CertHero.org an easy way to find outdoor training and certifications

While reading Brian’s Backpacking Blog I ran across a great article about a new site called CertHero.org. If you are looking for Wilderness First Aid, Wilderness First Responder, or even just First Aid, this site will help find a course near you. Simply choose the certification you are looking for and your state. Click search and you will be shown a list.



CertHero.com is a huge time saver for anyone who is looking to be certified or renew their certifications. The CertHero team is also providing great helpful tips in their blog. Their latest post “WEMT, WFR or WFA?” discusses the differences in several certifications and which one you should get and why.

I did a search and requested more information on Wilderness First Aid. I was very surprised that within several hours I had been contacted by Logan the Founder with more information and links to help me sign up for the certification of my choosing.

Visit CertHero.org today and sign up for your next certificate training.

New Backpacking and Hiking Podcast The First 40 Miles

tffm-300x300I have been listening to a new podcast called “The First 40 Miles” brand new to the podcasting scene that have several episodes released. The creators are a Heather Legler and Josh Legler are sharing their love of hiking and backpacking.

The podcast is is described as “If you are new to backpacking or if you’re hopelessly in love with someone who wants you to love backpacking, then this podcast is for you. We’ll talk about the essentials, how to lighten your load, and how to make the most of your time on the trail.”

To learn more about the podcast and to listen to it please head on over to their Website, follow them on Facebook , and find them on iTunes.


6 Epic Outdoorsy things to do in the Lake Tahoe area with a twist! #takemethereflipkey

What would happen if you are dropped off in a town and said GO? Where would you go?  What would you do? FlipKey is launching a brand new way to find awesome things to do in a very creative way. They are launching a new system called Virtual Tours. So far they have 3 cities Lake Tahoe, Phoenix, and Miami Beach with more on the way. These interactive tours allow you to visit each location seeing areas in full 360 views. They also give you the opportunity to zoom and pan many of the local hot spots. This system allows you to see some of the great sights in a location before ever setting foot there. As they are only photos on a monitor they will not compare to what you would see by actually visiting those locations. This new system will simply give you a massive wanderlust for your next adventure.

They have thrown out the challenge of how would you spend a day adventuring in one of these cities. The easy choice would have been to stay semi local and head up to Phoenix. That however would just be a simple day trip. Instead I upped the game and chose Lake Tahoe. Inspired by the FlipKey Virtual Tour I have created my own awesome adventure itinerary. I have given myself 6 places to visit will provide an outdoorsy tourist with a true feel of everything that Lake Tahoe has to offer.  In order to complete this itinerary you will need to be up early and fueled on excitement. Note: This itinerary would be best suited for spring / summer months.

Adventure Stop #1. A sunrise drive around the lake.  Starting out super early to make sure to beat the sunrise you will need a little over two hours to drive around the lake. Also keep in mind that if you want to stop and take photos you will want to allow for a little more time. My adventure takes me from the south of Lake Tahoe heading north west. About halfway around the lake we will stop for the next adventure.

Adventure Stop #2. While on your around the lake drive make sure to stop at Sand Harbor. Here you will find some amazing views as well as some fun rocks to play around on. A great place to warm up the camp stove for another quick coffee as you ponder why the lake is colored the way it is. After spending some time there hope back into your adventure chariot to take you to the next spot.

Adventure Stop #3 Most likely you are hungry and are in need of a nice hearty brunch to sustain you through your day. Your next stop is at Ernie’s Coffee Shop. Here you will find just about anything you could dream up to eat including a nice cup of coffee to keep you fueled up. Make sure to order a cold sandwich to go for your next stop.

Adventure Stop #4. Your next stop will take you back around the south side of the Lake. You are headed to Eagle Falls trailhead. This 3 mile round trip hike will give you a quick taste at what the Desolation Wilderness has to offer. Spend a few hours on your out and back hike viewing amazing sights sounds and simply just take it all in.  Also enjoy a nice trail lunch that you had picked up from Ernie’s Coffee shop earlier in the day. One thing to keep in mind is that A wilderness permit may required. You can pick up your permit at the self serve area at the trailhead. To see what if you need a permit and what kind of permit please visit the Lake Tahoe wilderness permit page located here. After you have hiked the day away it is time to head to the next point of interest.

Adventure Stop #5. Make sure you have a headlamp or flashlight for your next stop. Back into your car we go and it is off to watch the sunset at Cave Rock. A mile hike round trip will get you to a spot to watch an amazing sunset. After a good day of adventuring and hiking every experienced hiker knows the best end to your day. Nothing ends your day like a nice brew and some great food.

Adventure Stop #6 The last and final stop on this great day will take you to Stateline Brewery & Restaurant. Sample some of the local brews and fair before heading back to your camp to crash for the night.

So that folks is my #takemethereflipkey trip. So what is the twist? The twist is this. You only have limited funds and limited time 1 day to pull it all of.  I want to hear where you would go or where you have been that can top my adventure in Lake Tahoe.

 Full Disclosure: This blog post was written and published with intent to enter into the FlipKey Virtual Tours & “Take Me There” Contest.

10 Hiking and Backpacking Documentaries you can stream from amazon.com

While looking for something on Amazon.com  I saw a recommended instant video.  It happened to be Flip Flop Flippin. A documentary I had been wanting to find. I took at look and ended up renting it.  From there I ended up going down this rabbit hole of videos and shows I could rent very cheaply. I also learned that if I had Amazon Prime account some of them are even free. Here are some of the videos that I put on my watch list.

1. “Flip Flop Flippin’ – One man’s search for character(s) on the A.T.”

Scott “Squatch” Herriott section-hiked the 2,650 mile-long Pacific Crest Trail and made four films about his adventures (“Walk” films available here at Amazon). Now he attempts to hike the entire 2,100+ mile-long Appalachian Trail in one hiking season while searching for the interesting, inspiring, sometimes whacked-out and always dirt-laden folk who make up the long-distance hiking community.

Runtime: 1 hour 26 minutes

Learn more and rent it!

 2. Flip Flop Flippin’ 2 – A Search for Character(s) continues on the A.T

Scott Herriott attempted to hike the entire 2,175 mile-long Appalachian Trail in one hiking season. While his film “Flip Flop Flippin'” was completed, he only ended up doing half of the trail due to injury. But the joy he experienced along with the wonderful and strange folk he met along the way, coupled with the desire to finish the trail, led him back for more interviews and shenanigins in 2012.

Runtime: 1hour 21 minutes

Learn more and rent it!

3. Trail Angels

‘Trail Angels’ is an inspiring portrait of unsung heroes who have made it their quest to help the seasonal thru-hikers of the Appalachian Trail, a pilgrimage of five million footsteps.

Runtime: 1 hour 22 minutes

Learn more and rent it!

4. Alone Across Alaska: 1,000 Miles of Wilderness

“One summer I set off alone in an attempt to cross a thousand miles of the most remote wilderness in America, the Brooks Range of northern Alaska. It was a journey of mountains and solitude, river crossings and rapids, mountain passes and gravel bars, wolves, grizzlies, and caribou.” Join the adventure with this documentary of an epic solo adventure across the trackless wilds of Alaska!

Runtime: 1 hour 35 minutes

Learn more and rent it!

5. Beauty Beneath the Dirt

Beauty Beneath the Dirt follows the story of three young urbanites as they attempt to balance family, friendship, and personal happiness while hiking from Georgia to Maine on the Appalachian Trail.

Runtime: 1 hour 9 minutes

Learn more and rent it!

6. Mile Mile and a Half

A group of artists hike the John Muir Trail & bring back their experiences. 219 miles in 25 days. Come laugh, limp, sing & walk with us.

Runtime: 1 hour 28 minutes

Learn more and rent it!

7. Walk

Scott Herriott, a self-proclaimed lazy***, had no desire to hike 2,658 miles (at least in the same calendar year). So, instead, he went out and interviewed those who were attempting to do so on the Pacific Crest Trail. Blisters and hilarity ensue.

Runtime: 1 hour 24 minutes

Learn more and rent it!

8. Walking The Camino: Six Ways To Santiago

A profile of six pilgrims taking the Camino De Santiago pilgrimage through Spain.

Runtime: 1 hour 24 minutes

Learn more and rent it!

9. The Art of Walking

Australia’s most spectacular coastline is the setting for this very special documentary. A journey that conjures the beauty held deep within three remarkable people.

Runtime: 48 minutes

Learn more and rent it!

10. Las Peregrinas…the Women Who Walk

Las Peregrinas chronicles a group of first-time women pilgrims on their own individual journeys of self-discovery as they walk on the ancient pilgrimage route in Spain known as the Camino de Santiago de Compostela.

Runtime: 1 hour 18 minutes

Learn more and rent it!

Amazing Gadgets for the Outdoor Hiker – Guest Post

Humans now than ever are less adapted to the natural world. We are soft and squishy. However what sets us apart from the beasts is our wondrous intelligence that has led to technological breakthroughs which allow us to thrive in the harshest landscapes known to nature. I have compiled a short list of some of the most useful gadgets I have come across to help keep you at the top of the food chain.

Trango Cube GTX from La Sportiva

La Sportiva has created an amazing, very colourful, high performance boot.  Its TPU lacing harness is introduced in liquid form into the material so the entire upper of the boot becomes one piece. This means no seams and no eyelet holes.  Making it pretty much a mountain welly.  That is breathable and rigid.


G40 Stability + Insole

The G40 from Grangers combines all the technology from its predecessors (G10, 20 and 30) into one very lightweight performance insole for the most challenging activities. Whilst keeping your feet in comfortable bliss. The high quality microfiber top sheet improves the surface for socks so as to reduce friction and potential of blisters. Full length EVA cradle with integrated arch support provides the highest level of stability for the entire foot. Gel pads in the forefoot and heel cup provide shock absorption and energy return. Memory foam allows the insole to form to the shape of your foot, insuring a great fit and synergy within the boot.


CamelBak All Clear Bottle.

Fill the bottle with compromised water, turn it on and shake for 60 seconds for unpolluted, drinkable water. It Uses USB to charge and a full battery will allow for 80 uses. A potentially life saving bit of equipment.


Powertraveller Powermonkey Extreme.

Inevitably some of your electronic power hungry gadgets are going to need a top up.  This  lightweight, small, touch, waterproof solar charger that has a USB port to connect your gadgets to and a 9000mAh battery for when the clouds block the sun.


Meet Earl Survival Tablet.

This tablet is loaded with outdoor tech and apps, featuring: thermometer, barometer, GPS, weather sensor, compass, AM/FM/SW/LW radio, solar charging, Bluetooth 4.0, built in walkie-talkie with a range of 20 miles and Android 4.1.  All shown on a specialized E-ink screen (think Kindle) which is very battery friendly.



Grangers Down Cleaner

This may seem abit pedestrian compared to the others.  But when you have spent hundreds of pounds on down insulated equipment, you want to keep it at its best.  I have always been told NEVER under any circumstances to wash my down equipment as it ruins the loft and removes the natural oils.  The obvious problem is that using this equipment as its intended in high energy outdoor pursuits is bound to leave it abit smelly.  And loft does decrease over time.  Grangers have figured it out and produced a product that not only cleans and removes odours, but also restores loft without removing the natural oils.  Magic.


Epic Meat Energy Bar

I must admit, I might be a bit biased as a meat lover.  Tired of granola and mint cake?, well say no more! Enter the Epic protein bar, made from 100% grass-fed meat. You can choose from three meatalicious flavors!: Bison, Beef or Turkey.  The low glycaemic index keeps you energy levels up for longer rather than peaking and crashing.  The protein helps this as well as aiding recovery, to help you get going the next day.


The Jetboil Joule

I have been using a Jet boil for years and I continue to recommend it to everyone I can.  AS they are by far one of the quickest and easiest bits of camping cooking equipment I have across.  They have not sat on their laurels and have now produced the Jetboil Joule, which has been tested to boil a liter of cold water in 2 minutes 40 seconds. Supposedly the fastest product of its kind on the market.  Its rated to 10,000 BTUs of burning power. It can be used all year-round, including cold weather down to -12 degrees.


Arc’teryx FL alpine climbing pack

Streamlined, practical and efficient.  That’s all I want in a pack, and I am sold.  But the Arc’teryx FL is also completely watertight, you could use it as a small life raft if needed!.  Due to its dry bag roll top closure and strong nylon construction.  All attachment points are welded on so there are no seams or stitching to fail.  It can weigh as little as 610 grams.  It comes in both 35 or 45 liter models and a variety of colors.


Post written by Jadon Ortlepp. Jadon is an experienced professional outdoor instructor and youth worker with a Msc in Psychology, currently living in Worcestershire. There is nothing he likes better than going on adventures with his friends, whether it’s climbing, hiking or messing about in the woods. When he finds himself indoors he likes to dabble in a bit of writing.

 Full Disclosure: Some of the links in this post are affiliate links and any purchases made will help support Hiking The Trail. Thank you!


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