Friday, August 14, 2009
If you hike a lot, chances are you've either come across others using trekking poles on their hike or you may utilize them yourself. I'll admit, when I first saw others using them, I thought- How dorky! Who would want to use ski poles to hike- haven't they ever heard of hiking sticks?! But as I hiked more and more, I started to see the advantages of using trekking poles.
They provide better footing, transfer some of the weight off your back, are easier on your knees and can aid in hiking over slippery or steep trail.
When my husband bought me my Leki trekking poles for my graduation present, I was excited to finally try them out. When I did, I was astounded I did not want them sooner! I felt like I was flying down the trail with those poles! My husband commented that I hike much faster and more confidently than I ever did before. Now, I won't go anywhere without them :-).
LEKI Luau Trekking Poles - Women's
These beauties are the best thing since sliced bread (ok, maybe just the best thing since hiking poles came out). What I love about my pair is that they are tailored to women (complete with a cool luau design). They are easy to close and adjust and sturdy (they don't ever collapse on me). Best of all? LIFETIME warranty. Meaning if you ever do manage to break these suckers, Leki will replace them for you free of charge!
My husband paid over a hundred dollars for my poles, but right now they are on sale at amazon.com for only $70! That's like over 40% off the original price. I am a little mad mine cost so much more, but that's what happens when new and exciting gear comes out.
Click here to snag this amazing deal!
Friday, August 7, 2009
Many times, our technology can give the false illusion of safety. Increasing numbers of people have started to rely on GPS units in the back-country and for navigation. Although this can be a handy tool, basic map and compass skills are still a vital and necessary asset for survival.
This Fox News article, covers the recent death of an 11 year old boy who died from dehydration in Death Valley National Park. The story quotes:
The story goes on to say that
An 11-year-old boy died in the intense heat of Death Valley National Park after he and his mother became stranded in one of the world's most inhospitable areas and survived for several days on bottled water, Pop-Tarts and cheese sandwiches, authorities said Friday.
Alicia Sanchez, 28, was found severely dehydrated and remained hospitalized in Las Vegas a day after being found with her dog, her dead son and a Jeep Cherokee buried up to its axles in sand.
She told rescuers in California's San Bernardino County that her son Carlos died Wednesday, days after she fixed a flat tire and continued into Death Valley, relying on directions from a GPS device in the vehicle.
"A GPS does not replace a map, a compass, checking in at the visitor center and letting people know where you're going to be," Pennington said.
He said searchers mistakenly looked late Wednesday for Sanchez in campgrounds in the Panamint Mountains, based on family members' reports that she planned to camp in free sites and visit the Scotty's Castle attraction in the far northeast corner of the vast national park.
This story illustrates how vital it is to take precautions while traveling in the back-country. Always let someone know your itinerary and check in with officials before starting out. Always carry a map and a compass. You never know what will happen in the back-country wilderness. Do not rely on technology to save you. Rely on yourself.Be prepared and give the wilderness the respect it deserves. To read about how you can hone your back-country skills if you become lost, click here. We've had some close calls ourselves.
Enter the new Marmot Mica Jacket. A wonderful melting of breathable waterproof fabric that's completely lightweight. And it's not just lightweight- it's comfortable. The softness of the jacket makes it easy to wear even if only a slight drizzle interrupts your hike.
Not convinced? How about a video showing off it's greatest assets? The Webtogs video review of the Marmot Mica Jacket (for men) gives you a short and informative high-quality overview of the jacket from a hiker's point of view. You'll get to see this jacket in motion as a member of the Webtogs team explains the specs in detail.
Highlights of the Marmot Mica Jacket:
- Lightweight (bulkiness cut down through use of waterproof seaming)
- Breathable (constructed of MemBrain Strata fabric)
- Adjustable (velcro cuff, elastic draw cords)
- Zippered pockets
Although buying quality gear can be more expensive, it's certainly worth it in the long run. When you're climbing the Appalachian Mountains and are caught in a downpour, you'll see what I mean. You can't put a price on dryness in the back-country! As I've said before- "Good gear is gear that you can count on even in the worst of times".
To read Cincinnati Hiker's Berghaus hiking boot review, click here. To watch more videos produced by Webtogs, click here.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Hang a "Master List" in the closet that holds your gear.
We decided to print ours out and laminate it, that way we can cross off things we have with a marker and wipe it clean for next time. This is a great time saver, since we don't have to hunt down where the list is- it's already there! Make a checklist for day hikes and backpacking trips and categorize them by seasons. Since hiking in the winter requires additional gear, have a separate list for it.
RePack each backpack at the end of each trip, leaving out only food, water, toiletries and clothing.
This saves a huge amount of time. Wash everything that needs to be immediately after each trip and repack. Make a separate list of items that belong in the pack permanently. Make sure to leave out items like sleeping bags so that they don't loose their fill, especially if they are down. Now all you need to do for the next trip is grab and go!
Sort through gear at the end of every trip and re-evaluate.
Determine at the end of each trip, when your memory is the freshest, whether you needed or used a particular item. If it's not one of the 10 essentials and you don't use it, toss it. This helps to bring down over-all pack weight over time. Make a list of items that need replacing and repairing as well, such as first aid items that were used or a broken tent zipper. If you don't do it now, chances are you will forget and have trouble during your next trip.
These system has worked out great so far, and I cannot imagine going back to my former scurrying!
Do you have a system/strategy when it comes to storing gear for the next trip? Share in the comments below!