It’s always nice to see new hiking trails go in but I thought this one was particularly interesting since its going to connect the PA/NY border and connect with the Finger Lakes Trail in Southern, NY. I’ve done some camping in that area over the past couple of years and it’s a fantastic recreational region. It’s nice to see some expansion of the trails, which will add the ability to do longer distance one-way hikes if you’re interested.
If you’re up in that area check out the Finger Lakes National Forest as well as the many wineries in the region and some of NY’s excellent waterfalls and State Parks.
Emaxhealth.com has an article on family hikes for summer fun and fitness. It’s a nice primer to getting your whole family outside and goes well with the news blurb I posted a couple days ago about family hiking. This one gives some basic tips for taking younger children out and reccomends snacks and other things to take as well.
The Colorado Springs Gazette has a great article on food for backpacking and car camping. They talk about going beyond the basics of dry trail meals and hot dogs and actually making satisfying and even fancy meals while in the field. I have to admit that I’ve always been of the category that food is fuel and kept to very basic stuff while in the woods. Over the past couple of years though I’ve camped with some fantastic camp and campfire cooks and I’m starting to come around to the idea that great food tastes even better when you’re in the woods! Check out the article for a good look at this subject.
More of a reminder than a news blurb but watching Hurricane Dolly hit the Texas coast got me to thinking about storm preparation again. If you live in the hurricane zones then you definitely ought to have a plan and have some supplies on hand. Even if you don’t there have been enough other natural disasters from wildfires to ice storms to give you enough reason to do some advanced preparedness. Believe it or not, the Federal Government actually has a pretty good hurricane resource page at FEMA.gov as does the Red Cross. Check out the links below and give some thought to taking the time to set aside some things for your family before you need it.
The Herald & Review online has a decent article on hiking with your family. While not ground breaking its a nice reminder of some of the basics, especially for folks newer to the outdoors. I started taking the family including my wife and my 3 and 5 year old on day hikes last fall and it’s an activity that we all enjoy now. Take a look at Herb Meeker’s article on some tips to get started.
Water is the only drink for a wise man—Henry David Thoreau
On the grand scheme of things, no matter the enviornment, water has to be the primary concern for man’s survival. I’ve done extensive research in the past years about survival in the outdoors. There’s a rule of thumb dealing with the “3’s”. It goes something like, “You can survive without shelter for three hours, without water for three days, and without food for about three weeks.” That’s a generalization and dependent on the survivor’s surroundings. For instance, if a person were caught in a blizzard, their primary concern would be to find shelter from the storm. However, that concern would not be as great if it was a balmy eighty-three degrees outside. But, no matter the temperature or conditions, man must have water. Period. Full end stop. The general wisdom is that at least one gallon of water should be available for each person for each each day. In hot conditions, even more might be required. So, having the means to acquire and filter/purify water must be a component for the savvy outdoors person. This topic came up recently in a group discussion while a few of us were having a weekend in the woods “roughing it”. The conversation encompassed short-term and long-term scenarios, the types of filters/purifiers that are available, and it covered the strengths and weaknesses of each system. We talked about pre-filters, filters, purifiers, tablets, and even the newer ultra-violet devices. One of the most prevailant of these is the Steri-Pen from Hydro-Photon, Inc. and it’s a system that we tried while up in the hills of North Carolina this past weekend.
The Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune has a good article up on a woman who is hiking the entire 2, 650 mile stretch of the Pacific Crest Trail from Mexico to Canada. If that isn’t hard-core enough she’s doing most of the trip solo. It’s about a 4 and half page article but an interesting read if you’ve ever considered long distance hiking or are just envious of the folks who have the chance and stamina to do it!
Field & Stream has a small feature up on "Seven Ways To Light a Fire Without a Match". While it isn’t detailed enough to necessarily teach you each method it is a nice overview of some of the options out there that you may or may not be aware of.
Over the years, I have spent quite a bit of money in the never ending search for the perfect daypack. With all the options available, it seemed feasible that such a thing existed, but each option that I tried- still left me wanting. That all changed with the availability of the Maxpedition gear line, and since the purchase of the first piece of their gear, I have remained greatly impressed. Initially, I attempted to utilize my everyday pack in a dual-purpose role of being outfitted for both my work duties and recreational fun at the same time, but this didn’t work out very well. Enter the Condor II. The Condor II is essentially what I would call an “assault pack”. It is a slightly larger takeoff concept from the Falcon II that allows for more internal space, yet is still easily carried through confined spaces. This model is wider and rated at aprox. 1950 cubic inches, has a similar waist belt, PALS webbing attachments, compression straps, bottom straps, removable Y-yoke, Fastex buckles, Drag handle, 100 oz. water bladder inside a fully zippered enclosure, and many of the other familiar features.
It had been a long time coming. You know how it goes. You’re looking for the perfect item to fit your exact needs. You research long and hard and you try an endless supply of models and find that they aren’t just quite right. A lot of outdoormen and firearms enthusiasts go through this when looking for the right holster to carry their handguns, and most of them (including myself) end up with a box of leather or kydex discards because they didn’t quite meet expectations. I went through that same exhaustive search the last couple of years in trying to find the perfect intermediate backpack to meet my needs. Then, one day, I happened to stumble across a website where their main focus was producing knives, but they also made some tactical gear on the side as well. That’s when I found the Mercworx Sniper Pack.