Saturday, October 22, 2016

Full Effective Guide to Backpacking plus Hiking with you Dogs

City dogs may seem happy to stroll around or share a backyard romp with a playmate, but odds are that they're daydreaming of crisp trail air and mud beneath their feet. 

Many dog breeds get a serious adrenaline rush from putting their paws on a hiking path – one that isn't replicable in an urban environment, said Linda Mullally, co-author of eight books on hiking with your furry friend, includingBest Dog Hikes Northern California and Hiking With Dogs – Becoming a Wilderness-Wise Dog Owner

"Once they get a taste of the trail, they're never the same again," Mullally said. 

"All their senses get turned on high. The exercise and the mental stimulation makes them much calmer. We all need to get our edge off, and city dogs don't always get to do that the way they need to, at least not in the natural way that their ancestors did." 

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Here are some tips for dog owners on how to make sure you and your dog are at your best on the trail.
Ensure your dog is obedient and understands all the basic commands.
Ensure your dog is obedient and understands all the basic commands.

Not all dogs wag their tails when they see a steep, snowy slope or a long, winding trail. 

Some breeds don't necessarily have the temperament for the outdoors and are happier with the comforts of home. Others, especially small, hefty breeds such as pugs and bulldogs, can't breathe well enough to take arduous journeys. 

Katie Albert, a sales manager at a recreational equipment store, said she's always chosen husky mixes because she knows they can match her thirst for the outdoors. 

"Being aware of your own dog is important," she said. "Do they have the capacity and desire to follow you down a trail? Are they going to have shorter legs and overheat too quickly? If they're too old and they've got arthritis, then that's just mean."
But never fear – there are plenty of dogs who've been bred for centuries to be perfect trail companions. Tibetan terriers, for example, are small but versatile, having been bred as herders in Tibetan monasteries. They are sturdy climbers and do well in the snow. Bernese mountain dogs, as the name implies, are strong, athletic dogs with thick coats. They do well on slopes and in cold weather. There are dozens of other breeds that would prefer the open range to the living room carpet any day.
Rocky paths and coarse sand can make a dog's paws tender after just a few kilometres.
Rocky paths and coarse sand can make a dog's paws tender after just a few kilometres.
Any dog that's bound for the trail needs to understand basic commands, including sit, stay, heel and other skills that can be taught in obedience class.
They'll need that foundation when they confront new elements in the outdoors such as other hikers, other dogs, horses, squirrels or even cows, said Mullally, who has trained dogs for the trail.
"In the city you won't see backpackers with hiking sticks and hats and big packs," she said. "Those things are all intimidating to a dog and they look very threatening. We have the dogs get used to the equipment around the house."
Many popular hiking trails require dogs be kept on leashes. Mullally recommends that owners keep dogs leashed anyway on trails without the requirement, to protect them from irritating larger animals that could hurt them. Owners who do want to hike with dogs off-leash should be 100 per cent confident in a dog's ability to respond to voice commands, she said.
Albert said she had her last dog, a husky mix named Zula, trained to return to her on her distinctive whistle, no matter what.
Still, she wouldn't take Zula off leash unless she felt it was safe for the dog and other animals.
"A lot of trails that I go on are kind of in the middle of nowhere and it's OK to bring dogs," she said. "But I'm very aware of whether a place is wildlife protected."
Playing dress-up with your dog might seem silly, but having the right accessories can make the difference between an excellent trail day and a miserable one.
Footwear is important, especially for dogs that are new to hiking, Mullally said. Rocky paths and even coarse sand can make a dog's paws tender after just a few kilometres. It's a good idea to get a pair of doggy boots to protect the pads of their feet. Always let the dog practice in those boots at home before taking them on a long trip, she said.
"If your dog is used to just walking around the block, going to the dog park, then his feet won't be used to the terrain and it could be very abrasive to the paws," she said. "It happens quickly, and next thing you know your dog is slowing down. And if you don't have booties, you're going to end up carrying your dog."
It's also a good idea to get your dog his or her own fitted backpack. Dogs should only carry between a quarter and a third of their own weight in the pack, Mullally said. Dogs with heavy packs will become tired and overheated easily and will require more water and more frequent breaks.
People should also pack lots of water, doggie bags for dog waste and cold compresses for hot days.
Some dogs can be affected by altitude sickness, so owners should look out for signs of lethargy such as slow pace or a tucked tail.
"Dogs can't tell us when something's wrong," Mullally said. "They're always so eager to please. There are many stories about dogs who are too eager to please and owners who weren't as attentive as they should have been. Their tails, their ears, their eyes are body language signs to pay attention to."

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Friday, October 21, 2016

A Good Backpack Is Every Traveler's Perfect Companion

When you are planning to travel or going for a long trip then a backpack is a must. Selecting a best backpack to travel is one of the most difficult task to do. A backpack should be of such size that makes the traveler's trip easy and adventurous. The range of backpacks available in USA Sport & Survival is not only perfect but is also appropriate for most men and women according to their heights. They are comfortable, light-weighted and easy to carry.

Backpacks are of various categories designed according to the needs of the traveler. Some example are Daypacks, External frame backpacks, Hydration Packs, Internal Frame Backpacks. In Daypacks we can have a look at the Alps Mountaineering OutdoorZ Accessory Pack which is definitely going to impress you by its features. Its very spacious and keep all your belongings safe in its padded compartments. This backpack fits well for any mountaineering trip. Its actual price is $19.99 but here you can get this at just $11.30. Apart from this bag you can also experience some adventure in the mountains with the new Alps Mountaineering Zion Olive 3900. Its water resistant quality with a separate sleeping bag room and top loading feature makes this backpack best among its competitors.

Another type of backpack that one can also look for is the Alps Mountaineering Red Rock Rust 2050. This backpack is different from its competitors in the sense that it gives you more features at a very low price. Its rust color attracts the younger travelers. Coming to the features of this backpack, particularly one thing that is worth mentioning is its large zippers. It is hydration compatible and is equipped with padded straps which can be customized according to your shoulder positions. It gives you enough chambers and space to carry your water bottle, gear, and other personal items. In the Internal Frame Backpacks, we can try out the Chinook Rainier 75, Black which is made up of high quality polyester and have ample capacity with top loading feature. This bag fits best in your shoulder due to its advanced shoulder straps of adaptable fabric.

USA Sport & Survival offers wide variety of backpack at very reasonable price keeping in mind the other expenses one has to bear while planning a trip. If you want to make your trip an organized one but at the same time don't want to take much headache regarding your luggage then you should go for these backpacks. The backpacks available here never gives you a chance to complain. The reasons why one should backpacks from USA Sport & Survival are:

  • They offers backpacks of all shapes and sizes with different holding capacity.
  • Low price without compromising with the quality.
  • Large and many compartments meant for all kind of luggage.
  • Adjustable straps in the shoulder and torso region
Here you can some best backpacks meant for all purpose travel. If you want to go for mountain hiking or camping in the quiet woods you do not need to worry. Backpack of all sizes and capacities are available in its online portal UsaSportandSurvival.Com. Its time for you enjoy your trip to the fullest.

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Thursday, October 20, 2016

74-year-old Manhattan Beach man missing after backpacking trip

Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks, Calif. -- Park officials are requesting the public's help with information regarding a missing hiker. On Tuesday, October 18, 2016, park dispatch was notified of an overdue hiker visiting the wilderness of Kings Canyon National Park. Robert "Bob" Woodie, a 74-year-old from Manhattan Beach, CA, was supposed to return from a backpacking trip on Sunday, October 16, 2016. 
Mr. Woodie's intended route of travel may have been from South Lake, outside Bishop, CA, into the park via Bishop Pass starting on Thursday, October 13, 2016. He was possibly at Barrett Lakes, southeast of Dusy Basin, on the evening of Saturday, October 15, 2016, based on an electronic check-in message received from his satellite message device. The area experienced some inclement weather during this timeframe, with some areas above about 10,500 ft receiving snow. Overnight temperatures continue to be below freezing.
He is an experienced hiker who is familiar with the area. Mr. Woodie is a white male with brown hair and brown eyes and is 5'5" and around 150 pounds. He was possibly carrying a blue shell type jacket, baseball cap or floppy hat, and boots. He is reported to have an internal frame backpack, possibly blue in color, and no hiking poles. 
Two helicopters and 20 field personnel participated in park search operations today, with  operations planned for Thursday, October, 20, 2016. The area is a high sierra alpine environment, between approximately 8,000 and 12,000 feet elevation. The rugged terrain includes areas of forest, alpine lakes, and areas above tree line with talus slopes and rocky mountain passes.
This search and rescue incident is being coordinated with the Inyo County Sheriff's Department, which is simultaneously performing search operations adjacent to the park boundary within Inyo National Forest. 
Anyone who may have come across Mr. Woodie or have any other information is encouraged to contact Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks at 559-565-3117 with their name, contact information. Please contact the park if you were in this area since Thursday, October 13, 2016, even if you do not believe you saw Mr. Woodie.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Backpacking Tips so you can go FAR

Hiking miles and miles every day with a pack on takes a physical toll. Our corespondents thru-hiking the Pacific Crest Trail this year step back to talk about motivation, injury prevention, and general ‘wellness’ out there on the long haul.
thru-hikers on PCT
With roughly 400 miles of the PCT behind them this spring (and 2,190 miles of the Appalachian Trail logged last year), the ‘Packing It Out’ crew has developed a system to stay healthy and motivated while hiking 25+ miles each day.

Article written by Paul Twedt, a ‘Packing It Out’ founder.
When preparing for a thru-hike backpacking trip, people run, hike with a pack on, and train in many ways. But the truth is most things in life won’t prepare you for what the main event entails. Give or take a mile or two, we walk a marathon distance every day.
Not only that, we carry our lives on our backs along with whatever unknown amount of trash we find along the way. This weight plus the distance can wear you down.
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stretching while thru-hiking
The ‘Packing It Out’ crew doing some pre-meal stretching
We do this for roughly 150 days in a row to accomplish our goals. It puts a tremendous amount of stress on the body, both physically and mentally. This is our choice; we are thru-hikers.

Think ‘MSC’ To Manage Hiking’s Physical And Mental Aspects

An imperative aspect of thru-hiking success lies in each hiker’s ability to cope with physical and mental challenges.
During our 2015 Appalachian Trail thru-hike, the Packing It Out crew learned that we could manage the not-so-trivial challenge of aches, pains, and injuries with what we dubbed Meticulous Self Care (hereafter referred to as MSC).
hiking stretches
MSC includes all yoga, stretches, self massage, physical therapy, and calisthenics that we incorporate into our daily routines for health, wellness, and self-improvement.
While MSC may seem to be primarily physical in nature, it is equally important as a mental stimulant.

Yoga, PT, Massages

Every day we strive to feel better than the day before. With the demands we put on our bodies, this requires a dedication to our physical fitness and flexibility.
Practicing varied yoga poses daily helps us to strengthen stabilizer and core muscles that keep our joints healthy as we walk.
As preventative measures, physical therapy exercises for issues such as IT band syndrome and plantar fasciitis help us push beyond our known weaknesses.
We use tools like a golf ball or racquet ball to do deep tissue massage and release trigger points.
A group of four young thru-hikers heads north today from the southern terminus of the Pacific Crest Trail on a mission to clean 1,000 pounds of trash off the classic American trail.Read more...

Winning The Backpacking Mind Game

Focusing our minds on our body posture and walking form engages our minds and helps us to feel pain free at day’s end. Maintaining positivity, learning new skills, and engaging in intellectual discussions are all a part of our MSC as well.
Keeping a positive mental attitude helps us to remain joyful and exuberant when we find challenges like large trash dumps along the trail.
pacific crest trail lookout
Learning new physical therapy exercises, as well as learning about the area we are passing through, keeps our minds from stagnating while helping us keep our bodies strong along the journey.
Our widely varied discussions — from business models or how t-rex hunted and ate, to how best to engage others in the Packing It Out stewardship ethic — all seem to encompass broader horizons when camped among the mountains and endless skies of the desert.

MSC For Life

In all, our MSC is more than just a daily routine done each morning, but really it encompasses a mindset towards a lifetime of health and well-being.
It begs the question, did my life prepare me for this thru-hike, or is this thru-hike better preparing me for the rest of my life?
–Follow the crew on our ‘Packing It Out’ page. To date, the group has hiked 400+ miles from the U.S./Mexico border to Ravena, Calif. Connect with Paul, Seth, and Chris on InstagramTwitter, and their blog.
pacific crest trail hikers

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Student Adventure backpacking trip sign-ups

Join us on a weekend backpacking trip up to the gorgeous north Georgia mountains where we will explore the trails of Vogel State Park. We’ll leave Friday Oct. 21 around 3 p.m. and come back Sunday Oct. 23 around 5 p.m. For the one time all-inclusive price of only $80 you’ll be set. That covers all of your food for the weekend, your transportation (gas is expensive), campsite reservations and equipment (The Outdoor Center has backpacks, sleeping bags, rain jackets and lots more for students to use on this trip).
Student Adventures is committed to working with experience levels beginning backpackers, nature novices, and even outdoor enthusiasts. Do not let a lack of experience, equipment or not knowing anyone on the trip dampen your curiosity or love for the outdoors. The Outdoor Center will provide a large majority of the equipment, the helpful Student Adventure staff will cover the basics to make sure everyone knows what they are getting into, and this is an incredible opportunity to make new friends on an exciting adventure.

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Trip Details:
  •  To sign up- To reserve your spot on this trip, email with an “I want to reserve my spot for the Vogel Backpacking trip”. The last day to sign up is Wednesday Oct. 19 at 5 p.m.
  •  If you have any questions/concerns- If this sounds like a fun time, but you are unsure about it for whatever reason, please email me at I would love to set up a time to talk about this trip or anything regarding to Student Adventures.
  •  After you sign up- We will need to meet up and discuss the details of the trip, fill out some forms and collect payment. At this meeting, we will go over the equipment list. This list will have a number of required and suggested items you’ll need for the trip. The Outdoor Center will provide a majority of these required items such as backpacks, sleeping bags, rain jackets, etc. if needed. However, if you have your own equipment you are more than welcome to use yours. Payment will be at the WRC with a debit or credit card only
Trip Outline
  • Depart from Georgia College at 3:30 p.m. on Friday Oct. 21
  • Arrive at Vogel State Park, set up Pioneer Campsite near parking lot
  • Hike 7-9 miles Saturday
    • We will stop along the way for ample breaks to rest, look at cool things, check out the view and of course a selfie from time to time.
  • Wake up early Sunday and hike approx. 5 miles to the van
  • Drive back to Georgia College and have you at your vehicles by 5-6 p.m.
Future Trips
Check out our Facebook Page to see photos/videos of recent trips, keep up to date with what's happening next and to suggest any ideas you may have for future trips or better ways to get the word out about Student Adventures
Billy Copeland
Assistant Director of the Outdoor Center
Getting ready to start our trip!!
Lets get going...but first lets take a selfie!

Monday, October 17, 2016

Backpacking the Wild Coast: Coffee Bay's twist on a pub hop

A few things I've learned about the Wild Coast during a much-too-brief three-day new year's celebration...
One, the Wild Coast appeals to absolutely everyone. Two, You'll want to arrive well-rested and keeping an open mind. Three, and, no, three days doesn't cut it - unless you are really into trance music and dreadlocks.
If you disapprove of local youths selling dodgy smelling 'vegetables', rather stop reading now and opt for a Wild Coast foodie escape. 
But if the harsh 'real life' grind is getting you down and you are craving something that will take you out of your comfort zone, learn a new language, and experience an array of new things, a wild escape such as this might be just what you need.
At this destination like no other in SA, you'll get that secluded feeling. It will seem like civilisation has not yet reached all the nooks and crannies - which is in fact a reality for the rural villagers of this remote region of SA.

And yet, the fact that there are stocked bars may seem bizarre considering the bumpy commute you'll go through to reach Coffee Bay.

Peak season nightlife in Coffee Bay is indeed not for everyone, but those who manage to embrace the culture will go home having had a thrilling experience. Chances are you will go home with one or two new talents: Either mastering the art of drumming,  or kind of getting the hang of 'fire poi' (minus a few patches of your eyebrows) A bonus is certainly the skill of being able to play the ukelele along to 'Somewhere over the Rainbow.'
Chances are just as good that you would have played and lost at Jenga somewhere along the lines and you will struggle to lose 'Kunjani' from your new Wild Coast vocab.

How to make the most of your Wild Coast party escape:
1. Embrace your home base
Everything about Bomvu Paradise Backpackers is welcoming and 'chilled' until you realise that you've entered a 48-hour trance party. Nevertheless, you quickly adjust and receive your first lesson in 'being mellow'. You'll even start to miss the constant boom-chicka-boom when you leave.
Before exploring the rest of Coffee Bay, you will probably befriend a few folks who find your ukelele-playing friend's 'baby guitar' very amusing. 
A game of Connect 4 with your new friends and you might end up performing a semi-tribal dance with them by the massive fire pit while entertainers for the evening provide the bongo background music - yes, a rather idyllic start to your Coffee Bay break.
Fellow backpackers will also find it entertaining if someone in your entourage has mastered the art of 'fire poi' - it's not difficult to make conversation at a backpacker like Bomvu, where you will meet real modern day hippies, multi-lingual European tourists and a whole bunch of city slickers braving their very own wild escape.
2. Pub-hopping Coffee Bay style
After familiarising yourself with your surroundings (knowing which room or tent is yours) its time for a little exploring. A night out in Coffee Bay is an authentic rural-meets-tourist experience.
As soon as you step into the street, interested youths will approach you with their arts, crafts and tales. Pinch off some time for a chat and find out where the best hangouts are.

The crew at Jah Drums will teach you the art of djembe drumming and send you home with your own handmade instrument. You will meet some interesting characters and master the beats in no time.
Make a pit stop at The Coffee Shack, before you head for supper at Papazela's - a hot spot for pool, pizza and (by day) a terrific Coffee Bay view.
Still walking to the beat of the drum, head up the road toward Sugarloaf Backpackers for fun and games with staff members and guests alike. Local barmen are friendly but will most likely beat you in pool and, yes, you will end up treating them to a round of shots.

3. The hills are alive
A new year's celebration in the Transkei is not complete until you have explored the hilly surroundings between your hostel and the beach. A vibrant atmosphere fills the air as strangers become friends and the odd stray cow adds to the already remarkable scenery of the Transkei.
In the evening circles of people gather here and there, music coming from every direction, the odd burst of fireworks and loads of content faces passing by puts everyone in the happy Wild Coast mood.
Take your sleeping bag and musical instruments along with you, spend the night under the stars  simply because you can. Waking up for a sunrise makes for one special way to close off your Coffee Bay experience.