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Hiking Tips

March 22nd, 2014 by ironcooker


Hiking Tips To Help Make Your Outdoor Adventure Lots Of Fun

When you are camping, one of the most fun things you can do is go on a hike. It is great exercise; you can enjoy the outdoors, and you can see beautiful scenery. However, there are some dangers to hiking and you should be prepared for all events in order to remain safe and ensure you have a good time. Planning is essential so that you are not caught in a situation where you are not prepared. Use a backpack to store your items that you will take with you on a hike. Put heavier Hiking gearitems toward the bottom to help balance your center of gravity. If hiking with a group, distribute items equally amongst the group in case of an accident. If a backpack is lost and it was the only one that held the water or food, you might have a difficult time. Dress appropriately for the weather and bring a spare set of clothing. If it is cold, wear layers and make sure to wear a hat for maximum warmth. Wear two pairs of socks and good hiking boots so you do not slip. Wear sunglasses and use sunscreen. Even if it is cold, the sun can give you a very uncomfortable burn. Also use insect repellant to protect you from pests and bites. Bring emergency supplies in case of an accident. This should include a first aid kit, rope, a utility knife, matches and a flashlight. Always have plenty of food and water. You need to keep hydrated and nourished during a hike. Beef jerky and trail mix are excellent energy boosting foods and will help get you through the day. Water is essential but you may also pack drinks like Gatorade that have electrolytes. Do not overdo it. Take frequent breaks and rest when you feel tired. Pushing yourself to exhaustion is unsafe. Use a walking stick to help keep you from getting tired and help you in climbing and keeping your balance. If you feel weak or light headed, sit down, take your backpack off, and eat and drink a little until you feel rested and ready to go on. Be aware of your surroundings. The picturesque scenery is a great time to take photos or sketch. These can be enjoyable past times but it is also a chance to run into wild animals, snakes and have an accident from not paying attention. Do not venture off trails into brush that may contain snakes or other Bootspoisonous creatures. You may want to carry bear repellant and a whistle in case you come across a wild animal. A whistle can also be useful if you fall or are trapped. Research the area where you will be hiking and plan what you will need to take accordingly. Do not be surprised by sudden climate changes. Take pictures and sightsee. Enjoy the outdoors and have a lot of fun, but be safe and prepared for anything. With a little planning, you should be able to make the most of your hiking experience






Posted in Outdoor Hiking | 6 Comments »

Autumn Rain Got You Down? What You Need To Hike When It’s Wet

October 10th, 2013 by ironcooker

Autumn Rain Got You Down What You Need To Hike When It's Wet
We’ve just stepped into autumn, which means we’ll all start trading sun for rain a little more in the coming weeks and months.  It’s tempting to just stay inside and enjoy a hot drink instead to venturing outside.  But if you want to watch the colors change, get in some of the crisp fall air, or simply refuse to let a little bad weather keep you from enjoying your hikes, then I’ve got a few tips for you.

Gear Up, the Right Way
Gear Up, the Right Way
When you’re looking for the right gear, that doesn’t mean you need to be on top of the trends.  The first and most important thing is to dress for the weather and the climate.  A lot of the time, that can mean something as easy as dress in layers so you can regulate your own temperature.

If you’re in a particularly wet climate, you can dress down right with a quality, impermeable rain jacket with a moisture-wicking shirt (like Under Armour), waterproof boots, and rain pants.  No matter what you do, you can’t expect to stay completely dry—that’s just not going to happen.  But you can manage just how soaked you get—it’s an aim for a realistic win.

And then from there, scale it back depending on moisture and heat.  Warm, humid hiking is maybe the most challenging.  A rain shell isn’t going to help, so the best you can probably do is to wear a shirt that breathes well and keeps moisture off of you.

Keep the Feet Dry
Keep Those Feet Dry
So long as you keep your feet mostly dry, you’ll be doing alright.  But you might have to go with something a little outside of your ordinary hiking boots.  Grab some really high quality waterproof high-tops.  We’re talking about ankle-height or better—those are sure to keep you dry even when you’re walking through the occasional puddle, and give you support when you’re walking on slippery pathways or muddy trails.  Alternatively, you can use a waterproofing spray on some older shoes.

For socks, a solid way to go is the double layer.  Start with a thin pair of socks, and then pull a thick, woolen pair on top of those.  Alternatively, if you expect to be walking in some heavy downpours, invest in pair made from a water-resistant fabric.  And if you’re walking in a warmer climate, just wear what you’d normally wear.

You can get around blisters and chaffing by applying a lubricating lotion or personal lubricant first.  While Vaseline works perfectly fine, many hikers prefer something like Hydropel.

Enjoying the Experience
Enjoying the Experience
If you’re suited up, then by now you’ve done all you can to get around being soggy and uncomfortable.  You can still try for speed if you want, but with the new surroundings, you might just refocus on the distinct beauties of a rainy day hiking.

Notice the distinct paths that falling water takes and where it settles.  Changing and falling leaves make for a unique and transformative spectacle, especially when highlighted by moisture.  And when it’s particularly cloudy, even the most subtle and dull colors can become more pronounced against a grey backdrop.  If you’re a photographer, you’re sure to find some great picture opportunities this time of year!

Do you have any tips for hiking in the autumn weather?  Do you have any favorite activities for this crisp fall air?  Tell us all about it in the comments below!

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Hikers: How To Hike Faster (Without Training Til You Drop!)

July 31st, 2013 by ironcooker

Hikers: How To Hike Faster (Without Training Til You Drop!)
Outdoor hiking is a time that should be filled with amazing views, new adventures and good friends. You may be surprised in a group hike that many hikers walk at different speeds. And though you might feel like you’re in good shape, you might find yourself straggling behind others in your group. Being left in the dust of other hikers is no fun and it slows down the pace for everyone else. Don’t worry, there are ways to ensure you are not left on the trail. You can actually teach yourself to hike faster without training harder.

Find Your Head Space

Find Your Head SpaceThe first thing to do before improving your time is to put yourself in the right frame of mind. Set aside the worry of the tough terrain and long hike so you focus more on the adventure itself. You can visualize yourself going faster and looking ahead at the finish line. Don’t stare at the steep terrain worrying about your steps. Set goals that you know you can reach. It may seem difficult at first, but visualize yourself hiking at a high speed and reaching your destination with a happy heart.

Don’t Forget Form

Don’t Forget FormYour form when outdoor hiking is an integral part of your speed. If you walk with your back hunched over or your hands at your sides, the hike will take you longer. Shorten your stride and make sure you maintain your posture. Always look ahead and swing your arms to help you move along the trail. Don’t let your arms hang for too long or they will swell. Breathe deeply, find a rhythm in your steps. Singing in your head can even help keep a good pace! Take time to realize how your steps aligns with your breathing. This will help you work at a faster pace without using too much energy.

Lighten Your Load

Lighten Your LoadLighten your load to speed up. You don’t have to put everything at the camp in your pack. Even a few ounces can hold you back during your hike. Bring only the necessities with you in your pack. Make sure to include an adequate amount of food and water. Ensure the duration of your hike works in coordination with the weight of your pack.

Test Endurance Levels

Test Endurance LevelsGetting to your preferred speed isn’t done in a day. You don’t need to approach the 25 mile hike on one of your first adventures. Choose a shorter route (below 10 miles) and map out your hike. Try to climb more than 1000 feet when you have the chance to teach your body endurance when climbing. Remember, hiking is all about the adventure, and you really only need to build your endurance so you can see all the sights of nature and to stay with your group.

Find a Familiar Track

Find a Familiar TrackChoose a familiar trail and try to beat your personal best time. Use a stopwatch to measure how long each trip takes. Some hikers use a heart monitor as well. Keep a journal so you can note what is working for you every time you’re out on the trail. You can test different weights in your pack or different breathing techniques that may let you travel faster. Listen to music, stay conscious of your breathing patterns, and figure out what works best for you every time you’re on the same trail.

By using all of these techniques you can increase your speed without training harder. Are you ready to increase your outdoor hiking time yet? Do you have any other great ways to improve your hiking time?  Tell us about it in the comments below!

Posted in Outdoor Hiking | 1 Comment »

Learn To Pick Hiking Boots

June 15th, 2013 by ironcooker

Learn To Pick Hiking Boots
Are you the novice hiker who relies on the look and feel of a hiking shoe instead of selecting based on actual elements that you will encounter on the trail? Well, choosing inappropriate hiking boots will result in pinched toes, painful blisters or even injuries. Here are some tips to guide you on how to pick the right hiking boots.

Match With Your Hiking Plan

Match With Your Hiking PlanTo select boots that are designed to fit well in your plan, you should choose boots that will provide the necessary support and protection for the most complex terrain that you expect to encounter. What kind of load do you expect to carry? Ideally, boots should support your load comfortably, so heavier loads need to give you more support.

Don’t look at the size of a boot and merely judge its weight. Current technology has produced materials that have replaced the traditional metal shank and other heavy materials so that they’re more stable, better support you and are lighter as well.

Terrain and Climate

Hiking Terrain and ClimateDifferent climates and terrain call for different boots. If you are going to the mountains, you will need strong, stiff soles. You might also have to attach crampons for a better grip on the snow. Steep inclined terrains riddled with mud will need boots that are water proof, sturdier and high cut.

Trail shoes will be ideal for hiking in a dry terrain with clear paths without many rocks. They’re also ideal when carrying a light load.

Find the Best Fit

Find the Best Fit BootYou should feel comfortable when wearing your boots. Hiking shoes are not your regular sneakers, so don’t expect them to be as comfortable. But they still shouldn’t pinch, constrict your blood circulation or cause hot spots. Fitting is best done when the feet are more swollen, like in the evening.

Remember to fit them with the socks that you intend to use in the real hiking. I prefer polyester liner socks that prevent moisture build up and for the outer cushioning heavy weave-wool. Never wear cotton socks when hiking as they absorb water and allow it to build up next to your skin. This build up might result in frostbite when hiking in below freezing temperatures.

Try walking down an incline and make sure that your toes don’t scrape against the front or your feet slide forward– that means your boots are too wide.

Consider the Boot materials

Consider the Boot materialsThe materials that make the boots have an impact on their level of durability, water resistance as well as how breathable they are. Full grain leather is a good waterproof and durable but it is not as light and breathable as nylon boots are. This type is suitable for your heavy loads and extended terrain.

Synthetic leather boots are lighter and dry faster than leather boots, however, they wear out sooner due to stitching on the outside of the boots. On the other hand, split-grain leather boots are lightweight and are more breathable. Their disadvantage is that they are less resistant to water and abrasion.

Every hiker has a story to tell about his/her experiences with their boots. Do you have any tips or tricks? Have you had an experience when you wish you had better boots for your journey?  Comment on this post and share your experiences with us!

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Hiking Adventures

January 20th, 2013 by ironcooker

Hiking  Adventure

All Adventures should start out with careful planning. We would like to touch
on a few details on hiking adventures that should be a benefit to all.
1. Always research the area you plan to visit.
You will want to talk to friends that have been there before & talk to the local officials before
hiking on trails that you are unfamiliar with.
2. Make a planned chart with details that you leave behind telling where you are going.
3. One of the most important. A detailed check list of everything you plan to take with you.
4. Take time to read other blogs on their Hiking adventures.

There are some great blogs with detailed articles that you will want to read, we are listing some below.

For the adventurists of us there is two mid winter hikes you might want to attend in the state
of Tennessee. The Department of Environment and Conservation’s Division of Natural Areas will host two guided day hikes at Middle Tennessee natural areas on Saturday, January 26

Be sure to dress for severe weather with warm coats & boots. For details you can call
(931) 239-0065 when calling ask for Robin. Reservations are required by Jan 24th.

For details on this and other hiking information visit The Smokey Mountain Hiking blog
Some other great resources for Hiking adventures that have been very helpful to us are  this articles supplies different
items that you want to look at taking with you on your outdoor hiking or camping adventure.
For camping, cooking & hiking adventure ideas you will want to read my friends blog also.
The campside Chef. With his wonderful stories & pictures of many outdoor Hiking Adventures you are
sure to enjoy. Be sure to ask about his new book too!

Posted in Outdoor Hiking | 1 Comment »

Outdoor Hiking – Montana’s Pyramid Pass

May 13th, 2012 by ironcooker

Montana’s Pyramid Pass & Adventure that was Bear-ly There!

Guest Blog By: Gordon Hollingshead

As common courtesy on Montana trails, folks warn others when there is a bear around, especially heading into the Bob Marshall Wilderness. Donny and I had just topped one of the major switchbacks on the trail to Montana's Pyramid Pass Pyramid Pass, and were heading deeper into the backcountry when we received a much appreciated trail update from some outfitters heading out. They mentioned a bear along the trail on up, suggesting we keep our eyes open – but “no major problem”.

No major problem! The outfitters make their living traveling these trails, equipped with rifle, and atop a set of horses. They passed that casual assessment to a couple of guys on foot, totally unarmed and completely unfamiliar with the ways of bearishness, warily working our way into territory widely known for it’s bonafide grizzly bear population. We laughed nervously, speculating about “no major problem” paired with “bear along the trail”.

Donny’s initial response, given that he grew up in Milwaukee, WI, – terminate the trek into the “Bob”. It was time to hastily make our way down the switchbacks to the vehicles and out of harms way. Alas, poor Donny, he was with me. Growing up in the Colorado backcountry, there were no grizzlies, but we had our share of sizeable black bears.

I grew up understanding that the primary response for a bear seeing or hearing a humanoid heading their way, is to vacate the area, distance themselves from intruders. They don’t like human company, and prefer to enjoy the great outdoors by themselves. Of course, if surprised, or they have a meal all laid out, or their babies are lingering nearby those rules do vary. But in my 40 some years in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Montana I had never, ever encountered a bear.

We were headed to Pyramid Pass, the summit marking the Bob Marshall Wilderness boundary, one of the nearer accesses to the “Bob” from Seeley Lake, Montana. An awesome area, with the majestic Pyramid Peak north of the trail. The trail head starts up above Morrell Creek about 10 miles east and north of Seeley Lake. Hiking the trail a couple of times before, I knew we had our work cut out for us. A six mile journey into the backcountry is not bad. The 6 miles back always seemed to get me.

Starting out fairly level, the trail follows the lower ridges for the first mile or so. Heading up some gradual switchbacks it finally covers some steeper, shorter switchbacks. It evens out then for around 3 miles more, leading into the broad canyon above Trail Creek Crossing giant snowslide chutes, wonderful views open up of Pyramid Peak towering above. Mountain meadows also open up, filled with bear grass, flowers, berry bushes – all perfect areas for that dreaded bear to lurk.Montana's Pyramid Lake

We faced our impending doom boldly, picking up sturdy sticks. Granted, we could not fight off a marauding bear with a stick, but would not go down without a fight. Actually, we whacked the sticks on every nearby tree trunk and rock as we continued. If we made enough noise any bear would conclude a couple of obnoxious city boys were coming, disturbing the peace, and move to some other location. Key to preventing bear encounters – avoid surprising them kicking off a reaction response. So we did our part.

The final leg of the trail to the pass leads into tall, closer timber, along the upper reaches of Trail Creek through a marshier area. The close in brush along the trail seemed like a perfect place for a genuine bear encounter, so the anxiety meter jumped as well. Another group of horseback packers coming out confirmed the bear was just up ahead. Our rustling the brush and whacking the trees and rocks intensified as we anxiously worked our way on up the trail.

The trail crosses the creek, tops a slight rise and circles around an area of downed timber as it leads off up the last couple switchbacks to the pass summit. Topping that slight rise to begin the circle to the left we stopped in our tracks, staring in amazement – the bear sat right in the middle of that area of downed timber we were going to have to circle around.

Actually, the bear lay right in the middle of that area, sprawled out on a large downed tree – and about the size of a large black lab at his biggest! No offense to the bear, but we had built up wild images of the mega-bear of lore and song over the past couple hours, banging on every rock and tree trunk for miles – scaring away the monster boogey-bear. Talk about a sense of silly sheepishness – blended with a healthy dose of relief.

We continued along the trail circling around the spot where the bear had taken up it’s afternoon siesta and the bear didn’t budge. It made me wonder if all our racket had been wasted, but it was too funny, and such a monstrous relief to know we weren’t in imminent danger. The rest of the trek to the pass seemed so much lighter and easier as we laughed at our raging paranoias. The trail switched up through the brush, crossed a small open face, and finally broke out onto a small lake right before the wilderness boundary and our goal for the day.

It almost goes without saying – a truly wonderful corner of the world is found back up in there. We savored the awesome views back into the Bob Marshall Wilderness as we ate our lunch, then beat feet back out. Our weary bones rejoiced settling into a warm jacuzzi pool upon returning to our accommodations in Missoula at journey’s end. Many great choices are available throughout the region for resting your tired bodies through the Montana Adventure site at – the perfect complement to your explorations throughout this spectacular part of the world!


Author Bio

As web designer for the Montana Recreation Connection and Wester States Wilderness Tours at
Gordon Hollingshead has provided an online travel directory for the past 10 years for people planning theri vacations and travels throughout the western United States. More information contact Gordon at

Article Source: – Free Website Content


Posted in Outdoor Hiking | 1 Comment »

Hiking Tips

Saturday March 22nd, 2014 in Outdoor Hiking | 6 Comments »

Autumn Rain Got You Down? What You Need To Hike When It’s Wet

Thursday October 10th, 2013 in Outdoor Hiking | 1 Comment »

Hikers: How To Hike Faster (Without Training Til You Drop!)

Wednesday July 31st, 2013 in Outdoor Hiking | 1 Comment »

Learn To Pick Hiking Boots

Saturday June 15th, 2013 in Outdoor Hiking | 1 Comment »

Hiking Adventures

Sunday January 20th, 2013 in Outdoor Hiking | 1 Comment »

Outdoor Hiking – Montana’s Pyramid Pass

Sunday May 13th, 2012 in Outdoor Hiking | 1 Comment »

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