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Posts Tagged ‘hike’

Winter is the reason many hiking clubs avoid using white blazes as trail markings.

Bob, the Natureguy, described how the Conservation Trail, a branch of the Finger Lakes Trail (FLT), became blazed orange:
“The group was hiking the Finger Lakes Trail in Allegany State Park. These were old timers in the Finger Lakes Trail organization. It was a nice fall day. A freak snowstorm hit while they were on the trail. It took them hours to get back since the early wet snow stuck to the trees and obscured the white blazes. They had to brush every tree to look for blazes and find their way back. They vowed the new trail would not have that problem and chose orange for the Conservation Trail blazes.”

He went on to explain, “It would be a momentous task to change the blazing of the FLT. It would be very expensive and take many dollars and many years. Not just the marks, but all the printed literature and reference material would have to be changed. And there is logic to the color schemes when there are trail junctions. Over almost a 1/2 century those color schemes have been worked out so there are no conflicts. All trails that intersect with the FLT could be affected. It is not just one trail. The FLT is a primary trail that a multitude of trails across the state radiate from or intersect. So, unfortunately, the color is what is, for bad or good and do not expect it to change.”

It is easy to loose the white blazes in a white-out of snow, so be extra careful when hiking or snowshoeing white-blazed trails such as the Finger Lakes Trail. Always take some extra warm/dry layers with you and some snacks and water in case your outing gets extended due to a change in conditions.

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Nordic Ski Walking

Nordic Ski walking is the fastest growing fitness activity in Europe. Over 6 million Europeans are walking, hiking and treking with their special nordic ski walking poles – in the cities, the country and the mountains. No skis and no snow required!

Ski Coaches in Finland saw the success of their world class cross country skiers utilizing ski poles in the summer for Ski Walking and Hill Bounding. They also saw how hikers with knee pain could walk with a hiking stick and eliminate that knee pain. And how back packers complained that their backs hurt until they were given poles. The Finns then developed special walking poles with rubber tips (for hard surfaces, such as pavement), durable metal tips (for trails, the beach snow & ice) and comfortable patented cross country ski straps. They also discovered that the perfect length poles for recreational Nordic Ski Walking were poles that put the Ski Walker’s elbow at 90 degrees when strapped in and standing tall. And now, thanks to WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and The American Nordic Walking System, Americans of all ages and fitness levels have the opportunity to unlock the calorie burning and aerobic benefits of Nordic Ski Walking.

www.SKIWALKING.COM’s owner/founder/coach has hosted hundreds of Nordic Ski Walking Clinics from Lake Tahoe, California to the Green Mountains of Vermont. Clinic participants, regardless of age, are always pleasantly surprised by how good Nordic Ski Walking feels and how effective Nordic Ski Walking is—providing a better aerobic and cardio workout than regular walking and radically reducing the pounding and stress to the knees, hips, and back. Nordic Ski Walking has proven extremely successful for individuals with sore or new knees, sore or new hips, back problems, MS, Parkinson’s, Neuropathy, shin splints, runner’s knee, and other issues.

How? By utilizing the correct length poles, everyone is automatically forced to walk taller, with hips forward and with a straighter back. Better posture is biomechanically a good thing! Combine this improved posture with the unique 4-Wheel-Drive action of walking with fitness poles and there is a noticeable decrease in the stress put on the weight bearing joints. It is not magic. It is just physics. Balance and stability are also hugely improved.

Marketing hype? No, Nordic Ski Walking really does burn up to 40 percent more calories than regular walking. According to the Cooper Institute’s Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sports 2002 publication, Nordic Ski Walking produces up to a 46 percent increase in energy consumption compared to regular walking. Unlike regular walking, running, and biking, Nordic Ski Walking really works the arms, shoulders, and abs.

Perfect fitting poles are important. Make sure you are able to specify your height when you order Nordic Ski Walking poles online. Be sure to request a perfect fit guarantee. Most retailers only carry twist-locking poles – one size supposedly fits all – WRONG! Real Nordic Ski Walking Poles are fixed length (one piece shafts). Fixed length (one piece) poles are safer, lighter, more durable, hassle free, and designed for every day use, unlike twist-locking adjustable/telescoping/collapsible poles that are heavier, collapse at inconvenient times, and have twist lock systems that wear out. Real Nordic Walking Poles also come with patented comfortable straps. ALL poles from WWW.SKIWALKING.COM and The American Nordic Walking System include straps patented by the Salomon Ski Company.

SKIWALKING.COM’s “VIP’s” (Very Important Poles) are custom-made in Lillehammer, Norway and come with patented comfortable straps, natural rubber tips for the road/hard surfaces, and durable carbide tips for snow, ice, trail and beach. ALL poles come with a FREE Nordic Walking DVD and special instructions are emailed to all customers. The SWIX “VIP’s” are the #1 selling Ski Walking Poles in the USA. The NEW 2008 EXEL Urban Skier Poles are now in stock too!

Over six million Europeans can’t be wrong!
For more information, call toll free: 877-SKIWALKING or 877-754-9255 or send an e-mail to GETFIT(at) http://www.skiwalking.com

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I cringe every time I hear a woman say “I can’t go alone.” She’s usually referring to why she doesn’t get out for a walk in the woods more often. How did we become so paranoid of the outdoors?

To me, the woods, whether it’s a hundred-mile wilderness tract or a one-mile square of trees in a suburban setting, is a peaceful, welcoming place. It is where we can escape the hustle and noise that surround us the rest of the day. It’s a place to watch and smell the natural progression of the changing seasons and to listen to the birds, crickets, and frogs. It’s a place of solace and solitude.

But to many women, the woods are a frightening place – especially when alone. Granted, it’s a good policy to go with someone else when you head outside. Something untoward can always happen, from spraining an ankle to getting lost. A friend can be of immeasurable help and welcome company. But, going alone shouldn’t stop you from going at all.

The reality is that the most dangerous situation you’ll face is the drive to the trailhead. More people are injured and killed in cars than in other endeavors combined. Once you reach the park or trailhead, the most dangerous portion of the outing has been completed.

Take A Hike – Rochester (NEW) 3rd edition

I have hiked hundreds of miles on area trails. Most times I don’t see another soul. The people I have encountered have been friendly outdoors types. People who mean harm to others rarely head to a trail. It’s too much work. It’s not their natural environment. Take litter as an example. Most litter is found along roads and near a trailhead. The farther in you hike, the less you find. Those who disrespect nature enough to litter, like those who disrespect other human beings, tend to be too lazy to walk very far.

Having said that, there are precautions you can take when going for a walk:
When possible walk with someone else.
Take a map of the trail so you know where you’re headed (and how to get home).
Be alert to who is around you. If anyone seems out of place or suspicious, go the other way.
Don’t wear fancy jewelry to attract attention.
Tune into your surroundings (don’t wear headphones).
Go in daylight hours.
Pick a lesser-used, lesser-known trail.
Tell someone where you’re going and approximately how long you will be gone. Or, leave a note with this information where someone looking for you will find it.

If hiking alone is simply uncomfortable for you, consider going on the many guided hikes offered year-round.

Thousand Islands NY Area Hikes

Find a wealth of trail to hike in the guidebooks available through Footprint Press.

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Take A Hike – Rochester (NEW) 3rd edition

It was a beautiful, blue sky, fall day. And, as luck would have it, the Crescent Trail Association was leading a hike. Rich and I wandered through the woods on the trail with 20 others in search of fall’s beauty.

The club was offering a shuttle back to our car, but we wanted to walk, so we headed back down the trail. This time we walked in silence, just the two of us. The temperature had dropped and big snowflakes began to fall. It fell in blankets that stuck to our hair and soaked into our clothing.

Rich and I made mistakes that many people make when heading out for a hike. We didn’t prepare for a change in weather. We were wearing blue jeans and we didn’t have gloves or hats. We had gone on a guided hike and didn’t have a map or compass with us. In fact, we had nothing with us.

We plodded through the deepening snow. The trail and the blazes became hard to see. Then it happened. We passed a landmark along the trail for the second time! We had gone in a circle and didn’t even realize it. We’d read about people getting lost and going in circles. But we were two intelligent human beings. How could it happen to us?

Take A Hike – Finger Lakes

So, we were lost and getting progressively wetter and colder. We knew major roads formed boundaries for the land we were on. We guessed at the direction and headed to the road noise. When we reached the road we discovered we were back at the farthest road, not the road with our car. Without a compass we had guessed wrong. We had embarrassed ourselves enough for one day, so we decided to follow the roads and walk about 3 miles back to our car in the dark, arriving exhausted, cold, and soaked to the skin.

In hindsight, we were fortunate. We knew the roads surrounding the woods and the area was small. Making a similar mistake in unknown territory farther from roads could have been fatal. And we learned a valuable lesson. We now go out prepared, even if it’s a short, guided hike. We put together a survival kit in a zip lock bag that is kept in our daypack and taken on every hike. We make sure we always have a map of the trails with us, and we each carry a bottle of water. We no longer wear cotton (except on short summer hikes) and we put clothes in our daypack for one level of wet or cold below what it is when we head out.

We’ve fine-tuned our route finding abilities over the years as we’ve explored the hundreds of trails throughout Western and Central New York. I can happily report that in the ten years since this incident we haven’t been lost once.

Survival Kit
compass
pocket knife with scissors
small flashlight
waterproof matches
small emergency space blanket
iodine tablets (to purify water)
small roll of toilet paper
sun screen
lip balm
band aids
mole skin
bug repellant
bandana

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Hiking Blogs

Here’s a cool site that posts basic info on Hiking Blogs from all over the US & the world. If you’re heading somewhere to go hiking, maybe there’s a blog about hiking in that area. You can also vote for your favorite hiking related blog as well. Maybe even vote for New York Outdoors!

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Here’s a list of hiking clubs that maintain sections of the Finger Lakes Trail. Join the one nearest to you to find others who like to hike and maybe join them on a trail maintenance day. Our trails can use all the help they can get.

Buffalo Area:
ADK Niagara Frontier Chapter http://www.adk-nfc.org
Foothills Trail Club http://www.foothillstrailsclub.org
Rochester Area:
ADK Genesee Valley Chapter http://www.gvc-adk.org
Genesee Valley Hiking Club http://www.fingerlakestrail.org/gvhc.htm
Syracuse Area:
ADK Onondaga Chapter http://www.adk-on.org
Ithaca Area:
Cayuga Trails Club http://www.cayugatrailsclub.org
Binghamton Area:
Triple Cities Hiking Club http://www.tier.net/~tchc
Chenango County:
FLT-Bullthistle Hikers http://www.bullthistlehiking.org
Eastern NY State:
ADK Mid-Husdon Chapter http://www.midhudsonadk.org

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10 Worst Hiking Songs

Click here to read about the 10 worst songs to have stuck in your head as you hike down a trail.

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