I do a lot of reading on other blogs, magazines and such to soak up more information and tips for hiking the trails. The other day I came across one that recommended never hiking with an IPOD or any other music. The recommendation surprised me because it was so contrary to how I usually take the trails.
As I think about it I guess it makes sense from one perspective. If you have your ear buds in and music on then you can’t hear what is on the trail. That’s the safety theory I suppose. It doesn’t line up to my experience though. Granted my musical preferences on the trail are pretty light and I don’t crank the volume up too much but I have never had a problem hearing the sounds of the trail or the woods around me when I pop out the IPOD on the trail.
As the last set of posts show I did section 2 of the Ozark Highlands Trail solo. I have done a lot of day hikes and a few overnighters solo and never thought much about it. I took along a first aid kit and that was about the gist of it. I guess we can call that mistakes of a beginner.
I read a story the other day about a hiker in Canada who was injured and lost for several days. The cold kicked in causing frost bite and while he was just a short distance from the search crews that were looking for him the cold had affected him to a degree that he was no longer making rationale decisions. Thankfully, this story ended well with the hiker found and brought home safely but not all stories do. In fact, every year hikers end up lost or dead on the trail due to dangers they run into while hiking alone.
My son runs cross country and after every meet we always ask him what he learned, what he could have done better. The same goes for hiking. One of the things I like about hiking a trail as strenuous as section 1 of the OHT is that I am pushed to many of my limits and can find areas where strength or adjustment is needed. A good assessment and debrief should be in order as I finish each of section of the trail. Theoretically, by the time I get to the end of the Ozark Highlands Hiking Trail there should be a good deal of proficiency in my outdoor competency and hiking. I know I have already grown and improved through the hiking completed so far so this stands to reason. Here are some things that I have found in need of tightening in my hiking excursions after this trip.
Meals on the Trail: Some Ideas for You from What We Cooked on Section 1 of the Ozark Highlands Hiking Trail
Most of these meals were surprisingly simple, and all of them were light weight for hauling around the trail. The biggest and bulkiest item that had to be carried was a blue metal pot purchased at WalMart in which we cooked 3 out of 4 of the items. Honestly, we did not need a pot that big and I will be downsizing for Section 2 of the trail.
I was on the trail the other day and my mind got to wandering as to what are the elements are that make up a great hike. I still have not quite figured out what it is I enjoy so much about hiking the trails of the mid south but I know I come back refreshed from every outing. Here is a list of 5 elements needed for a great hike. Let me know if you have others. (more…)
I made the foolish mistake last winter of leaving most of my water in the truck (by accident) while I did the 15 mile Butterfield Trail over at Devil’s Den in northwest Arkansas. I paid dearly for this mistake and by mile 8 I was paying for it. This kind of mistake could be life threatening in the hot conditions we are currently experiencing.
No matter if you are an experienced backpacker or a new day-hiker, here are specific steps you can take to stay safe from the heat on the trail. (more…)
I have an unhealthy “concern” of snakes while out on the trail – especially this time of year. I thank my mom for this and the image of several dead rattlers on our front porch when I was a child not to mention two occasions when kings snakes got into my childhood home via the fire place. Statistically the odds of being snake bitten are pretty slim while on the trail and if you are like me the greater danger is cardiac arrest or bumping my head on rocks or trees while jumping around shrieking like a mad man at the sight of one. However, in the event of a snake sighting on the trail (and you will see them this time of year) there are steps that can be taken to prevent biting that every hiker should be aware of and incorporate into their hiking. (more…)