Hikers experience different kinds of trails – easy, moderate and difficult trails. And with more experience, ambition tends to take over. They like to plan trips and condition themselves to take on the most difficult trails they would come to know. It’s amazing how these adrenaline junkies overcome such challenging terrain, especially since these places are quite scary to be in. If you want to know what lengths people go to for the sake of fun and adventure, here are some of the most intense hiking trails from all over the world.
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- Devil’s Path, Catskills, New York, USA – In the east, the most dangerous hiking trail would probably be the Devil’s Path. A lot of the sections you’ll encounter in the Catskill Mountains are slippery and near vertical. One mistake, and you’ll fall hard.
- El Camino Del Rey, Spain – Known as the King’s Pathway, El Camino Del Rey is a narrow manmade pathway along the Gorge of Gaitanes, rising above Guadalhorce River, which was first built in 1901. This 3-km trail has slowly become dilapidated, with only safety wire placed in lieu of the original handrails. This trail can be extremely tough on the body and cause a lot of pain.
- Kokoda Track, Papua New Guinea – The Kokoda Track used to be a system of trails used to bring supplies to different settlements during WWII. This 96-km trail in Papua New Guinea usually takes days to finish, so it’s never a good idea to go on your own.
- Mount Huashan Trail, China – Way, way up Mount Huashan is a very old cliffside trail with extremely narrow pathways, and it is considered the most dangerous trail in the world. It is situated in one of the five sacred mountains of China, and is often called the number one precipitous mountain under heaven.
- Pacaya Volcano, Guatamela – Of course it’s dangerous; you’re climbing up a volcano with steam vents, lava streams and volcanic rocks along the way. But for some reason, it’s a hiking trail tourists really want to experience. And even after the trail was closed by Pacaya National Park, a lot of people still venture up the active volcano.
- Peek-a-Boo Gulch, Utah, USA – Peek-a-Boo Gulch involves a series of narrow enclosed spaces in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. It’s not as physically challenging as the other trails, but you will need some skill with rock scrambling. Toward the end of the trail, the ravine gets deeper, so watch out.
- West Coast Trail, Vancouver Island, Canada – Vancouver Island’s West Coast Trail is home to the worst trio man could ever encounter: bears, cougars and wolves. Even so, people still wish to journey through this long trail of wooden bridges and ladders, and steep slopes.
Before camping season starts in earnest, take time to prepare your mobile home for the upcoming camping season. After a long winter of storage, your mobile home may need some prep work before taking it on the road. The following checklist will provide some guidelines on how to get your mobile home ready for camping this summer season.
Before heading out on a camping expedition, make sure all systems within your unit are working properly. This includes electrical, water and propane systems. If you removed the RV’s battery during winter storage, you’ll need to re-install it and charge it up to ensure it’s working properly. It’s better to replace batteries older than three years old to avoid the risk of getting stuck out on the road. At this time, you can also drain the anti-freeze out of your radiator and completely flush it out.
You’ll want to run the water system to make sure there are no leaks. Check the water heater to make sure it’s working properly so you’ll have hot water on your trip. Flush your waste water system and add the necessary chemicals to the holding tank. Be sure to also check all valves and lines for leakage.
Once you’ve filled the propane tank, test your stove, fridge and furnace to make sure all are in working order. A propane smell may indicate leaks in the system. Depending on how strong the smell, you may want to have the lines checked at a local mobile home service center. Don’t forget to check your refrigerator’s electrical system to ensure it’s ready to go.
Physical and Mechanical Components
Besides these systems, you’ll need to inspect other aspects of your double wide mobile home to include tires, windows, roof vents, lights, brake lights, wipers, etc. Check your RV’s lights inside and out and make sure your brake lights and turn signals are working properly. If you’re pulling a trailer, make sure the hitches are in good condition and operable.
Have a mechanic check your RV’s bearings, especially if you plan to travel on dusty country roads. Inspect your tires for tread wear, to include the spare, and make sure they’re at the proper air pressure. Check the batteries on all battery operated components such as smoke detector, carbon monoxide detector, etc. Buy extra batteries to take with you on the road. Check the fuses for interior light and bring along an extra supply just in case some fuses blow out.
If your mobile home has been sitting idle throughout the winter, you’ll need to air it out before you go. Once the weather starts warming up, open up your RV to let fresh air inside. Disinfect the fridge, kitchen cabinets and counters, bathroom, etc. and check nooks and crannies for signs of bugs or mice. Restock your kitchen with clean towels, sponges and cleaning supplies; make sure you have clean bedding and towels for your expedition.
As you go through this basic checklist, you may be reminded of other aspects to consider. Preparing your mobile home in advance will pave the way for a more pleasant, stress-free camping expedition.
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Camping can be fun and exciting because you never really what will happen during your outdoor adventures. But, for that same reason, camping can also be perilous. That is why we are taught to always be prepared, making sure that we pack the following camping essentials:
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- Secondary Shelter. When we’re out on unfamiliar territory, there’s a possibility that we might get lost, and we never know how long we will be stranded. To protect ourselves, we should have some form of emergency shelter packed with us, like a tarp or a space blanket.
- Navigational Tools. To avoid getting lost though, it is important that we not forget our navigation tools – compass, GPS receiver, maps and altimeter. If you’re carrying a GPS receiver, make sure you have batteries. A compass would be better though, as they work without the batteries.
- Additional Clothing. The weather can be very unpredictable. One minute it’s all sunny, the next minute clouds begin to look ominous and it starts getting real cold. Having additional clothing can provide you with insulation when the weather doesn’t cooperate.
- Extra Food. Who can forget food? It’s a basic need. See to it that you bring an extra day’s worth of nutrition, but bring food items that can easily be packed or something you don’t need to cook, like energy bars. You’ll need the extra food when you’re stranded somewhere or to help keep you warm.
- Hydration. Equally as important to food is water and other forms of hydration (energy drinks, juice, etc.). You’ll never survive without it. Have water bottle and collapsible canteen handy. And if you want to drink from a nearby water source, better have a purifier with you.
- UV protection. Being outdoors can expose you to the scorching heat of the sun, and so it is important that we shield ourselves from it. Have your sunglasses ready, as well as sunscreen and some sun protection clothing.
- Light Source. We will be staying outdoors during the night and we will be wandering into places we don’t really knkw, so it would be wise to have some illumination to guide and protect us. Make sure to pack flashlights, lanterns and, even better, headlamps.
- First Aid Kit. Like I said, camping can be a risky actvity. You will encounter different things, different animals and different terrain. So keep your first aid kit fully stocke, from bandages to medication, disinfectants, etc.
- Fire Source. Another camping essential would be a fire source, such as matches and firestarters, especially if you don’t know how to start a fire with just the things around you. You’ll need it for light, for warmth and for cooking.
- Tools. You will also need tools. Some people always keep a swiss army knife handy for various reasons. A basic knife can also be useful for food preparation, kindling and even first aid. A pair of scissors and duct tape are also quite useful for repairs.
In archery and bowhunting, there is no question as to the importance of a bow string. You can never shoot an arrow without it. Because of that, and the fact that a bow string is pretty delicate, we make it a point to take good care of it. Part of that is getting it to last longer. you can always replace the string as it gets worn out, but there are actually a few things you can do to put this task on hold.
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- A great way to maximize the life of your bow string is to wax it. Waxing will actually maintain the dryness of your string, as well as keep it flexible and soft. You would have to make sure that you wax thoroughly so that the application penetrates into your string’s strands. Make a habit of waxing your bow string, and you’ll see that you won’t have the need to replace it as often as you usually do.
- For those who have long been dry firing their bow strings, this is actually a big no-no. You might notice that a lot of times your bow string would easily break. The problem isn’t with the string. The more you draw and release without an arrow, the weaker your string becomes, and the more chances that your cables and bow limbs will also get damaged.
- If possible, store your bow and accessories separately, so you ca keep your bow away from sharp objects that might damage it. Things tend move around inside containers, especially when they are kept in a disorganized manner. And when that happens, your bow string has a good chance of getting creased, entangled or cut.
- Protecting your serving will also help in preserving your bow string. By using a string loop, a tiny cord that is tied around the bow string and the arrow nock, you get to have the release on the loop rather than on the serving, preventing any possible damage to the serving.
- One other thing to keep your bow string intact (and this is especially for bowhunters or those who enjoy shooting outdoors) is to check your bow for any debris that might have gotten stuck. Check the cam and the wheel track, and always remember to do this as dirt and other particles may weaken your bow string and you won’t be able to get it waxed effectively.
Your years of experience in hiking may have already taught you a lot of things. You have a wide knowledge of what to wear, what type of gear to bring, how to read a map, how to survive outdoors and how to do first aid – those sorts of things. However, sometimes, a lot of us can become pretty stubborn and ignore some of the most basic things when it comes to hiking. That said, to refresh your minds and to stress some important details to beginners, here are 5 things you should remember when planning to go on a hike.
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- Be Prepared – This mantra doesn’t just apply to boy scouts and girl scouts. It applies to everybody, from those who want to go on a hike to those who just want to go on a vacation. When it comes to hiking, you should first condition yourself, especially if you haven’t done it for quite some time now or if you have your heart set on a particular trail. And keep in mind that utilizing the treadmill and its incline feature is not enough.
- Choose the Right Trail – Different hiking trails have varying degrees of difficulty. And if you’re just a novice, its best you stick to easier trails until you have more experience. You will only burden yourself and your hiking buddies once you go for something beyond your physical and mental capabilities.
- Bring Only What You Need – A lot of people make the common mistake of going too far with hiking supplies, especially clothing. Don’t dress in layers, bring along the right amount of food and water you need, and try to minimize everything else especially when you plan to go on a day hike. Yes, you may own a day pack, but stuffing it with a lot of extras will leave you outbalanced and utterly exhausted.
- Start Slow – When people go hiking, they have the option to start with a slow pace or a fast one. However, the latter is never recommended. Setting the right pace means starting slow, because if you plan to go for a long hike, setting a fast pace will tire you out in the middle of a trail. Why hurry? You’re not doing a marathon.
- Know When to Turn Back – So, you’ve decided to pick a long trail, but later on you start feeling tired. Don’t try to force yourself to finish the trail and try to exceed your capabilities. You need to know when to turn back. Consider this: You decided to go on a hike because you find that it’s loads of fun. When you become exhausted later on, you won’t find it fun at all.
We expose ourselves to a different environment when out hiking, camping and the like. And as for footwear, our hike boots are more exposed to dirt, mud or other gunk that will require us to give our boots a good scrubbing. But what is the best way to clean our hike boots? And how do we make sure they stay in good condition for future hikes? Let’s discuss a few tips.
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- For one, the best tools to use when cleaning your hike boots are water and a brush (preferably a specialized brush or a simple vegetable brush or toothbrush). There are also 3 things you can use to keeping them in good condition – cleaner, conditioner and waterproofing – but we’ll talk about that later.
- Before cleaning your boots, make sure you remove their insoles and shoelaces. This allows your your hike boots to dry properly. And don’t expose the, to extreme heat when drying. Just keep them at room temperature.
- Be sure to keep the care instructions for your hike boots. Each manufacturer may have different instructions for cleaning boots, and it’s important that you follow these instructions as they are the ones who know best on how to take care of their products.
- Make time to clean your hike boots when you go home. Or do it the next day if your that tired. The important thing is to clean them as soon as possible so that dirt and grime doesn’t crawl deep into your boots and slowly start ruining them. And if you have leather boots, mud sticking to your boots can attract moisture and the leather will dwindle in flexibility.
- Aside from water and a brush, clean your boots with a specialized cleaner, as those are made specifically for your hike boots. If those aren’t available, saddle soap or a mild dishwashing soap can be good alternatives. And if you have moldy boots, you can clean it with a solution containing 80% water and 20% vinegar.
- When your leather boots appear cracked, best apply a conditioner so that it gets moisturized and maintains its pliability. But remember not to apply to much at once as your boots can become too soft that the support it gives you diminishes.
- As for waterproofing your hike boots, you don’t have to do that every time you clean them. Use waterproofing only when water doesn’t bead up quickly on the exterior of your boots. Apply waterproofing to the outer layer of your boots and allow it to be absorbed.
The great outdoors is a wonderful place to be in, and you’d love for a chance to take your kids out hiking, camping or backpacking. However, they might not be as excited as you, or they might not be as ready for mile-long hikes as you are. For this reason, it would be great if you could give them an idea of what to expect on your trip.
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- Your children might not be so fond of intense activities, and so their legs probably aren’t used to long hours of walking. Better get them started by taking them on practice hike. Buy them their first pair of hiking boots to get them fired up. Then if they seem ready, try extending your hikes to a half day activity.
- It would be a good idea if you start encouraging your kids at a young age. The earlier you introduce them to hiking and backpacking, the more likely they are to embrace the activity. You can start preparing your kids as early as 3 years, but be sure they’re healthy enough to tag along.
- When you go on practice hikes, remind your younger children that it is important for mommy and daddy not to carry them. However, if they do feel tired, they’re allowed to decide when you should all stop to take a breather. And as a parent, you should be patient and ready for multiple break times.
- The best way to get your kids interested in camping is to set up camp at home. May it be in your backyard, in your child’s room or any good space inside the home, make a family activity out of teaching them how to pitch a tent or familiarizing them with appropriate games and camp songs.
- One other tip is to get your kids involved in planning your backpacking trips. Ask them where they’d like to set camp, when they want to head out and what activities they want the family to do. Take their decisions seriously because it a good sign when they’re receptive when planning trips.
- Also, as you go on hikes, make sure you observe how your young ones respond to the outdoors. If you want your kids to embrace hiking, backpacking, camping and other outdoor activities, don’t push them to do anything they don’t want to do. Keep things light and keep things fun.
The best camping trips are usually at locations by the water. Well, at least that’s what I enjoy. I say this because camping by a lake, by a river or by the beach means more activities. You get to fish, swim, snorkel, kayak, and play a lot of other water sports with your companions, or you can simply splash each other with water and have lots of fun. So how do you go about planning this exciting camping trip? And what do you have to take note of once you’re there?
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- Just as you would on your other camping trips, pack up all the essentials, but this time don’t forget to bring along the stuff you need for your water activities – swimwear, fishing gear, tools for building sandcastles if you’re going with kids, etc.
- Practice common courtesy. Always remember to clean up after yourselves. And even if you see trash that isn’t yours, do your camp site a favor and dispose of them, as well. This will ensure a clean camp environment for you, other campers and the creature who dwell in the area.
- If your group doesn’t want to stay at just one camp site, but plan on paddling through the area, see to it that you are familiar with the area and the paddling route. Before setting off, make it a point to check your map and decide on alternative stopping points just in case.
- While setting up camp somewhere new feels like an adventure, it is still recommended that you stay at established campsites. These places offer fire pits, toilet facilities and other amenities that help reduce impact on land.
- When heading out to places without established camping sites, you should remember to set up camp at least 200 meters away from the nearby water source to avoid contaminating the water. If possible, bring a collapsible sink. In addition, try to avoid damaging plants when setting up camp.
- Keep in mind that water levels rise and fall. If your group decides to camp at coastal areas, keep yourselves up to date with the tides. And if you’re paddling or camping by the river, watch out for water marks. Also, be familiar with elements indicative of flood washes and steer clear of areas where they’re likely to occur.
- Lastly, when you arrive at your stopping point, make sure your boats are safe and secure. You wouldn’t want to get stuck in the middle of nowhere without a way back and without anything to help carry all your stuff.