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
In September, GetGoingNC.com made the transition from telling you what you can do to showing you: we started GetHiking! Triangle, which leads weekly hikes in the Triangle and beyond. Our target audience: newcomers to hiking and established hikers interested in learning new trails. The initial response has exceeded our expectations. We currently have 344 members and have attracted more than 50 people to our hikes.read more
Monday — never an easy time for the outdoors enthusiast. After a weekend of adventure, returning to the humdrum work-a-day world can make one melancholy. To help ease the transition, every Monday we feature a 90 Second Escape — essentially, a 90-second video or slide show of a place you’d probably rather be: a trail, a park, a greenway, a lake … anywhere as long as it’s not under a fluorescent bulb.
Today’s 90-Second Escape: Whitewater rafting at the NWCread more
Here’s an exchange I find myself having surprisingly often.
Other Person: I’ve been trying to find a local hiking [slash-paddling-slash-cycling-slash-climbing-slash-other-favorite-activity-here] club but haven’t had any luck. Are there any?
Me: Have you tried Meetup?
Yes, even today, after 12 years, 14.1 million members, 131,119 Meetup groups and 2.65 million monthly RSVPS (members indicating they plan to attend a Meetup activity) there are still people out there unfamiliar with Meetup.com. In short: Meetup is how people gather to play in the internet age. You want to go on a group hike in Charlotte, you join Outdoor Club South: Charlotte. You want to go kayaking in the Carolinas? Simply join Simply Kayaking. You want to do just about anything and you live in the Triangle? Become one of the 5,392 members of the Triangle Hiking & Outdoors Group: they’ve got 20 events currently scheduled and odds are at least one will tickle your adventure fancy.
Finding a group is easy. Go to Meetup.com, click “Find a Meetup Group,” click on your interest and how far you’re willing to drive, and options will appear. If they don’t, if there’s not a group that does what you want to do, start one.
To give you an idea of what’s out there, here’s a list of the 17 Meetup groups I belong to. Click, see what they do, where they go and who they are. Like what they’re about? Click one more time and become a member.
It’s that easy.read more
Wondering what kinks Tropical Storm Andrea may have put in your weekend plans?
Paddling. If you were planning on paddling, you might think again. With projected rainfall amounts of four inches or greater, some local rivers may be swollen to the dangerous level, especially for less experienced paddlers. Your best bet for assessing paddle conditions on specific rivers is to check with the outfitters who serve them. Find a list of 44 such outfitters, specifically those who rent canoes and kayaks, here. If you’re familiar with a specific waterway, you can check levels and flows at the U.S. Geological Survey site, here. If you need help interpreting what those numbers mean — what’s optimum, what’s safe, what’s not — you should have a copy of Paul Ferguson’s “Paddling Eastern North Carolina” for the eastern part of the state, the Benner boys’ “Carolina Whitewater: A Paddler’s Guide to the Western Carolinas” for the west.read more