When the summer heat sets in, there are two popular ways to find relief in the Pacific Northwest: Get thee to water, or head to the mountains. Whether you’re a hard-core climber or a casual hiker, the mountains offer plenty of recreational opportunities that allow you to take advantage of the cooler air available at higher elevations. Here’s a look at some of the top Northwest mountaintop activities to help you beat the heat:
Archive for the ‘Hiking’ Category
Many experienced backpackers have honed their pack loading skills to a science. For those just starting out, however, loading up a pack for a multi-day backcountry trip can seem baffling. Not only do you have to make everything fit, but you need to position your gear for optimal weight distribution as well as accessibility. The last thing you need when night falls is to have to dig through your pack in the dark to find your LED headlamp.
While the finer points of pack loading are often learned through experience, there are some basic principles you can follow to ensure your gear – and your own safety – are protected. (more…)
Millions of hikers each year take advantage of hiking trails all over the Northwest, yet few put much thought into the maintenance required to keep these trails safe and preserve the surrounding ecosystems.
Although National Trails Day, a nationwide effort to help maintain and celebrate hiking trails, took place earlier this month, there are plenty of things you can do throughout the summer to help ensure hiking trails remain safe and accessible for everyone. Here are a few suggestions; as always, don’t forget to bring along an LED flashlight and a sturdy multi-tool whenever you venture out into the wilderness.
Even on a relatively level trail, backpacking can be an exhausting adventure. It’s important to bring plenty of food to recharge your batteries while hiking. On an extended trip, a backpacker can burn 4,000-9,000 calories a day, which means your body will need a lot of fuel.
The best backpacking foods are compact, easy to prepare, dense in calories and can be eaten with a camping knife or multi-tool. Luckily, there are a number of lightweight, compact food items that still pack a caloric punch. The following are the top four trail foods that offer a high amount of calories per weight. Yum!
The desert can be a beautiful, magical place. It can also be dangerous for hikers and backpackers, such as those hiking the Pacific Crest Trail. From the scorching heat of the day to freezing temperatures at night, hiking in the desert can be as difficult as it is rewarding. Here are five tips for safely hiking in the desert.
1. Watch the time of day.
The temperature may still be in the low 40s, but spring will be upon us before you know it. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the outdoor events calendar. This March, grab a jacket, leave the comfort of the indoors, and get back out into the wild. The following events are all great opportunities for outdoor enthusiasts of all kinds to wake from their winter hibernations. Enjoy!
What: The Bachelor Butte Dog Derby
When: Friday, March 4 – Sunday, March 6
Where: Wanoga Snow Park, near Sunriver, Oregon
Contact: Bino Fowler at email@example.com.
Described on the organization’s website as “a return to racing sled dogs”, this trophy race will take you through the beautiful Cascade Mountains and offers short, middle, and distance courses. Not a musher? Don’t worry! Spectators are encouraged to come cheer on the racers.
You may not know it, but there is an exclusive club to which, if you’re like most people, you do not belong. No, we’re not talking about the Skull and Bones or the Freemasons. We’re talking about the group that consists of anyone that has scaled what climbers call “The Seven Summits”. The Seven Summits are the tallest peaks on every continent, and from reports by The Olympian, only 86 Americans have ever done this. In fact, only about 280 people worldwide have done this. Oh, wait – make that 281.
Last month, Olympia, Wash., resident Steve Giesecke joined the Seven Summits club by scaling Antarctica’s Mount Vinson, a freezing 16,000 foot peak that on average is the highest of all the summits. The 56-year-old mountaineer starting the Seven Summits challenge in 1989 by climbing Alaska’s Mount McKinley. Since then he has mastered the other five summits, including Kilimanjaro, Kosciuszko, Carstensz Pyramid, Everest, Elbrus, and Aconcagua.
Southern Oregon continues to see an unusually high case of rabies in local fox populations, a press release from the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife recently stated.
According to the release, nine cases of rabid foxes have been reported in the Cave Junction area since the beginning of 2010. ODFW biologists and veterinarians have met to discuss concerns that this increase in rabies cases could be trouble for local pet populations.
Emilio DeBees, a public health veterinarian at the Oregon Health Authority, said that can be of significant concern for pet owners.
“In Oregon, dogs are required to be vaccinated against rabies,” he said. Cats are not, except in Multnomah County, but veterinarians strongly recommend they are also vaccinated.”
Rabies, a viral disease that attacks the nervous system of mammals, poses a low risk to humans. However, hunters, campers, hikers, and other outdoor enthusiasts are still at risk of infection if they come across a rabid animal. Along with traditional hunting equipment, it is important to bring a first aid kit and an emergency communication device, such as a cell phone or radio, in case you need to call for help.
It is also important to be aware of what a rabid animal looks like. Rabies symptoms include lethargy, walking in circles, loss of muscular coordination, aggressiveness, excessive saliva, and a lack of fear around humans. That means if you see a rabid animal, don’t try to scare it off – not even shouting, blowing a whistle, or shining an LED flashlight at it will get rid of it.
The press release suggested the following actions for those living in an area with reported rabies cases: