Hikers Circle http://hikerscircle.com Exploring The Trails of The World Thu, 09 Feb 2017 14:51:29 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Eight Reasons You Need Trekking Poles – Which They Don’t Advertise http://hikerscircle.com/seven-reasons-you-need-trekking-poles-that-they-dont-advertise/ Tue, 06 Oct 2015 19:31:27 +0000 http://hikerscircle.com/?p=400 We all know Trekking poles are great for hiking, they help you keep your balance, reduce stress on your joints and  enhance the muscle-building and aerobic benefits of hiking. We also know that one should avoid carrying anything with on a […]

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We all know Trekking poles are great for hiking, they help you keep your balance, reduce stress on your joints and  enhance the muscle-building and aerobic benefits of hiking. We also know that one should avoid carrying anything with on a hike that only has one purpose, so if you ever doubted the multi-purpose usefulness of a trekking pole read on!

Here’s a list of alternative uses for the humble trekking pole:

1. Emergency splint, stretcher or crutches

Set a hiker’s arm or leg using a trekking pole together with rope, backpacker’s straps or whatever you have handy to prevent further injury. I would advise you do a first aid course or consult a manual on how to do this properly. You can also put together a make shift stretcher using two poles, ropes or similar and a sleeping bag.

2. Communication

When you’re out of earshot or there are strong winds, trekking pole are very useful for signalling each other. Signals could include holding up two poles in an ‘x’ for stopping, horizontally in front of you of ‘okay’ or go ahead, and straight above your head or waving around to indicate a problem.

3. Fishing Pole

Add fishing line and hooks to your emergency kit, it’s not the most sophisticated setup but could bring in dinner.

4. Shelter

Use with a poncho to create a basic shelter in a pinch. There are also various tarp shelters or tents that are compatible with trekking poles available to purchase.

Pole tent

5. Depth gauge

At some stage during most hikes you will have to make your way over or through water, snow or mud of some sort. Use your trekking pole to measure the depth and help keep your balance while crossing.

6. Laundry

When there’s nothing else to tie your washing line to your trekking pole might come in handy. Also, folding a sock in half around a trekking pole and twisting while holding the ends to wring out the water dramatically reduce the drying time!

7. Spiderweb and animal deterrent

This is probably the one alternative use of of a trekking pole I use most often – clearing the path ahead of you of spiderwebs, or useing them to push away vegetation and branches with thorns overhanging the path. Waving them over your head could also help scare off bears and other animals.

8. Selfie Stick!

For that extra bit of reach, many action cameras such as the GoPro has mounts that can be attached to a trekking pole. Otherwise there are camera mounts made specially for trekking poles to fit various camera models, that could also convert you trekking pole into a nifty mono-pod.

To be sure this is only the start of a very long list – what is your most creative and useful application of a trekking pole? We’d love to hear from you in the comments below!

Source: Hiking the Trail and Summit Register

Photo: HMG

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Seven Haunting Hikes http://hikerscircle.com/seven-haunting-hikes-in-the-us/ Tue, 06 Oct 2015 15:23:38 +0000 http://hikerscircle.com/?p=381 With Halloween around the corner, what better way to get into the mood than a spooky hike seething in mystery and legend? Here’s our top picks, ranging from hauntingly beautiful to downright scary. 1. Mount Chocorua, Albany Legend has it that […]

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With Halloween around the corner, what better way to get into the mood than a spooky hike seething in mystery and legend?

Here’s our top picks, ranging from hauntingly beautiful to downright scary.

1. Mount Chocorua, Albany

Mount Chocorua

Legend has it that a local Indian Chief, Chocorua, believed that a settler named Campbell was responsible for the death of his son. In vengeance, Chocorua killed the man’s entire family and allegedly cursed all white settles with his dying breath. This story doesn’t seem to scare off many people, as Mt. Chocorua is one of the most climbed and photographed mountains in the White mountains of New Hampshire.

Source: Summit Post

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Proven: Hiking Makes You Happy http://hikerscircle.com/proven-hiking-makes-you-happy/ Thu, 17 Sep 2015 19:40:21 +0000 http://hikerscircle.com/?p=362 Okay, so anyone familiar with hiking already knew it – but it has now been proven scientifically that outdoor walks improve mental health. British and American scientists have published new research showing that group nature walks help us combat stress while […]

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Proven- Hiking Makes You Happy

Okay, so anyone familiar with hiking already knew it – but it has now been proven scientifically that outdoor walks improve mental health.

British and American scientists have published new research showing that group nature walks help us combat stress while boosting mental well-being.

Researchers from the University of Michigan and Edge Hill University in England evaluated 1,991 participants in England’s Walking for Health program, which hosts nearly 3,000 walks per week for more than 70,000 regular participants. They found that the nature walks were associated with significantly less depression in addition to mitigating the negative effects of stressful life events and perceived stress. The findings were published in the September issue of Ecopsychology.

“We observed behaviors of a large group, in which some chose to walk and some chose not to, instead of us telling them what to do,” she said. “After 13 weeks, those who walked at least once a week experienced positive emotions and less stress.”

Warber and co-author Kate Irvine, senior researcher of the Social, Economic, and Geographical Sciences Research Group at the James Hutton Institute, in Aberdeen, UK, recommend walking outside in nature at least three times a week to experience benefits. Short, frequent jaunts are more beneficial than long, occasional walks.

“Stress isn’t ever going to go away, so it is important to have a way to cope with it,” said Warber. “Walking in nature is a coping mechanism—the benefits aren’t just physical.”

From Outside Online

In another study, published this week in PNAS, the research team wanted to see if they could understand what the mechanisms for these positive effects might be. The study by Gregory Bratman, a PhD candidate in environmental science at Stanford University, focuses specifically on what psychologists call “rumination,” which has been shown to predict depressive episodes.

The process involved volunteers with no history of mental illness to take a 90-minute walk in an either a large park nearby or in an urban setting, completing a rumination questionnaire and a brain scan before and afterwards.

The results showed that those who went on the nature walk had reductions in both self-reported rumination and in the profusion of blood flow to the subgenual prefontal cortex. The urban walkers, however, no significant changes.

“Urbanization is increasing at an unprecedented rate, and we’re also seeing an uptick in the rates of anxiety disorders and depression in cities,” Bratman said. “We want to figure out how do we bring more nature to people.”

So even if you can’t go hiking as often as you would like, go for a walk in the park – it really does make a difference!

Source: LA Times

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How to Choose & Pack Your Backpack http://hikerscircle.com/how-to-choose-pack-your-backpack/ Mon, 14 Sep 2015 19:36:26 +0000 http://hikerscircle.com/?p=326 Ever wondered where to start when planning your trip and backpack? This short and simple visual guide to pack selection and trip preparation will have you packing in no time. What would you add to the list of essentials? Source: […]

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Ever wondered where to start when planning your trip and backpack? This short and simple visual guide to pack selection and trip preparation will have you packing in no time.

What would you add to the list of essentials?

how-to-choose-and-use-a-backpack-from-rei_50291532cbc70_w1500

Source: Rei

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Visually Sumptuous – The Mountain http://hikerscircle.com/visually-sumptuous-the-mountain/ Fri, 11 Sep 2015 11:54:57 +0000 http://hikerscircle.com/?p=363 Glue Your Eyes To The Screen For A Moment As you watch this, you’ll be reminded why people all over the world actively seek out the outdoors. There is no better way to start, or end, your day than feasting […]

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The Mountain and stars

Glue Your Eyes To The Screen For A Moment

As you watch this, you’ll be reminded why people all over the world actively seek out the outdoors.

There is no better way to start, or end, your day than feasting your eyes on scenes like these – except maybe if you can do it in real life 😉

El Teide is Spain’s highest peak at 12,198ft and a dream to photograph the stars…

Take A Minute To Enjoy This One!

The Mountain from TSO Photography on Vimeo.

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3 Incredible Fall Foliage Hiking Locations In The Northeast http://hikerscircle.com/3-incredible-fall-foliage-hiking-locations-in-the-northeast/ Tue, 08 Sep 2015 20:25:26 +0000 http://hikerscircle.com/?p=323 Smoky Mountains and Beyond Search for any list related to viewing fall foliage and you’ll find the Great Smoky Mountains National Park included in it somewhere. In fact, gorgeous fall hikes abound all up and down the Appalachians – from Maine down into northern […]

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Autumn color seen from the Kancamagus Highway, in White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Smoky Mountains and Beyond

Search for any list related to viewing fall foliage and you’ll find the Great Smoky Mountains National Park included in it somewhere.

In fact, gorgeous fall hikes abound all up and down the Appalachians – from Maine down into northern Georgia.

If you time things right, you may even be able to squeeze in more than one trip. Venturing ever further South to experience each location in it’s peak.

From North to South, here are some of our favorites:

Acadia National Park

Let’s start in Maine. Acadia National Park encompasses over 47,000 acres of mountain, woodland and shoreline terrain along the coast of Maine. It takes up much of Mount Desert Island, as well as several smaller islands. You will find numerous trails to choose from, ranging from very easy to quite strenuous. Regardless of your capability, enjoy the best foliage watching from late September into mid-October.

Acadia National Park

Acadia National Park

White Mountain National Forest

Moving on to New Hampshire, the White Mountain National Forest is at almost the same latitude as Acadia National Park, but further inland. It covers over 750,000 acres of mountainous terrain and includes some 100 miles of the Appalachian Trail. Peak times for enjoying fall foliage is from about the last week of September into into the second week of October.

Autumn color seen from the Kancamagus Highway, in White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Autumn color along the Swift River, along the Kancamagus Highway in White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire

Swift River

Autumn color and view of the Presidential Range in White Mountain National Forest, New Hampshire.

Presidential Range

Great Smoky Mountains National Park

And finally we arrive to the Tennessee-North Carolina Border, where the Great Smoky Mountains National Park never ceases to dazzle. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the second most visited National Park in the United Sates! The Appalachian Trail passes straight through the middle of the park, comprising of only 70 miles of the over 850 miles of unpaved roads and trails for hikers to enjoy. More than 100 species of trees grow in the park, making the transition into fall all the more amazing. For the best display of Autumn colors, visit from the second week of October on up until the end of October.

Great Smoky Mountains National Park from above

From Above

Great Smoky Mountains National Park from below

From Below

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Taking The Subway – Zion Style http://hikerscircle.com/taking-the-subway-zion-style/ Sat, 05 Sep 2015 20:45:12 +0000 http://hikerscircle.com/?p=306 Another Incredible Zion National Park Hike Zion National Park, Utah, seems to have an amazing hike around every corner. One of the most exciting trails is The Subway. It is a permit only trail that takes hikers down steep and sometimes treacherous terrain […]

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Taking The Subway Zion Style

Another Incredible Zion National Park Hike

Zion National Park, Utah, seems to have an amazing hike around every corner.

One of the most exciting trails is The Subway. It is a permit only trail that takes hikers down steep and sometimes treacherous terrain into a narrow, watery canyon.

For those who can get a permit and don’t mind getting wet, it’s definite once-in-a-lifetime experience.

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Angels Landing – A Hike That Will Take Your Breath Away http://hikerscircle.com/angels-landing-a-hike-that-will-take-your-breath-away/ Sat, 05 Sep 2015 20:10:51 +0000 http://hikerscircle.com/?p=301 One Of The National Park System’s Most Trilling And Famous Hikes The Angels Landing Trail in Zion National Park, Utah, is a very well frequented hike, considering it’s dramatic drop-offs and steep, chained pathways. However, it’s no wonder it’s popular. Spectacular […]

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Angels Landing - A Hike That Will Take Your Breath Away

One Of The National Park System’s Most Trilling And Famous Hikes

The Angels Landing Trail in Zion National Park, Utah, is a very well frequented hike, considering it’s dramatic drop-offs and steep, chained pathways.

However, it’s no wonder it’s popular. Spectacular vistas accompanying every step of the way, and finally the magnificent views in every direction once you reach the top, leaves little surprise.

This video is great, because it shows a real-world family enjoying an iconic hike…

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World’s Most Terrifying Hiking Trail? http://hikerscircle.com/worlds-most-terrifying-hiking-trail/ Sat, 05 Sep 2015 19:18:55 +0000 http://hikerscircle.com/?p=290 Some Wouldn’t Call That Hiking! Mount Hua Shan in Central China definitely falls into the category of extreme hiking. Considered by many as the world’s most terrifying, and dangerous hike. Trails are narrow, exposed pathways with precipitous drops. In some […]

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World's Most Terrifying Hiking Trail?

Some Wouldn’t Call That Hiking!

Mount Hua Shan in Central China definitely falls into the category of extreme hiking.

Considered by many as the world’s most terrifying, and dangerous hike. Trails are narrow, exposed pathways with precipitous drops. In some parts consisting of mere footholds carved out of sheer rock-face and in others plank walks that is crossed using a harness.

With an increasing number of tourists visiting the site each year, local government has needed to add more railings, cut some trails deeper, make wider paths, create one-way routes and even close some trails to reduce fatalities.

Would you attempt this ancient pilgrimage, on trails dating back to the 2nd century BC?

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The Pacific Crest Trail In 4 Minutes Flat http://hikerscircle.com/the-pacific-crest-trail-in-4-minutes-flat/ Fri, 04 Sep 2015 20:57:30 +0000 http://hikerscircle.com/?p=283 Sharing a Solitary Experience Doing a long-distance, cross country hike is generally a solitary experience, or perhaps shared with one or two other people. That being said, once home, most hikers would want to share a least something about what […]

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Sharing a Solitary Experience

Doing a long-distance, cross country hike is generally a solitary experience, or perhaps shared with one or two other people.

That being said, once home, most hikers would want to share a least something about what they went through with friends, family and colleagues.

The question is how to do it without boring them all to death?

This guy found a way… 2600 MILES IN 4 MINUTES!

At the end!

Andy's Pacific Crest Trail hike end

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