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i_heart_ponies
Oct 16, 2005

because I love feces


Hiking and backpacking are two heads of the same coin. Hiking is taking a long walk in the natural world. Throw a long, planned nap in there (or even real sleep if you're lucky), and you got yourself a backpacking trip. It has existed long before our soft and pale modern world had a term for it or even recognized it as recreation, but people continue to do it.

The original Hiking & Backpacking megathread from 2008 can be found here. Much of the content still applies, but some things I have learned as a guide, instructor and working in the outdoor industry for almost 5 years (first in retail and now for a gear manufacturer), have allowed me to add a bunch of additional detail and insights.


Section 1: Hiking & Backpacking Basics

Why should I hike/backpack?
There are as many answers as there are people doing it, but most can be boiled down to 'it's an awesome way to do something physical, see really cool poo poo and have a ton of fun". Hiking and backpacking are amazingly good exercise with even better scenery. Based on some rough calculations, a 175lb person keeping a steady, but manageable pace over rolling hills carrying a daypack with water, snacks and a jacket is burning 500-600 Calories per hour. Throw a tent, sleeping bag, stove and food into that pack and you just raised it another 75-100 Calories an hour. I've personally lost over 100 lbs since starting to hike & backpack "seriously", and since then I've been able to push myself further and further into the realm of hiking for sport, rather than simply recreation - and I still enjoy
it.

Hiking also has an extremely low barrier to entry, both physically and financially. Backpacking, less so. If you can walk* you can hike. It's a safe bet that a novice hiker will have everything they need in their closet to start hitting the trail if they don't want to mortgage their house or resort to a life of crime in order to buy a coordinated hiking outfit and a backpack made from discarded space shuttles. Backpacking costs a little bit to get into it, but luckily many folks who are really into it keep a spare set of gear (or four) to loan to newcomers. When it comes time to get your own gear, there are a ton of deals around if you know where to look.

*You really don't even need to walk, as evidenced by a guy I saw WITH NO ARMS OR LEGS six miles back on a really steep and rocky trail, shuffling along the ground on his stumps with a bandana over his face to keep out the dust. Man, did I ever feel like a pussy that day.

The biggest drive for me to get out, though, is the awesome experiences and sense of community you find on the trail. Hikers and backpackers, for the most part, are some of the friendliest, most generous and relaxed people I know. I've seen people pop strangers blisters, give up their coats to someone headed in the opposite direction, and shared more amazing impromptu collaborative meals with my fellow outdoor weirdos than I can count. You just don't see that living in the city.


Spearhead Lake, Margaret Lake & Mount Goode, John Muir Wilderness, CA


Devil's Cornfield, Death Valley NP, CA


Zion NP, UT


James Peak Wilderness, CO

Or even this…

Grizzly Peak in February, Sawatch Range, CO

How do I get started?
First, find a trip that interests you. Every bookstore I've ever been in has at least one guide to the local area, and most of those contain trips someone else has done and broken down like a recipe with mileage, elevation gain, (subjective) difficulty and a description. Be careful when looking at guidebooks though, and make sure they actually apply to you. I would assume that the hikes rated "difficult" in the book "60 Hikes For Small Children" aren't really what I would consider difficult. If you're allergic to books, the web has some great resources both in the form of online guidebooks and people's own trip reports. Forums like 14ers.com (dedicated to 14,000ft+ peaks in Colorado) are a wealth of knowledge as well, especially since you can get relatively up to date info on conditions, road closures or recent goon-eating bear sightings. There are links to some of the more popular web resources down below. Social organizations like the Sierra Club, the Colorado Mountain Club, Meetup.com groups, and even your local college's 'outdoor club' are also great resources to network and find out about cool places to go.


GEAR


Gear is so subjective that it's almost impossible to put together a definitive list of stuff you need. Hopefully the gear discussion below will give you enough information to start figuring out what works for you. I presently work for a gear company, so I can totally nerd out on this stuff; however, I'll try to keep it as succinct as possible.

Footwear
Arguably the most important piece of gear, proper footwear can make the difference between a great trip or blistered agony. The most popular styles can be broken down into the following categories:

Trail Runners: One of the most comfortable and lightest forms of footwear is the trail running sneaker. However, what it gains in comfort, it loses in stability. Built like a traditional running shoe, these typically incorporate a more aggressive tread on the outsole and a thin, hard plastic 'rock plate' sandwiched between the mid- and outsole to protect from underfoot hazards. Fancier models may have features like a gusseted tongue to keep debris from working down into the shoe.



Hiking Boots: The most broadly defined (and most common) of the outdoor footwear types, hiking boots run the range of light hikers built off a beefed up trail runner all the way to a heavyweight full leather trekking boot. Most people when asked "why boots?" reply that they want the additional ankle stability and foot protection that a boot provides. Good things to look for in a stable boot are a solid polyurethane/TPU midsole (increases the durability and stability of the boot and, in better boots, allows for a resole) and at minimum a 1/2 length nylon shank (a rigid piece that runs along the boot lengthwise, between the last and the midsole, adding stability). If the boots you're considering don't have at least one of the above features, you're essentially buying high top sneakers that aren't going to offer the support of a true boot.



Hiking Sandals: Unless you're a river guide who is looking for something quick-draining and luggy for the occasional portage, don't bother. You'll be picking poo poo out of your feet all day.



Mountaineering Boots: These are the big boys. They look cool and you totally look like a badass in them, but they're really meant for climbing and not trail travel. Unless you're mountaineering, you really don't have a need for them. Most are fully shanked (and therefore very stiff soles), able to be resoled, fully waterproof and compatible with step-in or fully automatic crampons for ice & glacier travel. Many are insulated or have some kind of integrated gaiter. They are also insanely uncomfortable and even cheap ones for summer climbing will run you $300+. If you do need a pair and don't have access to industry deals, the best way to pick them up is from REIs used gear / garage sale. Lots of people buy them because they look cool and are SERIOUS BOOTS, wear them on one hike and say "gently caress this noise" and bring them back.



Minimalist Shoes: My feet have been so much happier since I discovered these. A good minimalist trail shoe fits like a foot glove and gives you just enough protection underfoot without interfering with the way your feet naturally work. More and more manufacturers have been making these (Vibram, VivoBarefoot, Altra, New Balance, Merrell) since they've gotten a bit 'trendy' lately. My New Balance MT10s have gotten the most use out of any of my footwear this year, including a number of 14ers on notoriously rocky trails. Personally I don't find Five Fingers comfortable for anything longer than 9 miles or so, but then again I've been using the Classics with a 3mm sole on rocky trails instead of their dedicated outdoor models (Spyridon, Trek, etc.) with a 5mm sole so YMMV.



Clothing

The most important concept in outdoor apparel is creating a layering system that works for the conditions you will be in. By altering your layers throughout the day, you can vary your comfort to match the climate and conditions without carrying a lot of extraneous materials. A basic layering system breaks down like this:

Naked Body --> Base Layer --> Insulating Layer(s) --> Shell

A base layer's purpose is moisture management. As the layer next to your skin, it transfers your sweat away from your skin keeping your skin from getting macerated (soft and "pruned" from excess moisture, allowing it to be more easily damaged and susceptible to friction) and avoiding the chill from rapid evaporative cooling ("evaporative flash-off") to aid in effective thermal regulation. On a warm day, this may be the only layer you have on.

As temperatures fall, you'll want one or more insulating layers. Insulation works by trapping a layer of air warmed by the body in the tiny air pockets in the loft of the insulating material. Insulation can be broken down further into natural and synthetic insulation, each with it's own benefits and drawbacks.

Down is the go-to natural insulator and, to this day, the most effective insulating material for it's warmth to weight ratio. Down is not feathers; it is the soft plumules found underneath the outer layer of a bird's feathers (almost like the bird's own base layer). Most down used as insulating material is goose down, sourced as a by-product of the food industry. While most responsible manufacturers use down that is not live-plucked, much of the food that it is sourced from is fois gras which has it's own set of ethical issues. The quality of down is rated in 'fill power', which is the volume in cubic inches of one ounce sample of down measured in a cylinder compressed with a standardized weight (the US and Europe use different preparation of the samples and different sized cylinders and weights for testing, depending on the spec used). Put more simply, a 1oz sample of 650 fill power down has a volume of 650 cubic inches when tested. The higher the rating, the less feather and quill content of the down and the more of the fluffy plumules containing the insulating air pockets. This is different from fill weight, which is the mass of down in the garment. While down is the most effective insulator and breathes well, allowing it greater thermoregulation and a wider range of comfortable wearing temperatures, it does not like moisture at all. When down gets wet, either from sweat or rain, the plumules clump and lose the insulating air pockets within them and therefore all of it's insulating properties. This makes down a poor choice during active exercise, but great to throw on to trap your warmth when you stop moving. A few companies are beginning to experiment with "DriDown" which is down with a polymer coating to make it more resistant to water, but this is still new technology and very expensive. A good rule of thumb for wearing down is, if it's warm enough to sweat, it's too warm for down.

Synthetic insulation comes in many forms, from fleece to 'down-like' lofted synthetic insulation like Primaloft One (which has the closest insulating value [R-value] to down at present, and is used to insulate the space shuttles). Since they're non-absorbent, synthetics retain most of their insulating value even when wet. Plus they are often less expensive than their down counterparts. The downside to synthetic insulation is that it's heavier for the relative insulating value and tends to trap moisture from sweat. Additionally the fibers in a lofted synthetic insulating material tend to get brittle and break over time, giving the piece a shorter effective life span than a comparable down garment (properly cared for down can literally last a lifetime).

The final piece to the layering system is the shell layer, which is to protect you from the elements (wind & precipitation). Shells can be a "hard shell" which get their protective capabilities from a physical barrier layer (i.e., PTFE, Polyurethane, etc. ) or a "soft shell" which tends to be stretchier, more breathable and less waterproof (though in most conditions a soft shell is still ample protection). Shell layers are typically not designed to offer insulating properties, although the thickness of soft shells and vapor barrier characteristics of hard shells do add a negligible amount of additional warmth.

Backpacks

Packs, like footwear, is another area where a good fit is critical to your comfort on a trip. For day hikes, most any pack 35L or smaller will do. Find one you like and go for it. A perennial favorite for a super lightweight, no-frills day pack is the REI Flash 18 ($35 / 11oz).
For loads over about 25lbs, you should start considering a framed pack which use either an external frame of tubular aluminum or an internal frame with a plastic frame sheet and one or more anatomically curved internal aluminium stays. In a well fitting framed pack, the frame works in conjunction with the waist belt to transfer the load from your shoulders and back to the hips where you can utilize the large, powerful muscles of the legs to take most of the weight.
Until you get comfortable with how a good pack should fit, you should have someone who knows what they are doing fit you. The key things to look for in a well fitting pack are:
- The hip belt should be positioned on the iliac crest (uppermost part of the top of the hip) NOT around the waist. A good way to cheat the belt into position is to snap the closure right on top of your bellybutton.
- Shoulder straps should wrap cleanly around the top of the shoulders with minimal, if any, lifting in the back.
- Buckles on the shoulder straps should be 2-3" below the armpit.
With the pack fitted to you and loaded with 30ish pounds, wear it around the store for 15-30 minutes and check the comfort. If something is out of place or not fitting right, it should make itself know in that time.

Buy the size of pack that you need for what you are doing and no larger. Large packs are hard to pack well since your load seems to shift around in the empty space, and if there's extra space you will always find that you want to bring something else because "hey, it fits!". This leads to you wanting to huck that poo poo off the nearest cliff top as the extra weight wears on you.


STILL TO DO:
- Shelters (tents, hammocks, etc.)
- Sleeping bags
- Add more pics
- FAQ

i_heart_ponies fucked around with this message at 18:00 on Dec 8, 2012

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i_heart_ponies
Oct 16, 2005

because I love feces


Hike With a Goon:

Let me know if you want to be a part of this list and I'll add you!

Username (Click for PMs), Location

Western US

Midwestern US

Eastern US

i_heart_ponies fucked around with this message at 20:32 on Jul 2, 2014

alnilam
Nov 10, 2009


Posting in the springtime


Thanks for all the effort for thread 2, OP!

When you do a sleeping bag writeup, make sure to mention that a 25ºF bag is only good at 25ºF if you have a sleeping pad underneath it. Keep people from making the same, cooold mistake I did
"Oh whatever, the pad is just for comfort. gently caress it, I can sleep on leaves." <<<Wrong

edit:
A few recent favourite backpacking photos, and of a different, more tropical flavour than the others you posted. Usem if you want! From Nā Pali Coast on Kaua'i, HI, USA

alnilam fucked around with this message at 19:11 on Dec 7, 2012

internet celebrity
Jun 23, 2006



College Slice

I went on a week long backpacking trip through the Great Smoky Mountains national park last summer and I wouldn't hesitate to say it was one of the best decisions I ever made. I learned a few things on that first trip that I'd like to share with some other first time backpackers: 1- BRING CAMP SHOES. 2- DO NOT SKIMP ON RAIN GEAR. 3- IT'S GOING TO BE A LOT COLDER THAN YOU THINK IT IS.

Picture I took at Charles Bunion:

Time Cowboy
Nov 4, 2007

But Tarzan... The strangest thing has happened! I'm as bare... as the day I was born!

I've gotten into dayhiking in a big way this year. I'm still way out of shape and not ready for the serious stuff, but I've had some great times all the same.

Harriman State Park (NY):




On the Appalachian Trail in NJ:




Breakneck Ridge in the Hudson Highlands (NY):




i_heart_ponies, add me to that hiking with goons list, please. I've been looking for someone to split gas and tolls with, driving from Long Island or NYC to the Hudson Highlands and the Catskills.

a foolish pianist
May 6, 2007

(bi)cyclic mutation



I love hiking up high. I got some time in RMNP in the summer of 2011.

I bumped in a ranger and his pack llamas by Mount Lady Washington:


That's Long's Peak and the Lamb Slide in the background. Mount Lady Washington is the scary-looking scree slope in the upper right.

I scrambled the ridge of Lady Washington solo up to about 12.5k feet, but the talus got small and slippery, and I decided that retreat was better than pushing up and risking breaking an ankle out of shouting distance of anybody else.

This photo was just below my high point:



I took some video of the scramble. Pardon the goofy-rear end beard. I lost a bet and had to grow it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GM-ft1gWBzk

Mikemo Tyson
Apr 30, 2008


I desperately want to move out west so I can experience true wilderness. I live a half an hour from the Appalachian Trail in Pennsylvania and regularly do weekend section hikes. I'm growing bored with the same scenery though.

Here's a picture of me at the Pinnacle near Hamburg, PA.


My wife used to be my trail partner but since our son was born last year she hasn't been too into trekking up and down mountains. I have a nice Kelty pack that I carry my son in. He's been to the Pinnacle twice now, I'll have to dig out the photos one day and post them. Hopefully this spring he'll be able to safely sleep in our tent so we can make multi-day family trips.

Also, add me to the goon hiker list, Mikemo Tyson, Eastern PA.

chad radwell
Jan 16, 2009



.

chad radwell fucked around with this message at 14:03 on Sep 13, 2015

Jinh
Sep 12, 2008



I picked up a Talon 44 for overnight and weekend trips, and I love it. I'm in Central FL, hit me up if you wanna get out sometime. I'm doing a day hike in Circle B bar reserve in Lakeland tomorrow. I moved down from NJ about 6 months ago, and really miss hills

TouchyMcFeely
Aug 21, 2006

High five! Hell yeah!



Had the REI intro to snowshoeing class last night.

Like folks here mentioned, it really is fairly straight forward. I did enjoy the discussion on the different types of bindings and the different ways to deal with varying degrees of incline though.

I'll likely pick up a pair of the MSR composites for the girlfriend and the Atlas 12s for myself.

Was a little strange being the youngest people in there at 31 but I learned of a few outdoors groups in the area I'll likely check out.

Highly recommendes since it is a free class.

Saveron_01
Dec 27, 2004


Living in southeastern PA I got into day hiking a couple of years ago when I lost my full-time job and switched over to freelancing (graphic design). Not too far from me is Ridley Creek State Park, which has a number of trails and side paths to take, which was fine since I could still get cell phone reception, but far enough away from the constant stream of noise that a typical suburb makes during the workweek.

I really do not consider myself a real hiker, since I do the White Trail, which is only around 5.1 miles in little over an hour. There are some decent grades, which was challenging at first, but since I put on a ton of leg muscle, I was getting to the point where I would run up most of the steeper hills.

Did Valley Forge park a couple of times, but it is still pretty much in the middle of a suburban area, so no matter where you go you still hear the background noise of cars.

The Horseshoe trail was something I remember hearing my cousin talk about when he was in Boy Scouts as a kid, and was trying to find more information about.



Anyone ever hike this trail?

EvilElmo
May 10, 2009


Where can I find out more information about hiking in the snow/mountaineering? It's something I would like to get in to.

Picnic Princess
Feb 9, 2008

I was under direct orders not to die




Hey all, I'm Picnic Princess and I'm the resident Canadian Rockies expert. I can't commit myself to the "hiking buddies" list because my life is pretty insane right now, but I'll be happy to answer questions.

I'm working on a guide to understanding the Rocky Mountains Parks system, because it can be pretty confusing. I'll post it when it's complete.

I hope more people will visit this place and support our parks, because right now our government doesn't and it's a loving horrible shame.







Oxphocker
Aug 17, 2005

PLEASE DO NOT BACKSEAT MODERATE


I worked at an outdoor school for two years, going on trips with students in the upper midwest. We did biking, hiking, and canoeing trips including a trip to the Boundary Waters. If anyone has questions for beginners trying to get started or about places in the upper midwest around Lake Superior I can probably answer or at least give some guidance.

Edit: Also been living out in western new mexico the past three years, I can give some tips for out here as well.

BeefofAges
Jun 5, 2004

Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the cows of war.



You can add me to the list, though I have PMs off. I do have my AIM listed in my profile.

I'm currently in Orange County, CA, but besides the local trails I have experience with hiking in the desert, the Sierras, and the AT (between GA and NJ, at least). I also wrote a short guide to ultralight backpacking: https://docs.google.com/document/pub?id=1z7haNEGlEn64oWGf6MA72FTyz0fjIuuyv7Oh09bGWIY

I actually just got good news this week. The orthopedist sees some abnormal bone structure in my hip x-rays that could cause impingement. I'm getting a cortisone shot on the 18th, and then after that I might get arthroscopic surgery, and then I could realistically go back and finish the AT in June of next year. I'm super excited.

Jinh
Sep 12, 2008




That was you! Thanks for writing this, I've been looking it over every now and then for weeks now to get ideas on a general packing list for both weekend trips and an eventual Northbound AT trip.

i_heart_ponies
Oct 16, 2005

because I love feces


EvilElmo posted:

Where can I find out more information about hiking in the snow/mountaineering? It's something I would like to get in to.

The book 'Mountaineering: The Freedom Of The Hills' is pretty much recognized as the gold standard textbook and you may be able to find a course in your area that uses it. That's the course you want to be in, at least to start.

My mountaineering education started with the Wilderness Travel Course through the Angeles Chapter of the Sierra Club which includes a 3-day snow camp. After that, I took the 'snow travel school' through Sierra Mountaineering International where you learn the basics of ice axe self-arrest, crampon technique, glacier travel and crevasse rescue. I then got my Wilderness First Responder through NOLS / WMI and built up a decent climbing resume through the connections I made in the WTC & SMI courses, so that I could take the AMGA Alpine Guide course followed by two seasons as an 'associate guide' doing rope gunning and other bitch work for top-tier IFMGA / AMGA certified guides in the Eastern Sierras.

If you're interested in taking it to the same level, remember that mountaineering is a relatively small community of really weird people that enjoy suffering. Keep yourself in great shape, be eager to learn, willing to work brutally hard in nasty conditions without complaining and most of all BE HUMBLE and recognize that you don't know poo poo. The other half is all about meeting the right people.

Here's a pic from the trailhead of a mellow training climb I did with a friend last January (I'm on the left):


And this is how much mountaineering is a part of me. It's truly the love of my life.

TouchyMcFeely
Aug 21, 2006

High five! Hell yeah!



Looking for a small item I can give to the GF as a stocking stuffer for Christmas that is hiking/camping/outdoors related.

I was thinking about getting her a pair of YakTrax but from the reviews they don't seem very durable for actual hiking.

Any ideas?

TerminalSaint
Apr 20, 2007


Where must we go...

we who wander this Wasteland in search of our better selves?


MicroSpikes are really nice and in the same family, but they're also not exactly bombproof. I almost look at them as a consumable item good for a winter or two.

As lame as socks were to receive as a kid, I don't know any outdoor enthusiasts who wouldn't be happy to get nice merino wool socks. Not exactly an exciting gift, though.

BeefofAges
Jun 5, 2004

Cry 'Havoc!', and let slip the cows of war.



A headlamp?

Oxphocker
Aug 17, 2005

PLEASE DO NOT BACKSEAT MODERATE


TouchyMcFeely posted:

Looking for a small item I can give to the GF as a stocking stuffer for Christmas that is hiking/camping/outdoors related.

I was thinking about getting her a pair of YakTrax but from the reviews they don't seem very durable for actual hiking.

Any ideas?

Smartwool socks are always nice to get.
depends on what other outdoors activities you are thinking of....

camp kits (bowls/cup/utensils) lightweight is good
toiletry kits (soaps/TP/etc)
hikers first aid kits

Just look on any of the major camping sites (campmor, moosejaw, rei, etc) for stocking stuffer ideas.

denizen
Aug 12, 2003
i am the only denizen

I am hardly a serious backpacker but I do some hiking on days i'm not biking!



Gold Cord Lake, Hatcher Pass, Alaska



Shot of the trail head.

TouchyMcFeely
Aug 21, 2006

High five! Hell yeah!



Thanks for the ideas, all. I've opted to get her a nice beanie since it's the only piece of gear I can think of that she's missing.

On another note regarding cold temp hiking. I did a couple of hours today in 20-30 degrees. My lung were burning from the low temp air and I developed a bit of a cough until I got back inside.

Is there anything I can do to help prevent that from happening when I go out in the future?

JAY ZERO SUM GAME
Oct 18, 2005

Walter.
I know you know how to do this.
Get up.




TouchyMcFeely posted:

Thanks for the ideas, all. I've opted to get her a nice beanie since it's the only piece of gear I can think of that she's missing.

On another note regarding cold temp hiking. I did a couple of hours today in 20-30 degrees. My lung were burning from the low temp air and I developed a bit of a cough until I got back inside.

Is there anything I can do to help prevent that from happening when I go out in the future?
Wearing something in front of my mouth like a balaclava helps me with this a lot.

BIG SAD
Oct 26, 2006

Are you trying to Garfunkel me?


TouchyMcFeely posted:

Thanks for the ideas, all. I've opted to get her a nice beanie since it's the only piece of gear I can think of that she's missing.

On another note regarding cold temp hiking. I did a couple of hours today in 20-30 degrees. My lung were burning from the low temp air and I developed a bit of a cough until I got back inside.

Is there anything I can do to help prevent that from happening when I go out in the future?

Get a good balaclava and breathe through your nose if you can.

TouchyMcFeely
Aug 21, 2006

High five! Hell yeah!



I'm such a doof. I had my buff with me and didn't even think to put it on my lower face.

Thanks for the tip.

a foolish pianist
May 6, 2007

(bi)cyclic mutation



Also, focus on breathing in through your nose. When it gets below about 10 degrees F here in Michigan, I cough pretty constantly unless I breathe through my nose.

Oxphocker
Aug 17, 2005

PLEASE DO NOT BACKSEAT MODERATE


I've dealt with -25 air temps (not counting wind chill) and colder in northern WI/MI and I've found that some balaclavas/facemasks don't work very well in high winds or if you wear glasses. I had to resort to a thick wool scarf wrapped around several times to block the wind. Once you start breating into it, it helps pre-warm the air. The best option is to breathe through your nose, but if you get all stuffed/runny that might not be an option. You'll probably have to experiment until you find a workable solution.

i_heart_ponies
Oct 16, 2005

because I love feces


You could always get this thing and use it during the summer for Mortal Kombat cosplay, too.

Shrinking Universe
Sep 26, 2010
Muse sucks FYI

Yay! New hiking thread...

I can offer limited help with hiking in Australia. I haven't done a lot of it but I am committing to do more. I live close to some of the High Country national parks (Namadgi, Kosciuszko etc).

My beginners tip would be (If you live in Victoria): Get thee to Wilsons Promontory and hike to Sealers Cove. 10km there, 10km back, doable in a day but has a great campsite at the other end and is a brilliant beginners overnight hike. Complete with an (easy) river crossing if you mess up the tides.



Sealers Cove, Wilsons Promontory NP



Bushfold Flats, Namadgi NP. I love low grasslands and "mountains"



Camels Hump, Tidbinbilla Nature Reserve - It's snowing!



Animals!

I am in constant awe of Picnic Princess's photos, you are in possibly the greatest place in the world for hiking. I was fortunate enough to do a bit of it when I was working in Banff (me and half my countrymen), and I deeply regret not doing more. I will get back there though.

The reason I wrote "mountains" is that compared to basically the rest of the world, ours are a little short, our tallest is 2,228m (7309 feet), and used to have a road going more or less right to the top. It is a gentle, undulating mountain. We have some more rugged ones, and we do get snow. I am hoping to do some snow-shoeing and camping next winter.

Any questions about Australia, ask away!

EvilElmo
May 10, 2009




Thanks mate, sadly there is not much of a community in Australia as we have very little snow and even less challenging terrain. I have since heard that most Australian's interested/dedicated to it go to NZ and then up to the Northern Hemisphere and repeat.

But thanks for the recommendation for the book and websites, I'll look in to it a bit more.

Time Cowboy
Nov 4, 2007

But Tarzan... The strangest thing has happened! I'm as bare... as the day I was born!

Shrinking Universe posted:

[Awesome Australian pictures]

Any questions about Australia, ask away!

I don't have any specific questions; I've wanted to go hiking in the High Country for ages, but I won't have the money to fly to Australia for years, so I haven't bothered to plan yet. Are there any long-distance trails (7-10 days of hiking) worth the trip? Or should I stick to NZ?

Picnic Princess
Feb 9, 2008

I was under direct orders not to die




Shrinking Universe posted:


I am in constant awe of Picnic Princess's photos, you are in possibly the greatest place in the world for hiking. I was fortunate enough to do a bit of it when I was working in Banff (me and half my countrymen), and I deeply regret not doing more. I will get back there though.

The reason I wrote "mountains" is that compared to basically the rest of the world, ours are a little short, our tallest is 2,228m (7309 feet), and used to have a road going more or less right to the top. It is a gentle, undulating mountain. We have some more rugged ones, and we do get snow. I am hoping to do some snow-shoeing and camping next winter.

Any questions about Australia, ask away!

Ah yes, the Australian worker horde! I can't speak for everyone here, but a lot of us love you guys because you've got the same laid back attitude as us but your accent is much better. We just sound like a bunch of hosers, eh?

A couple years back I rented a boat on Lake Minnewanka for my husband's birthday with his brother, and all day were cracking jokes about the hot Australian at the boat house. Well, we ended up running out of gas in the middle of the lake and he came to rescue us.



I'll be headed to Australia myself next June, but might not get too much hiking outside of the Daintree Rainforest. Mt. Sorrow looks seriously enticing. It's been an interesting experience planning out this trip. I've never been overseas, and I've never traveled abroad alone. Going for a major, life-changing experience I guess! And that's just a fraction of what I've got lined up. I'll be heading to Australia and New Zealand after I finish a 3 week field school in Thailand, Borneo, and Bali with a group of 17 other students.

Yooper
Apr 30, 2012



Grimey Drawer

Add me to the list of Hikers too please.

Located in the UP of Michigan. Can advise on hikes in the UP and Isle Royale. If you're hiking and need another dude let me know.

Tyger41
Oct 7, 2012


Thanks for the OP OP. I've always wanted to hike and backpack a lot but have never really had time (ie. School/work/grad school/non-outdoorsy wife aggro). But I have been doing alot of trail running and have just recently started doing small 4-5mile 1-2hour long day hikes which have been great. I hope that when I am done with school I will be able to have more outdoor time and hopefully get my son involved.

All of my day hikes and trail runs I do in my Merrell Trail Gloves which are really great shoes. I highly recommend them for anyone looking to get into minimalist foot ware.

Seagull Fiasco
Jul 25, 2011



I love hiking, although I didn't get into it until relatively recently, and it's now my preferred way of seeing the world or spending my holidays - three longer vacations this year were spent hiking in some form. I am based in Europe, unlike most of you I gather, so what knowledge I have to offer probably won't be of any use to you unless you decide to venture over here (I won't pretend to any expertise in general hiking/backpacking matters, as I haven't had a chance to do a lot of it).

With that said, the following are hikes that I've done and that I can highly recommend (sorry for the picture dump):

Borjomi-Kharagauli National Park, Georgia


IMG_3122 by Norrskensren

Svaneti, Georgia


Tetnuldi by Norrskensren

Gozo, Malta


Gozo by Norrskensren

Kungsleden (the King's Trail), Lappland, Sweden


Radunjága by Norrskensren, on Flickr


King of the kalfjäll by Norrskensren

GR7, Andalucía, Spain


Tarifa by Norrskensren

Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Wales


IMG_8453 by Norrskensren

smilehigh
Nov 2, 2010

RUUUUUNNNNNNNN

Norrskensren posted:


Pembrokeshire Coast Path, Wales

Please tell me more about this, thanks.

I'm moving to the UK in 3ish months and I want to do as much hiking as I possibly can.

Have you done any other UK trails/paths?

bou
Aug 3, 2006



Shrinking Universe posted:


Any questions about Australia, ask away!

Hi there!

First time poster and Backpacking-Rookie from Germany checking in. I recently fell in love with the "Great Ocean Walk" because it seems rather easy to do and offers a lot of sights i just won't find anywhere near me. But when i make that long flight to Australia, i sure as hell want to do more than one trip. Any suggestions for more tours without having to travel across the continent would be really appreciated as any tips in general.

To contribute something on my own:

Had a great 2 weeks last year just strolling around on Lofoten (Norway) and definitely want to go there, or someplace similiar in Scandinavia, again. Recommendations welcome!



and this was taken on a 3-day-tour from cabin to cabin around Schesaplana (Austria/Switzerland)



As stated, i am not that knowledgeable (yet), but could maybe provide some basic information about touring the Alps i guess.

/e: typo1

Xenixx
Nov 30, 2007

by T. Mascis


Yeah, cool, I've mostly stuck to solo backpacking and hiking in the past but I'd rather go with someone nowadays. (Tons of)Words of advice about and from eastern seaboard hikes, NY (where I reside now), PA down as far south as the Carolina's and Georgia. Hiked all over Europe as well, there are some great hikes to do if you're visiting, recently did the must see stuff in Norway (Troll's Tongue, Bergen - Voss, fjords upon fjords!).

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alnilam
Nov 10, 2009


Posting in the springtime


Question for fellow PA hikers* about Pine Creek Gorge, a.k.a. the "PA grand canyon."

Recently a couple told me about that place, and described a long day-hike (or overnighter) that was their favourite hike in Pennsylvania. They said it was called the "Bald Eagle Trail." I haven't found any trails on the state website or anywhere else called that.
Has anyone hiked in that area? Do you know of this trail? Or, do you have any recommendations of other hikes in that area?


*I'm in western PA myself - OP you can add me to the list, but I don't have PM.

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