Trekking Himalayas – A Journey to Heaven

An expedition towards the high-end of Himalayas is just like following the path to Heaven. None of us can deny to have spend childhood without hearing fairy tales, which says that God reside in the unending sky. Our religious scripture has also highlighted great Saints, who have spend their time in the icy peaks of Himalayas. Therefore, in order to find as what lies up, many has made their mind to explore her beauty, annually in moderate climatic pressure.

The mighty Himalayan ranges spreads over southeast to northwest part of Asia and separates the Indian subcontinent from the Tibetan Plateau. Across the many hilly regions, the pious Ganges and the Brahmaputra makes the way to cascade, all the year round. Besides, the silent flow of Jhelum, Chenab, Ravi, Beas and Sutlej demarcates the valley’s beauty from other wonders in the world.

Himalayan Trekking Destinations:

Ladakh:
The sought after adventure destination-Himachal Pradesh is trekkers’ paradise. The Lahaul & Spiti district offers some high altitude trials, which remain snowy in extreme winter days. Miyar Valley, Darcha-Baralacha Pass, along the Manali-Leh highway, Palemo, Ladakh-Zanskar trek are some most popular trekking routes in the state.

Garhwal:
The mighty Himalayas in Garhwal measures about 3566 meters in altitude and suggest many trekking routes like, Har Ki Doon Trek, Roop Kund Trek, Nanda Devi National Park Trek, Valley of Flowers Trek and Gangotri Tapovan Trek.

Kumaon:
The Kumaon region is home to some of the best-known hill-stations in India. The magnificent beauty of Himalayas can be enjoyed with exploring Pindari Glacier Trek, Namik Glacier Trek, Kafni Glacier Trek, Sunderdhunga Glacier Trek and Sinla Pass Trek.

Sikkim:
A wonderful trekking experience can be grabbed with visiting the north-eastern state of Sikkim. The grandeur beauty of Himalayan pumps up the spirit of adrenaline lovers and indicate them to walk through the treks like, Yuksom to Dzongri, The Goecha La, Singalila Ridge, kanchenjunga base camp trek etc.

The religious Amarnath Yatra is performed by almost all Hindu devotees, during the month from July to August. The task of trekking begins from Pahalgam to Chandanwari to Sheshnag to Panchtarni and finally to the holy Amarnath caves.

Trek Himalaya – The Youngest and Highest Mountains of the World

Trekking is one of the most preferred activities for the adventure enthusiasts. It gives great adventure and great pleasure. But the interest gets doubled when you learn that you can trek the youngest and highest mountain system of the world. It will be really a lifetime experience to trek the Great Himalaya. Himalaya is also called as ‘abode of snow’ as the mountains remain covered with the snow.

Himalaya, the pride of Nepal holds eight of fourteen highest mountain peaks of the world. Such peaks include Mount Everest, Makalu, Lhotse, Chooyu, Kanchenjunga, Annapurna, Dhaulagiri and Manaslu. The mountain ranges of Himalaya great trekking trails to the tourists to enjoy the trekking experiences. The Himalayan ranges of Nepal are great theatre where you can enjoy many mountainous activities and see the still cinema of beautiful landscape. Mountain climbers, trekkers, hikers and other mountain lovers visit Nepal frequently to get the great lifetime experience.

Along with trekking mountain trails, tourists can also see the breathtaking beauty and unique culture of Nepal. Tourists have a wonderful opportunity to explore the culture and natural wealth of the mountain land. Besides trekking, tourists can also enjoy adventure games like sky diving, river rafting, hiking, mountain gaming, peak climbing Nepal and others.

In the course of trekking Himalayas, you will pass through many mountain villages and will get opportunity to interact with local innocent people dwelling life there. You can also meet tribal people there on the altitude. Himalaya is itself a big base for wonderful ecology. Varied species of flora and fauna survive in the foothills of Himalaya. Visit Nepal and explore the exotic species of flora and fauna.

However, it is important to inform you that if you are planning to climb on high altitude, you must undertake the daring challenge under the guidance of an expert trek guide. You can easily get a guide with consultation with a trekking agency in Nepal. There are many agencies in Nepal that provide guide and trekking equipment. They guide the tourists to make the trekking tour safe and interesting. An expert guide has idea regarding dangerous trails and landslide areas. Landslide is very common in hilly and mountainous area. You must protect yourself from natural calamities like landslide, mountain storm, etc. So, you must begin your journey accompanying a trekking guide. Do not forget to carry compass, map, first-aid kit, stick and other equipment required on the trip. Do not make your bag too heavy. You have to walk long. Follow these tips and make your trekking tour to Himalaya a great experience for lifetime.

Hiking the Bibbulmun Track, Australia

Southwest Australia is one of the worlds 25 biodiversity hotspots and this walk will take you through many of the habitats that make this region so spectacular and world renowned. The entire walk takes six to eight weeks to complete or can be done in shorter stages and is exclusively for walkers only, if you are interested in mountain biking please see the Munda Biddi trail article. The Munda Biddi trail takes a similar course and runs from Kalamunda to Albany as well.

Towns along the trail can be days apart, the longest being 12 days walk so it is important that you carry plenty of food and water. The only source of water on the track is at the campsites which are located a days walk apart, the rain is collected in rainwater tanks which are not filled by any other means. Water may be limited after summer so if you are planning on walking in April/May keep this in mind.

Unlike other famous trails the Bibbulmun is not very crowded and it could be days between seeing other hikers. But it can get busy on long weekends and holidays particularly at the campsites that are easily accessible.

When to go:

Temperatures in the region varies during the year, summer (December – March) is hot and dry with bush fires being a real threat. So the track should be walked in the cooler months (notice cooler- don’t be surprised if in the middle of winter there is at least a few days with temps above 25OC) any time between April and November. October and November can be really hot and dry, and nights get cold in late winter and early spring. Most rain falls in July and August and the southern half of the trail tends to get more rain.

The wildflower season peaks in September and October, can vary based on rainfall and temperatures. The bush comes alive with hundreds of different flowers and colours and should be seen.

Mosquitoes are found throughout the year on the track and the open shelters don’t provide protection from them so a mosquito net is recommended to prevent possible infection with River Ross Virus, some walkers will use the shell (sealed inner) from their tent for protection.

Route:

The track can be walked in both directions, with walkers choosing the direction that suits them or is easier to travel too (more on this later). The most common way to walk is from north to south. The track passes through the towns of Kalamunda, Dwellingup, Collie, Balingup, Pemberton, Northcliffe, Walpole, Denmark and Albany where hikers stay for one or two nights to resupply, wash their clothes and enjoy the hospitality.

The track is well marked with triangular markers with a snake on it, although snakes are commonly found in the bush it is not a warning to walkers, the snake is the Waugal which is a mythological rainbow serpent from the Aboriginal dreamtime. The track is broken down into 9 sections with 8 maps:

Getting There:

If you are walking the entire track you will need to get to/from Kalamunda and Albany. The northern trailhead is on the corner of Mundaring Weir Road and Railway Road, Kalamunda. From the Esplanade busport in Perth you can catch the 282, 296, 299 buses. Check out Transperth for timetables and fees. A taxi from Perth cbd to Kalamunda cost approximately Aud$55, and Aud$36 from the Airport.

The southern trailhead is 409km south of Perth at the Old Railway Station on Proudlove Parade, Albany. Transwa provides buses between Perth and Albany for Aud$59.90 one way. Skywest provides flights to and from Albany for min $186.

Transwa also offers buses from many of the towns along the track to Perth if you want a shorter walk.

Accommodation:

For the majority of the walk you will be camping. There are 49 campsites spaced a day’s walk apart and each has a three-sided timber shelter and are designed to sleep 8-15 people. They are free and offered on a first come first served basis so you should be bring a tent for times when the shelter is full. Each campsite also has a sit-down pedestal pit toilet, rainwater tank, picnic tables and tent sites.

In the towns there are no campsites so you will need to stay in alternative accommodation,

Costs:

Their are no fees to walk the track and stay at the campsites, you will need to pay for accommodation in the towns, food, maps and equipment. There are 8 water resistant rip-proof colour maps that cover the entire track and are essential when taking on the Bibbulmun track as well as 2 compact guidebooks which show car access points, campsites, terrain profiles and distance tables. These are available here, and at some visitor information centres.

Individual maps (1-8) cost Au$11.50 each ($92 total)

or

Northern half map pack (1 to 4) cost Au$42

Southern half map pack (5 to 8) cost Au$42 ($84 total)

Northern Guidebook – covers Kalamunda to Donnelly River Village and includes map 1 to 4 cost Au$35

Southern Guidebook – covers Donnelly River Village to Albany and includes map 5 to 8 cost Au$35

Guided or Solo:

This is a walk that is best done at your own pace and with your own itinerary, if you want to stay a couple of days in a town go ahead or want to skip one you can. But because of the length of time required (not many people have 8 weeks free), or lack of hiking experience there are tours along the track that take in the best sections. The foundation offers tours in May and September that run for 9 days.

Hiking Safety And The Benefits Of Using A Waterproof Phone Case

When you venture out in to the county side or mountains to go hiking what equipment do you take? You are advised to take equipment like warm layered clothing, wet weather gear, something that can be used as a shelter, extra food ration, etc.

It pays to plan well, so some precautions you might want to take are

  • Check the weather forecast,
  • Let someone know where you intend to hike and how long you expect to be away,
  • Check you gear to make sure you have packed it,
  • Make sure nothing is damaged,
  • Take a couple of lighters, or some sort of fire starter,
  • Take a GPS if possible,
  • An up to date map,
  • Make sure you have a personal first aid kit,
  • Take a fully charged phone or a couple if you have a spare one,
  • Try to hike with some else so you are not alone,

Why are you advised to take the precautions above, because unintentionally it is easy to get lost while out hiking. According to an article published by the Wilderness Medical Society from 1992 to 2007 there were 78,488 people involved in 65,439 search and rescue incidents, this includes 2,659 fatalities.

So you are out hiking and it starts to rain heavily, you have your wet weather gear on, but what about the other things you are taking with you like your GPS, Mobile Phone, and Maps? Are they protected from the elements?

Rain water tends to get into everything especially if you are out in the open and the rain is heavy. It tends to find it way through wet weather gear and could damage you electronics. A cheap and effective way to protect your electronics is to look at buying a waterproof phone case, the type I’m talking about is a PVC vinyl case with interlocking latches.

The waterproof phone cases are multifunctional and as well as protecting your phone they can be used for your GPS, lighters, credit cards, cash, batteries, maps as well as anything else that is phone sized. Yes Maps, because they have a clear vinyl window so that when you place your map in the pouch you will still be able to view it. Mobile phones and other touch screen electronics are still functional while in the waterproof phone case and you can still read and write texts, open programs and use the touch screen just like you would if it wasn’t in the case. The cases are strong enough to take the knocks and bump associated with been outdoors and come with lanyard so you can wear it around your neck making it easily accessible. If you enjoy other outdoor activities along side hiking, you will be able to make use of the waterproof cases, for instance use them while diving as the cases are waterproof to 100 feet.


Best Hiking/Biking Trails in VenturaCountyWest

Spring offers some of the best weather in Southern California and with the spring-break crowds back in school, the perfect time for an “outdoorsy” weekend getaway. Some of the most scenic, yet easy-to-get-to hiking and biking trails in California are found in VenturaCountyWest.

Start a relaxing bicycle or hiking adventure at the mouth of the Ventura River (there is free parking on Main Street) and head south. You will pass the Ventura County Fairgrounds, a bird sanctuary and then ride along a path with magnificent ocean views. Choose to stop at the historic Ventura Pier where you can eat lunch or travel a little farther and picnic at a grass-covered area at San Buenaventura State Beach.

For those that aren’t part of the beach crowd, hikers and bikers can travel along the Ventura River Trail. The trailhead is at the intersection of Rex and Dubbers streets and follows the old Southern Pacific Railroad right-of-way. It is an easy 6.3-mile hike or bike ride to Foster Park where you can picnic under the shade trees. Be sure to stop at the interpretive signs along the path to take in the trail’s rich history.

Enjoy a four-mile hike from McGrath State Beach to McGrath Lake and try to spot some of the more than 245 bird species that make the park one of the best birdwatching areas in California. The trail takes you along the beach to enjoy the sun and surf and then you wind along the riverbanks of the Santa Clara Estuary Natural Preserve. To make a day of it, start from the McGrath State Beach trailhead and go all the way to Channel Islands Harbor, a worthwhile 12 mile round trip to relax at one of the waterside restaurants or walk along the marina and take in the outstanding views.

Bike rentals are available on Ventura’s Main Street at Ventura Bike Depot and at Wheel Fun Rentals, with locations at the Ventura Beach Marriott, Embassy Suites Mandalay Beach Hotel & Resort, Holiday Inn Express & Suites Ventura Harbor, Hampton Inn Channel Islands Harbor, Crowne Plaza Ventura Beach and Four Points by Sheraton Ventura Harbor Resort.

Near the base of the Conejo Grade is Camarillo Grove Park, which features easy to moderate hikes with panoramic views of valleys and hills. Hikers will come across a multitude of plant life including oak trees, sage and cactus. The area is a favorite location for birdwatching.

Channel Islands National Park

For a truly inspirational and freeing day, take an 11-mile boat trip with Island Packers and hike on one of the islands in Channel Islands National Park. Besides the breathtaking views of the ocean and coastline, the islands feature unique animals and plant life not found anywhere else in the world. Every level of hiking trail is available. Park rangers also offer guided tours.

Hiking Experience

To have an enjoyable hiking experience, you need to prepare adequately to make sure that you have all you need for your expedition before embarking on it. Furthermore, there are some precautionary measures that you can take to make sure that you are safe all through the hiking duration. It is advisable to hike in a group to make sure that in the case of any incident or accident, you have somebody else to help you out. Hiking in groups assists in the passing of knowledge between members of the group.

Also, when you hike in groups, there is the distribution of common group gear loads; hence you will not be tired from the overloads. Group hiking allows you to meet new people or deepen your relations and in the case of injuries you are assisted accordingly. Drink enough water to stay hydrated all through the day and have small snacks often to keep your energy levels up for an enjoyable hiking experience.

Carry some surplus food ready for any emergency cases and leave no traces in your trails to maintain the natural feeling for other hikers in the future. For safety purposes, leave your hiking plan with someone at home and if you get off the trail, you can contact them for guidance promptly. Plan a hike suitable for all members of your group and let the slowest member to be the pace setter. Also, make sure that your pack is well organized for easy and quick access to any items you need.

To avoid sunburns, carry sunscreen creams and a functional hat and also repackage to reduce weight in your backpack. Before starting a long hike, it is a good idea to lose some of your body weight for easier movement. Carry and use rain gear in case it rains while you are on your hike. Make use of trekking poles to keep your hands elevated a bit to avert any cases of swelling while hiking.

Always make sure that you have a backup plan in case you are lost during your hiking expedition. There is nobody who plans to get lost, but it happens in some cases. Avoid making shortcuts and bushwhacking to reduce chances of getting lost. Additionally, as you move along pay attention to trailblazers and landmarks and avoid climbing on waterfalls. In cases of bad weather, it is highly advisable to turn back right away to minimize cases of accidents and other undesirable incidents.

Always dress in layers and avoid cotton clothes. Choose the fabrics that easily and quickly wick moisture, dry quickly in case they are wet, and conserve heat during cold weather conditions. If you are rained on, strive to get warm and dry quickly to avoid hypothermia. Carry a whistle that can be heard from long distances for use in case you become lost. It is universally understood that three short blasts are a sign of distress.

Always wear bright colors so that in case you are lost the search party can easily find you. Each hiker in your group must have a whistle, a small flashlight with extra batteries, water, energy food, a trash bag, a brightly colored bandana, and a first aid kit. In case you are lost, don’t wander any further, but instead you should make a shelter to keep you warm and dry.

Make sure that you are visible and heard. In the case of an air search and rescue, get to open spaces and lay flat on the ground so that you may appear bigger for the searchers in the air to locate you easily. If you have children hiking, make sure that you teach them the simple strategies to use if they get lost. Failing to prepare is preparing to fail. Thus, be adequately prepared for your hiking expedition to enable you to have a good time while keeping safe all through the journey.

Hiking Tips And Tricks For Success

Hiking is a wonderful hobby for millions of people. It is great exercise and allows you to train yourself in the art of perseverance in the wild. The effect is a healthy mind and body. In order to enjoy hiking, you must be prepared. Going hiking unprepared is an invitation for disaster.

• Know the area. Invest in maps of the area. Look at the terrain and know how far you will be going each day. Allow someone to know the route you plan to take and the estimated time of arrival and return. Have a back-up plan in the event that nature deals you a wild card.

• Protect your feet. This is probably the most important thing you can do if you are hiking. You must protect your feet from blisters, cuts, water, bugs and snakes.

o Wear two pair of socks. A soft cotton sock should be worn next to the skin and a wool sock over the cotton sock. This cushions the feet and protects them from blisters which is a common problem.

o Waterproof your boots. Wet boots and hiking do not go well together. This leads to foot fungus, burning and could lead to infection. A good pair of leather boots is a necessity and waterproofing them is essential.

o Take a pair of sandals or an old pair of slip on sneakers to wear at the camp. This allows you comfort time to rest from wearing the boots. It allows your feet and boots to dry out and allows any areas of the foot that were sore to heal a bit.

• Warm clothes

o Make sure you have warm clothes for wearing at night.

o A light jacket can be rolled up for use in the afternoon

• Water

o Carry bottled water with you as well as water purifier tablets. Water may not always be available in the wild. Make sure you have enough and drink plenty while hiking. Dehydration is deadly. Figure your hours away from the site and allow yourself to sip up to 6 ounces of water every four hours.

• Prepare your body

o Stretch your muscles before beginning your hike

o Muscles inflammation can be controlled with ibuprofen.

o Add dried blueberry’s to your trail mix as a natural solution.

• What to take in your backpack

o First aid kit

o Tissue and or toilet paper

o Hand sanitizer

o Flashlight and extra batteries

o Maps of area

o Emergency phone numbers in case someone has to help you

o Bug spray

o Matches

o Trail mix and water

o Knife

o Sunscreen

o Poncho

o Emergency blanket

o Light weight emergency rope

These things can be kept in your backpack and ready to go. All you need to is toss in some trail mix and water and you can be out the door in minutes.


5 Best Places to Go Hiking Near Portland, Oregon

Have you visited Portland before? Or are you looking for hiking locations in Portland? Few urban cities in America have stately green spaces, giving sightseers views that are remote and quiet within the city. We have put together a list of hiking trails that’ll leave your legs burning and provide loads of fun along the trail:

1) Oxblow Regional Park

Be sure to go there with your fishing rod for a fun day of hike and fishing. This hiking park is well-known for fishing and is close to Oregon camping. This park is near Gresham and offers a 3.3-mile loop that includes long stretches. One of the fascinating features of the recreation center is the “ancient forest” which is composed of large, hundred-year-old trees that rise above the trail, and the river.

2) Washington Park

Beautiful deep woods and a mountain view makes this gem one of the best hikes within Portland. The Wildwood Trail begins and ends at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial where signs for Wildwood Trail is posted throughout the hike to ensure safety and prevent health hazards.

3) Tryon Creek State Park

Tryon Creek State Park is a state park that can be found inside one of the major metropolitan areas, just minutes from downtown Portland if driving. Tyron Creek State Park provides several activities within its boundaries such as a 659-acre park with several good hiking trails to follow. If you are experiencing health challenges that will hinder your foot from long trips, come along with a bike, bicycle or a horse as there is a trail that guarantees fun if you decide to go by those options.

It is a good idea for the whole family to be fit in order to view the entire 2.7-mile loop. Starting at the visitor’s center, follow Old Main Trail, then the Red Fox Trail Cedar Trail to the loop.

4) Mount Tabor

This park takes you through a 2-mile hike from the 60th Avenue Trailhead that brings you to the summit of a dormant volcano with amazing views of downtown Portland and Mount Hood.

Various routes can be taken to complete the hike with many things to admire such as picnic areas, playgrounds statues.

5) Pittock Mansion

There is parking space for your bikes, cars, bikes and bicycles at the Lower Macleay Park. After packing, begin by walking under the Thurman Street Bridge. There are various trail options to choose from, but focusing on the Wildwood Trail you are guaranteed to reach your destination.


5 Tips For Hiking

1. A GOOD MAP STUDY – Start your trip weeks or days prior to hitting the trail. You don’t have to have an exact grid coordinates for where you will camp, but knowing the general area will make the entire trip easier and more comfortable. Buying large general maps and detailed topographic maps of the area will allow you to determine the large general area and then pinpoint the area in which you will hike and camp. These maps will show you which trails you can use, bodies of water, terrain features, elevation lines, etc. Just looking over the map for 15 -20 minutes will help you tremendously. Not knowing your cardinal directions and general land features can turn a causal relaxing hike into a survival situation. Although many people might consider it cheating, a GPS is also a great way to prepare for your trip. A GPS can download topographic maps and do most of the work for you, but don’t rely on them. Every form of technology will eventually fail, and it will probably happen when you need it most.

2. STUDY WEATHER CONDITIONS – I can’t emphasize enough how important this step is. Countless times I have watched the weather change dramatically from a sunny day, to dropping 20-30 degrees with a storm rolling in, before you have time to prepare. At a minimum, look at the weather forecast for the days in which you are on trail, but don’t rely on that forecast. Weathermen are the only people in the world who can fail at their job everyday and not get fired, so do your own secondary research. Determine where the weather reader station is located. Sometimes these weather reading stations may be 20 miles away from your campsite and at a totally different elevation. Elevation and terrain play a major role in changing weather conditions. You may be fine camping in 40 degree weather at 10,000 feet nestled in the tree line with zero wind. However, a camper a 1/2 mile away on the other side of the mountain, may have set up camp at 11,000 feet out of the tree line and directly in the path of 30 mph winds. (Temperatures decrease 3.3 degrees when it’s overcast and 5.4 degrees when its clear for every thousand feet gained and the windchill will always drop the temperature.) Also, try looking up old archives and averages of weather in the area for the time of year you will be visiting. This will help you determine if you need to bring that extra layer of clothing or an extra liter of water. By studying your map, choosing a good campsite, and understanding the weather where you are camping, you will be more prepared and comfortable.

3. MAKE A LIST OF ITEMS TO BRING – Everyone has the intention of packing light, but ends up with everything but the kitchen sink. The fist step in taking as little as possible is to buy a smaller pack than you think you may need. If you read a guide book that says you need a 60 liter pack, buy or bring a 50 liter pack. Second, make a list of all the camping, survival, and modern amenities you want to bring on the trip. Third, go down that entire list two or three times and try to remove 2 items each time. Depending on the trip, you can more than likely leave home without several items on your list. You may think it is impossible to leave home without water, food or shelter, right? Well if you plan accordingly you can leave it all behind. Now I’m not saying to run out into the wild with only the clothes on your back and a knife in your teeth, but I am trying to save you from carrying unnecessary pounds. Items like water, food, and shelter may already be on the trail if you use a little ingenuity. Collect fresh water from lakes or creeks and catch fish for dinner ever night!

4. DETERMINE PACK LAYOUT – The perfect pack layout can only be determined by you, and you alone. Once you have narrowed down the exact items for your trip, start mixing and matching where they fit best and try on your pack each time. I have never packed my bag right on the first try. Try turning the lights off and test the difficulty of finding essential items in the dark. Can you find your extra batteries in the dark when your headlamp goes out? Plan for the worst, know your gear, and your backpacking trip will be that much more enjoyable.

Of course there is the tried and tested way to pack, but each person has a different pack, different physical fitness level, skill level and body type. What works for the best hiker in the world may not work for you. Get out and test your pack loaded up before a long hike. I follow the basic routine of lightweight items at the bottom (sleeping bag), heavy items in the middle (tent, water) and medium to lightweight items at the top (camp stove, ground pad).

5. TEST AND MAINTAIN EQUIPMENT – Multiple times on trail I’ve come across someone or been the one with a broken backpack strap, an empty canister of cooking fuel, or a broken tent pole. Sometimes these events can’t be avoided and it adds to the fun/challenge of the adventure. But most of the time, they are due to poor planning, and not testing your equipment prior to getting out on trail. Every essential item such as your CamelBak, cooking stove, tent poles and backpack straps must be checked prior to any hike. Checking your CamelBak for leaks, making sure your stove works, checking tent poles for cracks/bends, and checking backpack straps for wear and tear can eliminate the risk to discovering these issues on trail. Not only is checking and testing your gear important, but maintaining is even more essential. Every time after that long weekend in the wild, I just want to throw my pack down and crash on the couch. But being lazy now, and not taking 30 minutes to air out and clean your gear can spell disaster for your next trip. Items hold in moisture and dirt which can turn into mildew and ruin your gear, costing you money, time and comfort. Rinse out items like your CamelBak and cooking equipment, and dry out your tent and sleeping bag. You will be thankful at the start of your next trip.

Extra Tip: BRING SMALL COMFORTS OF HOME – Each time you step out into the unknown it should be a life changing, learning, and memorable experience you enjoy. If you aren’t having fun then you need to change some things up. You don’t have to live off the land or not shower for weeks to feel like you are one with nature. Small amenities from home can mean all the difference. Items I always pack include a small containers with a few different spices, a lemon for flavoring on fresh caught fish, and a small cup of pre-made buttered rice or vegetables. These items can make a huge difference in your on trail meal. If you have a vice, don’t choose this hike to quit or you will never want to go back. If you are a smoker, addicted to chocolate, or sour patch kids like myself, make sure you bring them along. Smokers just pack out your butts, no one behind you wants to see that in nature and the risk of starting a fire is also a reason to be cautious. Get creative and mix your sweets into your trail mix. Bring some flavored Gatorade or tea packets to mix with the clear fresh mountain water. Whatever your heart desires, bring it with you to make an enjoyable hike into the wild that much more enjoyable.


5 Reasons To Hike To The Highest Point In All 50 States!

Add the thrill of the 50 high point challenge to your bucket list of life long goals and you won’t be disappointed! Would you believe that America offers a vast array of thrilling high and low mountain adventures? Mt. Washington at only 6,288 feet, the highest point in New Hampshire, once held the highest recorded wind speed ever observed by man at 231 MPH! If you try to take on Washington’s Mt Rainer, you will be hiking on an active volcano just 150 miles from the infamous Mt. Saint Helens volcano. Other states highest “peaks” are literally in the middle of suburban neighborhoods, such as Delawares Ebright Azimuth standing tall at 448 feet! The 50 high point challenge offers both the thrill of a Himalayan expedition and the ease of a, “walk in the park” you never thought existed. Take some pride in our great country and explore these fun adventures in your own backyard. You will be surprised at how many state high points are located on famous trails such as the Appalachian, offer difficult mountaineering challenges, or take you off the beaten path to unique places away from the crowds. Here are the top 5 Reasons why you should climb to the highest point in all 50 states!

1. Another Excuse to Get Outside

Of course the number one reason to start “highpointing” is to give all of us another excuse to get outside, find adventure, breath fresh mountain air and travel this great country from sea to shining sea. When you start “highpointing” you will scratch that outdoor itch every time. Not only will you get a great hike under your belt, but the outdoor adventures surrounding each high point range from kayaking, fishing, mountain biking, rock climbing, camping and the list goes on and on! Each high point offers different wildlife, such as the herd of Bighorn Sheep on New Mexico’s Wheeler Peak, or the wild Grayson Highlands Ponies on Virginia’s Mt. Rogers. National Parks and landmarks are also near highpoints, such as Carlsbad Caverns National Park just 90 miles away from Texas’s Guadalupe Peak or Mount Rushmore only 30 miles from South Dakota’s Harney Peak.

2. Offers Opportunities for Everyone

The second reason is to spend more time with family and friends on trips that you can enjoy with anyone! No matter what age, gender, or disability, “highpointing” can be enjoyed by everyone. Since there are 50 different high points to climb, the high points across this great nation range from a drive up parking lot with wheel chair access, such as Florida’s Britton Hill, to an intermediate family fun hike like New York’s Mt. Marcy, to an all out 14 day expedition with a glacier crossing on Alaska’s Mt Denali (the highest point in North America). Taking on the 50 high points gives you a unique opportunity to spend time and plan trips with an array of family, friends or fellow hikers regardless of their skill or love for the outdoors.

3. Conquering Challenges

Just visiting all 50 states is a challenge all to itself, but actually planning a trip to a certain location to accomplish a certain goal becomes a very hard sought challenge. Some hikes such as Illinois’s Charles Mound are on private land and access can only be granted a couple weekends during the year. Other points offer greater challenges, such as Wyoming’s Gannett Peak, which has the longest round trip of any of the high points at nearly 50 miles. Nothing is more rewarding than seeing a goal all the way through to fruition. Whether your goal is to take down the highest point in your home state, all the states in your region, or take on all 50 states, “highpointing” is a goal worth setting. This goal will be sure to keep you going for years to come. The real reward begins while sitting around with family and friends planning the next challenging high point to conquer.

4. Unique Cross Country Travel

Too often we get stuck in our comfort zones and end up only hiking, camping, or exploring in our own regions of the U.S. When we do end up planning a lavish trip, we end up backpacking across Europe or the Australian outback. Make your next big vacation a road trip to high point with more than just a hike, visit a place you never expected to visit, like hiking Louisiana’s Mt. Driskill. The high point is within minutes of where the infamous Bonnie and Clyde made their finally stand in a hail of bullets. Since you’re “highpointing” in the South you might as well eat some good BBQ. Stop in the town of Ruston, Louisiana just 20 miles east on I-20 just off Exit 84, and pick up the World Famous Scatterload sandwich from Brister’s Smokehouse for the best BBQ and sweet tea I’ve ever had. By adding the high points to your goals, you will end up traveling to all kinds of unique locations off the beaten path. Find new unique opportunities for photography, adventure, and places to eat that aren’t listed on yelp, or the cliche locations everyone visits!

5. The Views are Spectacular!

We all love to hike and camp, but nothing is better than adding a spectacular view to an adventure. There is something special that touches the souls of every man and woman, when we can stand atop a mountain and gaze out as far as the eye can see! I never expected to stand atop so many “flat” states like North Dakota’s White Butte that stands tall in the Little Missouri National Grasslands, and be able to take in a 360 degree view. I encourage you not to underestimate any state on the map, because every state will surprise you! From hundreds of waterfalls near Alabama’s Cheaha Mt, to hundreds of high Sierra lakes surrounding California’s Mt. Whitney!