Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tuesday Travels' TIPs & TRICKs

I have received a few questions about hiking and a request to post about camping. So here goes...Part 1.

Do I go hiking often? Of course this depends on your definition of 'often'. I have been going hiking maybe once a week since the weather has gotten nice. Hiking up steep snowy mountains to beat cabin fever, get some exercise, and just plain be outside enjoying the view and fresh air.

A little tired after a 1500 ft vertical hike in the snow. We summited just before sunset. Even though we didn't bring our snowboards or even sleds, that didn't stop us from sledding down on our backsides. Sooo fun!

Hiking up the hill near our house to sit in the hot tub. Hiking to the beach to fly the kite. Hiking to a new remote spot on the lake to avoid hurting people while my bf is still learning to kite board (and to hang out with friends).

from this past Sunday

Hiking to a good camping spot. And then this weekend, I am going to Yosemite National Park for the first time. We were planning to hike up half-dome (a 14-16 mile round trip), but it is not open yet due to the late spring snow. We will, however, be hiking to waterfalls and such so I will share the pictures with you next week.

here are some of my other hiking trips from the past year. in Arkansas. in the Outer Banks. at Linville Gorge in North Carolina. Pisgah National Forest (my first backpacking trip). Mills Creek backpacking trip (among other things) in North Carolina. Morro Bay in California. along the Yuba River in California.

What do I pack? Well, if we are only going to be gone a few hours or less, I typically only bring water.
A camel bag is nice if you don't need to carry much else. A nalgene is good if you need to bring a bag (aka 'book' bag or day pack, basically a small pack) for carrying other things. Here in Tahoe I usually bring a stocking cap, a wind breaker, kleenex, a snack, and my camera. Depending on the time of year, the geographical location, and the time of day, other items may include: sunscreen (whoops, we forgot it this weekend), bug spray, sunglasses and/or a cap with a bill to keep the sun off your face, an mp3 player, a head lamp is essential if you're out after dark, and other items depending on the activities during the hike (such as a kite or beach towel). Different hikes call for different measures.

What do I not touch? Basically anything that might harm me. I didn't do much hiking growing up and I lived in the city so I never had exposure to poisonous plants... therefore I still wouldn't be able to identify poison ivy (which is found in Kansas where I grew up) if I saw it. I am lucky and tend to hike with my eagle-scout-of-a-boyfriend who has taught me to spot poison oak (which is found in California, etc.). I also avoid snakes of all kinds, spiders, and biting insects. Although no one 'touches' ticks or mosquitoes, they are something to be mindful of. It is smart to look yourself over or have a loved one look you over for ticks within 24hrs of your hike (or every 24 hrs while you are camping). If you have no experience with ticks and tick removal, I recommend checking out this site. If you are new to hiking or new to the area you are hiking in, I recommend to google the location for poisonous plants, animals, and other harmful elements (such as avalanches, etc).

I hope this gets you started hiking instead of scaring you away from it. Hiking is great exercise and it can take you to places that you could never see otherwise.

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