I’ve noticed a sign on Route 44 in Glocester for Walking Trails recently on my daily commute to work, so today I decided to meet a friend there to check them out. I found a map online and realized the trail network connects with a small park I used to mountain bike at, Heritage Park. We decided to meet there after work, and try and get in a few miles. The large Private Property area marked on the map is a big field you can see from Route 44, I often see large groups of deer and turkey in that area in the morning, which made me hopeful to run into some wildlife on the hike, and possibly to return later in the year to do some shed hunting. I started from the Heritage Park trail-head and did the outer loop while waiting for JB to get there, finished it quickly and went back to check out some side trails that follow the brook. There I came acorss a perfect deer print in the mud (photo below). Once JB arrived we hiked in counter clockwise and headed out to Steere Hill, where we saw a good size white tail deer. We continued on for a few miles but as it was getting dark we turned back and took an unmarked trail, which brought us out to some campground. After checking the GPS, we decided to bushwhack back to the main trails and found some great spots along the brook. Hiking off trail is something I really enjoy and wish I did more often. The trails are very nice at this park and I hope to get back for some mountain biking and hiking soon. It would be an excellent hike for beginners, and possibly a good place to try out xc skiing, if I ever get around to it!
Today I was in Western Mass and decided to go be a trail angel. Trail Angels hang out along the Appalachian Trail or other long distance trails where you will find through hikers and bring them cold beer or soda, ice cream, any anything else a through hiker might not carry but otherwise want. I drove to a smal lot on Mt. Greylock and hiked in to the shelter there and found 2 northbounders and two section hikers out for a long weekend. The first guy I approached was in his 60’s and called himself Bucket. He happily accepted two cold ones and the look on his face was priceless. Both looked very weathered from the countless miles since Georgia. It was a very satisfying experience and wish them well on their adventures. If you’ve ever been randomly PBR’d, you know what I’m talking about!
There are a variety of free and paid apps out there that can use your smart phone’s GPS signal to track and map your outdoor activities. My favorite one was just upgraded to My Tracks v2. MyTracks can record your GPS tracks and also allows you to share and export them, for viewing in other programs. You can export to Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and to GPX format if you wish to view the track in Google Earth or upload it to make a custom MyTopo map.
(Via Android App Store) My Tracks records your path, speed, distance, and elevation while you walk, run, bike, or do anything else outdoors. While recording, you can view your data live, annotate your path, and hear periodic voice announcements of your progress.
I have found it to be very accurate and it doesn’t consume the battery quickly as fast as other programs I have used. The best part of all, it’s free! Just remember, GPS is NEVER a substitute for a map and compass or common sense.
When I first got into hiking in 2009 my brother got me a pair of these as a birthday present. They’re probably one of the best gifts I have ever received. They are extremely versatile and comfortable, and I always reach for them after a long hike for the ride home or whatever I find myself doing. I also do hike with them from time to time, and put them on when I come to a river crossing. They make great camp footwear in the summer, and are perfect for kayaking or river tubing. My favorite feature is the full front toe protection, as I dont have to worry about hazards underwater or stubbing them while jogging back to camp. I haven’t had any issues with mine, but I have heard that KEEN offers some top notch customer service.
Keen Men’s Newport H2 Sandal
Keen Women’s Newport H2 Sandal
After 2 seasons of heavy use, I noticed my Stoic E-Vent Shell was not beading water like it once used to. After some web research I decided that I would treat the jacket with the Nix-wax TX.DIRECT Spray-on Waterproofing product. Prior to doing so, I washed it with their Tech Wash solution and let it dry overnight. The next day I hung it in my bathtub and applied the spray-on product per the instructions. I chose the spray-on over the wash-in formula because I’m afraid of loosing venting ability from washing in the waterproofing on the inside of the garment. I will report back on the results. What has been your experience?
Nikwax TX.Direct Spray-On
Nikwax TX.Direct Wash-In
I recently finished the New Hampshire Views And Brews list, and had an excellent time doing it. While easily combined with any other peakbagging list, it’s a great way to support local businesses, and to visit places you may of never thought to go to. I finished NH on Mount Kersarge South, and then visited The Flying Goose Brew Pub & Grille.
I’ve just one more to do in Rhode Island and look forward to adding that patch to my collection as well. They maintain hiking/brewpub lists for a number of states, so go get after it!
My back country stove of choice is the Jetboil Flash. I like it for it’s simplicity, easy of use, and versatility. Fuel is cheap and easy to come by, and there are a variety of accessories for the stove, such as a fry pan, a coffee press, a larger cook-pot, and a hanging kit. I primarily only use my stove to boil water, either to add to a backpacker meal-in-a-bag or if I don’t have other means of treating my water. I have successfully made pancakes and sausages in the fry pan, and I’ve seen someone first hand make popcorn in the cup as well. Last year in Baxter, I used it to boil some corn on the cob and it was excellent. Everything stores inside the included cup and packs up nice and small. I keep mine on a carabiner and store it in the side slot in my mid-size pack. I can have it out, unpacked, assembled, with water boiling usually under 3 minutes. Always carry a lighter just in case.
2NDS . When you’re traveling light and need hot water or a hot beverage quickly, the Jetboil Flash personal cooking system delivers. The cooking cup clips to the burner and features a color-changing … more info.