I was putting together a curriculum for a new hiker in our Adventure Coaching program and realized that some of what she needed to know was especially pertinent to this time of year. Today, I share some of those tips that will be especially helpful, hopefully, going into winter.
In the past couple of weeks, it’s become hot. Summer hot.
And that means when we head out for a hike, we’ll look more favorably on trails that have water as a main feature. Just enough to cool our feet in, maybe splash some water in our face. Trouble is, you can’t always choose how much water you get. When that happens, when your trail comes across a stream or creek without a bridge or an obvious way to get across, you need a strategy for a safe crossing.
Not surprisingly, some of North Carolina’s more popular state parks filled to capacity again this weekend. Pilot Mountain, Hanging Rock, South Mountains, Raven Rock, Stone Mountain, Occoneechee, part of Eno River all had to shut down at one point because they had reached capacity.
After one of the most gorgeous and prolonged springs in memory, a spring that couldn’t be better suited to being on the trail, the heat is finally arriving this weekend. We couldn’t be happier.
A near-perfect spring coupled with the coronavirus has has driven an unprecedented number of hikers to the trail. But, with the coming heat and humidity, coupled with more retail outlets slowly opening, we should see far fewer hikers on the trail this weekend.
Tuesday at lunch I headed to a favorite local wild area for a two-mile hike. Five minutes in and I was a glow: my eyes stung with sweat, my shirt stuck to me, I’d even collected a cobweb or two. Ah, the return of hot weather hiking.
I love a good hike in the heat. In large part that’s because not everyone else does. Head out on a day when the temperature’s in the upper 80s, as it was Tuesday, and there’s a good chance you won’t see another soul on the trail. But the summer forest is a whole other world: it’s teaming with life, yet it’s oddly quiet. It’s the best time of year to find a secluded spot and plant yourself for 15 minutes and quietly observe the world around you.