Category Archives: Hiking

Tips for the Trail

We get out a lot. We’ve been getting out a lot for more than 30 years. During that time we’ve learned a thing or two. Nothing revolutionary, nothing that’s radically changed the sport. But maybe something you’ll find helpful, something you didn’t know that might help next time you’re on the trail. Something that will shorten your learning curve  — though the learning never stops. read more

A summer hike recalls summer vacation

Note: The following is a tweaked re-run of a post that originally appeared in July 2022. With the current heat it’s even more relevant today than it was when it originally appeared.

Tuesday afternoon I was driving back from a meeting in Oxford when I made a detour in Stem. Specifically, to the Tar River Land Conservancy’s Ledge Creek Forest Conservation Area. It was 98 degrees, with a Heat Index of 105, no one’s idea of ideal hiking conditions. Yet once I got under the canopy, the heat became less of an issue. read more

Good rhythm softens a hard trail

We were sitting around what would have been a campfire had it not been 85 degrees, when one of the hikers asked, “How does tomorrow’s hike compare to today’s?”

It was asked with a hint of trepidation. “Today’s” hike — a 6.6-mile out-and-back with just 1,000 feet of elevation gain — was supposed to be the easy one, the warm-up for tomorrow’s 14-miler, which gained nearly 2,400 feet in 4.3 miles. Yet today’s hike had kicked our butts. read more

Don’t get bullied by the Weekend Heat Dome

Granted, we ran a version of this blog in April, but with the appearance of The Heat Dome and the possibility of temperatures topping 100 in the region this weekend, it seemed appropriate to repeat the high points. Starting with …

Don’t hesitate to adjust your plans based on the forecast. For instance, GetBackpacking! was scheduled to do the 35-mile Virginia Triple Crown loop this weekend. The four-day trip takes a high route, largely sticking to ridges.  read more

GetOriented: Finding Your Way in the Woods

The following post originally appeared on June 5, 2019. We revisit it today because it’s always important to know where you are in the woods. And if you’ve lost track of where you are, it’s likewise important to be able to figure out where you are — and then how to get where you want to be. And if you’re the type who does better with hands-on instruction, check out our GetHiking! Finding Your Way in the Woods class, below. read more