In a couple weeks, 25 young adventurers, hikers, climbers, and outdoor lovers will take part in an extraordinary project to raise funds for Epic Experience, a camp in Colorado that provides outdoor experiences to inspire and empower cancer fighters and survivors. Each of us have been tasked with taking on a daring and audacious project known as #Adventure4Life. The goal of this project is to raise $25,000 with every cent going towards the camp. Each adventurer will raise $1,000 through their own unique project which ranges from hikers to kayakers and climbers demonstrating the best of their abilities. (more…)
I apologize for not posting a whole lot lately. I have been super busy and 5 days until #JMT2013. I hope everyone is doing some awesome adventuring over the 4th and this weekend. Be safe out there and have fun.
There has not been a whole lot going on outside of getting ready for the JMT and the #omniten trips. Continued prep and training for them both. I would like to tell you about a new opportunity that I recently began. I have been hired on by a company called Puma Knife Company. I have been tasked with updating their website and helping create and implementing social strategies.
PUMA® has been setting the world’s standard for hunting knives for 240 years since the company was founded in 1769 in Solingen, Germany! In the truest old world tradition, each PUMA® knife proudly bears the Rockwell hardness proof mark that proves that particular knife delivers the PUMA® promise. Browse our site for a journey into the story of the world’s best knives.
We have lots of good ideas and plans that we are working to accomplish to help take this older brand and help grow the brand both in awareness but also help spread the word of their great products. Please check them out at their website, Facebook, and Twitter. Puma has lots of great new products coming to market and I am very excited to help grow the Puma brand across the social web.
In the words of The Muir Project Team “In an epic snow year, five friends leave their daily lives behind to hike California’s historic John Muir Trail, a 211-mile stretch from Yosemite to Mt. Whitney (the highest peak in the contiguous U.S.). Their goal — complete the journey in 25 days while capturing the amazing sights & sounds they encounter along the way. Inspired by their bond, humor, artistry & dedication, the group continues to grow: to include other artists, musicians & adventure seekers. Before they all reach the summit, hikers and viewers alike affirm the old adage — it’s about the journey, not the destination. Mile… Mile & A Half is the feature-length documentary of that journey…” – See more at: The Muir Project Website
The trailer for this video hit the interwebs and was quickly spread across all social media outlets. The trailer alone made the John Muir Trail a must do on my bucket list of life. I know I am not the only one who did the same thing. I started to research their project and followed the adventure to get the documentary funded and then completed. The Muir Project team used Kickstarter to successfully help fund the documentary. I funded the video and was able to get a DVD sent to me as a perk for funding the project. When the DVD arrived in the mail I put it directly in the DVD Player and hit play. The excitement to watch it was beyond words.
The Muir Project team did not disappoint. A fantastic adventure of heartbreak, friendship, and determination. Throw in some crazy characters with hundreds of pounds of extra video, sound, and various other equipment and you have a great time. Add in amazing music by Opus Orange and its Aces in my book. If you are hiker, backpacker or even couch adventurer this movie is a must see. They are currently traveling around the United States on a premier tour. To find out their next stops check out their tour schedue.
You can also find them on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.
John Muir Trail Updates
It has been a while since I have sent out a newsletter and thought it was a good time to do so. As June quickly comes to an end and July 8th quickly approaches. On July 8th I will be flying from Kansas City to Seattle Washington where I will meet up with Paul Osborn aka @bcoutdoor (on Twitter). We will be driving from Seattle to Merced California and then hopping a shuttle to Yosemite National Park. The morning of the 9th we will be setting out on our 2013 John Muir Trail thru-hike. We have our permits, food drops, and route all set. We are going out a few days earlier than the rest of the crew to hike twenty or so miles to the Tuolumne Meadows area. I am sad to say that David Creech aka @DavidECreech (on twitter) has been forced to back out of the trip due to a injury. A huge disappointment to all of us. He and his wife are going to try to meet up with us on the trail. Everything depends on what the doctors allow him to do. I hope we do get to see him out there but at the same time he needs to get that foot healed so that he can attend the Columiba #omniten Rouge River adventure.
In late April I announced that I had been honored with being chosen as one of 10 bloggers by Columbia to take part in an epic adventure sponsored by Columbia Sportswear. If you missed that announcement you can read it here. The #omniten crew recently found out that we are being sent to Oregon to go white water rafting on the Rogue River to do some gear testing. We will be doing this in mid to late August so keep on the lookout for more #omniten posts and keep up with what is going on by following the #omniten hashtag on twitter.
Other Outdoor News
Recently I launched a new project called Social Media Outdoors. A blog in which I share tips tricks and information about social media as it pertains to the outdoor sector. I have a passion for both social media and the outdoors and felt that blogging about social media on Hiking The Trail was not what my readers would want and instead created the new site. If you are a blogger or have an interest in social media please check it out. To keep up with my posts you can also follow Social Media Outdoors on Twitter and Facebook.
A lot of weekend warriors stow their survival gear in an emergency kit and think they’re ready for anything. But, over time, your gear will need to be maintained, and possibly replaced, to keep it working in top condition. This article looks at common things that need to be replaced regularly in your survival kit, and at tips for maintaining your more permanent supplies.
Store It Well
The first thing you should consider about your survival gear is how it is stored, and storage will vary depending on where you live or travel. If you have a kit aboard your fishing boat, for example, that will be different than the one you keep in your car. Wherever you store it, it should be safe from water, heat and insect damage.
Make a Schedule
Next, make a schedule for checking your kit. You should check any travel emergency kit before taking any long or potentially hazardous trip. Car and home kits should be checked after having been used or every six months, whichever is sooner. Make a hard and fast rule for your household that any time someone borrows something from your emergency kit, it needs to be replaced or replenished within 24 hours, even if it’s just a bandage or a single flashlight battery. Ideally, no one will borrow anything from a survival kit unless it’s a true emergency, but it’s good to have a procedure to follow, just in case.
Any perishable items in your kit must be replaced periodically, and this includes drinking water if that’s part of your gear. It can help to make a paper checklist that you keep with your kit. On this list include an inventory of all of the items in the kit, the dates that those items were placed in the kit, and the expiration date or date of next servicing. For example, some painkillers and other medicine in the first-aid portion of your kit may have a use-by date of only a year or two from when you purchased them. It’s best to make sure that everything in your kit has an expiration date of at least six months in the future and longer if possible. While that’s not to say that a painkiller that is a few days past expiration can’t be taken, the whole point of a survival kit is to help you out in a difficult situation, and making sure that all of your items are current and ready to be used is key.
Replace Batteries and Safeguard Basic Components
Batteries are another important point to consider when you overhaul your emergency kit. Unused batteries can hold their charge for months — but do you want to take the risk that your flashlight won’t work just because you didn’t think to change out the batteries on your last check of the emergency kit? And, if you have any lights, satellite phones, radios or other technological items that have in-built batteries that need to be charged, make sure you take note of that as well on your handy emergency checklist.
Knives and fire-making tools are usually listed as the first two components of even the most basic survival kit, and as such, yours should be in tip-top condition. Keep your blades sharp, oil hinges of folding knives, and refill lighter fluids if necessary.
Cordage, straps and buckles are another part of your emergency go-gear that should be checked periodically, even if you haven’t used your kit since you last looked at them. Extreme weather changes, pests like mice or moths and other things out of your control can weaken fibers or corrode metal components.
What Can You Upgrade?
Keep an eye out for what you can upgrade. The market for survival gear is constantly changing, with many innovations bringing lighter-weight, smarter gear to be used in emergencies. Just because you bought something 10 years ago and it still works fine doesn’t mean that there’s not something better you could get now. For example, can any of the cordage or ropes you have in your existing kit be replaced with lighter, more versatile paracord? Is there a more nutritious and tasty alternative to the energy bars you last packed? Being aware of advances on the market now might make a tangible difference in an emergency later.
About the Author: Hobert Pruitt works for GlobalSatelliteCommunications.com, a leading satellite-phone provider.
Getting lost is not always a bad thing. There are some times where getting lost can be very dangerous and not recommended however some times getting lost can be good. There are two types of getting lost while on the trail. The first type is that of getting turned around or unable to find the correct trail. The second is getting lost in your head.
How is getting lost on the trail good? Even if you just hike the wrong way down the trail or end up somewhere your not supposed to be keeps you on your toes. So many times while hiking long distances you just point yourself in a direction and go. Face down eyes to the trail just in front of you pounding out the miles. Getting lost reminds you that you are indeed on an adventure and that everything does not always go as planned. The trail has its own agenda for you and will do whatever it can to ruin or destroy the plans you had made. This creates a love hate relationship with the trail. You love the trail but you hate the fact you know it will change your plans.
These types of changes, distractions, or sidetracks do not have to be bad. Many of them if looked at as positive events they can be an amazing part of your story. If you choose to look at them in a negative way then they will drag you down. If we were to take a poll and ask people who have hiked on any of the long distance trails if they have ever gone the wrong way you will find a high percentage have. More often than not they are lost inside their head when they miss a blaze or get turned around after stopping for a break. Other cases of getting lost can be the cause of fatigue or dehydration. Often times after getting lost or turned around can be laughed off. Other times serious emergencies happen and people get pulled off the mountains.
There were several times while on the AT I had to reassess the situation and my bearings before heading off on the trail again because the trail looked identical to the trail I had been hiking on causing deja vu moments. “I just crossed this bridge…. no I think its another one… just keep going eventually you will find a blaze….” One thing I will say is if you ever feel you have missed a blaze on a trail or think you have gone off trail look behind you. More times than not I would miss a blaze in front of me and turn around and there was one right behind me. Another fun tip about trail hiking is that you should always turn the direction you turned into the camp to continue on the trail. For example if you turned left to get to the campsite or shelter turn left onto the trail when you are ready to leave. Unless you are headed back in the direction you came.
The deja vu moments for myself were typically caused by day dreaming or getting lost inside my head. On long distance hikes you begin to hike the trails of your mind while hiking the trail. As you put one foot in front of the other the monotony of doing the same task eight hours each day causes you to begin to think about anything and everything. You think about your past your future and everything in-between. There are some points where you slip away from it all and then return. Its very similar to driving the same route often enough that you blink and you have some how missed a whole section of the road and you are now many miles away from where you started. In the beginning you will be very worried of where you are placing your feet so you are constantly thinking about where to place your feet but eventually you will get lost and then hit a root or rock and you will be instantly brought back to the trail. Getting lost in your mind is a great thing. Helps you clear out the clutter. That is in my opinion one of the greatest things about hiking is to get away from it all and clear out your head.
What do you do if you find yourself getting lost on the trail? What is your best or funniest getting lost story?