Learn to Leave No-Trace

Sadly, there are still people in the world who want to see every acre of land, every plant, mineral, wildlife and water resource exploited for its maximum short-term economic reward. And there are others who would like to see our remaining wild areas preserved as museums where no human is allowed except, perhaps, for scientific study.

Then there are the rest of us, who just want to be able to get out in the outdoors and have fun. We want to visit beautiful, wild places and enjoy them. I think most of us hope in our hearts that they will still be there for generations to come.

Do these things when you’re in the outdoors so that others can enjoy nature as you just did:

  • When hiking, stay in the middle of the trail to minimize erosion of new soil and widening of trail
  • Carry your litter and others if you find any lying around
  • Use only downed, dead wood on established firepits or better yet, use a camp stove for cooking
  • Camp on durable surfaces
  • Dispose your own waste properly

If each of us takes the maximum amount of enjoyment that we can from our time outdoors, while consciously having as little overall impact as we possibly can, that leaves more for our kids and our kid’s kids?

via Nashua Telegraph

A Guide to The Ultimate Yosemite Day Hike

Sara Stout, who resides in the Jupiter, FL area, had a once-in-a-lifetime experience, mastering Yosemite’s Half Dome hike in her fifties. She writes: “I just returned from my first trip to Yosemite (I’ve been waiting to go there since I was 14! – I’m in my 50’s ….) where I hiked Half Dome , ‘Yosemite’s Most Demanding Day Hike.’ They weren’t kidding!!! It was awesome but the absolute hardest thing I’ve ever done. My friends asked, ‘Why?’ and ‘How did you do it being a Floridian?’ and ‘What did you Experience?’ and I wrote up an account of my experience.” Sara is sharing that account with TravelSmart. Thanks Sara, and congratulations on your accomplishment!

Here are some of the tips:

  • Be physically prepared – Train your body to get it accustomed to walking at least 10 miles. Sara trained for at least 4 1/2 months.

Still, how do you get ready for such a grueling 14 – 17 mile trek when you live in Florida where we barely have hills? By finding places that do have some elevation challenges. But first you must accustom your body to hiking at least 10 miles and the best way is to work up to this amount by starting with only a 1 – 3 mile walk if you haven’t been exercising regularly. Do this for a few weeks until it feels too easy and add on miles gradually. When I was training for the marathon I would do a three-mile power walk one day, the next day insert some short sprints within the three-mile walk, and later in the week (usually Saturdays as I had more time) I would add on a mile or two, then return to the regular walk and the sprint walk the following week. After a few weeks the regular walks increased as did the Saturday long walks.

  • Try looking for the trailhead the day before the hike

We threw our duffle bags on the cots and went off in search of the trailhead knowing we’d be hiking to the trailhead before dawn the next morning. It was dark at this point so it turned out to be excellent prep to find the trail.

  • Start early

To get to the trailhead from Camp Curry we simply walked up the bus loop road to the Happy Isles Stop Number 16 and onto a bridge that crossed the Merced River. The trailhead was just past the bridge on the right. We could see the rock walls in the moonlight and below we spotted a young couple with headlamps coming off the trail. When we spoke with them they confirmed they were just finishing their Half Dome hike (they had left at 8 am and it was currently 9 pm) and they said that even though their feet were killing them it was worth the effort.

  • Carry lots of water and some important gear

Feeling somewhat smug knowing that we planned to be on the trail by 6 am (and we were certain we’d finish before dark) we returned to the tent eager to prepare our packs for the next day’s adventure: A Camelbak backpack containing four liters of water as suggested by the NPS  (a two- liter water reservoir with an additional two-liter bottles of Smartwater which has electrolytes); sturdy telescoping hiking poles to take some weight as we hiked; a large bag of home-made trail mix, apples, beef jerky and a celebratory Snickers bar for the summit. Hat, camera, cell phone, sunglasses, first aid kit, flashlights and sunscreen completed the pack.

More tips for Hiking Yosemite’s Half Dome

Be Good To Your Knees – Using Trekking Poles

Hiking is tough on the knees, especially when you’re carrying a heavy backpack. Even when you’re young, it’s wise to go easy on your knees so that at a later age you can still enjoy hiking.

Thank God for trekking poles. By using these, you take some of the pressure off your legs when you’re walking. They give you a boost when you go uphill, absorb some of the impact as you go downhill and give you a better workout.

Trekking poles
also help you establish a rhythm when you hike. Your hike becomes much more efficient when you have rhythm.

The trekking pole is one such important backpacking equipment.

That Gotta Hurt

CactusA man hiking in McDowell Sonoran Preservenear Scottsdale, Arizona, fell onto a cactus not even a mile up the trail. Ouch!

He was rescued by firefighters who brought him down using the stokes basket and big wheel and provided onsite treatment.

What a bummer. He was so looking forward to the trip.

The guy in the picture is not him btw.

Silk as a Base Layer for Hiking?

I’ve never used silk as a base layer before but apparently they’re the perfect base layer for hiking because the properties of silk are temperature regulating and it keeps you cool during exercise.

The soft texture and the wicking properties keeps you comfortable as you’re hiking. Sounds about right but this comes from the people who sell silk, Patra Selections. Go figure.

Search for Missing Hiker Ended

Former soldier, 52-year-old Micheal Egglestone of Nettlesworth left his villa in Benichembla, near Alicante, on June 1 to trek up Monte Cocoll.

He has never been seen since that day and volunteers have already given up the search because of the slim chance that he will ever be found alive. One of the volunteers, Dr Geoff Hall, a retired GP from Yorkshire who had spent almost 10 years hiking in the area said no trace of Egglestone or his clothing has been found. Nine others are involved in the search.

Monte Cocoll is a remote area with overgrown paths and no natural water supply.

Volunteers end search for hiker.

Clothing Tips for the Appalachian Trail


There are some very good tips on the video on hiking clothing. Some of the key points are:

For men

  • Wear pants that can be converted into shorts
  • Do not wear any cotton as it absorbs moisture
  • Use clothes made of breathable material
  • In cold weather wear lightweight clothing in layers

For Women

  • One bra is sufficient because you’ll be able to wash it
  • Bring along a pack towel
  • You can use you unused clothing as pillow stuffing
  • No cotton
  • Tank top recommended
  • Hat recommended
  • Wear pants that convert into shorts (like the men’s above)
  • Liner socks are important
  • Invest in high quality socks and boots
  • Fleece for cold weather

Use Meetup to Find Hiking Partners

How do you find a partner when you don’t have anyone to go hiking with? You can try the cool site I just found. Meetup.com is about finding people on the internet to spend time with offline. You can find a lot of groups with a huge range interests from absailing to camping to soccer.


Go to Meetup.com and click sign up. All they ask for is your first name, an email address, password and location. Birth date, address and last name not required.

When you’re signed up, click on “find a meetup group.”

Under topics of internet, type in hiking (or something else) and your zip code. Now not all of these groups are going to be for you but can at least filter most by selecting the mile radius option.

To join, you click on the name of the group. On the group’s page, look for the button that says “join us.” Once you click it, some groups ask you to introduce yourself. You can, or you can skip it, your call.

Spring is Here and It’s Time to go Hiking

Spring to a lot of people is the best time to hike and camp. It’s the time of the year when it’s not too hot and not too cold.

This is also the time when flowers are blooming and the landscape in filled with beautiful colors.

Spring is when I did my first hiking trip in Scotland. There were five of us and none have any experience hiking in the Great Glen Way where we first ventured out. What’s great about hiking in Europe is the variety of hiking accommodation you get to choose from.

The first day we set up a tent. The second we stayed at a backpacker’s hostel. The third, a lodge. The fourth and final day we camped again in the outdoors.

We went on the same trip again in winter. While it was a different experience, we all agreed that we had a better time in spring. In spring, the place is booming with life. There’s a show everywhere you look and a lot of the tourist destinations are open.

Expect just about every hostel, lodge or bed and breakfast to be full so be sure to book early. Just in case anything doesn’t go to plan, bring along a bivvy if you’re alone or a tent if you’re with a group.

Still Hiking Strong at 79

Jack Pomeroy is a 79 year old hiking leader who has taken at least 4,5000 people with him on hikes since 1989. Despite his age, he showed great energy and enthusiasm clambering over slippery boulders or scrambling on all fours up a steep granite boulder.

Many men half his age wouldn’t able to do what he did on that hike he did with a group of North County hikers on the way to the Bottle Peak Summit near Lake Wohlford. What’s special about this hike is that he only does it once a year and you need to have special permission because it’s on private land. Mr Pomeroy led 84 hikes to Bottle Peak and Bernardo Mountain. He also led 80 hikes with the Caballeros de Aventuras.

Pomeroy is a legend because he knows the place where he hikes really well. It’s like having a walking encyclopedia with you when he’s around. He is a U.S. Geological Survey retiree and spent most of his career mapping and spent 15 years making maps of potential landslide areas in the Appalachian Mountains.

While a lot of people in his age group would struggle going to the bathroom, Pomeroy is leading young men up mountains through the woods. He doesn’t believe in going the gym. Hiking is probably one of the best workouts you can do. When you get into the rhythm, you’d go further than you ever thought you could. The use of hydration packs like the Camelbak Mule can help you keep the rhythm while keeping you hydrated.

The old legend  is also a big promoter of protecting the environment.

Hiking in the mountains of Thailand

This looks like an interesting place to hike. Crytal caves, warm weather, exotic fruits, beautiful view, exotic flowers, are all great but because it’s hot you generally don’t get as much miles per day as you would in cold weather. But these guys are using a jeep anyway. It’s good fun though.