Hiking Vs Trail Racing

Hiking Vs Trail Racing

In this day we live, much is made about personal records, racing to set the fastest times possible. I read where athletes set out to traverse the entire length of a long-distance trail faster than any human has done before. Trails such as the Appalachian Trail or Pacific Crest Trail are viewed as race courses rather than hiking trails. Stops to rest & resupply along the way are regarded more as “pit stops,” get in & get out, rather than a time to rest & casually reflect on the day’s journey. This article isn’t intended in any way to demote these athletes, but simply to put differing attitudes into perspective.

Trail runners, athletes who run the length of a long-distance trail, usually do so with the aid of another person or persons. They’ll cover a desired amount of ground in a given day, traveling with only a hip-pack & one or two bottles of water, some energy packets & small snack foods to eat during the day. At designated crossings, they’re met by a friend or family member, one who travels by car with all the supplies that’ll be needed for this trip. The athletes eat & refill their water bottles & move on for another determined set of miles. They may camp along the trail, sleep in their car or a nearby town. Plans like this are laid out well in advance, critical to the success of the athlete’s goal in mind of finishing as fast as they can.

These people are no doubt athletes. They encounter more uneven terrain on a long-distance trail than the average runner you see on the streets everyday. Their focus must be sharper and their conditioning better than the average athlete. Running the length of a long-distance trail in record time is remarkable for sure. Yet these “records” are misleading when put into the perspective of hiking & backpacking a long-distance trail. Running isn’t hiking & hiking isn’t running. They’re both completely different.

Many people have asked me, “What’s the fastest time anyone has hiked the Appalachian Trail?” What I want to reply to that is, “Does is really matter?” If traveling a trail in record time appeals to someone, that’s fine, and there’s nothing wrong with that. However, it means nothing to one who intends to take time away from family & work, pursuing a life-long dream. It goes deeper than the superficial. For most of us, hiking isn’t about speed & setting records. It isn’t about fame or notoriety. What it is about varies from individual to individual, but it runs deeper than a footnote in a record book.

For me, hiking isn’t about outward accomplishments. Sure, there’s a sense of pride in completing anything, especially a long-distance hike. But there’s a fulfillment in hiking for me that I don’t find in anything else. It’s an internal reaction. I love being outdoors & being physically active. Yet a bicycle ride or walk in a park doesn’t satisfy me nearly like strapping on a pack full of gear, heading out into the woods & mountains to sojourn. Time slows down for me, and I feel that my senses grow keener & more in tune with my surroundings, and for more of what they were intended. My thoughts flow like a stream in spring, confidence builds within me. The people I meet along the way are both encouraging & interesting.

Backpacking for me doesn’t consist of laying out a plan to finish a trail, then simply move on to the next. Of course, I want to hike as many trails in my lifetime as I can. Time away from family & home helps put things into perspective for me, helps clarify the confusing aspects of life, makes the most complicated seem simpler. It’s basic, raw & revealing. Earl Shaffer, the first person to accomplish a thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail, did so in 1947. It followed his stint in the armed forces, and came at a time when he needed to walk some things out of his system. This isn’t the same scenario for all hikers & backpackers, I know. The reasons for hiking are many, yet there’s a common thread, I believe. The trail runner athletes are amazing at what they do. Their goals are just different from most backpackers.

Article Source: http://ezineseeker.com/?expert=Steve_H.

Trekking and Hiking in Nepal

Trekking and Hiking in Nepal

Trekking in the Himalayas is, in every sense of the word, an uplifting experience and the latest style of traveling on the mountains. A special attraction of Nepal lies in its spectacular natural beauty, its unique cultures and friendly people. By walking through the mountains of Nepal, you will come to understand why this country has captivated the hearts of mountaineers and explorers for over a century.

Whether you are looking for a wilderness experience or a classic trek, Nepal has everything to offer. Regardless of where you go, you will encounter a great diversity of geography, climate and ethnicity. The people are friendly and welcoming, and the great highlight of trekking in this country is the interactions you will have with the local people in the villages and their wonderfully diverse cultures, practices and traditions.

We offer a number of different styles of trekking trip such as classic, challenging, luxury, and family, each of which may involve camping, staying in tea-houses or a combination of both. You will be led by our experienced guides and accompanied by friendly Sherpas to the world’s mightiest mountains through the spellbinding valleys, rhododendron forests and holy lakes of the Annapurna, Everest, Langtang and off-the-beaten-track regions.

When to go

The best time to trek is from October to May. The first two months of the dry season (October and November) is the ideal period for trekking in Nepal. The air is freshly washed by the monsoon rains, the mountain scenery is superb and the weather is still comfortably warm. December, January and February are still good months for trekking but the cold can be bitter at high altitudes. March and May also offer better weather when trekkers can see superb wild flowers, particularly in Nepal’s wonderful rhododendron forests. During the monsoon season (June-August) trekking is possible in the rain-shadow areas of north of the Himalaya like upper Mustang and upper Dolpo. These regions are out of reach of the rain clouds because of the high mountains and are unaffected by the monsoon.

Duration of the Trek

A trekking trip can be of any length you choose. Popular short treks are available around the Kathmandu and Pokhara valleys, which only take one, two or three days to complete while longer treks lasting from a week to a month. It is even possible to combine a series of popular treks together and peak climbing for months on end.

Choosing a Trek

Please remember that occasionally bad weather, altitude and unfamiliar cultures can make extra demands. A sense of humor and determination are important attributes on any adventure holiday and on a trekking holiday it is important to enjoy walking. In order to help you in selecting a trek we have given each trek a grade, although this is only a simple guide. If you need help in deciding which trek is suitable, please call or send an email to us and we will be pleased to advise you further.

Physical Fitness:

All trekking demands a level of fitness that will enable one to put in a good day’s walking, up hill and down. Most treks should not be taken to gain more than 500 meters in one day above 3000 meters. There should be plenty of time during the day to cover this distance, so the physical exertion though quite strenuous at times, is not sustained. The best preparation for trekking is cycling, swimming, jogging, squash, tennis and long walks involving up and down hills. Good physical conditioning will certainly help maximize your enjoyment of your treks.

Planning a Trek

Nepal offers plenty of opportunity for treks lasting a day or less, though most are considerably longer. Around Pokhara or the Kathmandu Valley you can complete the trek within two, three or four days but for the very popular Everest Base Camp and Annapurna Circuit treks you have to allow three weeks.

Trek Grading System

Nepal, with its ups and downs and zig-zag paths ,it is more appropriate to think in terms of hours spent in walking, rather than miles covered. This is what we use as a grading system. A typical day’s walk lasts from five to seven hours & involves a typical of ascents & descents.

Easy treks involve up to 6 hours of walking a day, on good trails with plenty of time for sightseeing. Altitudes generally do not exceed 3500 meters. Anyone who enjoys regular exercise and is in god physical condition should easily cope with these treks.

Moderate treks involve walking for 6 to 8 hours a day in more remote country, reaching altitudes of approximately 4500 meters. A reasonable level of fitness is required as there will be much ascent and descent with the occasional difficult day. A hill walking background is advisable.

Strenuous treks are harder, suitable for regular hill walkers as they are generally more demanding any may involve 7 or 8-hour days, with altitudes up to 5500 meters. You should be physically fit and appropriate preparation is essential. Some days may involve crossing a pass with up to 10 hours walking.
Style of Trekking

Teahouse Trek

It is a popular style of trek in the certain regions of Nepal where modest accommodations at country lodges and reasonable standard of food are easily available along the trails. Our porters carry clients’ luggage and equipment and the guide looks after the accommodation at lodges and food along the trails. Hot drinks tea /coffee with breakfast in the morning and dinner in the evening are served in the lodges. Lunch is provided en route between 11am and 12pm.

Full board camping trek

In this category of trek we offer all the necessary food and camping equipment for a private or larger group of travelers. Our guides, cook, porters or yaks take care of all the technical and logistical aspects of the trip. Everyday our staff will set the camp along the trails and our well-trained cooks prepare the western and Asian food with variety of choices. This option is the only choice for some of the more remote areas of Nepal such as Kanchenjunga, Manaslu, upper/lower Dolpo, Nar Phu valley, Round Dhaulagiri, Rolwaling, Makalu, Ganesh Himal and many other remote areas.

Altitude & Acclimatization:

Proper acclimatization is very important and our routes are planned specifically to allow a gradual gain in altitude with many of our treks having extra days to allow for acclimatization. By slowly gaining height we reap the benefits of a gradual gain in fitness and acclimatization. We offer advice about acclimatization and with the sensible approach we take on all of our treks, anyone who is fit and healthy should have few problems. On our climbing trips in Nepal and trekking trips in Tibet we carry a portable altitude chamber as an extra safety precaution.

Group Size

Group sizes are kept small, to reduce the impact on the environment and to enable us to provide a more personal service. The maximum Group size on most of our treks/tours is 16 and the minimum group size is 2.

High Himalaya Society provides some great information on a variety of adventure in Nepal.

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The Joy Of Hiking Trips

The Joy Of Hiking Trips
Hiking trips are an adventurous way to take a vacation or a little bit of time out to enjoy nature at its finest, up close. By taking a hiking trip you are also able to go to destinations that are remote or hard to get to, making your hiking trip an adventure that won’t easily be forgotten. Research the place that you are planning to visit on your hiking trip. Find out the best time of the year is to visit, as sometimes the weather conditions can be quite extreme at certain times of the year.

Although hiking on your own can seem like an exiting adventure, it is a lot safer to go hiking in a group. The more people who are along for the hike, the more likely it is you will all return home safely. If there is an accident or mishap along the way, there will be more people to assist. Before going on a hike, it is also a good idea to take part in a basic first aid course.

Since you are hiking, it will be necessary to carry everything needed for your adventure on your back. This will mean that the things that you take will be limited. Some of the things that you can’t do without are good quality hiking gear such as boots and waterproof, lightweight clothing to provide warmth and protection from the elements. Rope, tarp and sleeping bags will be necessary especially if you are camping out. These things will provide you with some of the necessities while hiking.

Make sure to bring along a first aid kit complete with sterile bandages, gauze and disinfectant. Other necessities such as water and food for the trip are essential. Matches will be needed to light a fire if you are planning on camping out on your hiking trip or if you get lost. Dehydrated food can be an ideal way to carry a fair amount of food without it taking up a lot of space or being too heavy to carry.

Hiking trips are not only a lot of fun they are also very beneficial to your health. Hiking will not only make you more fit, it will also help reduce stress and allow you plenty of thinking time. The feeling of challenging yourself will also be great for your mental health.

It is important to remember that, when hiking, you should bring all the necessary things needed. Think over what you need very carefully before taking your hiking trip. Notify family, neighbors or people of importance that you are going and when you are expected back from your hiking trip. If you are new to hiking, it may be a good idea to take some hiking safety classes before going out alone.

Don’t forget to take a camera so that, once you return home, you can share your adventures with friends and family. You will also have a long-term memento of how beautiful the countryside was on your hiking trip.

John Furnem specializes in work psychology, stress relief and time management, John uses many innovative techniques to help individuals and families to perform better, John publishes Hiking Trips advice on the travelzupa.com pages

Hiking And Backpacking

Hiking And Backpacking
We have been nomadic by nature (read: humans). From the early man to even now, we always look for newer places, newer avenues, etc. The only difference is that we do not change settlements as frequent as the early man did. He did that to find a better place/a better shelter to lead his life and where the availability of food was abundant and unhindered.

A Change of Environment

These days, the problem of food availability has almost died down but finding a better alternative to the place we live is always an option, provided we have the money and resources for it. We also have been looking to do something, some activities that transcend the daily routine and the career we are involved in. Hiking is therefore acknowledged as one of the best outdoor activities ever. Very few are lucky enough to take it up as their career; and fewer still are lucky to have made a fortune out of it talking of celebrity hikers and backpackers.

This activitys exclusivity lies in the fact that not many take up this as an adventure activity or even a fun outdoor activity. The earth is a huge place where diversity can be found in nature almost everywhere. Man has built cities and made them look alike but the fact remains that the fun, peace and solace we find in hiking or outdoor activities is immense and immeasurable. It is not that everyone takes it up and that ups its mysterious, adventure quotient.

Advantages of Backpacking and Hiking

Starting off with backpacking it teaches you how to be ready at all times. It teaches you to be independent and adapt to environment fast. It makes you more disciplined than youd ever thought. It makes you strong like a mountain and disciplined like the Marines. If ever you loved to be a part of the men in uniform, you must know that they are excellent backpackers and hikers.

Hiking benefits you in more ways than anything else:

It instills a sense of confidence in you. Hiking makes you discover new places and discovery of nature is perhaps the best thing that man can do. It also brings you closer to nature of which unfortunately, we have drifted far apart.

It is a sense of achievement and self-satisfaction that no money can ever fulfill.

If youre on hiking expeditions, you will realize that in the end of the expedition, youre a changed person. Youre a winner of sorts and youll seem to have a better control on your life and activities. Not to mention, that your career graph will take an upward turn.

If you worry about your fitness levels, forget health problems because with hiking and backpacking, you will be at your best fitness and best mental health.

Each expedition is a journey of experience and learning. You shall be amazed to know that nature has so much to offer that cannot be ever compared to the academic education we receive

If you want a positive turn in your life for a change, for betterment and be inspired from something, hiking is an activity you should take up definitely.

Jennifer Ow Yeong – a fulltime healthcare professional with 40 years of working experience in the government and private hospital. To get more information on Hiking and Backpacking, visit http://hikingbackpackingholidays.com

Daypacks For Hiking

Daypacks For Hiking
Many people carry backpacks with them when they are hiking. However, most are ill equipped and do not use daypacks for hiking. The difference between these packs and other bags out there is that they are made for the venture. They are designed to hold a great deal of weight, as most hikers carry ten to twenty pounds worth of gear with them on the trails. It is important to browse hiking daypacks and purchase one before your first hike. Your items as well as your back will thank you later.

Some people swear by using a backpack that is actually made for school textbooks and supplies. Real hikers refer to these bags as “pretend packs” because they lack the right features to be a daypack for a hiker. If you are still in school and want something to carry your books from class to class, then you can opt for a backpack. If you plan to hit the trails, you should actually shope for daypacks for hiking.

One reason that hiking daypacks are more beneficial than other bags is the large capacity they offer. Most packs will provide 1200 to 2500 cubic inches of space inside its pockets. If you think that this is a great deal of room, it is really not. This is especially true once you have stuffed your clothing, food, and other supplies inside. Also, it’s a good idea to have a little extra space to allow the pack to fit comfortably on your back. The size of bag you choose should depend on how many items you plan to take with you.

An internal frame is available with most daypacks for hiking, and you should not consider a bag that does not come with one. This frame will assist the pack’s weight in spreading evenly across the body. It can actually help your hips take on most of the weight. If your pack weighs 20 pounds, it may not seem like a lot for your body to handle. However, once you’ve hiked 15 miles, you will love a daypack that can evenly distribute those 20 pounds.

Hiking daypacks that offer an internal frame can help improve the comfort level of the pack as you are trekking through the woods. With this frame, you can alter the pack as you need to. This will ensure that everything fits into your pack and that it rests well on your body. You don’t want to get back from your hiking trip with sore shoulders from poorly distributed weight.

If you are considering daypacks for hiking, make sure you choose those that will make the trip easier as far as your gear goes. Many people invest in two hiking daypacks. They may choose one for short hikes and a larger one for longer walks. Make sure that you purchase one that will easily hold all of the items you plan to take with you. An internal frame is also a must if you want to carry the pack as easily as possible.

Welcome to The Hiking Backpacks, inside you will discover an amazing selection of low priced and excellent quality daypacks for hiking.

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Hiking near Bodega Bay

Hiking near Bodega Bay

Highway 1 on the Sonoma Coast is one of the most beautiful drives in California. There are many places to park the car and go for a hike, whether it be on the beach, on a cliff, or up in the hills.

Many locals love to go to Salmon Creek beach (free parking), and go for a stroll on the miles of beach that stretch from Mussel Point to Salmon Creek. I recommend parking in the lower parking lot, accessible by the street south of the Ranger Station. The Northern Salmon Creek parking lot is also a good place to park during the summer, but in the winter Salmon Creek creates a large problem for people trying to walk down south.

Another hiking area is Bodega Head, accessible by taking a left turn on Eastshore road. Follow this road and make a right onto Westshore, and then follow the road around the bay and continue up the hill.

Bodega Head is a great place to watch giant surf pound the rocks and cliffs, and provides a good view of Bodega Island and other sights. There are many nice paths along the cliffs, but be careful and do not fall. People have died at Bodega Head doing rock climbing or falling down the cliffs.

One of my favorite hikes starts at Shell Beach, which is located about 10 miles north of Bodega Bay on highway 1, and includes a nice 2-3 mile hike up and over the bluff to the Willow Creek Watershed and Pomo campground. The bluff is at a high elevation and is quite a hike, but the view is amazing, and the ocean always looks bigger from up above.

If you plan on heading south, Point Reyes National Seashore is a wonderful place to visit and hike, located about an hour south of Bodega Bay down highway 1. Point Reyes has miles of untouched beach, elk and other wildlife, and offers good surf to people who are brave enough to go into the sharky waters.

If you want to visit Bodega Bay but do not have a place to stay, contact http://luxurybodega.com and see if there is vacancy during the time you want to visit.

I am hoping to promote small businesses by publishing their personal articles on this website. Most people are too busy to promote their businesses alone and I am some professional hired help at a great rate just trying to build my portfolio and help out other members in my community and my group of friends.

Hiking Gps Devices

Hiking Gps Devices
Hiking GPS devices have certainly changed things, so that now, you can explore wherever you want to and know that you’ll never get lost. To be safe, though, hiking GPS devices should be chosen carefully so that they do what they’re meant to do. Here’s how you choose the best hiking GPS device, for you. Your hiking GPS device should:

Have a long battery life – The hiking GPS device you choose should have a battery that has a long life. You’re going to be out in the boonies, likely, hiking wherever you want to.

The last thing you want to worry about is whether or not your GPS device is going to “hold out” long enough so that you can do your exploring and get home in plenty of time, before your GPS device loses power. It’s also a good idea (in addition to choosing a GPS device with a long battery life) to carry an extra set of fully charged batteries with you, always.

Be weather resistant and waterproof – Your hiking GPS device isn’t going to do you any good if it becomes waterlogged or otherwise damaged so that it doesn’t work. Make sure the GPS device you choose is fully weather resistant and waterproof; that way, if it gets wet, it won’t get damaged.

Be easy to read out of doors – Portable, handheld GPS devices are generally good for hiking, because they’re lightweight and easy to carry. Make sure the screen size is large enough so that you can see the different points and maps easily; a GPS device with a black-and-white screen and/or one that’s backlit or has a color screen specifically meant for the out of doors is a good choice, too, since you’ll want to be able to see it easily.

Have adequate memory – You’ll want to be able to store as many naps as you need in your GPS device’s memory, so shoot for at least 20. The more built-in maps you have access to, the more likely you are to be able to find roads and access pathways” out” in a variety of areas.

Have an adequate receiver and be easily updated – A 12-channel receiver system will let you receive signals even in dense tree cover or other terrain where signal accessibility may be limited. It’s a good idea to have an extended antenna, too, if you’re going to be in areas with a lot of tree cover; in addition, make sure you can store as many waypoints as you need to.

Make sure especially that you have the bearings to your next waypoint. Although this is standard on most units, be careful to check. You should also be able to update your GPS device whenever you need to, easily and inexpensively. Topography and terrain can change often, so you’ll need updates immediately before you go somewhere to be sure you have the most up-to-date information.

Remember, the best hiking GPS devices are not just “the coolest and latest gadgets” you can have. They’re much more than that. In fact, the best hiking GPS devices are essential to your safety and health, whenever you hike. Make sure you have the best, so that you stay safe and can truly enjoy hiking and exploration without fear of getting lost.

Welcome to Hiking GPS Shop, inside you will discover an amazing selection of low priced and excellent quality hiking gps devices.

Waterproof Hiking Shoes

Waterproof Hiking Shoes

Many people buy waterproof hiking boots when they head out for a hike but the truth is that you are way better off with waterproof hiking shoes instead. Just imagine the energy you can save by wearing lightweight shoes instead of heavy boots. Instead you can increase your packing weight if you need to. The average hiking shoe weigh is around 1 ¾ pounds and the average hiking boots weigh around 3 ¾ pounds. Just imagine how much extra weight you have to lift each step you take when wearing hiking boots.

However it’s not that easy to find the perfect hiking shoes. In my eyes hiking shoes should cover some important parts. They should be lightweight and have a good grip, making sure you never slip. They should be waterproof to keep your feet dry and happy. Keeping your feet dry is very essential since it keep blisters away. Heavy boots that get wet often stay wet for a long time since they take time to dry up.

When you buy your waterproof hiking shoes you should check the inside of the shoe making sure it is good quality and is comfortable against your foot. Also check the outside to make sure it’s made of quality material that stays waterproof. Some hikers like to remove parts of the inside of the shoe to get more space and air and others add to the softness. It all depends on your feet and your needs.

When you buy your waterproof hiking shoes you have to remember that fit is everything. If you order them online and receive them and you don’t like the fit just send them back. Even if it’s the right size some shoes tend to not fit as well as you think. It is better to have a shoe that is a bit bigger than you need since it will usually shrink a bit after a while. Just make sure you are comfortable in all kind of terrain and weathers.

One advantage with hiking shoes compared to hiking boots that most people forget about is the environment. When you walk with heavy boots you ruin a lot around you even if you don’t think about it. With waterproof hiking shoes you will cause a lot less stress to the environment when walking in nature.

I hope this article have made you think twice before buying hiking boots and that you give the hiking shoes a shot. Since I changed my boots for shoes I have enjoyed the hiking a lot more. So much lighter and more agile when I move around. The only negative I have to say is if you walk in deeper water the boots can be good since they cover higher up.

If you want to learn more about different kinds of waterproof hiking shoes you can find some more detailed reviews at http://www.waterproofhikingshoes.com/. Just make sure that you learn as much as possible about the shoes you want to buy before you actually buy it. Most of the high quality waterproof hiking shoes will almost last a lifetime so it is important to choose the right shoe.

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Hiking For Beginners

Hiking For Beginners

Hiking is a wonderful sport and a great way to spend time with your friends and loved ones. If you haven’t already tried it, you should definitely check it out. You may be nervous though, hiking is a new adventure and there is a great deal to know about it before you get started. With some basic knowledge, you will be well on your way to having a great time.

Planning ahead and knowing what you are getting yourself into is one of the most important aspects of hiking. There are a few ways to prepare yourself for your upcoming adventure. The best way to begin is by deciding on where you want to hike. If you would like to start with a fairly easy hike (one day) you will probably want to find a trail somewhat near your house. You can go to the library or check the internet for close by parks and trails. You can also go to local sporting goods stores to find books on the location you will be hike in. These books and websites will give you a great start as to what you will find on your hike, what you will need and what the terrain will be like. Most of these books will include maps and their authors have already been on these hikes numerous times and are very experienced.

Check in with yourself. By this, I mean that you will need to evaluate your physical fitness level and figure out how much strenuous exercise you can handle. Don’t try to be a hero, there is nothing worse then getting out on the trail and realizing that you have taken on too much. You should have a hiking backpack to store your stuff. Make sure that it is not filled with anything unnecessary, it will get heavy and you don’t want to carry any more weight than necessary. A first aid kit is a necessity, don’t leave home without it. Having a good pair of hiking boots will make your trip a great deal easier, if you can’t afford hiking boots yet or don’t want the expense until you know if you like it, a good pair of walking shoes or sneakers will do for beginner hikes.

When you plan your trip make sure you tell someone where you are going. You can check in with the park ranger or leave a specific location for your family. This way if something happens, they can find you. Another important thing to remember, until you are very experienced, do not hike alone. It is important to hike with other people, preferably ones with some experience.

Be prepared and have a great time! Hiking is a wonderful way to get out and enjoy nature.

Sydney Garrison is an avid cyclist and sports enthusiast. She is also a partner in an online bike carrier store.

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Dogs Gone Hiking

Dogs Gone Hiking

Hiking is a great way to stay active and to enjoy the outdoors and all that nature has to offer. When you head out to the trails, why not bring your best friend. You may have already guessed that I am talking about your dog. Dogs are great companions and wonderful family members, why not treat them by including them in your fun activities. If you do choose to take your furry friend along with you, you will need to make sure you have a few things on hand.

The most important thing for both the human and canine hiker is water. You should always carry sufficient water for yourself, and 1 to 2 quarts of water for your dog. This will ensure that you are prepared even if your hike lasts longer than you planned, or if there are no water sources available on the trail. A collapsible water dish is also great as some dogs don’t like to drink from running water. Dehydration can be very dangerous for your pup, so make sure to pay attention to any signals that they may give you. These could include hiding from the sun and laying down under leaves or brush. You should keep some treats or snacks with you to energize your dog if they get tired or need some sustenance to carry on.

Keep in mind that while you wear shoes, preferably hiking boots, your dog is hoofing it barefoot. You can pick up a pair of doggie boots fairly inexpensively at a sporting good store and some pet stores. If your dog is happy wearing these, they can be a great way to protect their sensitive paws. Some dogs however, just can’t get on board with wearing shoes. If this is the case, make sure to bring along bandages and first aid ointment in case of scratches or cuts. Stop and check the dogs paws frequently for injury and if you notice your dog favoring one paw, check him immediately. Depending on the terrain, they may be cut, or have something stuck in one of their pads.

You should always keep your dog on a leash. This prevents them from straying too far and keeps them safe from predators that they may not understand (snakes for example). Also, make sure that your dog has his tags on including identification and rabies notification. It can also be helpful to have your dog micro chipped in case they get out of their collar.

Other things that you should keep on hand are cleanup bags for poop. Every pet owner knows that cleaning up after your dog is a necessary evil. Please, keep the trails clean for others to enjoy as well. Know your dogs limitations and be prepared. It is the best way to ensure a fun experience for you and your four legged buddy.

Sydney Garrison is an avid cyclist and sports enthusiast. She is also a partner in an online bike rack store.