All posts filed under: adventures

Word of the Week: Switchback

Earlier today, while reading a blog post by a distant friend I met in college about his experience hiking Cerro Companarios in South America, he mentioned the term “switchback,” and I went straight to Google. “Whoever designed the trail apparently never heard of a switchback, there was probably a 1000 ft elevation gain in less than a mile.”  – A Gringo With a Guitar I’m pretty good at context clues, but I wanted to really have a grasp on the concept, and thought to myself, I do this a lot.  I am fairly new to the world of outside adventure, and I am a thorough researcher, so why don’t I share my findings on here, so people can more closely follow my journey? So here is my very first Weekly Word: Switchback   [swich-bak] noun a zigzag track arrangement for climbing a steep grade. zig-zag routes up a steep hill. They help reduce the elevation grade (and hence the difficulty level) of the hike. Instead of a short steep hike, switchbacks provide you with a longer, less-steep route. a trail up a steep hill or …

Hiking for Beginners

Now, I’ve been wanting to write a post like this for a while because I’ve found that people who want to go hiking but don’t are struggling with the same thing that I was (and am).  Before getting outside and taking advantage of the miles and miles of trails around me, I had preconceived notions of outdoor activities in general, not to mention the intimidating stereotypes of thru hikers.  I’m happy to say that through all of the b*ll shit I was feeding myself, I am a hiker and you can be too.   Alter Your Mindset. First thing’s first, a hike is just that.  It’s a walk.  Yeah, sometimes it turns into a jog or a climb, but think of it as a walk.  With this mindset, of course you can go out for a hike! A hike can be anywhere outside.  You can take a hike in a park, along a lake, or in the mountains.  The key here is that you get outside. With that out of the way, the question of …

Coast Guard Requirements for Paddlers

So, you’ve got a shiny new canoe or kayak, and you’re ready to head out on the water, right?  Wait a sec. Let’s make sure you’ve got everything you need to stay safe, stay sane, and most importantly, stay legal.  The United States Coast Guard and homeland Security have rules in place for everyone navigating a water vessel (yes, that includes your little kayak). The Coast Guard requires the following things for you to be legal on the water: PDF (personal flotation device) : The Coast Guard requires you to have one readily accessible life jacket per person on your boat at all times.  For kids 13 and under, they’ve got to have them on at all times out on the water.  Make sure your PDF is a Type I, II, or III and in good condition. Also, if your dog is joining you out on the water, you should get them a life jacket as well. Note: If your boat is 16 feet long or longer, you’ve got to have a Type IV PDF on board …