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Getting Outdoors More

Do you get outside as much as you’d like, either locally or on longer trips away from home? Sure, family and other responsibilities prevent you from getting out as much as you’d like.  As your life grew more complicated and busy, one of the most important “outdoor” skills you can acquired is figuring out how to get outdoors as much as you want. One thing you can do is make it a family outing. Here are some tips to help with the outdoor planning.


When was the last time you had the freedom to take off on the spur of the moment? Probably years ago, right? Many people lack that flexibility, which means that your outdoor recreation, like your work, has to be scheduled in advance, or it doesn’t happen. Backpacking, camping, and other activities in many national parks, can require making reservations months in advance.


As a parent, the best way to get outdoors more is to get your kids involved at a very young age carrying them on hikes and other activities before they’re walking, then letting them move under their own power as soon as they can walk.  That delivers multiple benefits for you: creating additional opportunities for you to get outside; ingraining in your children a love for the outdoors that you have always shared; and, by getting your family out as much as they’re willing to go, they occasionally don’t mind if you take off for a long day hike or a weekend of climbing or backpacking.


If the thought of packing up your gear for a weekend erects a mental hurdle to going, maybe you’ve created too much of a barrier for yourself. Get organized and efficient not just about packing for a trip, but also about storing gear after trips; having it ready to go helps you get out the door more quickly. Keep supplies like stove fuel and backpacking food on hand. That way, taking off for a night or two of camping or backpacking isn’t an ordeal.


Self-motivating is hard. Find a partner for regular, local hikes, rides, or trail runs who’s compatible with your style and pace besides pushing each other to work a little harder, you’ll push one another to stick to the commitment.


Don’t treat exercise and outdoor recreation as something you’ll get to at the end of the day or on the weekend if there’s time after everything else gets done it doesn’t happen that way. Schedule your regular, local outings during the week, like short hikes or trail runs, just like you schedule work or personal appointments. Carve out time for it on your calendar and you will do it and turn it into part of your routine.

For the next few months try to get outdoors more and maybe plan a trip. A day trip, weekend trip, or a week long trip. Just plan ahead and do something fun.




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Backpacking 101

Backpacking 101


Spending a few days out in the wilderness trekking from place to place is lots of fun but it isn’t as easy as it sounds, here’s why…

#1: You have to carry everything you need on your back;  this is a strenuous task no matter how light weight your gear maybe.  Even with a 2lb sleeping bag and minimal amounts of water, (not recommended) weight adds up fast.  We’ve found that a bag well packed typically weighs around 30-40 lbs.  Now that may not seem like much but it will after an hour or so of hiking.  So before you go backpacking make sure you can handle the strain.

#2: You have to find sources of water; When backpacking you will need double the amount of water you would need other wise, this would probably be around 170-190 oz of water per day for the average male.  Now are you up to carrying 10-15lbs of water?  Well actually nobody is, that’s why you have to bring a portable water filter, and find your own sources of fresh water.  Creeks are Ideal for this, especially when cold.  So before you go backpacking make sure you have a large water bottle and a water filtration system.  Also be sure to check a map to see where any water sources are along the trail and plan accordingly.

#3: There are no toilets in the woods; This maybe the most miserable part of backpacking, however, it doesn’t have to be.  Say your in the woods and you’ve gotta     go #2 and you’re 3 miles from the nearest bathroom, what then?  Well if you were properly prepared you would have brought a small shovel and some biodegradable toilet paper and then all you would have to do is find a tree to squat up against, dig a hole and do your business.  So before you go backpacking make sure you have a shovel and toilet paper.

#4: Bears, wolves, and raccoons; Depending on where you choose to hike you have to be on the look out for bears and wolves especially in the rockies.  Also, when you have your campsite set up and the critters come out you are in even more danger than you were in broad daylight unless you properly stored your food at least ten feet of the ground and five feet away from trees.  So before you go backpacking make sure you bring rope to suspend food and trash.


For a 1-3 night backpacking trip

  1. a sturdy backpack, we recommend one with at least a 50 liter capacity
  2. a water filter
  3. a large water bottle
  4. first aid kit
  5. a light weight tent (alps is an excellent brand)
  6. a change of clothes, preferably dry fitting clothes, no cotton
  7. a hiking stick, they make a world of difference
  8. food, make sure its rich in protein
  9. a lightweight stove (we recommend a jet boil)
  10. toilet paper
  11. a small shovel
  12. a poncho
  13. sturdy hiking boots, preferably water proofed ones
  14. bug spray
  15. sunscreen, especially when mountain climbing
  16. bear pepper spray (if hiking in bear country)
  17. at least 25ft of rope, 75ft if mountain climbing
  18. fire starter of some sort
  19. a light weight sleeping pad
  20. a light weight sleeping bag, preferably around 2-3lbs
  21. a bag to store food in trash in during the night
  22. a pocket knife
  23. a carabiner or two
  24. hand soap and personal hygiene products

Do you have anything to add? Comment below and we will see about adding it.