I love to do stuff in the dark. I also love to see what I’m doing when I do stuff in the dark.
Thus, over the years I’ve become a fan of powerful headlamps — powerful headlamps that don’t cost a powerful lot.
Actually, “powerful” isn’t always what I need. When I’m mountain biking, yes. I like a torch that maintains a solid, wide, bright beam: At 20 miles per hour, the last thing I need on a windy, twisty, rocky, rooty trail is a surprise hiding in the shadows. But for hiking and backpacking, our focus today, I want a lamp that lets me confidently navigate the trail, but also doesn’t obliterate the cozy experience of a night hike.read more
Fly a kite at the coast, take a hike in the dark in the Piedmont, enjoy the first weekend of November — it’s a good weekend to be in North Carolina.
If you’re simply looking for all-out fun this weekend, you can do no better than this weekend’s Cape Fear Kite Festival at Wrightsville Beach. This is a non-competitive kite-flying event, which means you should feel good about bringing your own homemade work of art. Yet it also attracts serious kiters, looking for one last chance to fly in the 2013 season.read more
The following originally appeared on Nov. 5, 2009. It reappears as our available daylight disappears.
For maybe the fifth time in five minutes Alan stopped to comment on the trail. “This is a great trail,” he commented. And for the fifth time in maybe five minutes I reminded him that we had hiked this same trail maybe a half dozen times. His sense of discovery was justified, though. This was the first time we’d hiked the trail in daylight.
Several years ago, we both despaired at the end of Daylight Savings Time. The end of DST meant a sharp decline in our outdoor activity. Long workouts only on weekends? That just seemed silly.
And it was. For just as advances in lighting have made it possible to ride a bike in the woods at night, so have these technological advances made it relatively simple to hike at night. And unlike the light systems for mountain biking that can set you back $200 to $600 or more, you can get a decent light set for hiking for less than $30. Most of the more simple systems run on AA or AAA batteries, power an LED light, and strap to your head, leaving your hands free. For more information on lights and what to look for, go here.
Some advice before you head out:read more
Start your weekend Friday evening with a Friday the 13th evening wander around Lake Waccamaw, then spend what promises to be a glorious Saturday high in the mountains at the Elk Knob Headwaters Community Day, or join us in Raleigh at Umstead State Park and get hiking — with our new GetHiking! Triangle program.read more
Alan and I were overdue for an epic ride. During the early summer we’d done a handful of 4- to 5-hour rides at Umstead, Lake Crabtree and adjoining single track networks that will go unnamed for fear of prosecution for trespassing. But since July — or specifically since I’d done ORAMM and no longer had the incentive to put in long hours in the saddle — our longest ride had barely topped 2 hours. So we were overdue, we realized last week, but we were also short on after work daylight.read more