Category: Backpacking / Hiking / Tramping / Trekking / Camping (Page 1 of 6)
63-year old Bert ter Hart is trekking and paddling his canoe across Canada, from west to east, using only a sextant and compass. He’s following routes that Canada’s Indigenous people travelled for thousands of years; they later helped guide the fur traders and explorers like David Thompson. He’s also carrying a petition that seeks to recognize these Indigenous guides.
- Myth » Bears can’t climb trees.
- Myth » A standing bear is about to attack.
- Myth » Bears are unpredictable.
- Myth » Bears have poor eyesight.
- Myth » Relocating a “nuisance” bear will solve the problem.
- Myth » Most bear attacks are simply bad luck.
As the number of people exploring the great outdoors has exploded, so have the risk to the environment and the public’s health. We’ve known for a long time that burying our waste in six-inch deep cat holes is not a great way of breaking down poop. With so many now pooping in the wilderness, it is clear this is not sustainable to bury our waste, and time to update our backcountry poop etiquette.
we ought to begin teaching backcountry users in nearly every location to pack out their poop with WAG bags (the acronym is for “waste alleviation and gelling”) or similar waste-disposal kits. Such kits usually include toilet paper, hand sanitizer, and special, double-layered bags you can poop directly into, complete with chemical crystals that render human waste inert and minimize the smell. (See below for tips on how to use these kits in the backcountry.)
Many public lands are already moving in this direction. A Forest Service website claims that “waste kits are becoming standard…throughout the West.” Visitors to Utah’s Bears Ears National Monument can now pick up free WAG bags at the visitor center. California’s Mount Whitney has required WAG bags since 2006, and it reports that users pack out 8,000 pounds of poop per year. And Rocky Mountain National Park provides WAG bags not just on climbing routes or above treeline but also at its backcountry permit office and trailheads throughout the park. »
- Preikestolen is among Norway’s most hiked trails, with 331,000 visitors reaching its exposed top in 2019. Its stone stairway was built by Nepalese Sherpas.
- Around 300 stone mountain stairways have been built in Norway over the past two decades.
Mike MacEacheran / BBC Travel »
In many ways, the location and the sublime views from Preikestolen, or Pulpit Rock, near Stavanger in south-west Norway are irrelevant, because what is important is the journey to get there. It is a hike up an expertly engineered and well-maintained stone staircase that is as much of a marvel as the finale itself.
There’s an ancient beauty to the stairway and it comes from the fact that Preikestolen – like nearly 300 other natural stone staircase projects in Norway purpose-built over the past two decades – has been crafted by teams of Sherpas from Nepalese communities living in the shadows of Mount Everest.
There was a time when Norway’s mountain paths would only see a handful of local visitors. But social media has changed all that, and over the past decade, the country has seen such a dramatic spike in overseas travellers keen to Instagram its viewpoints that something has had to give.
Joni Sweet, at Forbes, ranked the top ten states for hiking in the US »
4. Washington, D.C.
5. Iowa (tied for 5th place)
5. Arizona (tied for 5th place)
7. Utah (tied for 7th place)
7. West Virginia (tied for 7th place)
7. Nevada (tied for 7th place)
10. North Carolina
The article ranked Kentucky, followed by New Hampshire at the bottom of the list.
Filmed across two years in The Lake District National Park, Michael Lazenby‘s video takes you on a grand tour of the most breathtaking vistas and sights this stunning part of the world has to offer, including Derwentwater, Cat Bells, Blencathra, Buttermere, Ullswater, Helvellyn, Angle Tarn, Castlerigg Stone Circle, Grasmere, Windermere, Langdale, Pavey Ark, Harrison Stickle, Great Langdale, Striding Edge, Crinkle Crags, Bowfell, Wasdale, Scafell Pike, Loughrigg Tarn, Rydal Water, Whorneyside Force, Great Gable, Styhead Tarn, Swirral Edge, Catstycam, and The Scafells.
Will Renwick, Outdoors Magic »
Back in 2010, in a controlled trial for the Journal of Physical and Activity, three academics asked one group of people to walk 10,000 steps a day for 12 weeks while another group was asked to maintain their usual activity. The results that came back for the group that had been walking showed a raft of physical improvements but also indications of personal growth and psychological wellbeing.
According to the mental health charity Mind, physical activity like walking can help to improve everything from your sleep to your mood, manage stress, anxiety and intrusive thoughts, better self-esteem, and reduce the risk of depression.
So walking is good, but what about walking long distances?
“A long-distance journey makes me calmer, more grounded and more mindful,” says Ursula Martin, a prolific wanderer who has chalked up thousands of miles over the last five years, most notably walking all the way from Kiev to her home in mid Wales.
Marjorie “Slim” Woodruff, High Country News »
Published 5 years ago, on July 13, 2016
In 1972, Grand Canyon National Park outlawed campfires in the backcountry. Backpackers like me considered this an outrage. After all, the only people who carried those fancy little stoves back then were people incapable of building a fire. I bring this up because we are living through another explosive fire season in the West.
Of course, popular campsites back then looked a lot like parking lots. No downed wood, no dead (or live) grasses, no bushes, no bark on the trees as far up as you could reach. When a dozen people a night are building campfires, anything burnable vanishes pretty quickly.
Note: Fires denude the camping area.
I had a stove. I remember setting up my tiny SVEA, putting the pot on to boil, and turning to organize my sleeping place, because when cooking on a wood fire, it takes forever for the pot to boil.
But my pot boileth over, more quickly than I expected.
Note: Stoves are more efficient than wood fires.
A fire is convivial, although I usually don’t sit next to it: I spend a lot of time skulking around to avoid smoke. Said smoke also fills the whole camping area. I can see and smell a campfire from a mile away.
Note: Fires stink.
Rebecca McPhee, Explorersweb »
Since 2015, the Transcaucasian Trail Association (TCTA) has been developing a 3,000km hiking trail across the Caucasus Mountains. The finished Transcaucasian Trail (TCT) will consist of two 1,500km sections spanning Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan.
The northern route follows the Greater Caucasus Mountains and connects the Black and Caspian Seas. The southern route spans the Lesser Caucasus Mountains from the Black Sea to the Aras River.
While the trail is still being developed in Azerbaijan, there are currently hundreds of kilometres of trail open to the public. The TCTA hope that a 1,200km route from northwest Georgia to southern Armenia will be fully open by 2022.