard to be
  • Don’t ask the same thing multiple times. Pay atention the first time, ask for clarification the second time and do it right the third time.
  • Don’t expect your hand be held the entire way

Following these rules will increase your chance of getting invited to the next trip.

Full post at The Daily Evergreen

Calgary Outdoor Expo and Festival This Weekend

It’s going to be an exciting weekend in Calgary because two domes near McMahon Stadium will turn into an “extravaganza of fun for people who like to play outside”.

The event will feature 60 self-propelled outdoor activity retailers, outfitters and product brand exhibitors; family-friendly outdoor activity skills workshop, demonstrations and presentations; two climbing walls; cross country ski track complete with demonstration skis, boots and biathlon-mimicking laser shooting; the Outdoor Gear Swap where deal-seekers can check out more than a thousand new and used gear and clothing; and the annual Reel Rock Film Festival’s six climbing short films.

For more information about the Calgary Outdoor Expo and Festival and other events, go to CalgaryHerald.com

Using a Bivy Bag in Bear Country is Risky

For those who care so much about lightweight backpacking, the bivy is a good choice for shelter because it’s lightweight, quick and easy to set up and you get to look at the stars while you try to fall asleep.

It may not be a good idea in bear country though because those who sleep in the open (like you would in a bivy sack) are more likely to be attacked by bear than those who sleep in a tent. Of course a tent is no guarantee that you’ll be safe from bear attacks but it’s a serious psychological barrier for a bear looking for food.

More at Backpacker

Some Camping Tips from The Cabin

It’s good to pick up camping tips from a number of sources. Here are some from TheCabin.net:

  • Arrive early if you’re going to camp in an unfamiliar area
  • Do whatever you can to prepare for the camping trip at home
  • Use two door mats – one inside and one outside the tent or camper
  • Take several trash bags
  • Pre-mix and pre-measure foods and recipe ingredients at home
  • Large zip-closing bags can be useful at camp for mixing ingredients and making pancakes
  • Main courses and whole meals can be prepared at home and frozen for quick heat-and-eat meals
  • Take two coolers
  • Take two stoves – a single-burner stove in addition to a double-burner camp stove
  • Use a large plastic bag as a liner for your pack
  • Make your own solar camping shower
  • Lantern mantles are much easier to tie onto the burner tube when tied onto a thumb or index finger first
  • Spread your wet clothes or sleeping bags over a large rock in the sun to dry them quickly
  • Make sure all your camping gear are dry before storing them
  • Set up your camp in the backyard as soon as you get home from a camping trip

For details go to TheCabin.net

Camping as Forest Service Volunteers

For the Glenns, summer began the middle of May when they set up camp and hung their official “Campground Hosts” shingle on a tree in front of their campsite.  In an arrangement with the US Forest Service, the Glenns agreed to spend the months of May, June, July, August and September as liaisons with campers who come to the campground to spend anywhere from one night to two weeks.

And their reward? A free campsite with electricity, water, sewer and phone for their 28-foot camper.

Their duties? Locking and unlocking the gate to the campground each night and morning, cleaning the restrooms, and, most importantly, serving as a focal point for campers in this remote area where there is no cell phone service nor any of the conveniences we take for granted in less remote areas. If there is a medical emergency, or a situation needing law enforcement, the Glenns can make a call to get the necessary help.

Story at the Daily Mail

Camping in Autumn

Fall always strikes me as a reflective time in the year. Often people get together for one last big camping trip, hiking trek, weekend jeep expedition, or mountain bike ride. Stories are passed around the camp fire. Memories of summer are recalled. Lots of laughter and reminiscing happens as the sun sets in the west and the marshmallows catch fire over the flames. I always remember fall trips with the family to see fall color in the mountains, riding in the back of the pickup truck, or camping in a canyon in the mountains of Utah. Or memories of deer season, hunting with dad, blaze orange vests contrasting with yellow and crimson leaves in North Canyon, and slices of spam sizzling in the pan over the Coleman stove. Good times indeed.

Taken from Cibola Beacon

October: 10 Outdoor Activities in the UK

  1. Walking Weekeng, Isle of Wight – The Isle of Wight is 500 miles of well-maintained, signposted footpaths aimed at making walking accessible to everyone including children
  2. Enchanted Forest, Perthshire – Renowned for their autumnal displays of color which coincide with the Highland Perthshire Autumn Festival from October 22 to November 7
  3. Cycling the Fens, Cambridge – A new cycle route, The Lodes Way, has opened up inaccessible tracts of Wicken Fen, Britain’s last remaining area of undrained fenland.

See the rest of the activities at Telegraph.co.uk

Off-the-Grid Cabin Camping – Positives and Negatives

If there’s electricity, it’s not an off-grid cabin. Here are the positives and negatives of one off-grid camping experience in particular.

Positives:

  • It’s cold and raining outside but we’re dry, safe, and cozy in a private cabin.
  • We have a wood stove and collected plenty of drywood before the rains came.
  • We just ate a delicious dinner.
  • Our laptop has enough stored energy to write this blog entry.
  • We have each other.
  • We have a living room.
  • There’s an area rug.
  • We have a refrigerator.
  • We haven’t seen a mouse yet.

Negatives:

  • We have no electricity.
  • We have no indoor toilets, and it’s raining outside.
  • There was no dessert.
  • We have no hot water.
  • With only one candle, it’s kind of hard to read.
  • It only has one chair.
  • Said area rug is a flattened piece of discarded cardboard.
  • We found mouse droppings inside.
  • There are loads of indoor insects.

via The Huffington Post

Camping with Dogs in California

If you want to camping with dogs for the first time, it’s best to learn from others, especially from their experiences, first so that you can have an idea of what to expect. I’ve got just the thing for you. Here’s a preview:

Around a smoky campfire littered with camping chairs and coolers, a pack of friends doze, side by side.

Their feet twitch as dreams of a recent trail hike race through their heads. Snow, creeks, varmints … .

These nine friends soon will share tents and campers in a community campsite at Twin Lakes. They have come prepared with all the usual gear: grub, bedrolls, night lights, backpacks and sturdy boots.

By day they will hunt frigid water for fish and trek across rocky terrain; by night they will curl up near a crackling fire and snore.

Man’s best friend is definitely at his best in this wilderness play land.

Read the rest at The Orange County Register

Qatar Almost Ready for Camping Season

Apparently camping is quite popular in Qatar particularly in the Sealine Reserves and Khor al-Udaid with 2000 camps expected on these two areas this season. The camping season in Qatar starts from November 4 and ends on March 30.

A camping permit is required to camp in Qatar which can be obtained by coughing up QR 10,000, returnable when you’re done with camping. There are very strict regulations all aimed at preserving the environment.

Online registration will begin October 17. For more info go to Gulf Times.

No Camping Allowed at Veterans Park

City officials closed camping in the Tennessee River park several months ago in anticipation of a tourist attraction built in conjunction with the nearby Marriott Shoals Hotel and Spa and the adjoining convention center. The tourist attraction was to be part of the Retirement Systems of Alabama-bank rolled development project that included the construction of two Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail courses across the river in Colbert County. To date, there are no plans on the drawing board for a tourist attraction, though several ideas have been mentioned.

More at Times Daily

Enough Food for a 1-year Famine

If you think the near future is going to be a disaster, you need something like this –

It’s called Shelf Reliance Thrive, and it consists of 5,011 servings of freeze-dried or dehydrated white rice, winter wheat, green peas, diced onions, sweet corn, sliced apples, ripe raspberries, lima beans and elbow macaroni with a shelf life of thirty years, not to mention 30 litres of imitation bacon, beef and chicken. These are constructed out of something called Textured Vegetable Protein, the taste and texture of which, Costco promises, “is consistent with real meat.”

This is advertised as being enough food to preserve one person against famine for one year, or to keep a family of four alive in its suburban home (or in its Chevrolet Suburban) for three parlous months, counting down the lima beans to doom. Price: $799.99 US.

Now that’s a lot of food and hopefully you won’t be needing it, ever, but no thanks to what’s happening in the world today and the “Republic-like hyper-inflation”, the Shelf Reliance Thrive seems to be doing quite well.

Read more of the scary stuff.

First Time Safari Experience

Prior to going to Tanzania, I’d never been on a safari holiday of any kind. My expectations were vague, but gleeful. All I knew is that there would definitely be animals somewhere; animals of the kind that temporarily turn adults into children again – elephants, giraffe, lion, zebra, hippo – because probably the last time they’ve had a good look at them was in a storybook.

Read more of Rosita Boland’s surreal safari experience.

Campfire Ban – Sipsey Wilderness Area and Talladega National Forest

Campers at Sipsey Wilderness Area at Bankhead National Forest and wilderness areas in the Talladega National Forest will have to rely on their camp stoves for cooking until October 31 because of dry conditions. Camping grills are also not allowed.

Since cutbacks as a result of the slumping economy, the response to wildfires will be delayed because there are few employees from the state Forestry Commission to fight the fire.

For more info go to Times Daily

Fall Family Events at Lake D’Arbonne State Park

Lake D’Arbonne State Park is offering special events for a month to encourage families to come and enjoy the park.

Here’s the schedule of events:

Oct. 9 — Take-A-Kid Mountain Biking. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. Kids should bring their own bike to ride. Special trails and games will be set-up and four new bikes will be given away. Also, the first 20 kids will receive a free helmet.

Oct. 15 — Square Dancing Party. The local square dance club will teach visitors how to dance. Starts at 7 p.m. at the pavilion located in the campground area.

Oct. 16 — Regional Dutch Oven Gathering. Come early and stay late. Learn to cook “dutch oven style.” Local bluegrass musicians will be entertaining. All bluegrass bands are welcome to come for a day of outdoor relaxation.

Oct. 16 — XMA Adventure Trail Run. Extreme Missionary Adventures support missions all over the world. A donation to this cause is the entry fee. A 5K and 10K Trail Run starts at 7 a.m. For more information, go to www.xmaonline.com.

Oct. 16th — Union Parish Humane Society Poker Run. This fundraiser poker run being held for the benefit of our four-legged friends, will conclude in the park at Pavilion IV. Refreshments will be available. For more information, or to make a donation to the humane society, contact Terri Pratt, 292-2705.

Oct. 23 — Costumes, Camping, Canoe-Kayaking. Set up tents on Saturday for overnight camp-out. Begins at 6 p.m. for a campfire meal. Afterwards put on costumes for a spooky moonlight kayak ride. For more information, go to www.darbonnekayak@gmail.com.

Oct. 30 — Archaeology Day in the Park. Special guest Dennis Jones from the Division of Archaeology and local “archaeological gurus”‘ Fred Stewart and James Harty, will help identify any archaeological objects belonging to visitors. Bring items to have identified. A special excavation site will be set up for the kids so that they may benefit from some ‘hands on’ archaeological experience.

Oct. 30 — Halloween Hayride. The park will holds its annual Trick or Treat Hayride in the Park starting at 6 p.m. Departs from the visitor center and circles through the campground and cabin area for trick or treating and returns to Pavilion III for spooky story telling. Dress in Halloween costume.

More information at The New Star