I have been on a hiking mission to get ready for my trek in Nepal. Three weeks ago I got to go to Jones Gap for the first time with my networking group – Women’s Social Business Group. Bryn Harmer is the Park Ranger and Manager for the Mountain Bridge Wilderness Area. She gave us some great advice and tips on hiking before our hike.
“The Mountains are Calling……..And I must go” – John Muir. This is one of Bryn’s favorite quotes. It really suits me right now too.
Bryn recommended a new book called Hiking Waterfalls in Georgia and South Carolina. It looked really nice and was in color. This will tell you about all of the waterfalls and their degree of difficulty. I think this one you can pick up at the Ranger Stations. A friend let me borrow her copy of Five-Star Trails – South Carolina Upstate: Your Guide to the Area’s Most Beautiful Hikes. This one is not in color but still very nice. I will have to let you know which one I end up liking better.
Bryn also showed us several different kinds of backpacks to use based on the kind of hiking that you will be doing; what we should have in our pack and some great little gadgets. I will probably have to break this down into a few posts. We learned a lot of great info.
In this picture you see 3 different types of hikers. On the left side, you see a hiker that you hope is close to her car. No water, bad shoes, no back pack to carry any snacks or water in. She won’t last long in the area the picture is taken if she isn’t near that car. In the center of the picture you see some better prepared hikers. There are better shoes on their feet, they have jackets if they need them, some walking sticks and a bag for supplies. They will be fine out for a few hours enjoying the wilderness. In the picture on the right, you see two heavy backpackers who will most likely be camping for a few days, or at least overnight. Again, better shoes and backpacks for supplies. I’m going to be mostly in the middle group because I like hot water for my shower at night!
First Aid Kit
Flashlight with extra batteries
The amount of food and water will be based on how long you will be out and what is more important to you. Of course if you take a water purifier with you, you can get water out of the stream. A friend of mine does this because he doesn’t want to carry a lot of water with him. For my trip to Peru I bought a 2 Liter Wide Mouth Playtpus Water Bag. This thing is awesome. It fits in a compartment in my backpack and the drinking hose attaches to the front of my pack making it very easy to drink without have to fiddle with bottles. I have one stainless steel Cambelback but really like the bag much better. The wide opening allows you to clean the bag out very easily and then I put a long wooden spoon in to to let it dry completely before I put it back in my pack. We are looking to get a LifeStraw Bottle though for our trip this year. They also make just a straw so you can drink out of the stream directly. I will let you know later how these work out for us. We will also have a water filtration system with us since clean water will be an issue on my trip every where we are going.
Next post, I’ll tell you how to pack a great First Aid Kit.