Author: mountainmanpioneer

Field Test: The Pop-Up Fire Pit You Can Pack in Your Canoe

What is camping without a fire? If you’ve ever spent a relaxing night outside without the warm crackle and hypnotic dance of flame, you know. It is not the same. It’s just sleeping on the ground. And if you’ve ever spent much time running rivers and exploring out West, you know the lengths you’ll go […]

Pre-Trail Depression: An Introduction, My Mission, and an Update

Hello, my name is Logan Nigh, and I  love you. I will be attempting to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail on May 13 heading northbound. In short I am a returned Peace Corps volunteer (Community Economic Development in Berat, Albania), UCSC alumni, former government employee, exercise addict, plant-based consumer, and overall pretty weird guy. I’ve worked two jobs since the age of 15 and a half because I had to help support my family and had to support myself through the duration of my undergraduate career; ...

The post Pre-Trail Depression: An Introduction, My Mission, and an Update appeared first on The Trek.

Park Service Considers Options for Repairing AT Footbridge at Harpers Ferry

The Appalachian Trail footbridge across the Potomac River at Harpers Ferry remains closed to hikers as the National Park Service assesses the damage and considers how to pay for repairs.
The Park Service said on its website that it did not have a timeline for reopening the bridge between West Virginia and Maryland.
Tyrone Brandyburg, National Park Service superintendent for Harpers Ferry, told the Harpers Ferry Town Council in January that CSX owns the train bridge, ...

The post Park Service Considers Options for Repairing AT Footbridge at Harpers Ferry appeared first on The Trek.

The Best Places To Go Hiking In The UK

The UK features a lot of amazing places to go hiking, so picking just 4 places is tricky. I’ve tried to include something for everyone, from stunning strolls through the countryside, to nail-biting scrambles over ridges with steep drops either side.

So, without further ado, let’s get started!

The Best Places To Go Hiking In The UK

Snowdonia, North Wales

Snowdonia features the second highest mountain in the UK, Snowdon standing at an elevation of 1,085m. Though there are lots of walks to do in Snowdonia, Snowdon is by far the most popular and not just because it’s the second highest mountain, it provides amazing views for miles. If you are considering tackling Snowdon, you’ll be glad to know there are several routes to the top of varying difficulties. The easiest being the Llanberis Path and the most difficult being Crib Goch. Though be warned the Llanberis Path is still not easy, at around 9 miles and taking between 4 and 6 hours.

Other great walks in Snowdonia you should check out are Llyn Ogwen circular walk, Tryfan and Rhosgadfan.

 

Isle of Skye, Scotland

The Isle of Skye is located off the north west of Scotland, though there is a bridge so you can still drive over. The landscape on Skye is very rugged and untouched due to its remoteness. Due to its unique landscape, you’re likely to have seen Skye featured in a film you’ve watched such as The BFG, The Wickerman and Macbeth.

You’ll definitely want to check out The Old Man of Storr, an iconic rocky walk which features large sharp rocks emerging from the grassy slope. Although the walk only takes 1-2 hours, a good level of fitness is required.

Other areas you’ll want to visit include Fairy Pools, The Quiraing and Neist Point.

 

Lake District, Cumbria

Located in the North West of England, the Lake District is home to many bodies of water (16 in total!). The most famous being Lake Windermere, the largest in England measuring 5.69 sq miles. All of the bodies of water have scenic walks for you to explore, it’s just a matter of picking which one!

If you’re looking for a challenge, why not try and tackle one of the largest mountains in England, Scafell Pike, at a height of 978 meters. For those without a fear of heights, you’ll want to head to Helvellyn and take the route up via Striding Edge, this ridge walk will get anyone’s adrenaline pumping.

 

Peak District, Derbyshire

The Peak District is located to the centre of England so is easily accessible for people travelling from all directions, making it a popular spot for hiking in the UK. It hosts beautiful scenery in every direction, from moors as far as the eye can see to springs of water and caverns to explore.

Some the best walks to look at doing include Kinder Scout, a 14km circular walk that climbs Jacob’s Ladder, crosses Kinder Plateau and then down Grindsbrook Clough. Something a little shorter, Mam Tor at 8km is an easier walk but still provides amazing views of Edale Valley.

 

Whichever of the places for hiking in the UK you choose to visit for your next hiking adventure, you’re sure to have a great time. Make sure to check weather conditions before heading out as some walks mentioned can become extremely difficult if you’re not prepared.

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Gear Guide: Must Haves for Camping and Hiking

When the summer months come around, campers start gettting excited to carry on with their long-awaited hiking trips. Of course, every trip would be incomplete without a great selection of high-quality essential gear. Forget the cool gadgets for camping, these are the essentials, the must haves for camping and hiking.

Packing for a camping trip also depends on what kind of trip you have in mind. If you’re driving to another city or planning small day hikes from a populated town, you can carry a big stove. If you’re hiking more than 30 miles, you would prefer taking along a more portable stove that is both lightweight and easy to use.

The most suitable gear for both hiking and camping depends on weight and ease of packing. So make sure you do your homework when buying the right equipment for your perfect getaway trip. Whether you’re a beginner to hiking or a pro, we’ve got you covered.

Must Have for Camping

Tents

Tents for overnight hiking or camping are available in a variety of sizes and prices. If you want to travel long distances and prefer carrying lightweight stuff, then you should look for a swag, bedroll or a portable, lightweight, waterproof bivy sack. Bedrolls and bivy sacks are robust, shapeless and waterproof bags that can readily convert into sleeping bags and are easy to set up almost anywhere. These bags help you keep off from the ground, and those with mosquitos nets are definitely a blessing.

Search Amazon for available tents.

 

Clothing

Comfortable, weatherproof clothing is a must for your camping trip. Water resistant pants, shorts and shoes manufactured with breathable material makes climbing and trekking a lot easier. A rain jacket may also come handy in unpredictable weather. To dry yourself clean use a microfiber towel as it absorbs moisture and dries rapidly.

 

Solar Chargers

With the help of a portable solar charger, you don’t have to miss any Facebook post or email notification anymore just because your phone battery is dead. Invest in a long-lasting and durable charger that can accompany you throughout your trip.

 

Backpacks

Backpacks help you differentiate between a camping trip and a hiking trip. If you’re camping, you don’t really need a backpack, but it is a must-have if you’re planning to go on small hikes.

Backpacks fall into various categories, including day backpacks (read our list of top functional and stylish daypacks), overnights, and long trips. Make sure to purchase a backpack that fits you perfectly. If it doesn’t, you might end up with blisters and backache during the journey.

 

A First Aid Kit

Carrying a first aid kit along with you on your trip shouldn’t come off as a surprise. Stack your box with the usual aspirin, bandages, gauze, and painkillers. It’s better to do some research too before heading out. Include some camping essentials like bug sprays, Aloe Vera and moleskin for blisters and burns.

This ready-made first aid kit is ideal for camping and hiking as it is compact, organised, water-resistant, lightweight and includes over 100 items.

 

Must Have For Hikers

Hiking is comparatively riskier than camping. To have a good time you can ask a friend to accompany you on your trip.

Sightseeing Binoculars

If you have a little extra cash on your hand to spend, make sure to invest in a good pair of binoculars. You could even purchase digital binoculars that will automatically record everything you see. Sony recently launched DEV Digital Recording binoculars that work in high resolution even under water. So the next time you go back home from your hiking trip, you can boastfully tell tales of you spotting deadly crocodiles under water.

 

GPS

One of the major problems that could hinder your hiking is mediocre phone connectivity. This is a considerable risk, especially if you are heavily relying on internet and GPS connection. For long-haul hiking trips purchase software rather than your phone’s inbuilt GPS. Most smartphones have miserable battery life and are not compatible with hiking trips. A durable, long-lasting GPS unit has comprehensive geographic maps that also serve as compasses.

Garmin has a range of great handheld GPS's that are great for hiking, compare their options here.

 

Hiking Boots

What shoes you carry along, depends on the type of trip you’re planning to go for. Regular sneakers are just fine, but if your trip is long and requires a lot of climbing and trekking then you might want to pack high-performance hiking boots that provide support, protection, balance your movements, and rigidity while running and climbing.

Boots inevitably make a lot of noise, but they are definitely sturdier than sneakers. They are perfect for people who like getting their shoes dirty in the mud. While planning a hiking trip you specifically want to invest in trail runners, hiking boots and approach shoes. Trail runners are lightweight and provide very little ankle stability. They are perfect for jumping and climbing.   

Approach shoes are a combination of hiking boots and trail runners. They are suitable for climbing and have greater a life expectancy. Most people prefer approach shoes, but overall hiking boots do the job perfectly well too.

 

Hydration Material

Whether you’re hiking short distances or long, there is no such thing as enough water. Carry as much water as possible, so you stay hydrated the whole time. But if you’re backpacking, you’ll have a hard time carrying water, and you’ll require a filtration system. Holding bottles in hands while climbing is definitely risky, we suggest you purchase Iodine tablets or a hydration pack that attaches to your backpack (like this one), allowing you free movement.

 

Trekking Poles

Trekking poles, hiking sticks or walking sticks, you name it. Some hikers swear by these useful tools to help them pass through the steep landscape and provide support on rocky terrain. However, these sticks could be painful to pack, and we recommend you keep them home unless you suffer from a bad leg or knee and require support throughout your trip.

 

Paper Maps

Remember you’re out there in the wild, chances are you’ll have zero connectivity. It is reliable to carry paper maps along with you in case your phone GPS gives up on you. You can easily print a map online or purchase it at a minimum cost from the local camping station.

 

These were some of the essentials that you need to carry on every camping or hiking trip with you. They not only come handy but are also lifesaving. So what are you waiting for? Get out there and enjoy! 

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Crockpot Lentil Soup

When’s the last time you tried lentil soup? If your answer was anything other than “I just polished off a bowl!” then it’s time to give this Crockpot Lentil Soup recipe a whirl. While they might not appear especially riveting sitting in their simple plastic bag, lentils will surprise you. I like to compare them […]

The post Crockpot Lentil Soup is found on Well Plated by Erin.

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