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The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Hike — Tips and Equipment

The Ultimate Guide to Planning a Hike — Tips and Equipment 0

A hike can be anything from a short walk on a weekend to a proper adventure spanning over a period of weeks. Planning a hike properly will allow you to make the most of the time you have and help you start training for a bigger endeavor in the future.

 

Planning a Hike Route

Before you start planning your hike, you need to figure out how you’ll reach the starting point. If you’re revisiting a spot or heading out to somewhere near you, this is easy. However, if you’re hiking to a new place, there are extra considerations. For instance, if you’re not driving, you’ll need to find out how much transport costs and whether you’ll need to pay extra to bring your equipment.

Once you’ve figured all this out, it’s time to start planning a hiking route and look over your hiking gear list. Decide on how much ground you can expect to cover — and be realistic. Many places have several trails of different lengths, meaning you can find one that best suits your needs. Remember to bear in mind the type of terrain — you’ll be able to cover much more ground when the trail is flat than when it’s mountainous.

 

Researching the Weather

In advance, research the average temperature and weather for the time of year. This will give you time to purchase all the gear you may need. Then, you can check the forecast the day before and take just what is most appropriate.

If the weather is likely to be cold, you’ll need extra provisions. Heat warmers are excellent for keeping you comfortable. Depending on the temperature and whether you’ll be camping, consider if you would benefit from hand, body, or foot warmers when planning a hike. They are especially necessary for the winter cold, however, if you are hiking overnight they will help keep you warm. The large body warmers will protect you from the harsh outdoor weather.

Another thing to keep in mind in mind if you’re camping is the warmth of your sleeping bag. Note that it will become less warm as your trip progresses due to the accumulation of moisture.

 

Booking Accommodation

When backpacking long-trails, you may need to book accommodation. Even if you plan to sleep wild most nights, you’ll probably want to use the facilities at a campsite on occasion. Plus, those who prefer to sleep in comfort need to research B&Bs when planning a hike. Whatever you’re doing, it’s a good idea to book in advance to ensure that where you want to stay will be open and will have space for you.

 

Being Flexible

When planning you plan a hike, remember that it may be necessary to adapt your schedule as you go. You must be willing and prepared to be flexible. For instance, you may find that you’re unable to walk as far as you planned or the climate may be more challenging than you expected. It’s particularly important to be flexible when hiking if you’ve never undertaken a similar venture before.

Part of planning a hike involves making a list of all the equipment you need to stay safe and comfortable. Invest in quality gear to make your hike more enjoyable and remember to stay warm, especially during cold weather camping!

 

5 Tips on How to Stay Warm During Cold Weather Camping

5 Tips on How to Stay Warm During Cold Weather Camping 0

How to Stay Warm while Cold Weather Camping

There is no better way to mix up the winter routine than by going camping. You can hike through the pines and experience the pleasures of the mountains, snow, and a little adventure. That said after a long time in the cold, even the heartiest people can start to shiver. No worries, just follow these easy cold weather camping tips and you’ll be toasty and warm no matter how low the thermometer drops!


1) Understand the Temperature

Forty degrees and fifteen degrees are both examples of cold temperature, but they mean different things. When you are hiking around and carrying a fairly heavy bag, you will naturally warm up, but once you are more relaxed that’s when you will start to feel cold. Make sure your outdoor gear is rated for the right temperature. Check the forecast and plan for cold weather camping accordingly.


2) Heated Gloves

It depends on where you go, but winter is usually associated with snow. It might be quite beautiful, but if you are hiking you are likely to get some in and on your gloves, making you stuck with cold water inside them for possibly days. Instead, get a couple pairs of heated gloves, not only will your fingers be warmer, but the gloves will dry faster as well.


3) Warm Toes

The secret to being warm during cold weather camping is keeping your extremities warm. What happens generally is that people are wearing enough clothes in the center, but their gloves and shoes are not waterproof and not insulated enough against the weather. Improve your comfort and stay warmer by going for heated footbeds as wells as socks. Not only will your toes feel warmer, but so will the rest of you too!


4) Eat Late

The usual advice is the opposite. At home, we are told to not eat unless it is more than two hours before bed. But your body needs extra fuel to be able to prepare you for the cold. It can be difficult to eat healthy while camping. A hot, fatty meal that is packed with carbohydrates and proteins is just what you need and it will be like you have your own internal furnaces.


5) More Layers Outside

Most of us know about layering basics in the cold. It helps keeps us warm and gives us the flexibility to have enough clothing for sedentary activities like having a snack or taking one off while you are climbing. But adding extra layers to your outside is how you deal with the real cold.


One of those thin metallic survival blankets is great to wrap around your sleeping back. Likewise, anything you can add outside your tent will make it warmer on the inside.


Stay Warm, Stay Dry

Nothing beats the exhilarating thrill of cold weather camping. It is a great opportunity to get out of doors and enjoy the world around you. Just be sure to follow the easy tips and you’ll be warm enough to even camp all winter!

 

  • Caroline Mayou
The Top 5 Ultimate Cold Weather Hacks for Snowboarding

The Top 5 Ultimate Cold Weather Hacks for Snowboarding 0

Cold Weather Hacks for the Best Snowboarding

There’s no better way to enjoy winter than by hitting the slopes and shredding across the snow. The only problem is that snow is often accompanied by a touch of cold weather and most of us aren’t used to spending the entire day out in it. Layering basics are common knowledge when it comes to winter weather. If you are looking to stay warm, while still keeping flexible enough to twist and turn down the mountain consider these top five insider snowboarding cold weather hacks.

1) Thin Socks

Our general logic is that the more clothes, we put on the warmer we will be. That’s why we layer up with long-sleeve t-shirts, sweaters, jackets, and scarves. The same logic doesn’t quite apply to your feet. Your blood needs to circulate for your feet to keep warm.

If you put on an extra pair of socks and your feet are already in tight boots, it will just make you colder. Wear thin, athletic socks. Your feet will not only be warmer, but more comfortable too!

2) Keep Your Battery Alive

Getting on top of a mountain is a great photo opportunity. How can you even think to pass it up? The problem is that cold weather and phone batteries don’t mix well. On top of that, mountains tend to not have the best phone coverage and between the cold and the constant searching for signal, your phone will be dead within just a short amount of time.

Keep your phone in an internal pocket, closer to your body so it stays warm (and also more padded) and put it on an airplane mode. You can always check your messages when you are at the foot of the mountain and you’ll be guaranteed to have at least 90% batter by the end of the day.

3) Stay Hydrated

It’s easy to remember to drink water when we are hot and sweaty, but it can be easy to forget when we are in sub-zero temperatures and we are surrounded by frozen water (aka snow). But the sun can reflect pretty brightly off the surface and between that and all the exercise, you can get dehydrated pretty quickly.

Stay hydrated in the cold by making sure you drink some water every couple runs down the mountain. You’ll have more energy and be less sore at the end of the day.

4) Warmers

Warmers are your best friend. It’s like having your own personal fireplace. What’s great is nowadays they come in a wide variety of options. For example, there are seven-hour feet warmers that can make sure your toes never get chilly even if you’ve been on the slopes the entire day! There is also body warmers, hand warmers, and heated headgear.

5) Wax it Up

We all want to glide through the snow, but after a few runs down the hill, snow and other debris can start piling up and make things sticky. Learning how to wax a board is simple and one of the first things you should do when wanting to snowboard. Throwing a few bars of wax in your gear bag and keeping one in your jacket pocket is an easy fix to this. Not only that, it gives you something to do while you wait for the ski lift!

Embrace the Cold

Not many people enjoy winter. The only good thing that comes out of it is the ability to go snowboarding. So follow these greats tips, don’t forget your warmers, and you’ll be sure to have the best day imaginable on the slopes!

  • Caroline Mayou
Top Camping Gear for the Outdoorsman

Top Camping Gear for the Outdoorsman 0

Finding the Perfect Camping Gear

It’s cold outside so let’s spare a thought for our outdoorsman in the woods somewhere with mountains of snow around. The National Park rule is ‘leave no trace’ so we’ll bypass the inflatable couch and deluxe camping cookware set. In order to make the trip enjoyable and fun, we suggest during your stay to be prepared. First, we have to keep our person warm and we are going to start with boots.

Our All-Time Favorite Outdoorsman Camping Gear

  • You can have the fanciest pair of boots but still get blisters from the outside cold. Folks with regular jobs don’t have feet tanned like an Apache warrior. They need heated wader socks and heated insoles so they never get frozen toes from cheap camping gear.

  • Next up, they are going to need a warm down jacket with a water repellent exterior, so they don’t feel left out in the cold while they’re hiking into the wood cabin. Hint: Choose camping accessories in bright colors so rescue finds them easily. Just in case, because you never know.

  • Their hands are going to take a hammering too, since only the foolhardy hike with their hands in pockets. They need their hands-free to use a hiking pole while they swat away persistent insects. Papa’s Warehouse sells the best warmer wearables. Check out their camping gear solutions here.

  • Okay, so we got the basics. What’s up next on the camping gear shopping list? Well, with all those zippers, one is bound to get stuck. Working a half-frozen zipper loose in mittens could cause them to use some colorful words you may not like. So play it with safe by adding a reliable folding multi-tool to their camping gear. Hint: Lube the joints lightly with machine oil so the tools open easier.

  • The best toolkit in the world won’t help much when you’re lost in the wild and can’t figure your way back to the campsite. Add a compact GPS locator to their camping gear. Hint: Put it right next to a nip of brandy in a lightweight aluminum flask so they know where to find it when they need it.

  • A compact notebook in a waterproof zipper with two pens inside is an essential accessory for any outdoorsman so they can note where they hiked and add it to their Facebook. Leave a note on the front cover telling how much you appreciate them. You might even get an answer when they return!

Finally, don’t forget to include a fire starter and a water purifier for your camping gear gift. That just about completes our list of top camping gear for the outdoorsman. But wait, before you go we have one more suggestion left. If you’re lost for ideas, how about visiting our Hunter’s Corner to discover what life is like in the real outdoors. Browse a little longer and you are bound to stumble over something just right for your camping gear.

  • Caroline Mayou
Woodsman Guide: Best Places to Hunt During Winter

Woodsman Guide: Best Places to Hunt During Winter 0

Hunting is an activity you can enjoy all year round. Although the animals and best places to hunt change, there are always opportunities somewhere in the country, whatever your preferred method of hunting.

Best Places to Hunt Rabbits and Hares

Utah

You can find cottontail rabbit across the state of Utah. This a good option for amateur hunters, as the terrain where the rabbits live is easy to hunt in and you only need basic equipment. The best places to hunt are anywhere with dry, brushy washes or with rocky outcroppings. Cottontail rabbits are more common in hills than flatlands, as they need broken terrain to hide. You can often find them under rocks and brush and sometimes in burrows.

Minnesota

Although the bird-hunting season has already finished in Minnesota by winter, the rabbit and hare season is just getting started. A top option in Minnesota is the snowshoe hare, as you can hunt these animals on public lands. Plus, with no underground burrows, they are easy to roust.

Best Places to Hunt Deer

Normally, the best places to hunt deer in the winter are the Western states. However, the tough winter last year has left a shortage of deer in Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, and Oregon. Luckily, if you’re a deer hunter, you still have options.

New Jersey

Deer is one of the most popular animals to hunt in New Jersey, particularly in the winter. January is even better than December, as, in addition to muzzleloader, firearm, and shotgun seasons, there is also bow season.

Best Places to Hunt Grouse

Utah

Utah is home to dusky and ruffed forest grouse. You can hunt the birds at any time of the day, as they spend most of their time on the ground. However, you are most likely to be successful if you hunt when the grouse are feeding in the early morning. If you are hunting with a dog, you can also be successful at mid-morning, by which time there will be ample scent on the ground.

Michigan

Michigan is one of the best places to hunt grouse in the U.S. Whereas small-game hunting has become less available over the years, grouse still prevails in the state. The main reason for this is because Michigan has a huge amount of forest land. Especially useful is the successional forest land, where the edge habitat is sought after by grouse.

Best Places to Hunt Migratory Birds

New Jersey

Its long coastline makes New Jersey a top spot for hunting migratory birds. Depending on the month and region, you may be able to find Canada goose, brant, and various breeds of duck.

Plan your winter hunting trip to one of these best places to hunt to increase your chances of a good season. Make sure you arrive prepared with warm clothes, waterproof boots, and plenty of water and snacks as well as your hunting gear.

 

  • Caroline Mayou
6 Great Tactics for Hunting Winter Buck

6 Great Tactics for Hunting Winter Buck 0

Winter hunting season is open for business. If this is your passion, follow us with these 6 great tactics for hunting winter buck and end up a winner. While it can be cold, deer hunting in late season represents the best time to tag your buck.

Ambient temperatures count and just like us deer need to stay warm. If the temperature is not frigid, mature targets will prove elusive. Try these six tips for hunting winter buck in cold weather and be sure to visit Papa's Warehouse for your heat factory warmers.

1. Doze for a While

When the weather is cold, winter buck may opt to go to bed just before first light. If you want to avoid a chance meeting while they are on their way home, defer the hunt and make it an afternoon session. In other words, avoid getting up and after your quarry in the cold, dim light of dawn.

2. Seek High-Carb Food Zones

Deer need plenty of carbohydrates to generate fat that will see them through the chilly season of winter. Include areas of soybean, corn, and other wild grain in your hunt plan, because this is where deer herds are going to hang out for easy grazing.

3. Locate the Forbs Growing Areas

No winter buck’s diet is complete without forbs. If you are new to winter deer hunting, a forb – also spelled phorbs - is a non-grass, herbaceous flowering plant. Each adult deer consumes around 5-pounds of forbs a day, so it makes sense to include natural growing areas in your hunt plan. Deer sanctuaries or dense cover thicket patches are good for forbs.

4. Identify Water Sources

It also makes sense that as winter season progresses, water sources are harder to find. This is because most water freezes over when sub-zero temperatures set in. There are pockets of open water, and just like winter buck, you need to find them.

5. Be Savvy

Cold weather sometimes brings snow, which makes it a lot easier to track deer through telltale signs they leave. Turn this to your advantage and hunt using cover and still-hunt tactics. Sure, you may end up face-to-antler out there, but you have nothing to lose. Besides, only a couple of weeks of the season left to make good.

6. Keeping Warm is Cool

Few hunters easily tolerate sub-zero temperatures naturally. Most have their preferred warmers to keep out the frigid air. There are warmers designed for just about any part of the body, with hand, foot and body warmers always in great demand. Browse here and find the best heat factory warmers that will keep out the chill.

Quote for the Occasion

Memorize this beautiful quote - courtesy of poet Lord Byron as you set off hunting winter buck:

“There is a pleasure in the pathless woods; there is a rapture on the lonely shore. There is society, where none intrudes, by the deep sea, and music in its roar. I love not man the less, but nature more, from these our interviews, in which I steal. From all I may be, or have been before, to mingle with the Universe. And feel what I can ne'er express, yet cannot all conceal.”

 

  • Caroline Mayou