Best Hiking Mountains in Seoul

Best Hiking Mountains in Seoul

Each of the 37 mountains in Seoul has a unique beauty all its own. At 837 meters high, Mt. Bukhansan is the highest in Seoul, and attracts a large number of hikers from all over the nation. Apart from Mt. Bukhansan, there are seven mountains including Dobongsan and Suraksan that are over 600 meters high. In addition to these steep mountains, there are also some with trails that make climbing as easy as a downtown stroll.

This feature presents a number of easy-to-climb mountains as well as mountain parks. Anyone can visit them to view the natural scenery or to get some exercise, and it doesn’t require any equipment. Follow KTO to the best spots nature has to offer –all right in the heart of Seoul.

 

Mt. Umyeonsan

A 10-minute walk from Nambu Express Bus Terminal station on Subway Line 3 will take you to Seoul Arts Center. The overpass in front of the center leads directly to a hiking trail for Mt. Umyeonsan. Named for its shape, which resembles a sleeping cow, 293 meter-high Umyeonsan lies between Seocho-gu in Seoul and Gwacheon in Gyeonggi-do. For this reason, it is one of the most popular hiking trails in Gangnam, together with Mt. Cheonggyesan and Gwanaksan.

For a refreshing one-hour hike, climb up until you come to Daeseongsa Temple and to a spring, and then come down to Seoul Arts Center to relax. A visit to the performance halls in the center, the Hangaram Art Museum, and the Korean Calligraphy Museum are also worthwhile places to see.

 

How to Get There: Take Subway Line 3 to Nambu Express Bus Terminal (Exit 5) → Walk ahead and turn right at the intersection → Walk ahead and go up the overpass to go to the hiking trail

 

Mt. Umyeonsan Natural Ecological Park

This park, which covers a 318,644㎡ area and is 1,320m in length, is relatively unknown. A 10-minute ride on bus No. 3217 from Yangjae Station (Subway Line 3) will take you to a beautiful rural residential town. Located on the outskirts is an ecological park, which has 14 sections including a butterfly observatory, and insect and flower observatories. It takes approximately one hour to look around.

Another good alternative is to take a leisurely walk along the path, relax on one of the many benches along the way, and listen to birds or insects while enjoying some time in meditation. While the park does not offer a view of Seoul, it has a picturesque reservoir that welcomes visitors.

 

How to Get There: Take Subway Line 3 to Yangjae Station (Exit 7) → Take green bus No. 3412 → Get off at the last stop → Walk ahead and turn left at the three-way intersection → Walk ahead and take the unpaved road on the left for another 100 meters.
Reservation: +82-2-570-6379 (Korean, English)
Korea Travel Phone: +82-2-1330 (Korean, English, Japanese, Chinese)
Hours: 10:00~17:00 (Every hour, a maximum of 40 visitors with reservations are admitted with a maximum of 360 visitors per day) / Closed on Mondays 
* Even if you don’t have a reservation, there may still be availability on weekdays. Call ahead and check it out

 

Mt. Yongmasan

Mt. Yongmasan, at 348 meters high, has stationary exercise equipment along the hiking trail and an octagonal pavilion halfway up the mountain. At the summit, there is a marker showing the mountain’s height above sea level and a large steel radio tower. As you walk down towards Mt. Achasan from the summit, you will find the ruins of a small fort of the Goguryeo era (BC37~AD668) built at a strategic point overlooking the area of Jungnangcheon Stream.

On the way up, you will find numerous observation platforms from which one can see a great view of some of the landmarks of Seoul such as the Hangang Bridge, Mt. Namsan, 63 City building, and Gangnam COEX. In general, people start their hike from Mt. Yongmasan and go down to Mt. Achasan, or vice versa. Either trail takes about two hours. Some areas are steep, so it is important to wear hiking boots or trekking shoes.
When going up the mountain from Yongmasan Station, make sure to stop by Yongmasan’s Waterfall Park. The largest man-made waterfall in Asia, where the central falls are 51 meters high, while those on each side are 21 meters. At regular intervals, the water volume increases making a stronger flow

 

How to Get There: Take Subway Line 7 to Yongmasan Station (Exit 2) → Walk into the entrance of Hanshin Apartments, and walk ahead → Go up the stairs next to the pavilion and take a right past the playground to an exercise facility → Next to the facility, go up the stairs behind the wired fence.

Time: From the summit of Mt. Yongmasan to Mt. Achasan, it takes about 2 hours to 2 and a half hours..

 

Mt. Achasan

At 287 meters high, Mt. Achasan is an easy 30-minute hike, which is perfect for beginners. In fact, many people walk up the mountain wearing casual clothing. It offers hikers a bird’s-eye-view of the Hangang River and the downtown area. At the halfway observation deck and the summit, you’ll get a view of the upper stream of the Hangang River, and the cities of Guri and Hanam. This is the closest vantage point for viewing the Hangang River from above.

 

How to Get There: Take Subway Line 5 to Achasan Station (Exit 2) → Turn left at the first intersection → Walk ahead and turn right at the dead-end three-way intersection → Walk for about 200 meters → Walk by Hwayangsa Temple and you will see the Daeseongam Entrance, which leads to the mountain.

Required time: It takes about one hour to go up and down the summit of Mt. Achasan. If you plan to start at Mt. Achasan and climb down Mt. Yongmasan, it will take about 2 to 2 and a half hours.

 

Mt. Namsan

Located in the heart of Seoul, Mt. Namsan is easily accessible by the yellow loop bus or cable car, which goes straight to N Tower. If you want to see more of this mountain, put on some comfortable running shoes and take a leisurely stroll. Mt. Namsan is more for walking than hiking.

Another point of interest, there are a number of film locations on this mountain for movies and dramas. The stairway leading to the fountain is the backdrop for the final scene of “My Lovely Sam-soon”, while the fountain itself was a scene in the film “Lovers in Paris”. You can also take a cable car or loop bus up to N Seoul Tower and then walk down. This is a great trail for those who want to enjoy a carefree walk and do some sightseeing.

How to Get There: Take Subway Line 4 to Chungmuro Station (Exit 2) or take Subway Line 3 to Dongguk University Station (Exit 6) → Take the Namsan loop bus → Get off at the National Theater → Walk ahead and turn right → The trail starts on the left where there is traffic control.

Required time: It depends because there are many available trails in Namsan. If you are pressed for time, you can always come down halfway along the trails.

 

For more information about hiking in Seoul, visit http://english.visitkorea.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_6.jsp?cid=261100 and KTO’s main homepage http://www.visitkorea.or.kr/intro.html

 

Catalina Island Hiking and Kayaking

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Catalina Island Hiking and Kayaking

It’s 11 am and our team has arrived at Two Harbors on the north side of Catalina Island. The temperature is 70 degrees with a light to moderate southeasterly wind, ideal for the next phase of our adventure. We walk up to the beach where our kayaks are ready for us to embark on the 14 mile paddle back to Avalon. As we were stuffing our gear into the water tight storage units and double bagging our packs, we overheard the captain of the Catalina Express talking about the small craft advisory that was about to be published. After a brief discussion the executive decision was made to push on and trust our training was adequate for the conditions we were about to experience.  Our paddle would take us down the eastern side of the island past Ripper’s Cove to Lava Wall Beach and into camp at Goat Harbor just before Long Point Beach.

Within minutes of our departure, and while still inside the protection of the harbor, the winds had already picked up speed and we could see the white caps out past bird rock marking the entrance to the harbor. With our 80 liter, 50 pound, packs strapped to the back of our open ended kayaks, we slowly paddled into the open channel. Rounding the point we were now on our own with no one else in sight other than the occasional dolphin and harbor seal. Also, while it was never talked about, we all knew the history of Great White Sharks in the waters surrounding the island and as we ventured further from civilization it was certainly in the back of our minds. At this point we were committed. This is the part of the adventure we live for where there is a real sense of the unknown that gets your adrenaline rushing and your heart pounding.

Out in the channel the conditions had worsened with 5-7 foot swells building up behind us. As the waves came rolling in, our kayaks were constantly being pushed forward down the face of the wave before hitting the trough and submerging us in 60 degrees water. The high winds and rough seas veered the boat off track and pushed us further from the shore. In need a rest, we managed to paddle towards a small secluded beach with a few homes and what we thought was an easy landing sight. Looking for a chance to rest and gather our bearings we were welcomed by several locals who worked at the quarries and call this beautiful stretch of coast home. We must have looked like drowned rats because they immediately offered us a warm fire, food and insisted we stay until we dried off. With energy to burn we got back into our boats, navigated through the shore break and advanced down the coastline to our destination.

The time was now 4:30pm and as quickly as the ocean became an unpredictable roller coaster it leveled off to perfect conditions. The island’s coast is lined with steep cliffs and several rocky outcroppings jutting out into the sea providing a new view around every corner. Just when we thought the views could not get any better, we saw in the distance a remote beach a half a mile away.  Hoping this was home for the night we paddled close and as the sun shone on the clear waters of the cove, it felt like a scene from a movie. Smiling from ear to ear we could not have landed on a more perfect beach.  After managing to stay upright through the churning ocean, we confidently paddled closer to shore and assessed our landing zone.  With less than a paddle stroke to go before the beach our boat flipped over completely and before we knew it we were upside down scrambling to find our scattered gear. It was the perfect ending to a perfect day of unexpected encounters with nature.

The following day of our Catalina Island kayaking expedition was surreal. The water had completely glassed over and created ideal paddling conditions for our trip back to Avalon. With 8 miles remaining we were able to anchor to the kelp beds and snorkel inside the many harbors along the way. This trip was a true test of our endurance and team compatibility. Relying on each and every member to pull their weight and assume a specific role was the key to successfully navigating the rough seas.

If you are looking for a new adventure, Santa Catalina Island is a rocky island off the coast of California. The island is 22 miles long and eight miles across at its greatest width. The island is located about 22 miles south-southwest of Los Angeles, California. Thankfully for adventure enthusiasts, William Wrigley Jr. bought controlling interest in the Santa Catalina Island Company in 1919.  His passion for its pristine existence led him to devote over 88% of the island to the Conservancy, ensuring this area is as natural as it was 100 years ago.

Catalina Island is one of many opportunities to explore remote coastlines. Here is a list of our top five island kayaking experiences. Each trip is unique in its own right, whether it’s seeing Killer Whales beaching themselves in British Columbia, or paddling through the white sands of the Whitsunday Islands in Australia, the chance for pure serenity is common amongst them all.

Kayaking with Killer Whales, B.C. Canada –Port Hardy, British Columbia has everything from wildlife to multiple days of exploring the Islands off the coast of northern Vancouver Island.
Paddling the Whitsunday Islands, Qld, Australia – Paddle the champagne waters and walk the untouched silica sand beaches of the world-renowned Whitsunday Islands.
Catalina Island Paddling, California, USA – Enjoy the California coast as it looked hundreds of years ago with multi-day or single day trips.
Patagonia Glacier Kayaking, Patagonia, Chile – Getting up close to the calving glaciers of the Southern Ice field is an amazing site everyone should see.
Island hopping in Belize, Ambergris Caye, Belize – The islands of Belize offer crystal clear cerulean waters and magnificent wildlife opportunities. With the option of a rainforest expedition Belize is a paddler’s heaven.

All of these adventure programs can be found at www.thesouthernterrain.com.

Kevin Jackson is the owner of The Southern Terrain (www.thesouthernterrain.com), an elite adventure guiding and training organization. To learn more about their global adventures or corporate development programs call (858) 309-2311 or e-mail at info@thesouthernterrain.com.

 

Honda Hiking Generator Evaluations

Honda Hiking Generator Evaluations

Honda generators are not simply for back-up power utilized in industrial, home, or commercial units; these people today can also be used for recreational purposes like mountaineering in instances when where you will probably be mountaineering in will need strength.

A Honda camping generator won’t just just help you solve your individual problems when it comes to electricity although outdoor camping, but additionally, it might provide you with additional capabilities that like sound reduction and less carbon emissions to make your own tenting trip something you are going to cherish.

A Honda hiking generator is lightweight as well as portable; it’s compact sufficient to be put into the trunk of a regular vehicle to transport this to the place where you’ll be camping. A prevalent Honda backpacking generator can provide up to fifteen hours of uninterrupted electric supply with just the use of 1 gallon of gas.

Efficiency, reliability, and performance are what are apparent in a Honda outdoor camping generator and it has turn out to be a option for most of campers and RV units mainly because of its mobility and its electrical power.

The actual exteriors are also suitable for backpacking since it utilizes a camouflage color that blends very well within the backwoods while also silently providing energy. Increasing the energy levels of a Ford outdoor camping generator can be quite simple; you might only desire a bigger container for the fuel or even another Ford hiking generator to double up the strength being generated.

A Honda climbing generator can be fuel efficient and is nicely equipped with safety functions which protect the users from the dangers of utilizing generators filled with fuel. A built in system within the generator analyzes the oil level and can automatically turn off the generator whenever this becomes too hot.

Spark arrestors are also set up in each Honda camping electrical generator so that the possibility of having fire is reduced. All Honda generators, including the Honda backpacking generator, have to be tested first prior to it gets sold towards the consumer in order that safety is ensured.

Specific and step by step maintenance and guides will also be provided to aid maintain and keep the Honda hiking generator in carrying out well. A three year warranty is also put on all parts and services to ensure that the generators are in very good condition and no defects in any way are present.

For more information on the portable gas generator then Visit the portable-generator-reviews.info.

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Hiking and Trekking in Vietnam

Hiking and Trekking in Vietnam

Despite the huge variety of facilities and methods of transport available to the modern day traveller, in the end, there is nothing to beat the oldest travel method of all – walking! Whether that means strolling around the old Quarter in Hanoi or reaching some hill tribe village after trekking through dense rainforest and crossing mountain paths, there is a great satisfaction to having done it under your own steam. And there are some places that can only be reached on foot.

Vietnam offers innumerable opportunities for hiking and trekking, whether it be in the highlands of the north, the fertile plateau of the Central Highlands, or the flat wetlands of the Mekong Delta in the south.

The highlands of north-west Vietnam are real hiking territory. You can get out among the hill tribe villages and meet the various ethnic minorities. The Mai Chau valley is one good starting point. From here you can trek to H’mong minority villages such as Sa Linh, then on through tropical rain forest, using the local tracks to reach the Thai area where you can spend the night in a typical Thai stilt house. Next, you can walk on towards Mai Chau town which is surrounded by picturesque Thai villages.

The more energetic, may choose to tackle Phan Xi Pang or Mount Fansipan, Vietnam’s highest mountain, dubbed “the Roof of Indochina”. The trek begins in the town of Sapa from where you walk among the hill villages, home to the H’mong people. The mountain here is covered in forest and most treks climb to 1,650 metres before pitching tents and enjoying a meal around the camp fire.

The next day is the most strenuous as you continue to the summit. A lunch break at 2,220m allows you the chance to look back at the breathtaking views of the Sapa valley before climbing to 2,900m and another overnight stop. The third day takes you through bamboo forest to the Pahan Si Pan Summit at 3,143m. It is a strenuous climb, but worth the effort to find yourself standing on the roof of IndoChina.

In the Central Highlands, the Ba Na region around Kon Tum offers ideal hiking. You can pass through cassava and sugar plantations and have dinner in a communal village house, known as a Rong. You can the nearby Lak Lake and perhaps give your legs a rest by taking a short elephant ride then spend the night in a traditional longhouse.

The Mekong Delta, too is full of minority villages and waterways, but the land here is much more flat, allowing for more sedate hiking. You can visit the many floating markets, ethnic villages, farm lands etc.

Around Ho Chi Minh City are many reminders of the Vietnam War, most of which can be reached by foot for those interested in this period of history. One memorable site is the 75-mile long complex of tunnels at Củ Chi which has been preserved and turned into a war memorial park.
Here we have only given a few suggestions for hiking and trekking in Vietnam. The possibilities are limitless. You can visit Indochina Odyssey Tours to get more information about this.

Below is the tour package maybe useful for your trip to Vietnam:

Halong Bay kayaking and Trekking Tour

Indochina Odyssey Tours – Your trustworthy Indochina Vietnam tour operator since 1987. Personalized and worry-free service in tours, hotels and tickets in Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Thailand.

Great Hiking in Niagara Falls

Great Hiking in Niagara Falls

Apart from amazing panoramic views, fine dining and gambling opportunities, Niagara Falls offers great hiking. The most favored trail just take 10 minutes drive from the famous Niagara Falls down the Niagara River. It is part of Niagara Glen Nature Reserve maintained by the government. This reserve offer free parking, washrooms, picnic tables and look-out points.

 

The trail goes along the Niagara Falls River that separates Canada from United States and it is kind of cool to see the foreign country on the other side of the river. Actually, I would say that Niagara River forms a mini-canyon with relatively sharp descend from the main road. You can make various loops as part of this trail, but I prefer to go opposite to clock-wise direction descending right to the whirlpool and returning on the top of the rim.

So, the trail starts with a sharp descend to famous Whirlpool, place where Niagara River makes a sharp 90 degrees turn towards Lake Ontario.

 

This place is famous among fishing enthusiasts especially in the fall season.

 

You can also observe large masses of water that pass through narrow parts of the river. The trail has many huge rocks that over time fall from the top of the rim. As time passes, these rocks get integrated into the landscape by plants that cover them from bottom to top. I even like them more than famous Flowerpot rocks at Bruce Peninsula.

 

At some point you get a feeling that the whole place is a battlefield bombed with the huge rocks. The river is also utilized by the Whirlpool Jet Boats that offer a thrill of flying through the rapids. I personally enjoy watching them rather than being part of the ride. The trail featuring beautiful breach and maple trees and it gets even prettier in the fall.

 

Be prepared for medium difficulties ascend to get on the top of the rim. Once there, you will be rewarded with beautiful panoramic views and asphalt pedestrian road. Overall, this is amazing trail that can be used as half day adventure at your stay in Niagara Falls area.

 

To learn more about cottages and cottage rentals, please visit http://www.findcottage.ca

Hiking Trips In Grand Canyon

Hiking Trips In Grand Canyon

If you love hiking, then you would love to visit the Grand Canyon. Each year there are millions of travelers coming here to stand at the edge of a spectacular natural wonder of the globe. They want to gaze out at the large space and to feel awed and humbled.

There is another way to experience the Grand Canyon.

 

The Grand Canyon boasts hundreds of miles of hiking trails that can take you on a variety of adventures, ranging from one-day dips beneath the rim to seven-day adventures that take you to the Colorado River and back and everything in between. Planning though is key because the Grand Canyon averages more annual helicopter rescues than any other national park in the world. Planning is also important because it’s a competitive game trying to get permits.

 

So here are some guidelines:

 

First decide which trail(s) you would like to hike. If you’re new to the Grand Canyon I recommend staying on the corridor trails for your first round; that means the South Kaibab, North Kaibab, and Bright Angel Trails. If you’re feeling more adventurous the Hermit, New Hance, Grandview, Tonto and Tanner Trails are all excellent tastes of the wilder side of the Canyon.

 

Second decide when you want to hike the Canyon. The best times, because of winter storms and scorching summer temperatures, are from mid March to mid May, and from mid September to mid November. Summer temperatures can reach 110 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade, and winter storms can drop a foot or more of snow at the rims.

 

Third secure your permits. Permits become available four months in advance on the first of the month. For example, if you want April permits they become available on December first. You secure permits through the Backcountry Office at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. Their phone number is 928-638-7875, but you’ll have to fax your permit request in to the office. Their fax number is 928-638-2125.

 

You’ll find out about ten days later if you received your desired permits.

 

Once you have your permits it’s time to plan the specifics. First you have to get yourself to the Grand Canyon. The best way to do that is to fly into Phoenix or Flagstaff and rent a car. The best place to stay before your trip is in the small town of Tusayan, a short five minute drive from the South Rim Village. The hotels in Tusayan are more affordable than the hotels at the South Rim and often have more availability.

 

For gear, you’ll need backpacks with a minimum of 4,000 square inches of packing space, a sleeping bag rated at a maximum of 30 degrees, sleeping pads, tents, cooking stoves, cooking pots and pans, food, water containers, first-aid kits, extra clothes, blister precautions, and possibly a satellite phone.

 

If you’re an experienced backpacker, this is a pretty common list and won’t be a problem. If you’re not, you may consider going on a guided tour where they take care of the permits, supply all the gear and food, and equip you with a professional Grand Canyon hiking guide. Either way, it’s a peak experience and the adventure of a lifetime!

 

For information on guided tours to the Grand Canyon, see the Wildland Trekking Company’s Grand Canyon Hiking Tours.

For information on guided hikes to other destinations, see Wildland Trekking’s homepage.

For information on obtaining permits in the Grand Canyon for your own hiking trip, see the park service’s Backcountry Permit Page.

Men’s Hiking Boots

Men’s Hiking Boots

What should you be looking for you are going to purchase mens hiking boots? There are many different types of hiking boots available on the market and the choice can be quite staggering. The choices range between ordinary day walking shoes which you would use to really walk around towns and cities right up to all-out mountain climbing boots. For the purposes of this article I am going to concentrate on the midrange hiking boots that you would use for either day hiking or more extended hiking excursions.

So, what exactly is it that you need in your mens hiking boots to achieve in terms of performance? The basis behind any walking boot is protection as indeed is the case with most types of footwear. In recent years there has also been the fashion factor creeping into the decision about which hiking boots purchase, although I think you should concentrate much more on the quality quality and endurance aspects of the mens hiking-boots rather than on how good they look. You need to protect your feet against all the different types of rough surfaces that you are going to encounter when you are hiking. You also need to keep your feet dry and warm. A third consideration for any walking boot is to have the maximum amount of grip and traction.

Make sure you buy a pair of boots that are a size or two bigger than your normal everyday shoes. This is because you need to be able to add an extra pair of socks and because when you are walking for an extended period of time your feet will tend to swell up and you need that extra room so that swollen feet can be accommodated more readily. Mens walking boots will always tend to be larger and broader than womens hiking boots, although if you have a small and narrow foot you should not feel that you cannot go out and buy a pair of hiking boots that have been made for women…. no one can tell the difference… unless of course you buy them in pink. Go with what you need, it will make all the difference to you once you are out there.

When you are thinking of purchasing mens hiking boots make sure that you are not swayed by too much hype. Man has been on his feet for thousands of years without the aid of fancy hiking boots. The same goes if you are purchasing hiking boots for women. The only real support that you need is foot arch support. You can click the above links for more information about these products.

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Hiking With Your Family

Hiking With Your Family

You may have been hiking for years, but then you got married and had children, and now you just don’t think that its for you. You couldn’t be more wrong. Hiking with your family is one of the greatest ways you can spend time with your spouse and children. It is a wonderful way to spend a day, instill in your children a love of nature and physical fitness. There are some things that you need to know though to have the best time possible.

Know everyone’s limitations! This applies even when you are hiking with only adults, however it is even more important when you are with kids. Children can begin hiking around the age of three. Strollers do not work well because of uneven terrain, however, you can use a baby back pack to carry your child on your back. This will allow you to go wherever you would like with little difficulty. When you hike with children, there is a great emotional strain, but the physical exertion will and should be at a minimum. Kids are smaller and have shorter legs, and shorter attention spans. They will not be able to hike for miles right off the bat. Start at small and work your way up to longer more difficult hikes. By starting them young, your kids will have a wonderful lifetime of hiking ahead of them.

Hiking is a great time to teach your children about respecting nature and conservation. Be a good role model by leaving the environment as you found it one your hikes. Don’t pick flowers or move wildlife, if your children start to, explain why they shouldn’t so they don’t feel that they are just being scolded.

Make sure you have sufficient supplies for your trip. Large amounts of water and some high protein and carbohydrate snacks are necessary for your voyage. Kids will need snacks throughout the day to keep their energy up and their emotions stable. Everyone in the family should have good shoes, either hiking boots are sturdy sneakers for the trip. Thick socks (preferably hiking) are important, having a 2nd pair for each child will help if their feet get sweaty or wet during the hike.

Hiking with your children is one of the most fulfilling ways you can create family memories. They will learn to love nature and physical activity and will have fond memories for the rest of their lives.

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

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Blister Prevention While Hiking

Blister Prevention While Hiking

Hiking is becoming one of America’s favorite past times. It allows you to explore exciting new locales and see natural beauty while doing a wonderful thing for your body and mind. What happens however when problems arise? There are many injuries that you can sustain while hiking, one of the most common is a blister. A blister is not terribly dangerous, though if left untreated, it could become infected and require serious medical treatment. A blister occurs when your boot or sock rubs against your skin, causing friction and leading to a wearing away of the skin. It can occur for several reasons, shoes not fitting properly or needing to be broken in, socks that slip and even moisture on your feet.

Prevention, is as usual, the best medicine. It is extremely important to purchase good quality and properly fitting hiking boots for use whenever you head out on a trail. Consult with the salespeople to ensure that your boot fits properly and will offer the protection that your feet require. You may have heard that stiffer boots will provide better protection and will soften up as you wear them, they however may not be comfortable until they have been broken in. Why not find a pair that is comfortable from the moment you put it on and does not require a breaking in period. The next thing you will need is properly fitting socks.

Hiking socks have traditionally been made using silk, cotton and wool. However, new materials such as lycra, polyester and combinations of the above, are now being used and are often times better and providing cushion and dryness to your feet during long hikes. Try out a few brands and see which ones are most comfortable for you. If you stop at some point along your hike and feel the need to take off your boots (though its not advisable if you are only hiking for one day), make sure you rinse them and dry them thoroughly before putting your boots back on. You don’t want to have a pebble stuck in your sock, and you certainly don’t want to make them wetter then your natural sweat is already doing.

If you have a blister, treatment can be started out on the trail. Everything you need can be found in your first aid kit, a must for any outdoor sportsman. When you first notice that you are getting a blister, stop and take your boot off to examine your foot. You should clean and disinfect the area with alcohol or antibacterial cream. Once this has been done, you can pierce the blister near its base, horizontally with a sterilized needle. Gently squeeze the fluid out but do not remove the skin covering it (this is there for your own protection). You should then cover the area with a bandaid or moleskin to protect it from further damage. Once you return to civilization, clean the wound and treat it accordingly.

While preventing a blister is the best way to protect yourself, once you have one, your trip is not ruined. With proper treatment you will be able to finish out your hiking trip with little or no pain.

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

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Hiking the South Coast Track Tasmania

Hiking the South Coast Track Tasmania

The South Coast Track Tasmania is an 85 kilometer long walk that runs from Melaleuca to Cockle creek. Hiking the South Coast Track takes between 6 to 9 days to complete and is an arduous walk not to be undertaken by the unfit. Hiking the South Coast Track is classified as a moderate to demanding walk and the time taken to do this hike is variable depending on the weather, tides, swollen rivers and the amount of mud encountered.

The main walking season is December through to March however the weather can still be cold with gale force winds and heavy driving rain so you must be prepared to encounter extreme weather conditions. The terrain ranges from button grass plains, rock strewn beaches, steep climbs and descents and lots of mud. When hiking the South Coast Track you need to start at Melaleuca and you will need to fly in by light aircraft. However poor weather and strong winds can cause delays so it is best not to have too tight a timetable. Regular public transport is available at the end of the walk during the main walking season.

The Orange-bellied parrot,which is extremely rare, breeds in the summer months at Melaleuca and can be seen from a specially constructed hide about 100 meters from the Melaleuca airstrip.

Day 1: Is a 13 kilometer walk from Melaleuca to Cox Bight. Soon after setting out from the airstrip you walk along the beach until you reach Point Eric which is a sheltered campsite to spend the first night. This will take about 3 to 4 hours. All the campsites have pit toilets. You also need to carry portable stoves and fuel as fires are only permitted in certain areas.

Day2: Is an 18 kilometer hike from Cox Bight to Louisa River. There is a small climb of about 230 meters on this day and you walk over the Louisa Plains to the campsite at Louisa River. There are campsites on both sides of the Louisa River . If you can cross the river when you arrive then it may be best to camp on the other side just in case of rain overnight. Day 2 is about 5 to 7 hours of walking.

Day 3: Goes from Louisa River to Deadmans Bay. This day is a hard day as you have to cross the Ironbound Range which means a climb of about 900 meters followed by a descent of about 900 meters. If the weather is good then there are excellent views available, however you can get strong winds and low cloud which can make for an unpleasant and hard days walk. The descent is through forest and there are areas with lots of exposed tree roots so care must be taken not to slip or sprain an ankle . The time taken can be anywhere from 6 to 10 hours depending on fitness and weather.

Day4: Deadmans Bay to Osmiridian Beach.This is a 13 kilometer walk which takes between 4.5 to 6 hours to complete with about 150meters of climbing and descending . Most of this day is walking along beaches with some good views to be had. At the end of Prion Beach you must cross New River Lagoon by boat. There is a dinghy on either side to cross and you must leave one on either side once you have crossed for subsequent walkers. The campsite at Tylers Creek is reached by going left from the main track.

Day 5: Osmiridium Beach to Granite Beach takes 3 to 4 hours and is an 8 kilometer hike with climbs and descents of about 300 meters. Walk back to the main track from the campsite.The track passes through forested areas although it does pass some large bays on the coast. There is a steep climb then a less steep descent to Granite Beach. There are good views here.As you go to the eastern end of the beach climb up next to the waterfall and continue for another 100 meters to the campsite.

Day 6: Granite Beach to South Cape Rivulet is a 10 kilometer walk which takes 5.5 to 7 hours and has about 600 meters of climbing and descending. The last major climb of the walk is on this day. You have to cross the South Cape Range which is forested country and can be quite muddy. There are some excellent views and magnificent forests to be seen. The campsite location means you have to cross the South Cape Rivulet which can be difficult after heavy rain or at high tide.

Day 7: South Cape Rivulet to Cockle Creek. The last day takes 3 to 4.5 hours,is 12 kilometers long and has climbs and descents of 150 meters. After walking along the next two beaches you have a choice of walking inland or scrambling over rocks to Lions head. If the weather is bad then the inland track may be better. The track then continues on to the road at Cockle Creek from where you can get a bus to Hobart,although you have to plan ahead as the bus only runs three days a week from December to March.

Hiking the South Coast Track is quite an achievement and one that is well worth undertaking.

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