Outdoor Information and Clinics
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Winter Camping Clinic
Most will call it snowshoeing when they get to a trailhead with the specific purpose of strapping on the snowshoes from the parking lot. In reality, snowshoeing is just hiking. All too often for those who like to hike year round, about halfway up the trail you encounter snow. In fall, it might be fresh powdery snow, in spring, deep slush from the sun melting the snow pack. If the hike is to continue much further, snowshoes will be needed. Some regions of the country may require having snowshoes on hand from November to April, thatís 6 months! Yes, you may be in snowshoes the entire trip but itís only a tool to go hiking in the winter. So where are all the hikers in the winter?
This was one of my favorite clinics I gave each fall when I worked at REI. So many outdoor people want to overnight camp in the winter time but they always had serious reservations about it. I believe with the right gear and a few times out, it becomes second nature. My first snow camping experience when I was 12 was with the boy scouts on Mt. Rainier. I wore blue jeans and....
I hate it when I get back to the car and it looks like this!
Peakbaggers are a special breed of outdoorsman that use each climbing trip to climb a new peak. Occasionally they may repeat a climb with a friend but the goal is to always climb another summit. There are variations of this as some only focus on certain mountains while others are much more obsessive climbing every little peak they can in their allotted time that day. It depends on the climber, but most will use whatever outdoor activity necessary to access and summit a mountain. Sometimes we walk, other times we might ski, snowshoe, mountain bike, 4X4, boat, ATV, horseback or snowmobile. Being a peakbagger may mean you are hiking a gentle sagebrush hill one day while roped up climbing a rocky face the next.
Preparing for Mount Rainier
Mount Rainier draws thousands of non-climbers to it's summit every year. Especially for people living in the Seattle region who gaze up at it's awesomeness every time the clouds part away from it's slopes. Although they don't climb they are drawn to the beauty, the challenge, the glory among their peers or some mix of the three. Any climber who lives in the Seattle area is bombarded yearly with requests from friends......
Learning to Camp from Scratch
Learning to camp is not just for the Boy Scouts. You don't need to know the 10 essentials or even have all the 10 essentials in order to camp. Don't over think it. Today's average camper probably brings along over 100 different items. From camp chairs to portable coffee grinders, if it's a household item, a smaller version has been made for camping. In reality, you need less than 10 items to go camping.