top tips for women hikers

top tips for women hikers

tips for women hikers

This came via email today-

From hygiene to safety, Katie Levy – skilled outdoors woman and Cairn (www.getcairn.com) Outdoor Ambassador – has smart recommendations for women who want to enjoy the outdoors for the day or the adventure of a lifetime.

Below are nine top tips for women hikers. [Actually this is great advice for hikers of any sex-  JK]

Here are Katie’s top tips for women hikers:

1. Study Up. Whether you’re doing a day hike or something more ambitious, do your homework. Learn in advance about any permits you need, weather restrictions and general rules. Most public lands are managed by state or federal organizations with staffed offices you can call to ask questions of in advance.

tips for women hikers

2. Know What to Bring. Seeking help from someone experienced with the type of trip you’re taking goes a long way. At a minimum, know the essential emergency items you should have, test out layering systems, and break in a solid pair of hiking boots. You can also stay up to date on the latest outdoor products by subscribing to Cairn to receive an array of outdoor essential each month.

3. Know What Not to Bring. Be prepared, but don’t be bogged down by items that are usually unnecessary. This includes massive backpacks; too many clothes; multiples of gear and anything that can’t be replaced, like jewelry.

4. Stay Found. Review paper maps, understand area topography, and keep an eye out for landmarks. GPS tools are helpful but not always functional in remote areas. If you’re not hiking with a group, communicate your itinerary with someone in advance, and plan frequent check-ins if you can.

5. Stay Well. Consider a Wilderness First Aid course, which is specifically geared toward situations that could happen on a hike or camping trip including twisted ankles, windburn, hypothermia or spider bites.

6. Get Physically Prepared. Hiking for hours, especially with a pack, can be a serious challenge. Sustained cardio workouts, core strength training, weightlifting and training hikes can make a huge difference.

7. Stay Up to Date on Outdoor Gear. Research products and brands suited to your needs. For example, tall or petite hikers may gravitate towards certain brands. Subscribing to a monthly subscription service like Cairn can also help inspire you, and introduce you to new products.

tips for women hikers

8. Understand Your Options for Hygiene. Unless you’re headed on an adventure that comes with a full bathroom and running water, understanding how to manage doing your business in the backcountry with Leave No Trace principles is important. If it’s that time of the month, know you’ll need to pack out any sanitary napkins or tampons. They can be stored in an opaque Ziploc bag. Menstrual cups are also an option.

9. Trust Your Gut During Human Encounters. Most hikers I’ve come across have been friendly, but remember, if you meet someone on the trail who makes you feel uneasy, you’re not obligated to talk to them or spend time around them. Carry pepper spray if it helps you feel safer, and always have a whistle with you. The universal call for help is three blasts on the whistle.

And those are the top tips for women hikers from Katie Levy at get cairn.com!

John Kumiski



Tsuktulik- A Photo Essay

Tsuktulik

tsuktulik

There are many things I will miss about the Goodnews River. The mountains surrounding the river are high on that “to be missed” list, and the one mountain I will miss more than any other is Tsuktulik.

It’s a tough hike.

You have to run up the river an hour from the lodge, to a place the lodge staffers call Toby’s Window. As you start walking toward the mountain you blow your whistle. You don’t want to surprise any bears. There is always lots of bear sign at the stream crossing, the one that gets your shoes all wet.

After crossing the stream you have to pass through the dwarf willow forest. You fall down, several times. You get up and keep going.

tsuktulik

If the stream weren’t there your shoes would get all wet anyway. Tundra is sponge-like. You hit many wet spots and sink in past your ankles. The grass you pass through is all wet, too. You look for game trails going your way. There is no path to the mountain.

The bugs are in your face, biting you. You apply spray. It puts them off, but only slightly. They will be with you most of the way, both up and back.

tsuktulik

Before you reach the mountain’s base you’re soaked from the waist down. You have fallen five or six times. But if you chose the right day you’ve eaten a pint of blueberries, and maybe some salmonberries, too. You’ve passed a field of Eriophorum, Alaska cotton.

tsuktulik

The base of the mountain is covered with alders. They are thick. You blow the whistle, again and again.

The going gets tough. It’s steep, maybe 45 degrees. There is no path through the alders. They impede your progress, grabbing at you and your pack. You can’t see where you are. Your world is branches and leaves, mosquitos, difficult ascension. You fall some more. You curse, but get up and keep going.

You break out of the alders. What a view! What a long way to go! But there are no more trees, just a long, steep climb. After a short rest and a snack you keep going.

tsuktulik

Where is the top? Your legs burn. The blood pounds in your head- boom-BOOM, boom-BOOM, boom-BOOM, boom-BOOM. You’re wet, but now it’s coming from you instead of the environment. You stop frequently, trying to catch your breath.

tsuktulik

The views keep getting better. You hurt, but you want the summit. You keep going, passing the old man on the mountain.

tsuktulik

You’re at the knife-edge now. Step carefully. It’s a long way down.

tsuktulik

Summit at last. Get the camera! Where are the snacks? Rest and enjoy the view. It’s indescribable. Photos don’t do it justice. That tiny speck down there at the river is our boat. We still have to walk back to it.

tsuktulik

This is the best picnic you’ve had in a long time, maybe ever. You’re on top of the world! You own this place! There are no other humans for miles, no trace of man’s works. What a place!

tsuktulik

 

tsuktulik

 

tsuktulik

 

tsuktulik

 

tsuktulik

 

For more information about the Goodnews River Lodge, please visit this link…

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2014. All rights are reserved.



Bryce Canyon Hiking- a Photo Essay

Bryce Canyon Hiking

This is not going to be much of a fishing report. But there are some nice pictures.

On Sunday and Monday Susan and I were at Ken and Cindy’s farm in Missouri. I fished in their pond for a little while on both days, using the crude, ugly flies I tied using their dog’s hair.

On Monday I caught a catfish on the doghair streamer. I don’t know who was more surprised, the fish or me. Ken wanted to eat it. I got a bass with the ugly pipefoam popper. We had it and the catfish for dinner.

Tuesday I photographed the sun rising over our airplane. We got on in Kansas City and got off in Las Vegas. We rented a car and got out of there.

Sunrise, Kansas City airport.

Sunrise, Kansas City airport.

Tropic, Utah is where I sit as I type this. There is a fishing guide not far from here. I stopped by the shop, which was locked. It looks pretty desert-like around here though- lots of dry washes. Don’t know how much fishing there is, and probably won’t be finding out.

Wednesday Susan and I stopped at every turn-out along the road in Bryce Canyon National Park.

bryce canyon hiking

 

bryce canyon hiking

A hoodoo.

Thursday we hiked along the rim trail for a couple miles, then hiked down into the hoodoos along the Navaho Loop.

 

bryce canyon hiking

Along Bryce Canyon’s Rim Trail.

 

bryce canyon hiking

Row upon row of spectacular hoodoos.

 

bryce canyon hiking

Ravens apparently don’t fear falling.

 

bryce canyon hiking

A fish-eye view of the Bryce Canyon amphitheatre.

 

bryce canyon hiking

View from the rim, again.

The trails there are the most manicured trails I have ever seen. The only thing missing was the guy with the broom like they have at Disney World. That having been said, fantastic, awesome, incredible, and similar words do not adequately describe the scenery there. My photos don’t do it justice either. I didn’t have time to hang around waiting for perfect light, just had to take what God gave me. The weather was brilliant.

bryce canyon hiking

The trail among the hoodoos.

 

bryce canyon hiking

Sue, in a hoodoo.

 

bryce canyon hiking

Could it get any more spectacular?

 

bryce canyon hiking

Hiking on the Navajo Loop trail.

 

bryce canyon hiking

Susan on the trail.

 

bryce canyon hiking

Is that Wonder Woman?

 

We went to the evening astronomy talk. After the talk ended we waited in line to look through a telescope. It was pointed at Saturn. The rings and three moons were plainly visible. It was very humbling to see another planet that clearly.

Friday we went hiking in Dixie National Forest, in Red Canyon. Real trails. Real spectacular. Awesome weather. Fantastic day. Hoodoo you love?

bryce canyon hiking

A hoodoo in Red Canyon.

 

bryce canyon hiking

I don’t understand how these totems stay upright.

 

bryce canyon hiking

Along the Arches Trail in Dixie National Forest.

 

bryce canyon hiking

Hoodoos along the Arches Trail.

 

bryce canyon hiking

Looking through an arch along the Arches Trail.

The bark of a ponderosa pine smells delicious, like butterscotch. You have to put your nose right up against the tree to smell it.

bryce canyon hiking

This tree smells delicious.

At the National Forest visitor center a gentleman had a telescope set up. It was pointed at the sun. When I looked through I could see solar flares and prominences. This wasn’t a photo in a book, it was happening in real time. If Saturn was humbling, this was a mega-humbler. What an incredible, miraculous thing existence is!

Life is great and I love my work!

Life is short. Go Hiking!

John Kumiski
http://www.spottedtail.com

All content in this blog, including writing and photos, copyright John Kumiski 2013. All rights are reserved.