Tuesday, 30 March 2010

How to Hike and Ramble in Snakes pass - Pennines England

How to get away and step into the silence in Hiking and Rambling

What is your definition of a special day? So special that you would make your lunch the night before, get up early (even on a weekend!), fill a thermos with tea or coffee, and ignore such temptations as lying in to read the weekend papers in bed.

For many, the anticipation of a day spent bushwalking will get them jumping out of bed. Call it bushwalking, hiking, rambling or tramping, walking in nature is the ultimate balm for fast city living. Get up and get out there as soon as you can!

Bushwalking is the ultimate pleasure sport - a fitness activity, an immersion in the beauty of nature and, more often than not, an adventure into the unknown. Whilst most bushwalkers walk on established tracks, there is often an element to the walk that is a surprise - a plant or flower that you have never seen before, a new birdcall, or the sunlight illuminating the leaves overhead.

Of course, in some countries, that surprise could be less than comforting. You may run into a grizzly bear in a Canadian forest or a red-bellied black snake in the Australian bush. In all cases, the scout motto will hold you in good stead. Be prepared! If you are prepared you will survive, enjoy and, best of all, have a story left to tell at the end.

A good day's bushwalking is the result of your preparation. You need food and water, sun, rain, and cold weather protection, a first aid kit, a map, a compass and the good sense to tell someone where you are going and when you are likely to come back. It also helps to inform yourself about the dangers of the local area.

For beginner walkers, it is wise to stick to set tracks and begin with a half-day walk to check out your fitness levels and see how your muscles feel the next morning. You will probably find that you are fitter than you think and able to walk five or six kilometres without much trouble.

Bushwalking can also be the perfect sport for those with limited mobility as many national parks and recreation areas have built short tracks for people using wheelchairs, walking frames or walking sticks. These will often be sited around areas where there is the maximum opportunity to view the flora and fauna specific to the area.

Walk options range from a day walk up to hundreds of kilometres, as bushwalking combines well with camping, canyoning, abseiling, and even skiing if you are happy to do your bushwalking through the snow.

Bushwalking can be transformative. Clean out the cobwebs of your mind and give your whole body a work-out by waking up to the possibilities of stretching, striding, climbing, jumping and relaxing in the silent beauty of a natural landscape.

Madeline Shaw writes for Mind Body & Soul; an array of natural health practices, spiritual beliefs and alternative therapies.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?

Sunday, 28 March 2010

Hiking and Rambling in Larvik, Norway

How to find the best places hiking in Norway

Norway is a country with a passionate national tradition of mountain hiking. This means that accommodations have been made for people to traverse large swaths of mountain terrain on foot. Hikers can walk from cabin to cabin, where they will find international crowds to regale them with stories by the fire. Thanks to the DNT, the Norwegian Trekking Association, Norway offers a network of 20,000 kilometers of marked hiking trails, one of the largest in all of Europe. Some of these routes have been developed from local footpaths and older thoroughfares. Others have been developed to meet trekkers' needs. Either way, these trails serve to guide hikers while protecting animal and plant life by limiting the path of human traffic through Norway's incredible outdoor scenery.

Even in fog and rain, you will be able to see the next waymark on your path, a "T" written in red paint on rock walls and cairns. If you'd rather journey through the Norwegian natural wonders with more of a plan set out, the DNT and Norske Bygdeopplevelser, an event supplier, both organize great rambling tours.

The Adventure Road on the eastern side of the country is the trail you'll want to explore to experience the best of Norway's unique landscape. The Adventure Road offers over one hundred well-marked trails, showcasing the beauty of the fjords and the majesty of the mountains. The proper time to hike this trail is between May and October. The high season is in July and August. During this time, the mountains abound with cloudberries and blueberries, and the fjords grow rich with juicy plums, cherries, and apples. The late season is when you'll find a dramatic explosion of color. Green becomes orange and red, and an incredible hiking experience is made even more so.

The Adventure Road offers a variety of attractions along its trail. For instance, you'll certainly want to stop at the largest national park in Norway, Hardangervidda National Park, home to the largest mountain plateau in Northern Europe. With many well-marked trails, this is a great place to explore alone or with a guide. Enjoy bathing or fishing in the rivers and lakes of the area, enjoy the many summits, like Hårteigen, Hardangerjøkulen, and Gaustatoppen, or watch a flock of several thousand wild reindeer run by you. For Fjords, you'll want to visit Nærøyfjord, voted the world's best preserved tourist destination by National Geographic magazine and granted a place on UNESCO's World Heritage List. Only 250 meters wide at its narrowest, Nærøyfjord is an immensely beautiful fjord that branches off Sognefjord. Between Flåm, Gudvangen, and Aurland, passenger boats run throughout the entire year. Another choice is to take your a kayak or inflatable speedboat through the waters of Nærøyfjord. If possible, try to plan your trip for May to enjoy the countless white and pink flowers that bloom during that time of year. If you're tired of hiking, consider experiencing the Flåmsbana or Flåm Railway, a fun train ride from deep in Aurlandsfjord to Myrdal, high in the mountains. Running throughout the year, one of the stops is the Kjosfossen waterfall, a place where you can hear Huldra's singing in the summer. Be sure to take a guide to hike around the stunning blue ice of glaciers like Hardangerjøkulen and Folgefonna. These areas offer challenging hikes that provide breathtaking and eye-opening images of natural spectacle. To see bears, roe deer, and elk, walk the trail through Vassfaret Park.

Whether you want to see serene fjords, astonishing mountain views, magical waterfalls, inspiring wild animals, lush plant life, or mind-blowing glaciers, Norway has it all!

Scott Amundson consistently writes compelling articles for popular blog THE ULTIMATE HIKING GUIDE, found at http://www.ultimatehikingguide.blogspot.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Scott_Amundson

Saturday, 27 March 2010

How to enjoy hiking and Rambling in Canada

4 top trails to hike and Ramble in Canada

Cheakamus Lake - Easy
Located between Whistler Village and Squamish in Garibaldi Park, the Cheakamus Lake trail is just over a 2 hour drive from Vancouver, British Columbia. This trail circles much of Cheakamus Lake giving guests plenty of opportunities to view the unique turquoise coloured waters. At 16 kilometres in length, the primarily flat trail can be considered easy in terms of terrain but may take up to 5 hours to complete. Hikers should note, there are two campsites located along the perimeter of the lake; these campsites tend to feel much more secluded than others in the area as they do not offer direct vehicle access.

Ridge Lookout Trail - Intermediate
The Ridge Lookout Trail is located atop Whistler Mountain and can be accessed through the Peak to Peak Gondola. Coming in at the shortest of the list, the mere 0.8 kilometre Ridge Lookout Trail can be completed in around 30-35 minutes. This trail starts off from the heli-pad just uphill from the Roundhouse Lodge and finishes at the Ridge Lookout. Hikers will have to traverse an elevation of 68 metres before being rewarded with stunning cross-mountain views.

Overlord Trail - Intermediate
Once atop Blackcomb Mountain via the Peak to Peak Gondola, hikers will have access to several trails, one of which is the popular Overlord trail. This 7.4 kilometre trail serves as a transfer point for guests wanting to access Blackcomb's Marmot, Treeline, Decker, and Lakeside trails. The Overlord trail takes approximately 2 to 3 hours to complete and is recommended for intermediate hikers.

Black Tusk - Difficult
Black Tusk is a 29 kilometre trail located inside Garibaldi Provincial Park. Hikers will have to trek up an elevation of 1740 metres making this trail one of the more exhausting ones. Many experienced hikers are able to complete the Black Tusk in a day; however hikers must be prepared to turn around and head back if they don't anticipate completing it before nightfall. As this trail is very difficult it should only be attempted by experienced hikers. Prospective hikers should note, B.C. parks do not maintain the entirety of Black Tusk making the final parts beyond the border signs very dangerous.

Devon O' Malley is a staff writer for alluraDirect, a website featuring vacation rentals in many parts of Whistler. Research, review, & book Whistler accommodations direct from owners through a safe, trusted website.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Devon_O'Malley

Friday, 26 March 2010

How to survive hiking in the mountains and waer the right footwear

How to overcome the challenges of hiking in the mountains

Mountain hiking is, for most hikers, an exciting prospect because of its challenging terrain and beautiful views. You get a huge sense of satisfaction after a successful mountain hike.

The Mountain Environment

The climatic zones in mountains present a huge challenge to hikers. At high altitudes, the temperature falls and precipitation is likely. Not all mountain ranges are the same. Some are predictably sunny in certain months of the year and some are rainy. Some mountain ranges have thunderstorms and some are have unpredictable weather.

Weather patterns in mountains are usually well documented and researching your destination before you set off is a good thing to do. You may find that above the treeline that conditions can get worse with fierce wind, blinding sun and no shelter. Sunglasses or goggles and sunscreen are indispensable this high up in the mountains.

As you go up to higher altitudes it's important that you slowly acclimatize your body and be aware of the decreasing temperature.

Mountain Hiking Season

Mountain hiking in most parts of the world is only suitable during summer. In hot tropical climates, the cool temperatures in the mountains is a good getaway from the heat and they may even be snow-covered throughout the summer.

In most areas, the mountains may start to lose snow in late spring or early summer and begin to build up again in autumn. However, some mountain ranges have snow all year-round and summer blizzards may even occur in some occasions. The further away from the equator, the shorter the hiking season.


When hiking across fields of snow and ice you need special skills and equipment like an ice axe and crampons. In late spring or early summer, melting snow from glaciers and snowfields fills rivers and streams making them difficult to cross safely.

The Challenges in Mountains

Mountain hiking is physically challenging to hikers no matter what age or ability they are. If you want to go mountain hiking you need to get yourself in good physical shape. If you have trouble breathing or your lungs are not in good shape we advice that you don't go mountain hiking especially without special equipment.

A heavy backpack and long climbs make hiking quite challenging. Slow progress is expected as you walk at most half the speed you do walking on a flat surface. And speaking of backpacks, your backpack will also be heavier as you need carry more equipment, clothing and food to survive the cold. Always carry one layer of warm clothing more than you think you need and bring a balaclava or two along with you. You'll be glad you did.

But if you do decide to get in shape and confront the challenges of mountain hiking the sense of achievement when reaching a summit is incomparable and the memories will last a lifetime. You will also remember the friendship of the people you went mountain with and the bond will have gotten stronger.

Jonsky is an expert in camping gear and with over 20 years of experience hiking around the world. Especially loves hiking in the mountains. Be sure that you wear sunglasses because you will be more exposed to the dangerous sun rays high up. And balaclavas will help a lot in keeping you warm.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jonsky_Sicuna

Thursday, 25 March 2010

The great Hike and Ramble up Mont Blanc

Top Hiking Tour du Mont Blanc

Hiking Tour Du Mont Blanc, France, Switzerland, Italy

The Tour Du Mont Blanc covers a distance of about 170 kilometres and takes in three countries France, Switzerland and Italy in a loop around Mont Blanc. There are valleys to walk through as well as long stretches high up in the mountains with mountain passes to cross. The first known person to walk around this area was in 1767 although it is possible that Hannibal used the pass, the Col De La Seigne when he crossed the alps with his elephants. It is impossible to describe the beauty of the mountains which have to be seen to be believed and the best way to see them is to hike the Tour Du Mont Blanc.

This hike has multiple start points but most people start at either les Houches near Chamonix in France or Courmayeur in Italy. Spectacular alpine scenery is the norm on this hiking adventure although the weather can interfere with views.

There is plenty of accommodation in mountain huts, food is also readily available when you are hiking Tour Du Mont Blanc so that the hike can be done carrying a relatively small pack. Accommodation can become booked out especially late in the day, however it can be pre-booked if required.

French is the most prominent language spoken in the Swiss and French sections of the track with Italian on the remainder. Some english is spoken however it is considered polite to attempt the local language so a knowledge of some words and phrases would be helpful.

The Tour Du Mont Blanc is normally walked in an anti-clockwise direction and you should allow seven to ten days for this hike which is classified as moderate to hard with lots of climbing and descending each day. For those that want to do a bit less walking there are some cable cars and buses that can be used at certain locations.

For more information on hiking visit http://www.hikinginfoonline.com
For more information on weight loss visit http://www.weightlosssecret.info

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Joanne_McMahon

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

How to enjoy a great Hike and Ramble in Hawaii

4 great Hikes and Rambles in Hawaii

If you are an avid hiker, you will have a blast on Oahu. And even if you're not, there are some very nice trails and short hikes worth checking out. Many of the trails on Oahu were blazed by the early Hawaiians. Like many nature oriented Oahu activities, hiking on Oahu is free -- and thanks to the State, you needn't spend any money on hiking guides or maps either!

Guided Oahu Hikes

Many Hawaii Eco Tour services offer guided hikes, but you can go on a Hawaii Sierra Club hike for free (although they do suggest a small donation). Just go to their Website and click on the Oahu on the map in the middle of the page. On the Oahu page, click on "Outings" on the menu on the left. There is a calendar listing outings up to three months in advance. The outings range from easy and suitable for young children to difficult and they include service project outings.

Oahu Hiking Safety & Self Guided Hikes

If you don't want to go with the group, visit the Hawaii's Trail and Access System, Na Ala Hele Administered by the Department of Land and Natural Resources, under the Division of Forestry and Wildlife, the Na Ala Hele Website provides detailed information on many of Oahu's hiking trails, as well as their Trail Safety Guidelines.

Hiking in Hawaii may be very different from your hiking in your local region, so please read their safety guidelines!

You can also obtain permits here to collect plants in a state forest reserve. You may want to collect flowers, leaves or ferns for lei-making (more on this later).

Also download the State's free guide to "Hiking Safety."

Na Ala Hele's trail information includes whether a given trail can be used by mountain bikes, the length, difficulty, its' points of interest, printable topographic maps, driving directions and bus routes - all for free. They also give updated news and critical alerts about trails (you'll see the link when you're reading about a specific trail).

Here, you can locate on a map of Oahu an area that you're interested in hiking, and then by clicking on the number (not the pinpoint) the page opens with directions, details, photos and a topographic map. Or if you know the name of a trail you can use the drop down menu.

The American Hiking Society offers a long list of Oahu hikes with simple maps and extremely brief descriptions. It's a good place to start if you're not sure what you are looking for. When you find a description that suits you, take the name of the trail to the Hawaii site where you can get a map for free.

Here a few of Oahu's most popular hiking trails.


Diamond Head: This national monument is home to the most popular Oahu hike! The moderate trek is made by people of all ages, is about one mile long one way and climbs 560 feet from the crater floor. Bring a flashlight for when you pass through the 225-foot tunnel. Also, be sure to bring water because it can get pretty hot up there. The trail offers sweeping vistas of Honolulu, and the crater floor where the trailhead is located offers a nice meadow for picnics.

If you don't mind sharing the trail with mountain bikers and aren't afraid of heights as in with sheer cliffs, you might enjoy the Aiea Loop Trail at Keaiwa Heiau State Park. This traverse through the site of an ancient healing temple in the foothills of the verdant Koolau Range. Above the town of Aiea, the trail winds through tall forests of eucalyptus, koa and other beautiful trees. The trail offers views of majestic canyons, Pearl Harbor, the Koolau Range and Central Oahu. It is about 4.5 miles long and about half of that is through a residential area.

Manoa Falls is beautiful to behold, an inspiring reward for the mile and half hike; however swimming in the small pool beneath the falls is not allowed and because of the danger, violators may be cited. As with any waterfall watch out for possible falling rocks from the top, in this case a long way up.

It gets darker up here in the forest before the standard sunset time so leave well before then because there are slippery roots and couple places with the trail narrows near precipices. This hike is very popular with locals.


At the foot of the Koolau Mountains on the Windward side, the lush, Maunawilie Falls Trail is an easy 1.25 mile hike that winds through fragrant white and yellow ginger (blooms in Hawaii's summer May through October) and mountain apple trees, crosses a stream several times and climbs gently.

The trail offers views of Koolaupoko watershed and gulches, and then descends down a long flight of steps to a lovely waterfall and pool.

For more hiking information, including links to details and photos of hikes introduced above, visit http://www.CoconutRoads.com I've just written a new ebook about how to have a cheap but amazing eco vacation on Oahu, and there's a whole chapter devoted to Oahu Hiking. It's called the Hawaii Eco Budget Guide to Oahu, and you'll see a links to it on my Hawaii site.

Happy Trails,

Cindy Blankenship

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Tuesday, 23 March 2010

How to choosing and use a sleeping bag when Hiking and Rambling

How to select the right sleeping bag for hiking and Rambling

A lot of energetic people plan for an outdoor holiday. One of the requirements for such a trip is a sleeping bag which is as a matter of fact your first priority. It is a portable substitute for a bed. It provides all the comforts like warmth and protection from the weather. The bag also gives marginal protection against wind, rain or frost. But in inclement weather conditions like rain and snow you will need a tent or a bivouac sack as a cover. A bivouac is a light weight waterproof cover.

There are basically 2 types of bags. Firstly we have a basic sleeping bag which is in effect a square blanket which has a zipper on two sides. It can be easily folded and is easy to tote along. It can also be bound with a strap or belt. Secondly we have what is called a mummy bag so called as its shape resembles an Egyptian mummy.

A mummy bag tapers from the top (head) to the lower end (feet).Overall this type is more conducive to retention of heat. These types of bags are also especially available for women which adjust to the special contours of a woman's body.A mummy bag generally for carriage is just stuffed into a stuff sack. If you have children going along for the camping trip than you are well advised to carry a slumber bag- which is a sleeping bag for children. However a slumber bag is not for outdoor use and will need a cover. Hence a tent will be a requirement.

All campers have different needs as their bodies are different. Therefore selecting a sleeping bag is an important exercise.Before you buy one, you will have to think about your trip and where you plan to go. You will have to be aware of the terrain and type of weather you will come across during your camping holiday.

Incase you plan to travel in warm and hot weather conditions then your requirements are simpler. All you will need is a basic sleeping bag. But if you will be moving out in winter and snow and sleet may be encountered then one with more advanced features will be needed that must protect you from the vagaries of the weather.

Size and shape of the bag will have an important bearing on its comfort value. Such a bag affects the degree of warmth it can give you.In cold weather this become s a critical condition. A second factor to consider is the type of material used and also on its fill. This is important in case you are camping in the cold.

Whether your sleeping bag is made of all-natural down or whether it is composed of man-made synthetic, the choice is a significant one. In case children are going along than they will also need sleeping bags. Insure that you select the proper bag for your kid. It is an absolute necessity to have a sleeping bag designed for optimum comfort. You will be faulted if you do not select one that fits the requirements of your trek or holiday for you and your family.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Madan_G_Singh

Sunday, 21 March 2010

How to hike the great wall of china

How to walk, Hike along the great wall of China

When visiting the Great Wall of China, clothing is an important consideration. The Great Wall is an amazing achievement, one of the most impressive in the history of humanity. For that reason, those individuals who visit the Great Wall will likely want to spend a great deal of time walking and enjoying the extensive foot paths. To do so, the proper clothing and footwear are absolutely necessary or the experience could be marred by an uncomfortable day in possibly harsh weather conditions.

Clothing for the Great Wall of China

Much of the Great Wall, especially those sections that are most magnificent and well built are built among the mountain passes. These were military structures and for that reason, were built out of necessity not comfort. For that reason, you should wear the appropriate clothing. Assuming you visit the Great Wall during the summer, you should bring light clothing, suitable for hiking and walking in the mountains. Heavier clothing will only make your hike more difficult.

Also, your clothing should be suitably waterproof and wind-resistant as weather conditions in the mountains can be at times highly unpredictable and harsh. You will want clothing that breathes easily, but is not too thin, so that you do not sweat profusely and can remain comfortable while walking.

Footwear for the Great Wall of China

Every route of the Great Wall is slightly different and requires a different approach to foot protection. Primarily, it's important to note that you should not wear new shoes into the mountainous routes as your feet will likely swell because of the altitude. If you need new hiking shoes, wear them a few times before visiting the Great Wall to break them in. You should always wear some form of hiking boot or waterproof shoes to ensure proper ankle support and traction while walking the sometimes steep paths on the Wall. Be prepared for extensive walking.

Because of the risk of blisters, you should wear thick socks. It is true that cotton socks are at first more comfortable and work better to keep your feet dry by absorbing sweat, but their lack of support will cause you pain in the long run.

Preparation is Key

When preparing to visit any outdoor location in which you might be forced to walk great distances or spend a good deal of time climbing, you should be prepared for the possible outcomes. Carry with you a small bag with extra clothing in case of severe weather and whatever you might need if your feet become blistered. You clothing might seem like a small matter amongst the enormity of visiting the Great Wall, but without the right preparation, you will find it hard to properly enjoy your trip.

Travelling to the Great Wall of China? Show China the REAL reason for the Great Wall's construction. For comic Great Wall t-shirts and gifts, check out: [http://www.toomanyrabbits.com]

Natalie Stephan lives on the south coast of Sydney is the creator of the Happy Vibe Gift Shop that originated with a comic design of the Great Wall of China inspired by a popular Australian telecommunications TV commercial. Natalie also has a mailing list which offers subscribers free information about many topics relating to personal development, meditation, and creating lasting happiness.

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Saturday, 20 March 2010

How to find the best hiking and rambling experiences in Austrialia

5 Top Hiking and Rambling Locations in the World

Any hiker will tell you that the trail makes the experience. Hiking along the most beautiful and challenging trails are the hiking hobbyist's dream. One of the benefits of hiking is that there are many countries, states, and islands that cater to the hiker through beautifully unique trails. Where do you want to go for your next hiking trip? This guide lists the top five places for hiking that will challenge even the most experienced hiker. Whether you're a beginner or an expert, these hiking trails can bring an appreciation towards nature's beauty.

Breakneck Ridge Trail

Breakneck Ridge is located in New York along the Hudson River. The mountain trail is part of the Appalachian Mountains, so it's filled with lush, green forests and rivers. The mountain has several peeks and plateaus to choose for your hiking destination. The highest summit for experienced hikers is 1,260 feet. To begin, most hikers choose the white route up the western side of the mountain. The steep, rocky climb to the summit gives a challenging hike with breathtaking views of the forest and rivers below it.

Glacier Gorge

Glacier Gorge is filled with multiple hiking trails for beginners and experts. Its location in the Rocky Mountains National Park makes it perfect for all kinds of scenery including rivers, lakes, waterfalls, mountains, and animals. Choose from hiking trails from all directions around the scenic gorge. Beginner trails are available at low levels that are relatively short. The trails are perfect for family and small children. If you consider yourself up for the challenge of a more expert level, Glacier Gorge offers demanding hiking trails that require excellent physical fitness and acclimation to high levels.

Appalachian Trail: The Pinnacle

Located in Humberg, Pennsylvania, The Pinnacle trail is also a part of the Appalachian Mountains. The trail gives views of scenic mountains and rivers along the way. Not far from the Pinnacle Trail is the Hamburg Dam for a breathtaking view of mother nature and technology tied into one. Weather can be mostly rainy and humid, which allows a more advanced hike for those who like the challenge of fighting the elements.

Mount Whitney

Hiking the trails at Mount Whitney will bring you to the highest peak in the United States. Located in California, Mount Whitney leaves the hiker with an accomplishment that few are able to make. Great physical condition and the ability to acclimate to high altitudes of approximately 15,000 feet are a must for this trail. The trail is well worth the challenge. Scenic Rocky Mountain views and a visit to Consultation Lake give the hiker an enjoyable and memorable trip.

Conundrum Hot Springs

Nestled in Colorado's most underdeveloped wilderness, Conundrum Hot Springs is the place for hikers and other visitors to view mother nature's most unique watery springs. The pools are scattered around the trail and their temperatures vary with the hottest being 102 degrees Fahrenheit. The trail is perfect for photos and awe inspiring memories. The unique hot pools surrounded by winter snow gives the sight seer an impressive view of nature's characteristic style.

For more information, visit [http://www.onhiking.tv]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Drew_Barring

Friday, 19 March 2010

How to Hike the Swiss Haute Route

How to hike the Haute Route (high route) in Europe

With thousands of miles of trails crisscrossing the Alps as they arc through France, Switzerland, Italy, Austria, Germany and Slovenia, you could easily spend a lifetime hiking here. But the Haute Route, linking Chamonix, France, to Zermatt, Switzerland, delivers more scenic splendour in one achievable trek than any other. It takes you through some of the highest hikeable terrain in Europe, passes beneath ten of the Alps' twelve highest peaks and connects the tallest, Mont Blanc (4808m), with the Matterhorn (4478m). Weaving through pine forests sprinkled with wild mushrooms and berries, you'll frequently emerge onto grassy slopes where herders graze their cows, goats and sheep throughout the summer.

The Haute Route, or "high route", was pioneered on an 1861 expedition to establish a trail from Chamonix to Zermatt over a series of glacier passes in the Pennine Alps, the sub-range that forms much of the border between Switzerland and Italy. Today the route is both a popular spring ski-mountaineering tour and a 180-kilometre summer trek known as the "Walker's Haute Route". The trek requires no technical mountaineering skills, avoids the high glacier crossings and is well suited to healthy hikers who can walk for twelve to fourteen days while gaining nearly 14,000m in total elevation. The journey links remote alpine hamlets with wild corries and high meadow, crossing eleven passes along the way.

A network of huts offers hikers simple accommodation, hearty meals and even the occasional hot shower. You'll hike for days without having to carry a tent, sleeping bag, stove or food. But while eschewing the very thought of a cable lift or a cosy chalet hotel is certainly an option for the purist, it is not obligatory. You'll have plenty of flexibility along the way and you'll likely exercise options such as these on your first rain day.

Although the Haute Route is bidirectional, most hikers start in Chamonix since that's how the guide books are written; this also puts the morning sun at hikers' backs as they ascend the steepest mountain slopes and passes. From the base of France's Mont Blanc you'll make a quick ascent past the aguilles, the dramatic needles that shine in front of Mont Blanc's snowy dome, to a refuge at Col de Balme, the pass at the unmarked border of France and Switzerland. The remainder of the Haute Route lies in Switzerland, and though Mont Blanc will be behind you, a string of equally illustrious peaks awaits.

Considering the concentration of ski lifts, runs and utility roads in the area, the Haute Route does an admirable job of avoiding them, especially along the forest path between the deep valley village of Le Châble and the lofty Cabane de Mont Fort mountain hut, which smoothly skirts the immense Verbier resort. The path brings you to a rugged, mountainous stretch where the three-peaked Grand Combin massif crowns the southern skyline and where your chances of seeing ibex and chamois are excellent. Both species are happiest on remote alpine slopes, where the chamois, a goat-like bovid, can ascend 1000m in fifteen minutes - something you'd be hard-pressed to do in three hours.

As you pass beneath the snout of a once-giant glacier that filled the rocky bowl known as the Grand Desert, observe the clear evidence of glacial retreat, as you traverse a rubbly and barren moraine long covered in glacial ice. The next day, take a relaxing morning stroll along the western shore of Lac des Dix, the snaking reservoir behind the Grande Dixence Dam before an hour of boulder-hopping to rocky Riedmatten Pass, the toughest on the route. Descending the Forcletta Pass into the quiet valley of the Turtmanntal, you'll begin to hear new greetings from people you encounter, from "bonjour" to "guten tag" or the Switzerdeutsch "grüezi". Gruben, the first German-speaking waypoint, is a seasonal hamlet where, gazing across a meadow at a distant object, you'll be unsure whether you're seeing a horse or an exceptionally large European red deer.

A steep ascent to the Augstbordpass, used as a trade route since medieval times, leads to a sweeping view of the last valley, the Mattertal, but the ultimate prize of the Haute Route is still a day away. Finally, as you climb slowly out of the valley to Zermatt, you'll be blessed with the mesmerizing sight of the legendary Matterhorn - the perfect ending to a magnificent alpine trek. It's easy to see why the Haute Route remains the most popular and rewarding of all the long distance swiss alps tours.

Greg Witt is one of the most popular and respected guides working in the Alps today. He is an adventure guide and author and lives the adventures he writes about. His explorations have taken him to every corner of the globe. He has guided mountaineering expeditions in the Alps and Andes and paddled wild rivers in the Americas. He has dropped teams into golden slot canyons, trudged through deep jungles in Africa, Central America, and Asia, and guided archaeological expeditions across the parched Arabian Peninsula.

He is the author of 60 Hikes within 60 Miles: Salt Lake City (Menasha Ridge Press) and Ultimate Adventures: A Rough Guide to Adventure Travel.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Greg_Witt

Thursday, 18 March 2010

3 peak challenge for the highest peaks in the UK

4 greatest peaks to climb, ramble and hike

A UK hiking holiday could encompass climbing the highest peaks of all four countries in the United Kingdom, giving you an overall view of the area, and a knowledge of the geography and environment in each region. All four countries are popular destinations for holiday-makers interested in hiking and the outdoors, and reaching their peaks is well worth the effort.

Reaching the UK's Highest Peak in Scotland

Ben Nevis is the highest peak both in Scotland and in the UK, with its highest point being 1344m. Of the eight UK peaks over 1200m, this mountain range is home to three, with Ben Nevis' neighbours, Aonach Mor and Aonach Beag both falling into this group. This makes the whole region great for a UK hiking holiday, with beautiful mountain ranges covering the area.

Home to the longest and steepest hill in the whole of the UK, Ben Nevis' western and southern flanks rise about 1200m in 2km. This makes for challenging United Kingdom hiking, if you attempt to ascend the mountain from this angle. The northern side of Ben Nevis sees cliffs dropping 600m, to a corrie containing the Charles Inglis Memorial Hut, a private hut often used as a base for many of the climbing routes.

This igneous mountain range is probably the best place in Scotland if it's a walking holiday in the UK you're after, with beautiful scenery as well as challenging peaks for those looking for a more active holiday.

Welsh Walking

Wales is an enchanting area for a UK walking holiday, with many interesting birds and plants populating the country. Wales' highest peak, Snowdon, is 1085m high, and is known for being one of the most beautiful mountains in the world. Shaped like a starfish, Snowdon has six ridges, each with their own characteristics and geological build.

The mountain boasts some of the most spectacular views you will see on your United Kingdom hiking experience, with a number of different scenery types. If you're willing to engage in some complicated scrambling, you have the opportunity to see glaciated valleys high up near Snowdon's peak. When standing on the actual summit, you will see ancient fossils, and interesting volcanic rock formations can be found all over the mountain.

Your UK hiking holiday will be even better, with a number of rare species of flowers and insects being found in this region. One of the most fascinating plants is the insectivorous Sundew, which traps its prey on sticky droplets before devouring them. The beautiful and rare yellow four-petalled Tormentil can also be found here, and ravens and white-bottomed wheatears soar through the skies.

Scaling Scafell Pike

England's highest peak is Scafell Pike, being 978m tall. It is situated in the Lake District National Park in Cumbria, an area known for being one of the best UK walking holiday destinations. Being in such a beautiful destination, this mountain can only be great for United Kingdom hiking.

It is a very popular hiking destination on weekends, with a relatively easy route available from Wasdale Head. For a more taxing hike with exceptional scenery, the route from Seathwaite Farm is know for its beauty, and is one of the best trails for United Kingdom hiking.

Northern Ireland's Mourne Mountains

The Mourne Mountain range is home to Northern Ireland's highest peak, Slieve Donard (849m). Situated in the southeastern region of Northern Ireland, this is among the most famous mountains in the country, and an ideal place for a UK hiking holiday.

The Mournes consist of 35km of dry-stone wall, crossing a total of fifteen summits. The area is scenically very beautiful, and heather, bog cotton, harebell, heath spotted orchids and Marsh St John's wort are all found in the area. Sheep graze high in the mountain tops, and ravens, buzzards and peregrine falcons patrol the skies. With so much wildlife in the area, it is the perfect place for United Kingdom hiking.

Tony Maniscalco is the Sales and Marketing for Ramblers Countrywide Holidays. They are dedicated to providing the very finest United Kingdom hiking holidays at the best value prices.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Tony_Maniscalco

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

How to pack a rucksack for hiking and rambling

10 top Day Hiking Essentials - how to pack a rucksack

Taking a day hike on your own or with the kids can be great fun for everyone. Nothing beats getting out into the wilderness to soak up all that nature has to offer. Whether you spend the entire day in scenic splendour or just a few hours in the woods, be sure you know what to put in your backpack for a safe hike.

If you don't know how to pack a backpack for a day hike, try carrying these basic items that prevent disaster when the weather turns ugly or a trail mishap occurs. It's always best to prepare for the worst and take simple precautions for a safe outing every time.

Top 10 Day Hiking Essentials:

Backpack Choice - It may seem obvious, but choosing the right backpack for the day can make or break your trip. A comfortable pack hugs your back, feels light and does not become a distraction or a reason for a foul mood. Size also matters. A daypack that is too small cannot carry the essential items needed and a pack too big becomes an annoyance.

Water Supply - Even if you don't drink much or have access to water, always take your own supply. Never rely on other sources. Make sure everyone stays hydrated and keep tabs on who's running low. Start off with a 2 or 3 liter bladder and drink it down during the trip.

First Aid Kit - For scrapes, bites and bleeding, a small first aid kit with the basic supplies prevents a minor incident from turning into a major hassle. Either purchase an emergency kit (e.g. Ouch Pouch) or make up your own kit with band-aids, ointments, sterile pads and fever and headache medicines.

Headlamp or Flashlight - Always carry a light source, even in broad daylight. When a hike takes longer than you think or dark clouds appear overhead, that's when you really need a flashlight to get back safe. A headlamp is easy to use and keeps your hands free to help out kids or read a map.

Sunscreen - A few hours on the trail under a hot sun and your skin begins to turn red before you realize it. Apply sunscreen before your hike and make sure kids are well greased up too.

Hand Sanitizer - Things get dirty on the trail, so keep it clean with a good hand sanitizer for added protection when eating or after using the toilet. This also allows you to save your water for drinking.

Cell Phone - Going hiking is a chance to leave technology behind, but a cell phone is too valuable for emergencies and for keeping people informed of late arrivals. Even if you're not sure to get a signal, take it just in case.

Snack Food - Packing snacks and energy bars keeps your body churning for a long day on the trail. It's a good idea to carry extra food for yourself and others in case you get lost or hunker down to wait out bad weather.

Map and Compass - Take a map of the area or specific trail to avoid losing your way or spending hours on the wrong trail. Even a highway map is better than none at all. A compass helps you find the basic directions - north, south, east, west - to follow if the trail gets confusing.

Rain Jacket - Clear skies turn into dark monsters in a minute. There are several good reasons to pack rain gear, including keeping dry, staying warm and using it as an emergency shelter.

One more extra essential:

Dry Shirt - A wet or sweaty shirt is very uncomfortable and very cold in windy and rainy conditions, especially for kids. A bit of extra weight, pack a dry shirt to keep your upper body warm and out of the chill zone.

For More Backpacking Basics and Tips:

Discover more information on how to pack a backpack for overnight hiking, overseas travel and other outdoor adventures at http://www.best-backpack-guide.com, the premier site for backpack reviews and research.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Rick_Gregory

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

How to set adventures in Alsace

How and why Families hike in Alsace

The Alsace is a region with half-timbered houses, gabled roofs and chimneys. Its majestic forests and peaceful lakes are favorite spots for the hiker and the mountain-bike rider. France rentals are very popular in the Alsace region. The culture and heritage of the region can be seen in its food, clothing and products prepared by the local craftsmen.

The largest city of the Alsace region is Strasbourg, the region borders with Germany and Switzerland, there are very many German influences here and is on the eastern border of France on the west bank of the upper Rhine.

The castles offer a spectacular view across the Alsatian plain and the Vosges. These castles offer a great view on the hilltops over the vineyards and the Black Forest. Some castles are important due to their strategic location that controls the routes running between Alsace and Lorraine.

A large number of events are held in castles throughout the year. Exploring these castles gives the tourist a great experience of life in the centuries gone by. There is a lot of Roman history in the Alsace region as they occupied this region. Visitors can enjoy the waterways and outstanding sites here. The memorial sites can be visited by the tourists so as to see the architecture of the monuments and learn about its history.

The museums in the towns are the center for the collection of arts and culture where one can see the history of Alsace. The wine centers and vineyards of the region are favorites of the wine loving tourists. There are specific grapes grown in this region which result in different wines being made that are then enjoyed by the visitors. The tourists can enjoy the food of the region during their holiday trip and sip the region specific wines.

The activity holidays of the region are very entertaining and liked by visitors of all ages. The hiking & rambling in the mountains add thrill and adventure among visitors.

The horse riding can be enjoyed after taking lessons from the instructor and in some cases the instructor can accompany the rider. The cycle touring and mountain biking are liked by the people while exploring the region by themselves. The winter sports including skiing are specially organized for the tourists. The airborne sports like bungee jumping, paragliding are offered by different activity centers. The adventure parks are specially liked by the kids as they can play different games and entertain themselves there.

The wildlife parks can be walked around by the family so as a way of getting to know about the wild life of the region. The spa and fitness centers in the region help the tensed out individuals to get relieved from the hustle and bustle of the daily life. The casinos and cabarets are hot spots for the people who love gambling and dancing.

Families and couples come to the Alsace region of France to rent self catering accommodation and use it as a base to explore this beautiful region, its food, culture and historic sites.

Andrew Gibson is M.D of Compareaway.com. France gites are popular with families staying in self catering holiday gites in Alsace. They also have a great selection of self catering apartments to rent in Alsace as holiday rentals.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Andy_Gibson

Monday, 15 March 2010

Fawn filmed while hiking Thunder Ridge Nature Trail at Lake Perry

The journey - nature trail hiking

Do you like to hike through beautiful and pristine countryside? Who doesn't, right? But as soon as the thought comes to mind, we immediately dismiss it. Who has the time? Northwest Florida is known for its abundant nature preserves, state forests, canoeing, and yes, hiking trails. However, one of the newer trails often overlooked is the Garcon Point Nature Trail. Many local people have never even heard of it. The trail consists of two legs that are short enough to easily cover in just a couple of hours. Perfect for the weekend adventurer who just doesn't have the time for a day long outing. While this trail may be short, don't underestimate its ability to pack a punch!

The Garcon Point Trail is located south of Milton, in Santa Rosa County Florida. To get there, head south on Avalon Boulevard. About a mile before reaching the Garcon Point Toll Booth, you'll see the sign on the left hand side of the highway. You'll find a small parking lot and information booth. You can take a look at the large map of the trail at the booth, and also pick up a brochure. As I said before, there are two legs of this trail. You start out on the main trail on a mainly eastern heading. The first leg branches off to the north, and is actually a spur. This leg is approximately 1.5 miles and leads to the North Trailhead. If you decide not to take the spur, you'll follow a loop of about 1.2 miles that brings you back to where you started, at the South Trailhead.

My daughter and I hiked the loop last year. She was 6 at the time and I try to get her as excited about nature, hiking, and camping as I am. I chose the smaller leg of the trail since I had to take into consideration my daughter's age. Immediately, I discovered one of the most exciting benefits of this trail - it really is a "trail" in the truest sense of the word. Forget about finding a well worn path. The trail is often slightly overgrown in parts. But, not to worry, tree markers ensure you know where you're going.

We began our hike rambling through large and beautiful oaks and pines. Soon, this scenery gave way to shrub trees and brush. About a half mile or so into it, we wandered into a panorama deserving of a National Geographic cover. Before us, spreading outward all the way to Blackwater Bay, was the most breathtaking prairie and wetlands. Technically, this area is referred to as a wet prairie system. It was a wonderful view of untouched earth. One could easily imagine that they had traveled back in time to an era before modern men had etched their mark on the land.

Scattered across this scene were numerous pitcher plants, and other flora. The atmosphere was hushed; perhaps any wildlife heard our coming. I'm sure of this. While we didn't see much in the way of animal life, bird watchers take note! There were numerous species of birds flitting about, tending to their daily life, singing their songs. If you were to take away from this setting just one word, I would describe it as: Peace!

Our journey finished, my daughter and I climbed back into the car and headed back to the hubbub of daily life, taking with us the memories of a short adventure into another time and place. Sometimes, that's all it takes to refresh yourself and come home with a rejuvenated sense of our planet. I highly recommend taking an hour or two out of your busy schedule to visit the Garcon Point Trail. Just remember, leave nothing behind but your footprints!

J.C. Haynes is a camping and hiking enthusiast in Northwest Florida. Find out more at http://www.themodernexplorer.net

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=John_C_Haynes

Sunday, 14 March 2010

How to Find places to hike and ramble in Phoenix USA

How to find places for Hiking and Rambling

The United States is filled with so many places to take an outdoor stroll. Though, some might think that walking outdoors is strictly for those who intend to make and entire day, a month, or even a full year out of walking. Not so, however there is a big difference between walking and hiking. There are a myriad number of short distance walking trails that do intertwine and cross over into some of the larger and more popular hiking trails but this is not to say that one must be a professional hiker in order to take them on. Speaking as a resident of the south, there are hundreds, if not thousands of clear-cut walking trails in each state alone that take anywhere from twenty minutes to an hour to complete.

Some prime examples of these shorter spots are the Cloudland Trail on Roan Mountain, Tennessee, which is only three sevenths of a mile. Also, the Cades Cove loop in the Smokey's is another wonderful place to walk. Not only does the 11 mile trek around the loop itself make for a decent walk, but there are several different smaller tributaries stemming off the main rod that are quick and easily navigated as well such as Cooper's trail and the nature trail on the opposite side of the park. Of course, Abram's Creek Falls is there too and that makes for an interesting trek for the long-winded walker at 8 miles. To the south of that is the famous Appalachian Trail, which runs into the Cloudland trail mentioned earlier.

The Blue Ridge Parkway offers some of the most picturesque scenery for walking. To the north, Julian Price campground has good walking trails. Up the road two or three miles from that is the Moses H. Cone Homestead with some short footpaths going through it. In addition, there is also the Lynnville Falls trail and the manmade paths at Grandfather Mountain. Outside of Tennessee there is Hungry Mother State Park in Kentucky with its variety of walking and hiking trails. Then, in Virginia there is Natural Tunnel State Park with walking trails and a ski lift. For those not willing to drive a far distance to get these other places, there are local parks with plenty of trails like Warrior's Path in Kingsport and Winged Deer Park in Johnson City, Tennessee. Some people don't care too much for the nature scene, however and in that case a brisk walk around the track of a local high school would work just as well. Whatever the walking preference, the main points to remember are to stay safe and have fun.

Author is a freelance writer. For more information on skyland trail please visit http://www.skylandtrailclinic.com/.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Jeremy_P_Stanfords

Saturday, 13 March 2010

How to Hike and trek in the Himalayas (great pictures)

How to Trek Hike & Walk in Indian Himalayas

Are you a seasoned adventurer and planning to have a next adventure tour or an inspiring adventure fan that is searching in travel books or in internet to know and experience more about different adventure traveler's paradise located in foothills of Himalaya? India put forward Adventure Mountains of Himalayas for exhilarating and action-packed expedition for hiking, trekking or walking in India. The word 'hiking' is understood in all countries where English is spoken, but there are differences in its treatment. Walking holidays the term is used as much in UK and Ireland as hiking holidays. On the other hand American uses the term hiking. Hiking in India and Nepal is sometimes called 'trekking'. Hiking, trekking or walking, whatever you want to say, in the mountains are very effective way to get rejuvenated and can be done alone as a single trekker or in a group with many trekkers.

Trekking is an increasingly popular way that people are using to travel through the wilderness to get from one point to another on feet and walking sticks. Now a days trekking is done with the interaction with nature and local civilization. This type of trekking i.e. trekking with home stay are provided by many foreign trekking tour companies to the country like India where you can get to know different types of people but with same warmth of love for the visitors. India is blessed and acclaimed for its one of the oldest traditions in the world and in known for its age old Indian hospitality through 'Atithi Devo Bhava'. 'Atithi Devo Bhava' means that "Our guest is blessed and our visitor is God" and should be cared like a holy being.

Trekking in India offers you a memorable trekking holiday's trips that showcase not only the exquisiteness of Himalayas but also the mixture of cultures and an adventure sport experience that you can have in your lifetime.

An ultimate trekking trip has all the essentials of excitement and attraction as seekers of the uncharted fall into a journey along nature's path. India present a good range of trekking paths that assure to leave the trekkers fascinated with the understanding of the uncharted scenery paths. The almighty Himalaya located in northern India is certainly a paradise set for your adventure. This land offers the mixture of adventure opportunities and has a vibrant amazing diversity. Climbing is less enjoyable in comparison to trekking, as trekking involves stunning natural picturesque magnificence.

Any expedition in the foothills of Himalaya is one of the best ways to discover the beauty of nature. Featured with soothing beauty, and offering a vista of unsurpassable beauty, green and rugged valleys, Himalaya has its own magnificence and is filled with an abundance of the natural splendor and scenery. For all those who desire for excitement, the ambiance in this region is filled with air of secrecy and romance.

But we should also play our environmental responsibility very effectively and should follow a 'leave no trace' policy, and carry all our non-biodegradable produce off trips with us and dispose them in a liable mode.

IntoIndia an Irish adventure travel company offers adventure travel to India. For trekking in India or walking holidays in India and river rafting in India please visit IntoIndia.

Friday, 12 March 2010

How to never get lost with this device for Hiking and Rambling

How to never get lost while you Hiking and rambling

Last month I was out in the desert doing some hiking with a friend. We wanted to make sure we did not get lost and kept trying to remember different landmarks to map out the route we took. Even though we had a compass with us we wanted the added amount of security. It was at this time that I wondered how our ancestors did it. It was also at this same time that I decided to purchase a handheld GPS unit. If we had a handheld unit with us, we would have been able to see the route we were taking. Having a GPS unit would have provided a sense of security and a piece of mind. Using a handheld unit deftly takes the place of using a compass.

As technology continues to improve, the general public continues to reap the benefits. Handheld GPS units have been gaining popularity over the last decade. Global positioning systems were originally designed and developed by the United States Department of Defense. These systems were originally to be used for military purposes only. However, due to some unforeseen situations the government released this technology to the general public in the mid-1980s. GPS technology is made possible by utilizing the 24 to 32 satellites currently circling the earth. Twice a day the satellite will transmit a signal back to receivers on Earth. Once the GPS navigational receivers receive the triangulation signal, the system is able to calculate the exact position of the receiver.

While the technology involved in making GPS systems work sounds complicated. Actually, using a handheld GPS unit is extremely straightforward. All you need is a GPS receiver and a clear view of the sky. Once you have these items all you need to do is enter your destination into the GPS unit. The unit will provide the distance and the route on how to get from point A to point B. Your handheld unit will also be able to track how far you traveled, how long you have been traveling, your current speed, your average speed and an estimated time of arrival. You will be able to review this information in either a line format or in a map. The choice is yours to make. The best things about these GPS units are the number of options you have.

Brenda Fanning owns and manages various technology websites including http://www.StatusGPS.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Brenda_Fanning

Thursday, 11 March 2010

How to get the full enjoyment of hiking in Norway

How to get the full enjoment Hiking and rambling in Norway

Norway is a country with a passionate national tradition of mountain hiking. This means that accommodations have been made for people to traverse large swaths of mountain terrain on foot. Hikers can walk from cabin to cabin, where they will find international crowds to regale them with stories by the fire. Thanks to the DNT, the Norwegian Trekking Association, Norway offers a network of 20,000 kilometers of marked hiking trails, one of the largest in all of Europe. Some of these routes have been developed from local footpaths and older thoroughfares. Others have been developed to meet trekkers' needs. Either way, these trails serve to guide hikers while protecting animal and plant life by limiting the path of human traffic through Norway's incredible outdoor scenery.

Even in fog and rain, you will be able to see the next waymark on your path, a "T" written in red paint on rock walls and cairns. If you'd rather journey through the Norwegian natural wonders with more of a plan set out, the DNT and Norske Bygdeopplevelser, an event supplier, both organize great rambling tours.

The Adventure Road on the eastern side of the country is the trail you'll want to explore to experience the best of Norway's unique landscape. The Adventure Road offers over one hundred well-marked trails, showcasing the beauty of the fjords and the majesty of the mountains. The proper time to hike this trail is between May and October. The high season is in July and August. During this time, the mountains abound with cloudberries and blueberries, and the fjords grow rich with juicy plums, cherries, and apples. The late season is when you'll find a dramatic explosion of color. Green becomes orange and red, and an incredible hiking experience is made even more so.

The Adventure Road offers a variety of attractions along its trail. For instance, you'll certainly want to stop at the largest national park in Norway, Hardangervidda National Park, home to the largest mountain plateau in Northern Europe. With many well-marked trails, this is a great place to explore alone or with a guide. Enjoy bathing or fishing in the rivers and lakes of the area, enjoy the many summits, like Hårteigen, Hardangerjøkulen, and Gaustatoppen, or watch a flock of several thousand wild reindeer run by you. For Fjords, you'll want to visit Nærøyfjord, voted the world's best preserved tourist destination by National Geographic magazine and granted a place on UNESCO's World Heritage List. Only 250 meters wide at its narrowest, Nærøyfjord is an immensely beautiful fjord that branches off Sognefjord. Between Flåm, Gudvangen, and Aurland, passenger boats run throughout the entire year. Another choice is to take your a kayak or inflatable speedboat through the waters of Nærøyfjord. If possible, try to plan your trip for May to enjoy the countless white and pink flowers that bloom during that time of year. If you're tired of hiking, consider experiencing the Flåmsbana or Flåm Railway, a fun train ride from deep in Aurlandsfjord to Myrdal, high in the mountains. Running throughout the year, one of the stops is the Kjosfossen waterfall, a place where you can hear Huldra's singing in the summer. Be sure to take a guide to hike around the stunning blue ice of glaciers like Hardangerjøkulen and Folgefonna. These areas offer challenging hikes that provide breathtaking and eye-opening images of natural spectacle. To see bears, roe deer, and elk, walk the trail through Vassfaret Park.

Whether you want to see serene fjords, astonishing mountain views, magical waterfalls, inspiring wild animals, lush plant life, or mind-blowing glaciers, Norway has it all!

Scott Amundson consistently writes compelling articles for popular blog THE ULTIMATE HIKING GUIDE, found at http://www.ultimatehikingguide.blogspot.com.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Scott_Amundson

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Stairway to heaven hike

3 great ways that hiking improves your health

The health benefits of exercise have been so well documented that even the United States government has taken notice. In 2008, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services compiled the known health benefits of exercise into its first (ever) Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans. At the top of their list of recommended physical activities is-perhaps not surprisingly-walking.

Hiking Benefits

Walking and hiking benefits many health functions. Studies have shown that regular walking can:

Strengthen the cardiovascular system, decrease hypertension, and decrease cholesterol to reduce heart disease
Regulate blood sugar levels to prevent or improve diabetes
Prevent, or minimize, obesity to reduce such obesity-related conditions as Type II Diabetes and heart disease.
...and there's no appreciable difference between walking and hiking. Indeed, according to the American Hiking Society, "[t]aking a hike is merely taking a walk on a foot path, whether along a neighborhood trail or a mounting ridge. However, hiking in a natural setting will add to the pleasure of walking by offering the sights, sounds and smells of the great outdoors! (emphasis by the American Hiking Society)

But there are ways to increase hiking benefits to exceed those of walking. The answer lies in gradually increasing the distance, the intensity, and the weight bearing capacity of the hike.

Cross Training with Hiking

Unlike walking along the smooth surface of a treadmill or an in-door walking track, hiking on uneven terrain (uphill and downhill) engages muscles that are seldom used in other sports or exercises. For this reason, hiking benefits can include an excellent cross training workout that will help to improve overall physical and athletic performance.

To cross train with hiking, the ABC of Hiking website recommends that one:

- Start out slowly, walking just 1-3 miles twice a week over fairly even and consistent terrain. (During these beginning hikes, one should not include the weight of carrying a backpack).

- Over many weeks and months, slowly increase the distance until 9 miles can be walked with relative ease. As the mileage increases, the addition of a backpack will be mandatory in order to carry the necessary snacks and beverages. However, one should still strive to keep the weight of the backpack as light as possible.

- When one can easily hike for 9 miles, the weight of the backpack should be steadily increased until it reaches approximately 22 pounds, comprised of added foods/drinks and equipment. One should then hike with this weighted backpack until 9 miles can be comfortably achieved.

- Once this distance and weight of the backpack are achieved, one can then practice hiking on more challenging terrains such as the vertical plains of uphill and downhill walking. (As with other aspects of cross training with hiking, one should gradually increase the size and frequency of the hills hiked.)

- With patience and practice, an individual should eventually be able to safely carry 25 to 30 percent of his or her weight in the backpack while hiking.

By using these tips, hiking benefits can effectively and significantly exceed those of walking while providing one with the soothing sights, sounds, and smells of nature.

For more information about hiking benefits visit http://www.ultrafitnessdynamics.com

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Cara_Zolinsky

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

How to travel ultra light for Hiking and Rambling

5 Brilliant Ideas For Your Rambling and hiking exploits

I recently participated in a two day charity hike which unfortunately was a bit more difficult than I had gambled on. During the two days, 200 other hikers and I struggled up 24 peaks in England's Lake District. I think only 30 of us finished an I spent the next couple of weeks wishing I hadn't finished and gone down to the pub like the other hikers. What made the hike more enjoyable was that several companies supplied the participants with top quality hiking gifts were used then and still are. They were a gifts that I will not be throwing away anytime soon and sincerely hope I will have them for a while. Following is a list of the gifts we all received that could work perfectly for your next promotion.

4 Pairs of Thick Socks: One company ensured with had four pairs of thick embroidered socks for the hike. If you have never gone on a long mountain hike before you may wonder why we needed so many. We wore two socks on each foot to prevent blisters. These socks were a much needed and used inexpensive gift.

Headlamps: We started each day and ended each evening in the dark. Headlamps offered us a means of hiking without the need to carry a flashlight. The headlamps on the market that I have seen offer a nice large print area for your logo and details.

First Aid Kits: There are many on the market. The kit we were supplied with was quite small but it had all the essential bandages, small knife, pliers and a whistle. Luckily, we did not need to use ours so I still have it at home today to take on my next hike.

Water Bottles: It is important to stay hydrated when you are walking for so many miles. A couple of companies gave us one liter plastic sports bottles which I still have today. The winning bottle, however, was actually a plastic bag with a straw. The bag fit nicely into our backpacks and the long straw attached to one of the straps so that you could drink the water without needing to stop and open your pack. The bag had a very large print area for personalization.

Compass: Before being allowed to participate in the two day event, we all had to participate in and pass a compass reading course. At the end of the course, we were allowed to keep the top quality compasses we were using to learn. They were printed with one of the sponsor's logos and I will keep it for years. Each time I use it, I will see the logo of the company that gave it to me. The answer to your question is yes, I have used their services since receiving their nice gift.

Now I would like to invite you to visit my promotional gifts website. The site is packed with a large range of executive gifts including those mentioned in this article. Dan Toombs is Managing Director of CompuGift Limited. Established in 1997, CompuGift was the first internet based promotional gift supplier in the UK.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Dan_Toombs

Monday, 8 March 2010

How to Hike the Kalalau Trail, Na Pali Coast

The 6 essential small items you need to bring on a hike

I can't stress enough, the importance of being prepared when you are planning to go for a hike, camping, hunting, or just a walk in the woods. Items that I am going to strongly recommend can be slipped in your hip pocket.

In 1995, my father, my husband and I went chanterelle mushroom picking. Something we enjoyed doing for years. This time we went to an are unfamiliar to us. We went to an area a few miles past Elbe, Washington and just a few miles before Mt. Rainier National Park entrance. We were in an are called the Busy Wild.

We each carried a knife for cutting mushrooms and a bucket to put them in. That's all we needed. That's all we ever needed. So we thought.

My father and I headed out. My husband wanted to grab a bite to eat, but said he would be along. We headed up a path, climbing and circling around a hill. We spotted mushrooms down a slope so we both headed for them. We continued picking these mushrooms, working our way around the hill. To make a very long story shorter, we became lost.

We walked and walked. The temperature was cooling and it was getting dark. We walked for awhile and then decided we better start a campfire. Starting a fire with a lighter is not an easy thing to do when your hands are so cold. But we managed. We were able to stay fairly warm by the fire.

In the distance we heard honking, yelling, calling our names. We could see a light on another hill. We yelled back, my Dad whistled (he could whistle pretty loud) and he kept whistling until his tongue swelled. I lost my voice from yelling. If only we had carried a whistle with us.

The weather that night wasn't too bad. It was chilly, but at least it was dry. But morning brought on cooler temperatures. We were both shivering as we walked on trying to find our way back. Later in the day it began to rain. This turned into a drenching downpour. There was absolutely no place to stay dry. No shelter anywhere. If only we had a rain poncho! So simple, but then we didn't plan on being lost.

Our clothing was drenched, we were really cold now, and we had been really quite cold since the night before. We were thirsty, but neither one of us wanted to drink any standing water. A water purifier would have been quite life saving here. Hunger was an issue too, but not near as bad as thirst. Hypothermia sets in faster if you are dehydrated. And hypothermia makes you even more dehydrated. We were definitely becoming hypothermic.

Later, we became separated. Something we had talked about was staying together. But we became separated for reasons that I will never understand today.

I remember freezing and shaking so bad that my body was bouncing on the ground. I'm sure my Dad was doing the same. That night temperatures were in the upper 40's and were were wet to the bone.

I was found the next morning by Pierce County search and rescue. My Dad, however, was not found for another 2 days. His body was laying over a log, on a very steep slope. My mother and 3 brothers and I have visited this spot, where Dad was found, on a couple of occassions. We bring his favorite candy bar, (Hershey bar with almonds) and a shot, and give a toast to our Dad, who we miss dearly.

This is why I recommend being prepared. Always bring a compass, and know how to use it, a rain poncho, a pocket water purifier, a whistle and a fire started device would have been really handy.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Vickie_Nelson

Sunday, 7 March 2010

How to Select Hiking Boots for Hiking and Rambling

5 Major Differences Between Men's Hiking Boots and Women's Hiking Boots

My wife and I love to go hiking. In fact, we spent our honeymoon in Zion National Park, Bryce Canyon National Park, and the North and South Rims of the Grand Canyon. But before we ever set foot on a trail, we went out and purchased the most important piece of equipment necessary for weeks of non-stop, hiking; hiking boots.

Even though we would be hiking the same trails, under the same conditions, the basic differences between male and female feet meant we wouldn't be getting the same boots. So what are the differences in our feet that make the construction of mens hiking boots and womens hiking boots so different.

Most obviously, women's feet are shorter and narrower than men's feet. This in itself is expected, since (in general) women are shorter and lighter than men. However, part of this is due to the fact that there is less cartilage between the bones of a woman's foot and her joints and ligaments are softer and more flexible. Also, a woman's heel is proportionally narrower than a man's. Boot manufacturers now compensate for this by either molding a tighter heel box, or adding additional stiff padding to hold the heel snugly in place to reduce sliding.

The effect of the increased flexibility of a woman's foot resulted in two design improvements in the women's boot. First, the more flexible woman's foot requires more support to withstand the continuous stress of hiking. This is generally accomplished by the addition of stiffer mid sole support, such as an insert. The insert is usually molded into the sole in order to retain the traction required for all types of terrain, yet remain flexible enough for a comfortable stride. The second, and possibly more important difference in the mid sole is the enhanced arch support in the woman's boot.

In general, a woman has a higher arch than a man, which needs additional support. However, due to the monthly changes in a woman's hormone levels, specifically estrogen, the arch of her foot actually decreases, since estrogen is a soft tissue relaxant. This relaxation of an already flexible foot causes the shape of a woman's foot to cycle between a relatively high arch and a flat foot. This fluctuation in the arch makes it critical for the mid sole of a woman's boot to have an enhanced (stiffer) arch support.

One manufacturer (Lowa) has taken the difference in foot structure a step further, since it also creates a difference in posture. A man's stance and stride is not as upright as a woman's so Lowa has designed a 2 degree offset into the ankle shaft of their mens hiking boots in order to provide a more balanced stance. Since women have a naturally more upright stance, this offset does not exist in the ankle design of their womens hiking boots.

Understanding the differences between mens hiking boots and womens hiking boots should make it much easier for you to select a proper fitting boot. Just because a womans foot is naturally smaller, do not assume that purchasing a smaller sized mans boot is the way to go. The best option is to try on hiking boots that are specifically designated as women's hiking boots. This immediately tells you that the manufacturer understands the differences between a man's foot and a woman's foot, and has designed their boots to address those differences.

I'm Mark and my wife and I love to go hiking, whether its out in Arizona at the Grand Canyon or up north in Maine at Acadia National Park. But no matter where we go, having properly fitting boots means we never have to stop because of foot fatigue or blisters. If you know a woman who loves the outdoors, but avoids hiking because it hurts her feet, it's probably because she isn't wearing the correct type of boot. For more information and links to the perfect fitting boot, check out Ladies Hiking Boots and Lowa Hiking Boots. Your feet will thank you.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mark_Rocco

Saturday, 6 March 2010

How to pack a rucksack for hiking and rambling

5 great steps to packing a rucksack and hiking

These are some tips that I live by and unfortunately found out the hard way most of the time.

Your pack you must have an extra pair of socks, warm clothes to layer up, hat and gloves, rain gear, food, your emergency kit, 2 water bottles, and your whistle. The water and the rain gear doesn't have to be inside your pack, but everything else needs to be inside to keep it dry. The emergency kit should be wrapped so if everything gets wet this will stay dry. For the summer it should have socks, gloves, hat, long underwear, some kind of freeze dried food or non-perishable food. You should also bring a map, compass, sharp knife, flashlight, batteries, tarp, some sort of fire-starter with matches or lighter.

If you plan on going out in the winter you should bring some extra clothing, hats, mittens, and a parka. Maybe throw in some gaitors as well. You might want to think about bringing snowshoes and ski poles depending on the weather. Just make sure you bring enough warm clothing and extras of everything because in winter things tend to get wet fast. If you can fit a sleeping bag and a pot to heat water in your group someone should bring one just in case someone gets wet and they don't get hypothermia.

If your with a group be sure you know who your with. If you have a beginner obviously your not going to go to the farthest route. If you you do have someone that is slower go at there pace or even have them lead. Don't try to push especially if your only on your way in remember you still have to get out. Don't make poor decisions because it may cause you to get lost or even injured. Always make sure everyone is staying together when there are different junctions, don't let someone fall behind and not know where to go. Keep a good pace so everyone can keep their strength and not wear out quickly. Also remember to have shorter breaks to keep your muscles warmed up.

Be considerate of the land and of those around you. In hiking the people coming back or going down have the right of way, so let them pass and then keep moving.

If you come to a stream try to find rocks or a log to cross, but beware of rotten logs. If its colder outside then there may be some ice buildup also. Way your options and find out what is the best. You may have to walk through the water to get across. If this happens don't cross the water if it's higher than your waist because the current could take you under. Use a stick or a ski pole if you brought one to help you maneuver across the river. You can also hold each others hands to help each other get across. This way if someone falls they have help to get back up to safety. If you want to keep your boots dry you may want to go across in your socks and put your boots back on the other side. Don't go across barefoot you may get injured and need medical attention. If you need to just keep your boots on and cross then take off your socks and dump out the water in your boots when you get across and put back on your dry socks and your on your way.


Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Darin_Heston

Friday, 5 March 2010

Hiking in China - The World's Most Dangerous Hike

What You Need to Know to Stay Safe While Hiking

If you love the outdoors, hiking is one of the best things you can do to explore the outdoors. Hiking through forests allows you to see things that you can't see from a car; you can even see wildlife up close. The key to hiking, like any type of outdoor recreation, is staying safe.

The first thing that you need to know about staying safe while hiking is making sure that you have the right type of shoe. If you plan to go hiking you will want to wear a quality-hiking boot, it should also fit your foot. You want good hiking boots because they will offer your safety and comfort. No matter how good your boot is though you will want to break it in before you wear them hiking. The best way to break them in is to wear them around the house for about a half hour each day, for 3 or 4 days.

Not only is your boot important for your safety and comfort on a hiking trip, but so is the rest of your footwear. For the best protection you will want to wear two pairs of socks, one pair will not protect your feet as well, the extra pair of socks provides you with more cushion. You also do not want to wear socks that are made from cotton because they will soak up any sweat, which means your socks will be damp all day. Damp socks can cause blisters, but your feet will also stink when you are done.

While hiking you want to carry a backpack. Inside the backpack you want to have a small first aid kit, comes in handy if somebody ends up with a blister. You should also carry food and water in your backpack. When it comes to food, you want to bring along high-energy food, such as protein bars and dried fruits. Snack often as you are hiking because you will be burning a lot more calories than you are used to. With food and water, it is best to carry more than what you think you will need, each person should carry extra food and water, so that the weight is not all with one person.

When you plan on going out hiking, you want to make sure that you tell at least one person where you are going and when you will be back. Make sure you tell them your emergency plans as well, this way if something goes wrong they know where to send help.

Ray Hanley is an author and publisher. Please visit our web site at http://CheapATVWinches.com which helps people find the best Cheap ATV Winches for your off-road ATV.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Ray_Hanley

Thursday, 4 March 2010

The Mystic Lake Hiking Trip

Hiking - Nature's Stress Reliever

Hiking is a natural stress reliever in so many ways. The very word "hiking" infers heading out to a mountainous terrain or a thickly wooded river valley. Not only does going for a hike give you abundant physical exercise, but it also provides the psyche with a much needed escape into a more peaceful setting where one's senses are inundated by the soft scents, sights and sounds of nature.

Hiking is more than just going out for a walk or a jog. It entails strenuous trail trekking over hill and dell where the entire body is utilized in the activity. Serious hiking challenges the heart and the muscles more readily because of the constant change in land grade and the continuous maneuvering over, under and around obstacles. Getting away for a country hike is can be much more enjoyable than a fast-paced walk or a jog in the city for one very simple reason. Getting out to the country means filling your lungs and cells with fresher air and purer oxygen.

The family unit can also benefit a great deal by heading out for a hike together as long as your hike doesn't include dangerous terrain. It's a great activity that involves everyone, gets the kids out to use pent up energy and it provides the enjoyment of seeing a variety of birds, animals, plants and trees. These experiences can then be taken back home and talked about for days, weeks and years to come.

When planning a hiking trip it is essential to wear the proper clothing and carry the proper gear. Temperature and climate changes can and do occur so you will want to wear clothing that can be taken off when exertion produces sweat and then reapplied when you or the environment begins to cool down. Wearing zip off trousers are ideal for hiking as the legs can be removed when hot and put back on when things cool down. Also, carrying a light jacket in a lightweight backpack or fanny pack is a good idea.

Wearing a good pair of shoes designed for rugged terrain is essential as well as a thick pair of socks that not only keep your feet fresher but also stave off nasty blisters that come from maneuvering uneven ground. You will also want to carry a water bottle so that you can remain hydrated.

Also remember, you are in the wilderness, even if it is only a state park, and it is smart to carry a first aid kit in case you scrape a knee or get stung by an insect. Of course, today you can slip a cell phone into your pocket should you need to call for help in an unforeseen situation.

You might also want to take along a pedometer so that you can gauge just how much exercise you're getting. When hiking, it's easy to loose track of the effort you're exerting because your attention is grabbed by so many wonders around you. A pedometer will help you to feel good about your whole hiking experience. This is just one more benefit of a trip to the outdoors.

By choosing to offer a big selection of electronic fitness gear on his company's website, Darrin Tebbe of Bodytronics demonstrates his commitment to support active living. Check out out our pedometer selection or other products on our site or give us a call at Bodytronics today.

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Darrin_Tebbe